What if a Parent Blocks a Grandparent’s Visitation With Grandchildren?

Wheaton grandparents' rights attorneyGrandparents provide a wealth of loving care and family traditions to the younger generation, and most grandchildren will remember the time with their grandfathers and grandmothers well into their own adulthood. Grandparents add value to the lives of young children in immeasurable ways. Unfortunately, old feuds can get in the way of grandparents’ visitation rights, especially when the parents of the children separate or get divorced. In many cases, a child’s parent may disallow visitation with their ex-spouse’s parents, though it is sometimes a grandparent’s own children that disallow them from seeing their young loved ones.

What Steps Can I Take as Grandparent?

In Illinois, grandparents can petition the court to secure visitation rights with grandchildren. However, a grandparent must show that by not seeing their grandparents, the child is being harmed. As such, “the burden is on the party filing a petition” to prove that the parent’s decision about visitation will “cause undue harm to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health,” according to Illinois statute 750 ILCS 5/602.9. A grandmother or grandfather must show that the time spent with them has a positive impact on their grandchild’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Having a close relationship with a grandparent benefits children’s well-being; previous research has shown that these types of relationships can reduce depressive symptoms in both the grandparents and the grandchild. If this is so widely known, and many studies have come to the same conclusion, does that mean that a court will simply accept a grandparent’s and child’s mutual wishes to continue spending time with one another? Sadly, the situation is more complex than this.

The Court’s Considerations

When making decisions about whether grandparent visitation is in a child’s best interests, the court will use the following factors to make a decision about grandparent visitation:

  • The wishes of the child.
  • The length and quality of the relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild.
  • The good faith of the grandparent and the good faith of the parent denying visitation access.
  • The quantity of visitation time requested.
  • Any potential adverse effects that visitation could have.
  • Factors that reveal the effects the loss of the grandparent/grandchild relationship would have on the child.
  • Whether or not the visitation can be structured in a manner to avoid conflict between the adult parties.

Call an Experienced DuPage County Grandparent Visitation Lawyer Today

The emotional bond between a grandparent and a grandchild should never be broken because of a parent’s vengeful mindset. Our dedicated Wheaton family law attorneys can help reunite grandparents with their grandchildren by petitioning for visitation rights. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K602.9.htm

https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2018/09/06/close-relationship-with-grandparents-benefits-grandchildren/

Is Pet Custody Treated Like Child Custody in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton divorce pet custody attorneyNumerous studies have shown that pets have a profoundly beneficial impact on our lives. In fact, the bonds that we create with dogs, cats, and other companion animals can be just as strong as the ones we create with other humans. Pets can even provide a variety of physical and mental health benefits for their owners, including lower blood pressure, reduced stress, lower levels of loneliness, and stronger immune systems for babies. Pets can also provide support for children with disabilities and autism, and they often help create an overall higher degree of happiness.

Because dogs, cats, and other pets quickly become irreplaceable members of our households, it can be difficult for both owners and the pets themselves when a divorce rips them away from us. However, by working with a skilled attorney, you can determine your best options for addressing ownership of your pets during your divorce.

A Pet’s Well-Being Is Taken Into Account During Pet “Custody” Disputes

There is good news for divorcing pet owners: Illinois recently passed a law that requires courts to take into consideration the well-being of pets when making decisions about pet custody, or, more accurately, pet ownership. While pets are still considered to be part of the marital property that should be divided between spouses, in many cases, spouses are able to come to an agreement regarding pet ownership, which can be sole or joint, just like child custody.

If a couple is unable to compromise, a judge’s decision will take into account what is best for the “companion animal.” This can include such factors as the following:

  • The living accommodations for the pet.
  • The work schedule of each party. For example, a spouse that travels constantly may not be able to provide quality care and attention.
  • The presence of children in the household that would enrich the pet’s life.
  • The presence of another non-maritally owned pet living with one of the parties that the pet has created an emotional bond with.
  • The financial ability of each party to care for the pet.
  • Which party has, in the past, demonstrated better caregiving qualities for the pet, such as taking the pet to the vet, grooming, talking the pet on walks, feeding the pet, purchasing food and toys, playing with the pet, etc.

A Wheaton Pet Custody Lawyer Can Help You Win Sole Ownership of Your Beloved Dog, Cat, or Other Pet

There is no way around it. Pets are part of the family, and Illinois law is finally catching up to reflect the importance that dogs, cats, and other animals have on our lives, as well as the impact that good owners have on animals’ lives. The skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help you receive ownership of your pet. Give us a call at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=100-0422&GA=100

https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/6-ways-pets-improve-your-health#2

What Factors Are Considered When Determining Alimony in Illinois?

DuPage County spousal support lawyerAlimony, also called spousal support or maintenance, is a payment from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse during divorce or after the divorce has been finalized. There are various forms of spousal support, and these may be awarded based on the needs of the lower-earning spouse and the means of the higher-earning spouse to pay. A few examples of types of spousal support include reimbursement alimony, lump-sum alimony, rehabilitative alimony for vocational training or education, temporary alimony paid during the divorce, and permanent alimony.

In most cases, alimony is not permanent; instead, it is set for a specified length of time and, after that time period ends, the payments will cease. As a potential paying spouse or receiving spouse, you likely have questions about how the court makes a decision about alimony, or how both parties may reach a mutual decision about alimony outside of the courtroom. A skilled DuPage County spousal support attorney can provide all the details you need to know and assist you in reaching an outcome that provides for your financial needs.

How The Court Awards Alimony

According to Illinois statute 750 ILCS 5/504, the following factors are used to determine whether maintenance is appropriate:

  • The income and property of each party
  • The needs of each party
  • The future earning capacity of each party
  • Any potential impairment of the spouse seeking alimony
  • The time necessary for the alimony-seeking spouse to acquire training, education, employment, etc.
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age, health, occupation, vocational skills, etc. of each party
  • Other forms of income earned by each party, such as disability
  • The tax consequences of alimony payments for each party
  • Any contributions and services made by the spouse seeking alimony on behalf of the higher earning spouse, such as career advancement and homemaking
  • Any other relevant factors

If the court determines that an alimony award is appropriate, statutory guidelines will be used to determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance payments. The amount of payments will be based on the income earned by both parties, and the length of time payments will be made will be based on the length of the marriage. However, if the spouses earn a combined gross annual income of $500,000 or more, the court may deviate from these guidelines and award maintenance that it believes is appropriate.

Does the Spouses’ Sex Have Anything to Do With Alimony?

Alimony should never be awarded based on the sex of divorcing spouses. However, middle-aged, married men with at least a high school diploma earn, on average, over $80,000 per year. Married women of the same age earn, on average, roughly $50,000 per year, which is a 40 percent difference. As such, men are more likely to pay spousal support than women. This is a generalization, not a rule; 38 percent of wives earn more than their husbands. In these cases, alimony may be awarded to the husband.

Our DuPage County Alimony Lawyers Can Help

Spousal support is a powerful tool that can provide a lower-earning spouse with a means to education and allow them to maintain the standard of living they have grown accustomed to. On the other hand, as a paying spouse, you likely want to limit the impact that alimony payments will have on your own financial well-being. In either case, the skilled Wheaton spousal support attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group can advocate for your interests and help you reach a positive outcome to your divorce. Call us today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k504.htm

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/married-men-earn-more-than-single-or-married-women-and-single-men-2018-09-19