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Tag Archives: best interests of the child

Illinois parenting time lawyersAlthough divorce can negatively impact all involved parties, children are considered especially vulnerable when a separation occurs. Factors like contention between the parents, parental alienation, or financial losses that may occur during the divorce can further increase the risk of long-term complications for kids. Thankfully, there are things that parents can do to mitigate the issues for their children. Learn more in the following sections, and discover how a seasoned divorce lawyer can assist you in the process. 

Understanding the Risks (and Their Causes) for Children of Divorce

Divorce is a process that involves the separating of parents. Children tend to experience a lot of negative emotion because they have little say or control over the process. That can create a whole host of issues, such as anxiety (including separation anxiety), depression, a lack of interest in their social life or extracurricular activities, and trouble concentrating or performing at school. If not addressed, these issues can plague children for the rest of their lives. Moreover, studies have found that children of divorce are more likely to experience trouble with the law, and they may struggle more to maintain long-term intimate relationships as adults. 

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visitation orderThere are many reasons why a parent might wish to change the conditions of his or her visitation order. Some of the most common include a change of schedule, preventing the parent from taking advantage of the originally scheduled visitation times; a move to another location, further or closer to the place where the other parent lives; failure of a parent to follow the schedule; or a choice to not visit the child.

Under Illinois law, existing visitation orders can be changed at any time. The primary consideration for a judge, who will review your request for a modification, is whether the change is in the best interests of the child. A child’s best interests can be determined based on the desires of the child, the preferences of one or both parents, the strength of the parent-child relationship, the mental and physical health of the parents and child, and countless other factors.

Before Going to Court

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interfaith divorceStudies show that interfaith marriages are happening much more frequently than in the past. With increasing interfaith marriages often, unfortunately, comes interfaith divorce. Although many aspects of divorce are the same regardless of the religions of the spouses, one particularly unique issue in interfaith divorce becomes the religion of the children.

Even if one of the spouses converts to the religion of the other prior to or during the marriage, it is not uncommon for that converting spouse to return to their original religion upon a divorce. This situation raises serious complications for the children of the divorce, even if the parents had previously agreed to raise their children in one particular belief system. Think of the following real world example:

Bob, raised Jewish, meets Sue, who was raised Catholic. Before marrying, Sue converts to Judaism. The two have three children, whom they agree to bring up Jewish. When the parents divorce years later, Sue returns to the Catholic religion. Soon, an issue develops as to what services the children are/are not allowed to attend on the weekend with their respective parents.

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child supportMany custodial parents depend on the noncustodial parent’s child support payments to ensure that they have at least their most basic needs covered. Sadly, those who depend on this support often do not actually receive it – meaning both the parents and, more importantly, the children, will suffer. In a 2013 press release, the United States Census Bureau reported that only 62.3 percent of all child support owed in 2011 (the latest year for which data was available) was actually paid to the parent owed the support. Fortunately, there are legal actions that can be taken to force the other parent to start paying the child support.

How to Enforce a Court Order

If you have a court order to receive child support, there are ways to legally enforce this order so that parent starts paying. Some of the legal actions you can take include:

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custody determinationsIn matters of divorce and child custody, it is safe to say that things can get messy fast. The process of dissolving a marriage and making visitation schedules for minor children can bring up many emotions from all parties involved, and may bring out some less than admirable qualities in people. While ex-spouses likely have their own issues to address in the divorce process, attempting to come to an agreement about child custody matters usually brings up a whole other set of issues to address.

When a couple cannot reach an agreement about custody of their children and visitation schedules, the matter is brought before the court and a judge is asked to make the custody determination. Parents’ wishes are certainly made known, through them or their attorneys, but what about the minor children involved? In some cases, perhaps the court never hears their point of view, but in others, they make their wishes clear about which parent they want to live with and how they wish to spend their time with each parent. The question is, how much weight does the court give to a child’s wishes in a custody matter?

Making Custody Determinations

Illinois law sets out a list of factors for the court to consider in making custody decisions. The list is relatively long but not exhaustive, meaning it allows for judges to consider other relevant factors according to the facts of a specific case. As a result, judges who hear custody cases enjoy wide discretion when making a decision, which must adhere to the best interest of the child standard.

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
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Joliet, IL 60432
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