Tag Archives: Illinois divorce lawyer

What Are the Advantages of Family Counseling in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton divorce attorneyThe decision to end a marriage is a momentous one, and most couples do not make this choice lightly. Many spouses choose to go to couples’ counseling before they decide to divorce. A new trend in therapy involves both parents and children, and it is often referred to as family counseling. This type of therapy can help families before, during, and after a divorce. It provides an outlet for parents and their children to share what is on their minds in a neutral setting.

Benefits of Family Therapy

Divorce is not easy under any circumstances, especially when children are involved. Children often have a difficult time during their parents’ divorce, since they do not have a choice in the decision. However, family counseling can help ease the distress that comes with the end of a marriage, and it can offer everyone ways to move forward in a healthy manner.

For families that are going through a difficult divorce, counseling can help family members communicate better during conflict. Parents will learn techniques for how to calmly talk to each other without getting overly emotional. During and after divorce, it is likely the children will have to split time between the two parents, and they may even have to move out of the marital home altogether. This can be very traumatic for them, and family therapy can provide them with a way to talk about their feelings instead of keeping them bottled inside.

Family counseling sessions are typically led by a marriage and family therapist (MFT), who could be a psychologist, social worker, or therapist who has specialized training. Some of the topics that may come up during family counseling include:

  • Infidelity

  • Substance abuse

  • Mental illness

  • Financial problems

  • Conflict between siblings

  • Children’s behavioral problems

  • Care for a family member with special needs

  • Shared custody of children

It is best to research therapists to find one who is formally trained in family therapy, and families can also narrow their search down to a therapist who has experience in specific issues. For example, if drug or alcohol addiction is a factor that in the breakdown of the parents’ marriage, a therapist who specializes in these matters may be most beneficial. Parents must also consider how much the therapy will cost and whether it will be covered by insurance. In some cases, payment plan options are available. The office location and hours should also be considered, as well as how long each session will last. These are important factors to be aware of when scheduling around children’s sports or extracurricular activities.

A therapist can help family members communicate better, solve problems, and reach compromises. Family therapy can last for as many sessions as the family needs, but 12 sessions is a good average, and families can often benefit from meeting once a week. Family therapy does not necessarily make problems disappear, but it can give parents and children new skills to manage the stress associated with divorce.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Going through a divorce can be difficult, and it takes a significant emotional toll on the whole family. The Andrew Cores Family Law Group has experience in many different types of divorce cases. Our Wheaton divorce attorneys will guide you through the steps of the divorce process, ensuring that you consider everything that could impact your family’s future. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/family-therapy-overview#1

https://www.aamft.org/Consumer_Updates/Managing_Conflict_During_Divorce.aspx

 

When Is Supervised Parenting Time Appropriate in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton-supervised-parenting-time-lawyerDuring and after a divorce, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows both parents to have reasonable parenting time with their child. In some situations, if a parent is worried about his or her child’s physical or mental well-being when spending time with the other parent, he or she can request a hearing to ask for supervised visits. The parent requesting this supervision needs to show evidence to support this request. If you are ordered to have supervised parenting time with your child, an experienced family law attorney can help you determine the best way to proceed.

Factors that May Require Supervision

Many factors are considered when deciding if parenting time will be supervised or not. In general, Illinois courts prefer to promote a healthy parent-child relationship, even during disputes over parental responsibilities (child custody). For a parent to have supervised parenting time, the court must consider the child to be in serious danger if he or she were to be left alone for a period of time with that parent. The court also has the right to modify an existing parenting time order if needed.
If two ex-spouses have an argument, or if one parent does not like the other parent’s new partner, that typically does not qualify as seriously endangering the child mentally, physically, or emotionally. On the other hand, if the other parent (or his or her new love interest) is physically or verbally abusive to the child, that is grounds for seeking supervised parenting time. In some cases involving domestic abuse to the other parent or the child, the court may issue an order of protection to limit or restrict an allegedly abusive parent’s access to the child entirely.
If one parent is diagnosed as mentally ill or is found to be abusing drugs or alcohol, those would be valid reasons for supervised parenting time. After a certain amount of time, supervised parenting time orders can be reviewed to determine if they should be reversed or modified. This could happen in cases where an alcoholic parent becomes sober, or if they are under the care of a physician and are seeking treatment or therapy for a mental disorder.

Who Can Supervise Parenting Time?

Once supervised parenting time is ordered, the court can appoint another family member, a friend, or a third party to supervise the visits between a parent and child. Supervised parenting time centers can provide a neutral meeting place where trained staff or social workers can observe the visits. In most scenarios, there is no fee for low-income families to attend these centers.
In Illinois, courts can place other types of restrictions on parenting time if they determine it is necessary or in the best interest of the child, including specifying certain locations for visits,  denying parenting time when the parent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or restricting overnight parenting time.
Normally, only parents have a legal right to parenting time. In certain situations, however,  grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings can request a visitation order from the court if they so choose.

Contact a DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

Divorce can be difficult in many ways. If certain events lead to you being required to have supervised parenting time with your child, you should speak to a diligent Wheaton family law attorney. We can review your case to determine if the order can be reversed or modified. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.

Sources: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K603.10.htmhttps://www.ourfamilywizard.com/blog/making-most-supervised-visitation

 

House Bill Poised to Change Visitation Rules

child custody, visitation, divorce, family law, Wheaton divorce lawyer, Illinois family lawerA new bill currently making its way through the Illinois legislature could have a big impact on how judges assign visitation rights. The bill, HB 5425, recently made its way out of committee and is now headed to the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives for debate. At present the bill’s chances of passing are still unclear. Its sponsor has agreed to refrain from calling for a vote in light of a family law overhaul bill that has been waiting for a vote since 2012, but that may change if the omnibus bill stalls for much longer.

 The Bill’s Provisions

 If HB 5425 does make it into law, it could have a profound effect on the way judges handle visitation for non-custodial parents. The first portion of the bill gives parents a 90-day window to produce their own, mutually-agreeable parenting plan. If the parents cannot agree, then the bill gives the court the power to make visitation decisions.

The legislators developed the bill with the view that it was important to foster strong relationships between parents and children. To that end, it creates presumption that children are best served by spending equal time with both of their parents. Because it is just a presumption, the parents are both allowed to introduce evidence to try to show that equal time is not in the best interests of the child’s “physical, mental, moral, and emotional health.” If one of the parents can prove that by “clear and convincing evidence,” then the court is allowed to place restrictions on the parenting time. However, the bill appears to place a mandatory floor of no less than 35 percent of parenting time to the non-custodial parent.

 Opposition to the Bill

 The bill has also generated opposition from some parts of the state government. People are concerned about both the presumption that equal time is best for the child and the 35 percent floor for non-custodial parenting time. They feel that a child custody decision is a fact-intensive inquiry that benefits from strong scrutiny on a case-by-case basis, and that a formulaic set of rules is not the best way to make those decisions.

Proponents of the bill, including some therapists, respond to that criticism by pointing out that the adversarial process that makes up the current court system is not the best way of deciding child custody issues, and that the conflict can cause children emotional distress. They believe that if this bill becomes law, it can reduce that problem by streamlining the divorce process and making it more collaborative rather than confrontational.

 With law surrounding divorce and child custody constantly changing, it is important to find an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer to help you receive the most up to date consultation on your family law issues.