The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1926120011.jpgWhen getting a divorce, a very important situation to figure out is determining who will have custody of the children. Whether full custody is granted to one parent or a shared child custody arrangement is put into place amongst co-parenting adults, the ultimate decision can yield quite the grueling process. The topics of child custody and visitation become even more complex when step-parents are interested in pursuing legal access to the children as well. 

Who is Legally Defined as a Step-Parent in Illinois? 

In Illinois, the law specifies that a step-parent is an individual who is legally married to one of the parents of the child in question. While someone may consider his- or herself a parental figure to a child, if he or she is dating the child's parent, as opposed to being officially married to them in the eyes of the law, then Illinois does not recognize said individual as a step-parent. Without an official marriage license, the partner of a child's parent cannot be considered a step-parent. 

Do Step-Parents Have Visitation Rights in Illinois?

Step-parents have visitation rights in Illinois under certain conditions. A step-parent may petition for visitation rights to a child if the parent of the child has denied the step-parent any access to, communication with, or visitation with the child. 

...

will county child custody lawyerCreating a shared parenting agreement is often one of the most stressful parts of divorce. Often, one or both parents believe they alone know what is best for their child and will try to minimize the other parent’s parenting time or parental responsibilities. While this can be a tempting short-term strategy, in the long run, it leads to sad and confused children and angry, burnt-out parents. 

But when divorcing spouses can work together to create a parenting agreement and commit to peaceful co-parenting, it can be possible to have children share time in two households without endless conflict or stress. However, such a commitment must happen from the beginning - when the parenting agreement is being created. If you are getting divorced and want to work cooperatively with your spouse now and in the future, read on. 

Give the Benefit of the Doubt - And Then Give it Again

After divorce, spouses are often focused on the many years of preceding conflict. But relitigating arguments with your ex gets you nowhere - and makes it more difficult to focus on good parenting in the present. Even when your spouse presents behaviors that you find triggering, try to keep in mind that they might not be trying to upset you; they might just be themselves. If you can give your ex the benefit of the doubt, even when they do things that annoy you, it will be much easier to share parenting responsibilities. 

...

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1845825382-min.jpgWhen parents get divorced in Illinois and are going to share parental responsibilities and parenting time, they must create a parenting plan. In our last blog post, we talked about what a parenting plan covers and how parents can get creative when drafting a plan that benefits their whole family. In this blog post, we will review an important part of every Illinois parenting plan called “the right of first refusal.” Like many other parts of a parenting plan, when done well, the right of first refusal can enhance a child’s relationship with both parents and make the shared parenting experience work well for everyone. 

What is the Right of First Refusal? 

The right of first refusal is a provision that states whether and how parents will rely on each other for childcare, rather than using other family members or a paid sitter. This allows children to maximize the amount of time they spend with each parent, increasing their ability to have a strong and productive relationship with the two more important adults in their life.  Although the details can be flexible, the right of first refusal essentially requires parents to offer each other the opportunity to care for their child before they seek childcare from other sources. 

This provision is required to be in every Illinois parenting plan, but the terms can be adjusted to suit a family’s particular needs. For example, if parents get along fairly well, have flexible jobs, and live a short distance from each other, they may want to require the right of first refusal whenever they need to be away from their child for more than three hours. If dropping off and picking up a child causes little or no tension, parents have an easy and affordable caregiver. 

...

Naperville divorce lawyer parenting time

When a couple gets divorced, it can affect everyone surrounding them -- not just themselves. The effect of a divorce on the rest of the family can sometimes be the biggest thing holding an unhappy couple back from simply just pulling the trigger and filing for divorce. Fathers, in particular, face additional obstacles during a divorce that the mother does not, especially when dealing with child-related issues. If you are a father who has been contemplating or has filed for divorce, you should speak with an Illinois divorce lawyer to discuss your options.

Helping Fathers Through Divorce

Even though your role as a mother or a father should not affect your standing in the divorce, it often does. In many cases, fathers are the ones who pull the short straw during a divorce. If you are a divorcing father, here are a few things that you should keep in mind during your divorce:

...


Aurora divorce Custody jurisdiction Matters

Determining child custody can be a messy experience for many families. This can be especially true when parents live in two different states, or if a parent even lives in a different country. In the first part of this two-part blog series, we looked at how jurisdiction is initially determined for child custody proceedings when parents do not live in the same state using the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA.) In most cases, the custody proceedings which determine parenting time and decision-making responsibilities will take place in the child's home state. However, there are some situations in which the child may not have a home state or another reason may exist why the home state will not hear the child’s case.

Exceptions to the Home State Rule

As previously discussed, the home state rule is typically enough for courts to determine which state has jurisdiction over a child custody case. However, circumstances may exist that make it impossible or imprudent to use the home state rule. In these cases, different rules apply when determining jurisdiction. If the home state rule does not apply, the following rules will apply in order of application:

...
The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Back to Top