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630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Top Chicago Area Divorce Lawyers
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Oak Brook parenting time attorney grandparents

For many children, spending time with grandparents is just as vital to their happiness and success as spending time with their parents. Across the country, millions of grandparents are an integral part of their grandchildren’s lives. Many older parents worry that if their child gets divorced, they will no longer be able to spend time with their grandkids. In some cases, a grandparent may need to petition the court in order to be granted visitation with their grandchildren. If you are seeking this type of order, it is essential that you obtain professional legal counsel so you fully understand your rights as a grandparent.

Circumstances That May Lead an Illinois Court to Order Grandparent Visitation

Unless parents have lost their parental rights due to abuse, abandonment, serious drug addiction, or another reason, they have a legal right to spend time with their children. This right does not automatically extend to grandparents. However, grandmothers and grandfathers may be able to receive a court order that grants them the legal right to visitation with their grandkids in certain situations. If you are a grandparent, you may be able to receive court-ordered visitation with your grandchildren if:

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DuPage County child custody attorney

Going through a divorce when you and your spouse have a child together is often much more complicated than a divorce that does not involve a minor child. There are many questions that divorcing parents will need to address as part of the legal process of ending your marriage, including whether you will share custody of your child or assign the majority of the parental responsibilities to one parent. If you plan to have a co-parenting arrangement, you will need to determine which parent the child will spend the majority of his or her time with, how the child will be transported between households, and a number of other issues, such as parenting time during the holidays.

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Illinois replaced the terms “child custody” and “visitation” with the terms “allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” in 2016 as part of a major overhaul of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Divorcing parents in Illinois must decide how they will distribute parental responsibilities and parenting time, and these decisions will be formalized in their official parenting plan or parenting agreement.

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Cook County divorce attorney parental relocation

Sharing parental responsibility and parenting time with your ex-spouse can sometimes be challenging. You and your child’s other parent may disagree about certain aspects of your child’s upbringing, or you may struggle to find a division of parenting time that allows you both to see your child as much as you want. One issue that often leads to disputes after a divorce is parental relocation. If you or your ex is planning to move, you may wonder how this relocation will affect your shared parenting time arrangements. Illinois law dictates when a parent must seek approval from a judge before moving, so it is important to know the stipulations that may apply to your situation. If you have any child-related disputes with your child’s other parent, an experienced divorce attorney can help find a solution that works for you.

How Far Away Is the New Residence?

The law treats parental relocations differently depending on how far away the parent is planning to move. Local relocations do not require the parent to seek court approval. However, the parent will be required to take additional steps if moving involves any of the following aspects:

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DuPage County divorce parenting plan attorney

If you and your spouse have children together, and you are going to get divorced in Illinois, you will be required to create a parenting plan or agreement. A parenting plan outlines the way the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time will be managed after the divorce. In some cases, one parent may have all of the parenting time, often referred to as having “sole custody,” but many divorced couples have a shared parenting arrangement. Coming to an agreement about the required provisions in a parenting plan is not always easy, but with an experienced attorney’s help, you can resolve many of these issues. 

Key Elements of a Shared Parenting Arrangement

There are several issues that must be addressed in your parenting plan. You will need to list your child’s official address for school enrollment purposes as well as each parent’s address and contact information. You will need to decide which parent will have the majority of parenting time as well as how important child-related decision-making responsibilities should be divided or shared between the parents. You will also be required to create a plan for how the child will be transported between the two households. An Illinois parenting plan must also include information about how any future proposed changes to the parenting plan or future parental relocations should be handled. There are also provisions describing other parental rights and responsibilities.

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Cook County high-conflict divorce lawyer

While all divorces involve at least some degree of hostility, a high-conflict divorce is especially contentious. Child psychiatrist Dr. Mark Banschick calls high-conflict divorces “malignant divorces” because of the stress and emotional burdens these splits can incur. If you are a parent who is getting divorced, and you have a combative relationship with your spouse, you probably worry about how this conflict will affect your child. There is no perfect way to help your child cope through a high-conflict divorce, but experts do have suggestions for how to minimize your child’s emotional trauma during a difficult divorce.  

Have Adult Conversations Away from the Children

Experts agree that children can be deeply disturbed by parental conflict and fighting. The best way to minimize your child’s trauma during divorce is to keep adult conversations away from your child as much as possible. Studies show that when children watch or overhear their parents fighting, they are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems. Working with a skilled mediator may be one way to keep divorce-related discussions compartmentalized, but this is not always a possibility during a high-conflict divorce. If possible, take divorce-related phone calls in another room and avoid “bad-mouthing” the other parent in front of your child.

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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