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Posted on in Family Law

Geneva family law attorneyOn January 1, 2017, a new law will go into effect in Illinois with a section that specifically addresses the parentage of children of assisted reproduction. Public Act 099-0763 amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) and the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 clarifying certain sections which lawmakers felt were needed after last year’s major overhaul of both Acts.

Children of Assisted Reproduction

Over the past few years, there have been several high-profile legal cases regarding child custody and parental responsibility regarding children of assisted reproduction. Under the new measure, any individual who is an intended parent is the legal parent of any resulting child. The new law clearly specifies legal parentage and responsibility as follows:

Posted on in Annulments

Geneva family law attorneyFor many years in the United States, there was much talk about the idea of marriage and whether the government had the right to decide the types of couples who should and should not be eligible to get married. The context for that discussion primarily concerned the marital rights of same-sex couples, and a resolution was reached about a year ago when a United States Supreme Court decision recognized same-sex marriage throughout the country. Each state, however, still maintains laws that govern who is and who is not eligible to get married, and, in Illinois, a prohibited marriage is grounds for an annulment.

Unlawful Marriages

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) is a collection of statutes that provide marriage and divorce-related guidelines for the state. According to the IMDMA, a marriage is prohibited if:

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.

first refusal, Illinois Law, Geneva family law attorneyAfter a divorce or other situation leading to the creation of a child custody order, most parents are granted certain amounts of time with their child or children. This time may be rather significant, as would be the case for a parent who was awarded sole custody of a child, or it may be relatively limited, as would be the case for a parent with visitation for a few days each month. For many other parents, their time with the child often falls somewhere in between. Challenges may arise, however, when, for whatever reason, a single or divorced parent needs to find alternative care for the child during his or her arranged parenting time. In such situations, the Illinois law regarding the “right of first refusal” may be invoked.

Child Custody and Right of First Refusal

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, any child custody arrangement involving joint custody or rights of visitation may also include provisions for the right of first refusal. The terms of first refusal rights may be amicably negotiated by the parties or determined and awarded by the court to one or both parents. As with most child-related issues, the best interest of the child is expected to remain the highest priority in making such a determination.

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