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Illinois custody agreements: a far cry from yesteryear

Baby boomers of divorced parents in Illinois and across the country share a near-unanimous experience in their memories concerning child custody arrangements "back in the day."

A couple generations ago, it was close to universally being the case that post-divorce custody outcomes mirrored each other nationally. A divorce commentator in a recent Chicago Tribune article notes that "mothers automatically received primary custody, and fathers saw their children a few days each month."

Times have changed greatly since then, and in a manner that most family experts say spells marked improvement from virtually every conceivable perspective. Legions of divorcing parents in Illinois and elsewhere are looking for far more flexible custody/visitation formats than what the "traditional" model offered.

Data on family health and child psychology often strong evidence that supports their efforts to craft a tailored parenting plan rather than simply acquiescing to a "one size fits all" formula addressing family needs.

Because, in fact, optimal custody outcomes aren't properly about family considerations per se. Rather, they are 100% about what best promotes the interests of loved and cherished children. And numerous research findings (including those from a 2017 Science Daily study) conclude that young children are generally happier and emotionally healthier when their divorced parents share custody.

That is nothing to fear for loving yet hesitant parents. Indeed, courts highly honor that arrangement. Moreover, empathetic and knowledgeable family law attorneys routinely work with clients to develop unique and flexible parenting plans that make custody truly work for their given situation.

Divorce throws up challenges, to be sure. But it also offers up opportunity for loving and thoughtful parents to craft a post-divorce existence that empowers them while simultaneously promoting what is best for their children.

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