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Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.
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DuPage County divorce parenting plan attorneyBeing a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Cooperatively raising a child with an ex-spouse or former partner can be even harder. If you are a divorcing or unmarried parent who plans on sharing parental responsibility with your ex, you probably have many concerns about how a joint custody arrangement will work out. Effective co-parenting takes patience, perseverance, and planning. One of the best ways to prevent disagreements and problems in a co-parenting scenario is to have a solid strategy for how you plan to share parental responsibilities and parenting time.

Illinois Requires Parents to Create a Parenting Plan

If you are getting divorced in Illinois and wish to share parenting time with your spouse, you are required to submit a parenting plan to the court. Ideally, you and your spouse can agree to a plan, but if you cannot agree, the court will intervene and decide what should be included in the official parenting agreement. This plan will assign important decision-making responsibilities (formerly called child custody) and parenting time (formerly called visitation) to each parent. Additionally, the parenting plan must contain provisions which address:

  • The child’s official residential address

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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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Wheaton, IL child support modification attorney

Child support ensures that unmarried or divorced parents share the financial responsibilities of raising a child. Illinois courts calculate child support payments using the "income shares" model, and the amount of child support to be paid is based on the income of both parents, the amount of parenting time each parent has, and a number of other factors. If either parent wishes to change the child support order once it has been entered, he or she must petition to court to make this change.

Requesting a Child Support Modification  

Illinois child support orders can only be modified under certain circumstances. Child support orders are eligible for a modification review every three years. Parents can also request a modification if they can prove that a major change in circumstances necessitates the modification. Illinois courts have broad discretion to decide what constitutes a substantial change in circumstances. Some of the most common reasons that parents request a child support modification include:

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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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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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