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Archive for the ‘Child Custody & Visitation’ Category

It Takes Both Parents: Enforcement of Visitation Orders

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Divorce is painful, emotional, and complex. It touches every part of your life, and if you have children, you will likely have to deal with the fallout for years. Once the marriage is dissolved, new problems can easily crop up. One such problem that lawmakers, family law attorneys, and divorced people have tackled with varying levels of success is child custody and visitation.

 visitation order IMAGEIn Illinois, the involvement of both parents in the raising of the child is a matter of public policy written expressly into the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. To this end, both parents have the right (if not the duty) to participate as much as they can in the upbringing of their children. If either parent interferes with the visitation or custody order from the court, absent a good reason, they open themselves up to liability from the courts. The parent with whose rights have been interfered has options on how to correct the interference.

Criminal Court and the Crime of Unlawful Visitation or Parenting Time Interference

In Illinois, interfering with visitation rights is a crime. If one “detains or conceals a child with the intent to deprive another person of his or her rights to visitation, parenting time, or custody time,” she is subject to a petty offense with a fine. (The feminine pronoun is used here because, as of 2007, mothers made up 82.6 percent of the custodial parents in divorced couples. Men are subject to the crime as well, be they custodial parents or not.) If the parent is convicted more than two times for the crime, it becomes a Class A misdemeanor, with possible jail time. While this statute is a valuable tool to enforce visitation agreements, it severely limits the options for the parent pursuing the agreement’s enforcement. A better option may be the civil courts.

Civil Court and Enforcement of Visitation Agreements

If a parent wishes to enforce their visitation agreement after interference, he can file a petition with the family court. The judge will hold a hearing regarding the visitation agreement and its violation. The judge can then modify the agreement, order additional visitation time to make up for the time lost, or the nebulous “[o]ther appropriate relief deemed equitable.” If the judge feels that visitation is being unreasonably impeded, he can use the contempt power of the court to levy a fine against the interfering parent, suspend the parent’s driving privileges, or even imprison the parent for up to six months.

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today

A child is better off with two involved parents, and visitation is essential to ensuring parental involvement after divorce. If your visitation rights have been impeded, an experienced family law attorney can begin the proceedings to help you enforce your rights. Contact an Illinois family law attorney today.

Expert Help to Consider During the Divorce Process

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If you are considering or actively seeking a divorce, then you will need the help of experts and legal professionals.  They can provide insights into contentious issues like child custody, division of property, and support.  In some cases, an expert can give you guidance on the proper settlement to your divorce.  In other cases, they can provide trustworthy testimony in a litigated divorce.  No matter what type of divorce you are seeking, these experts can assist you in the process.

1. Property Experts

Just as you would get your house appraised before selling it, a property expert will estimate the value of your marital home and other property.  Their job is to compile prices of neighboring properties to have a sense of your house’s market value.  They will also review custom upgrades, the structure of the home, and curb appeal.  They will ensure that you get the proper value for your home when property is divided.

2. Occupational or Salary Experts

When deciding the fairness of child and spousal support, a judge will look at a variety of factors.  They look specifically at each spouse’s current and potential earning ability to decide a fair amount.  That can also mean that they look at any unemployed spouse’s educational and professional background to evaluate their earning potential.  Having the testimony of an occupational expert can be invaluable during your divorce.

3. Psychological Experts

Another issue that can be difficult to decide in divorce proceedings is child custody.  A psychological evaluator will assist in determining the right place for your children based upon your specific circumstance.  Their informed judgment can define which spouse should retain primary custody and what the parameters should be in place for visitation.  Child custody is often determined by what is in the best interest of the children.

Another expert that you should seek is a divorce attorney.  Their experience can also help you in the divorce based on your specific needs.  Contact a skilled divorce attorney in DuPage County today.

Illinois Divorce and Joint Parenting Agreements

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illinois-joint-parent-agreementMost parties are able to agree to the terms of a divorce without having to go through the trial. In these cases, the parties would memorialize the terms of the agreement into a marital settlement agreement, which they present to the judge for approval. Absent some glaring deficiencies, the judge will usually make the agreement part of the final divorce decree.

Parties who have hired qualified divorce attorneys will also present the judge with a joint parenting agreement (“JPA”), which sets out the child custody provisions. For example, the JPA will state whether parents have joint legal custody or whether only one has legal custody and the other has visitation rights. In cases where parents are splitting physical custody, the JPA will set forth the daily custody schedule. Yes, the attorney will take a calendar and note on each day which parent has custody.

The JPA is a fluid document and an DuPage family lawyer will adapt it to each case. For example, if the parties are concerned about providing for the children in the long term, the attorney may advise them to create a trust and fund that trust with marital property. The attorney could set up the trust so that it invests the original funding amount and uses the income to provide for their children.

A JPA should also contain a provision requiring either parent to have life insurance and name the children as beneficiaries. The life insurance amount should be large enough to insure support for several years to come. For example, if the children are young, a life insurance policy of $20,000 or $50,000 would hardly be enough. A good rule of thumb would be to calculate how much the children would need yearly until they turn 18 and take out a life insurance policy for that amount. An experienced Illinois divorce attorney can easily make that calculation.

If you facing a divorce, you may have questions. Do not fight alone; contact an experienced Illinois divorce attorney who can represent you with the experience and professionalism you deserve.

What is a Bird’s Nest Custody Agreement

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Theresa

In order to fully implement a bird’s nest custody, you need to understand what implications it poses. This type of arrangement is where the parents center their decisions around their children, and not the other way round. What this means is that in the event of divorce, the children will not move with either of the parents, but will continue to reside in the same place, while the parents will alternate homes to care for the children. A compassionate DuPage County divorce attorney can take time to make you understand the implications of this type of arrangement that include making several important decisions, such as where each parent will live when they are not with the children. One cannot go far from the children; otherwise they will not be able to effectively play their role in the arrangement.

Since the children are the focus of the bird’s nest arrangement, the parents, being adults, see themselves through the trials of the divorce. This type of arrangement is recommended for parents who have equal custody of their children.

Remember that costs will be higher for both of you, and you need to ensure that you are fit financially before starting and agreeing to the bird’s nest arrangement. This goes without saying that there needs to be openness between your ex- partner and you, concerning all aspects of your new life, so that misunderstandings do not crop up. The children should not be left out of the discussion either, and need to be informed of the new development. In order to ensure that everything goes smoothly, you need to come up with guidelines together to govern the several events that will definitely crop up like birthdays, anniversaries, and the like.

In order to fully understand the legal implications of this arrangement, you need to seek legal advice from a devoted family lawyer. Feel free to contact us to talk to a qualified Illinois divorce lawyer to learn more.

Written by Staff Writer

August 11th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Paternity in Illinois

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LucyWhen a child is born, it is obvious who the mother is because she gives birth. The father, however, could be unknown, depending on the sexual partners that the mother had around the time of conception.

If a single woman is raising a child and a man claims to be the father, he must prove it before anything can be official. Both biological parents must sign the correct forms to make the fatherhood legal. If, when the child is born, the biological parents are not available to sign the forms, the woman’s husband, if available, usually signs the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form and a Denial of Paternity form is also completed.

If the biological father is missing, there are many forms to complete to fill the void of a father for the child. Depending on the relationship of the parents, different forms, identification and fees are required for this process.

If the parents were married before the child was born and remained married after the birth, the paternity is the simplest, however, every disconnect within the family makes it more complicated. If the parents are not married until after the birth, paternity must be made legal, along with if the parents are never married. It may also be affected if the parents are divorced before the child is born.

If the courts are involved in the paternity, and have determined the biological father, you must submit an Affidavit and Certificate of Correction Request form to correct the legal paternity.

The court will also require:

  • The father’s full name, date of birth, place of birth and Social Security number
  • The mother’s Social Security number
  • A $15 fee to cover one certified copy of the birth certificate
  • A copy of government-issued IDs for the father and mother

This office does not accept DNA test results as sufficient proof so it is important to have the proper paperwork.

If you are having troubles with your child’s paternity due to divorce or some other reason, contact a divorce attorney to help you. Attorneys at The Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help you with paternity today in Lombard, Bloomingdale, Rockford, Joliet and St. Charles, Ill.

 

Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Written by Staff Writer

July 13th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Divorce’s Affect on Schoolwork

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Amanda THINKSTOCK IMAGEDivorce is hard for everyone, especially children. Divorce not only affects their life at home but their life at school. A study at Ohio State University found that when a marriage dissolves, a child’s self-esteem and academic performance could be affected, even before the divorce initiates. Usually, a child’s self-esteem will get better over time, but academic performance can continue to decline. The study says that the reason for poor performance is that, “if a child doesn’t learn the skills she needs, it’s hard to catch up to the next grade.” Academic performance is different from a child’s self-esteem because their emotion can bounce back.

A recent Parenting.com article gave advice on how to ensure that your child’s grades don’t slip. The first advice is to give them lots of personal attention. This will show your child that you love them and will give them a break from the stresses of life. Next, the parent should be knowledgeable about how their child feels about school. Parents should set aside time everyday to talk to their child about their day at school or even offer help with an assignment. There is, also, the option of getting a counselor for you and your child. Having a counselor can make it easier to discuss any problems that are going on. A parent should be informed about what is going on at the school. It can be helpful to attend any school events, especially parent-teacher conferences. Lastly, the website recommends hiring a tutor. A tutor can help get your child up to speed with the rest of their grades’ academic skills.

Divorce can be hard for anyone in the family, not just the children. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, be sure to contact an experienced divorce lawyer. Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney today.

Written by Staff Writer

April 5th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Grandparent And Sibling Visitation Rights

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A UK newspaper reported a story about surprisingly intense reactions to grandparents keeping in contact with their grandchildren after a divorce. Even though this story is not domestic news, issues regarding divorce in first world countries remain more or less the same.

According to the Telegraph, police in the UK are being called to investigate cases where grandparents are approaching their grandchildren with postcards or presents as harassment. Grandparents often find themselves cut off by the parent who has the custody of a child, but it looks like things are getting worse. In some cases the elderly have been forced to hand over DNA samples or fingerprints, and some have even been threatened with arrest or called to a police station after sending a card or a present to their grandchildren. Some of the grandparents feel they have been humiliated for having to talk to officers regarding something like this.

If the custodial parent unreasonably denies visitation for a grandparent or a sibling, it is possible to petition for visitation. There are criteria for the petition, out of which one must be met. Examples of these criteria are: the parent that is related to the grandparent is mentally incompetent, dead or incarcerated; the parent related to the grandparent has lost parental rights by judicial act; the child is illegitimate and the parents are not living together. These are only a few of the criteria for such petition. For more information, contact an experienced divorce attorney.

Divorces are always emotional and stressful, but not all sides are always considered. Do not call the police on your child’s grandparents for sending a postcard. Take care of such matters during the divorce process with help from qualified attorneys. To make the process less painful, contact a knowledgeable divorce attorney in Illinois.

Written by Staff Writer

March 14th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Criminal Charges can Affect Divorce Proceedings

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LucyIn Portland, Oregon, the attorneys for the father of a missing boy, Kyron Horman, have asked the court for a delay in the divorce proceedings from the boy’s stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman.

Kaine Horman filed for divorce from Terri in June 2010, less than a month after his 7-year-old son vanished from him Portland school. There have not been any arrests made related to Kyron’s disappearance, but Kaine Horman and Kyron’s biological mother believe that Terri Horman knows what happened to the boy.

After the most recent hearing, Kaine said that he wanted the delay to allow the criminal investifation to proceed without any interference and to protect with 4-year-old daughter.

Kaine Horman told The Oregonian, “We’re doing the absolute best we can. She puts a smile on our faces every day.”

One attorney on the case questioned how the court could decide what the best interest of the couple’s daughter was without first knowing whether or now Terri Horman was responsible for Kyron’s disappearance.

He asked the court, “If (Kaine) believes this woman is responsible for Kyron’s disappearance, do you think he’ll feel good about providing spousal support?”

Terri Horman’s attorney rebutted, suggesting that the divorce proceedings for forward, with limitations placed on the questions allowed to be asked of his client.

He added, “Two years, seven months – that’s how long it’s been. That’s a long time.”

Judge Henry Kantor said that he would rule about two weeks after that last meeting.

Terri Horman lives 175 miles away from Portland and did not attend the hearing.

Driven to Skyline School by his stepmother for a science fair, Kyron Horman has not been seen since June 4, 2010.

Just 24 days later, Kaine Horman filed for divorce after investigators told him that he was the target of a murder-for-hire plot six months earlier by Terri Horman and a landscaper. Since that time, he has had sole custody of their daughter.

If you are considering getting a divorce, contact a Mevorah divorce lawyer. Located in Lombard, Bloomingdale, Schaumburg, Joliet, and St. Charles, Illinois, these divorce attorneys can keep your divorce going as smoothly as possible, hopefully avoiding the mess of that the Hormans are going through.

Written by Staff Writer

February 28th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Tax Questions about Divorce

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As the filing deadline for taxes is rapidly approaching, those who are divorced or are considering divorce should review the typical concerns that crop up during this time for people as they prepare their taxes.

Your filing status is determined by your marital status as of December 31st of the tax year.  You have to file jointly even if you are living separately and going through the divorce process.  It is beneficial to file jointly as certain deductions and limits are doubled for married couples.  There is also bad news; both partners would be liable in the event of an audit.

Another area that could result in a tax break is having a dependent.  In the majority of cases, the custodial parent can claim a child as a dependent by having the child for more than half of the year.  Certain divorce decrees give the non-custodial parent the corresponding tax break for claiming a dependent child in the course of splitting property, so it is important to review your divorce agreement.

Some people might think that child support payments are deductible.  That is not the case unless the payments go towards childcare, education or healthcare expenses.  For example, paying for college can result in tax credits and deductions according to the Tuition and Fees Deduction and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Alimony or spousal support can be deducted if it falls under one of four different circumstances.  There are as follows: the payments are made according to a written agreement, the payments are not child support, the payments stop when your ex dies, and you and your spouse don’t live in the same house.

Taxes are not the only thing that is affected by a divorce.  If you have made the decision that you want to divorce your spouse, then it is essential to have the guidance of a legal professional.  Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Schaumburg who will guide you through the process.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Custody Concerns in Digital Age

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child custody 173706456 imageAny divorce agreement which involves custody of children will include physical custody.  This will be where children will be through the week and over the weekend, also who is ward of them overnight.  Also a schedule will be set for the summer months, because when children are out of school, it is a good opportunity for them to spend time with the parent they see less.

While these concerns are necessary, there are other concerns which are valid considering the digital age we live in now.  With Facebook and other websites, it becomes a parent’s job to manage their children’s online presence.  With two parents who share custody, it becomes necessary to lay down ground rules about what pictures and information can be posted on the internet about children.

“Social media has become a very big issue in all aspects of divorce,” according to Alton Abramowitz, who is the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.  Many law firms suggest that clients close all social media profiles when they first consider filing for divorce.  After that, a custody agreement should lay down parameters or privacy settings to make sure that a child’s information does not fall into the wrong hands.

In order to make sure that all issues of custody are settled, it is important to get the help of a legal professional.  You wouldn’t want to leave any wiggle room regarding your children and their safety.  Contact an experienced divorce attorney in DuPage County today who can guide you through this difficult process.

 

Written by Staff Writer

January 2nd, 2013 at 10:35 pm

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