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Elgin Illinois Family Law Blog

Education plans must be considered carefully in child custody

Deciding on the education plans for your children can be difficult, but it is an important aspect of child custody when you and your ex aren't in a relationship any longer. In some cases, this needs to be addressed right away because a decision about the school district is going to have to be made. This is often the case when both parents live in different districts and the time the child spends with both parents is equal.

We know that you probably have your ideas about what needs to happen for your children's schooling. Your ex might have some ideas, too. When these are the same, things are easy. You have to tread carefully when the ideas are different. We can help you figure out what options you have so that you can try to find one that meets your children's needs.

Child custody agreements can come about in various ways

Child custody is often difficult because parents might have different ideas about what is best for the children. It can be hard to find a common ground that you can both agree upon in these cases. When this happens, you must ensure that you are doing what is best for the children. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in your own feelings that you forget they are the focus.

It is usually best if the parents can come to agreements together. Not only do you know exactly what is going on, you probably know how different options will affect your children. In order for this to work, both adults will have to make the decision that they are willing to compromise. Trying to remain hard-lined on your position will make it impossible to negotiate. Of course, you should stand firm if the issue is one regarding the safety or health of the children.

Child support: Know your personal responsibilities

Just because you aren't in a relationship with your child's other parent doesn't mean that you don't have to support your offspring. The state's child support laws are set up to ensure that noncustodial parents are covering some of the expenses of raising the child. Because your children deserve your support, you shouldn't try to shirk these payments. Plus, you can face serious penalties if you don't make them as the court orders. We can help you learn about your responsibilities in these matters.

Parents who work for an employer have it easy in a way. Their child support payments are usually taken directly out of their paycheck and sent to the state. The money is then disbursed to the custodial parent to use as they see fit for the child. In this case, you never see the money, so you don't have to worry about using it for something else. You do need to ensure that it is coming out of your check as ordered by the court.

Start 2019 off by re-evaluating custody plans

The start of a new year is a good time to ensure that you are doing everything you can in your parenting arrangement to help your children thrive. There are many things that you might be able to tweak that can make the situation better for your kids. It is imperative that you make efforts to make improvements that you can carry into 2019.

One of the best things that you can do in this situation is to renew your commitment to be a good co-parent. Even if you and your ex don't really get along, you can still use a professional approach to your parenting agreement. This enables you to communicate about the children in a respectful manner. Seeing you do this might encourage your ex to follow suit.

What is the difference between divorce and legal separation?

The first thing you need to understand is that a legal separation does not end your marriage. When a court grants a legal separation, it is usually because a couple is not yet ready to divorce or it may be because some administrative requirement has not been met. For example, if one or both spouses has not established residency in Illinois, a legal separation can be an effective temporary solution.

In a legal separation, a couple can go ahead and address many of the same issues that a divorce would resolve. With the help of a family law court and a divorce attorney, couples can have a child support order put into place so that the children have the funds they need to thrive. A legal separation also allows you and your spouse to create a parenting plan, custody arrangements and balanced visitation. It is even possible to address spousal support (alimony) without getting a traditional divorce.

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.

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