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Elgin Illinois Family Law Blog

Study shows divorced Illinois dads don't get fair custody time

The modern family court system has evolved to approach divorce issues in ways that do not favor one parent over the other, or so it may seem on the surface. However, a recent study conducted by Custody X Change revealed that divorced fathers in Illinois often get an unfair settlement in terms of child custody.

The nationwide study looked at divorce cases in which both parents wanted custody and resided close enough to each other to share child custody. The results of the study were astounding and should be of particular interest to divorcing dads in the state. Illinois came in at 47th place in the nation for awarding divorced fathers a fair amount of child custody time with their kids. Specifically, children in Illinois only get to spend around 23 percent of their time on average with their dads.

Should you keep the house after a divorce

One of the biggest adjustments to a divorce is determining what your new living arrangements will be. The question that will inevitably come up is whether you should keep and continue to live in the marital home or sell it. There can be many pros and cons to keeping a home after a marriage, there is usually not a right answer, but certain factors can determine which is right for you.

What goes into the decision to keeping or selling your house after a divorce? Here are some options that can help with the decision.

Look at the pros and cons before choosing lump sum alimony

Child custody, child support and maintenance (commonly known as alimony) are all highly critical elements of many Illinois divorces. It is beneficial for divorcing parties to consider these and other elements very carefully during the process. While your attorney can help you make important decisions about these and other matters, it is crucial that you understand what these decisions will mean in the short and the long term.

Spousal maintenance, which you probably know as alimony, is one of the most misunderstood aspects of ending a marriage. In past decades, it was pretty easy to understand. A couple entered into divorce proceedings under the guidance of their lawyers and the judge usually ordered one spouse to pay the other one a set amount each month.

What should you do if your teen wants a child custody change?

If you got a divorce some time ago when your child was young, you probably still remember the challenges you faced during child custody proceedings. After a lot of negotiating and hard work, you and your co-parent finally reached a custody agreement that met everyone's needs.

This arrangement seemed to work well for a long time. However, now your child is a teen, and they want to change your hard-won agreement.

Divorcing Illinois couples: Split up your electronic connections

When we're married, we seem to share everything. We share checking accounts. We share cars. We share kids. We share computers and iPads.

Which one of those things is not like the other?

Making a peaceful divorce your ultimate goal

Divorce. The very word sends waves of dread throughout Illinois couples considering a permanent break. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the only solution that will end an unhappy situation and return peace of mind to all involved parties.

Some divorces are completely out of control and devolve into an all-out war regardless of the serenity both parties seek. Despite all efforts, these situations might not proceed civilly. However, in our family law practice, we have seen some couples headed for disaster turn their difficult situation around by putting in the effort necessary to acquire a peaceful divorce. If a peaceful divorce is your ultimate goal, we want to offer you a few tips that may help you succeed.

How are custodial parents supposed to use child support?

The topic of using child support funds causes a great amount of conflict in divorcing or divorced Illinois parents. The person who pays child support often has one idea of what the money is for while the custodial parent may have another idea entirely. Who is right and who is wrong in these conflicts? The answer is somewhat complicated.

All children deserve to receive love and care from both of their parents. In most cases, it is relatively easy to lavish love and attention on your child after divorce, but providing financial support can be a challenge in today's economy. Despite the financial hardships, covering the expenses necessary to raise children is a parent's responsibility, and it is also the source of parental conflict after divorce.

The importance of courtroom etiquette in custody cases

If you are in a custody battle with your ex, you must do all that you ethically can to stack the deck in your favor. This means having respectful courtroom etiquette at all times.

For many individuals, this may be their first time in a courtroom in front of a judge. Understandably, they may be nervous and unsure of how to act. The following tips can help alleviate anxiety and pave the way for the best possible outcome of your custody case:

  • Dress appropriately. For men, this means a dark-colored suit or pants with a long-sleeved shirt and tie. Women should also dress conservatively, in darker colors with their arms covered. Parents of both sexes should wear closed-toe shoes.
  • Be neatly groomed. Both males and females with long hair should pin or tie it back. Men should not wear earrings, and women should only wear a single pair of discreet studs. Cover any visible tattoos with either clothing or makeup.
  • Follow courtroom decorum. This means no emotional outbursts, rude or snide remarks, smirks, rolled eyes or glowers. Speak only when addressed by the court and refer to the judge as "Your Honor.."
  • Be prepared and on time. Judges have no patience for litigants who waste the court's time. Leave home with all the documents you need and in plenty of time to allow for delays.
  • Show respect. Of course, you should show respect to the judge, but also to your attorney, your ex and their counsel and all court personnel.
  • Answer only what is asked. Keep your answers short and to the point. Never elaborate unless asked. If your attorney objects to a line a questioning, stop speaking and wait until the judge rules on whether to strike it or allow it to continue.

A parenting agreement can help you resolve child custody disputes

One of the most dreaded elements of a divorce is addressing the custody of minor children. Parents often fear that they'll lose contact with their kids or that the children will prefer the other parent. This can lead to child custody disputes that could turn into all-out war.

A child custody battle is the last thing a divorcing family needs. Instead of dreading what you feel is inevitable, look for ways to address these important issues as early as possible. With this kind of approach, you can prevent a child custody disagreement from becoming a battle that no one wins.

What happens when one parent wants to relocate a child?

The relationship a parent has with their child is precious. Although advanced technology allows for communication, there is no substitute for the close contact parents have when near their child. One of the most argumentative issues in a divorce is where one parent requests to move the child.

Parents may struggle with the question of whether they should and even can relocate out of the Illinois with their child. If you are a single parent and are thinking about relocating with your child, it is important to know about the relocation laws in Illinois. Depending upon the current custody arrangement and the distance you plan to relocate, there could be some complications to be able to legally and lawfully move with the child.

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