Kane County child custody attorneyGetting a divorce is likely to be a stressful time in your life. As you go about the process of separating from your spouse, you will need to divide a variety of things, including both the property you own and the time you spend with your children. While your marital property will be divided based on what is fair and equitable, decisions about children are based on what is in their best interests, and the final decisions are set down in a document called a parenting plan.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

In Illinois, the laws regarding child custody contain some terms that may be unfamiliar to parents. In 2016, the terms “custody” and “visitation” were removed from Illinois family laws and replaced by “parental responsibility” and “parenting time.” A parenting plan created during divorce will address these issues, providing a framework for how matters related to children will be handled going forward. A parenting plan should include a variety of elements, including how parents will divide or share decision-making responsibilities for children, a specific schedule of when children will spend time with each parent, and rules for how parents will communicate with each other. If parents cannot agree with each other about the terms of their parenting plan, then the judge will make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child.

You may be worried about the prospect of working together with your ex-spouse to create a parenting plan that you can both agree on. Determining how to handle the many issues that must be addressed can be overwhelming, especially since life can be unpredictable, and you do not know what the next several years will hold. However, by following these tips, you can create a successful parenting plan that meets your family’s needs:

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County family law attorneysThe Millennial generation certainly has its own ideas about marriage, and, in many ways, they are not like those of their parents. An interesting shift is taking place in the way younger people perceive marriage and its importance. Throughout the last 60 years, several trends have arisen. People, in general, are waiting longer to get married, divorce is more common, and couples are having fewer children. During the 1950s, 75 percent of women in their early 20s were married whereas only 50 percent are now.

Repeating History

It is true that young people are waiting longer to get married and having fewer children, however, the trend we are experiencing today with is not unlike the time before the post-war baby boom. The average age at which couples get married today is only slightly higher than the average age of those in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

What has changed since the 50s? Over the last several decades, there has been a dramatic shift in many aspects of American society. Women are more invested in their careers, there is less pressure to have a traditional family, and debt from student loans are all factors that contribute to the postponement of marriage. Furthermore, it is more socially acceptable to have children before getting married than it was during the much more conservative 1950s.

Kane County family law attorneysEvery day, hopeful men and women take a pregnancy test only to find out that they are still childless. Sometimes, infertility can be caused by an injury or genetics, and other times, a couple simply has trouble conceiving. Individuals may wish to have a child but, for a myriad of reasons, are not able to carry the child themselves. In these cases, many people turn to surrogacy to create the family of their dreams.

What Is Required of the Surrogate Mother and Intended Parents?

The state of Illinois passed The Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act (IGSA) in 2005 in order to clarify the rights of both the future parents and the surrogate mother. It is important to note that this act only applies to instances where the surrogate mother is not also donating her reproductive egg cells in order to conceive the child. In order to benefit from the legal protections contained in the IGSA, intended mothers should either provide the egg cells themselves, of if this is not possible, find an egg donor separate from the surrogate mother.

Geneva family law attorneyThe relationship between a parent and his or her child is one of the most sacred relationships of all. Sometimes, however, complicated situations arise and it is not appropriate for a parent to continue parenting their child. Sometimes a parent loses his or her rights to their child because of abuse or neglect, while other times, a parent may voluntarily give up his or her parental rights. Voluntary abdication of parental rights is not sometime to be taken lightly, and it is certainly not appropriate in all situations, but a recent headline-grabbing case has figuratively turned many heads. 

Unexpected Parentage

Two women in Hawaii are likely to be the first same-sex couple to argue their custody case before the Hawaii State Supreme Court because one of the women wishes to give up her rights to their child. The two women were married and allegedly discussed having children before one of the women was deployed due to her service in the military. While she was away, her then-wife conceived a child using a sperm donor. The marriage ended in divorce, and the child was born while the divorce was pending.

Kane County family law attorneysIn the late 19th century, U.S. states began to see a series of causes of action referred to as “heart balm torts.” These torts, such as seduction and alienation of affection, hinged around the idea that one spouse could hold the other spouse’s lover liable for the breakup of their marriage. Nowadays, such causes of action have been abolished in most states, as they have been in Illinois since the beginning of 2016.

Definitions and History

Heart balm torts originated in the 19th century in the United States. While they began to fall out of favor as states passed their respective Married Women’s Property Acts, heart balm torts came about due to the general belief that a wife was her husband’s property. Thus—as was the belief—he alone enjoyed the exclusive right to her company and to sexual congress within the confines of marriage. Illinois passed its version of a heart balm act into law in 1901, somewhat later than many other states.

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