Tag Archives: DuPage County family lawyer

IL divorce lawyerAdhering to a parenting plan is crucial for the wellbeing of your child. When the other parent decides to violate that plan by dropping off your child late or refusing to return your child to you, it becomes necessary to take legal action. Children need structure for proper development and growth, and violating a parenting plan is not only unfair to you, but denying your child this crucial structure is downright harmful.

How Violating the Parenting Plan Increases Hostility and Distrust Between Divorced Parents

There are many reasons why separated or divorced parents hold onto their anger or cannot forgive each other. One study found that social network disapproval toward the other parent (friends disapprove of the other parent) increases co-parenting conflict. Other contributing factors to continued hostility after the divorce or separation is in the past, like “trash talking” the other parent in front of the children, often include infidelity during the relationship and continued poor communication after the marriage or relationship has terminated.

However, one of the greatest sources of conflict between divorced or separated parents is caused when one, or both, parents violate the parenting plan. Dropping the children off late or refusing to make compromises are examples of how a parent may try to gain leverage or assert their authority over the other parent. This comes at a great cost to the children, who inevitably suffer emotional trauma at the expense of being in the middle of a game of tug-of-war between their parents. It is essential to take legal action when you believe the other parent is violating the terms of the parenting agreement.

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IL custody lawyerIf you moved out of Illinois after a parenting plan was already in place, or your divorce is ongoing and you plan to move as soon as it is finalized, figuring out how to go about visitation can be difficult due to the physical distance between you and your child. If the original parenting plan is no longer applicable because it was created when you were still in Illinois, you may need to take your case back to court to have a new parenting plan created by a judge if the other parent is not in agreement with your wishes. It is not uncommon for custodial parents to deny you time with your child via phone, internet, or even in-person visits, particularly if you live in another state. A Hinsdale custody lawyer will be able to help you create a new parenting plan and take the matter to court to be approved by a judge if necessary.

Electronic Communication

Skype, Facetime, email, texting, phone calls, and other forms of electronic communication such as social media are often part of a parenting plan, even when both parents live in the same state. When a parent lives out of state, communication by phone and computer become even more important. However, custodial parents may attempt to interfere with your communication and even ban or limit the use of your child’s cell phone or computer. Eighty-eight percent of teenagers aged 13 to 17 have access to a cell phone, though that access may include their parent’s cell phone. Younger children have even more limited access to cell phones, and purchasing a smartphone for your child may be a necessary part of a parenting plan for out of state parents. Regardless of how the other parent is alienating you, it can be addressed by an attorney and brought to a judge’s attention.

Travel Expenses

Plane flights are an expense that keeps many parents from seeing their children as much as they would like. When an out of state parent travels to Illinois to visit their child, they have to take time away from work, purchase a plane ticket, pay for a hotel, and spend additional money on a rental car or other means of in-town transportation. It may make more sense to have your child visit you in addition to visiting them. And, in many circumstances, the custodial parent can be held partially responsible for purchasing the child’s plane ticket. A judge may decide that travel costs should be split evenly by you and the other parent, even if the child is visiting you alone.

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Il divorce lawyerChild support is awarded during divorce, or when no marriage occurred between two parents, based on the following criteria:

  • Child’s needs, including education, medical, food and clothing, and other necessities
  • Child’s financial resources
  • Each parent’s income
  • Each parent’s other financial resources
  • Child’s standard of living during the marriage
  • Number of children the couple has together

When a court makes a decision about child support, that support order is rarely set in stone. If the divorce occurred when the child was seven, there is a very small chance that the order will not be modified over the next decade as the child grows to 18, and then goes to college. Modification orders can be made every few years, or “upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances,” according to 750 ILCS 5 Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. A substantial change in circumstances may constitute any of the following examples:

  • The paying parent gets a large raise.
  • The custodial parent loses their job.
  • The paying parent gets in a major accident.
  • The child begins attending private school.
  • The child reaches an age when he or she no longer requires child care.
  • The custodial parent has access to significantly more financial resources.

Modifying Child Support

Generally, remarrying does not have any effect on child support modification—after all, it is only the financial obligation of each parent to pay for their child’s needs. However, in a few rare cases, courts have sided with the paying parent’s argument that, because of a new spouse’s finances, the custodial parent had increased access to this shared financial resource. It could be argued that a spouse who remarries may be able to tap into the finances of his or her new spouse, using these resources to pay for food, clothing, housing, insurance, and education for their child.

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IL family lawyerIt can be tempting for a spouse to monitor the movements of the other, especially during divorce or searching for suspected infidelity. Cell phones can easily be tracked without the other spouses’ knowledge, and GPS devices the size of a coin can be hidden in vehicles without being detected. Furthermore, accessing a spouse’s emails can show what they have been up to, not just where. However, tracking or spying on a spouse in such a manner is not necessarily legal in Illinois, and by doing so and getting caught, it can have a profoundly negative effect on your divorce be creating further distrust, anger, and feelings of betrayal. GPS tracking and digital spying will most likely result in a contested divorce, as the spied-upon spouse will feel they have less reason to compromise.

Electronic GPS Tracking Can Be Illegal in Illinois

Under 720 ILCS 5/21-2.5, it is a Class A misdemeanor to place a GPS device on a person or their car, without their consent, in order to track their location. However, it becomes more complicated when the vehicle is owned jointly in a marriage. While it may not be illegal, or at least a punishable offense, for one spouse to secretly track the other, it can certainly have a negative impact on divorce decisions like child custody if it reveals the poor character of a parent.

Tampering with Computers, Such as Reading Your Spouse’s Emails

Another way that spouses keep tabs on another during divorce is by secretly accessing the other’s phone or laptop to read emails. This is also unlawful in Illinois under 720 ILCS 5/17-51. While criminal charges may never be filed, reading the emails and private messages of your spouse can:

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IL divorce lawyerChild support is a crucial financial tool for custodial parents and, of course, their children. In fact, full or partial child support payments account for 16 percent of custodial mothers’ total yearly income, and nine percent for custodial fathers. Sadly, a large percentage of non-custodial parents refuse to comply with their court orders, and either fail to pay on time or simply refuse to pay outright. Less than half (45.6 percent) of custodial parents receive full child support payments. Custodial parents were owed $10.4 billion in deficient payment in 2013 alone.

Many parents are owed tens of thousands of dollars from years of missed payments, which only makes things harder on the non-custodial parent’s own child or children. Collecting overdue child support payments is difficult enough when the parent lives in the same state as the custodial parent. It is even more complicated when the non-custodial parent moves out of state. It can seem impossible to enforce payments when the parent leaves the country. However, an attorney may be able to help you.

Utilizing the Office of Child Support Enforcement Is Key to Child Support Success

The Office of Child Support Enforcement works with foreign countries to enforce child support payments from non-paying parents who have skipped out on their financial obligations. Countries that have joined the Hague Child Support Convention (of which there are 31 countries) or Foreign reciprocating countries (FRCs) cooperate with the U.S. Department of State to hold non-paying parents accountable.

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