Blog posts tagged in Geneva family law attorney
In past generations, it was not terribly uncommon for a person to grow up in a given area and to spend the vast majority of his or her life in that same area. This was especially true in financially healthy regions where jobs and educational opportunities were readily available. Today, however, is a different story, as a people are much more likely to move greater distances than ever before. Some move for employment reasons, others for education, and still others just for a change in scenery. While moving is rarely easy, most adults have the freedom to relocate whenever they choose, but for those who are subject to an Illinois parenting plan, there are limits on how far a move can be.
Who Is Affected?
The state of Illinois is invested in looking out for the best interests of children—especially those whose parents have divorced or were never married. Thus, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) provides specific guidance for parents who wish to move to a new home. The IMDMA states that a parent who has the majority of the parenting time with their child or shares parenting time equally with the other parent must adhere to certain rules when considering a move.
When a couple finally decides their marriage is beyond saving, one major concern most people have is how and when they should tell their loved ones. Individuals headed for divorce may feel ashamed that their marriage has failed or worried about how others will react to the news. While there is no perfect way to tell others that your marriage is ending, experts do have some advice to make the conversation go as smoothly as possible.
You Have the Power to Decide How Much Information to Divulge
Divorces can be full of deeply personal issues. If you are considering divorce or have already decided to end your marriage through divorce, you may feel pressured to explain yourself or your decision to others. However, the simple fact is that your divorce is no one’s business except your own. You are not required to tell friends or relatives any more than you feel comfortable telling. If nosey loved ones ask questions you are not ready to answer, politely tell them that you would prefer to keep certain information private.
Following a divorce, very few parents are able to reach an agreement in which their children spend equal time with both parents. In Illinois, however, parenting time is handled separately from significant decision-making responsibilities, which means that even if parenting time is not split equally, both parents could have equal authority regarding major decisions for the child.
Sometimes, the parent that has been given the majority of the parenting may wish to move from his or her current home. Because the child spends more than half of the time with that parent, it is easy for the parent to assume that they can simply move whenever they please. The law in Illinois does allow parents who share parenting time to move to a new home, but it must be done within certain geographical areas unless the non-moving parent grants his or her consent to the move.
How Far Can I Go?
In 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.
If you are divorced and receiving maintenance payments from your ex-spouse, you may have come to rely on that money. Maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support, is intended to help a financially disadvantaged spouse in the years that follow a divorce, so such reliance is rather understandable. There are, however, a few situations in which your actions could cause maintenance payments to end. It is important to understand the law in Illinois so that you can make the best decisions for your future.
Ending Support Obligations
Permanent maintenance—in other words, support for the rest of a spouse’s life—is generally reserved for divorces between spouses who have been married for 20 years or more. For shorter marriages, the court will usually set a specific amount of time for maintenance payments to last. Both situations presume that the court has identified the need for maintenance. When a support order includes an intended end date, payments must continue until that date unless the recipient remarries or either spouse passes away. (It is possible for a divorce settlement to include security provisions in the event of the paying spouse’s death, but that is a topic for another day.) The third situation that could terminate a spouse’s obligation to pay maintenance is if the recipient spouse moves in with a new romantic partner.