child-custodyFor parents going through a divorce, one of the steps in the process is formulating parenting schedule. Formerly known as “visitation”, parenting time arrangements legally lay out your schedule for parenting and spending time with your child. Oftentimes the custodial parent will remain living in the marital home with the children while the non-custodial parent will move into a new apartment or house and care for the children from that location. This allows each parent to have their own space while still caring for their child. However, there is another option that many families have never heard of known as nesting.

What Is Nesting?

Nesting is an alternative arrangement that some divorcing families use to help their children with the transitional period of the divorce. For those with a nesting arrangement, the children will remain in the marital home regardless of who is caring for them. Rather than moving from one parent’s home to another, the parents come to them. This can help children, especially those of a young age, become accustomed to their parents splitting up. It can be difficult for young children to live between two homes and some parents decide to take additional steps to keep their life as “normal” as possible.

Pros and Cons of Nesting  

Like any parenting arrangement, nesting has its ups and downs; however, some families have seen it help their children in the long run. Many parents who decide to “nest” will share the second residence and live there while their former spouse cares for the children at the marital home. This can save the recently divorced couple a lot of money in the end. Rather than leaving the rent or mortgage on one parent’s shoulders, the two can divide the cost. Nesting can also provide children with a structured schedule that does not require interruptions throughout the week. Not only can this make the divorce easier to swallow, but it can also help the kids focus on their academics and social lives rather than their new living environment.

Nesting comes with its own set of challenges despite its benefits. Sharing an alternative address and moving between both homes can make it difficult for the divorced couple to move on. While there are obvious differences in the post-divorce relationship, this shared residence can prevent the parents from meeting new adults, going on dates, or having a social life outside of their co-parent. They may feel obligated to keep the space “neutral” which could stop them from severing all emotional ties to their former spouse. Moving from one house to another can also be exhausting, especially for parents with full-time jobs. They may have a hard time feeling “at home” while staying at their alternative address.

Call a Chicago Parenting Time Attorney for Help

    Nesting may not be for every couple, but it is important to know all of your options if you are a parent going through a divorce. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand that your children are you priority and sometimes that requires formulating an alternative parenting arrangement. No matter the personal situation, our divorce attorneys will work hard to ensure that your arrangement includes the wellbeing of your child. If you are a parent considering divorce, contact our Elmhurst parenting time attorneys at 312-605-4041 for assistance.


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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce proceedings can get ugly very quickly, especially when children are involved. Rarely do child custody cases go as planned and both parents usually do not get the custody arrangement that they were hoping for. Regardless of the parents’ marital relationship, many couples get used to co-parenting and can find it difficult to have to “take time off” from parenting their kids. Things can become even more complicated if the parenting relationship is contentious.

What Situations Warrant Visitation?

In order for the court to require supervised visits between a parent and their child, a serious situation must have happened between the parent and child or the two parents. The bad blood between divorcing spouses may prompt one or both parents to try and seek full custody or supervised visitation requirements for the child’s other parent. In order for the court to take this request seriously, one of the following situations must be proven:

  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse has been inflicted upon the child by the parent;
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse has been inflicted upon one parent by the other parent;
  • A parent struggles with substance abuse;
  • A parent has an uncontrollable mental illness that poses harm to the child;
  • A parent poses a risk of kidnapping or abducting the child;
  • A parent has neglected the child;
  • A parent has been absent from the child’s life and wishes to form a relationship with the child; and/or
  • There have been dangerous situations involving the family as a result of a parent’s actions.

How Do Supervised Visits Go?

Supervised visitation is exactly what it sounds like – a parent must have another adult party present to act as the supervisor while spending time with their child. This person can be a social worker or family member and the visit can take place at the parent’s home or at a designated facility. These decisions will be made by a judge after weighing the parent’s mental fitness and their circumstances. The controlled setting is meant to help the parent and child maintain a relationship while keeping the child safe.

A judge will decide whether the visits should be temporary or indefinite. If investigations are involved with the parent, the supervision requirement may end after the investigation is complete, dependent upon its end result. There are ways in which a parent can challenge the court order. A parent must show that they have changed for the better. An example of this is the successful completion of rehabilitation or counseling. The parent that wishes to change the arrangement will return to court and request the modification with proof of their changes.

An Elmhurst, IL Child Custody Attorney Can Help

When going through a divorce, especially one that includes children, your attorney is instrumental in keeping a consistent relationship with your child. If you believe that your child’s other parent is unfit to care for your child or you risk losing your ability to see your child freely, it is crucial to have an experienced child custody lawyer on your side. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, our DuPage County child custody attorneys have extensive experience working with all different family situations to ensure that your child is safe. If you need assistance with your child custody arrangements, contact our Elmhurst child custody attorneys at 312-605-4041 for help.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,All areas of divorce are difficult: The decision-making, the legal process, and adjusting to a new lifestyle. For couples without children, divorce is a life change that happens on an individual level. However, once children are involved, the ending of a marriage involves your own healing as well as your children’s emotions about the decision. Telling your children about the split is half the battle.

What Do I Say (and Not Say)?

The way you present the news is almost as important as what you say. The following tips provide help on what you should say to your children when having the difficult conversation and how you should say it.

  1. Act as a United Front: While it is no secret that you are no longer on the same page with your relationship, your parenting should remain collaborative. Planning the conversation ahead of time is a good way to try and keep things on track. This can be a good way to try and keep your emotions in check before speaking with your children. A child’s worst fear is losing a parent in divorce and having their life alter completely. You want to present the information together to show your child that although your marriage may be coming to an end, your family will remain intact, even if it is changing.

  2. Tell the Truth: At the end of the day, your child is going to be wondering “why?” Some children may already have an understanding of why the marriage is ending, especially if your relationship has been on the decline for a while. However, young children often do not understand how or why the marriage is ending. It is important to provide your children with truthful information while avoiding sharing too much. Parts of your relationship should remain private but giving an explanation such as “we don’t get along anymore” can give your child closure.

  3. Keep Things Civil: Some parents fall into the trap of throwing their spouse under the bus. As emotions heighten during the conversation, they can begin to blame their ex for the end of the marriage. This is one of the most important things to remember about divorce: Your children should not be involved in your squabbles. You and your spouse’s conflicts should not affect their relationship with their child.

  4. Tell Them “I Love You”: Reassuring your child that nothing has changed in regards for your love for them may seem unnecessary but it can be the most important thing said. Many children see your ending marriage as losing you as a parent, even though this is not the case. Reminding your child that this is not the case is crucial.

Contact an Elmhurst Divorce Attorney for Help

Personal stress is inevitable when it comes to divorce, especially if children are involved. The legal portion of divorce should be taken care of by a professional in order to allow you to focus on your children’s wellbeing and your own. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we have experience with all forms of divorce, no matter how amicable or contentious the spouses’ relationship is. If you are looking for legal assistance with your divorce, contact our DuPage County divorce lawyers at 312-605-4041to schedule a consultation.



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parentingIn the past, parenting was often solely an option for heterosexual couples. Whether through biological means or adoption, the nuclear family became the norm in American culture. Times have changed and this is now no longer the case. Many same-sex couples now have large families, both biologically and through adoption. Despite the open-mindedness that has now spread throughout the U.S., same-sex couples still experience legal differences in terms of parenting.

What Is Second Parent Adoption?

 In the eyes of the court, there is a difference between the biological parent and non-biological parent regardless of the amount of parenting each person actually does. This means that the non-biological parent does not have any legal rights of the child. If the child was sick in the hospital, only the biological parent is considered family. In the case of separation or divorce, the non-biological parent would have no right to see their child if the biological parent made that decision. While this may not be an issue when both parents are on good terms, this could become a problem if the marriage goes south. Many do not realize the power that emotions can have over a person until they experience heartbreak or a downhill marriage.

Second parent adoption, also known as co-parent adoption, is the best way to ensure that both parents have equal rights over the child. This form of adoption is now available in all 50 states. Unlike other forms of adoption, second parent adoption does not terminate the other parent’s rights to the child or make the other parent a step parent.

What Other Steps Should I Take?

Most families take co-parent adoption as their last step in the process to ensure equal rights of their child. An additional step that some families take is to create a custody agreement. This is similar to a prenuptial agreement. Both heterosexual and same-sex couples can create custody agreements in the case of divorce or separation. These agreements lay out the duties and expectations of each parent as well as a potential visitation schedule.

Contact a DuPage County Adoption Lawyer

Now that same-sex families have become less of a rarity, legal processes to officiate these families have followed suit. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we help all couples with the legal processes behind growing their families. If you are considering becoming a legal co-parent, contact our experienced Elmhurst adoption attorneys at 312-605-4041.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois collaborative divorce lawyerSome people may not realize that money they put into a retirement account, like a 401(k) or IRA, during their marriage is not theirs alone. When the marriage ends in divorce, those retirement funds will likely need to be split just like every other asset and debt the couple has acquired while they were married. In order to avoid paying large fees on a retirement plan withdrawal, the couple will likely need a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order). An attorney can help walk the parties through the process, as it can get a little bit complicated.

What is a QDRO?

A QDRO is an official decree, which must be approved by a judge, that orders one party to transfer funds from his or her retirement plan to the other divorcing party. Information that must be included in the QDRO includes the plan participant’s name and either a specific amount or percentage of the benefits that are to be paid to the other party.

The party who is receiving the funds must then receive the money as if he or she was the owner of the plan. Then the payee may use the money as needed, which will result in taxes charged to the receiver of the money, or he or she may roll it over into another plan, which makes the transaction tax-free.

The payee may also use part of the money and roll over the rest. It all depends on the needs of the party who is receiving the funds. This is the case, at least, when the QDRO involves transferring money to a spouse or former spouse. However, if the person being paid is a child or other dependent, the participant of the plan will be taxed for the withdrawal.

How Are Retirement Plans Split in Divorce?

The amounts and percentages given to the other divorcing party will depend on the individual case. Everything is not always split 50/50, as there are many variables involved, like the incomes of both parties, any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements that may be in place, etc. An attorney can help sort through the numbers to come up with fair amounts.

Contact an Experienced Elmhurst Divorce Attorney Today

If you are facing divorce, the attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, can walk you through the process of filing a QDRO and much more. A knowledgeable Oak Park divorce attorney could make all the difference in your case. Call 312-605-4041 to set up a consultation today.


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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,If you are close to retirement and facing a divorce (sometimes called a “gray” divorce), the issues you will need to address are at least somewhat different than those faced by younger couples. For example, you probably do not need to worry about child custody, as your children, if there were any, may already be grown and out of the house. You do likely have a lot more assets in the form of bank accounts, retirement funds, shared real estate, and more that will have to be split between the two of you.

Where to Begin

Even if both parties are willing to share and compromise, there is more to splitting certain funds than one may realize. Rather than being able to just share an IRA or 401(k) like you might do with a bank account, there are rules that must be followed to avoid various fees and taxes. Often, individuals who have passed their middle-aged years have a variety of retirement accounts, and they can be tricky.

An experienced attorney can help you navigate through all the laws and regulations to make sure you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse both get a fair deal. However, it is important that you be realistic and keep in mind that you will likely end up taking at least a minor financial hit. Transitioning from one household to two separate households will obviously mean, except in rare cases, a major increase in expenses.

Also, there is no way to getting around sharing your retirement accounts, unless of course the other party agrees not to touch it in your settlement. Even if it did come directly from your hard-earned income, it also was technically from your mutual marital income.

What Is a QDRO?

Your attorney will explain to you that a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) will be needed to split a 401(k) account without facing a lot of fees. A QDRO is a one-time break that allows you to share your retirement funds with the other party, without being subjected to a penalty. If you take out any more money to use elsewhere, there will be a penalty on that portion of your withdrawal if you are younger than 59½. A QDRO will not be needed for an IRA, but if an IRA is split, it will have to be done officially in your divorce decree or separation agreement in order for the IRA custodian to honor it. If you take the money out directly from an IRA, there will be a penalty for those under 59½, but if it is rolled over to another IRA, there is no penalty.

Contact a Knowledgeable Elmhurst Divorce Attorney

The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz and Oliver, LLC, will know exactly how to help you with your divorce. Our experienced Oak Park divorce attorneys will know exactly how to split all of your assets and debts in the best manner to avoid any unnecessary fees. Call 312-605-4041 to inquire about setting up a consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,For many people, the time they went through their divorce may have been the worst time of their lives. No matter whether you wanted out of the marriage or not, from the moment of your separation until well after the divorce is final can be a period of uncertainty and loneliness. Legal missteps during this time can affect the rest of your life, so it is important that you try to remain as mentally and emotionally well during this time.

Coping Tips

  1. Acknowledge your feelings, allow yourself to have them, and deal with them in healthy ways. Rather than trying to push down the wide range of emotions you are facing, try working on self-improvement and stress relievers, like working out at the gym, going for a walk, or talking things through with a close friend.
  2. Take care of yourself. Do not allow yourself to wallow in sorrow or anger. Eat healthily, get plenty of rest, even if you are having trouble sleeping, and do not turn to alcohol or drugs as coping mechanisms. These can lead to poor decisions and lifelong issues., so tread carefully.
  3. Make sure your attorney is handling your case in the way you want. If there are specific issues that you want to make sure are taken care of, make sure to communicate those necessities to your lawyer. Heed your attorney’s advice, but also offer input to ensure your needs are being met. Having things taken care of from a legal standpoint will take a lot of stress and worry off of your shoulders.
  4. Avoid arguing with your spouse (or ex-spouse). It will be tempting to answer every call, text, or email, and often you will want to get some anger and disappointment off your chest, but unfortunately, this can, and most likely will, lead to even more negative emotions piling onto you.
  5. Spend time with loved ones. You need friendships and support during a divorce. You may also need some alone time to reflect, but do not allow yourself to be too closed off from the people who love you and want to help you through this difficult time.
  6. If you have children, reassure them, and try to keep up their regular activities as much as possible. Do not drag them into the conflict, but rather try to remain as positive as you can around them. However, also be honest about the situation and let them know that they also are entitled to their feelings, and be open for them to talk to you about the situation.

Contact an Elmhurst Attorney for Help with Your Divorce

The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, are knowledgeable and ready to help you through your divorce. Contact an experienced Elmhurst attorney to iron out the details that will keep your divorce process as stress-free as it can be. Call 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.



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divorceDivorce can bring on a rush of emotions and leave a person going through the process not thinking clearly. There is so much to think about that many assets may be overlooked. Both spouses are legally required to be upfront about their assets. Although there are often cases in which a spouse purposely hides assets, some items are quite simply forgotten when it comes time to divide up everything in a divorce.

Where to Begin with Property Division

Most people probably have no problem coming up with a list of assets and debts that will have to be split in their divorce. On the asset side, think bank accounts, the family home, cars, and investments. On the debt side, think mortgages, loans, and credit cards. These can be split evenly, or couples may have different ideas for who will get what. An experienced divorce attorney can help you iron out a fair deal in your divorce and can assist in making sure you do not forget about any other valuable items that you may be entitled to.

Take Note of The Following Oft-Forgotten Assets

  • Retirement Funds: Besides checking and savings accounts, many people have 401(k)’s or other types of investment funds through their places of employment. Members of couples who have been married a while may be able to lay claim to part of their soon-to-be-ex’s retirement accounts.
  • Collections: Some collect wine, coins, jewelry, or even cars. Chances are, your combined assets have gone into building said collections, so even if you do not want to take half of the collection, you may be entitled to half of its monetary value.
  • Valuable Gifts: Watches and rings, large TVs, vehicles, and other gifts given during the marriage legally belong to both of you. In addition, even if something belonged to only one of you prior to the marriage, if you added his or her name to it during the marriage, it could be considered marital property.
  • Photographs and Items of Sentimental Value: These must also be divided or copies made when possible, even if they have little to no monetary value.
  • Intellectual Property: Products or ideas that were trademarked, copyrighted, etc., during the marriage must be split, including any income that may come from them in the future.
  • Winnings or Loan Repayments: If a spouse wins money or valuable items in a contest, on a lottery ticket, at a casino, or by other means, during the marriage, it has to be shared. The same goes for repayments received from loans given by the couple, or either member of the couple, during the marriage.

Seek Legal Counsel in Your Divorce

The above list may only scratch the surface of all the possibilities for assets that could be overlooked in the midst of divorce proceedings. An experienced Elmhurst divorce attorney can help you sort through any belongings or debts you may have and work out a fair settlement. Call 312-605-4041 to set up a free consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time lawyer,Many times, the first thing on a parent’s mind when they get a divorce is how it can affect their children. Many people have said that staying together for the children is better than getting a divorce. There have been numerous studies on how divorce affects children and their well being, but their have also been many studies on how unhappy marriages affect children. Most of these studies have concluded that while a divorce is difficult for many children, staying in an unhappy marriage can be even more detrimental for children’s well being. Many times, the decision to divorce or not to divorce is made based on the children’s best interests. Here are just a couple of ways that an unhappy marriage can affect your children.

Constant Stress and Tension

If you are in a marriage where you and your spouse fight a lot, your child is experiencing some of that stress and the tension that the fights create. It is natural for children to internalize their parents, but when they internalize all of their parents’ fighting and conflict, that can lead to emotional, physical and social ailments, like depression or chronic fatigue. Even if you try to hide the fighting, children are very receptive and can sense you and your spouse’s unhappiness.

Mood and Behavior Problems

Constant fighting and stress can cause your children to develop problems like chronic depression or behavioral issues. Often, children whose parents are in unhappy marriages tend to act out or misbehave as a way of expressing their feelings.

Low Self-Esteem

A home that has an abundance of tension and fighting can produce children who constantly question themselves and their actions. Children often internalize their parent’s problems and blame themselves for the family’s unhappiness. This can cause children to have low self-esteem and be uncertain about many things.

Discuss Your Options With a Park Ridge, IL Divorce Attorney

Making the decision to get a divorce is one of the biggest and most important decisions you might have to make in your life. It can be especially difficult if you are on the fence because of your children. Studies have shown that staying in an unhappy marriage can have negative effects on your children, but only you know your children best. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand that making the decision to divorce is not taken lightly. Talking with an experienced Oak Ridge, IL divorce lawyer can help you make your decision. Call our office at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time lawyer, parenting time and repsonsibilities, There are millions of Americans living with a mental illness. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) say that nearly 44 million people experience a mental illness in any given year and about 10 million adults live with a chronic mental illness. Mental illness can include conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder, but by far the most common mental illnesses in the United States are depression and anxiety disorders. Though the public perception of mental illness has changed to become more open and understanding, mental illness can still impact people in serious ways, especially those who are going through a divorce. Mental illness can also impact decisions made about parenting time and responsibilities in divorce cases.

How Divorce Decisions Involving Children Are Made

When making decisions about a parent’s allotted parenting time and responsibilities in Illinois, the judge must consider what is in the child’s best interests. The judge will look at many factors before making his or her decision, including:

  • The wishes of the child, within reason;
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate when making decisions;
  • The wishes of each parent;
  • The interactions of the child with each parent and any siblings;
  • The child’s needs;
  • The ability of each parent to put the child’s needs before their own; and
  • Any other factor the court deems to be relevant.

The judge’s main goal when making decisions involving children is to make sure the child is happy, healthy and getting adequate care.

Mental Health Issues and Their Impact on Child-Centered Issues

Though the mental health of both of the parents and the child are taken into consideration by the judge when he or she makes decisions about parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, a parent will not be automatically disqualified from either just by having a mental illness. The judge will take into consideration the severity and type of mental illness that you have. A more severe mental illness, like schizophrenia, might constitute a reason to take away certain decision-making responsibilities, or a condition like substance abuse might limit parenting time. It also depends on whether or not the parent is currently receiving help for their mental illness and their willingness to do so if they are currently not.

Contact an Elmhurst, IL Child Custody Attorney Today

Divorce and mental illness are two very difficult things to deal with on their own. Put them together and they become even harder. Parents who have a mental illness often worry if that will interfere with their right to parenting time and responsibilities in the event of a divorce, but they should not worry. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand the gravity of child custody cases and the worries that come with a mental illness. Our highly-skilled Park Ridge, IL child custody lawyers can help you build your defense to any mental illness claims your spouse might make against you. Call our office today at 312-605-4041 to set up a consultation.



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