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Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttornyIf you are getting divorced and you share children with your soon-to-be ex, you will be expected to fill out a parenting plan and submit it to the court for approval. The parenting plan is the document that describes how you and the other parent will raise your child as divorced co-parents.

The parenting plan is extensive, and parents will need to answer questions about how significant decisions will be made, who will take care of the children on what days, how children will be transported between the two homes, and much more. One parenting plan element that many people have questions about is the right of first refusal. In this blog, we will discuss the right of first refusal and how you can use this important right to benefit your co-parenting relationship as well as your relationship with your child.

The Right of First Refusal

When parents fill out their parenting plan, they will need to determine a parenting time schedule. Parenting time is when a parent supervises a child and provides for the child's needs. You may decide that one parent will have the child during the week while the other parent has the child during the weekend. Or, you may alternate weeks. Every parenting time schedule is slightly different because the parents and the child's needs are different.

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Kane County Family Law AttorneyIf you have ever watched a television program or a movie that dealt with issues of domestic violence or abuse, you have probably heard the term “restraining order.” The phrase is often used colloquially to describe a directive issued by the court to protect a victim or potential victim from an alleged abuser. This is a source of confusion, however, for many Illinois residents. What most people know as a “restraining order” is actually called an “order of protection” in Illinois. Restraining orders, by comparison, are used by Illinois courts as a form of equitable relief in civil matters.

Temporary Restraining Orders

A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a type of injunction that can be requested by a party in any civil court case. An injunction, at its most basic, is a court order that requires the opposing party to stop doing or to avoid doing a particular thing. A temporary restraining order is often the first step in seeking a permanent injunction. If the situation is serious enough, a TRO can be issued for up to 10 days until a judge can make a ruling on a preliminary or permanent injunction. Violations of TROs are dealt with in civil court and typically incur monetary sanctions and penalties.

Temporary restraining orders can be used in divorce and family law proceedings as well. TROs and preliminary injunctions may be necessary to prevent a party from spending, moving, or disposing of assets, taking a child outside of the court’s jurisdiction, and other destructive or undesirable behaviors.

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Geneva Family Law AttorneyIf you are a divorced parent, the state of Illinois requires both you and your former spouse to contribute to your children’s financial needs. Every three years, the state will invite you to review and possibly modify your existing order for child support. But what if a child’s needs or your financial situation change substantially before then? In that case, you can petition the court to have the child support order modified. 

What Qualifies as a Substantial Change in Circumstances?

You may be a good candidate for a child support modification in a variety of situations. Some of the most common include:

  • Your child’s needs have changed considerably since the last order—a new health condition, for example—and you want your ex to help pay those added costs. 

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Kane County Child Custody LawyerAs anyone who has children can attest, it is not easy to be a parent. Parenting is infinitely more challenging after a divorce or breakup, especially if the other parent has been granted substantially more parental responsibilities and parenting time than you have. Under the law in Illinois, you have the right to reasonable parenting time with your child, but exercising that right can be difficult. Additionally, you might have personal issues of your own that have led the court to restrict your parenting time rights. A situation such as this can be extremely challenging, but it is not necessarily a permanent state of affairs, and there are some steps you can take toward getting your full parenting time rights restored.  

#1. Understand the Reasons

According to Illinois law, your parenting time rights cannot be restricted simply because a judge does not like you or the way you are living your life. The court must issue a finding that you or your lifestyle poses serious physical, mental, moral, or emotional dangers to your child, and the finding must be specific enough for you to address the court’s concerns. Common grounds for parenting time restrictions include alcohol or drug abuse issues, concerns regarding instances of physical or emotional abuse, and association with dangerous individuals. Only after you understand why the court has restricted your parenting time can you start taking steps to improve your situation.

#2. Comply With the Restrictions

As you work to resolve the issues that led to your parenting time restrictions, whether they are substance abuse problems, domestic abuse concerns, or your social circle, it is absolutely critical that you comply with any restrictions the court has handed down. If the court has allowed you just one supervised hour with your child each week, make every minute count. Do everything you can to show your dedication to becoming a better person and parent. If you attempt to get around the restrictions, your actions are likely to damage your case, and you could have your parental rights terminated altogether.

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Kane County Divorce AttorneyThe winter holiday season is a special time of year for many of us. Families that celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or other winter holidays will gather for special meals, the exchanging of presents, and reunions with old friends. As the holiday season continues, many hopeful romantics are making one the biggest decisions of their lives: getting engaged to be married. In fact, Christmas Day is one of the most popular days of the year for popping the big question. If you are planning to get engaged this holiday season, firstly – congratulations! As you plan for your wedding, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Prenuptial Agreements

As you plan for the big day, one decision you and your partner will need to make is if you will sign a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are also called premarital agreements or "prenups.” The purpose of this legal document is to ensure the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. Obviously, planning for a possible divorce before a couple has even gotten married is not exactly romantic. The topic may be uncomfortable to talk about, but prenuptial agreements can be vital in protecting your financial interests and rights.

Even if your current relationship is strong and you believe that the marriage will last, it is important to plan for the worst-case scenario. Having a prenuptial agreement in place can be invaluable during a divorce. It can simplify property division and spousal support decisions, as well as save the couple from tedious negotiations.

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