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Kane County family law attorneysParenting after a divorce, separation, or break-up is challenging, to say the lease. If you have been allocated significantly less parenting time than your former partner, maintaining a meaningful relationship with your child can be even more difficult. What happens, though if the other parent convinces the court to restrict or limit your parenting time even further? A skilled parenting time lawyer can help you understand what recourse you may have, and work with you in taking the steps to restore your parental rights.

How Parenting Time Can Be Restricted

The driving principle of Illinois family law statutes that address children and parenting responsibilities is to serve the child’s best interests. In virtually every case, the court begins with the presumption that active participation by both parents is in the child’s best interest, and, therefore, will allocate parenting time to each parent based on the family’s circumstances. Your parenting time cannot be restricted unless the other parent can show that your lifestyle or behavior seriously endangers your child. These dangers can be to the child’s mental, moral, or physical health, as well as to his or her emotional development.

Examples of Restrictions

In an extreme situation, your right to parenting time may be suspended completely, but the court will usually try to avoid cutting you off altogether. Instead, your time with your child may be reduced or limited to certain physical locations. The court could also determine that you may only have your parenting time under the supervision of the other parent or a neutral third party. Additional restrictions could include keeping certain people away from your child, requiring you to abstain from drugs or alcohol immediately before and during your parenting time, and any other considerations the court finds to be necessary.

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Kane County parenting plan lawyersIf you are a parent who has decided to divorce, you are probably worried about how this will affect your children. Fortunately, there are many families who live in separate homes who are able to co-parent effectively and lovingly. If you are currently separated or soon will be, there are some things you should keep in mind when working on a parenting plan or custody agreement.

Who Decides on Parenting Plans?

Ideally, a child has both parents in his or her life. However, if you are getting divorced as a result of domestic violence, abuse, addiction issues, or other dangerous circumstances, it may be best not to share parental responsibilities. For those parents who wish to share the allocation of parental responsibilities, a co-parenting plan will be vital.

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Kane County family law attorneysThe purpose of child support is to help the primary residential parent of a child or children to be able to afford basic necessities such as rent or mortgage payments, the child’s clothing, school supplies, and their meals. Those who receive child support often depend on that extra income in order to pay their bills and maintain a good quality of life for their children. For some parents, a missed payment here and there will not cause a major financial crisis. For others living on a tight budget, a missed child support payment can be devastating. During the holidays, many parents rush to the stores to buy their children Christmas gifts. However, it is important to note that the money spent on children’s Christmas gifts cannot count toward child support payments.

Changes to Child Support in Illinois

Recently, several major changes were made to the way Illinois courts calculate child support. The amount of child support that is awarded to a parent is now based on an “income shares” or “shared parenting” model. The incomes of both parents are now taken into account, rather than solely that of the paying parent. The new model also takes into consideration how much time the parents each spend with their children on an overnight basis. This is intended to help alleviate the child support costs for those parents who also spend money on their children during their parenting time. The new model is based on three main factors: the estimated total amount of money needed to raise the child, extra costs that a parent may encounter such as expenses for health care, education, and after-school activities, and the amount of overnights the child spends with each parent.

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Kane County family law attorneyDivorce and family-related legal proceedings are difficult on all parties involved. It can get infinitely more challenging when a parent is struggling with mental illness. However, the mere existence of mental illness or neurological variance should not be grounds for loss of parental responsibilities, formerly called child custody. Every person is entitled to a fair evaluation of his or her legal competency.

Legal Competency

When a parent is mentally ill, the issue becomes one of mental capacity, which is used to determine a person’s legal capacity to parent. Unfortunately, many times, that capacity is assessed by outdated benchmarks, by biased people. Recent statistics by the National Council on Disability shows rates of child removal from a home where one parent has a psychiatric or intellectual disability are as high as 80 percent. This is manifestly unjust for both parent and child. A parent’s disability may be considered when determining the best environment for a child, but making a blanket determination without an appropriate review is wrong.

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Kane County family law attorneySometimes, life happens. A new job, new relationship or death in the family may necessitate a move, but to relocate a family is almost never easy. This is true because Illinois law does set some restrictions on relocating children, especially during or after divorce. Very often, one parent’s interest in seeking new opportunities must be balanced with the other parent’s right to parenting time and their children’s interests in staying where they are comfortable.

Recent Changes to Relocation Laws

Before 2016, Illinois law held that a parent could uproot their children for any destination within the state, but if he or she chose to leave the state even by a very small distance, permission of either the other parent or a family court was required. With the revamping of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a new approach was adopted.

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Wheaton, IL 60189
630-549-0960
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We serve clients throughout Kane County, Illinois including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elgin, Algonquin, Aurora, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Big Rock, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Hampshire, Huntley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sleepy Hollow, Wayne, West Dundee as well as throughout DuPage County.

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