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wheaton divorce lawyerIn divorce cases involving children, a child custody evaluator may play a critical role in determining the best interests of children involved in custody disputes. They are typically court-appointed professionals with specialized training and experience in child psychology, family dynamics, and relevant laws. A child custody evaluator's main objective is to provide a recommendation to the court regarding what parenting arrangement will serve the child's best interests. 

Child custody can be an extremely contentious issue. If you are getting a divorce and are going through a complex or combative child custody dispute, working with an attorney who has dealt with child custody evaluators can make a positive difference in easing your stress and can provide you with guidance as you work through this important process. 

What Does the Child Evaluator Do?

The evaluator starts the process by conducting a thorough assessment of the family, including interviews with the parents, children, and other relevant individuals such as extended family members, teachers, and therapists. They will also review relevant documentation such as school and medical records and may observe parenting interactions to gain insight into each parent's relationship with the child. 


Wheaton, IL child custody lawyerA major concern within divorce cases that involve families with children is that divorce is widely known to have a significant impact on children, an impact that is rarely a positive one. As a result, issues related to child custody are navigated with the utmost seriousness, as many decisions made regarding child custody will, in all likelihood, play a major role in the development of the children involved. Many questions need to be answered when deciding which parent a child will live with once the divorce has been finalized. 

In Illinois, a court will determine the child's "best interests." Many factors go into making this decision, like the wishes of the parents, the needs and desires of the child, the physical and mental health of all the parties involved, and more. However, it is critical to state that just because a judge may listen to the wishes of the child does not mean the judge is obligated to fulfill the child's preferences. In this blog, we will look at how a child's wishes may or may not influence parenting time allocation and parental responsibilities in divorce and child custody cases. 

So, Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

The short answer is no; a child cannot simply choose which parent they will live with. The court understands that just because a child wants to live with a particular parent does not automatically mean that the child's wishes are in their own best interests. For instance, a child may be influenced to choose a parent who has promised them gifts or something of that nature. While the parent may be a great gift giver, this does not mean that living with that parent is in the child's best interest. 


Wheaton, IL child support enforcement attorneyIn the state of Illinois, matters related to child support are taken very seriously. Since child support directly affects the children of parents who have gone through a divorce, the courts in Illinois are often prepared to place a financial burden on non-custodial parents who have been ordered to pay child support but have failed to do so. In addition, while non-custodial parents may be held in contempt of court for refusing or failing to pay child support, cases involving failure to pay child support are often taken care of before contempt charges are filed. 

To help ensure child support payments are made, the wages of the non-custodial parent may be garnished. In cases involving wage garnishment, the employer of the non-custodial parent will be responsible for deducting a specified amount. In this blog, we will look at how exactly wage garnishment for child support works and what happens in cases where employers do not pay. If you are involved in a situation where your ex-spouse fails to make child support payments, contact a knowledgeable attorney familiar with wage garnishment when collecting child support payments. 

So, How Does Wage Garnishment for Child Support Work? 

In cases where a parent has not received court-ordered child support payments, that parent can petition the court to garnish the non-custodial parent's earnings. The amount of money garnished from the non-custodial parent may involve ongoing payments and any back payments and interest owed. If the court approves the petition to garnish the non-custodial parents' wages, as much as 50 percent of their wages may be deducted. In cases where a non-custodial parent does not have other support obligations, such as spousal support from another relationship, as much as 60 percent of their wages may be garnished. If a non-custodial parent is more than 12 weeks behind on their child support payments, an additional five percent may be garnished from their wages.


Wheaton, IL parenting plan enforcement lawyerWhen spouses with children decide to get a divorce, one of the most pressing matters that needs to be sorted out is how to ensure the divorce affects the children’s life to the least extent possible. As a result, determining parental responsibilities and parenting time becomes a critical issue, as children generally benefit from having both parents in their lives compared to only one parent being involved. In Illinois, a parenting plan becomes an essential legal document, usually created through collaborative methods, such as negotiation and mediation, signed by both parents and enforceable by law. In some cases, the parenting plan may be issued via court ruling if the parents cannot create it themselves. Regardless of how the parenting plan is completed, the legally binding plan will map out the parenting time schedule and which parent is responsible for making certain decisions regarding their children. 

But what happens if a parent violates the terms outlined in their parenting plan? This blog will speak about some common parenting plan violations and what can be done if your spouse has violated their part of the plan. If your spouse is violating your parenting plan, contact an experienced family law attorney who will work with you to protect your rights and ensure that the terms in the parenting plan are followed. 

Common Parenting Plan Violations in DuPage County

There are many different reasons a parent would violate a parenting plan. These reasons may include carelessness, anger, or perhaps resentment toward the terms in the original agreement. Violations of the parenting plan may include the following: 


Wheaton, IL parenting time lawyerWhen spouses decide to pursue a divorce, various issues must be resolved before the divorce is finalized. This is especially true if the divorcing parties have children. To ensure that their children can still enjoy as normal a childhood as possible with the involvement of both parents, parents often elect to create a comprehensive parenting plan which acts as the blueprint for how they plan to parent their child or children once the divorce is finalized.

In Illinois, parents have 120 days from filing a petition for the allocation of parental responsibilities to submit a comprehensive parenting plan to the court. Parents may elect to submit a parenting plan jointly or separately. Within this parenting plan exists a schedule for parenting time. Many different variables must be considered when figuring out how to determine the best parenting time schedule. To help ensure the creation of a parenting schedule is as smooth as possible, consult with an experienced Illinois parenting time attorney who can help ensure the process of creating a valid parenting schedule goes as smoothly as possible. 

Visitation Rights in Illinois

In the state of Illinois, parents generally have the right to visitation and parenting time with their kids. When two parents are deciding how best to go about creating a parenting schedule, factors may include the following: 

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