IL custody lawyerInstead of classifying types of child custody as “joint” - between two parents - or “sole - between one parent - the state of Illinois practices allocation of parental responsibilities. This means that during a divorce, the family court judge and the parents involved will set the terms of a parenting plan that decides who will be the main decision-maker for the children, what amount of time each parent will get with their children, and the rules for when a plan can be modified.

Generally, a parent cannot petition to modify a parenting plan for two years from the date the document was finalized. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act says that parenting plans can only be modified sooner if the child’s physical, emotional, and/or mental well-being is in danger. This can be determined through the enforcement of parental responsibilities.

How Is a Parenting Plan Enforced?

One parent can ask for a petition to check-up on the other parent if they believe the parental responsibilities are not meeting the expectations of the agreement. The parent who is accusing the other of negligence can fill out paperwork describing the evidence they have seen as to how a parenting plan is being violated.

Types of relevant violations include:

  • Physical abuse or neglect
  • Missing appointments and tardiness in school drop-offs
  • Substance abuse
  • Deterioration of the child’s physical health and/or hygiene

If the court finds sufficient evidence to suggest that a parent is not meeting the standards of the parenting plan, they can order family counseling and physical education programs to better educate the parents. They can also decide to modify the parenting plan before the two years are complete.

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IL divorce lawyerThere are various situations in which grandparents take on the parental role for their grandchildren. Sometimes the child’s parents pass away, some are unfit to raise children, while others are simply absent in their children’s lives. While many grandparents will take their grandchildren in as a result of their own child’s neglect or absence, this can be a difficult task for older people to take on. Dreams of travel, spending time with their spouse, or a relaxing retirement can get put on a temporary or permanent hold. Many grandparents willingly adopt their grandchildren but the transition is not always so easy.

Tips for Easing the Transition

  1. Feelings First: Both you and your grandchildren will feel a mix of emotions about the huge life change. You may be feeling a combination of happy and sad feelings: pleased to be able to provide your grandchild with a loving home but upset that your life plan took an unexpected turn. Your grandchild will most likely be experienced similar sentiments. For children, these feelings can often be displayed through aggressive or inappropriate behavior. Talking to your grandchildren about their feelings is the first step towards creating a sense of normalcy. Looking for grandparent support groups is a good way to get a hold on your feelings without taking them out on your grandchild accidentally.

  2. Make Your House Their Home: Children thrive off of stability which can seem impossible to create in the midst of a parental change. However, there are steps that can be taken to help build this new home. Creating a schedule or routine helps form a new sense of normalcy as does setting house rules for the child to abide by. The best way to make your home feel like their home is to give them their own space. Having their own bedroom can make your house feel less temporary, allowing the child to see your home as their home.

  3. Encourage Parental Contact: Many situations make this impossible and sometimes contact with the parents is not in the child’s best interest, but this is not always the case. If the child’s parent is still able to be contacted, it can be advantageous to the child to maintain that relationship, even if the relationship is different than it was before. It is important to avoid showing your grandchild any disappointment or anger that you may have towards their parents. Keeping the child from communicating with their parents can create a sense of resentment towards you, even if you are the one taking care of them day to day.

Contact a Kane County Adoption Attorney for Help

Becoming a parent for a second generation can be difficult physically and emotionally. Some grandparents feel as if they have no other choice while others fight to remove their grandchildren from an unhealthy or unsafe home. At Shaw Family Law, we understand that every family’s situation is unique and deserves the utmost attention to do what is best for the child. If you are considering legally adopting your grandchild, contact a St. Charles, IL adoption attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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IL divorce lawyerParenting has evolved over time, especially with the integration of technology into most aspects of life. Rather than going outside to play with their friends, many children play video games together. Puzzles and painting are sometimes done digitally instead of at the kitchen table. Games and trends for children may have changed, but parenting styles follow certain patterns regardless of the generation. Each parent leans towards a particular style of parenting regardless of their marital status. This can become difficult to balance for couples going through divorce. Raising children using different styles can be easier while still living under the same roof. Couples usually perform a parent balancing-act while they are married; however, good-cop-bad-cop can be unproductive when you no longer take care of the children at the same time.

Authoritarian Parenting

This is often known as the strictest form of parenting. Authoritarian parents see their children as rule-followers at all times. These parents set rules for their children without their input and expect them to follow the rules without protest. A common phrase from these parents is “I told you so.” Authoritarian parents usually use punishments instead of discipline.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parents also use discipline, but to a smaller extent than authoritarian parents. Authoritative parents have rules and consequence, but they spend more time explaining the reasoning behind their rules. These parents also place greater emphasis on their child’s emotions and feelings. They have firm rules and expect their child to follow them but also care for their feelings about those rules.

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents put up a facade of rules but rarely enforce them. These are the lenient parents that every child is envious of their friend for having. Permissive parents allow their child to make a mistake and believe that they will learn best primarily by making their own decisions with slight guidance to lead them along the way. They take on a friend-role rather than a parental one.

Uninvolved Parenting

This is the most hands-off parenting style. These parents are even further down the spectrum from permissive parenting. Uninvolved parents are distant with their child and are often more of a stranger than a parent. These parents rarely know where their child is, hardly ever ask for details about their lives, and do not spend ample amounts of time with them. Uninvolved parents allow their children to raise themselves and do not provide much parental guidance at all.

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 IL family lawyerOne of the most difficult decisions when going through a divorce is what your parenting arrangement will look like. This is often known as custody arrangements; however, parenting consists of many more details outside of where your child will be sleeping each night. Continue reading to learn about the different types of parenting plans and what details are included in them.

What Should Be Included in Your Parenting Plan?

When making a parenting plan, the following should be considered:

  • Living arrangements and parenting schedules: In most cases, the child will spend time between each home. One of the main considerations that parents should think about is the distance between each household. Many former spouses will decide to move far from their original home to place a large distance in between them and their former spouse; however, they fail to realize the difficulty that this poses in terms of visitation.
  • Vacations and holidays: It is better to divide vacations and holidays between each parent before the divorce is finalized to avoid future conflicts. This can be one of the more difficult decisions to make as it is much different from the life you previously lived with your child and former spouse.
  • Healthcare details: This portion of the parenting agreement often depends on each parent’s occupation and the coverage that they receive. Parents should come up with plans in regards to doctor visits, adjust medical record access, and decide who will care for the child if he/she is sick.
  • Education: Decisions made regarding education are dependent on the type of school your child attends. For those who attend public school, education costs are not up for debate. However, those who are enrolled in private schools will need to determine the allocation of tuition payments. This is also true of children who hope to pursue higher education.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois Divorce Attorney for Help

Making decisions regarding your child can become difficult without a third-party present to ensure that emotions affect the legal decisions being made. At Shaw Family Law, we understand that determining child custody is a difficult choice to make and we plan to help you at each step of the way. If you are considering divorce and are trying to determine child custody parameters, contact our Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-584-5550 for help.

 

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 IL family lawyerParenting is one of the most difficult jobs a person can have, whether or not they have a partner by their side. It can be a tough transition moving from a two-parent household to trying to balance parental responsibilities solo after going through a divorce. Although the initial transition can be difficult, many families are in the same boat. It is more common for children to be raised by single mothers rather than fathers.

According to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, one in four children is being raised without a father. This means that out of about 12 million single-parent families with children under the age of 18, more than 80% were headed by single mothers. Whether you are a single mother or a single father, balancing a full-time job and a full-time parenting job is extremely strenuous. Read the following tips to help you save time on an everyday basis:

  • Identify Time: Wasters and Address Them: Create a “key bowl” to avoid struggling to find your keys every morning or use the time spent waiting for your children in the parking lot to catch up on your favorite Netflix show. It is better to utilize this time for your benefit rather than wasting the extra five minutes every day.
  • Use Your Commute Rather than Lose Your Commute: Sitting in the car or on the train ride back from work is a good time for moms and dads to take time for themselves. Listening to an audiobook or podcast on the way home from work can help parents decompress before arriving home to their children.
  • Prepare For Tomorrow, Tonight: Making lunches and setting out clothes for tomorrow can save you ample time in the morning. This is also a good way to eliminate stress about arriving at school or work late.
  • Meal Prep, Meal Prep, Meal Prep: The activity known as meal prep has gone viral with the use of social media. Making meals on the weekends then packing them away in Tupperware can save you lots of time each night, even if you only meal prep one dinner per week. This can save you time grocery shopping at night, the time spent thinking of which recipe you can whip up the fastest, and the actual cooking time. Meal prep allows you to skip the stress and enjoy dinner with your kids.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois Divorce Attorneys for Help

Divorce is a difficult time in anyone’s life, especially for those who have children. Your life and parenting schedule turns upside down as soon as the signatures are on the paper. At Shaw Family Law, we understand that going through a divorce puts additional stressors on each individuals' lives which is why we strive to take the legal pressure off of your shoulders. Contact our dedicated Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.

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