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As a parent, your children are probably the most important part of your life. A parent’s greatest fear is losing their children. You probably cannot imagine your life without your children in it. So when you and your children’s other parent split and go to court for child custody, you hold out hope for the most possible time with your children. Nothing is scarier than hearing that the other parent is demanding exclusive custody. The prospect of your former spouse or romantic partner taking your children out of your life is enough to send any parent into full-blown panic.
Continue Reading What to do When Your Child's Other Parent Tries for Full Custody

Divorce can bring out the worst in people. When a divorce is not amicable, each party is trying to prove that they are more responsible, a better parent, and a better spouse. Unfortunately, some people will resort to trying to throw their spouse under the bus in an effort to get a better result for themself. Others will resort to flat-out lying to the court or even falsifying evidence. Some will make ridiculous demands that you know are completely unfair. Being the spouse whose name is getting dragged through the mud by a vindictive spouse can be a humiliating and
Continue Reading What To Do When Your Spouse Will Not Play Fair During Divorce

An increasing number of same-sex couples are raising children together. The growing number of same-sex couples with children is one of the reasons that Illinois now uses the term “parentage” instead of “paternity.” A child growing up with two moms or two dads will consider both adults their parents. It is very important to make sure that the law also sees both same-sex partners as the child’s legal parents. While it may not be possible for a same-sex couple to have a biological child in common, it is certainly possible for same-sex couples to have a legal child in common.
Continue Reading Establishing Parentage for Same-Sex Couples

Sibling relationships can be incredibly important for children. Siblings are often a child’s first and best friends. Even in blended families, step and half siblings may share a bond. When parents are splitting up, siblings may rely on each other for a sense of stability at a time when major changes are occurring. Illinois courts are often reluctant to separate siblings who enjoy a close relationship. However, this type of bonding does not occur for all children with acting parents in common. In some cases, sibling relationships are difficult or even abusive. In that case, the court may find that
Continue Reading Child Custody and Protecting Sibling Relationships

On average, it takes victims of domestic violence or spousal abuse seven attempts to leave the abuser before they finally succeed. The reasons that so many women – and sometimes men – stay in abusive and dangerous relationships are complex. Abusers often isolate their victims from others who could help them and create a situation where the victim is financially dependent on the abuser. Others stay because the abuser has threatened to harm them or their children should they leave. If this is the situation you are in, you should know that there is a way out. If you are
Continue Reading 5 Safety Tips for Divorcing an Abusive Spouse

Supervised visitation arrangements are often used in lieu of sole custody when one parent is unfit to be left alone with their children. The goal of supervised visitation is to allow children to maintain a relationship with both parents while also keeping them safe from any harm one parent could potentially cause. Supervised visitation involves having a trusted, responsible adult present while the unfit parent spends time with their children to ensure the children’s safety and wellbeing. Often, in cases where one parent initially asked for sole custody, supervised visitation works as a good compromise. If you are a parent
Continue Reading How Supervised Visitation Can Keep Your Children Safe

In Illinois, the presumption is that it is in the child’s best interest to have some type of relationship with both parents. In general, courts want to keep both parents involved in their children’s lives. In the vast majority of child custody cases, both parents will be granted some parenting time and some share of the parental responsibilities. However, there are outlier cases where one parent is so harmful or dangerous to their children that allowing them to spend any time at all together is simply not in the children’s best interests. In these cases, it may be possible for
Continue Reading Could I Get Sole Custody of My Children?

It is often said that around 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. The actual statistics are unknown, but even if the divorce rate is not that high, the fact remains that a significant percentage of marriages do not last. For those who are planning to get married or who are in a happy relationship, divorce may not seem to be likely. However, it can be a good idea to consider the possibility that a relationship will end, and by making decisions ahead of time through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, a couple can help avoid conflict
Continue Reading What Are the Benefits of a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?

There is a mass incarceration crisis in America. Our country has a higher percentage of people in jail or prison than any other country in the world. Fully one out of five incarcerated individuals in the world is in an American correctional facility. Many of these inmates are parents. Having legal problems does not make someone a bad or harmful parent. Often, it remains in the best interests of the child to have the incarcerated parent be part of their life as much as possible. However, there is a limit to how much parenting time one can have while they
Continue Reading How Incarceration Affects Child Custody

Being a single parent can be extremely difficult. Your child’s needs do not decrease just because they only have one parent to care for them and provide for them. In Illinois, children have the right to be supported financially by both of their parents. This typically takes the form of child support payments. One problem that many single mothers face is that the father of their child refuses to acknowledge that he is indeed the child’s other parent. This can create a roadblock, but with the help of a skilled attorney, it is often a very surmountable roadblock.

Even if
Continue Reading Can I Get Child Support When the Father Denies Paternity?

Illinois law presumes that both a child’s parents are safe and capable of caring for their children. However, there are situations in which a parent’s rights may be limited or even eliminated. If there are concerns about a child’s safety with a parent, the court has the authority to impose certain restrictions on parenting time. If you are an unmarried or divorced parent, it is important to understand how and when parenting time restrictions are implemented.
Illinois Courts Impose Parenting Time Restrictions on a Case-by-Case Basis
Illinois law describes parenting duties in terms of “parental responsibilities,” meaning decision-making authority
Continue Reading What Illinois Parents Need to Know About Parenting Time Restrictions

Domestic violence can happen to anyone. Domestic abuse reflects negatively only on the abuser, never the victim. You might feel trapped in your marriage or relationship because you share children with the abuser, or you are married to them, or even because they have taken steps to unlawfully restrict your liberty. Others feel they have to stay because they are financially dependent on the abuser. Whatever is keeping you trapped in your dangerous relationship, there is a way out. If you are one of the millions of people who will experience violence at home this year, there are steps a
Continue Reading Family Law Information for Domestic Violence Victims

There are a variety of financial issues that will need to be addressed during a divorce, including determining how to divide the property a couple owns between the two spouses. However, during the property division process, a couple will also need to consider the debts they owe. Just like the assets a couple owns, the amounts that are owed to creditors will need to be allocated between the spouses. However, it is important to understand how different types of debts may be handled, as well as the factors that may complicate things during or after a divorce.
Division of
Continue Reading How Are Different Types of Debt Divided in a Couple’s Divorce?

Getting a divorce can lead to significant financial difficulties for both parties. In addition to addressing the costs of the divorce process itself, each spouse will need to make adjustments as they shift away from combining their incomes and expenses and establish new living arrangements where they will each use their separate incomes to cover their ongoing costs. In some cases, spousal support (which is known as spousal maintenance in Illinois) may be needed to ensure that a spouse will be able to support themselves. While this form of support is not a factor in every divorce, it may be
Continue Reading When Can Spousal Support Be Modified After a Divorce?

When addressing issues related to child custody, parents will need to consider multiple different factors. While matters related to children will be a key consideration for parents who are going through a divorce, unmarried couples may also need to determine how they will handle child-related issues in the event of a breakup or any other situation where a child’s parents are not living together as partners. Decisions involving child custody will be set down in a legally-binding document known as a parenting plan or parenting agreement. While much of the focus of a parenting plan will be on
Continue Reading Is the Right of First Refusal Required in an Illinois Parenting Plan?

Issues related to children can be difficult to resolve in family law cases, including situations where married couples choose to get a divorce or where unmarried parents will be ending their relationship. Child custody cases will typically address two separate issues. While the allocation of parental responsibilities (sometimes referred to as “legal custody”) covers parents’ rights to make decisions about how their children will be raised, parenting time (also known as “physical custody”) will address where children will live and whether they will spend most of their time with one parent while having visitation time with the other parent. When
Continue Reading 4 Things to Consider When Addressing Parenting Time in a Family Law Case