IL family lawyerIn Illinois, the court can require divorcing parents to pay for their children's post-secondary education. Family lawyers can help you decide how much you need to pay and how to divide those responsibilities during a divorce. The following is a brief overview of the statute that covers this area of Illinois family law.

#1. There Is an Age Limit for College Provisions

Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/513) has set strict terms and conditions for college expenses. The provisions include the cost of five college applications, a minimum of two college entrance exam fees, and payouts for educational books and resources.

This includes post-secondary education costs for trade school and vocational school. The court does take both parents' financial status and future resources while dividing the college expenses equitably. Do you have to pay for college until graduation? Not necessarily.

One of the clauses in Section 513 states that parents and the non-minor child are responsible for paying for college expenses until they turn twenty-three years old. After that, the divorced parents are no longer obliged to cover post-secondary educational costs under this law.

#2. College Expenses May Include Housing Costs

Despite popular belief, college expenses do not end with tuition fees. Divorced parents must also consider housing expenses when sending their children to college.


IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, certain tax implications can significantly impact the terms of a divorce agreement. These should be discussed during negotiations. Some of them include the following:

Your Tax Filing Status

Whether you wish to join separately or together for the previous year will depend on when the divorce was finalized. For instance, if it was finalized on December 31st before 11.59 pm, that means you were not legally married before that time and can file separately for that year. Additionally, you may be able to file as the head of the household if you had child custody for at least six months of that year.

If the divorce was not finalized before the year ended, you and your ex-spouse could determine your filing status. If a party cannot decide, a judge decides how tax refunds and owed taxes are divided.

Cash and Property Awards in a Divorce Decree

Property and cash acquired pursuant to a divorce decree in Illinois are nontaxable for the person receiving them. This means the person providing them cannot deduct them from their taxes. The property and money that spouses own are presumed to be earned by the party – it is presumed they have already paid taxes on these.

Certain property settlements and back taxes can lead to an IRS audit. This may happen if property settlement is treated as a spousal settlement but wasn't called maintenance so it wouldn't be taxed. An accountant can help you determine unintentional tax consequences.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_2168627041-min.jpgWho gets the marital home? Are stay-at-home parents eligible for spousal maintenance? These questions might keep you up at night before filing for a divorce in Illinois. 

How Is Property Divided During a Divorce in Illinois?  

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act divides marital assets equitably. It means that their rules on property division focus on a fair distribution of marital properties and assets instead of equal divisions. 

Assets usually belong to both partners unless stated otherwise. Therefore, as a stay-at-home parent, you have the right to receive a significant share of the properties (i.e., money, investments, real estate property) acquired by your partner after marriage. 

However, there are exceptions to this rule. 

For instance, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may exclude some assets from the divorce settlement. Likewise, a property inherited by one spouse or purchased from non-marital assets may not be distributed.  


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_568184791-min.jpgWhen the stakes are high, spouses may use ulterior means to get a greater share of the marital assets. They may do this by underreporting their financial and property assets. As Kane County divorce attorneys, we have experience dealing with hidden assets during high-asset divorces and settling property divisions. If you suspect your spouse is not being honest, do not hesitate to ask for help. 

How to Discover Hidden Assets in an Illinois Divorce 

Documenting your financial records before filing for a divorce can help you build a better case against your spouse. However, sometimes spouses purposefully disguise assets to avoid equitable distribution during a divorce in Illinois. 

They may avoid detection by lying about their income, making false investments, or asking a third-party like a friend or family member to hide the cash. Additionally, your spouse may open a retirement account, custodial accounts, and offshore account without your knowledge to funnel funds. 

They may also purchase valuable artwork, jewelry, and collectible items to sell later. 

Having legal representation and forensic accountants can help you search for concealed assets. 


kane county child custody lawyerA parenting agreement, also known as a parenting plan, outlines how parents plan on raising their children following a divorce or separation. A well-crafted parenting agreement can help minimize conflict between parents and provide stability and predictability for the child.

However, the process of creating a parenting agreement can be complex and emotionally charged, requiring careful consideration of a variety of factors. This blog will provide practical tips on creating a successful parenting agreement that meets all legal requirements and prioritizes your child's needs.

Tip #1: Start with a Comprehensive Parenting Outline

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides an outline that can guide you through creating a comprehensive parenting agreement. Think of it as a template that includes decision-making, parenting time, transportation, and other sections. Starting with a template can help ensure you cover all the necessary topics in your parenting agreement.

Tip #2: Prioritize the Child's Best Interests

When crafting a parenting agreement, it's important always to prioritize the child's best interests. This means considering the child's age, development and needs when deciding parenting time, responsibilities, and other important aspects of the agreement. Remember that the agreement aims to provide stability, consistency, and support for the child during and after the divorce or separation.

Tip #3: Be Specific and Detailed

A good parenting agreement should be specific and detailed about each parent's responsibilities and obligations. This includes specifying a regular parenting schedule, outlining decision-making responsibilities, and setting guidelines for communication between the parents. Being specific and detailed can help prevent confusion, disagreements, and potential conflicts down the line.


kane county child custody lawyerCo-parents sharing responsibility for their children after divorce are bound to the terms of their parenting plan. But life can be unexpected. Changes such as a better job in another state, remarriage, or family illness can turn your plans awry. So how does that affect relocation and visitation rights? 

Relocation Laws in Illinois 

As per Section 609.2 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a parent who wants to move a significant distance with their child needs to seek the court's approval first. Per Illinois law, relocating means moving more than more than 25 miles away if you live in one of the collar counties. If you live in a different Illinois county, a relocation is a move of more than 50 miles away, or more than 25 miles away if state lines are crossed.

If the parents disagree regarding the relocation, the court will make the decision about whether to allow the relocation. 

The court will decide whether the move is in the child's best interests by evaluating the following:

  • The quality of each parent’s relationship with the child
  • The educational properties the child will have in either location
  • The wishes and impact of the move on the child
  • Parent responsibility arrangements, including visitation
  • The reason you wish to move
  •  The distance between the locations
  • The cost and time involved in visitation
  • The motive behind the non-custodial parent’s objection to the move
  • Whether the move will enhance the child’s quality of life

Please note that the court prioritizes the child's safety and well-being. While Illinois laws regarding relocation and custody can be complicated, they are ultimately designed to keep children safe and happy in a household. 


st. charles divorce lawyerDivorces that involve major assets and debts can be especially challenging. Couples with real estate, investments, retirement accounts, and other high-value assets must carefully navigate the division process. In any case, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the laws and regulations surrounding property division in Illinois to ensure a fair and equitable settlement. This blog will provide tips and insights on approaching asset and debt division during a divorce. Read on to learn more.

Understanding Illinois Law for Assets and Debt Distribution 

If a couple can agree on how to divide their assets and liabilities, they are free to distribute property and debt however they see fit. However, if the parties to a divorce are unable to reach an agreement, the case may proceed to court, where a judge makes the decision.

In Illinois, the property is divided under the equitable distribution system, which means that the court will divide assets and debts in a manner that is fair and just but not necessarily equal. Equitable distribution does not mean that everything is divided 50/50, but rather, the court takes into consideration a variety of factors, including:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The income and property of each party
  • The contributions of each party to the marriage
  • The age, health, and earning capacity of each party
  • The standard of living established during the marriage

Tips for Dividing Assets and Debts

Here are some tips to streamline the process of assets and debt division during a divorce.

  • Make a Comprehensive List of All Assets & Debts - It's essential to have a complete and accurate list of all marital assets and debts. This includes everything from real estate and bank accounts to retirement accounts and personal property. Debts can include mortgages, credit card debt, and car loans. Your divorce attorney can help you list all assets and debts that must be divided.
  • Determine Which Assets Are Marital Property - Marital property is any property acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. This can include assets such as homes, cars, and bank accounts. Property acquired before the marriage is typically considered separate property and is not subject to division. However, if the separate property was used to benefit the marriage, it may be subject to division. Therefore, take the time with your attorney to determine which assets may not be subject to division.
  • Consider the Tax Implications of Property Division - When dividing assets, it's essential to consider the tax implications of each asset. Some assets, such as retirement accounts, may be subject to taxes and penalties if not handled correctly. 
  • Keep the Best Interests of Any Children in Mind - If children are involved, their best interests should be considered when dividing assets and debts. This can include ensuring they have a stable home and sufficient financial support.
  • Seek Professional Advice When Dividing Complex Assets - Dividing complex assets such as business interests, real estate, and investment portfolios can be challenging. It's essential to seek the advice of professionals, such as accountants or appraisers, to ensure that the assets are valued correctly and that the division is fair.

Contact a Kane County Property Division Lawyer Today

Dividing assets and debts in a divorce can be complicated, but our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you through this difficult time. Contact us today at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation with our Kane County divorce attorneys. We are here to guide you!


st. charles divorce lawyerIn 2016, the Illinois legislature struck the term ‘custody’ from the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and replaced it with ‘parenting time and parental responsibilities.’ Parenting time refers to a schedule of how each parent spends their time with their children, which is approved by a family court judge. The court makes the schedule per the 'best interests of the child' if the parents cannot agree. 

What Are Parenting Responsibilities?

A parent's decision-making responsibilities are called 'parenting responsibilities’ in Illinois. The parents can agree to share these responsibilities or one parent may have all decision-making authority. Parental responsibilities refer to major decisions about a child’s:

  • Religion
  • Health
  • Education
  • Extracurricular activities

As mentioned, an Illinois family court will allocate these responsibilities if the parents cannot decide or agree on them.

Factors Determining Child Custody in Illinois

Illinois courts use a certain set of factors to determine the child’s best interests when deciding who gets custody:

  • The ability of the parents to make decisions concerning their child
  • The child’s wishes (as per their ability to express them and in making important decisions)
  • How the child has adjusted to their school, community, and home
  • The mental and physical health of the parties involved
  • The parents’ wishes and the child’s needs
  • The role of the parents in making important family decisions for the child 
  • How well the parents can cooperate or the conflict level between them which can affect their decisions
  • Agreements made between the parents about decisions regarding the child
  • The needs of the child
  • If the child is being threatened or is at risk of physical violence from either of the parents
  • The distance between the parents' homes, the cost of transporting the child and their schedule, and the ability of the parents to cooperate
  • Whether any of the parents is a sex offender. In case both are sex offenders, the court examines the nature of their offense along with treatment options they took part in successfully
  • Whether the parents are capable of fostering a close relationship with the child and themselves

There is no specific age at which the court allows a child to choose the parent they wish to stay with. However, since the court has to consider the child's best interests during custody cases, the court may consider their wishes.


kane county divorce lawyerThere are so many factors to consider during a divorce that certain issues can get overlooked. Divorcing spouses often fail to consider the tax implications of their divorce in Illinois. In this blog, we will discuss some of the tax issues associated with divorce. For personalized guidance, contact a Kane County divorce attorney.

Child Support

Illinois courts calculate child support payments based on the parents’ income after taxes. According to current laws, child support payments are not deductible by the payee and not taxable to the receiving parent.

So if you receive child support in Illinois, you do not have to worry about those payments being taxed.

Claiming Eligible Children

Clients who claim eligible children on income tax returns receive greater tax refunds, which makes this a serious point of contention in many Illinois divorces. However, it is not always as beneficial as divorcing parents may think.

There are several ways to allocate child dependency exemptions during a divorce in Illinois. Parents may split and claim children in all years, or alternate the years in which each parent claims them.


st. charles divorce lawyerThere can be many points of contention during a divorce. However, retirement assets are often a significant source of disagreement, especially for those who have worked hard to save for their golden years.

In Illinois, the retirement assets earned during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution during a divorce. Equitable distribution means that assets must be divided fairly among both parties, but not necessarily equally.

Of course, a skilled St. Charles divorce attorney can help you better understand your rights, and how your particular retirement assets may get divided during a divorce in Illinois.

Identification & Evaluation of Retirement Assets

The first step in dividing retirement assets during a divorce is to identify them, along with all of the assets that are considered part of the marital estate. In Illinois, any assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution.

This can include your 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions, and other such retirement accounts. Since these are some of the most valuable assets for most people, they are a major point of concern during a divorce in Illinois.


st. charles divorce lawyer Child support is a key aspect of any Illinois divorce that involves children. It is designed to ensure the best interests of children, and that both parents contribute financially to the care and upbringing of their children.

If you are going through a divorce in Illinois, it is important to understand how child support is calculated and how much you or the other parent may be required to pay.

The Income Shares Model

Illinois child support payments are determined based on a calculation model known as the Income Shares Model. It takes into account key things like the income of both parents and the number of children involved.

The model or formula is based on the idea that each parent should contribute financially to the child's care in proportion to their income. Every case is different and your St. Charles divorce attorney can better guide you regarding the exact numbers of your case.

Basic Child Support Obligation

To calculate child support in Illinois, the court will first determine each parent's net income. This includes all sources of income, such as wages, investment income, bonuses, etc.


Kane County Divorce LawyerAn uncontested divorce in Illinois is one where both parties agree on all aspects of their separation, including property division, child custody, and spousal maintenance. It might seem straightforward, but hiring a divorce attorney can still make a significant difference in navigating the legal complexities and ensuring your best interests are protected. Today, we will discuss why you should still hire an attorney regardless of whether your divorce is uncontested.

Reasons to Hire an Attorney During an Uncontested Divorce

The following are reasons why it is a best practice to hire a lawyer for an uncontested divorce, including:

  • While an uncontested divorce may appear simple, it still requires a thorough understanding of Illinois divorce laws. A divorce attorney is well-versed in the legal intricacies of Illinois laws and can guide you through the process to ensure your rights do not become infringed. They can also help you avoid the common pitfalls and ensure that you comply with all necessary requirements, ultimately saving you time and stress.
  • Proper documentation and filing – Filing for divorce requires numerous forms and paperwork, which can be overwhelming for someone without legal expertise. A divorce attorney can help you complete and file the necessary documents correctly, ensuring that you meet all deadlines and avoid potential delays. They can also help you gather and organize any supporting documents required for your case, such as financial records and parenting agreements. 
  • Negotiating fair agreements – Even in an uncontested divorce, reaching appropriate agreements on property division, spousal support, and child custody is crucial. A divorce attorney can provide valuable advice on what constitutes a fair settlement and help you negotiate with your spouse. They can also review any agreements you reach to ensure they are legally binding and in your best interests.
  • Peace of mind – Divorce is generally stressful, even when uncontested. An effective way to alleviate some of your stress is by hiring an attorney so that they can focus on the legal side of things while you focus on your well-being and moving forward with your life.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney

Remember, the main functions of a divorce attorney are to protect your rights, advise you of your legal options, and guide you through the legal process while advocating for your best interests. Contact the experienced Kane County divorce lawyers with Shaw Sanders, P.C. to ensure your uncontested divorce is as smooth as possible. Call 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.




Kane County High Net-Worth Divorce LawyerThe process of divorce in Illinois is a complicated one, but it becomes even more complex when high-value assets are involved. High-asset divorce cases require the knowledge and skills of an experienced attorney who understands the unique challenges and complexities of such cases.

Equitable Division of Property

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs high-asset divorce cases in Illinois, providing guidelines for property division, spousal maintenance, and child support.

Under the IMDMA, marital property is divided equitably or fairly, but this does not necessarily mean that it is divided equally. Such a division can be a complex process, as it requires determining which assets are considered marital property and which are separate property.

Marital property includes any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. This can include real estate, investments, retirement accounts, and businesses. Separate property, on the other hand, includes any property that was acquired by either spouse prior to the marriage or by gift or inheritance during the marriage.

Financial Professionals May Be Needed to Value and Divide Assets

Property division in high-asset divorce cases can become even more complicated due to the fluctuating value of the assets involved. They often require the assistance of financial specialists or appraisers. For instance, the division of a family business can require a detailed valuation of the business and negotiations over how to divide the assets.


Kane County Child Support LawyerChild support helps parents cover child-related costs including housing, education costs, daycare, and much more. In Illinois, child support is considered the child’s right. The court will typically require the parent with less parenting time to pay child support payments to the parent with the majority of the parenting time. This support helps distribute child-related costs between the parents. But what happens if a parent fails to pay child support?

In this blog, we will discuss the consequences of child support nonpayment and what parents should do if they are not receiving child support.

Penalties for Not Making Child Support Payments

It should be noted that Illinois courts only have the authority to enforce formal child support orders. If your child’s other parent had a causal agreement and the other parent has suddenly stopped paying, there is little the court can do to enforce the agreement. You need to have an official child support order through the court or the Illinois Health and Family Services Division of Child Support Services. For some parents, this will require establishing parentage or paternity first.

If a parent fails to pay an official child support order, he or she can face penalties including:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Asset seizure
  • Liens against real estate or other property
  • Suspension of a professional license or driver’s license
  • Interception of tax refunds
  • Criminal prosecution

Criminal charges for failure to pay child support are the last resort. However, Illinois takes child support payment seriously and will pursue criminal prosecution if a parent willfully refuses to make payments.


Kane County Divorce LawyerFinancial issues are often the main source of conflict in a relationship, and that conflict can intensify during a divorce. Divorcing spouses are required to disclose their assets, all sources of income, and other financial information during a divorce. Financial disclosure is needed to ensure that any settlements or verdicts are based on accurate financial information. However, some spouses lie about their income and property during the divorce process. If you are considering or going through a divorce, it's important to be aware of the signs that your spouse may be hiding assets or income.

Common Ways Spouses Fabricate or Falsify Financial Information During a Divorce

Some spouses try to sway the division of marital property in their favor by lying about their assets and debts. They may also lie about income in order to increase the amount of child support or spousal support they receive or decrease their support obligations. Spouses may hide income or falsify income by:

  • Hiding cash or other property
  • Underreporting income or exaggerating expenses
  • Omitting assets from asset disclosure forms
  • Lying about the value of possessions 
  • Making large cash payments for goods or services 
  • Moving funds to offshore accounts or hidden accounts
  • Selling valuable items for less than their true value
  • Gifting assets to family members or friends
  • Lying about the value of their business

Signs Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets or Income During a Divorce

While it can be difficult to determine if your spouse is lying about their finances, there are some signs that could indicate they are concealing assets or income. If you notice any of the following red flags during your divorce proceedings, it may be time to contact a divorce attorney:

  • Unusual spending habits or significant changes in spending patterns
  • Frequent or large withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Refusal to discuss financial issues
  • Missing items around the house
  • Failing to provide the information requested by the court or your attorney
  • Claiming to be unemployed when they are working
  • Unexplained changes in salary or employment status
  • A sudden increase in debt
  • Sudden changes in lifestyle

Contact our St. Charles Divorce Lawyers

Truthful financial disclosure is essential in a divorce case. If you suspect that your spouse is not being honest about his or her income, assets, debts, or other financial matters, contact Shaw Sanders, P.C. for help. Our Kane County divorce attorneys can help you uncover the truth and fight for a fair divorce settlement. Call 630-584-5550 for a free initial consultation.



Mediation for Child Relocation Disputes

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County Child Custody LawyerWhen divorced or unmarried parents share custody of a child, moving to a new residence can present a significant challenge. Courts typically approve parental relocations if both parents agree to the move and the move is in the child's best interests. However, the situation becomes much more complicated legally and personally if one of the parents disagrees with the move.

If you or your child's other parent intend to move and you disagree with their intention, family law mediation may help you and the other parent negotiate a mutually-agreeable arrangement.

Illinois Law Regarding Child Relocation

"Relocation" describes moving to a new residence that is a significant distance away from the old residence. For parents in the collar counties of Illinois, a move is considered a relocation if the new residence is 25 miles away or more. For Illinois residents outside the collar counties, the cut-off is 50 miles.

Under Illinois law, the relocating parent must obtain permission from the court or approval from the non-relocating parent to move with the child to a new residence. If the other parent does not agree to the relocation, the next step is to petition the court for permission to move. The court will make a determination that is in the child's best interests after evaluating all of the evidence and arguments presented by the parents.

However, you may be able to avoid the stress and expense of a court hearing by working out an arrangement with your ex through mediation.


How Does Fault Impact an Illinois Divorce? 

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerTypically, blame for a marital breakdown is not black and white. Rarely is one spouse purely at fault and while the other spouse shares no part of the blame. Human relationships are much more complicated than this. There are usually countless factors that lead to a divorce.

That being said, it is important for anyone getting divorced to understand how the legal concept of fault may influence their case. In this blog, we will explore the ground for divorce in Illinois, the meaning of “no-fault divorce,” and how marital misconduct like cheating can impact a divorce case.

Illinois Grounds for Divorce in 2023

Illinois used to have fault-based grounds for divorce. However, Illinois is presently a no-fault divorce state. "Irreconcilable differences" is the only ground for divorce accepted by state courts in Illinois. This means that a spouse does not need to prove fault on the part of their soon-to-be ex-partner in order to obtain a divorce.

How to Get a No-Fault Divorce

To get a no-fault divorce in Illinois, one spouse files a petition with the court declaring that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" and that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. The petitioning spouse will not be expected to list the specific circumstances that led to the marriage breaking down.

The other spouse, called the respondent, will respond to the divorce petition. If that spouse believes that reconciliation is possible and that divorce is not the answer, he or she may contest the divorce. 


Tips for Business Owners Getting Divorced

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County Family Law AttorneyIf you own a restaurant, retail store, tech start-up, or another type of business, getting divorced can be especially complicated. As you navigate the emotional and personal challenges of ending your marriage, you will also need to consider the legal and financial implications of divorce on your business. In this blog, we will describe the steps you should take to protect your business when getting divorced. However, each case is different, and business owners are encouraged to work with an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure their legal and financial interests are protected.

Understand the Value of Your Business

One of the first steps you should take during a divorce involving business assets is to get an accurate and comprehensive appraisal of your company. Whether you own a small business you run out of your own home, or a large corporation, it is only possible to properly account for the business's value during divorce with an accurate valuation. Work with a professional business appraiser to develop a thorough report of your business's assets, liabilities, and current value.

Know Your Rights and Obligations Regarding Ownership

Illinois classifies most property acquired during the marriage as marital property. Unless your business is kept separate from the marital estate through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is likely that part or all of your business is marital property. This means that your spouse is entitled to a portion of the company's value. If you keep the company, you may be required to compensate him or her for his or her share of the business.

Negotiate Skillfully and Strategically

During the property division negotiation process, it is important to keep your emotions in check and focus on your end goal: resolving your divorce. If you and your spouse are on good terms, you may be able to negotiate a settlement without the need for litigation. However, if you anticipate a contentious divorce, it may be in your best interest to allow your lawyer to handle negotiations.

Document Everything and Keep Accurate Records

Throughout the process of divorce, it is essential to keep accurate records and detailed documentation of all income, expenses, and transactions related to your business. Keep records of your own financial accounts as well. Financial matters during divorce can become extremely complicated, and it is important to keep everything straight and understand what you own and what you owe.


Kane County Paternity LawyerParentage refers to the legal relationship between a child and a parent. Typically, a mother’s parentage is easily established because she gives birth to the child. However, establishing parentage, or paternity as it was previously called, can be much harder for fathers.

Establishing parentage can help both the parent and the child in many ways. The legal recognition of a parent-child relationship provides a host of financial, emotional, and logistical benefits to both parties. If you are an unmarried parent, establishing parentage can provide financial stability, legal protection, and emotional security for your child.

Establishing Parentage is the First Step in Getting Child Support

When a parent is legally recognized, they can be required to make child support payments. This financial assistance helps ensure that the needs of the child are met. If a woman has a child and paternity is not established, she cannot ask the court for a child support order until the father's paternity is legally recognized. In some cases, this may necessitate DNA paternity testing. In other cases, establishing paternity is as simple as signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity at the hospital when the baby is born.

Establishing Parentage Secures Certain Legal Rights and Protections

Legally recognizing a parent-child relationship not only provides financial security, but also legal protection. Parents who have established parentage can take advantage of certain legal rights and protections. As the legally recognized parent, a mother or father can petition the court for "parental responsibilities" or the right to make significant decisions about their child's upbringing. This may include decisions about medical treatments, school or sports team programs, and religious or cultural affiliations. The parent can also request "parenting time" or visitation with the child.

Establishing Parentage Can Lead to Deeper and Lasting Emotional Bonds

In addition to the financial and legal benefits, establishing parentage can lead to stronger emotional bonds between parents and their children. For example, when a man is legally recognized as a father, he is more likely to be involved in his child's life in a meaningful way. This can help the child to feel secure and connected, knowing that their parent is an active part of their life.


St. Charles, IL child relocation lawyerAnything from a new job to a new relationship may prompt a change in residence. If you are a divorced parent currently sharing custody of your child with an ex, it is important to understand Illinois laws regarding child relocations.

Co-parents have certain rights and responsibilities regarding child relocations, previously called child removals. In some situations, a parent must get permission from the other parent as well as the court before relocating with his or her child to a new residence.

Relocation Requirements Depend on the Distance Between the Two Homes

Illinois laws prioritize a child’s best interests above all other factors when it comes to child custody or other child-related legal matters. Taking a child away from one of his or her parents can be quite stressful for the child (and the parent). Consequently, courts require parents to meet certain criteria before moving with a child.

Special relocation requirements are triggered if a parent has the majority of the parenting time or an equal amount of parenting time and wishes to move a significant distance.

Specifically, a parent will need court approval to move if:


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