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Naperville divorce attorneysA divorce can impact children at least as much as, if not more than, their parents. The emotional distress of the breakdown of the family is often difficult for children to cope with, and many of the decisions made in the divorce will have a direct effect on the children’s lives. With so much at stake, it is reasonable to wonder whether children have a say in what happens during the divorce process, or whether they are at the mercy of their parents and the court.

Including the Child’s Perspective in the Divorce Process

Fortunately, there are ways to ensure the child’s needs and preferences are considered in any decisions that affect them. Particularly regarding parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities, an Illinois court will:

  • Focus on the child’s best interests. To determine whether a decision is in the child’s best interests, the court will consider many factors including the child’s needs, physical and mental health, relationships with both parents and any siblings, connection to their home, school, and community, and any history of violence or abuse in the family. While the child’s parents may already have their best interests in mind, the court will not make a decision solely based on the parents’ preferences.
  • Consider the child’s wishes. The court will often hear directly from a child regarding his or her preferences about parenting time and parental decision-making. If the child has reached an appropriate maturity level and is capable of expressing independent wants and needs, this input can factor significantly into the court’s decision.
  • Determine the necessity of representation for the child. While it is not necessary in every divorce case, the court may appoint a representative for the child if there are questions regarding the child’s best interests. This representative can be a guardian ad litem, who serves as a witness after investigating the case and interviewing the child and both parents. Alternatively, it can be a child representative who advocates for the child’s best interests using evidence-based arguments, or an attorney for the child who specifically represents the child’s perspective with a duty of loyalty and confidentiality.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

The attorneys at Davi Law Group have the knowledge and experience necessary to answer any questions you may have about the effects of divorce on children and the legal rights they have throughout the divorce process. When we take your case, we strive to ensure that the children’s best interests are at the forefront of any decisions in which they have a stake. Contact a Naperville family law attorney today at 630-948-8926 to schedule a free consultation.

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Posted on in Child Custody

adoption, Illinois family lawyer, DuPage County adoption attorney, childrenThere are many people who dream their entire lives of becoming parents. For those who are not able to have their own biological children, this dream might never become a reality if it was not for the option to adopt. Others may choose to adopt outright and provide a loving home to a child in need. Whatever the motivation, adoption is a noble cause that can prove to be a fulfilling life decision for all of those involved.

Questions About Adoption

Many who consider adoption likely have a variety of questions and concerns about the adoption process. While it is advisable to discuss specific situations with a licensed attorney, here are some common questions asked by many prospective adoptive parents, taken from the National Adoption Center website:

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children of divorce, DuPage County Family Law Attorney, DuPage County family lawyerDivorce can be a stressful and emotional time, particularly when children are a point of concern. While many people may be certain about their desire to divorce from their spouse, most are less sure about the effects such a decision may have on their children, and may put off a divorce in an effort to protect them. However, some research indicates that perhaps parents should not be so worried about the effect their divorce will have on their kids.

Children Likely to Recover

At the outset, it is probably safe to say that many children of divorce feel displaced and disrupted by their parents’ divorce. About 1.5 million children in the United States go through this each year. Despite this, researchers are saying that a much smaller portion of those children deal with significant problems as the result of divorce in the short or long term. In other words, children are likely to recover rapidly from any negative feelings they initially have after learning of their parents’ divorce. A 2002 study showed than many of the negative emotions children experience, including anxiety, anger, shock, or disbelief, are short-term effects. These feelings are likely to decrease or completely cease after two years, with only a minority of kids continuing to experience negative emotions longer than that.

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Posted on in Divorce

family time, divorce, child custody, lawyer, attorney, family tips, Illinois family lawyerEvery parent is probably aware of the constant struggle between home life and career. Each aspect of a parent’s life demands time, effort, and attention. With so much energy required, many parents may feel they are not spending an adequate amount of time on a specific area of their life. This situation likely affects many married parents, but may be felt even more acutely by those single or divorced parents who are attempting to maintain a home and a relationship with their children without support from a partner.

Work-Life Balance

A recent article offered several suggestions for ways to increase the amount of time mothers can spend with their children, but surely parents of both genders can heed the advice.

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child support, remarriage, second marriage, step family, DuPgae County family lawAfter a divorce, it is common for the former spouse to pay child support, alimony or sometimes both. What happens when one spouse remarries? Remarriage can have an affect on the duration and amount of child support payments the custodial parent (the parent who has primary custody of the child) receives. Therefore, it is worth considering all of the legal consequences before entering into a new marriage.

How is Child Support Calculated in Illinois?

Child support laws are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The Act describes specific child support guidelines that the courts must follow to determine how much child support must be paid to the custodial parent. Typically, the amount of child support is calculated by the non-custodial parent’s (the parent who does not have legal custody of the child) net income and the number of children he/she is responsible for. The court is also allowed to consider other factors such as:

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paternity, parentage, children, marriage, Illinois family lawyer, DuPage County family law attorneyThere are certain circumstances that require the relationship between a father and his child to be established. This is especially true in circumstances where a child was born to parents who are not married. There is a legal process for establishing paternity in Illinois depending on the facts of a particular situation.

How Do I Establish Paternity? According to Illinois law, if a child was either conceived or born when the mother was married, her husband is presumed to be that child’s father. For fathers of children who were not conceived or born to married parents, paternity must be legally established.

A father can establish paternity in three ways:

  1. Both mother and father complete, sign, date, and witness a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form;
  2. The State of Illinois' Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ (HFS) Child Support Services enters an Administrative Paternity Order; or
  3. A judge enters an Order of Paternity in a court of law.
Is it Important to Establish Paternity? There are many benefits to legally establishing paternity, including:
  • Ensuring the child’s legal rights in connection with the father-child relationship;
  • Adding the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate;
  • Protecting the rights of the parents;
  • Enabling access to medical information on the father’s side of the family; and
  • Ensuring the child obtains benefits that he or she is legally entitled to, including but not limited to financial and medical support, Social Security, inheritance, and other benefits.
What is the Court Process for Establishing Paternity? Usually, one of the parties, either the mother or the father, petitions the court to establish paternity. The parties are then notified when a hearing is scheduled, and both parties are expected to appear in court along with a representative from the State’s Attorney’s Office. This process may involve DNA testing either being compelled from the father or submitted by the father. After the hearing, the judge will issue an order regarding paternity. What is the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP)? The VAP is the easiest way to establish paternity for unmarried parents. The form is available at the hospital and can be completed by the parents when the child is born. The form contains sections relating to information about the mother, the father, and the child. All sections must be completed and other requirements, like signing, dating, and having the form witnessed, must also be completed in order for the form to be valid. This process can also be used for married mothers whose husband is not the father of the child, but must also be accompanied by a Denial of Paternity Form. Unless both documents are signed and completed, the mother’s husband will legally be considered the child’s father. Parentage Attorney The attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC have experience in parentage matters and are prepared to handle your case. Feel free to contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case. We represent clients in Cook and DuPage Counties, as well as surrounding areas.

parenting time, Illinois child custody, Illinois law, family lawyer, DuPage County family law attorneyAccording to a recent news article, lawmakers in Illinois will soon decide between a proposed overhaul of the state’s divorce law or a bill aimed at securing a minimum amount of parenting time for non-custodial parents in child custody cases. The divorce law overhaul purportedly came as the result of recommendations made by the Family Law Study Committee, which felt Illinois divorce law needed significant revamping. The Committee also agreed that the way in which judges made custody decisions was an area in family law that also deserved their attention.

Minimum Custody Time The Committee said the current typical custody arrangement allowing non-custodial parents to have their children one day per week and every other weekend should be abandoned in favor of equal parenting time, which is in the child’s best interests. A minimum amount of guaranteed parenting time was included in the original proposed legislation as a presumption that could be overcome if certain circumstances called for it. That presumption included allowing non-custodial parents 35 percent of parenting time per week, which equates to about 60 hours. Now, an amendment has changed the language from presumptive to aspirational, or something a judge should desire to implement in custody cases. Taking it a Step Further Many parents’ rights groups who fought for the original bill were not pleased with the amendment. As a result, a new house bill was sponsored by State Representative John Cabello, who took the original draft one step further by making the 60 hours of parenting time a mandate. Those who support this bill say the mandate will deter parties to custody actions from employing whatever means necessary, including lying to a judge, to ensure they will be awarded custody of their child. Opponents say judges should be allowed to view each individual case and use their discretion in determining an appropriate parenting plan under the circumstances. The bill’s mandate would force judges to use one approach for every case they heard. Child Custody Attorney Both bills remain in the amendment stage in the House, and action on either remains to be seen. Some are expressing frustration that the amended bill would not address the primary concern or purpose of the original bill, especially since the original bill was drafted in light of the Committee’s recommendations from highly experienced and seasoned professionals in the legal field, as well as years of research. If you are or will soon be party to a child custody action, do not hesitate to consult with a skilled family law attorney who can immediately begin working diligently to protect your rights as a parent. Contact the attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC  today to schedule a consultation. We have successful experience representing clients in child custody and support matters. Our offices are located in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville, Illinois.

child of divorce, best interests of the child, Illinois child custody lawyer, child custody, DuPage County IllinoisThere are few challenges in life more difficult than divorce. It is certainly a hassle to gain a legal end to your marriage and determine how to divide important family assets, such as the family home. Often the biggest challenge in a divorce though is figuring out the custody arrangements of children. Such a process can be fraught with complications and emotions.

The Standard in Illinois According to Illinois law, when determining the custody of a child during a divorce proceeding, Illinois courts use a “best interests of the child” standard. This requires courts to try to determine the child’s best interests (as opposed to the interests of parents or family members) when determining which party will have custody over the child. Judges will follow this standard regardless of any agreement you and your divorcing spouse may have reached. Determining the Best Interests of the Child To figure out what the best interests of the child are, courts will look at a number of factors. No factor will carry more or less weight than another factor. Some of these factors include:
  • Who is the Primary Caregiver? - The court will look to see who is the primary caregiver of the child. This is the person who provides the child with food, takes them to school, purchases their clothes, and performs other necessary duties.

  • What is the Fitness of Parties Involved?  - The court will examine the physical and psychological well being of the parties seeking custody. In addition, courts will look at others associated with the parties, such as a party’s spouse or other children residing with that party. The courts will also consider evidence of abuse by a party against that party’s spouse or other children.

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juvenile crime, juvenile sex offender, DuPage County family law, family lawyer, IllinoisMany people can undoubtedly relate to a situation in which they have made a poor decision as a juvenile. Though the activities associated with poor judgment as adolescents may vary in degree and seriousness, most individuals involved in such a situation usually see the error of their ways, learn, and move on. Others are not as lucky. In fact, some of those juveniles seem to deal with the consequences of a bad decision for the rest of their lives. One such situation involves juveniles who are required to register as sex offenders.

The Troubling Statistics

A study recently released by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission states that the requirement for juveniles to register as sex offenders interferes with the juvenile’s efforts at rehabilitation and punishes them for a crime that the majority never commit again. The Commission is recommending banning the practice of adding juveniles’ names to sex offender registries who are under the age of 17. Currently, all juveniles convicted of sex crimes are required to register, and 70 percent of them must do so for life.

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child abuse IMAGEChild abuse is a heinous and often hidden crime that is difficult to detect and, even when detected, it can be difficult to punish the perpetrators. Once child abuse is suspected, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (“DCFS”) has in place an extensive plan to investigate the allegations and concrete measures to take to further protect the child from harm.

Child Protection often begins with a simple call to the Child Abuse Hotline. A person speaks with a Child Protective Services (“CPS”) worker, who has special knowledge and training on the child abuse laws of the state. If, at the end of the call, the CPS worker determines a formal report needs to be written, a CPS worker will begin a formal investigation. The mandate requires that the investigation begin within 24 hours of the written report.

 Once a formal investigation commences, a CPS worker will investigate the allegations, and the child’s immediate needs will be assessed to determine if there is imminent harm to the child. If that is the case, emergency services, such as protective custody, may be implemented right away. The CPS worker will also have influence on the overall determination of what long-term care the child will need once the investigation ends. One major impediment to the process is that of detection. Signs of child abuse can be subtle, or the perpetrator may be taking great lengths to hide the abuse. In some cases, a parent may be in denial or turning a blind eye if outright physical signs are not present. Because of this, the number of people calling into a Child Abuse Hotline may only comprise a small portion of child abuse cases occurring at home. Therefore, additional measures must be put in place to help DCFS detect child abuse as early as possible.

Medical Intervention

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Posted on in Child Custody

Crying Toddler With Arm In CastIn Illinois, there has been an increase in the number of children who die due to abuse and neglect. For the fiscal year ending in June of 2013, the number of children who passed away from abuse and neglect was the highest it has been in 30 years.  The saddest news about this total is that some of these deaths may have been avoided. An Illinois Senate subcommittee has been questioning state officials from the Department of Child and Family Services about this steep increase.  Acting director of the DCFS, Denise Gonzales, admitted that over 100 children died due to mistreatment and ten more cases are still pending.  The average per year total has been around 75 for the last 30 years. About 75 percent of the deaths were caused by accidental suffocation from infants sleeping with blankets, or with their parents or on their stomachs. In the past these types of cases were only classified as neglect if the parents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Now children who suffocate while sleeping are categorized as neglect cases if it can be proven that the parents knew about the dangers of letting children sleep on their stomachs or with blankets and other items. But it was also found that the DCFS in Illinois has been suffering from a larger caseload with a smaller staff.  Although a senator asked for the resignation of Gonzales, that might not happen.  Gonzales took over when the previous head of the DCFS resigned due to a terminal cancer diagnosis.  Gonzales is still dedicated to making the DCFS better by reducing caseloads, leaning out middle management and improving the hotline for reporting child neglect. The DCFS will continue to receive tips about possible abuse and neglect that is occurring in Illinois.  If you are summoned to juvenile court by the DCFS then it is important to be prepared.  The consequences may be losing care of your children or being placed under court supervision.  Contact a skilled family law attorney in Warrenville today to review your case.

International Adoption bill IMAGEThe current lawmakers in Washington DC have been historically slow in creating new laws.  There has been too much conflict between the liberals and conservatives on the hill.  But a new law that has been proposed looks to unite both sides of the aisle with an issue that is beyond politics.  That bill is called the Children in Families First or CHIFF Act. The bill was introduced by State Representatives Kay Granger(R-TX) and Karen Bass (D-CA).  Granger said that “every child deserves a family. Parents looking to adopt internationally are already at the mercy of complicated adoption bureaucracies abroad.  They shouldn’t have to deal with similar costs and delays here at home.  Without increasing spending, the Children in Families First Act helps loving families navigate the adoption process and welcome new additions to their homes.” Overall, foreign adoptions have declined over the years. Almost 23,000 children were adopted internationally in 2004.  That decreased steadily to below 9,000 in 2012.  There are certain reasons for the decrease as some countries do not allow children to be adopted by Americans. In other countries, the rate of domestic adoptions has increased which also means that fewer children are able to be adopted by Americans. One of the proposed results of this bill is the creation of a new bureau in the State Department whose would work with other countries to place children with families.  This would be accomplished with adoption, or family reunification or kinship care. Instead of allowing children to languish without the love of a family, CHIFF hopes to support an increase in international adoptions.  There are plenty of children that need loving families.  If you have decided that your family is prepared to love a child in need, then you should contact a family law professional who has experience in this process.  Contact a knowledgeable family law attorney in DuPage County who can help you add more love to your family.

uncontested divorce IMAGEAspects of the divorce process often breed disputes.  The division of property can present issues if one spouse feels like they deserve more or because some assets are difficult to divide.  Children are also a sticking point in most divorce cases as it can be difficult to agree on custody and child support.  Other possibly contentious issues include spousal support. An uncontested divorce is when these issues are settled without the help of the divorce court.  Both spouses come together to agree on these issues by themselves. This process can allow a divorce to be settled quickly and for a lot less money than a drawn out court battle.  That is because most of the heavy lifting is done by the husband and wife. The process begins like any other divorce.  One spouse files the petition with the divorce court.  Then the citation is served to the other party in the divorce.  As long as the respondent agrees to the uncontested to the divorce or fails to disagree to the divorce, then the uncontested divorce can proceed.  The proposed divorce agreement will be reviewed and approved by a judge who will make sure the final decree is equitable to each spouse and follows certain guidelines for child support and the division of property. An uncontested divorce can be increasingly tricky when there are children from the marriage.  It may be easy to agree to a custody or visitation agreement.  Yet, there are things that are harder to review and agree to.  One aspect that might be missed is planning for college or other education costs.  It is also important to provide health insurance for your children, but who will pay for it is determined in the divorce. Rather than leaving anything to chance, have a legal professional guide you through your uncontested divorce.  Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Wheaton today who can verify the fairness of your uncontested divorce.

Posted on in Divorce
talk-to-children-about-divorceDivorce is a very stressful situation to go through, and throwing kids into the mix can make it much, much harder.  For many parents, the most overwhelming part of their divorce is breaking the news to their children.  However, with a few pointers, this talk can be made a lot smoother. Before sitting down to talk with your children, it is very important that you and your spouse agree on what exactly you are going to say.  You do not want to contradict one another while talking to your children, which could make things even more confusing for them, especially if they are younger. In some cases, spouses will have to give the talk separately.  Even if this is the case for you, try your best to still reach an agreed script so as not to send mixed messages to your kids. If your divorce is a relatively amicable one, try and sit down with your kids as a couple.  This will send the message that you are still a family, and even though you and your spouse are separating, you are still their parents.  This will also help assure them that you will both still play active roles in their lives. One of the most important pieces of advice for talking to your children about divorce is to make sure they know it is not their fault.  To do this, you want to give them reasons that they can live with.  Things like “we grew apart” are appropriate.  Your children will automatically assume that because they asked for something at the store, or fought with a sibling, the two of you are getting a divorce.  Assure them that it is nobody’s fault and your love for them will never change. Sitting down to talk about divorce with your kids may seem scary, but it doe snot have to be.  If you are preparing for “the talk” and have any questions, don’t be afraid to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney to assist you.
LucyAfter a divorce, often times parents continue to live very close to one another so that they can both be near their child and remain active in the child's life. Sometimes, however, a parent may choose to relocate, whether it is to be near family, for a new job, or for another reason. If the custodial parent wants to relocate and take the child with him or her, they must follow state custody laws and any custody agreements that have been set up for the child. According to Illinois law, a custodial parent has the right to relocate the child after a divorce. There may be restrictions specified in the custodial rights that were laid out in the custody agreement, however. Even with the power to move the child to another state, the custodial parent must provide the noncustodial parent with advance notice and details for all travel or relocation plans. If, after receiving notice of the relocation, the noncustodial parent does not want the child to be relocated, the custodial parent can apply for an "Order of Removal" from the court. If the custodial parent can prove that relocation will be in the best interests of the child, the order may be granted. The law does not favor moving a child away from either of their parents, and electronic communication is not considered a substitute for spending time together. Parents may disagree on whether a custodial parent may relocate with a child after the divorce, regardless of the custody arrangement. In order to receive the court order, the custodial parent must prove to the court that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. The court will consider the child's needs and the impact that the relocation will have on the child’s life. The parent seeking the relocation must also state a significant reason for the relocation, such as a job or need for access to medical treatments outside state lines. Another possibility is relocation within the state, which is allowed without the tedious process required by out-of-state relocation. Parents should still review custody terms laid out in the divorce. If the relocation within the state will affect the noncustodial parent's visitation rights, it is best to consult an attorney. If you wish to relocate your child out of state, or their other parent is attempting to do so, contact a family law attorney to assist you. Attorneys from the Davi Law Group can help you get your child where they need to be.

A Hayward, WI, man may find that probation stipulations put on him, for past due child support violations, by a family court judge could make it difficult for him to get a date. John J. Butler, 28, must reveal within three minutes of meeting any female that he is a convicted felon and has unpaid child support. According to this article, Butler has been ordered not to father any more children until all his past due child support is paid. Butler owes $23,000 in back child support for his two children. He earlier pleaded guilty to felony charges of failing to pay support for more than 120 days in 2011. According to WEAU News he also has a long history with the courts, including cases involving drugs, domestic violence, and drinking and driving. The judge said Butler must maintain full-time employment, pay his child support, undergo counseling and stay sober. Other family court judges have handed down similar stipulations in back child support cases. Corey Curtis, a 44 year-old Racine, WI father owes $90,000 in back child support. Curtis has nine children with six different women. At his recent sentencing for bail jumping and failure to pay child support, a judge told Boyle he was not allowed to have a tenth child until he can afford to take care of the nine he already has. If you are having a difficult time collecting child support that is owed to your children, contact an Illinois family law attorney to see what legal options may be available to you and your family.

Lamar Odom is probably best known as the husband of Khloe Kardashian’s and star of their show called “Khloe & Lamar”.  He also plays forward for the professional basketball team, the Los Angeles Clippers.  His busy schedule doesn't allow him to get much sleep especially taking late night flights to get to opponents   Unfortunately, he decided to fall asleep outside a courtroom in Manhattan on March 5th. After meeting with his lawyers and his former girlfriend’s lawyer, Odom laid down on a hard courthouse bench to catch a little sleep.  He was asked by a courthouse officer if he was OK.  When he didn't immediately sit up, he was ordered to do so, according to reports. He was in court for a modification to his child custody agreement with his former girlfriend of over a decade.  At issue in this modification are concerns about child support and custody of his 9 year old daughter Destiny and 5 year old son Lamar Jr. who he had with his former girlfriend Liza Morales.  Odom has been trying to make these modifications since 2010. The parents will also have to review whether or not these children can be filmed by camera crews for Khloe and Lamar’s show.  While this is not a typical issue to review in a custody case, each custody case can present different issues.  It is important as a co-parent to have agreed-to plans to raise your child with an ex. When making these decisions, it is important to have a guide that has experience with the intricacies of custody and support issues as well as other aspects of family law.  Contact a skilled family law attorney in Wheaton to fight for custody of your kids.

Posted on in Divorce
StaciWhile you cannot protect your children from the fact that you and their other parent are getting divorce, you can shelter them to some degree from the negative aspects of divorce that can be damaging to them. Keep in mind that your children will be hurt by your divorce no matter how much you try to protect them. However, it is possible to minimize those feelings of hurt and loss by modifying your own behavior to some degree and putting the interests of your children first – even before your own interests. Although co-parenting with an ex-spouse can be difficult during the best of times, it can be unimaginable when you are in the throes of divorce proceedings. Before you engage in yet another argument with your soon-to-be-ex, realize that despite how you feel about him or her right now, he or she is, and will always be, your child’s other parent. As a result, a recent Huffington Post article stresses the responsibility of divorcing parents to foster the relationship between the child and the other parent. Here are some important guidelines that can help you be a better divorcing parent:
  • Refrain from making any negative remarks about your ex in front of your children. They don’t need to know how your ex wronged you and you need to encourage their relationship with your ex.
  • Don’t talk about money issues with your children that have to do with your ex. Don’t complain about late or unpaid child support. Don’t complain about the unpaid bills that your ex has left you with. It’s not your children’s problem. They need to feel safe and secure, not worried about money.
  • Don’t put kids in the middle. It is not a child’s job to carry messages back and forth between divorcing parents. It is your job. If you can’t effectively or calmly talk to your ex, then use text messages or emails until you are able to do so.
  • Do not ever make your child feel guilty about spending time with his or her other parent. No matter what, your child loves your ex and should spend time with him or her, just as your child loves and should spend time with you. It is not your child’s fault that he or she must now visit parents in different places.
Working with child custody and visitation issues in order to arrive at a workable co-parenting plan can be extremely difficult, especially when divorce proceedings first begin. Fortunately, an experienced Warrenville family law attorney can assist you in negotiating a fair settlement that is in the best interest of your children. Call our office today for assistance with your divorce, and put yourself on the road to happiness once more.   Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos

There are several different aspects of divorce that have to be considered if divorce is on the table, but the most complicated issues deal with how the split will affect children if the divorcees are parents. Conventional wisdom is that divorce has the potential to ruin a child’s understanding of intimacy, and can leave him or her feeling lost, or without anchor. More recent studies show that if the marriage was wrought with conflict, divorce may actually be better for the kids. According to Psychology Today, this is more truth than the former. University of Nebraska sociologist Paul Amato has recently released a study in which he followed 2,000 families for nearly two decades. “If there has been lots of conflict in the marriage, the children actually do better if there is a divorce,” he told Psychology Today. Yet the hardest hit in a divorce, according to Amato and reported in the magazine, “are the children of marriages in which there were not high levels of hostility before a break-up. The husband and wife just didn’t drift along and the kids don’t notice anything’s missing.” For these kids, the dissolution of the marriage, rendering them adrift between two homes, floating, per-se, between both parents, is an unwelcome disturbance rather than a culmination of an already-disturbed childhood. Amato believes that “low-conflict divorce undermines kids’ sense of trust and causes them great psychological distress as they grow older.” It’s these kids, not all children of divorce, who have difficulty forming trusting relationships later in life, and are “particularly unhappy” as adults. It’s likely because, for the child, there was nothing visibly wrong. Children, of course, are unable to grasp the lower frequency wavelengths of their parents’ relationships, and so are unable to see how divorce could have been better for their parents if they weren’t visibly unhappy. Bringing a third party into a divorce, in the way of a qualified attorney, can help a family to sort out the difficult situations such as this. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area family law attorney today. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted on in Child Support

NOTE: As of July 2017, the law governing child support in Illinois has changed. Please see our Child Support page for more information.

In a divorce that includes children, the court will try to decide a fair amount of child support that should be paid to the custodial parent.  The amount can be changed if the financial situation of the non-custodial parent changes over the course of the child’s life.  But it is important to have a basic understanding of how child support is figured. The factors that help determine the amount of child support are as follows.  The needs of the child which is meant to include expenses such as medical insurance, day care, education and other major expenses.  It also considers the financial situation of both the custodial and non-custodial parent and their abilities to support themselves.  The standard of living that the child could have enjoyed if the parties were married is a general factor that is considered as well. The court will look at the net income of each parent when it decides upon a support amount.  That is the full amount of income minus tax deductions, health insurance premiums, and other reasonable expenses that are necessary for life.  In cases were net income isn’t known, it will be up to the court to decide on a realistic support amount. There are minimums that are used as benchmarks when deciding child support.  If there is one child, the child support should be at least 20% of the net income.  For two children, the percentage goes up to 28% and then to 32% for three children.  It does meet a cap at 6 or more children which requires half of the net income of the non-custodial parent. If you are considering divorce when you have children then it is important to have a basic idea of how child support is figured.  There are additional opportunities to seek post decree modifications to existing child support payments.  If the non-custodial parent has a considerable change in income, then a petition may be in the best interests of the case.  Contact a skilled divorce attorney in Wheaton who can work with you through your divorce or as new issues arise. Image courtesy of: Freedigitalphotos.net

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