Blog posts tagged in St. Charles Family Law Attorneys
Every child deserves to have a safe, comfortable home in which to grow up. When parents divorce, one of the courts main duties is to make decisions which will benefit the children of the marriage. Often, this means that one of the spouses will be compelled to make child support payments to the other in order to help them raise the children.
When Is Child Support Awarded?
Child support is almost universally granted to one of the spouses during a divorce. Illinois courts base their child support decisions on an “income shares” model. This model considers both parents’ incomes and the number of children, as well as the amount of parenting time each parent has. The amount of child support is based on an estimation of the total cost of raising the child. This cost is then equitably divided between the parents based on each of their respective net incomes. The parent with more parenting time will usually receive the support payments.
There is no question that divorce is already a difficult and painful process. Couples with children have an even more challenging road ahead of them. Parents must not only come to terms with the end of their marriage, but also need to figure out how to move forward as mothers and fathers. How will they raise their children now that they are no longer married?
Attitudes regarding the roles of parents after a divorce have changed dramatically in the last 50 years. There was a time when mothers were almost automatically considered a child’s main or only parent. Mothers were generally tasked with raising children both within a marriage and after a marriage ended in divorce. Eventually, society began to recognize the dramatically important role a father plays in a child’s life. However, today’s mothers are still more likely to be awarded custody of their children than fathers are. According to a new study, this maternal favoritism may not be in the best interest of children.
Children Do Better in Life When Both Parents Are Involved
Sometimes, divorces go badly. It is sadly not unheard of for a person to become violent or dangerous toward his or her ex-spouse, harassing or threatening to a point where an order of protection—sometimes called a restraining order—becomes necessary. If you are pushed to the point where you have had to obtain one, or if you have been served with one, it is necessary to understand how they may affect your co-parenting arrangement.
Anatomy of an Order of Protection
Orders of protection are issued by judges when necessary after a victim files a petition with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the appropriate county—usually where the victim or the alleged abuser lives. In the petition, the victim must explain why he or she feels a restraining order is necessary and go into detail about the abuse or harassment he or she has suffered. The decision of whether or not to grant the order will be up to the judge, but if one is granted, it will probably be an emergency order of protection—at least in the beginning.
In a previous post on this blog, we talked about the importance of keeping both parents active in a child’s life. Sharing custody of your children with an ex, however, can be complicated and stressful. Fortunately, in the digital age, help exists in the form of apps and websites which can help you align schedules, plan, organize and stay on the same page as your ex-spouse.
Every family is different and what works for some may not work for others. If you are a person who uses technology to organize your life, you may benefit from apps such as:
A good parent wants the best for their children, and sometimes, that may include allowing someone else to take care of them. Illinois courts, however, are generally not disposed to allow a person to surrender their parental rights voluntarily unless there is another person ready and willing to step into the role. Illinois public policy places a high value on a child having two parents if at all possible. This means that unless your child’s other parent has a new partner willing to assume a parental role, you cannot renounce your parental obligations.
The “Best Interest of the Child”
Research has long supported the idea that children tend to fare better with two active parents in their lives, regardless of the relationship between the adults. As a result, Illinois courts nearly always hold that having two parents is in the best interests of the child involved—even in cases where a parent has committed a crime. When making determinations regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time, the courts consider an extensive list of factors in order to determine the outcome that serves the best interests of the child. These factors include the ability of the parents to work together, the level of participation by both parents in making parenting decisions in the past, and whether or not any abuse has occurred.