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Posted on in Children

best interests, St. Charles family law attorneys“The best interest of the child” is a phrase often heard in several different contexts related to Illinois family law. However, they all intend to ensure that children are well protected and taken care of in every possible way. While this can be a subjective standard, it is the best one to ensure each individual situation is assessed properly. Still, it can be confusing for those dealing with a family law concern—such as the allocation of parental responsibilities—for the first time.

Factors Used In Illinois

What was once called “child custody” is now known as the “allocation of parental responsibilities” according to Illinois law. The best interests of the child in question should be the top priority in such proceedings. Obviously, it can have a significant effect on a child to live with a parent whose conduct endangers or otherwise harms them in a physical or emotional sense. However, it is sadly not uncommon for each parent to allege the other is unfit; the court then must instead weigh the actual evidence presented at hearing using several factors that keep the best interest of the child as the primary focus.

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Posted on in Children

parenting time, Kane County family law attorneyIt is not easy to be a parent. When you are unmarried, divorced, or separated, and the other parent has been awarded the majority of the parenting time, you may face serious difficulties in being the parent you wish to be. In an ideal situation, you have the right to reasonable parenting time—formerly called visitation—with your child, but reality is often far from ideal. You may be dealing with certain struggles of your own, and, as a result, the court may have placed restrictions on the time you have with your child. While parenting time restrictions may be challenging, they are not necessarily permanent, and you have the ability to work toward the restoration of your visitation rights.

Recognize and Accept the Reasons

Under Illinois law, the court cannot arbitrarily restrict your parenting time rights without proper justification, and proper justification requires more than just the word of the other parent. The court will only place restrictions on your time with your child if the court is convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that you engage in conduct which places your child in serious physical, mental, emotional, or moral danger. As such, the court must specify its findings and identify the behaviors it finds objectionable, including drug or alcohol abuse, physical or psychological abusive actions, or your relationships with certain individuals who may pose a threat to your child. Once you know what the problems are, you can begin working toward resolving them.

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Posted on in Children

grandparents, St. Charles family law attorneysWhile the allocation of parental responsibilities is typically an issue between divorced, separated, or unmarried parents, grandparents and other family members often play a crucial role in the life of a child. According to Illinois law, grandparents may even petition the court for visitation rights with their grandchildren in certain situations.

It is important to understand that the law presumes that a child’s parent is not only fit but best-suited to make decisions about the child’s life. This includes where, when, and how often the parent allows a grandparent to spend time with the child. If, however, the grandparent can show the court that he or she is being unreasonably denied access to the child and the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health is negatively affected as a result, the court could grant the grandparent visitation privileges.

What if a person has voluntarily terminated his or her parental rights by consenting to his or her child’s adoption? Can grandparents in such a situation still seek visitation rights? According to a ruling by an Illinois appellate court, the answer is no.

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domestic violence, Kane County family law attorneysThere is little question that domestic violence continues to be a major issue in today’s American society. In fact, there are a number of studies which suggest that the problem may be even more serious than previously acknowledged, including severely underreported cases involving male domestic abuse victims. The physical, psychological, and emotional damage caused by violence against an intimate partner or family member can rise to tragic levels, often requiring years of recovery if and when a victim can escape an abusive situation. It is for exactly these reasons that intentionally false allegations of domestic violence are so disturbing, and such allegations can substantially affect the outcome of family-related legal concerns.

Impact to the Falsely Accused

Under Illinois law, an emergency order of protection can be issued by a judge based solely on the testimony of a victim. In a situation where actual violence or the threat of violence, this is entirely necessary. However, when a parent or spouse brings false allegations of violence before the court, an emergency order of protection can affect a completely innocent person. Depending upon the details included in the claim, the order can potentially prevent the accused from remaining in his or her home, seeing his or her children, or even going about the normal business of daily living. An emergency order of protection can remain in effect for up to 30 days, or until a hearing on the matter can be scheduled, whichever comes first.

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Posted on in Children

holiday, Kane County divorce attorneyThe winter holiday season, for many families, begins with the celebration of Thanksgiving and continues through the month of December into the beginning of January. While the holidays are often filled with fun, food, and extended family, they can be particularly challenging for divorced parents as they try to keep their children involved in all of the festivities. If you share parenting responsibilities of your child with your former partner, there are some things that you can do to help make the winter holidays more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Be Prepared

If your parenting plan does not already specify where your child will spend each holiday, you will need to make arrangements with the other parent as soon as possible. Do not wait until the very last minute. Give your child something to look forward to, and provide enough lead time for you and the other parent to plan for the holiday accordingly.

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