Blog posts tagged in family law
If you share children with your spouse and have made the choice to divorce, one of the most important legal decisions you and your partner will have to make is which guidelines to include in your parenting plan. Under Illinois law, a parenting plan is a written agreement that designates certain decision-making responsibilities to each parent, outlining specific parameters that provide structure as to how children should be raised. Parenting plans also govern parenting time (visitation), which is a crucial piece of your family’s new structure following the divorce.
Responsibilities to be Discussed When Creating a Parenting Plan
With so many points to cover in your new parental dynamic, the details can be overwhelming to sort out, especially if there is tension between you and the other parent. If you are unsure of where to begin or what will be expected of you as a divorcing parent, familiarizing yourself with the responsibilities that will be allocated can help you organize your thoughts and concerns. Here are some foundational caretaking functions that will be addressed in a parenting plan:
Daily routines - Your children’s daily routines must be maintained, including bedtime and wake-up time, general hygiene practices, and mealtimes. In addition, children must be supervised at all times....
The moment a couple decides to end their marriage, both spouses may face what feels like an endless list of challenges, especially if children are involved. Divorcing parents must address an entirely new set of concerns as they begin to navigate through different family structures and dynamics after the separation. Moving through the divorce process with children in the picture can be especially daunting, even for parents who are able to interact on a positive and productive level. The range of emotions experienced can be amplified in the wake of additional changes, such as relocation after the divorce.
Relieving Children’s Stress
No matter how amicable the decision to separate may be, it is inevitable for everyone involved to feel saddened by the dissolution of their family unit to some degree. For children who are used to living in the same home with both parents, it can be difficult for them to suddenly move. Deciding to relocate as a newly divorced parent is far from easy, but under certain circumstances, it may be necessary. Psychology experts report that the negative effects of divorce on children can be limited, depending on the other factors that are involved. Research shows that parents have the power to limit the extent of psychological harm to their kids after the divorce by choosing words and actions that support their children’s best interests.
It has been said that nothing is certain but death and taxes; this rather sardonic depiction of life is credited to one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. What is also almost as certain is if you find yourself in a legal jam, you need a lawyer. It is important to know that all lawyers are not the same, and this is true even for those who limit their practice to areas such as divorce and family law. Statistics show that over 22 percent of first marriages end up in divorce in less than five years, and 53 percent of them dissolve by the 20-year mark. If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, you need to do some homework and make sure the lawyer you hire is the best to handle your legal situation and offer dependable legal counsel.
Going through a divorce can be difficult and emotionally draining. If there are children involved, then it can be even more painful. In these cases, you need to hire a lawyer who not only has experience handling divorce cases but one who is also empathetic.
After a divorce, a child’s connection to their grandparents and other close relatives can provide a much-needed sense of stability. But what if one parent does not care for their in-laws and does not support the children having visitation time with those grandparents? What rights does a now-divorced step-parent or half-sibling have to spend time with a child that they lived with for years? Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/602.9) provides a mechanism for grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings--including half-siblings and step-siblings--to assert their right to visit and electronically communicate with a minor child who is at least one year old.
Conditions Necessary to Petition for Grandparent Visitation
Four conditions must exist in order for the aforementioned relatives to petition the court for visitation and electronic communication with the child:
- A parent unreasonably denies visitation to a minor child’s grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, or siblings.
- The minor child experiences undue mental, physical, or emotional harm as a result.
- The child’s parents are divorced or in the process of divorce.
- One parent has no objection to the visitation. (If both parents object, the petition will not succeed.)
Factors the Court Considers in Granting Grandparent Visitation
In deciding whether to grant visitation time to one of these relatives, the court may consider factors such as:
A guardian has the same responsibilities to a child as a child’s biological parent. An individual may obtain legal guardianship of a child in Illinois because a child’s biological parents cannot properly care for them, a child’s biological parents passed away in a tragic accident, a minor child is living with a disability, or senior adults do not have the ability to care for themselves.
Types of Guardianships
In Illinois, an individual can become a permanent legal guardian, a guardian ad litem, a standby guardian, or a short-term guardian. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these four types of guardianships are defined.