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Kane County family law attorneyIn just a few short weeks, your children will be out of school for the summer. They are probably already looking forward to the freedom to sleep in and to spend time recreating with their friends. As a parent, you may also be excited for summer, but it is also common for parents to approach the extended break from school with at least some concerns. Such worries are often amplified for parents who share parental responsibilities with an ex-spouse. If you are subject to an Illinois parenting plan or custody agreement, it is important to prepare well in advance for the months ahead.

Review Your Existing Arrangements

Before planning any trips or summertime events, it is important to know what your parenting plan says about the summer break. Many parenting plans give the bulk of summer parenting time to the parent who sees the children less often during the school year—particularly if that parent lives relatively far away. Other plans keep a schedule similar to that which is in place during the school year. If your plan makes definitive arrangements regarding summer parenting time, you need to follow them or come up with a compromise so that both you and the other parent can enjoy the summer as well.

Geneva family law attorneyIf you are a parent considering divorce, your number one concern is probably about how the divorce will affect your children. Fortunately, there are many good resources for parents planning to divorce. One thing parents should do if they are planning to share custody of their children after the split is create a parenting plan or parenting agreement.

Every Plan is Different

If you are a parent getting divorced in Illinois, the courts will require you to draft and submit a parenting plan. In it, you should define the proposed custody and visitation schedule (technically called allocation of parental rights and parenting time respectively) as well as solidify other parenting decisions. Only the custody and visitation schedule is required, but many experts suggest parents use a court-required parenting agreement as an opportunity to get on the same page regarding the children. Each family is different, so your parenting plan will not look exactly the same as another family’s plan.

Kane County child support attorneyWhen a couple with children divorces, the parent with less parental responsibility and parenting time is often ordered to pay child support by the court. Such a parent must make periodic payments to the other parent in order to help with child-rearing expenses. Since 1988, Illinois has allowed court-ordered child support payments to be paid through automatic income withholding. The amount of money that can be deducted from the payor’s paycheck is based on the Income Shares model. This method of determining child support takes into consideration both parents' incomes as well as the amount of parenting time and parental responsibility each parent has.

When a Parent Does Not Pay His or Her Required Child Support

Sometimes, for a countless number of reasons, parents are unable or unwilling to pay their court-ordered child support. When this occurs, the recipient parent, meaning the parent with more parental responsibility who is due support payments, can petition the court to address the problem. The state of Illinois has the authority to take child support obligations from other periodic payments such as worker’s compensation and unemployment benefits.

Kane County family law attorneyRaising a child with your ex is no easy task. After all, if two people used to be together and they no longer are, it is usually safe to assume that there are many issues on which the two people do not see eye to eye. This can make it especially challenging to co-parent effectively together. One parent may think that the children should be in bed by 8 P.M. sharp every night while the other thinks that the children should be allowed to stay up later. Parents may disagree about extracurricular activities, schoolwork, discipline, eating habits, or any number of things.

The holidays are often a stressful time of year for most adults as it is, so adding the challenge of co-parenting children can make the holidays even more troublesome. However, there are some steps you can take to make the holidays go more smoothly for you, your children, and your children’s other parent.

Be Creative

Kane County family law attorneyWhile many parents would like to be able to simply end their ex’s right to be in their children’s lives, it is not possible in Illinois to do so unilaterally. Terminating a parent’s rights in Illinois is a process that requires the involvement of both parents in most cases, and in some situations, it can get extraordinarily complex. It is imperative, for the sake of your children, to ensure you understand the process before trying to assert your parental rights over those of their current caregivers.

When Can Rights Be Terminated?

In Illinois, there are very limited occasions on which a parent’s rights may be terminated. According to current law, there are only two: either in a case under the Adoption Act or in a juvenile court case. This may seem extreme, but Illinois legislators and courts have been firm in asserting that children benefit more from having both parents in their lives, unless the parent has been convicted of offenses that would signify their posing a danger to the child in question.

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