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Posted on in Child Custody

child removal, out of state move, Illinois family lawyerParents who are subject to a child custody order often face a number of challenges related to building a better life for themselves and their children. For some, opportunities may arise outside of Illinois, and custodial parents may seek to leave the state with their child in pursuit of a new job or a more preferable living situation. Removing a child from Illinois, however, can be complicated under a custody arrangement and must be first approved by the court. If your child’s custodial parent is looking to move out of state with your child, you have the right to oppose the move and a qualified family law attorney can help.

Child Removal Action

As a parent with joint custody or a visitation arrangement regarding your child, you have the right and responsibility of maintaining a healthy relationship with him or her. For this reason, the primary residential parent must seek your permission to move with the child before doing so. If you consent, the court will enter an amended custody or visitation order, formalizing the agreement. If you refuse to consent, the other parent may still pursue an out-of-state move, but must first convince the court that such a move is in the child’s best interest.

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cheating, infidelity, Illinois Divorce AttorneysWhile movies and television shows often attempt to show the affects of an adulterous affair, most depictions generally fall far short of capturing the true impact of such behavior. Infidelity in a marriage can be psychologically devastating, and, in many cases, the relationship never fully recovers. While some experts will point out that cheating is often a symptom of larger marital issues rather than the root of the problem, the fact remains that an unfaithful spouse can certainly play a role in the end of a marriage, and the impact of the unfaithfulness may be felt for many years into the future. Grounds for Divorce

Did you know that adultery is technically considered a crime in Illinois? According to a rarely-enforced law, which seems to be a holdover from previous generations, either party to a knowingly adulterous relationship can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A more widely-known and more commonly utilized law, however, recognizes adultery or infidelity as grounds for divorce.

There are several factors that a spouse seeking divorce on the grounds of infidelity should consider. An at-fault divorce does not require a separation period like that required in a no-fault marital dissolution so the process can often be completed more quickly. However, to obtain the divorce decree on such grounds, the petitioning spouse may be required to provide proof of adulterous actions to the court. The process of doing so can be extremely stressful, and often results in bitter and acrimonious divorce proceedings. No Consideration for Marital Misconduct While an act of infidelity may be sufficient legal grounds to end the marriage and adultery is still officially a crime, Illinois law does not allow such actions to be considered in certain aspects of the divorce process. Specifically, the law requires that the division of property and the establishment of spousal maintenance or alimony must be done “without regard to marital misconduct.” As such, a court must examine the statutorily prescribed considerations for each arrangement, but is not to allow either spouse’s behavior to impact the final decision. Concerns for Children Child-related matters in divorce, however, may be different. Child custody, visitation, and child support arrangements are determined with the goal of protecting the child’s best interests. The court may consider infidelity in such cases, but only if the affair is directly affecting the parent’s relationship with the child. For example, if the adulterous activity of the parent is leading to the neglect of the child, or the child has been exposed to inappropriate aspects of the affair, the court may include such concerns in its considerations. As with divorce proceedings, it can be very difficult for a parent to justify to the court a request for limiting visitation or custody based on infidelity. The parent must be able to provide convincing proof that the adultery presents physical, mental, emotional, or moral danger to the child. Without such proof, the rights of the unfaithful parent to a relationship with his or her child are fully protected by law. If your spouse has committed acts of infidelity, an experienced Kane County family law attorney can help you understand your options. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and work with you in taking the necessary steps toward a more positive future.

first refusal, visitation, Illinois family law attorneysAs a parent subject to a child custody order or visitation arrangement, you understand the importance of spending quality time with your child. Whether you are the primary residential parent or a parent with visitation rights, the opportunity to interact with your child helps foster a meaningful relationship that, hopefully, will last a lifetime. In recognition of the significance of a child’s connection to his or her natural parents, a court may award the right of first refusal to one or both parents in any child-related arrangement involving joint custody or visitation.

What is the Right of First Refusal?

Overwhelmingly passed in 2013 and taking effect in 2014, the measure that created the right of first refusal was an amendment to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The added provision, although discretionary, when exercised by the court and implemented into a custody or visitation order, requires that a parent who needs child-care for a “significant period of time” must first offer the other parent an opportunity to personally care for the child before seeking a babysitter or alternative arrangements. Emergency situations are generally excluded.

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Joint Parenting Agreement, child custody, Kane County Family Law AttorneysEvery child deserves love and support from both parents. A child of divorced or unmarried parents, however, may find his or her situation to be a little more complex than that of other children. He or she is often the subject of a child custody arrangement that dictates the role each parent assumes in his or her life. Custody arrangements can be customized to meet the specific needs of every family, but are categorized by law into two types: sole custody and joint custody. While the granting of residential custody to one parent is necessary, joint legal custody represents a cooperative effort between the child’s parents. Such an arrangement, however, generally requires the parents to develop a workable Joint Parenting Agreement regarding the care of their child.

Joint Custody

Under Illinois law, the concept of joint custody of a child refers to the shared responsibility between parents for making important life decisions in regard to the child. Most parents with joint custody do also make fairly equitable arrangements for each parent to spend time with the child, but joint custody does not guarantee that to any extent. Instead, it provides that each parent will be responsible for working together in deciding issues for the child such as non-emergency medical care, education decisions, religious upbringing, and other important considerations.

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guardian ad litem, child issues, St. Charles Family LawyersChild-related legal matters of any type can be extremely challenging, especially those that must be addressed in divorce. The distrust and acrimony between the parents can easily spill over into child custody and support proceedings, often creating a great deal of difficulty for the judge responsible for the case. The court, however, has been granted the authority to appoint an attorney to assist in any child-related cases, whose primary role is to objectively determine that which is in the child’s best interest. An appointed attorney may serve in one of several statutorily defined roles, including that of guardian ad litem.

When Is a Guardian ad Litem Used?

A guardian ad litem may be appointed by the court in many situations, but is frequently utilized when parents involved in a child-related matter have difficulty identifying their child’s true best interests. The court may recognize such a need based on allegations of questionable judgment by either parent, suspected abuse, or other concerns. In addition, either party may request that a guardian ad litem be appointed so that a more neutral observer can help consider the child’s well-being throughout the process and into the future.

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