IL family lawyerLife after divorce is filled with various changes. Not only do couples have to learn how to live on their own, but many feel as if they are completely starting over. Though spouses may be adjusting to doing things on their own, parenting does not normally fall under this same category. Parenting after finalizing a divorce is not meant to be done alone. In most cases, judges rule in favor of joint custody in order to keep both parents in the child’s life. Though co-parenting can make things easier for both spouses, it does require adjustments from both parents.

Parenting Styles

There are four different types of parenting styles. Often times people do not realize which parenting style they use until they are parenting primarily alone. Understanding and recognizing your parenting style versus your ex-spouse’s is important in learning how to adjust the ways in which you parent after your divorce.

  • Authoritarian: This style of parenting puts all of the power into the hands of the parents while giving none to the children. Those who use authoritarian parenting are often strict with discipline and communication is primarily one-sided.
  • Permissive: Permissive parents take on a role that is similar to friendship. Though they offer some guidance, these parents allow their children to make many decisions for themselves.
  • Uninvolved: This parenting style does not involve much guidance or “parenting”. These children have complete autonomy and make their own decisions.
  • Authoritative: This style of parenting is known as the happy medium. Parents who utilize this form have a balance between strict discipline and nurturing guidance.

Co-Parenting Tips

While identifying you and your ex’s parenting techniques can be helpful with co-parenting, there are a variety of other ways in which co-parenting can run smoothly.

  • It is important to have uniformity across households. Though your parenting styles may be different, consistency is beneficial in a child’s life. Having the same rules in both houses eliminates many problems regarding what is expected of the child and how you both wish to raise him/her.
  • Agreeing on positive discussion is crucial. Neither spouse should express their negative personal feelings for their ex. This can force children to feel divided between both parents and cause a child to adopt one parent’s opinion of the other.
  • Stay in contact with your ex-spouse. Though there may be tension between you two, it is important to communicate with your child’s other parent to remain fully knowledgeable about their lives. This communication does not necessarily have to be done in person. Many divorced couples rely on phone calls and emails. The form of communication is less important than the overall need to talk.

Contact an Illinois Parenting Agreement Attorney

Co-parenting is a skill that must be learned after the logistics of a divorce are settled. Written parenting plans are an Illinois requirement for those who are granted joint custody. It is important to have an experienced attorney to help make these decisions concrete in the eyes of the court. Shaw Family Law, P.C. has experience in all aspects of the divorce process. Contact our Kane County divorce attorneys for a free consultation at 630-584-5550.

 

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce comes with hundreds of life-changing questions that must be answered in a matter of months. Add children to the mix and things get even more complicated. If you and your former spouse have decided on joint custody, an agreement will be written for you to follow after your marriage has been officially ended. This agreement will include details about each parent’s rights and responsibilities, information about the child, and a parenting time schedule. This schedule breaks down who the child will be with at each hour throughout the week and weekend. The purpose of the parenting time schedule is to avoid having further disputes about time spent with the child. Although a parenting time schedule can be different for each family, there are common schedules that many families choose to follow.

  • The 50/50: This plan is pretty straight-forward. Your child will spend 50 percent of his/her time with mom and the other 50 percent with dad. Some families choose to alternate custody on a weekly basis while others select a biweekly schedule.
  • The 60/40: This can be broken down in two ways. Some families decide to have an “every extended weekend” schedule in which the child spends a long weekend with one parent every week and the remaining four days of the week with the other. Others decide to spend four days with one parent and three days with the other, not necessarily lining their plans up with the weekend.
  • The 70/30: In the 70/30, a child spends five days with one parent and the remaining two days with the other. This is most often done by having one parent take weekends and the other take weekdays.
  • The 80/20: This plan gives one parent primary visitation hours. Under the 80/20 plan, a child will live with one parent most of the time, while seeing the other parent on a bi-weekend basis. In other terms, one parent will see their child every other weekend while the other has their child the rest of the time.

Parenting Agreement Help

Selecting a parenting agreement that works best for your family can be a stressful and difficult decision to make, especially if you and your spouse are not on the best of terms. Our seasoned Kane County parenting agreement attorneys have experience with creating parenting time schedules, whether it follows a common format or not. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we spend time working with both spouses to come to a conclusion that works best for your family. Contact us to receive your free consultation at 630-584-5550.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8350000&SeqEnd=10200000

IL family lawMany people decide to move after finalizing their divorce because starting over is done much easier in a new place surrounded by new people. However, divorces involving children are much more complicated than simply packing a suitcase and signing an apartment lease. Before getting divorced, many people do not realize how much control the court system can have over you and your familial decisions. Though you may want to start you and your child’s life over in a new place by relocating, there are many steps that must be taken before the house hunt can begin.

The Process

Moving from one area to another is stressful enough. Adding a divorce and child into the mix only further complicates things. Follow these three steps to get yourself on the path of relocation:

  1. Choosing your location: Moving from one house to another within the same area is not considered “relocation” under Illinois law. However, if you plan to move over 25 miles from the child’s current residence, your former spouse and courts may become involved in the process.
  2. Speaking with your ex-spouse: One of the first steps that must be taken is discussing your decision with your ex-spouse. Whether you have primary custody of your child or not, you are not legally allowed to relocate your child without your ex-spouse’s permission.
  3. Notify the court: The court and your ex-spouse must receive a written notice 60 days prior to relocating. If your spouse agrees to the relocation and signs it, no further court action is required; however, without this written permission, you will have to petition the court to move without your former spouse’s permission.

In the Eyes of the Court

If you failed to receive permission for your relocation by your former spouse, court action will be required. Rather than choosing between one parent or another, most courts make their decision based on what they think is best for the child. There are a number of factors judges consider including the following:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_marijuana.jpgLots of people use marijuana. As more and more states legalize cannabis use for medicinal and recreational purposes, more adults openly admit to using the plant to relieve their stress and pain. In family court, marijuana use is a touchy subject. In Illinois, it is legal to use cannabis medicinally through the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. Possession of a small amount of marijuana has been decriminalized throughout the state, but this does not mean it is actually legal to possess and use marijuana without a valid prescription. Simply using marijuana will not result in having your parental rights terminated, but it is important for you to understand that many judges are biased against marijuana use and that it can impact your parenting plan. If your former partner alleges that you are addicted to drugs or that your cannabis use negatively impacts your ability to parent your children, work with an experienced family lawyer to show the court the truth.

Keep your Medication and your Children Separate

Do not give your former partner any possible “ammunition” to use against you. If you are a medical marijuana user, keep your medication out of your children’s reach at all times. Do not use marijuana while your children are with you, and if you consume cannabis in the form of edibles, keep them in a secure place where there is no chance of your children accidentally consuming them. Failing to keep medication securely out of children’s reach is poor parenting and can be grounds to limit the time you spend with your children.

Another tip to keep in mind is to keep discussions of your medical marijuana use off social media. Posts and images can be taken out of context and used to create a narrative that is not actually true, a narrative that casts you as an unfit parent. Do not post any content that can be used against you this way.

Be Prepare to Show the Court the Truth

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IL family lawyerIn the past, mothers have had the power in the custody courtroom. The mother is often given custody as a result of female stereotypes and age-old parental roles. She is seen as nurturing, selfless, and “the primary parent” whereas fathers can be seen as careless and unfit to care for a child on his own. Though times have changed and these parental stereotypes have been proven inaccurate, fathers continue to fall short in the courtroom.

Dad Data

Joint custody is the most common decision made because it is thought that a child should be raised by both of his/her parents. Joint custody may allow for both parents to be in the child’s life, but not necessarily in equal amounts. Illinois ranks in the bottom five states for the amount of custody time allotted to fathers. These children only spend an average of 23.1 percent of their time each year with their dad, giving the mother the other 3/4 of their time. The United States may be moving towards eliminating gender bias; however, the state of Illinois is in 47th place in the U.S. for the amount of custody time fathers are provided.

Though joint custody is often best for the child, not all situations allow for this to happen. Extenuating circumstances force judges to choose one parent over the other, leading to the impossible choice of giving full custody to one parent. According to the 2016 U.S. Census Report, fathers only win primary custody 17.5 percent of the time. Laws may have been passed stating that there is no custody preference for women over men, but the data shows otherwise.

Four Tips to Win Custody

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