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laid off, child support, Illinois Child Support AttorneyIn today’s unpredictable economic landscape, your employment situation may extremely tenuous. What is worse, many of the factors that could potentially impact your job are probably well beyond your control. You may be the hardest-working, most productive member of the staff, but market conditions or decisions by your employer could still leave you suddenly looking for work. If you are responsible for paying child support, losing your job can make meeting your obligations very difficult, so it is important to understand what to do should such an eventuality occur.

Be Proactive

While many layoffs are fairly sudden, your employer may have been able to provide some advance notice. As soon as you know, begin your search for new employment. The process, of course, takes time and, while you may not have the availability to interview immediately, exploring your options quickly can help you find something much sooner.

child's opinion, child custody, Geneva family lawyerDisputes over child custody are fairly common, although some may be more contentious than others. In an ideal situation, you likely probably believe that you are completely committed to serving your child’s best interest. What often complicates matters is the fact that the other parent feels that he or she is also completely committed to serving your child’s best interest. The two of you just have different views on exactly what constitutes your child’s best interests and how to achieve it. In many cases, there may even be a third perspective, as your child may have an idea of the outcome that he or she would like to see. Will the court even consider your child’s opinion?

The answer to that question is dependent on a number of considerations. Strictly speaking, Illinois law says that, in a custody proceeding, among the factors that a court must consider in making a determination are “the wishes of the child as to his [or her] custodian.” Your child’s opinion, however, is just one of many concerns the court must balance in deciding on a custody order. Other factors include the wishes of each parent, the child’s adjustment to home, school and community environments, and the possible threat of violence or abuse. In addition to the considerations specifically listed in the statute, the court is required to consider “all relevant factors.” This means the court must carefully consider the child’s age, intelligence, and maturity level when deciding how much weight to give his or her opinion. Younger, less mature children are unlikely to grasp the gravity of the situation and may not fully comprehend the circumstances.

For example, a young child may express a desire to “live with daddy” because during the parents’ separation, her father treated each visit as a special occasion. She is not likely to understand that the man lives in a one bedroom apartment and works primarily second shift. An older child, on the other hand, is more likely to identify that he does not communicate well with his mother, and would therefore prefer to live with his father. While the court may not honor the child’s explicit wishes, the older child’s opinion would generally be taken more seriously.

visitation, Illinois Law, Geneva family law attorney

As a parent, there is nothing more important than the health and well-being of your child. Regardless of your own marital or personal situation, you want what is best for him or her. For parents who share custody or who are subject to a visitation arrangement, providing a safe, happy environment in both homes can sometimes present challenges, particularly if one parent is less than fully cooperative. However, it is important to remember that Illinois law has processes in place to handle such situations, and trying to take certain actions on your own can lead to unintended consequences.

Differences in Parenting Styles

child custody, sole custody, Illinois family law attorneyWhether in divorce or following a break-up between unmarried parents, determining arrangements for custody of your child can be a very difficult process. In fact, if you are like many parents, you may be struggling with even knowing where to start. You undoubtedly want is best for your child, and for some, the best option may be a sole custody situation.

What is Sole Custody?

Legal custody of a child in Illinois refers to the responsibility of the child’s parents in making the necessary decisions related to his or her upbringing. Sole custody may be granted to one parent who then assumes full accountability for decision-making regarding the child. Conferring with the other parent is not assumed, nor is it necessary under the law in sole custody situations. There may, of course, be sole custody arrangements in which the parents choose to cooperate in making decisions, but the ultimate responsibility for them falls upon the parent who has been awarded custody.

temporary custody, child custody, Illinois family law attorneyFor many parents, determining arrangements for their children in divorce can be very difficult. It can be especially challenging during the actual divorce proceedings as they must continue to provide for their children while negotiation or litigation continues. Some couples are able to parent cooperatively throughout the process, despite the lack of a formal agreement. Others, however, may be best served by a temporary custody order which clearly delineates each parent’s responsibilities until a final order can be determined.

Considerations in a Temporary Order

Any parent involved a custody proceeding, including one related to an order modification, can request that a temporary order be issued. Illinois law provides that the court may enter a temporary award of custody based on the same considerations of permanent custody. These include, among others:

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