Shared custody that grants both parents time to raise their children after a divorce has the potential to produce many psychological and emotional benefits. Parents going through the process of divorce in Illinois will need to work out a custody agreement and co-parenting plan. Although coming to terms might be difficult for splitting spouses, the benefits to the family after the divorce are worth the effort.

Children naturally feel upset when their parents split up. A co-parenting plan that allows the children to divide time between parental households helps to overcome fear and insecurity. As children learn that both parents have remained engaged and present in their lives, their sense of security returns. The sustained bond with both parents enabled by co-parenting could also promote prosocial behavior in children as they mature. Children lacking a bond with one parent face a greater risk of negative behavior.

The ex-spouses could also develop a new relationship based on their commitment to raising children. With their focus placed on the needs of children, they might move past the acrimony of divorce and achieve a cordial relationship. Co-parenting also provides parents with intermittent breaks from the demands of child rearing. They gain time to themselves, and no one has to lose access to children.

A person who wants to prepare a custody or visitation agreement may ask an attorney for advice. Many issues need to be worked through as parents decide the allocation of parental responsibility. They need to establish who can make medical decisions and who pays for which childcare expenses. An attorney familiar with the laws that guide these issues may provide advice and aid with negotiations. Once the parents have decided on the details, an attorney may prepare the final documents for the court.