Tag Archives: children of divorce

coparents, Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois child custody lawyer,All family law matters are inherently emotionally charged, and are often contentious. This is particularly true for matters involving children. Facing a child custody dispute can be difficult for both the parents and the child involved.

The law requires that custody matters are determined prioritizing the best interests of the child. Using this standard, Illinois law requires divorcing parents to complete a Joint Parenting Agreement. These agreements can be complicated, as can state divorce law. If you are considering a divorce and want information regarding a parenting plan, contact an experienced family law attorney in Illinois for help, and for answers to any of your family law-related questions. By working with a family law attorney, you can create a parenting plan between you and your child’s other parent that works for everyone involved.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

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child custody determination, Illinois child custody, Illinois family law attorney, Hinsdale divore lawyer, When spouses are in the process of a marriage dissolution, if there are children involved in the marital relationship, then child custody is one of the most important matters for consideration by the court. In all child custody determinations, the court uses the standard of the “child’s best interests” in making the final custody award. This standard requires a balancing of numerous factors, and is the prevailing method used in making custody arrangements, which will be most beneficial for the child’s well-being. The child’s wishes or preferences are one of the many factors the State of Illinois considers when determining how to proceed.

Weight of Your Child’s Wishes

It has long been debated whether a child should be able to choose the parent with whom they would like to live in a child custody battle. This begs the question of whether the child should in fact have that choice and, if so, at what age do they have the mental capacity to make a sound determination as to what is in their best interest in the matter of parental custody. Overall, it is an extremely rare occurrence that a judge would allow a child’s preference of where to live outweigh other factors when making a custodial determination.

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Hinsdale custody and visitation attorneys, judge orders supervision, supervised visitation, child custody, child visitation, non-custodial parent, children of divorce, reasonable visitationOrdinarily, in an Illinois divorce or paternity case, a father who is not awarded custody is granted visitation with his children. In fact, Illinois Statute places a heavy burden on a custodial parent who seeks to have the other parent’s visitation supervised. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that a non-custodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation unless "that visitation would endanger seriously the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health." Without such a finding, a judge is prohibited from restricting visitation. Furthermore, any requirement for supervision of visitation "must meet the serious-endangerment standard." See re Marriage of Ross, 355 Ill.App.3d 1162, 824 N.E.2d 1108 (5th Dist. 2005).

However, there are many times when Illinois courts do order supervised visitation.

Who then becomes the supervisor when an Illinois court orders supervised visitation?

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child custody, child visitation, children of divorce, Father's Rights, House Bill 4124, Illinois custody and visitation attorneys, Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Law Office of Martoccio and MartoccioChild Visitation Update: Will Illinois fathers soon be entitled to a minimum of 35 percent of their child's time?  

April 9, 2014: There is an update regarding the progress of the Illinois State Legislature and the bill introduced by two Illinois legislators to provide a mandatory minimum amount of parenting time for fathers in Illinois for 35 percent of their child's time.

House Bill 4124 makes a legislative finding in the purpose and rules of the construction section of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. It states, "In order to maximize the opportunity for each child to maintain and strengthen the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s best interests may be served with a minimum amount of residential parenting time for each parent of not less than 35 percent of available residential parenting time."

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child custody, Illinois, divorce, children of divorce, Illinois child custody lawyerDivorce is never an easy process. Spouses who have decided to go through with a divorce cite reasons including infidelity, finances, or just plain old irreconcilable differences. Whatever the reason for the split, the effect of the divorce is rarely felt solely by those that call each other spouse. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry states that one in two marriages today end in divorce, many of them being families that include children. Unavoidably, this brings up the unpleasant issue of child custody. Unfortunately, sometimes this topic is used as a weapon in one spouse’s attempt to harm the other. When parents cannot agree on where the children will live, courts refer to statutes and case law for guidance.

Custody Awarded Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

 Child custody proceedings are automatically commenced when a parent files a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, declaration of invalidity of marriage, or simply a petition for custody. A stepparent or a grandparent can also start child custody proceedings in very specific circumstances, usually involving the incapacity or death of the custodial parent.

 The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act identifies factors affecting the award of child custody. When the court decides custody, they will make a determination to serve the best interests of the child. Relevant factors that the court takes into consideration include the wishes of the child’s parents, the wishes of the child, the child’s interactions, the child’s adjustment, the parties’ health, the presence of violence or abuse, and the parties’ cooperation.

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