Tag Archives: child custody issues

IL divorce lawyerIn 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, making Illinois the eleventh state in the country to legalize marijuana for adult use. The legislation includes many laws, and one of them is the fact that people that use marijuana cannot be discriminated against for their consumption in family court. Unfortunately, many courts have still not recognized this part of the law and continue to discriminate against parents that use marijuana during child custody hearings. If you use marijuana, it is important to know how it may affect your child custody case, and how to prevent it from happening.

How Marijuana Use May Affect a Child Custody Case

Even though marijuana is now legal for adult use in Illinois, it remains illegal under federal law. Perhaps this is the reason why judges and some attorneys remain biased against individuals that choose to use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. It is a difficult stereotype to defeat, even though the image of marijuana users most biased people have is not realistic.

Child custody battles are already some of the most contentious aspects of any divorce. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try and stain the character of the other parent when going through child custody hearings. When that parent uses marijuana, the other spouse may use that information to try and make it seem as though this fact compromises their ability to properly care for their child. This argument is often raised even when the use of marijuana has no impact on a parent’s ability to raise and care for their children.

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IL divorce lawyerEven the simplest divorce cases have the potential to become stressful and drawn out. Certain factors though, can exacerbate this process and complicate a divorce case. When these factors are involved, the divorce process not only becomes more costly, but also more stressful and will take more time. People going through the process cannot always control these factors and that can make a divorce even more stressful. An experienced divorce lawyer can advise on these factors, and take some of the complications out of the process.

When Your Spouse Does Not Want a Divorce

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you and your spouse do not need to agree to a divorce. If you want a divorce, you must only file a complaint with the family courts. Within your complaint, you must only state that there has been a breakdown in the marital relationship and that there is no chance of reconciliation.

However, while the law allows you to get a divorce regardless of whether your spouse agrees, it can make the process more complex if your spouse does not agree. They may try to intentionally make the process more difficult, or they may try to draw out the process in the hopes that you will change your mind. Regardless of their actions, you can still get a divorce but it will be more expensive and more complex.

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IL family lawyerParenting plans outline the arrangements for child custody agreements and dictate when each divorced parent of a child spends time with their children. Parenting plans are often agreements that are negotiated between the two spouses, although sometimes they are court-ordered arrangements. Regardless of how a couple arrived at a parenting plan, there are some common issues surrounding these agreements. Below are the five most common issues, and how to prevent them.

Being Late for Pick-Ups and Drop-Offs

Sometimes parents run into unexpected circumstances, such as heavy traffic, when dropping off their child or picking their child up at the other parent’s home. While being late for an arranged pick-up or drop-off on occasion is not a call for concern, behaving in this way regularly may indicate a lack of respect for your ex’s time. It is always advised to try and be prompt for all pick-ups and drop-offs to avoid unnecessary disputes.

Canceling Plans Without Notice

Like being late for pick-ups and drop-offs, you may have to cancel plans that affect your parenting plan from time to time. While canceling plans may be necessary from time to time, try not to do it too often. It places a strain on your former spouse, as they will have to make different arrangements to ensure the child is supervised and cared for. If you must cancel your allotted parenting time, try to provide your former spouse with as much notice as possible.

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IL divorce lawyerParents often face the problem of having to go to work or somewhere else of importance and they need someone to care for their child. This situation arises in marriage many times, but it also happens after a couple has divorced. When a couple is married, the situation is not so problematic. Either one of the parents can watch the children, or the parents will agree on a babysitter. After divorce, the situation becomes much more complicated. So, what do you do if you are divorced and need to leave your child with someone else? It may depend on what your divorce agreement says.

The Right of First Refusal

Until recent years, Illinois law did not specify what should happen when someone other than the parents needed to watch the children. However, on January 1, 2014, a new law took effect that gives the other parent the right of first refusal. This legal statute requires parents in certain situations to offer the other parent the right of first refusal to watch the child.

For example, Parent A and Parent B may share joint custody of their child. The child may stay with Parent B for the weekend, but Parent B is called into work and needs a babysitter. If the couple’s divorce agreement stipulates a right of first refusal, Parent B will have to provide Parent A with the first opportunity to watch the child, before asking anyone else. If Parent A cannot watch the child, Parent B can then ask anyone they choose to watch the child.

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IL custody lawyerDivorce and child custody are complicated enough for the average family. For families that have a child with special needs, figuring out the best living arrangement and caretaking responsibilities is even harder. Extra attention needs to be given to creating a carefully drafted parenting plan that takes all of the child’s best interests into account. An experienced Hinsdale child custody attorney will be able to help you throughout the divorce process.

Shared Custody Is Often the Best Custody Arrangement

Numerous U.S. and international studies have shown that children thrive the most when they have both parents in their lives. As such, shared custody is usually a desirable outcome for custody decisions. Even if the child lives primarily with one parent, as long as the other parent has a constant presence in their child’s life, the child will be much better off than if one parent is seldom around.

Parenting is a demanding job. For children with special needs, the demands placed on parents are greater. Having two parents play an equal role in caretaking, driving the child to appointments and school, and homemaking can be a great asset to everyone involved. However, in certain situations, it may be best to fight for sole custody if the other parent has proven themselves to be unfit for the job.

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