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Kane County family law attorneysSharing parental responsibilities can be quite complicated for divorced, separated, or unmarried parents. Each parent may have an idea of how he or she thinks the child should be raised, and such ideas often differ—even between reasonable, well-meaning parents. Conflicting ideas about parenting can create confusion for the child, which is why it is so important for parents to work together to develop a parenting plan that clearly determines what role each parent will play in making significant decisions about the child’s life. 

What Are Significant Decisions?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines “significant decision-making” as “deciding issues of long-term importance in the life of a child.” The law also provides several considerations that are always considered significant decisions, such as:

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Kane County family law attorneyAn estimated 676,000 American children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2015. Every year, thousands of children suffer emotional, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of loved ones. Even more astounding, roughly 3.4 million families were investigated by child protective services agencies in 2016. While many of the reports made to child protective services end up being legitimate instances of abuse or neglect, many are not. If you are getting divorced, there are many ways that allegations of child abuse can affect your case.

If You Have Been Accused of Child Abuse

If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has accused you of abusing a child, there are many ways this can affect the outcome of your divorce. When courts make decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, (formerly child custody and visitation, respectively) they always put the best interest of the child first and foremost. Allegations of child abuse can lead to the limitation of your time with your children. If your ex has made unfounded accusations against you, it is imperative that you hire an attorney to represent you and protect your rights. An attorney can help you disprove any false allegations of wrongdoing and prevent you from losing parental responsibilities and parenting time of your child.

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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 divorce lawyersIt is common for divorced individuals to look back on their relationship and acknowledge that the marriage was over long before they filed a petition for divorce. While the reality is not always as obvious to those in a struggling marriage, some people are able to recognize the proverbial writing on the wall. If your marriage has reached the point where divorce is the only viable option, it is important to prepare for the difficult road that lies ahead.

Know What You Have

Regardless of whether you expect your divorce to be amicable or bitter, one of the most important first steps is to compile an inventory of everything you and your spouse own. Start by making a list of all of your major assets, including any real estate holdings, vehicles, investments, and retirement savings. Locate purchase contracts, loan documents, and account statements so that you can determine when each asset was acquired and how much it may be worth now. Once you have covered the large assets, move on to smaller things like furniture, artwork, and jewelry, again recording the item and when it was purchased.

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Kane County divorce attorneysIf you are someone considering getting divorced, or your spouse is considering filing for divorce, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. You may be wondering if you should hire an attorney, how you will share responsibilities and parenting time with your children, or how your assets and property will be divided. Additionally, you may be worried about how you will mentally and emotionally cope with the end of your marriage. There is no perfect way to get divorced, but there are some actions which can certainly convolute the process and make it more drawn out and expensive than necessary.

Hiding Assets or Lying About Your Financial Status

Everyone handles divorce differently, but there are some mistakes which should be avoided at all costs. Hiding assets is one of these mistakes. Divorce is a not only a personal separation but also a financial separation. Courts need accurate financial information from both spouses in order to make decisions about spousal maintenance, child support, property division, and more. Artificially deflating your income, failing to report a piece of real estate, or otherwise misrepresenting your financial circumstances can result in penalties, money sanctions, and a more problematic and expensive divorce. In order for things to go as smoothly as possible, it is critical that both spouses are honest regarding marital debt and assets.

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Wheaton, IL 60189
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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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