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parenting time, child support, kane county family law attorneyIn a large number of Illinois divorce cases involving parents, one is designated the primary residential parent for the purposes of school enrollment and child support. Most such situations result in the other parent being ordered to make child support payments. An arrangement like this may be fairly equitable for parents with drastically uneven amounts of parenting time, including cases in which a non-primary residential parent who only gets parenting time once or twice per month.  However, many other co-parenting arrangements are much more even, and in some cases, may be 50/50. For a non-primary residential parent in such a situation, he or she may try to negotiate lower child support payments.

Under the Law

According to the letter of the state law regarding child support, a court’s decision regarding support does not include explicit consideration for parenting time. Instead, the supporting parent’s income and the number of children are the primary considerations, while the needs of the child, the needs of each parent, and their available resources may be subjectively taken into account as well. When strictly applied, it may seem nearly impossible for a parent to show that parenting time should impact his or her child support payments.

visitation, restricted, Illinois family law attorneyBeing a parent is not easy. It can be infinitely more difficult to be a parent when you are divorced, separated, or were never married to the child’s other parent and he or she has been granted primary residential custody. Under ideal circumstances, you should be entitled to reasonable rights of visitation with the child, but the real world is rarely ideal. For example, you may be dealing with personal problems of your own, and as a result, the court may have restricted your rights of visitation. While such a situation may be incredibly challenging, it does not need to last forever, and there are some things you can do to work toward the reinstatement of your full visitation rights.

Be Totally Compliant

Even as you work on your own issues, it is vital that you comply with your visitation restrictions, no matter how emotionally difficult it may be. If you are permitted just an hour per week with your child, make the most of it. Make every effort to demonstrate your commitment to being a better person and a better parent. Any attempts to circumvent the court’s decision will not be seen favorably, and could result in full termination of your parental rights.

non-minor support, educational expenses, Kane County family law attorneyIf you currently pay child support, you are probably operating under the assumption that your obligation will be complete when your child turns 18 and graduates from high school. In most cases, you would be correct. The child support laws in Illinois generally require a parent—usually the one without primary residential custody—to pay support until the child is no longer a minor and has earned a high school diploma. You may be surprised to learn, however, that your obligation may continue, depending on your family’s specific circumstances, as your child pursues an undergraduate degree. Illinois, for some time, has recognized the right of a child to seek support from either or both parents for help with educational expenses, and, earlier this year, some cleanup language was added to the law that will take effect in January.

Not Usually Part of the Divorce

Although divorcing parents may be able to reach an agreement on paying for college during the course of the marital dissolution, many do not even think of it. With so many issues of more currently-pressing importance, it is easy to understand why that may be the case. The law in Illinois, however, leaves the door open for any party—either spouse or the child—to revisit the subject later, even after the child has already turned 18 and started college.

holidays, custody, Geneva Family Law AttorneyWith Halloween now a fading memory, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years are just around the corner. Virtually everyone looks forward to spending at least part of holidays with family members and loved ones. For divorced, separated, or never-married parents, however, it can be challenging to come up with a plan that ensures the children get the holiday experience they deserve while recognizing the rights and reasonable desires of each parent.

Check Your Custody Order

Depending on the type of legal guidance you had while developing your existing custody or visitation agreement, you may already have a plan in place for the holiday season. Some orders specifically list each holiday that is important to either or both parents and designates a method for sharing parenting time, based on each particular family’s situation. For example, in your family it may be best to each spend half the day with your child on holidays you have determined to be major holidays, such as Christmas, while holidays that are less important to your family may be alternated.

visitation, parent, child's wishes, Illinois family lawyerWhen a couple splits up, often the children have the most difficulty adjusting to the new situation. It is fairly common for a child to not want to have visiting time with the other parent. But, part of the job of parents is to help foster positive relationships between the other parent and the child. It can be difficult, however, to know what to do when the child refuses to spend time with his or her other parent.

Your Duties

Visitation is not really optional. Under the terms of the court order in your case, the other parent is to have a certain amount of parenting time and compliant with a certain schedule. If your child does not want to go, it does not relieve you of your responsibility to follow a court order.

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