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Kane County family law attorneysIt can be very difficult to work out the details of a reasonable parenting plan during the process of a divorce. Often, there is animosity between the parents, and children tend to place the blame for their parents’ divorce on themselves. In this regard, the importance of providing a healthy co-parenting experience for children cannot be understated. Research has shown that children of divorced parents are often at risk to become disengaged from their parents, school routines and extracurricular activities. Establishing a workable co-parenting relationship and plan can help alleviate some of these risk factors.

Respectful Communication is Critical

The first thing to remember when parents work on developing a co-parenting plan with one another is that the child’s needs should take top priority. It is also important to keep the child away from conflict as much as possible. Both parents should be respectful of each other, especially when their child is present. Children should not be caught in the middle of the situation, relaying messages from one parent to the other. Parents need to maintain open channels of communication for themselves.

Kane County child support lawyersSpecific laws concerning child support can vary by state; however, parents everywhere have a legal obligation to their children to provide child support. When an order for child support is entered by an Illinois court, it is the responsibility of the paying parent to comply with the order at the risk of enforcement activity and possible sanctions by the court.

Generally, child support payments are only required until the child has reached the age of 18 and he or she is no longer attending high school. Otherwise the order will remain in effect until the child turns 19 or graduates. In the case of special needs children, however, the obligation for support may need to extend well into adulthood.

Protecting Minors and Those With Special Needs

Geneva family law attorneyFollowing a divorce or a breakup between unmarried parents, arrangements must be made regarding care of the children. It is important to get such considerations in written form and approved by the court to be sure that neither parent’s rights are compromised along the way. If you are a parent in such a situation and you cannot reach an agreement with your former partner, the court has the authority to impose whatever arrangements it deems appropriate for your case.

The court decision, of course, must be based on provisions in the law—specifically the terms of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Child support obligations notwithstanding, there are two primary areas of concern that are included within the realm of the allocation of parental responsibilities, previously known as child custody.

Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities

Kane County family law attorneyIf you are a parent, any circumstance that prevents you from spending time with your child can be heartbreaking. The situation may feel even worse when you prevented from seeing your child based on allegations made by your child’s other parent. How you respond to those allegations, however, can go a long way in securing your rights to reasonable parenting time, and an experienced family lawyer can help.

Be Objective

When a child’s parents are no longer—or never were—married, Illinois law permits a court to restrict or limit a party’s parenting time in certain situations. Before doing so, the court must identify that, without a limitation or restriction, the child would be in serious physical, mental, emotional, or moral danger. Such concerns are typically brought to the court’s attention by one parent looking to restrict the other parent’s time with the child.

Geneva family law attorneyWhen you and your child’s other parent are forced to come up with arrangements regarding for parenting time—previously known as visitation under Illinois law—it can be regrettably easy to get caught up in your own wants and needs. Some, of course, are entirely reasonable, such as building parenting time schedules around your career obligations, but many parents often forget to take their child’s wishes into account.

What the Law Says

While parents are free to develop a parenting plan—including arrangements for parenting time—on their own, such a plan must be reasonable and serve the best interests of the child. If the parents cannot agree on a plan, arrangements may be made by the court. In doing so, the court is required by law to take a number of factors into account, including the wishes of the child in question. The child’s wishes are not necessarily binding but should factor into the court’s ultimate decision.

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