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

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Thanksgiving is the holiday that marks the time of year when fall is officially over and winter is beginning. For many families, Thanksgiving is the time of year when you gather around the table with your friends and family members and you share a delicious feast that you have cooked yourselves. It is a time to show your appreciation and remember everything you are thankful for, but for many families, Thanksgiving can be a stressful time of year. When you are divorced, many things in your life change, including how you celebrate holidays. If you have children, holidays can be especially difficult to figure out how you will celebrate. Though Thanksgiving can be wrought with stress and sometimes disappointment, here are four tips that may just help you survive this season:

Remember What the Holiday Is Truly About

Thanksgiving is a time for family. With that being said, it is not so much your happiness that is most important, it is your children’s. While the holidays can be stressful for you, it can be even more stressful for your children, because they want to spend it with both of their parents. Even if it is not in the cards for you to spend time with your children on Thanksgiving, do not make your children feel bad for spending time with your ex.

Stick to (or Adapt) Your Parenting Plan

Your parenting plan is going to be one of your most valuable tools in your post-divorce toolbox when it comes to holidays. Your parenting plan should spell out which holidays the children spend with you and which holidays they spend with your ex. The plan should also specify how they spend corresponding school breaks. If you and your ex are on amicable terms, you do not have to follow the parenting plan exactly. You can split time during the day for your children to see you if both of you agree on it. If you and your ex are still hostile toward each other, it is probably best just to stick to the parenting plan.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Among all of the things that you must take care of when you are going through a divorce is your children. In Illinois, you are required to create a parenting plan that outlines parenting time, parental responsibilities, where the child spends certain holidays and when the child will be moving between homes. Illinois courts prefer you and your ex-spouse to come to an agreement before you go to court, but in the event that you cannot, the court will decide your parenting plan in a proceeding.

This realm of divorce can be confusing because Illinois has adopted the terms “parenting time” in place of “physical custody” and “parental responsibilities” in place of “legal custody.” Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about parenting plans in Illinois:

How Is Parenting Time Determined?

In Illinois, parenting time is urged to be decided by the parents of the child, but if the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will intervene and make decisions about parenting time that are in the child’s best interest. The court will examine a variety of factors when making a determination, including:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,There could be many reasons why you would want to petition to move out of the area with your child after a divorce - you could be moving for your job, to be closer to family or maybe you just want a change of scenery. Whatever the reason is, as long as you have the majority of parenting time or equal parenting time allocated to you, you can petition to relocate with your child. Typically, relocating with your child requires a change in your existing parenting plan. Though the process to make the change in your parenting plan can be stressful and time-consuming, it is not impossible.

Steps You Must Take

In Illinois, there typically must be a significant change in circumstances before you can change your parenting plan.  A relocation constitutes a significant change. If you plan on relocating with your child, you are required to submit a written notice of relocation to your child’s other parent within 60 days of relocating. If you do not provide notice, the court can use that as a factor in considering whether or not the relocation is in good faith.

Deciding Factors the Court Uses

If the other parent agrees to the relocation, then the relocation will be granted. If the other parent disagrees with the relocation, the court can modify the parenting plan and will use the following factors to make the decision:

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divorceAs summer comes to a close, children are returning back to school, some of which are excited to begin learning new things, while others are depressed that summer vacation is over. While some children are anxious to begin the new school year, some parents are as well. New school years can bring about issues for some divorced parents, such as purchasing school supplies, managing permission forms, communicating with teachers, and parent-teacher conferences. Back-to-school time can be daunting for divorced parents, which is why it can be beneficial to keep these tips in mind when dealing with issues that may arise throughout the school year:

Split the Cost of School Supplies

With the start of a new school year comes the need for new school supplies. With a long list of pencils, crayons, paper, folders and scissors that the teacher sends home, plus new school clothes, uniforms, shoes, a backpack and lunchbox, it is safe to say you will probably be spending a small fortune on these items. If you and your spouse do not have a prior arrangement worked out, it is a good idea to split the cost of these supplies, so one of you is not bearing the brunt of it.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, comprehensive parenting plan, In addition to dividing property, savings accounts, and retirement funds, many divorcing couples also have children that they must make arrangements for. Divorce is hard on everyone in the family, but it is arguably the hardest on the children. By creating a comprehensive parenting plan that encompasses as many issues pertaining to the children as possible, you can help eliminate some of the trepidation and mystery that a divorce brings.

Parenting Plan Is Required by Law

Under Illinois law, all couples who are divorcing and have children together must submit a parenting plan that covers a certain set of issues. These parenting plans help the court decide what the proper course of action is when awarding parenting responsibility and parenting time. If a couple does not have a comprehensive parenting plan to submit to the courts, they will be required to attend mediation to come up with a parenting plan that is agreeable to both parents.

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

630-409-8184

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

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