Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County child custody attorneyIf you share parental responsibilities regarding your child with a former partner who has proven time and again to be inconsistent and unreliable, terminating his or her parental rights may make the most sense to you. However, under Illinois law, unless there is another party willing to step in and adopt the child, parental rights usually will not be terminated at the request of the other parent, unless there are extreme circumstances involved.

What Does Termination of Parental Rights Mean?

When a person’s parental rights are terminated, it means that he or she is no longer legally responsible for a child. When this happens, the terminated parent no longer is required to make child support payments, but he or she also no longer has rights to parenting time or any say in how the child is being raised.

The Illinois Adoption Act (750 ILCS 50) states that the only circumstances in which a parent’s rights can be terminated are when another person is looking to adopt the child, or when a court has found that a parent is unfit. In most cases, the court will agree that a child will best benefit from the care, or at least the financial support, of two parents. However, parental rights may be terminated if a parent is shown to be unfit for one or more reasons, including:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton IL family law attorneyA divorce is the end of a marital relationship, but if you have children, your final court date is most likely not the last you will see of your ex-spouse. Though you and your spouse may not live together anymore, you still have to figure out how you will share parenting responsibilities and duties. These tips can help you increase your chances of successful co-parenting after a divorce:

Tip #1: Keep Your Emotions Under Control

If you are recently divorced, it is not unusual for you to still have lingering emotions about the end of your marriage, but it is important that you put those emotions aside for the benefit of your children. Anger, resentment, and jealousy have no place when it comes to parenting your children. Keeping a level head is one key to successful co-parenting.

Tip #2: Improve Communication With Your Ex-Spouse

Though it can seem impossible, making sure you have healthy communication with your spouse is crucial to co-parenting success. Treat your new relationship like a business partnership and meet or correspond consistently with your ex-spouse to discuss your children and make sure that you are both in the loop about what is going on in their lives.

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Wheaton IL child custody lawyerIf you have recently gone through a breakup or divorce, it is natural that you would want to move on to a new relationship. However, when you and your ex have children together and a child custody case pending, the other parent and the court may have a right to know more about the people you are spending time with, especially if that time is spent around your child.

How a Court Makes Custody Decisions

When a judge in Illinois is making a decision about parental responsibilities and parenting time, the judge must consider what is in the best interest of a child. Some of the factors a judge will consider include: 

  • What arrangement provides the child with the most stability?

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DuPage County parenting agreement lawyerThe issue of child custody—officially known as the allocation of parental responsibilities under Illinois law—is often among the most difficult concerns to resolve in a divorce. Parents who have spent years raising their children together may suddenly be arguing over the role that each of them will play in the lives of their children. A dispute over parental responsibilities can quickly become a very stressful and emotional situation for both the parents and the children. In some cases, extended family members are affected as well.

Every case is unique, and parents facing such a dispute should not make any assumptions about the level of responsibility that they will be granted. Instead, they should keep in mind a few important factors that may influence the outcome.

The Importance of Both Fathers and Mothers

In the past, mothers were often the primary caretakers of the children in a marriage, and were therefore commonly awarded primary or full custody of the children in a divorce. Today, things are largely very different. Evolving social norms and the realities of life have led to an increase in families in which both parents work, and more fathers play a prominent role in the day-to-day lives of their children. Such changes are being reflected in court decisions as well, as family court judges tend to lean toward shared parenting arrangements whenever possible.

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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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