Category Archives: Divorce

What Are Parenting Time Rights in an Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County parenting time attorneyGoing through a divorce can be difficult on an adult as well as a child. The end of a marriage also means the end of the family unit as they knew it. Determining child visitation, now referred to as “parenting time” in Illinois, can be a complicated matter. The child’s best interest is what the court considers when parenting time rights are being established in any divorce settlement. Parenting time can be divided in many different ways, but it is imperative that the parents keep personal preferences out of the equation and devise a plan that works best for the child.

Determining the Child’s Best Interests

It is recognized by the state that in most cases, it is best for children to have a healthy relationship with both their mother and father, and those familial bonds are essential in their development. While parents may be able to reach an agreement on how to share parenting time, they may need to settle these issues in court if they cannot do so on their own. A judge will consider various types of information when determining the best outcome for the child, and the following elements are taken under advisement:

  • Parents’ wishes

  • Child’s wishes

  • Child’s age

  • Time and dedication the parent can provide

  • Life at home, school, and community

  • Mental and physical health of all involved parties

  • History of violence

  • Parents’ willingness to co-exist

  • Whether a parent is an active military member

  • Whether a parent is a convicted criminal

Keeping all of these factors in mind is crucial to ensure that the child receives the best possible care and upbringing. In some cases, certain factors might have more weight than others when deciding parenting time. It is up to the parents and their attorneys to ensure everything is communicated properly to the court.

Possible Outcomes

The allocation of parental responsibility (formerly known as child custody) refers to the authority to make decisions about children’s upbringing, and responsibility may be shared between parents or allocated to one parent. However, regardless of how these responsibilities are allocated, each parent is entitled to reasonable parenting time with their children, as long as the child will not be endangered during their periods of parenting time. A parenting time schedule will be included in the parenting plan that is part of a couple’s divorce decree. While this schedule is meant to remain in place for the foreseeable future, modification of parenting time is possible in certain scenarios, such as emergency orders of protection, a change in parental income, the relocation of a spouse, or other situations.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Parenting Time Attorney

Divorce is not easy for anyone, especially if it involves a child who now has to split time between two parents. This can cause anxiety for all involved parties. As a parent, ensuring the best for your child should be of the utmost importance. The devoted attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will take the time to ensure that you understand your rights to parenting time, and we will work with you to help secure the best possible outcome for you and your child. Our experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys will work with you every step of the way during the proceedings. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-871-1002.

Sources:

https://www.liveabout.com/illinois-child-custody-guidelines-2997106

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/101/HB/10100HB0185.htm

Should I File for Bankruptcy During My Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County divorce lawyer for bankruptcyMoney issues can often cause a marriage to fail if two spouses constantly argue over finances. A divorce in itself can be expensive, and it can add to what was already a significant financial burden. Filing for bankruptcy is one way that allows people struggling with debt to wipe out certain obligations and obtain a fresh start. Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their obligations.

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two main types of bankruptcy people typically file. Each offers different benefits, but it is important to know that while bankruptcy can stop most collection actions against someone, it does not eliminate all types of debt. Choosing the option that is best for your situation depends on several factors, including income, property, and future goals after a divorce.

Filing Bankruptcy Before a Divorce

In many cases, people who are going through a divorce are not sure when the best time is to file for bankruptcy: before or after the divorce. Every divorce is unique, so it is best to seek professional legal help. However, there are several benefits to filing for bankruptcy before filing for divorce, such as the following:

  • Resolving any financial debts ahead of time allows a couple to focus on divorce issues such as division of assets and child custody.

  • Bankruptcy can resolve disputes involving how marital debt will be divided before filing for divorce.

  • If bankruptcy is filed post-divorce, the two parties may need to file separately, resulting in double the costs, time, and effort.

Chapter 7 Versus Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy offer helpful solutions to debt issues. Chapter 7 is mainly for the low-income population, and it may require some assets to be liquidated in order to pay a portion of the debts owed. If a person has enough income to pay at least a portion of their debts, then they may opt for Chapter 13. One benefit of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it will stop a foreclosure and require the lender to allow the borrower to make up any outstanding payments over a period of time. In Chapter 13, a person must prove that they have enough income for a repayment plan.

When considering bankruptcy during a divorce, it is important to know that child support and spousal maintenance obligations are exempt from bankruptcy. This means a person will continue to owe these debts in full. When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, these obligations may be incorporated into the debtor’s repayment plan.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you are considering bankruptcy during or after your divorce, it is important to seek legal counsel to understand the steps you should take to secure a debt-free future. The Andrew Cores Family Law Group understands the complexity of financial issues when ending a marriage. Our knowledgeable Wheaton, IL bankruptcy and divorce lawyers can guide you through the legal process to get you back on your feet. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/debt-management/bankruptcy.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt.+V&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6100000&SeqEnd=8400000

 

How Can Fathers’ Rights Be Protected in Illinois?

Dupage County family law attorney fathers’ rightsIn Illinois and in many other states, it can seem like the odds are stacked against fathers in family law cases. Judges in Illinois have been instructed to not hold one parent in higher regard than another – therefore, in theory, this means that a father has the same parental rights as a mother. In practice, however, things often turn out differently.

While mothers often take the lead in caring for children, fathers also play a critical role in their development. Studies now show that children who have fathers or father figures involved in their lives tend to do better in school and chart a better path to success in life. Fathers also often act as caregivers, nurturers, and disciplinarians, providing invaluable love and support throughout the childhood years and beyond.

Evolution of Parental Rights

As a result of these studies, Illinois family law has evolved over time to give men more opportunities to enforce fathers’ rights while scaling back the traditional presumption that a mother would be the better caregiver. This fact notwithstanding, an Illinois father must still do more to fight for his parental rights. For example, when a father signs a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) – a form recognizing him as the child’s legal father – that form specifically states by signing the form, the father is given no rights to parental responsibility or parenting time. This means the father must pursue separate legal action to address these issues.

Father’s Rights to Parenting Time and Parental Responsibility

When a father seeks decision-making responsibility (formerly known as child custody) and parenting time (formerly known as visitation), the judge who hears the case will consider what is in the best interests of the child when making their decisions. There are many factors the judge looks at in reaching the best decision about the case, including the wishes of the parents and the child and the parents’ history of caring for the child and making decisions about how to raise the child.

Father’s Right to Child Support

Typically, the parent who has the majority of the parenting time with a child will receive child support payments from the other parent. If the father is the custodial parent, then it is not uncommon for the father to ask for the judge to order the mother to pay child support. This financial support is used to cover the costs involved in raising the child, including providing clothing, food, and shelter, while also helping to address medical expenses and education-related costs.

Contact a DuPage County Fathers’ Rights Lawyer

While Illinois law makes it clear that mothers and fathers have the same parental rights and obligations, the law is not always applied in this manner. There are many nuances to the law that can disadvantage a father, so it is crucial to be represented by an experienced attorney when addressing issues related to fathers’ rights. A knowledgeable Wheaton, IL family law attorney can explain your rights as a father and help you understand the legal process, working to ensure that your relationship with your child is protected throughout your case and beyond. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-871-1002 today.