Tag Archives: DuPage County family lawyer

IL family lawyerCourt-ordered visitation time is just that—court-ordered. As such, a custodial parent is violating the law by denying you visitation with your child, or by reducing the time that you spend with your child by dropping them off late or insisting that you have them home earlier than the parenting plan mandates. This interference damages the bond between non-custodial parents and their children, creates conflict between the parents that the child will inevitably pick up on and blame themselves for causing, and is a common tactic to “get back” at the non-custodial parent for grievances of the past. According to Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/10-5.5, a parent who is found guilty of unlawful visitation or parenting time interference has committed a petty offense. The third offense is a Class A misdemeanor. The non-custodial parent has the option of filing a petition for unlawful visitation interference.

Other Types of Interference with Visitation and Custody

  • Custodial parent agrees to drop the child off for visitation and they bring the child late;
  • The custodial parent insists on picking the child up early, before visitation time has expired;
  • Custodial parent does not make the child present, or does not have them ready to go, at the agreed upon time and location for the non-custodial parent to pick the child up for visitation;
  • The custodial parent makes excuses to alter the days of visitation, to reduce the hours or days of visitation, or threatens to disallow the non-custodial parent access to their child if they do not agree to the custodial parent’s terms;
  • The custodial parent insists on tagging along or acting like a supervisor during visitation time activities when the non-custodial parent does not want them to participate in visitation;
  • Denying the child to talk on the phone or via email with the non-custodial parent; and
  • Asking the child to report on the non-custodial parent in order to petition the court to reduce their visitation rights.

Remedies to Interference

If the court agrees with your argument:

  • You may be awarded extra visitation time to make up what you lost;
  • The court may permanently change the custody agreement to give you shared or full custody, assuming you meet the definition of statute 50 ILCS 5/600 for “caretaking functions;” and/or
  • The other parent may be fined or even given a jail sentence.

Interference Needs to Be Habitual in Order for the Court to Take Action

If the interference is a one-time thing or happens just occasionally, you may not have a solid case to petition the court to change the custody agreement or getting back your lost time. The interference must be habitual.

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IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, marital assets are divided equitably. While you may end up receiving less than half of the total assets, the court ensures that assets are not distributed unfairly. Marital assets include everything from income, dividends, investment returns, real property, vehicles, and more that were acquired during the duration of the marriage. Assets owned by either party before the marriage began are considered non-marital assets, as are personal injury settlements, lawsuit awards, and inheritance.

This means that, for a long marriage, most of the assets are probably marital property that must be accounted for and divided equitably. For high asset marriages, it is not uncommon for one of the parties—usually the spouse in charge of banking, finances, and taxes—to hide some of the marital assets in order to make off with more than their fair share. If you are going through a divorce, you need to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that all assets are accounted for.

How Are Assets Hidden?

The most common ways that assets are hidden by one spouse from the other include the following:

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Il family lawyerOf the 13.4 million custodial single U.S. parents, half have a legal or informal child support agreement with the other parent. Child support is used to pay for food, rent or mortgage payments, education, clothing, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and everything else that a child depends upon. As a parent’s financial situation changes, they may have a decreased or increased ability to pay child support or to financially support their child as the custodial parent. Moreover, child support may need to be modified due to a change in the child’s circumstances, such as needing cancer treatment, or no longer needing as many hours per week in childcare once they are enrolled in public school.

As children grow, parents get promotions or lose their jobs, families suffer unexpected medical emergencies, and other normal life events unfold throughout the years, a child support agreement that once made sense, may no longer be relevant. As either the custodial or paying parent, you may be able to modify the child support agreement if you can prove to the court that there have been substantial changes in circumstances for you, the other parent, or the child. A DuPage County family law attorney can help you petition the court for this much-needed modification.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

According to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, child support is eligible for review for modification every three years. Or, a review can be done when a significant change occurs in the child’s needs or the financial ability of either parent. These changes in circumstances include the following:

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Il family lawyerDivorce is often an expensive, long, drawn-out affair that takes many stressful months and east up thousands of dollars. On the other hand, your divorce could be amicable, be over in a short period of time, and cost you very little. However, you never know how your spouse will react to your demands, what problems may arise, and whether or not things will take a turn for the worse. As such, it is important to not only seek out legal counsel from the beginning, but to create a plan to ensure that you have enough money to get through the divorce, potentially with independence from your spouse.

Living Arrangements

Some spouses can make it under the same roof for many months during their divorce, and some even choose to live with one another after the divorce has been finalized. For those who do not have close friends or family members to stay with and are stretched tight for cash, living with your soon to be ex-spouse may be the only option available. For those who do have the means or opportunity to live apart, separating may be the best choice during divorce. This means deciding who stays in the current home and who rents an apartment or house for the next number of months. The additional cost of renting another place may be taken into account during divorce.

Deciding with Whom Your Children Will Live

If you have children, child custody and the parenting plan may be the most hotly contested part of the divorce. However, even before the divorce is finalized, parents must either agree on a living situation, or they can take the matter to court. Under 750 ILCS 5/603.5, the court can create a temporary parenting plan before the divorce is finalized, making a decision based on what is in the child’s best interest.

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IL family lawyerCustody and visitation court cases take their toll on families. Separating fathers or mothers from children, even if it is just the weekend or every few days per month during visitation, can cause some parents to take drastic measures. When a parent takes their child from the other parent, leaves town with the child against a court order, or refuses to allow the other parent their legal visitation or time with their child, they will be held in contempt of the court. The American Bar Association warns against taking matters into one’s own hands if a parent is unhappy with a court ruling regarding child custody or visitation. It will have grave consequences during the divorce case for that parent, who will also likely be tried in criminal court. A parent who commits parental kidnapping seriously compromises their chances of having a positive outcome during the divorce proceedings, as they have created a blight on their parenting abilities that no judge will ignore.

Consequences of Parental Kidnapping

Some possible consequences of parental kidnapping include the following:

  • Being arrested;
  • Spending weeks, months, or longer in jail or prison;
  • Fines and restitution fees;
  • Loss of child custody;
  • Limited visitation or supervised visitation only (the parent may also be required to pay a fee for the supervising authority during the supervised visitation as well, meaning that it cost them money every time they see their own child); and
  • Loss of all visitation rights.

Has Your Child Been Kidnapped By Their Other Parent?

Sadly, parental kidnapping is very common. In fact, kidnapping by a stranger is extremely rare. Most children who get kidnapped are taken by someone they know, who is usually a family member and almost always a parent. One study found that 875,000 children are abducted by a family member every year and that 90 percent of those kidnapping relatives or abductors were actually the parents of that child. Fathers were more likely to abduct or kidnap their child than mothers, and only 43 percent of abductions were reported to the police.

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phone 630-920-8855
address15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521
phone 331-588-6611
address21 North 4th Street, Geneva, IL 60134
Our firm handles family law and personal injury matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Geneva, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Western Springs, LaGrange, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

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