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DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

Family Law

Lombard grandparent visitation lawyerAfter 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:

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Lombard divorce lawyer gifts heirloomsConflicts over the division of assets in a divorce are sometimes based more on emotional or sentimental value than on financial value, particularly when family heirlooms or gifts are involved. There can also be a dispute over whether an item qualifies as marital property that must be divided or not.

Under Illinois divorce law, most income earned and assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property. However, per 750 ILCS 5/503(a), “property acquired by gift, legacy or descent” is non-marital property. Anything acquired in exchange for such property is also a non-marital asset.

To help clarify these rules, let us consider the following items and how they would be treated in a divorce:

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Lombard child support lawyer parent incomeIllinois child support payments are determined by the “income shares” method, meaning that each parent pays a portion of the child’s expenses based on their share of the parents’ combined net income.

When both spouses have stable annual salaries, this calculation is straightforward. But what if your or your spouse’s income fluctuates significantly from month to month or year to year? 

Income fluctuations may be due to:

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Bloomingdale Parenting Plan AttorneyIf you have young children and are divorcing a spouse who abuses drugs or alcohol, Illinois law provides a process for restricting an individual’s parenting time and parental responsibilities. Illinois law 750 ILCS 5/603.10 calls for a court hearing at which attorneys from both sides may present evidence. 

In preparation for this hearing, you want to work with a skilled family lawyer to compile as much documentation as possible. Write down everything you remember about specific incidents that demonstrate your spouse’s issues. You may ask friends and family to write down their recollections of specific instances as well. If your spouse has ever been arrested for DUI, drug possession, or disorderly conduct, those police reports can be used to prove your case. Medical records showing stints in rehab or even bank records displaying frequent liquor store purchases could be helpful as well.

Illinois Court Orders to Protect Children 

If the court finds your spouse has “engaged in any conduct that seriously endangered the child’s mental, moral, or physical health or that significantly impaired the child’s emotional development,” the court may issue one or more orders that the judge deems necessary. In particular, the court will consider whether a parent has used “drugs, alcohol, or any other substance in a way that interferes with the parent’s ability to perform caretaking functions.”

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DuPage County parental alienation attorneyNo marriage is perfect, and marriages regularly end in divorce. Disagreements and anger about the end of a marriage can cause a spouse to lash out at their former partner in whatever ways they can. Divorces with an adversarial nature often seriously impact the lives of the spouses and any children involved. Occasionally, a parent may take the anger and resentment even further than normal and cause their child or children to experience parental alienation syndrome. 

What Is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Parental alienation syndrome is a term created in the 1980s by the child psychiatrist Dr. Richard Gardner. Gardner used this term to describe what happens when a parent tries to make their children dislike the other parent. The parent who is attempting to alienate the child is often not happy about the divorce and wants their children to be on their side in order to influence child custody decisions. The alienation is accomplished by making negative comments about the other parent, constantly putting them down, blaming them for everything, and even making false accusations. It is also common to see a parent attempt to keep the children to themselves as much as possible and limit the other parent’s parenting time with the children. 

Addressing Parental Alienation

Parents who believe their significant other has alienated their children against them may wonder what they can do to stop the alienation and have a good relationship with their children again. One of the keys to helping your child come back from the alienation is to start talking to them about similarities and differences between family members. Discuss non-emotional topics such as favorite colors, music, and hobbies and how the child is alike or different from each parent. Then, once that has been established, move on to discussions of the emotions the child is feeling, such as anger. Discuss what makes the child angry and how that is the same or different from what makes the parents angry. Doing this exercise will encourage the child to think about individualized emotions and help them realize that they do not have to feel the same emotions as others. For example, they do not have to be angry at one parent just because the other parent is angry. 

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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

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