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Geneva parenting time attorneyFamily and relationship experts have long known that children generally fare best after their parents’ divorce or separation when both parents continue to play an active role in the children’s lives. There are, of course, many ways for parents to maintain a healthy relationship with their children, but most experts believe that time together is a vital part of doing so. In recent years, there has been a greater effort in many parts of the country to include fathers more in parenting arrangements following a divorce or separation, but change, it seems, has been slow in coming to Illinois.

In many situations, mothers are granted a majority of the parenting time with their children while fathers are forced to make do with less. A new study shows how much less, and the results are rather alarming.

Illinois Near the Bottom

shared custody, child support, Illinois family lawyerWhen you share custody of your child, it may feel reasonable to assume that neither parent should be required to pay child support. With shared custody, both parents are expected to contribute to the child’s overall well-being by providing food, shelter, clothing, and covering necessary educational costs in a cooperative manner. However, the laws, as they are currently written in the state of Illinois, may still lead judges to require the payment of child support, even in shared custody arrangements.

Child Support in Illinois

Illinois law regarding child support is considered by many to be a bit antiquated as it relates to modern parenting situations. The basic principles of the statute indicate that the court is recommended to require that a supporting parent pay child support as a set percentage of his or her net income. While the law provides some discretion to the court for deviation from the recommendation, most such changes are made based on consideration of income, resources, and needs. This means that factors such as parenting time and parental responsibilities may be frequently ignored as they are not statutorily specified considerations for the court.

online safety, internet safety, child custody, coparentingYou may not be familiar with the term “coparenting,” but if you have a shared custody arrangement with your child’s other parent, you are probably already doing it. Coparenting refers to a cooperative effort between divorced, or otherwise separated, parents who have decided to work together in providing the best possible situation for their child. There are countless articles and helpful guides from experts on the most important aspects of coparenting or rules for doing it correctly, but they all seem to revolve around two basic concepts: communication and consistency.

Communication is vital, not only to maintaining that consistency, but to upholding the trust of both your ex-spouse and your child. Consistency helps your child feel secure in each parent’s home, as many rules and expectations remain the same. While some rules might be more bendable, such as getting to watch a little extra TV on a particular night, others should be less flexible, not only for the sake of discipline, but your child’s safety. If your child has reached an age where he or she has begun to utilize internet resources for research or entertainment, rules regarding online safety must be established as non-negotiable in both parents’ homes.

The United States Department of Justice, as well as child welfare organizations, offer some tips for keeping your child safe online:

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