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

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Kendall County parenting time attorney

The coronavirus pandemic has changed how we go about our daily lives in almost every aspect. Many states across the country have closed non-essential businesses, which include dining rooms for restaurants, movie theaters, non-essential retail businesses such as malls and clothing stores, and even many office buildings. These measures have been put into place to try to stop the spread of this new virus, also known as COVID-19. At the time of this writing, the United States has surpassed every other country in the world with the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. In Illinois alone, there have been more nearly 6,000 confirmed cases, with 99 deaths reported. Many people have been wondering how this pandemic will affect their family situations, such as parenting time, especially those parents who are divorced with kids who are splitting time between different households.

Understanding Illinois’ Stay-At-Home Order

In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, many states have also enacted “stay-at-home” orders that prohibit citizens from gathering with other people who are not household members. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home order that started on March 21, stating that individuals should only leave their homes for essential or life-sustaining services. Illinoisians are still permitted to leave their homes for things such as outdoor exercise, going grocery shopping, attending doctor’s appointments, and going to work at an approved essential business.

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North Aurora divorce attorney child issues

Each year, thousands of American children experience their parents' divorce. This can be difficult for many kids to process and understand, and it can lead to other issues that can be of great concern to parents. During a divorce, one of the most common things parents report as being worrisome is how their children will cope. While many children have the ability to adjust to the divorce with supportive parenting and guidance, some kids can still struggle. A child’s difficulty with coping with the divorce can manifest in many ways, some of which can be frustrating or confusing to parents. Here are a few signs that your child is having a hard time accepting your divorce:

  • Behavioral issues: Once of the most common signs that your child is not coping with the stress of divorce is through his or her behavior. If your child is exhibiting behaviors that are out of his or her normal way of acting, he or she may be suffering from the stress of the situation. This can manifest in a child returning to behaviors that he or she had grown out of, such as a school-aged child throwing temper tantrums. Another type of behavioral issue could be a child acting out in school or frequently getting in trouble for misbehavior.

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North Aurora parenting time attorney

Some of the most common issues that arise after a divorce is settled are those related to the child(ren) the couple had together. Specifically, disputes over parenting time (visitation) can occur, and they can lead to a great deal of conflict between the parents. Because the decisions made during divorce are legally binding, a non-compliant parent can face a variety of legal consequences. 

Court-Ordered Parenting Time

When you get a divorce, the state of Illinois requires you to come up with a parenting plan that outlines all relevant issues regarding your child, including how you and your ex-spouse will share parental responsibilities and how parenting time will be split between the two of you. If you cannot come to an arrangement on your own, an Illinois judge will make the decision for you based on a variety of factors in the child’s best interests. Because the parenting time schedule specified in your parenting plan is required, approved, and sometimes even created by the court, this makes it a legally-binding court order. This means both you and your spouse must follow the terms of the order, or you could face being held in contempt of the court.

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DuPage County parenting plan attorney

Many people who are unhappily married with children worry about how a divorce will affect their kids. Some of them end up “staying together for the kids.” It would be naive of anyone to think that a divorce does not affect your children -- studies show that it clearly does. However, those effects are often short-term concerns that, with proper attention, will eventually dissipate. Staying together for the kids often has a more lasting effect on the children, and it can actually do much more harm than good in the long run. As more information becomes available about the impact divorce has on children, more parents are making the decision to split up for the sake of everyone. After the split, you will notice changes in your children as they try to make sense of the event. The following are three tips for parenting after your divorce that can help you manage this transition. 

Never Make Your Children Choose Between You and Your Ex-Spouse

One of the worst things you can do is to force your children to choose between their parents. Not only is this completely unfair, but it can also be damaging to your kids. Even though you and your spouse are no longer together, you are both still and will forever be parents to your offspring. Your children have the right to maintain close and loving relationships with both of you.

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Geneva parenting plan attorney

Getting a divorce can be a daunting task. There are many issues that you must address before you can finalize your divorce, and it can become even more complicated if you have minor children. Divorcing with kids can be overwhelming because of the emotional toll it takes on the entire family. One of the most important issues to resolve is how your children will be cared for after the marriage ends. In Illinois, a parenting plan is required by all couples who file for divorce and have minor children.

Parental Responsibilities in an Illinois Parenting Plan

Before your divorce can be finalized, Illinois law requires that you and your spouse have an agreed-upon parenting plan filed with the court. The parenting plan is a written agreement of how you and your ex-spouse will raise your children now that you are divorced. This legal document contains information about how parenting time will be split between the two of you, but also how parental responsibilities will be handled. At a minimum, Illinois parenting plans should address the following when it comes to allocating decision-making responsibilities:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Aurora-divorce-attorney.jpg-min.jpgSocial media is a large part of many people’s everyday lives. With the invention of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it has become easier than ever to keep in touch with the people you care about and connect with new people all over the world. Although social media has its perks, it can also be a nuisance in some people’s lives, especially in delicate situations such as divorce. During your divorce, how you use social media can make or break you. You do not necessarily have to stop using social media completely during your divorce, but you should be very aware of what you post online. Here are a few social media mistakes that you should avoid making at all costs during your divorce:

Do Not Reveal Too Much About Your Life

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to overshare on social media. During a divorce, there are several things that you and your spouse must agree upon, including property division, spousal support, and parenting time. These things can all be negatively impacted if you share contradicting or concerning information on social media during divorce negotiations.

For example, if you claim you need spousal support to survive after your divorce, but you are posting photos of you taking lavish vacations or buying expensive items, your claim could be questioned in court. Posting photos showing you performing illegal or inappropriate acts could cause the court to question your fitness as a parent or could serve as evidence that your spouse could use against you.

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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 time lawyerMost parents will agree that the most important aspect of a divorce is making sure the children are okay. However, many parents worry about how a divorce will affect their children. Therefore, a lot of couples are currently in unhappy marriages in an attempt to spare their children the stress of divorce. It is important to remember that a divorce is the result of an unhealthy relationship between two spouses -- it has nothing to do with their children. While you cannot protect your children from all of the stresses and changes a divorce can cause, you can take steps to make sure your children are protected from the arguments and other negative effects that a divorce can trigger.

Take Care of Yourself

Although it may seem selfish, one of the best things you can do for your children during your divorce is to make sure you take care of yourself before you focus on them. A divorce can be traumatizing and can take its toll on you after a while. You should practice self-care by eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, and talking to people in your support system. When you are emotionally stable, you are better able to guide your children through this major life transition.

Do Not Talk Negatively About Your Spouse

You should avoid criticizing or putting down your ex-spouse when your children can hear. Though you may have an issue with your former partner, your children do not. They deserve to have a relationship with both parents that is not clouded by negative opinions from one parent.

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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 divorce child issues lawyerIf you think your divorce is stressful for you, it can be even more taxing on your children. For kids, their parents' divorce is a very confusing and tumultuous time. While it is completely normal for children to be sad, uncertain, or even angry when their parents are going through a divorce, it is important for you to understand that there are things you can do to make the change somewhat easier. Divorce is a process, not only for you but also for your children. Your job as a parent is to help your children through this process so they are able to come out on the other side stronger and more well-rounded individuals.

Breaking the News

Many parents do not know how to talk to their children about divorce, much less how to break the news to them. The way you first tell your kids about your divorce can set the tone for the entire healing process. You should tailor your conversation to your children; if they are younger, it is best to keep the message simple and sweet. If you have older children, you can provide a little more detail, but it is still important to only share the information they need to know.

Helping Them Grieve

For children, a divorce can be a big emotional loss. Your job as a parent is to help your children work through their emotions and go through the grieving process. You should listen to what your children have to say and the worries that they share with you. Acknowledge and validate their feelings by letting them be open and honest with you. Reassure your kids that you and their other parent still love them and will always be there for them, even though you are no longer together as a couple.

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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 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

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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,When you are going through the divorce process, there are issues in which you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may not be able to come to an agreement on. Child custody is often one of the most contentious and fought over issues in a divorce. Because of this, some couples are forced to appear before a judge so that he or she can make determinations about parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. In some cases, a judge may need more information in order to make an informed decision in the best interest of the child. This is when the judge will request that a custody evaluation be conducted.

The Evaluation Process

Once the court has requested that an evaluation be completed, an evaluator is hired. The evaluator is often a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist. Depending on the circumstances, the evaluation can be focused on the parents, the child or both. The job of the evaluator is to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions between the parents, the child and any other family members in the household. To do this, the evaluator may:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Parenting is a full-time job and it is never really easy. Co-parenting can be even more difficult after a divorce, especially if your divorce was particularly heated and contentious. You may wish that you never have to see or talk to your ex-spouse ever again, but the truth is when you have children, you will never truly be completely separate from your spouse. Your children are the most important aspects of your life and for their sake, you should learn how to co-parent peacefully with your spouse. Here are a few tips you can use to help form a successful co-parenting relationship with your ex: Put Your Emotions on the Backburner Co-parenting is almost never easy. You may feel emotions like anger, disappointment, sadness, rage, and even hatred, but you must try to put these feelings aside and work with your ex, rather than against them. Never allow your feelings to put your kids in the middle of your problems with your ex. You can argue with your ex all you want, just do not do it in front of your child. Work to Communicate Effectively When it comes to successful parenting and co-parenting, communication is key. Though you may not want to communicate with your ex, you will have to in order to co-parent effectively. Try keeping conversations with your ex centered around your children rather than yourselves and try to keep the tone of the conversation formal and business-like. Be Consistent Consistency is key with children. They thrive off of routine and it can even help them to cope with the divorce by not adding more stress and different expectations at each home. Try to keep their schedules as similar as possible at both homes, like having the same bedtime at each home. Make Decisions Together Your child’s well-being is your number one priority. Decisions about your child should be made by both you and your ex -- not just one of you. When it comes to decisions about your child’s education, medical care, and other important life issues, you should always include your spouse in the decision-making process. Hire a DuPage County Child Custody Attorney Today

Before you are able to finalize your divorce, you will have to submit to the court a completed parenting plan that you and your spouse both have signed and agreed upon. Though it may be difficult, it is in everyone’s best interest to come to an agreement on child custody and parenting time on your own, rather than having a judge tell you what you will do. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you and your ex come to an agreement about these issues and more. Our skilled Aurora, IL child custody lawyers know what it takes to create a solid parenting plan and will help you formulate a plan that works for your family. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/co-parenting-tips-for-divorced-parents.htm

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce is difficult for everyone in the family, but it can be especially difficult for fathers who are going through a divorce. Even though it is 2019 and most people agree with the fact that a child does his or her best when both parents are involved in their life, fathers are often given the short end of the stick when it comes to divorce. Mothers are still seen as the primary caregiver and are often still given preference when making determinations about parenting time and decision-making rights. Though it may seem that there are numerous societal and cultural factors that are working against fathers, having help from a divorce lawyer who focuses on father’s rights can be beneficial. Here are four things you can do to be a good dad after your divorce:

Fight for Your Right to Parenting Time

Unfortunately, the court systems tend to favor the mothers over the fathers when it comes to parenting time. This can spell difficulty for fathers who want to play an active part in their child’s life, so it is important that you are tenacious about fighting for parenting time. When you attend parenting time hearings, make sure you are attentive, you listen to the judge and you show the judge that you care about your children.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,When you have children and you are getting a divorce, there are many things you must worry about. Before you can finalize your Illinois divorce, you and your spouse must come to an agreement on a parenting plan, you must determine who gets child support and how much that support will be and you also have to figure out how the children will spend time between you and your spouse. Most of the time, parents will have similar parenting time schedules, as long as there are no extenuating circumstances that would require the children to spend more time with one parent. Parenting time exchanges can be stressful for both you and your children, but they can be easier with a little effort. Here are a few ways you can help your parenting time exchanges go by a little smoother. Make a Visible Schedule for Your Children Sometimes, it can be difficult for children to adjust to changes, especially when they are happening in their family. Making a visible schedule for your children to look at can help ease some of the stress and anxiety that your children may be feeling. Communicate with Your Ex-Spouse You should make sure you keep an open line of communication with your ex-spouse when you have children. Though you and your spouse’s romantic relationship is over, you will always have a connection to each other through your children. In order to avoid any uncertainties or confusion, keep in contact with your child’s other parent. Meet in a Neutral Place If you and your spouse have had a hostile relationship, it could be beneficial for everyone involved to meet in a public place to exchange the children. Meeting on neutral territory can help deter any arguments or altercations that may take place. Try to Be on Time It happens -- sometimes you are just late, no matter how hard you try to be on time. As soon as you realize that you are running behind schedule, let the other parent know so they do not think you are just being inconsiderate of their time. Hire a Skilled DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

Divorces can be tough on children, especially if they spend time with both parents and switch between them often. By getting into contact with an Aurora, IL parenting time attorney, you can be reassured that you have a solid parenting plan in place to minimize any conflicts you and your spouse may have. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand the difficulty that divorce can bring to a family. Let us help your family find peace after your Illinois divorce. Call our office today to set up a consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/co-parenting-tips-for-divorced-parents.htm/

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), there are around 44 million people who experience a mental illness in any given year and around 10 million adults live with a chronic mental illness. Mental illness can include a vast variety of diseases, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, though the most common mental illnesses in the United States are depression and anxiety disorders. Going through a divorce can affect those with a mental illness more than the average person, emotionally and mentally. While it is not a major and definite factor in deciding parenting time and responsibilities in Illinois, it can play a factor.

Making Decisions Involving Children in a Divorce

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, when a judge is making decisions involving children in a divorce, he or she must make those decisions in consideration of the child’s best interests. Many factors are taken into consideration when determining the child’s best interests and some of these factors include:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time lawyer, Although a divorce may be exactly what you wanted, your children may not think that a divorce is a good thing. Divorce can be extremely tough on families -- especially on kids. Changes in the home, daily routines and living situations can be a big stressor to children, who very much thrive off of routine. All children react to divorce and cope with the stress of divorce differently. While some children may act out by misbehaving in school, other children may act out by reverting to habits of younger children. Divorce is difficult for everyone, but here are a few ways you can help your children cope with the inevitable stress of divorce:

Be Honest with Your Children

Especially when telling your children about the divorce, you should strive to be as honest as is appropriate. Your children deserve to know why you are getting a divorce, but you should adjust the level of detail to suit the age of your child. Younger children need simple, concise answers, while teenagers may need more detail.

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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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