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Wheaton divorce lawyersDivorce can be painful and confusing for any child, but most of them do eventually adjust. In contrast, children with special needs sometimes struggle to comprehend the reason why their family is fracturing. Worse yet, all the changes in their lives may cause them to regress or suffer from mental, emotional, or behavioral problems. Thankfully, parents can help ease the transition for their special needs children by carefully protecting their interests. 

Start with Communication 

When divorcing with a special needs child, communication is critical - and not just with your child. You also need to communicate with your spouse in a healthy, non-combative way. It is also important for you to effectively communicate with your attorney so that they can help you in drafting a parenting plan to suit your child’s specific needs. 

Implement Change Slowly (and Change as Little as Possible) 

Change can be difficult for children with special needs, and depending on the situation, it can lead to regression and other issues. Slow and gradual change can reduce the risk. It may also be possible to eliminate some changes. For example, parents might want to consider bird nesting - or, at the very least, keeping the child in the same home - until they have adjusted to the first set of major changes in their lives. 

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Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County child custody attorneys, change in child custodyThere are not many issues in a divorce that are as difficult as deciding which parent a child will live with post divorce. Even after a court has decided child custody and visitation, one parent may want to request changes to custody throughout the child’s youth. There are several reasons why a noncustodial parent would want to seek a change in custody; such reasons may include:

  • A fear the child’s safety will be threatened if they remain with custodial parent;
  • A desire to lower child support payments; or
  • A tactic to cause emotional harm to the custodial parent.

Whatever the reasons are for wanting a change in child custody, modifying a child custody order involves more than demonstrating who is the better parent. 

The Child’s Best Interests

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DuPage County family law attorney, visitation interferenceDivorce and child custody are complex issues. These issues are even more complicated when one parent attempts to prevent the other parent from seeing his or her child during a court ordered visitation.

Visitation interference and visitation abuse are two common issues that a non-custodial parent may need to address. Therefore, if you are a non-custodial parent, it is important to understand the difference between visitation interference and visitation abuse. 

What is Visitation Interference?

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Posted on in Visitation

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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parenting time, parenting, children of divorce, child custody, shared parenting, life after divorceA recently published article discussed the problem that some parents face in child custody disputes and the changes that some are calling for in order to level the playing field. Many parents who are involved in divorce cases where children are involved face the possibility of a diminished parent-child relationship. The parent who is not the custodial parent often becomes just a visitor in the eyes of the family. Because of this perceived inequity, many parents who lose out on significant time with their children are trying to make changes to the legal process.

Shared Parenting

Advocates of equal parenting time are trying to get legislation passed that would divide custodial time more fairly between both parents. Their position is that children are better served when they spend equal time with both of their parents. These parents are against laws that would award custody to one parent over another, except in cases where one of the parents is deemed by the court to be unfit. Their proposed legislation would include a clause that mandates both parents get a minimum percentage of parenting time with their children each week.

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Posted on in Divorce

child custody, relocation, children of divorce, child of divorce, Illinois divorce lawThe dissolution of a marriage can bring with it a number of significant life changes. After divorce, one of the spouses may wish to relocate in order to get a fresh start. Normally, this would not pose a problem, but for an ex-spouse with children, it may not be as easy. Depending on what their child custody plan provides for, a parent may have to follow certain requirements set by law in Illinois in order to permanently or temporarily remove their children from a certain jurisdiction. Parent’s Rights In general, custody plans designate one parent as custodial and the other as non-custodial, even if both parents share time with the children. In fact, the custody plan itself may speak to the issue of removing or relocating the children out of state. Otherwise, Illinois law states that a custodial parent is able to relocate, either permanently or temporarily, with their children as long as they provide the non-custodial parent with advance and sufficient notice of their plans. The non-custodial parent may agree with the move; in that case, the parents may be able to reach an agreement outside of court. If the non-custodial parent is against the move, the custodial parent must ask the court’s permission to relocate. It is important to note that according to Illinois law, a custodial parent does not need a court order to relocate with their children within the state. As long as the move will not affect the non-custodial parent’s visitation schedule, a relocation should be allowed without court involvement or a change to the terms of the custody plan. Illinois Law on Out of State Removal In situations where the parents do not agree about relocation, the law provides protection of a non-custodial parent’s right to have regular visits with their children. In order to procure an order from the court allowing a parent to remove their minor children outside the state of Illinois, certain standards must be met. A custodial parent seeking the court’s permission to relocate must prove that removal is in the child’s best interests, and also must demonstrate an important reason for the move. Important reasons may include a new job prospect or access to certain necessary services that are only available outside the state, such as specific medical treatment. In considering whether the move is in the child’s best interests, the court will consider the following factors, among others:

  • Whether the move will enhance the quality of life for the parent and child;
  • The motives of the parent seeking to relocate;
  • The motives of the non-custodial parent in opposing the move;
  • The custody schedule currently in place;
  • If a realistic visitation schedule can be followed if the move is allowed;
  • The effect the move will have on the non-custodial parent’s visitation;
  • Any potential harm to the child if the move affects the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent;
  • If it is impossible to reach a reasonable visitation schedule; and
  • The overall effect of the non-custodial parent not participating in the child’s life on a daily basis.

Child Custody Attorney If you are considering relocating with your children, or have been served with a relocation request as a non-custodial parent, it is important to seek help from an experienced professional. Contact the family law attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC today for a consultation. We serve clients in DuPage, Cook, Will, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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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Grandparents are integral parts of any family. They offer advice and insight to parents who are raising their own children.  grandparent rights IMAGEThey also can overly spoil their grandchildren with affection, attention and love.  And in some cases, the grandparents have a limited legal right to visitation of their grandchildren in Illinois, especially when the parents divorce. There are certain requirements that must be met for an Illinois court will grant visitation to grandparents.  The first is that the children must be at least one year old.  The other requirement is that one of the following circumstances must exist:
  • One of the parents of the child has been confirmed to be unfit or incompetent
  • One of the parents has been incarcerated in jail or prison for at least three months
  • One of the parents is either dead or has been absent for the preceeding three months
  • The parents are divorced and one does not disagree to the visitation by the grandparents
  • The parents are not married and do not live together
Just as in custody and visitation agreements during divorce, the major deciding factor is what is in the best interest of the grandchildren. A child’s best interest can be based on their preference, the health of the child and grandparents, and whether there is any adverse effect of the visitation.  The reliability and trustworthiness of the grandparents can be seen as a major benefit for children who are missing a parent. These same rights are available to siblings of the children in question, as well as the great-grandparents. But these rights can be terminated in some cases even if a visitation schedule has been established by a court of law. For example, if the parents have given up custody to a separate party other than the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services or a foster care provider, grandparent rights may not apply. In other words, if a different family adopts the child, then the maternal or paternal grandparents will not have their right to visitation. If you are interested in petitioning for visitation with your grandchildren, then take the first step today.  Contact an experienced family law attorney in Warrenville who can be your advocate.
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.
LucyMost laws related to separation, divorce and child custody are left up to each individual state. The Chicago Bar Association states that visitation after divorce is focused on the children and what is best for them, not what is best for the parents. Although in the past it has often been assumed that it is best for children to stay with their mother, now courts are taking more factors into consideration and fathers have a better chance to get custody. Judges now say that even when children must live with only one parent, it is very important for them to be frequently reminded that they still have two parents. As long as there are no outstanding factors that should affect the well-being of the children, judges do what they can to allow frequent visitation to the non-custodial parent. If a couple splits up and can agree on custody and visitation plans on their own, then the judge will have an easy job of approving it. On the other hand, if a couple cannot agree, the child will most likely suffer because the judge will have to create a visitation schedule that limits the children’s time with the noncustodial parent. The schedule set up by the judge for visitation may vary based on the relationship between each parent and child, the ages of the kids, physical or emotional handicaps that the children may have and the living conditions at each of the parents’ homes. Other important factors that are thought of when a parent is given a visitation schedule for his or her child is whether or not it can be altered. It is important to know that failure to pay child support will not affect visitation. If one or both parents wish to change the visitation rights and schedule, it can be taken back to court to be altered, but it cannot be done without the knowledge of both parents. If you are going through a divorce or already have and are concerned about the visitation of your children, contact a family law attorney in Illinois for help. Attorneys at the Davi Law Group will help you get the best visitation for your child possible.  
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.

Taneil Curtis was visiting with one of her children on November 7th.  The visit was supervised by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at a McDonald’s in South Holland.  During the visit, Curtis asked the case officer for permission to get a glass of water with her son.  That was when she made a daring escape while kidnapping her 21-month-old son. She darted out of the restaurant and into a waiting U-Haul rental truck.  After the police were alerted and the investigation began, they found the U-Haul truck abandoned near South Holland.  They determined that Kirk Alexander, the boyfriend of Curtis, rented the vehicle. After more than a month of trying to find Curtis, the authorities located her in Memphis, Tennessee.  Fortunately, her 21 month-old was also safely found.  This is not the first issue that Curtis had with custody of her children.  DCFS had taken her custody rights to her three older children due to substantial risk of physical harm. "This is a woman who's having all of her parental rights taken away on all of her other children, for God knows what reasons. She has active warrants out for her arrest. She tries to run over a case worker. The possibilities were limitless on how horrible this thing could have turned out," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said of 32-year-old Taneil Curtis. When you plan to divorce, it is important to identify the reasons why a spouse may be unfit for custody.  If your spouse has partial custody of your children, it is important to keep them from relocating with your children.  Contact an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County who can be your advocate in custody issues.

Kimberly Buffington-Quaid has filed for legal separation, and according to the Los Angeles Times, a divorce is on its way. The couple has been married for eight years and had already planned to divorce in March. The original divorce filing stated that “the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities ... that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” However, earlier this year, the divorce proceedings were called off by Buffington-Quaid as the couple tried to fix their relationship. Kimberly, a former real estate agent, is Dennis Quaid’s third wife and they have two 4-year-old children together, a son and daughter. Kimberly is seeking sole physical custody of the kids, with joint legal custody and visitation for her soon to be ex-husband. Quaid also has other children from previous marriages. Child custody matters can be highly emotional and sensitive for both parents and children. In Illinois, custody decisions are done in the best interests of the child which means that, for example, the child’s wishes, physical safety and welfare, and ties to community are taken into account. The parents’ preferences are considered as well.  It is best to contact an experienced family law attorney to reach a solution that is satisfactory to all parties involved. Your divorce may not necessarily involve children, but all the same, a skilled divorce attorney can help in protecting your rights, assets, property and more. If you are contemplating filing for divorce or have been served with divorce papers, please contact a dedicated divorce attorney in Illinois as soon as you can.

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