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Wheaton divorce lawyerChild support payments after a divorce in Illinois are determined via the Income Shares model. This calculation method takes into account the parents’ income and if the parents have a shared parenting arrangement, each parent’s allotted parenting time. Either parent may request a modification, or adjustment, to the child support order, however, these requests are not always granted. Sometimes, a parent may try to change a child support order in such a way that it places an unfair burden on the recipient parent. There are some situations in which it may be best to contest a child support modification request.

How Are Child Support Orders Changed?

Illinois child support orders are entitled to a modification review every three years. During a modification review, the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (IHFS) evaluates each parent’s financial circumstances and determines whether or not a child support order should be adjusted. Child support orders may also qualify for a modification if there is a “substantial change in circumstances” that necessitates the change or if the current order does not provide for the child’s healthcare needs. If a parent requests a modification but the other parent disagrees, he or she may contest the child support modification.

Reasons for Challenging a Child Support Modification

A parent cannot ask to reduce his or her child support obligation unless there is a valid reason. Job loss or a significant reduction in income is often cited as the justification for requesting such changes. However, if a parent quits his or her job, takes a voluntary pay cut, or chooses to work fewer hours, this is typically not a valid reason to request a lowered child support obligation. If a parent loses his or her job or is laid off involuntarily, he or she must make a good faith effort to find adequate employment. If a parent has the ability to earn a living, he or she cannot simply choose not to work in order to avoid paying child support. It may also be a good idea to contest a child support modification if the paying parent claims that he or she cannot afford the current child support order but is also spending money on extravagant and unnecessary purchases.

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Wheaton, IL child custody and divorce lawyer

If you are a parent who is considering divorce, you probably have many concerns about how your children will take the news of the split. Children may remember the moment that they learned their parents are getting divorced for the rest of their lives. Therefore, it is important to minimize the emotional trauma caused by this conversation as much as possible. The good news is that there are many resources available to parents that can help them talk to their children about divorce in a healthy, productive manner. There is no perfect way to tell your children that you are getting divorced, but experts have some tips to help make the discussion go as smoothly as possible.

Tell the Children All at Once

Child development experts suggest that parents break the news of the divorce to all the children at once. If you have children of varying ages, you may assume that it would be better to tell the oldest children before the youngest children. However, psychologists suggest that telling some children before the others may cause more problems than it prevents. This may make children feel like they have to keep secrets, which can be especially burdensome during an already tumultuous time.

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DuPage County divorce attorney for co-parenting

If you are a parent who is considering divorce, or if you have already started the process of ending your marriage, you probably have concerns about how you will share parental responsibilities and parenting time with your ex-spouse. Understandably, it can be very difficult for newly-divorced parents to jointly raise their children. It takes a great deal of teamwork, patience, and creativity to find a co-parenting strategy that works for your unique family situation. Fortunately, experts have several pieces of advice that may help divorced parents share parenting roles in a way that decreases stress for everyone.

Embrace Technological Assistance  

There are a good number of applications, websites, and other resources that divorced parents can benefit from. Some parents find that sharing a Google calendar can help them stay on track with parenting time schedules. Others use an app such as Cozi, Coparently, or OurFamilyWizard to organize parent and child schedules, keep track of school events, share information about expenses, and more. Often, the most difficult part of co-parenting is communicating with your ex. Using technology to connect can make the process easier and more organized.

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DuPage County parenting time attorneyNot all divorces are the same. Some partners break up amicably and are able to remain friends, while for other couples, this is simply not possible. Even if you are not a fan of your ex, it is helpful to try to remain civil, not only for your own sanity but for your friends and family as well. By working to maintain a good relationship with your ex-spouse, you can help avoid difficult emotions, especially when your former spouse moves on and begins a relationship with a new partner. A positive relationship can be crucial for the well-being of your children. 

Working Together for the Sake of Your Children

It is natural to feel anger or jealousy about your ex’s new relationship. It can be hard to see your ex with a new partner, even if you have a new love interest of your own. However, there are ways to maintain peace between you and your ex to keep your children’s best interests in mind. Here are some tips to help alleviate tension so you can get along better with your ex and also your ex’s new partner:

  • Work on controlling negative emotions: Think before you speak to avoid saying anything out of anger or rage. It is important to not make yourself look petty or miserable by talking negatively about your ex or their new relationship, especially around or to your children.

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Lombard divorce and child custody lawyerAccording to the American Psychological Association (APA), more than 40% percent of marriages throughout the United States ultimately end in divorce. Separating from your spouse can be an incredibly turbulent and emotional time in your life, and for parents, a divorce can be especially difficult. As you navigate the divorce process, it is important for you to remain engaged as a parent. Seeking assistance from a qualified attorney can allow you to focus on the well-being of your family as you work to finalize your divorce. 

Divorce as a Parent  

When children are involved in a divorce, it is important to act with extreme care. For children, the divorce of their parents can be uniquely challenging to grasp and cope with. Listed below are a few key steps you should take as you juggle being a parent and separating from your spouse:

  • Remain Engaged: Throughout your divorce, it is critical to reassure your child that you will always be a part of their life. You can do this through fun family activities like going to see a movie or going to the park. It is also important to demonstrate that you are still fully invested in the things that they are passionate about and make sure that you do not miss any important extracurricular activities. It should be noted that many children begin to struggle with academic performance during divorce, so speak with teachers, coaches, and other key figures in their lives as they go through this difficult time. 
  • Talk With Your Kids: Speaking with your children regarding your divorce can be one of the most difficult conversations you ever have as a parent. However, these conversations can make all the difference in alleviating any concerns your child may have about your separation. Be willing to answer difficult questions and remember to remain calm, even if your child becomes agitated or flustered. In a lot of divorces, children will irrationally blame themselves for the divorce of their parents, so open and steady dialogue and reassurance can be key to their mental and emotional health. 
  • Develop a Custody Strategy: As you begin to speak with your attorney about the resolution of your divorce, one of the first things that will need to be addressed is child custody. As a parent, you need to know what your custody goals are. A joint custody agreement is often the best option for children, because it enables them to maintain a relationship with both parents. In other cases, joint custody is not a healthy option, and you may look to secure sole custody. If you look to pursue sole custody, speak with your attorney about the possibility of receiving child support payments from your spouse. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney 

The emotional aspects of a divorce can be incredibly challenging to cope with, as separating with a spouse is never easy. Unfortunately, divorce can present a number of unforeseen complications that may be completely unrelated to the emotional side of a separation. At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., our legal team is dedicated to resolving the nuanced aspects of your divorce while protecting your parental rights and your children’s best interests. To set up a consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate DuPage County divorce lawyer, contact us today at 630-462-9500. 

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