Tag Archives: child custody

IL divorce lawyerWhen two people decide to make a split in their relationship, one of the first and most difficult decisions is often where the couple will live. If they are not married but only living together, the choice is often much simpler, as the person whose name is on the lease or mortgage will inevitably retain use of the property. If a true joint lease or mortgage, then it can indeed be every bit as complicated. But for a married couple - especially with children - the challenge is deciding who will stay in the marital home. In most cases, men tend to be the ones to depart quickly upon conflict. But this may not always be a good decision. So, before you move out of the marital home, here are some considerations you might want to discuss with a DuPage County divorce lawyer.

He Who Stays and He Who Pays

Effective January of 2019, Illinois’ child support statute has dramatically changed. Unlike before, the law no longer creates a strict guideline based on just the number of children a couple has. Instead, the new law takes into considerations such as:

  • How many children the couple has
  • Whether there are children from other relationships
  • Who is paying health and dental insurance
  • Who is paying daycare and other childcare expenses
  • Relative income of both parties
  • The relative amount of parenting time each parent has

This is a significant departure from the past, and it can be a good thing for parents who have fairly equal parenting time with a spouse who earns far less. By having more equal parenting time and covering extra expenses for the kids, it reduces the amount of direct support that must be paid, if any. However, it is important to keep in mind that the marital home has a somewhat intangible effect on parenting roles. Here is why.

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IL custody lawyerOnce upon a time in Illinois, courts mainly called it custody. Other states have different terms, as well. However, in recent years, Illinois law has changed on the subject, and the prevailing concept is to divide parenting time and responsibilities. If you are going through a divorce and have concerns about who will have the majority of the decision-making responsibilities or where the children will spend most of their time, take a deep breath and understand that no two divorce or child custody disputes are the same. Your unique situation may not be as bad as you think. Often, just a half-hour meeting with an experienced Hinsdale family law attorney can ease many of the fears and concerns you have. It is important to understand the difference between how courts now look at it, compared to the previous way.

Custody in the Past

In 2016, Section 5/600 of the Family Code was added, thereby creating something known as parenting allocation. Prior to that time, Illinois law treated the matter as custody. The overall view was that someone had to be named the custodial parent with whom the children would reside for the majority of their time. Then the other parent would be assigned visitation with their children. Unfortunately, although this method was practical, there was a distinct alienating effect to it. After all, who wants to “visit” their children? In the majority of cases where both parents are fit to care for children, this necessarily created a power imbalance or inequality in parenting roles.

Parenting Allocation Explained

Today, Illinois has taken a progressive approach to shared parenting responsibilities. Instead of treating one parent as the primary guardian and the other as a mere visitor, during a divorce or separation, the parties will have to come up with a parenting allocation agreement. If they cannot agree, the court will decide for them and generate a parenting allocation order. This sets forth what responsibilities each party will have, including which responsibilities will be shared. To the extent that parents can agree on how to share time with children and share decision-making, allocation can be quite flexible.

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IL custody lawyerYour children are the most important thing in a parent’s life, and it is common to lash out at anything that potentially harms their child or prevents a parent from seeing their child or spending time with their child. In this case, that thing is a custody hearing. Below are some common mistakes that parents make during custody battles that can harm their chances of receiving a desirable outcome in court.

Using Social Media to Complain About the Other Parent

As tempting as it may be, using social media to publicly badmouth the other parent, that parent’s lawyer, or a judge handling the case is a recipe for disaster. Not only will it unnecessarily anger all parties target, which may in fact by your short-term goal, but it will harm your reputation, making you seem vindictive, irrational, or a bad role model.

Losing Your Temper in Court

A judge wants to place a child with a responsible parent in a stable home with a calm environment. Outbursts in court prove to the judge that you are not that person and your home is not that place.

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IL divorce lawyerWomen are trapped in bad or abusive marriages for a variety of reasons. Below are the top three reasons that women stay in marriages that are harmful to themselves and their children.

Major Wage Discrepancies Between Men and Women Cause Women More Stress

On average, full-time female Illinois workers make just 78 cents for every dollar that full-time male workers earn. Obviously, women face pay discrimination — being paid less than men for the same occupations — but they also face discrimination in the workplace when it comes to promotions, being hired for good-paying jobs in the first place, for taking time away from work due to pregnancy, and for dozens of other reasons.

Because of this, two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and hundreds of thousands of women are trapped in bad marriages due to the financial stress that getting divorced would cause. It is understandable that studies show that women are more stressed out about money than men.

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IL divorce lawyerDeciding to get divorced is a big decision and one that you have undoubtedly spent countless sleepless nights agonizing over. Now that you have made up your mind that divorce is in your best interest, the prospect of having to go through the divorce process can suddenly seem extra daunting. Divorce is stressful, it takes half a year or more in many cases, and it puts extra strain on your children, your other loved ones, your career, and your finances. Below are four frequently asked questions about divorce that our clients commonly have.

Who Gets the Children?

In many divorces, the spouses are able to reach an agreement about child custody and the parenting plan with assistance from their attorneys. However, when agreement and compromise fail, a court will make the child custody decision for you. Judges always favor the custody arrangement that they believe will be in the child’s best interest. Long gone are the days when mothers were always given sole custody, in Illinois and across the country, fathers are fighting and lobbying to make joint custody the norm.

Are Marital Assets Divided Down the Middle?

Illinois is an equitable division state, which means that marital property is divided “fairly,” though not necessarily an even 50/50. In a contested divorce, courts look at the following information to help them decide which spouse gets what:

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