Wheaton IL child relocation attorneyIt is rather common for people to move after they divorce. Sometimes, they move due to a new job or promotion, and other times, they move to be closer to family. Whatever the reason, there are certain rules parents must follow when they wish to relocate with their child. Any parent who has been allocated the majority of or equal parenting time can seek to relocate with his or her child, but there are certain procedures that must be followed.

The Definition of “Relocation”

Under Illinois law, a relocation is defined as a move of a certain distance by a divorced or single parent who is subject to a co-parenting plan and who has at least half of the parenting time with his or her child. Specifically, a move is considered a relocation when such a parent moves with his or her child more than 25 miles from a home in DuPage, Cook, Kane, McHenry, Lake, or Will Counties, or more than 50 miles from a home in any other Illinois county to a new home somewhere else in Illinois. A move is also a relocation if the parent moves more than 25 miles from a home anywhere in Illinois to a new home in another state.

Factors for Relocation

The parent seeking to relocate usually must provide written notice at least 60 days before the relocation. If the child’s other parent agrees to the relocation, signs the notice, and files it with the clerk of the circuit court, then the relocation will be allowed as long as it is in the child’s best interests. 

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County gray divorce lawyerAlthough the divorce rate in the United States is slowly declining, there is one demographic that has seen a significant increase in divorces in recent decades: Americans over age 50. In fact, data shows that one in four adults currently going through a divorce is aged 50 or above. These so-called “gray divorces” can be substantially more complex than divorces involving younger individuals. When older adults get divorced, there are special concerns that they must consider.

Spousal Maintenance Is Often Ordered After a Long Marriage

Many divorce cases do not involve any type of alimony or spousal maintenance. Generally, alimony is only granted when a divorce causes one of the spouses to be at a significant financial disadvantage. For example, a stay-at-home mother who sacrificed a career to care for her children will likely have a much lower earning capacity than her husband who remained in the workforce during the marriage. Illinois courts make spousal maintenance decisions based on factors such as:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage

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Wheaton IL child custody attorneyMany parents’ primary goal during divorce proceedings is to ensure they maintain a close relationship with their children. Illinois law recognizes the importance of both parents remaining in their children’s lives, and has recently moved away from the term “custody” to the “allocation of parental responsibilities,” which emphasizes the importance of the parents coming to an agreement. However, disputes about children can still sometimes be bitter, and it is important to understand your rights as a parent if you find that your relationship with your children is being challenged.

Parenting Time Rights in Illinois

Unless you have been convicted of certain crimes, or otherwise deemed to be a threat to your children’s physical, mental or emotional health, you are legally entitled to parenting time—formerly known as visitation—with your children. For your former spouse to deny this is actually against the law. However, the form your parenting time takes may vary, and it may not be exactly equal to that of your ex, depending on factors like your work hours and where you live in location to where the other parent is located. For example, a parent who lives in a rural area several hours’ flight away from where the other parent and children live may receive less frequent in-person parenting time than a parent who lives 15 minutes away in the next town.

The watchword in determining parenting time rights and schedules is “reasonableness.” A schedule that is unreasonable to one or both parties, or to the children, can lead to significant problems in the future. Illinois works hard to ensure the ideal of reasonableness is upheld so that both parents have as much time as possible with their children. Illinois even offers a special provision called the “right of first refusal,” which allows a parent the first opportunity to take care of the children if the other parent needs child care for a period of time. This right is somewhat unique, having only been adopted in a handful of states up to this point. 

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Posted on in Paternity

Wheaton IL paternity lawyerWhen a child is born to parents who are not married or who have never been married to one another, this can pose a few problems. Under Illinois law, a man is only presumed to be the father of a child if he was married to the mother when the child was born, or if the couple had been married within 300 days before the child’s birth. If neither is true, then the parents must establish legal paternity for the child another way. Many times, before a court will issue an Order of Paternity, it will require that the mother, alleged father, and child submit to genetic testing to determine the true biological father of the child.

Genetic Testing Procedure in Illinois

A child gets half of his or her genes from the mother and the other half from the father. DNA testing works by comparing the genes of the child with the genes of both parents. The person conducting the genetic testing will be chosen by the court, but you are also permitted to conduct independent genetic testing if you so choose. The Illinois Paternity Act states that DNA samples can be from blood, bone, hair, or other bodily fluids, though the most common way to gather DNA samples is from a simple swab of the cheek.

Genetic testing is very accurate. If the man tested is not the biological father, it will be known with almost absolute certainty. On the other hand, if the test results show that the man is 1,000 times more likely to be the child’s father than an unrelated man chosen at random, the probability of paternity is at least 99.9 percent, and the man will be presumed to be the biological father under Illinois law.

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Wheaton divorce attorneyFor many couples, the advice they get as they experience a divorce can often seem repetitive and, at times, even useless. Hearing the same suggestions for a successful, happy post-divorce life over and over again can be discouraging, especially when those suggestions seem downright unrealistic. We all know the standard recipe for a healthy lifestyle: eat well, exercise, and make time to do things we enjoy. On the surface, this formula for well-being appears practical, but when your marriage is in the midst of ending, it is not always so easy to strike that balance.

Finding Your Balance

Everyone adjusts differently to a divorce, depending on your personal situation and the circumstances that led up to the split. It is helpful to recognize that there is no need to rush through your emotional recovery, as it is a natural process that needs to take place. However, it is also a good idea to set goals for yourself and to be aware of signs that you are in a rut and are having trouble with the transition. 

Keeping Your Expectations Realistic

The end of a marriage can feel like a personal failure, so it is easy to become your own worst critic. By keeping the expectations you have for yourself realistic as you work to heal and move on, you increase your chances of living a healthier, more balanced lifestyle throughout the divorce period. Research backs this up: the American Psychological Association (APA) reports that those who treat themselves with kindness and compassion have an easier time managing life while going through a divorce.

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