IL family lawLife after divorce presents a unique set of challenges. Sharing parenting time with an ex-spouse can be very challenging, especially if that spouse refuses to follow the terms of the court-approved parenting agreement.

Illinois always considers the best interests of children when approving or making decisions about parenting agreements, and decades of research supports the idea that children do best when both parents can be involved in their lives. Illinois law, therefore, prohibits parents who share parenting time from moving children a long distance away without obtaining the consent of the other parent. It is important to understand Illinois child relocation laws and what your options are if your ex violates them.

When Can a Divorced Parent Move a Child Out of Illinois?

A parent who wishes to relocate and take their child with them must meet a few requirements. If the parent lives in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will, or McHenry County, they may move within 25 miles of their current residence without obtaining permission; for any other county, the distance is 50 miles. If a parent wishes to move to a different state that shares a border with Illinois, they can do so without permission only if they remain 25 miles or less from their previous home.


Posted on in Child Custody

IL divorce lawyerKnowing when to get divorced is one of the most difficult decisions a woman can make. Many factors influence the final decision, including whether there is any abuse or serious, unresolvable conflict within the marriage. Tolerating certain problems within a marriage may seem manageable to a woman, but once she finds out she is pregnant, she may realize her marriage has deteriorated to the point where she feels as though she can no longer bring a child into it.

This article discusses some of the issues women who are getting divorced while pregnant are likely to encounter. Keep in mind that this is not intended to be legal advice and that an Illinois divorce attorney is the best source for personalized, reliable divorce assistance.

Possible Paternity Disputes

When parents are married, any children born to them are legally presumed to be the biological product of both the father and the mother. However, individuals facing divorce may be involved with other partners. If a child’s paternity is in doubt, courts may require additional steps to verify that the alleged father is, in fact, the biological father. Courts may order genetic testing of the child, in which case they will wait until the child is born. This could delay the divorce proceedings.


IL divorce lawyerDuring the divorce process, parents with children in Illinois must create something known as a “parenting plan.” A parenting plan addresses several things, including when each parent will spend time with their child, where the child will go to school, and who will make important decisions on behalf of the child. But creating a parenting plan that both parents feel is fair and addresses their individual concerns can be challenging. Even after the parenting plan is created, new issues may arise as the children grow older, causing parents to consider modifying the parenting plan to address these issues.

What If We Disagree on Everyday Rules?

A common concern for many parents is also one that potentially affects the everyday life of a child: How much time they are allowed to spend on screens? With screens on TVs, computers, phones, and tablets, it is easy for kids to spend hours each day watching television or playing games. A parent who is more restrictive about screen time may have legitimate concerns about whether kids are getting too much screen time at the other parent’s house.

Likewise, a parent who finds out that children are staying up late on school nights and getting less than the recommended sleep may find themselves taking care of grumpy kids with sliding grades. Or perhaps one parent is stringent about enforcing teeth brushing, and worries they will be stuck with a massive dentist bill when the consequences of the other parent’s decisions about sugar and dental hygiene come home to roost. But what can a parent do if they feel their child’s other parent is falling short on important everyday issues?


DuPage County family law attorneyDuring and after an Illinois divorce, parents will often feel some hostility towards each other. Even when using lower-conflict divorce methods like mediation, spouses may disagree strongly about what they want and what is best for their child. But despite their differences, most parents will agree that working together to share parental responsibilities is in a child’s best interests.

One crucial factor in providing a child with the best experience possible during and after a divorce is making sure that parents are not negative in their treatment toward and about each other. This is not always easy, but it can be done. Here are some tips for establishing healthy communication with your co-parent.

Never Fight In Front of Your Child

Disagreements are bound to come up, but they should take place only in a context where a child cannot hear you. Even when you are feeling hurt and angry, wait to discuss problems until you know you have privacy. A child does not have the wisdom or the tools to understand parental conflict. Arguing parents can be very scary, and children will often blame themselves for disagreements about child-rearing.


Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton IL family law attorneyPhysical discipline, including spanking, used to be a much more common punishment for children in the United States. Now, many parents view it as a thing of the past, but there are still those who believe it is sometimes an appropriate form of discipline. This can be a major source of conflict between divorced and unmarried parents who are in a custody dispute and are dissatisfied with each other’s parenting strategies. During these cases, questions may arise about whether physical discipline is ever appropriate, and how a history of physical punishment can affect the allocation of parental responsibilities.

Is Spanking Against the Law?

There is a law in Illinois that deals with spanking and other forms of corporal punishment, but the language is quite vague. Parents are not legally prohibited from spanking their children, but inflicting “excessive corporal punishment” is considered child abuse, and it can be grounds for action by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

But what constitutes “excessive”? This is subjective, not only in terms of what a parent believes, but in terms of what a judge might believe. The court is required to determine what is in the best interests of the child, but the result may seem subjective.


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