Tag Archives: Hindsdale child custody attorney

IL family lawyerNot long ago, Illinois courts assumed that giving sole child custody to mothers was in the best interest of the child. In fact, it was not until the 1970s that most states began adopting new laws that treated mothers and fathers equally, as well as favoring joint custody over sole custody for one parent. While some believe that fathers are still discriminated against when it comes to equal custody decisions, studies have proven this to be untrue. Fathers’ rights groups have been perpetuating disinformation for over the last decade about how mothers are given preferential treatment by the courts. One Wisconsin study showed that from 1996 and 2007, divorce cases in which the mother was awarded sole custody dropped from 60.4 percent to just 45.7 percent, while shared custody increased from 15.8 percent to 30.8 percent in that same time period. Other studies have had similar findings. Yet, in some cases, fathers do face challenges.

Fathers Who Never Married the Mother of Their Child

While married mothers and fathers are generally treated equally in court when it comes to custody decisions, the same is not always true for fathers who were never married to their child’s mother. Children born out of wedlock are more likely to end up living with their mothers than fathers if it comes to a court decision.

White, College-Educated Fathers Pay Less Child Support Than Non-White, Poor Fathers

Race and income have a lot to do with how much child support a father will have to pay. In addition to wealthy men fighting against reforms that would require them to pay more in child support, white, college-educated men are more likely to get out of paying substantial child support, while poor fathers are more likely to be held accountable, tracked down, and put in jail for skipping on their child support payments.

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IL custody lawyerThere may come a time when a child of divorce or separated parents has a desire to live with his or her other parent—the non-custodial parent. This can come as a shock to both the mother and father and is usually accompanied by hurt feelings and loss for the parent whom the child has been living with since the original custody decision. However, it is important to listen to the desire of your child, whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, particularly if your child is at least 14 years of age. The teenage years are a good time to make compromises with your children about living situations because in the long run, this will prevent fallouts from happening when they inevitably leave your and the other parent’s house for good.

Children as Young as 14 Have a Say in Which Parent They Live With

Under 750 ILCS 5/600, a court takes into account the wishes of the child, depending on the “child's maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to decision-making.” This comes at the age of 14 in Illinois. However, simply because a child is 14 or older does not mean that the court will automatically change a custody decision that has been in place for years to meet the child’s wishes.

Best Interest of the Child

If a decision cannot be made outside of the courtroom, a judge will consider all factors pertaining to the child’s best interests. Questions such as the following must be asked:

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IL family lawyerDivorce is hard on adults. It can have serious impacts on each spouse’s physical and emotional health, with long-lasting implications. For children, divorce is orders of magnitude more difficult. Children often suffer from short to long-term problems following the separation of their parents. These issues range from behavioral and educational to physical and psychological, causing depression, anxiety, and a variety of other disorders. Divorce is tough on kids, but it does not need to be crippling on your child. In fact, living in a happy household is most likely much healthier for you and your child than pre-divorce, being exposed to loud arguments and deafening silences. Now that you have taken the first step in improving your and your child’s lives, the next step is to consider what type of parenting plan or living situation will best suit your child’s needs. A relatively new option that many parents have never heard of is called nesting, and it involves keeping the child in one home, while the parents take turns coming and going.

Stability and Predictability Are Key for a Child’s Health

Imagine how hard it is on you to be going through a divorce and the months of uncertainty afterward as a fully developed, emotionally cognizant adult. Now imagine being a child, not knowing what will happen next, where you will live, where you will go to school, and what the future holds. One type of parenting plan can make a huge impact on your child’s happiness and their ability to cope with this new situation. Traditionally, a child of divorced or separated parents spends time moving between the mother and father’s homes, potentially dividing their time equally between their mother and father, or spending the weekends with one and the weekdays with the other. This continual change in sleeping and living arrangements, the never-ending back and forth between homes, and the constant change in schedule is hard on children. Nesting can be a solution to this problem by allowing the child a more consistent, predictable, and stable lifestyle. The child lives in one home, while the parents take turns living with the child while staying at another shared home or separate homes during their off time.

Bird Nesting Requires Cooperation Between the Parents

As you can imagine, nesting requires a high level of communication and agreement between the parents. Because of a lack of communication and agreeability are often the cause of divorce in the first place, nesting is not for every divorced couple. It also demands more of the parents than in the traditional living model. While nesting disrupts the parents’ lives, who are more able to deal with disruption in their lives than their children, it allows the child to maintain routine, continuity, and permanency. Consistency is a cornerstone of child raising.

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