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IL divorce lawyerHaving a child puts everything into perspective. Instead of focusing on yourself, your goal is to make sure your children are happy, healthy, and grow up to be successful, well-adjusted adults. Many people falsely believe that the best situation for children is having two parents who are in a relationship with one another, but staying together for the kids can actually do more harm than getting a divorce.

Studies have shown that children who are subject to constant stress and conflict have more issues with anxiety, depression, anger, and social difficulties. However, there are also studies that show children whose parents divorced are actually well-adjusted and successful, suggesting there is a way you can help your children through divorce.

Helping Your Children Through the Process

If you are getting a divorce, you should be proactive about how you deal with the situation if you have children. Here are a few ways you can minimize the impact your divorce has on your children:

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IL divorce attorneyGetting a divorce has many ramifications, especially when it comes to familial relationships. Not only are you splitting up with your spouse, but you are also splitting up your family unit, which in many cases includes extended family such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. In many families, grandparents have a close relationship with their grandchildren, especially if they helped care for them. Unfortunately, divorce can bring out the worst in people and a parent can interfere with the relationship between the child and a grandparent for whatever reason. Illinois laws address this issue in the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

Visitation Rights of Certain Non-Parents

The state of Illinois has recognized that extended family members often play a large role in a child’s life. In some families, grandparents take care of the children while the parents are at work. In other families, the child spends a significant amount of time with his or her step-parent. The law allows certain family members to petition for visitation or electronic communication when a parent “unreasonably” denies visitation or communication and the denial has caused undue mental, physical or emotional harm. These family members include:

  • Grandparents
  • Great-grandparents
  • Step-parents
  • Siblings
  • Step-siblings

Granting Visitation

If visitation for the child is contested, the court’s presumption is that the parent denying the visitation is acting in the child’s best interests. This means the burden to prove otherwise lies with the person who is petitioning for visitation. Typically, a judge will not grant visitation to a non-parent unless that person can demonstrate that the denial of visitation would cause harm to the child’s emotional, physical, or mental wellbeing.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce can be complicated on its own, but adding children into the mix can complicate things further. When you get a divorce and you and your ex have children together, you will almost always split decision-making responsibilities and parenting time with them if it is left to the courts to decide. The courts will encourage you and your ex to work together to create parenting plans, but in the event you and your spouse cannot work together, Illinois family courts will intervene and it will be left to a judge to determine what is in the best interests of the children. Sometimes, a parent may believe that what is best for their child is for the other parent to play no part in their life. In cases like these, will the court issue an order to restrict parenting time?

Petitioning the Court for Parenting Time Restrictions

In an effort to be fair to all parents, the court begins its determinations from a place of neutrality. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifically states that “It is presumed that both parents are fit and the court shall not place any restrictions on parenting time…” If you believe that your ex should have parenting time restrictions, you must be able to prove to the court that spending time with your ex would endanger the physical, mental, moral or emotional health and well being of your children. If you wish to restrict your ex’s parenting time, you must petition the court for the restriction and attend a hearing.

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Posted on in Family Law

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL order of protection attorney,An order of protection, sometimes referred to as a restraining order, is a court order that restricts an individual accused of threatening or abusive behavior from continuing their behavior against the accuser. Abuse includes physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, or interference with personal property.

There are several ways an order of protection can be obtained. You can file an order of protection through an attorney, request one with your divorce petition, request a criminal order of protection if there have been criminal charges filed against the alleged abuser, or contact a local domestic violence program for help.

Illinois Order of Protection

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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.

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