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

630-409-8184

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

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in children

DuPage County allocation of parental responsibilities lawyerNow known as the allocation of parental responsibilities, child custody can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Even if you and your spouse agree on how you want to divide your property and debts, you may clash when it comes to deciding how parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities will be allocated. Although you and your spouse may never want to speak to each other again, you will always share a common bond--your child. Determining how your child will spend time with each parent and what decision-making rights each parent will have for the child can be a daunting task. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois.

How Will Decisions About Parental Responsibilities Be Made?

Illinois courts recognize the benefit of both parents agreeing on certain issues, especially child-related issues. Because of this, the courts will encourage parents to come to an agreement about parental responsibility on their own. If they are unable to come to a  resolution, the court will make these decisions for them based on what is in the best interests of the child.

What Factors Will Be Used to Determine the Best Interests of the Child?

When a judge must make any decision involving the child in a divorce case, he or she will use specific factors to determine what is in the child’s best interest. These factors can include but are not limited to:

...

DuPage County high-asset divorce attorneyAll divorces have the potential to be complex, but when a couple has a high net worth, the proceedings tend to be even more complicated than normal. For couples who have an abundance of property or assets that are worth a lot of money, the divorce process will involve more decisions. Issues such as property division, spousal maintenance, and child support may be handled differently. People who have a high net worth can greatly benefit from a skilled divorce attorney who has experience dealing with high-value assets to help them figure out the best options for their situation. If you are involved in a high-net-worth divorce, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. High-Net-Worth Divorces Are Often More Contentious

When it comes to divorces that deal with high-value assets, it is much more likely for couples to be combative, especially when dealing with property division. When spouses have many assets, especially assets that are expensive, it can be even more difficult to figure out who gets what. It may be necessary to hire an appraiser to determine the value of any large assets or property such as real estate, businesses, vehicles, boats, jewelry, artwork, or other expensive items.

  1. High-Value Divorces Are More Likely to Be Long and Expensive

When divorces are contested, or there are a lot of issues to settle, it is likely that the proceedings will be long and drawn out, which can get expensive quickly. Although nobody wants a lengthy divorce, couples in high-asset divorces may also be better equipped with the funds to pay for divorces that require a lot of negotiating and help from lawyers.

...

DuPage County divorce lawyerDivorce is stressful for many reasons. Not only do you have various emotions running through your head, but you also have to deal with the financial aspect of the divorce. It has been estimated that a typical divorce can cost anywhere from $8,500 up to $100,000. The actual cost of your divorce will depend on a variety of factors, with some of the most influential factors being where you live, whether or not you have children, and your attorney’s hourly rate. With a price tag of at least a couple thousand dollars, it is not uncommon for some couples to have sticker shock when it comes to paying for their divorce. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the cost of your Illinois divorce.

Figure Out Which Process You Want to Use

Before you even begin, you should know which type of divorce you want to use. Contrary to what many people may believe, traditional litigation is not the only way to get a divorce. You can also choose to go with a mediated divorce or a collaborative divorce. Each method of divorce has its advantages and disadvantages, but depending on your situation, a mediated or collaborative divorce may be able to save you both time and money.

Be Prepared With Organized Financial Records

Before you meet with your attorney to begin dividing your marital property, you should be sure you have all of your financial records organized and ready to go. Make sure your records are in order so your legal team can better understand your financial picture. Organizing your records yourself before a meeting saves you precious time for more important matters.

...

Aurora, IL family law attorneyThere is no one definition that is used when you talk about the “best interests of the child” during divorce cases. What may be right for one child is not always right for another child. Illinois courts understand this, which is why when it comes to child-related issues, a variety of factors are used to determine the best course of action. During divorce cases, decisions must be made about parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities, which are both child-centered issues. The main goal of the courts is to ensure that the child’s safety and overall well-being is placed at the top of the list of priorities.

Factors Used in Deciding the Child’s Well-Being

In many Illinois divorce cases, parents can lose sight of what is truly best for their child. This is when a judge may step in and help parents decide certain issues. Each divorce, family, situation, and child is unique. When judges are making these decisions, they base their determinations on the child’s age and needs, along with these factors:

  • The physical safety and well-being of the child, including the child’s access to food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare

    ...

Aurora, IL divorce attorneyA common saying is “When one door closes, another door opens.” This is true in most life events, even divorce. Although a divorce is the end of a marriage, it can also be a fresh start in life, providing the opportunity to find someone new and date again. The time between those doors can differ for everyone, but most people will eventually be open to another relationship after they divorce.

Dating again can be exciting, but it can also be stressful for your children. Depending on their age and level of maturity, they may or may not be able to understand why their parent has decided to start dating. Sometimes, new relationships can put stress on a family, but following the below guidelines can help you reduce anxiety and enjoy this next chapter in your life.

Do:

  • Talk with your ex before you introduce your partner to your children. Not only is this respectful, but it can also help keep the peace between all involved. Your ex has a right to know who will be spending time with your children. Be sure your ex is comfortable with the idea of introducing your children to your new partner. Sometimes, introducing your ex and your new partner can ease some of the tension everyone may be feeling.

    ...

Aurora, IL parental relocation attorneyThere are many reasons why a person may want to move after a divorce. Some may want to be closer to family members, others may move for a new job or simply a fresh start. Whatever the reason, moving can be problematic for a divorced parent who wants to take his or her child with him or her.

In Illinois, moving out of state, moving more than 50 miles away from the current residence within the state, or moving more than 25 miles away if the current residence is in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County is considered relocation, and a parent will be required to obtain permission from the court. If the other parent does not agree to the relocation, a person still may be able to relocate, but the issue will need to be settled within the court system.

Notice of Relocation

Illinois law states that a person wishing to relocate with his or her child must notify the other parent in writing at least 60 days prior to the intended relocation. The notice should inform the other parent of the date of relocation, the new address, and whether or not the relocation is permanent. If the other parent signs the notice, and the notice is filed with the court, then the relocation will be granted, as long as the family court judge believes that the move would be in the child's best interests. If the other parent objects to the relocation or does not sign the notice, or if the parents cannot come to an agreement on a modified parenting plan, the relocating parent must file a petition to relocate.

...

DuPage County fathers' rights attorneyIn today’s world, most people would agree that a father plays just as an important role in raising a child as a mother. Many people also believe that a child deserves to have both parents present in his or her life. For some people, this can be difficult, especially if the child’s parents were not married when the child was born. In cases such as these, it is up to either the mother or father to petition to establish the paternity of the child, which can be done a few different ways. Establishing the paternity of the child creates a legal relationship between the child and his or her father. Until paternity is established, there is no legal relationship between the two, even if they are biologically related.

Presumed Paternity

In the state of Illinois, a man is presumed to be the father of a child if he was married or in a civil union with the child’s mother at the time the child was born. A man is also presumed to be a child’s father if he was married to the mother at any point within 300 days before the child was born. If the parents were not married or in a civil union during either of these times, the man has no legal presumption to the paternity of the child, and either parent must go about establishing paternity through signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity or through genetic testing and a court or administrative order.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

There are quite a few reasons why a mother or father would want to establish paternity for his or her child. In most cases, establishing the paternity of the child gives both the child and the father rights they would not otherwise have. Benefits of establishing paternity include:

...

Posted on in Children of divorce

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,The effects of divorce can ripple outward and impact family members, not just in their personal lives, but in every aspect of their daily routine. The consequences of a divorce on children are widely accepted, and behavior and performance at school are among those concerns. Knowing some strategies to deal with school-related issues can allow a parent to help their child(ren) when it is needed most.

How Can a Divorced Parent Help Their Child at School?

After a divorce your life is different, and you are dealing with issues that perhaps were handled previously by your spouse. One of the areas you may need to become more involved in the educational experience of your child. Here are some ideas you may find helpful.

...

children, DuPage County divorce attorneyWhether you have already started divorce proceedings or you have just recently decided to call it quits, telling your children about your decision is always difficult. Parents worry that their children will hate them for splitting up, consider the break-up to be their fault, or be unable to adapt to the new circumstances. The good news is that children are amazingly resilient and adaptable, but there are some guidelines you should follow when discussing your divorce with your children.

  • If possible, tell the children with your spouse. Although your spouse is probably not someone you wish to be around during this tumultuous time, presenting a united front and telling the children together is often the best way. By sitting down as a family to break the news, you are showing your children that although things are going to change, they will continue to have the love and support of both parents;
  • Allow your children to ask questions. Older children will understand more easily than younger ones but children all ages may react to the news differently. Some children will immediately ask questions while others will be hesitant to say anything until they have time to process the information;
  • Be honest, but be careful not to overshare. Children do not need to know all of the details of why the marriage ended. More mature children may need additional information to help them process their feelings, but, in general, most only need to know that their parents have decided it would be better for everyone involved if you and your spouse no longer live together;
  • Never put down your spouse in front of you children. It may be tempting to blame the other parent for causing the breakup, especially if a breach of trust occurred, but doing this only adds confusion and resentment to the situation. No matter how angry you may be, saying negative things about your spouse in your children’s presence can create serious confusion for them;
  • Reassure them that the breakup is not their fault. It is not uncommon for children to feel responsible for their parents’ marriage ending. Children often hear and see more than adults give them credit for. Your child may have heard bits and pieces of arguments and concluded that he or she is the cause of the marital struggles; and
  • Give children an idea of what to expect in the future. If one parent is going to move out of the home, let the children know this now. Try to make these transitions smooth and give children some warning before big changes. You may not have all the details of custody arrangements yet, but telling the kids that they will see both parents separately from now on is a good start.

A DuPage County Attorney Can Help

If you are headed for a divorce and are wondering about the best way to talk to your children regarding your decision, an experienced Aurora divorce lawyer can offer guidance. At our firm, we have helped many families navigate the difficult process of divorce, allowing them to come out happier and healthier on the other side. Call 630-409-8184 for a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

...

children, DuPage County divorce attorneyNo family ever plans to split in divorce, but sometimes situations arise in a marriage that make divorce the best and healthiest decision for everyone involved. Breaking the news to children that you and your spouse will be ending your marriage is tough – there is no way around it. However, there are steps you can take to make the process of telling your children about the divorce less painful than it has to be.

  • Keep conversations age-appropriate: Obviously, the conversation about splitting up will be different with a four-year-old and a 16-year-old. It is important to use age-appropriate language with a small child when explaining how their lives will change. A very small child will not understand words like “divorce,” “separation,” and “shared custody.”  On the other hand, an older child can understand more about how his or her life will change and will understand concepts like living in two households or court appearances.
  • Do not give more detail than is necessary: Children do not need to know details regarding why the marriage is ending – especially if the marriage ended from a sexual indiscretion or another dramatic event. Stick to the facts of how the family is changing and the timeline for these changes.
  • Refrain from blaming or vilifying your spouse in front of the children: As tempting as it is to assign blame, your main priority is reassuring the children that both of their parents still love them.  Affirm that the children that they are in no way responsible for the marriage ending.
  •  Share the logistics of how their lives will change:  Explain to the children how their living situation will change. Is one of the parents moving out? Will the children be attending a different school in the future? What is the timeline for implementation of these changes? Kids may need to be reminded of these changes in the future as well.
  • Allow the children to ask questions and listen to their concerns:  Kids all react differently to big news.  Some will want to ask questions and talk about the situation immediately; others will need space to be alone before they are ready to talk. However long it takes, it is important to remember to allow children to express themselves in their own time and to react with patience and compassion to their questions and concerns.

An Attorney Can Help

If you have questions about the divorce process and how to explain it to your children, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

...

children, DuPage County divorce lawyerActress Katherine Hepburn was once quoted as saying, “Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” It seems wherever there is a marriage, be it between a man and a woman or a same-sex marriage, there will inevitably be trials and challenges. Human beings are such a complicated composite of thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and baggage from past experiences. When two human beings decide to join their messy lives in marriage, problems and arguments will almost certainly arise.

Many couples stay in marriages full of deceit and conflict because they have children. Couples who were once happy and planned on a life raising their kids together often cannot imagine putting those same children through the pain of a divorce. Still, how should a couple decide when enough is enough? When do the arguments and fights reach a level that makes it unhealthy for the marriage to continue, especially when children are involved?

Unhealthy Marriage May Lead to Unhealthy Children

...

children, Aurora family law attorneyIt is widely accepted that going through a divorce is one of the most frustrating and stressful events a person can experience. Feelings of anger, guilt, regret and annoyance are common. Children can complicate the divorce process even more.  Parents may feel threatened that they will not receive the custody agreement they want or that the other parent will try to turn the children against them. As stressful as the experience for the adults who are ending their marriage, the situation can be even more frightening and confusing for the children in the middle of it. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the transition from married to not married easier for the smallest members of your family.

There Are No Winners in a Divorce

Mark Baer, collaborative law attorney and co-author of  Putting Kids First in Divorce: How to Reduce Conflict, Preserve Relationships and Protect Children During and After Divorce says that the first step is to have the right mindset about the divorce. Often, those going through a divorce have unresolved anger toward their spouse. He or she may have been cheated on or lied to, causing serious issues regarding trust. The memory of screaming matches or harsh words may still be fresh. Sometimes this means that the temptation to “get back” at a spouse can be strong.

...

children, divorce, DuPage County family lawyerDivorce is stressful for everyone involved. Children, however, often have the most difficulty adjusting to all of the changes. A divorce can also affect a child for years after the final decree is entered. There are several things you can do as a parent can help your child cope with the divorce.

Listen to Their Problems and Worries

Children, just like adults, feel loved and cared for when they know you are listening to them. This is more than just hearing what they have to say. Listening requires you to both be active in showing you understand what they are worried about while also withholding any judgments or solutions until after the child is done sharing. In fact, resolving their concerns in the moment is less important than encouraging your children to express their feelings honestly.

...

Posted on in Divorce

dating, post-divorce, Aurora family law attorneyYou probably know at least one person, if not many people, who emerged from a divorce and jumped almost directly into a new romantic relationship, often before the ink even dried on their paperwork. Depending on the situation of your marriage and divorce, you may find the idea of new romantic partner extremely appealing. However, you may want to take a step back and consider if you are truly ready for a new commitment so soon.

Divorce and Grief

Mental health experts regularly suggest that the psychological and emotional effects of a divorce are very similar to those associated with the death of loved one. As with death, grieving the end of your marriage is a process and not an event that is over after a specified amount of time. Every person grieves differently, and there is not right or wrong way to move through it. This means that while some people may be ready to date again right way, others may not be emotionally prepared for months or even years.

...

PAS, parental alienation, DuPage County child custody attorneyA Michigan judge made headlines earlier this summer when she ordered three children – ages 14, 10, and 9 – to spend time in a juvenile correctional facility when they refused to have lunch with their father. Such an extreme case of parental alienation syndrome is quite rare, but PAS is common in most DuPage County child custody disputes, to one degree or another.

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca issued the order in a six-year-old divorce case between a General Motors engineer father and a pediatric eye doctor mother. Much of the rancor in the case stems from an August 2010 incident at a West Bloomfield park; the township is an upscale Detroit suburb. Apparently, the mother locked two of the children in a car to “protect” them against their father; a third child climbed to the top of a piece of playground equipment to escape his father who, according to the child, threatened to kill him if he did not come down.

Police investigated the incident but made no arrests; however, the father later admitted that he forcibly removed the child from the playground equipment to put him in a “time out.” At the same time, although she denied wrongdoing, the mother agreed to volunteer at an animal shelter as punishment for violating a court order.

...

Aurora family law, Illinois child custody attorney, divorce effect on children, Many studies have been done that prove a negative psychological effect of divorce on children. Most of these studies do not address the physical health issues of the children. However, a recent study reveals that children of divorce may experience negative physical effects to their health when their parents split. The study found that physical struggles children of divorce may deal with include excessive weight gain, leading to more physical problems later in life.

The study, conducted among 3,000 children in Norway, found that boys whose parents divorced were especially susceptible to excessive weight gain in the wake of their parents’ split. The research team found that boys had a 63 percent increased risk of being overweight or obese than boys whose parents' marriages stayed intact.

While researchers did find an association between obese children and parents’ divorce, they cautioned that divorce was not pinpointed as an absolute cause of weight gain. It is far more likely that the lifestyle changes that accompany divorce resulted in the weight gain. The study also did not consider factors such as diet, exercise, and living arrangements.

...

Aurora family law attorney, children, children of divorce, divorce hostility, Chicago divorce attorney, divorce and communication, help broken families, quarreling spouseDivorce is prevalent in today’s world and causes children to grow up where the issue is commonplace and a major part of daily life. However, despite what may be going on behind closed doors, divorced spouses must remember to place their children ahead of all else.

The situations surrounding divorce can bring up hostility, including financial or personal hostility. And often quarreling spouses cannot cohabitate or even communicate without argument. This can cause several future problems, especially when children are caught in the middle. The following suggestions offer insight as to what should be avoided during divorce to help minimize the impact on children.

  • Avoid confiding in your children. Confiding in children is a huge mistake frequently made by divorced or divorcing couples. Adults may default to their children once a spouse, who is often a primary confidant, is out of the picture. However, this places more pressure on the children and can make them feel more isolated;

    ...

Aurora family law attorney, child custody, children, children of divorce, Illinois divorce, children and divorce, divorced parents, divorce and communicationDivorce, by nature, lends itself to being an unpleasant experience for all parties. Between splitting financial assets, dividing debt, and even relocation, getting a divorce in Illinois can prove to be taxing. It is important to remember that this major life change can mean broad implications for loved ones as well--most importantly any children involved.

A child’s response to the divorce process directly correlates with their developmental stage. Generally, younger children display an increased attachment to authority figures and especially guardians. And watching parents separate can impact a child in several ways, including:

  • Amplification of dependency on others;

    ...

child custody, divorce, parenting time, visitation, paternity, evaluator, guardian ad litemIf you are engaged in a divorce case where child custody is being determined, you may have an evaluator appointed for the case. These individuals tend to be appointed in cases where parenting time, paternity, guardianship, or child custody are the primary issues. The court will use evaluators in these scenarios to assist with a final decision.

How you communicate with the evaluator can have an impact on your case, which is why it’s important to be aware of your interaction with this individual. You can be more informed by working with your divorce attorney in advance to understand the purposes of an evaluator appointment and how these meetings typically unfold. Your personal attorney is not involved in the evaluation process, but he or she can present you with important information about preparing for your own meetings with this individual. By knowing what evaluators look for and how they arrive at decision, you will feel more confident about your interaction and be able to work towards your family goals in an effective manner. You may be asked to provide references to an evaluator, for example. Working with your attorney beforehand can help you pinpoint references that could aid in your case so that you have your ducks in a row if the evaluator asks. Being organized and prepared can go a long way towards increasing your confidence and ensuring that your interaction goes smoothly. You should always think carefully before sending emails or making phone calls to an evaluator. Speaking with your attorney about the best way to work with such a professional is a good approach. If you are entering a divorce case or discussing modified parenting time, you need an attorney who can help prepare you for working with an evaluator. Contact an Illinois family law attorney today to learn more.

marital strain of autism, divorce rate, divorce trend, Illinois divorce lawyerParents helping a child cope with autism may feel the strain on their own relationship. Although much about autism is still unknown, research indicates that married couples might face higher rates of divorce when they have a child affected by autism.

A longitudinal study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison was one of the first major projects to explore marital history of parents for those families with an autistic child. The study found that while parents of an autistic child don’t face a higher divorce rate while the child is young, adolescent children with autism were linked with higher numbers of divorced parents. Many of the marriages in the study ultimately did survive.

The study looked at 391 couples made up of parents of adolescent and adult children with autism, drawing data from the National Survey of Midlife in the United States. For younger children, the divorce rate for parents of autistic children was very similar to parents of disabled children, at least until the child reached the age of eight. At that point, the divorce rate for parents of disabled children starts to go down, but it actually increases for parents of autistic children.

Although many couples reported staying together throughout the challenges of raising an autistic child, the research does point to vulnerability for those marriage couples. The high demands of raising an autistic child at all ages can strain a relationship and lead to arguments. Autism is known as a condition that can vary dramatically between different individuals, meaning that many families have to adapt behaviors and strategies for helping their specific child. Little research has focused on best practices for raising autistic children, making it difficult for parents to work together and create their own approach. If you are struggling with your marriage and would like to discuss legal separation or divorce, contact an Illinois family lawyer today.
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