Tag Archives: Hinsdale child custody attorney

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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IL custody lawyerCustody decisions can be challenged whenever there is a substantial change in circumstances, or you believe that your child is being harmed by the other parent’s decisions. If your child’s other parent was given full or shared custody rights and you have evidence of parental neglect, you must petition the court for a custody hearing. A Hinsdale child custody attorney can help you get started today.

Child Neglect Can be Just as Harmful as Child Abuse

Neglect is the failure to provide proper clothing, food, shelter, and medical care. It can also involve lack of supervision, failure to provide a clean living space for the child, emotional neglect such as rejecting or ignoring the child, and educational neglect such as not requiring the child to attend school. Child neglect is more prevalent than we think. Over half a million children are maltreated due to neglect each year—and these are only the cases for which an investigation or alternative response is carried out. While child abuse may grab the headlines, it is far less prevalent than neglect. And, neglect can result in some of the same detrimental outcomes as child abuse; it should never be ignored. Long term effects of neglect include the following physical ailments:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Brain damage
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Malnutrition
  • Functional limitations
  • Heart attack
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Lung disease
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • High blood pressure

Nonphysical harms include post-traumatic stress disorder, limited cognitive ability, mental and emotional health disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, social limitations, criminal activities, unhealthy sex practices, and poverty.

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IL divorce lawyerAs a noncustodial parent, you, unfortunately, do not have much say, or any legal say at all, about your child’s education, day to day activities, healthcare, or living arrangement. The custodial parent with sole legal custody has legal authority to make all of these decisions without the noncustodial parent’s input. As such, many noncustodial parents feel hopeless when they hear that the other parent wants to move out of the county or state, or country, with their child in tow.

The Custodial Parent Must Petition the Court for Permission to Move

Child relocation must be authorized by an Illinois judge before the custodial parent is allowed to move out of the county, state, or country. Even if the other parent has no custodial rights, the parent wishing to move must go to court to get permission before they move with their child. Without doing so, they could be charged with parental kidnapping and lose their custodial rights altogether.

What Is in the Child’s Best Interests?

Children raised by single mothers are more likely than children raised by both parents to:

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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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Hinsdale IL parenting time attorneyDespite parents’ best efforts, children of divorce often feel a significant amount of stress during and immediately after the divorce process. Typically, when two parents divorce, one parent is the “main” caregiver that the child resides with the majority of the time and the other parent is granted specific parenting time, though this can be problematic for the child. In an effort to make this life transition easier for children, something called a “nesting” arrangement has been becoming more popular for families of divorce.

What Is a Nesting Arrangement?

In a nesting arrangement, both parents move out of the family home into separate living spaces. The children remain in the family home, and each parent comes and goes according to the parenting time schedule. Some parents share the separate living space as neither will be there at the same time, and some parents get different living spaces altogether.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Nesting Arrangements

There are many things to consider when making the decision to partake in this arrangement, which some may regard as unconventional. Here are pros and cons of nesting arrangements:

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