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Child Custody & Visitation
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In a marriage, one or both spouses may wish to adopt the child or children of the other. Sometimes they do so for purposes of having a family unit, as though the adopted children were the natural children of the spouses.
Regardless of the status of any divorce proceeding, if there are children with special needs, there should be consideration given regarding planning for the future of a person with a disability or special need and issues to take into consideration may include identifying who guardians may be for a minor child or an adult child, providing for future care
There can be potential issues for clients who marry, having children from prior relationships before the marriage. Once the parties marry, they sometimes consider adopting the child or children of their new spouse. If that were to occur, the parties need to be cognizant of potential issues.
If a spouse dies without a Will, the decedent’s wife and children, may divide the intestate estate of the predeceasing spouse. If the children are minors at the time of the predeceasing spouse’s death, usually the surviving ex-spouse could become the legal guardian of the minor children. However, if the testator made a revocable living trust before death, the testator could direct who would be the successor trustee, presuming not the surviving ex-spouse, and the testator could direct as to what happens to his or her property upon death.
So as responsible parents you feel that keeping them in the home will provide some stability during this time of intense transition. So you thought setting up a nesting plan may be the way to go. But before you decide, allow us to share some pros and cons about this relatively new phenomenon regarding co-parenting children post-divorce in this two-part series on the topic.
As part of its family law overhaul bill, the State of Illinois is considering some very interesting amendments to the current family law statutes. Including one that would mandate that each parent get at least 35% custody of their children, with the remaining parenting time to be divided as the parties see fit or can agree on.
As a mediation firm, we believe in squarely putting kids first. That’s why when it comes to kids and divorce, we start all mediations with the parenting plan and child custody arrangement.
We are frequently asked whether a custodial parent can move out of state with the minor children over the objection of the non-custodial parent, particularly where the custodial parent is to be remarried or has experienced a change in employment. Such a decision is a difficult one for everyone involved.
When the divorcing parties have children, a myriad of fears and uncertainties present themselves. Some of your most fundamental personal liberties - decisions on how you raise your children - are in the hands of a judge who knows nothing about you or your family. The best interests of the children are paramount in every divorce and if the parents are unable to agree on custody, visitation and other important child-related issues, the court will make decisions that will then be imposed upon the parties.
As a divorce mediator in Chicago, IL, I spend a lot of my time educating my clients as to what C & V mean. In the past, custody always went to the mom and dad got visits every other weekend. Views have changed over the years. Studies are showing that children benefit more when both parents are active in their lives. Dads are taking proactive roles in their children’s lives and this is changing the dynamics of custody and visitation.
There are no formal rules regarding the amount and schedule of visitation. Generally, Courts will permit a nonresidential parent to have parenting time with a child for up to 50% of a child’s waking hours. So, parental involvement is encouraged. Nevertheless, there is no formal or legal presumption that necessitates extremely liberal visitation; a nonresidential parent must be prepared to prove it is in the child’s best interest.
A grandparent or sibling may petition for visitation if the custodial parent unreasonably denies visitation.
With more fathers seeking custody of their children than ever before, it is important to realize what things courts consider in determining children’s best interests. Courts often look at who performs basic but important services for the kids.

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In Illinois, alimony is awarded without regard to marital misconduct. According to Illinois divorce law, the judge orders support from one spouse to the other if the parties cannot agree. The court awards alimony in a lump sum or for a fixed or indefinite period of time. The alimony may be paid from the income or property of the other spouse after considering all relevant factors, including the income and assets of each spouse, the needs of each party, the earning capacity of each party, any impairment of the earning capacity of the party seeking alimony caused by marital sacrifices, the time necessary for the receiving party to seek employment, the standard of living established while married, the length of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, and the contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education or career potential of the other spouse.

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