630-462-9500

After Hour New Client Telephone Number 630-690-6077

1776 S. Naperville Road, Building B, Suite 202,
Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

DuPage County parenting plan lawyerIf you are an unmarried parent or parent going through a divorce, you may have concerns about sharing parental responsibilities and parenting time with your child’s other parent. Going from a situation in which you spend every day with your child to one in which you have to share custody can be extremely difficult. In order to maximize the amount of parenting time, or visitation, you have with your child in a shared parenting arrangement, you will want to make the most of a “right of first refusal” provision in your Illinois parenting plan.

Your Right to Spend Time with your Child

An Illinois parenting plan or parenting agreement is a required document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of divorced or unmarried parents. The plan includes directions for how parental responsibilities are allocated, how major decisions about the child will be made, a parenting time schedule or method for determining parenting time, transportation arrangements, and more. Parents are encouraged to create their own parenting plan, but if parents cannot come to an agreement on parenting time and other issues, the court will decide on behalf of the parents. One item that often gets overlooked in Illinois parenting plans is the right of first refusal. Put plainly, the right of first refusal gives you the right to care for your child if the other parent is not able to care for the child during his or her scheduled parenting time.

Elements of the Right of First Refusal

Consider this situation: you are a parent who only gets to see your child every other weekend. You miss your child on the off weekends and wish you got to see him or her more often. On one of the weekends that your child’s other parent is allotted parenting time, he or she decides to take a trip out of town. The other parent hires a babysitter to watch your child during his or her absence. Due to your limited time with your child, you will likely feel that you should be the one to care for your child rather than an outside party.

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DuPage County family law adoption attorney

Deciding to adopt a child can be one of the most rewarding choices of your life. Adoption can change the future of the adopted child as well as yours. According to recent statistics, there are over 100,000 kids waiting to be adopted in the United States, and more than 400,000 children are in foster care. However, it is important to note that adoption requires more than just welcoming a child into your home and lots of paperwork. Below are some practical tips to help you prepare mentally for expanding your family through adoption. 

Consider the Responsibility

Make sure you are on the same page as your partner. Adopting a child can be a long and taxing process that will require much work from both of you. If one of you is having doubts, or if your heart is not in the process, then things between the two of you may become difficult and lead to arguments. Make sure adoption is something you both want before taking this monumental step.

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Naperville adoption attorney

Choosing to adopt a child is a wonderful opportunity and a chance to give a child in need a loving and healthy home. If you are considering adoption, you need to know that the process can be lengthy and complicated. It is important to find a qualified adoption lawyer to help you meet your legal requirements and ensure that nothing will stop you from providing a loving home to an adoptive child.

Naturally, there are differences between raising an adopted child and a biological child. You will likely want to discuss the adoption with your child, and the way you approach these conversations can be different, depending on the child’s age, the circumstances of the adoption, and your relationship with them. While conversations about adoption can be tricky, and they are likely to provoke a variety of questions from a child, planning for how to address these issues can ensure that you approach the subject in the right way, strengthening your relationship with your child. Here are a few tips to make the conversation easier:  

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Wheaton order of protection attorney divorceIf you have been the victim of abuse by your spouse, you may be considering divorce. However, your primary concern is likely ensuring that you and your children are safe. To protect yourself from your abuser, you can ask a judge for an order of protection. This will not only require the abuser to stop abusive activities, but it may also ensure that they stay away from you and your children, refrain from contacting you in any way, and require them to attend counseling and pay child support. This can provide you with much-needed protection in the steps leading up to divorce as you begin to put permanent solutions in place.  

There are three types of orders of protection in Illinois:

Emergency Order of Protection

This type of order can be used to obtain immediate protection from an abuser. It will go into effect as soon as it is approved by a judge approves, and the alleged abuser (known as the respondent) will be notified and required to follow the terms of the order. The respondent does not need to be present at the hearing where an emergency order is granted. An order will typically last from 14 to 21 days or until a hearing can be held to determine whether further protection is necessary.

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Wheaton adoption attorney safe haven lawWhenever children are involved in a legal matter, the law tries to be extra sensitive. If a mother feels she can not properly take care of her infant, she can give it up for adoption. However, in situations in which a mother believes she cannot follow the usual adoption process, she has options under the Illinois Safe Haven Law. For those who are considering adopting a child, it is important to understand how this law may affect their situation.

Origins of the Illinois Safe Haven Law

The Illinois Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act (commonly known as the Safe Haven Law) allows a mother to surrender a child anonymously without fear of criminal prosecution or civil liability. Texas was the first state in the U.S. to pass a version of this law in 1999, and Illinois followed two years later. By 2008, all 50 states had a version of the Safe Haven Law, which is often nicknamed the “Baby Moses Law.”

In Illinois, the law initially covered babies three days old or younger. In 2009, the cut-off date was extended to 30 days.

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