Commonly contentious issues for divorced parent

A bitter divorce can leave both parties feeling drained and stressed, but disputes can keep occurring even after a divorce is finalized, especially in regards to issues of child-rearing. Divorced parents in Illinois commonly disagree on how to raise their children, making it difficult for them to move past divorce and potentially affecting their children in a negative way. Regardless of their child custody arrangement, divorced parents are urged to work together to make decisions in their child's best interests. However, this often sounds easier than it actually is.

One common area of contention between divorced parents is schooling, specifically where their child should attend school. One parent may want to enroll the child in a private school or even home school the child while the other disagrees. Likewise, sports, music and other extracurricular activities are frequently the subject of disputes, especially when they require significant time or financial commitments by both parents. Experts recommend that parents discuss and settle such issues before their divorce is finalized, agreeing in writing so that continued fighting does not get in the way of their child's education. For instance, a parent who is adamant about his or her child attending an expensive prep school could volunteer to front the associated costs, agreeing to do so in a Judgment of Divorce, which a court would later enforce.

Another likely source of strife between divorced parents is medical issues. For example, parents might disagree about whether a child needs medication for ADHD or might even dispute whether their child even has such a disorder. One parent could push for dental braces for the child while the other views them as unnecessarily expensive. Rather than taking such fights to court where they will likely cost both sides thousands of dollars in legal fees, parents should strive to work together in their child's best interests.

Parents who are unable to decide on issues like this may benefit from seeking counseling or mediation aimed at helping them put aside their differences for their child's benefits. In extreme cases, a custody modification or other legal action may be warranted.

Source: Huffington Post, "Children And Trigger Points," Henry Gornbein, Sept. 25, 2012

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