Wheaton, IL grandparents custody attorneyGrandparents’ visitation rights have been an issue since the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Troxel v. Granville in 2000. Since then, grandparents have had to petition the court for visitation rights. Courts will only grant them these rights if very specific conditions are met. In short, unless there are extreme mitigating circumstances like abuse or neglect, the parents always are the ones who can determine the best interests of the children. Sometimes, however, grandparents can successfully fight for visitation rights

The Supreme Court’s Holding in Troxel 

In Troxel, the Court overturned a Washington statute that granted “any person” the right to petition for visitation at any time. Under the Washington law, grandparents could petition the court for visitation, and a judge would determine whether it was in the best interests of the children. The Court held that the state law violated a parent’s due process rights to determine what was in the best interests of their children. The end result was that the case reaffirmed parental rights at the potential expense of grandparents’ rights. 

The Illinois Law Regarding Grandparents’ Rights

In the wake of Troxel, Illinois enacted a law that set forth the conditions under which grandparents can obtain visitation. The grandparent must prove one of the following:


IL family lawyerA parenting plan is a crucial document that outlines how parents will care for their children after a divorce or separation. In the state of Illinois, parenting plans are required in all cases involving children. Despite their importance, many things need clarification regarding Illinois parenting plans that can lead to confusion and misunderstandings. Recently, we wrote a blog about the signs a parenting plan may need to be updated. Today, we will look at the most common misconceptions regarding parenting plans in Illinois.

Remember, if you have questions about creating a parenting plan, contact an experienced child custody attorney to ensure the process is followed correctly and meets the needs of all parties involved.

Misconception #1 – “A parenting plan is only necessary if parents cannot agree on custody.”


Wheaton, IL child relocation lawyerIn Illinois, it is important for parents to work together to find a solution that is in the best interests of each child. If one parent wants to move but parents are unable to come to an agreement, the court may need to make a decision about a child's relocation. It is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help navigate these difficult issues and advocate for your preferences for your family’s arrangements.

Determining the Best Interests of the Child

One difficult issue with child relocation after divorce is determining what is in the best interests of the child. When a parent wants to relocate with a child, the court will consider several factors to make this determination. These factors may include the child's physical, emotional, and psychological well-being, as well as the child's relationships with their parents, siblings, and other family members, the distance of the move, and the child's educational and social opportunities at the new location. Any history of abuse or neglect by either parent will also be considered in the decision.

Impact on the Child's Relationship with the Other Parent

Another difficult issue is the impact of the move on the child's relationship with the other parent. If one parent moves away with the child, it can be difficult for the non-custodial parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child. This can lead to feelings of resentment and bitterness, which can further complicate the already difficult process of divorce. Judges can consider this potential impact and deny a relocation based on these grounds. 


Wheaton, IL complex child custody lawyerIn Illinois, the term “child custody” was replaced with “allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” several years ago when lawmakers did a complete overhaul of the state’s family law statutes. Regardless of what it is called, the reality is that determining how divorced parents will share in the raising of their child is often one of the most acrimonious parts of a divorce.

It can be difficult enough to come up with a fair parenting time schedule that addresses holidays, birthdays, school breaks, summer vacations, and more. But when there are other issues that impact parenting time, having a skilled family lawyer representing you can make all the difference in the outcome. The following are some of the issues that can make a parenting time schedule even more complex.

When One Parent Has Moved Away

It is not uncommon for a spouse to move a long distance away, even to another state, after a divorce in order to get a fresh start or start a new job. Regardless of why the parent has moved, when there are children involved, a long-distance parenting time schedule is needed. Some of the factors that the court may consider include:


dupage county parenting time lawyerThe divorce is finally over and life is easy again. Right? Maybe not so fast. Although you no longer share a house with your ex, if you have minor children, you are likely still dealing with extensive communication around planning for the upcoming school year.  While the kids are probably excited (and you might even be looking forward to having them occupied during the day), preparing for the first school year after an Illinois divorce can take some serious work. Here are five suggestions for how to get ready for school. 

Budget for School Supplies

Generally speaking, the parent with the majority of parenting time is receiving child support that already factors in the paying parent’s contribution towards school supplies and extracurricular activities. This means the parent with the majority of parenting time is usually responsible for school shopping. You can ask the other parent for help paying for supplies, but he or she is not obligated to send more money. 

Arrange Before and After School Care

Depending on your job and the age of your kids, you may need help getting them out the door and taking care of them after school before you get back home. Having a good relationship with your ex can help make this part easier, especially if there is a crisis. But if flexibility with your former partner is not an option, be sure to have a rock-solid plan for childcare and let your children know exactly what it is. 


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