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In divorce involving children, compromise is key for parents

Photo of Karen Lavin

Readers in Illinois who have been divorced, or know someone who has ended their marriage, understand that sometimes even couples who begin their separation as a friendly split can become bitterly divided when it comes to issues involving their children. These aspects of family law that must be resolved when a marriage ends can bring out the most contentious parts of a person's character.

This has recently been the case for celebrity couple Heidi Klum and Seal. Klum filed for divorce on grounds of "irreconcilable differences" earlier this spring. The couple had been married for seven years when they separated last January. When she filed for divorce, Klum asked to be awarded primary physical custody of the couple's children. Seal, however, requested that he and Klum be granted equal time with their four children. Sources say that the divorce is about to become more antagonistic. Yet, according to Klum, although the split has been difficult for the couple and their children, having been thrown a "curveball," they will adjust.

In this case, Klum is on to something. In Illinois divorces, just like celebrity separations, parents and children may experience stress, anger, sadness and other emotions. Going to work or school can become difficult for everyone involved, and disruptive temporary or permanent changes to a family's structure and living situation usually occur. Fortunately, the rules of family law can keep divorce proceedings running smoothly for couples and their children.

The legal system in Illinois can help divorcing parents compromise in resolving issues of child custody, visitation, alimony, child support and division of marital property. Whether mutual-compromise is achieved by a settlement agreement reached through mediation or by cooperating with the courts in the course of dissolving their marriage, it can make divorce more straightforward and less emotionally taxing for spouses and their children.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Heidi Klum, Seal's Divorce Is Getting Messy," Aug. 29, 2012

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