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Preparing to help a child through relocation during divorce

For many divorcing parents in Illinois, the decision to separate was not made without considerable forethought. Often, this unfortunate outcome is the most effective solution to resolving marital conflict before differences get too out of hand. However, a divorce can be especially difficult on children who are still struggling to understand why their parents are suddenly separated and living on their own. In many cases, relocation is necessary and may require children to travel between their parents to maintain relationships and get time with both of their parents. 

According to the Huffington Post, when parents are faced with the very real possibility of relocation, there are some important factors they must remember in regards to their children. These include the following:

  • In many courts, precedence to the well-being of the children and their stability is taken over the convenience of the custodial parent's location to his or her job for example.
  • Often, the outcome for many parents is a lose-lose situation with both parents needing to be flexible and willing to give up convenience and personal preference to reach an agreeable solution.
  • Parents cannot expect an arrangement that worked for one family to work for them. Custody arrangements in relation to relocation are different for every family to best accommodate the needs of children given their family dynamic.

In situations where child custody is difficult to determine, children may spend a good portion of time away from one of their parents. Often classified as parental alienation, it can be difficult for children to be accepting of the displaced parent when they are finally able to reconnect with him or her. According to Psychology Today, parents in this kind of situation are encouraged to care for and respond to their children with patience, compassion, unconditional love, safety and emotional support to help their children to feel loved and accepted.  

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