Tag Archives: Wheaton family law attorney

Are “Virtual Divorces” Here to Stay in Illinois?

DuPage County virtual divorce attorneyCourtrooms across the nation, including in parts of Illinois, have begun improvising over the last few months as a result of Stay-at-Home orders. For instance, Bankruptcy Courts in the Northern District of Illinois are conducting most hearings through Zoom video conferences or telephone calls. Divorce is no different—more and more courtrooms are conducting “virtual divorce proceedings.” But what are the benefits and drawbacks of this new trend, and will it have staying power in divorce and family law? Maybe, maybe not; but it is worth considering as an option depending on a couple’s situation.

Pros of Virtual Divorces

Many people undergoing divorces have found that they actually appreciate virtual divorces for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Convenience—The convenience of virtual divorces means they can do it anywhere they are comfortable, such as in their home. This allows them to focus on the divorce itself instead of being worried about all the tangential aspects of the experience. For example, they do not have to stress themselves out about the hustle-and-bustle of driving or parking downtown, or making their way through unfamiliar territory, be it different cities or intimidating courtrooms.

  • Less Anxiety/Improved Comfort Levels—Being able to divorce virtually means couples at odds do not need to face each other in person. This usually makes for a more comfortable and smooth divorce proceeding, not to mention it can eliminate courtroom drama and theatrics.

  • Urgent Divorce-Related Issues Stop Getting Delayed—At the beginning of the Illinois Stay-at-Home Order, people mostly kept rescheduling their divorce proceedings. However, now they can address important issues through a video conference or teleconference, provided it is what the judge ordains.

Cons of Virtual Divorces

Of course, virtual divorces may not be for everyone. There are various drawbacks to going through virtual divorces that might have very serious consequences depending on the case, including:

  • Major Privacy Concerns—If you are sitting beside your lawyer in a courtroom, it is easy to communicate with him or her without anyone else in the courtroom, including the opposing side, hearing what you are saying. You can whisper in each other’s ear, share notes, or even suggest conclusions based on body language. With video and teleconferencing, any attempts at a private consultation with your lawyer are impossible without a recess.

  • Other Communication Issues—Communication is key to any litigation, especially between a lawyer and the client. A spouse could start venting or rambling during the virtual divorce that could hurt his or her case. The dynamics of virtual divorces may inhibit traditional open communication, leaving both of you susceptible to unfavorable courtroom decisions.

  • Postponement or Cancellation of Divorce—Perhaps the judge will only hear your case by video or phone. Yet, both you and your spouse believe that your case needs to be heard in a courtroom in order to achieve the fairest results. Therefore, you might put off or even cancel the divorce entirely.

Will Virtual Divorces Last Beyond the “New Normal”?

Based on the aforementioned pros and cons, the best projection is that the future of divorce and family law cases will be a hybrid of virtual and in-person meetings, depending on both the circumstances as well as courtroom preference. For example, simple cases might be held virtually since certain courtrooms have grown accustomed to virtual technology, becoming more efficient by employing its use. Meanwhile, the more complicated cases may be handled in person to make sure that no mistakes are made and the fairest, most equitable determinations are declared.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

The Illinois stay-at-home order might have changed the process for divorces. Many people are choosing to complete the proceedings virtually. Regardless, it is important to still count on the assistance of a Wheaton, IL virtual divorce attorney to help get you through this challenging time. Contact Andrew Cores Family Law Group at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. We are committed to obtaining a fair divorce settlement for you no matter how the courtroom changes in the future.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

https://abc7chicago.com/online-divorce-chicago-coronavirus-illinois-lawyer/6196449/

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/your-money/divorce-coronavirus-courts.html?auth=login-google

Can Children Know What Is in Their Best Interests in a Divorce Case?

Throughout the divorce process, if you have children, you and your co-parent will need to devise a parenting plan that clearly defines the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time schedules, and other child-related issues. In the state of Illinois, the standard used to determine many of these concerns is referred to as “the best interests of the child.” When decisions are made regarding custody of children of divorcing or separating parents, their best interests have the greatest bearing on the end result. While Illinois has a strict set of guidelines elaborating on those “best interests,” these issues may be open to interpretation, especially since the circumstances surrounding each child custody case are unique. In some cases, determining how much of a say children should have regarding what is in their best interests can be difficult.

3 Ways to Accept Your Children’s Opinion of Their “Best Interests”

Although “the best interests of the child” are critical, parents may not take children’s desires into account when addressing these matters. Here are some ways to make sure you, your co-parent, your attorney, and the court maintain a clear understanding of your children’s best interests and how their wishes may affect your case:

  1. Reject the idea that young children have no understanding of what is good for them. Many social scientists and other experts believe that the so-called “age of reason” for children is seven years old. By that age, they are able to make decisions and judgments based on their own ideas, observations, opinions, and insights. With this in mind, if your children are around that age or older, but they tend to shy away from the spotlight, consider enlisting the assistance of social workers or other similar professionals who can observe the child and interview them to understand exactly how they feel about everything, including the impending divorce itself.

  2. Be open to the possibility of juvenile rights in child custody being employed. Children will not be considered legal adults until they reach the age of 18, and at this point, they will be able to make major decisions for themselves, and you will no longer be responsible for them by law. However, even when children are younger, they can still provide input and insight into how matters related to child custody should be decided. Of course, courts will not rely solely on this information. When you are negotiating agreements regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities, the children’s input is useful and often quite vital, and in some cases, it may be necessary to appoint a guardian ad litem or child custody evaluator to gain an understanding of children’s wishes and determine the role they should play in the decisions being made.

  3. Know that children are very honest and perceptive. Many children, especially those at younger ages, do not usually intentionally lie unless taught or instructed to do so. They will most likely make their feelings known about your divorce. In many cases, you will discover much more about your children’s best interests in their own truthful proclamations than you might ever be able to learn through other methods.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

As you work to determine what is in your children’s best interests during your divorce, you should give careful thought and consideration to your children’s own perspective. For legal help creating a parenting plan and addressing other family law issues, reach out to a Wheaton, IL child custody lawyer at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. The skilled professionals at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will work with you to reach a positive outcome to your case and ensure that your children’s ongoing needs will be met.

Sources:

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

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/teachers/publications/Kids%20and%20the%20Law.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/opinion/sunday/child-custody-in-whose-best-interests.html

 

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