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Wheaton family law lawyersFamily law is a broad area of the law with many subsections. However, some issues are more common and complex than others. Learn more about the most common and currently emerging family law courts, and discover how our seasoned Wheaton attorneys can help you manage them and mitigate against any complications that you may be facing in your Illinois family law case. 

Divorce and Legal Separation 

Statistics indicate that the divorce rate has been dropping over the last several years, but it continues to be one of the more common family law matters, both in Illinois and nationwide. Legal separations, though less common than divorce and perhaps even some other family law issues, are also frequently seen issues in family courts.

Child-Related Matters

Child matters are also extremely common in family courts. They include:

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Illinois parenting time lawyersIf you are unable to raise your child with their other parent due to divorce, breakup, or any other reason, the state of Illinois will want you to have a legal parenting plan in place. This is a complex, and often emotional process that needs to be handled well for the benefit of your child, and yourself. When working on a parenting plan, make sure to consider the following essential concepts. 

Put Your Child First

The most important thing to consider when working on a parenting plan is that it is all about your children, not yourself. It is tempting to fight to keep your child with you every day and ensure you are able to make every possible decision throughout their childhood. The fact is, however, that in the vast majority of cases it is better for the child to encourage them to have a close relationship with each parent, and for the parents to work together. Putting your child first may be hard, but it will help them to thrive long into the future. 

Be Ready to Make Concessions 

It is almost unheard of for any parent to get 100% of what they want when discussing a parenting plan. This is why it can be so helpful to work with a mediator, arbitrator, or another objective third-party who can help facilitate compromise. When getting ready to discuss your parenting plan, try to have some flexibility so that you can successfully come to an agreement. Of course, this does not mean you have to give up specific things that are extremely important to you!

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DuPage County child visitation attorney family lawMost experts agree that children thrive when they have positive relationships with both parents, along with extended family on both sides. Unfortunately, life does not always work out that way. In some cases, parents do not agree on which family members should and should not be part of a child’s life. Sometimes, a parent may even have good reason to feel that the other parent is unfit to be around their child. Typically, Illinois law allows for children of divorced parents to continue having parenting time with both parents and meaningful relationships with all of their extended family. However, there are, of course, necessary exceptions. 

What Is Considered Cause for Termination of Visitation?

Custody laws in Illinois state that unless a child’s physical, emotional, mental, and/or moral health is at stake, modifications to a child custody agreement will not be made. Of course, this can be a tough call to make, so when there is a question about the matter of a child’s safety, it will probably require an investigation and a hearing. Significant evidence that the accused party is indeed a danger to the child will have to be produced in order for the court to consider changes.

What Types of Visitation Modifications May Be Made?

Family members in the child’s life who have visitation rights which could be challenged include a parent, grandparent, sibling, or stepparent. In a “normal situation,” all of these relatives would be entitled to regular contact with the child, including in-person visits and electronic or phone contact when the child is not in their physical presence. However, if it can be proven that the child would be in danger during the course of parenting time or visitation with family members, modifications may be made.

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DuPage County child custody attorneys, reuniting with your childWhen your child has been removed from your care, it can be difficult to determine what steps to take next. It can also be difficult to regain child custody and have your child returned to you. If your child has been removed from your home, then you may feel powerless and angry. While these feelings are normal, you should also be aware of your legal rights.

What Can I Do to Help Get My Child Back?

First, you need to make sure that you give the court all of the information it needs. This can be hard when you are worrying about your child. Also, you should begin working on every aspect of your life that will help you get your child back. Additionally, if you want to have your child back, then start coordinating with the court, your case worker, and your lawyer to begin working towards getting your child home.  

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DuPage County child custody lawyers, change in visitationA child’s feelings and attitudes towards their parents change over time. These changes can be influenced by changes at school in a child's social groups and by his or her experiences surrounding the divorce of a child's parents. In some cases, certain changes can support a custody or visitation modification. To be sure, mistreatment by a parent or stepparent can support a change in custody. The same can be said for illegal activities or activities that endanger the child, like drug or alcohol abuse.

However, what if the child simply does not like to spend time with one parent? In this case, can the child choose to simply live with or spend more time with the other?

What if We Just Do Not Get Along?

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DuPage County family law attorneys, custody and visitationDeciding child custody and visitation can be complex for divorcing parents. This is particularly true if you did not choose your custody and visitation arrangement or would like a change in custody. Whether you have agreed to your child custody arrangements or a court ordered it, it is still important to understand the basics of custody and visitation according to state law.

Parents Have a Right to Reasonable Visitation

Under Illinois law as it currently stands, non-custodial parents are entitled to reasonable visitation. Generally, courts prefer that children have some contact with both parents and do not prefer to restrict visitation rights. In most cases, courts only restrict a parent’s visitation if they believe that a parent will pose a danger to the child. This does not mean that visitation is unlimited or without structure. Visitation must be reasonable for both parents.

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