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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Batavia co-parenting attorneyGetting divorced when you have children brings about a wide variety of issues, worries, and concerns. Not only do you have to figure out how you will share parental responsibilities and how you will divide parenting time, but many parents also worry about how their children will be affected emotionally by the divorce. Statistics on this topic can be difficult to analyze; some sources say that divorce is detrimental to the mental and emotional health of children. While this can be true in some situations, a majority of experts agree that your children can grow up happy and healthy as long as they are able to experience a healthy co-parenting relationship between their parents. Co-parenting can be trying, even for parents who are amicable, but a peaceful relationship is not impossible.

Successful Co-Parenting Depends on Collaboration

You have heard it before, and you will most likely hear it many times during and after your divorce — cooperation and communication are key to success after divorce with children. You cannot hope to have a healthy co-parenting relationship with your ex if you do not know how to compromise or talk with each other effectively. Make it a habit to keep in regular touch with your ex about your child’s life, and always include him or her in important decisions.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

There are dozens of apps and websites available that were created to help people in your exact situation. So much of the success of your co-parenting relationship is dependent on communication, which also happens to be one of the hardest aspects of co-parenting. Using technology can help you and your ex discuss child-related issues. Websites such as Google Calendar can help you keep track of appointments and events for your child. Other companies such as Our Family Wizard have websites and apps to manage almost everything involved in co-parenting, such as parenting time schedules and expenses.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Aurora-family-law-attorney.jpg-min.jpgNow that the end of fall is nearing, the weeks will start flying by, and the winter holidays will be here before you know it. While this time of the year is for celebrating, it can prove to be a difficult time for many families, especially for children whose parents no longer live together. Every parent wants to spend special days and holidays with their children, but the reality of co-parenting is that there will more than likely be situations in which your children will be with their other parent instead of with you. Parenting time schedules are often different during the holidays, and adjusting them can be difficult. Here are a few common ways parents can split parenting time during the holiday season:

  • Change holidays every other year: One of the most common parenting time agreements is having the children spend holidays every other year with each parent. For example, if the kids spend Thanksgiving with their mother this year, then the next year they would spend that holiday with their father. This ensures that not more than one year passes before a parent can spend a holiday with their child.

  • Split the holiday in half: Another popular parenting time agreement during the holidays is to split the day between both parents. This can be beneficial for parents who both want to spend time with their kids on one day, but it also requires proper planning to ensure each parent actually has adequate time with the children.

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DuPage County parenting plan lawyerChange can be hard for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for children. When it comes to divorce, children will typically experience a lot of change in a short period of time. Their living arrangements will change dramatically, they will not be spending as much time with either parent anymore, and in some situations, they may even have to adapt to new routines. All of this change can be hard on children, because they depend on stability and routine so much. This is a known fact, which is why the state of Illinois requires every divorcing couple who has children to create a parenting plan before they can finalize their divorce.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a legal agreement that contains information about how two parents will take care of their children once they are separated. In Illinois, a parenting plan will contain information about how parenting time is divided, along with how parental responsibilities are allocated. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) contains the basic elements that all parenting plans must include in order to be approved.

Elements of a Parenting Plan

The courts encourage spouses to come to an agreement on the parenting plan. Most of the time, if couples agree on the parenting plan, they are more likely to be satisfied with the contents of the plan and actually follow the agreement. If they cannot agree, they must submit their own parenting plans to the court, and a judge will make the final determinations about the parenting plan. At a minimum, every parenting plan should contain the following:

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DuPage County parenting time lawyer for right of first refusalThe relationship between a child and his or her parents is something that is crucial to the healthy emotional development of the child. The majority of parents want to be there for their child’s special moments and spend as much time with them as possible during their childhood. When parents are going through a divorce, the time spent with their child often becomes a highly contested issue upon which many parents cannot easily agree. Studies show that children do best when they form a bond with both their mother and father, which is why Illinois encourages parents to have shared parenting time. Something that is known as the right of first refusal (ROFR) can be a bonus for parents who split parenting time with their ex-spouses.

Illinois Parenting Time

In Illinois, the court strongly encourages parents to come to an agreement on parenting time schedules on their own. When parents both draft a personalized timetable and agree to it, they are more likely to adhere to the schedule. If they are unable to come up with a parenting plan, the court will make a decision as to how parenting time is allocated. Unless there is evidence that dual parenting time would be harmful to the child, the court will award visitation time to both parents.

What Is the Right of First Refusal?

If the court allocates parenting time, it will also determine whether or not to award the right of first refusal to either parent. The right of first refusal means that if one parent cannot care for the child during his or her designated parenting time, that parent must first offer the other parent the right to care for the child during that time. This right would apply in instances when the parent would seek substitute childcare for a significant period of time.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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Aurora parenting plan divorce attorneyWith kids getting out of school and the weather warming up, June marks the unofficial start to summer. For many people, this means more time for family bonding and vacations, but for families with divorced parents, it can be a stressful time of adjustment. Having a child and being divorced means there is typically a set schedule specifying when a child will be with which parent, but that same timetable during the school year will not necessarily work over summer break. In order to make your and your child’s summer as carefree as possible, here are a few tips for successful co-parenting during the summertime months:

  1. Plan Ahead and Communicate

The key to minimal conflict is to plan your summer in advance as much as possible and keep your ex-spouse in the loop. Try to talk with your ex beforehand and come up with a plan of how you would like to split parenting time during the summer. If you decide to play it by ear, be sure to let your co-parent know of any vacations that you plan on taking or any other activities in which your child will be participating.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Even just a decade ago, it was uncommon for fathers to win custody of their children, rather than just having visitation rights. Partial custody was awarded in some cases and full custody was rarely awarded unless the mother was a substance abuser, physically abusive, in jail or somehow otherwise unfit to be a parent. Now, most attorneys, judges and other divorce professionals agree that children do their best when both of their parents play an active role in their children’s lives. Still, fathers may have a more difficult time gaining a majority of or even partial parenting time with their children. Here are a few tips you can use to help you win at a parenting time hearing:

Build a Strong Relationship with Your Child

When judges allocate parenting time, one of their main concerns is what custody situation would be in the child’s best interest. The judge will be examining the relationship that the child has with you and the child’s other parent, so it is important that you ensure your relationship with your child is strong. Keep in touch with your child, even when they are not in your custody. Check in with your child often and make sure that they know you are there for them whenever they need you.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time lawyer, parenting time and repsonsibilities,Most people experience an influx of stress during the holiday season, but for divorced couples and their children, it can be even more stressful than usual. When you have kids, this time of year is filled with holiday parties, gift exchanges, school plays, recitals, concerts, and holiday celebrations. Divorced families feel the stress when they try to manage all of this out of two households. Traditionally, this time of year is very family-oriented and if you have recently gone through a divorce, or this is the first holiday season as a divorced couple, your kids might be feeling the loss of their family. Here are a few ways you can help your kids cope with the holiday season and enjoy the new family situation:

Remember: It Is Not About You

Even though you want to have a good time during the holiday season too, sometimes sacrifices have to be made. One of the most important sacrifices that you could make for your children is putting your own happiness aside so that they can be happy. If you and your spouse are fighting about who gets the children on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, give in this year and let them have the kids. Next year, you will get your turn and your children will not have to feel the stress of multiple houses on multiple days.

Plan Well in Advance

The key to making sure you have a happy and successful holiday season is planning. This can prove to be difficult because, in order to have things planned out, the communication between you and your ex must be decent. Your children may have multiple things going on during the holiday season that they would like both of their parents to attend, such as plays, concerts and holiday parties. If it is impossible for both of you to be in the same room together, pick and choose which events you will attend.

Keep Some Old Traditions and Make New Ones

Kids thrive off of tradition and routine. Keeping some of the old traditions you used to practice when you were married can help them experience the familiar warmth of the holiday season. It is also a good idea to introduce new traditions for just you and your kids to practice to ease them into the change. You could make it a tradition to volunteer at a homeless shelter for an afternoon or you could allow them to open one gift on Christmas Eve.

Contact a Compassionate DuPage County Parenting Plan Lawyer

The holidays can be tough for anyone, but divorced families tend to have a more difficult time during the holiday season than any other time of year. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand the ins and outs of making sure each parent has adequate parenting time during the holiday season. Our skilled Aurora, IL parenting plan attorneys can help you craft a comprehensive parenting plan that addresses all of your needs, including holiday parenting time. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2011/12/21/living/holiday-survival-divorced-darents/index.html

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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. Communication Is Key Though you may not want to talk to your ex, communication is key to having a low-stress holiday. If you and your ex are following your existing parenting plan, then there is minimal communication that must be had, though there will always be some. If you and your ex are deciding on an alternate arrangement, then good communication and prior planning will save you many headaches. Get in Touch with a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Holidays can be stressful for every family, even ones who do not have to go the extra mile to work out parenting times and multiple meals. The easiest way to dictate how holidays are spent with your children after a divorce is to make sure you have a solid parenting plan in place. An Aurora, IL divorce attorney can help you create a thorough parenting plan that addresses all of the major holidays and school breaks and how your children will spend those holidays. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. to discuss your specific situation and get to creating your plan. Call the office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/family-law-attorney/divorced-children/200812/managing-divorce-and-children-during-the-holidays

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.

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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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decision making, Aurora family law attorneyIf you are a parent going through a divorce, you have probably given thought to how the process and its aftermath with affect your relationship with your children. You may have heard horror stories from friends and family members who never get to see their children or those whose children rarely spend time with their other parent. It is possible, however, for you and your spouse to develop a plan that provides for your child’s best interests while allowing your child to maintain a healthy relationship with both of you.

A Two-Pronged Approach

While there are many considerations that must be made in creating a workable parenting plan, there are two primary areas of focus according to Illinois law. The first concern is determining each parent’s responsibilities for significant decision making while the second addresses each party’s parenting time with the child.

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Posted on in Children of divorce

holidays, DuPage County family law attorneyThe holidays are supposed to be a time of joy to be celebrated with loved ones, but the season can be stressful and difficult, especially for those who are going through a divorce or have divorced. The holiday season can seem lonely and challenging, with divided families and uprooted traditions. If you are divorced, and especially if you have children, it is important to be prepared for the holidays so that they can be pleasant for everyone involved.

Parenting Concerns

If you are divorced with children, yoiur parenting plan will likely dictate what to do during a holiday. In Illinois, parents have the right to spend time with their children unless it would endanger the child’s health or well-being. For many people, holidays are an important time to spend with children and family.

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parenting, DuPage County family law attorneyAre you subject to an agreement regarding parental responsibilities with a former partner due to a divorce or a breakup? If so, it is important to understand what type of responsibilities you have what your rights may be as far as your child is concerned. Too often, parents make assumptions about the law that are not correct, leading to confusion and misunderstandings about their roles in the lives of their children.

Separate Considerations

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that a parenting plan for divorced or unmarried parents should address two primary areas of concern. If the parents cannot reach an agreement on such a plan, one will developed by the court based on the best interests of the child. The two basic considerations are significant decision-making authority and parenting time. While they may be related to a minor extent, the law allows each consideration to be made separately.

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parenting plan, DuPage County family law attorneysIf you are a divorced, separated, or unmarried parent, holidays can present a number of rather unique challenges. In most families, holidays are a time for getting together with loved ones, many of whom who have not seen one another in some time—possibly since the same holiday last year. Of course, parents want their children to be part of the festivities and to visit with family members who may have traveled a great distance for the occasion. If you are subject to a shared parenting agreement, however, it may take some negotiation to figure out where your children will be spending the holidays.

Do Not Wait

While November may have only just started, Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. This means that you and your child’s other parent should not delay in making plans regarding your holiday parenting time. The first thing you should do, however, is to check your existing parenting plan document, as many such plans contain a holiday parenting time schedule created years in advance to reduce confusion. If your plan does not include a holiday schedule or provides that you will negotiate a reasonable agreement each year, it is time to start preparing for winter holidays.

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Tparents, Aurora divorce attorneyhe decision to file for divorce is always a difficult one, but the challenges are often magnified when the situation involves children. While issues like marital property and spousal support are certainly important, the future of your children and your parental rights should never take a back seat to more material concerns. The judge overseeing your divorce has authority under the law to issue orders regarding your children, but the process should begin with the two people who know your children the best: you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Statutory Encouragement

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act presumes that divorcing parents will have an interest in developing a parenting plan that fits their individual circumstances and serves the best interests of their children. Therefore, divorcing parents are expected to draft and submit a proposed arrangement to the court. Each parent may draft a separate plan or the parents can work together on a single proposal. If the parents submit a jointly-drafted plan, the court must review it to be sure that it is reasonable and that the child’s interests are fully protected.

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relocation, DuPage County family law attorneyWhen you share parenting responsibilities for your child with your former partner, making decisions for your own life may not be as simple as it once was. Moving to a new city or state, for example, to pursue new opportunities is much more difficult for a parent subject to a child custody order—now called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois. The difficulties are increased even further if the parent looking to move is the one who was granted primary residential responsibilities for the child and has the majority of the parenting time. If you are thinking about moving with your child, there are some things that you need to keep in mind.

What is a Relocation?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act recognizes that not every move by a parent is considered a relocation. Instead, a relocation is defined as a move by a parent with at least half of the parenting time with the child that is:

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parenting plan, Aurora family law attorneyWe have all heard about the couples who stay in bad marriages out of a sense of obligation to offer a two-parent situation for their children. While sacrificing for the sake of your children may sound admirable, the reality is that a contentious marriage is often worse for children than divorce. Many thousands of divorced parents are able to continue parenting together long after their marriages ended by committing to cooperation and keeping the child’s best interest as the top priority.

Cooperative parenting after divorce begins with developing a plan that addresses the rights and responsibilities of each parent. It is important, however, to start planning before you and your spouse even file your petition for divorce. Once you realize that you are heading for divorce, you should begin—at least informally—discussing the arrangements for the future.

Primary Residential Responsibilities

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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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