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How Shared Parenting Time Can Benefit the Children After an Illinois DivorceEvery parent wants what is best for their child. Some parents may think the best thing for their child is for them to spend all or a vast majority of their time with them and not their other parent. While this can be true in some cases, the majority of divorce cases will end with both parents having shared and fairly distributed parenting time.

When making decisions about child-centered issues such as parenting time, the judge will decide based on what is in the child’s best interest. This is why Illinois courts assume that a shared parenting time agreement is in the child’s best interest unless there are reasons that would point to otherwise. Studies have shown that children do their best when their parents each have at least 35 percent of the parenting time. Here are a few ways your child can benefit from a shared parenting time schedule:

  1. The Child Gets to Have a Relationship With Both Parents: When the parents split up and no longer live together, children often fear that they will not be able to have the same type of relationship with the parent who moved out. This creates unnecessary stress for the child that could lead to other issues. With shared parenting situations, the child gets to foster a relationship with both of his or her parents, which is important for healthy development.
  2. The Quality of the Parent-Child Relationships Is Better: A shared parenting agreement also helps to ensure that the relationships between the child and each parent are good relationships. With sole parenting arrangements, the parent who moves out often feels distanced from the child and vice versa. The parent who is now acting as the single parent for the majority of the time can begin to feel stressed and overwhelmed by being responsible for all of the caretaking duties. These feelings can cause strain on the parent-child relationships and can cause stress in the family.

Create a Parenting Time Agreement With a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will have to make during your divorce is how you will care for your children. While a sole parenting time agreement is not out of the question, it may not be what is best for your child. At The Foray Firm, we understand that the decisions that are made about your children are not made lightly. Let our compassionate and skilled Plainfield, IL, parenting time lawyers work with you to develop a parenting time agreement that will benefit both you and your child. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to set up a consultation.

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Avoid Making These 3 Financial Mistakes in Your Illinois DivorceDivorces can be costly – nobody is arguing that. Not only is it financially expensive, but you also end up giving more of your time and emotional energy than you thought you would. Some of the most time consuming and emotionally draining times of your divorce can be during the property division process. This is when you and your spouse look at everything you have accumulated together and decide who gets to keep what and who will be responsible for paying back which debts. This is also the phase of the divorce in which many mistakes can be made, which can affect you for the rest of your life. If you are getting a divorce, here are a few mistakes you should be sure to avoid making:

  1. Not Having Copies of All Your Financial Documents: This is a mistake that a surprising amount of individuals make when they begin looking at their finances during a divorce. You will need various financial documents dating back a couple of years in order to gain a complete understanding of you and your spouse’s current financial situation. Try to gather documents such as statements for your bank accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts; deeds to your home and other real estate properties; titles for any vehicles you may own; and tax returns from the past three-to-five years.
  2. Not Considering the Tax Consequences of Your Decisions: Certain financial moves you make during the divorce can affect the amount of taxes you will have to pay in the future. You should be aware of the tax implications that any actions you take during the divorce will have. Most of the time, the biggest tax implication you will face depends on whether or not you pay or receive spousal maintenance. Beginning in 2019, the person who pays spousal maintenance no longer receives the tax break that allowed them to deduct that amount from their income tax, likely placing them into an entirely different tax bracket.
  3. Being Too Concerned With Keeping the Family Home: Another mistake many divorcing individuals make is being too focused on keeping the family home at all costs. Women, in particular, have a tough time letting go of the family home, especially if there were children raised there. Though this is not always an issue, in many cases, a person who is now living on a single income may find it difficult to afford the mortgage payments and keep up with the costs of maintaining a home. 

Hire a Skilled DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Divorce is already expensive enough – you do not need to make any more mistakes that might cost you more money in the long run. At The Foray Firm, we understand how draining a divorce can be – both on your wallet and on your emotions. Our knowledgeable Homewood, IL, divorce lawyers will help you see the big picture during your property division phase and ensure you are making the right decisions to prepare you for the future. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Key Things to Know Before Pursuing Stepparent Adoption in IllinoisIn Illinois, related adoptions are the most common type of adoption that takes place. Stepparent adoption, specifically, is the most common type of related adoption. Typically, a stepparent adoption takes place when one of the child’s parents is married or remarried to a person who is not the child’s biological parent. The spouse of the child’s parent would legally assume the rights and responsibilities to the child, but in some cases, it is easier said than done. Many children who have stepparents also have both biological parents who play a role in their lives and who might object to the adoption. Any type of adoption can be a complicated legal process, but in some ways, a related adoption can be even more difficult.

Facts to Consider Before Adopting

Many families pursue stepparent adoption because it gives the stepparent a way to formally and legally declare him or herself a parent to a non-biological child. Other families may pursue stepparent adoption as a way to establish two legal parents for a child if one parent is not involved in the child’s life. Either way, here are a few things you should consider before you begin the adoption process:

  • A child in Illinois is permitted to have only two legal parents at a time. If you are trying to adopt your stepchild, you will have to make sure that your child’s other parent either relinquishes his or her parental rights or petition to have his or her parental rights revoked.
  • Judges only grant stepparent adoptions to the stepparent who is married to the parent that the child spends the most time with. In other words, if a child’s father remarries and his new wife wants to adopt the child, but the child lives with his mother 75 percent of the time, the judge will probably not allow the adoption.
  • Typically, adoptions require a home study to be completed, which assesses the relationships and inner workings of the family that will adopt the child. Since stepparent adoptions are related adoptions, the home study requirement is waived.
  • Consent with related adoptions and stepparent adoptions can become complicated. Not only do you have to gain the consent of the child’s other biological parent, but in some cases, you may also have to gain the consent of the child. In Illinois, any child who is 14 or older must give their consent to be adopted.

Complete Your Family With Help From a DuPage County Adoption Lawyer 

In some ways, a stepparent adoption can be an easier process to go through than the traditional adoption process. In other ways, the stepparent adoption process can prove to be even more legally challenging. If you want to adopt your stepchildren but their other biological parent is objecting to the adoption, contact our knowledgeable Bolingbrook, IL, stepparent adoption attorneys today. At The Foray Firm, we understand that adoption is not only a legal process but an emotional challenge, as well. Contact our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Dealing With Custody Evaluations in an Illinois DivorceAs times have changed, so have laws concerning divorce and child custody, which Illinois now calls the allocation of parental responsibilities. Rather than just assuming the mother is the obvious caretaker for the children in a marriage, the state of Illinois believes that children will thrive and do their best when both of their parents have an active parenting role in their lives. Because of this, it is assumed that it is in the child’s best interest to spend time with both parents unless there are other reasons why a shared parenting time arrangement would not be in the child’s best interest. If the court has reason to suspect that such a restriction on parenting time may be warranted, they can order a professional evaluation of the situation to be completed.

Basics of a Professional Evaluation

If a professional evaluation is ordered by the court, often, a mental health professional will be hired. These professionals may be psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists or counselors trained in family disputes. Depending on the information the court is looking for, the evaluation can be focused on the parents, the child or a combination of the parties. 

The evaluator’s job is to observe and gain an understanding of the relationships and interaction between the two parents, the child and any other family members, such as siblings. The evaluator will likely use multiple methods to conduct his or her study, which can include:

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4 Ways Staying in a Bad Marriage Can Affect Your ChildrenWhen it comes to making the decision to get a divorce, one of the biggest reasons couples hesitate to begin the process is because of their children. A rather common question that couples have when deciding whether or not to get a divorce is, “How will it affect the children?” While there is no one specific way divorce affects children, it is known that children can and will bounce back after their parents get divorced. Many couples think that staying together for the children is the best option, but it is, in fact, the opposite. Here are a few ways that staying in a bad marriage can have a negative effect on your children:

  1. Your Kids Can Develop Low Self-Esteem: Children absorb everything around them. When they are living in a household where mom and dad are fighting all of the time, they may begin to feel unsure of themselves or even rejected. Children will internalize their emotions, and constant fighting can cause them to develop feelings of unworthiness.
  2. Your Kids Will Be Living with Chronic Tension: If you can feel the tension between you and your spouse, your children can feel it too. Subjecting a child to a home that is filled with chronic tension is never a good idea. Children will begin to feel uneasy in their own homes and will walk on eggshells around their parents to try to prevent any more fighting.
  3. They Can Develop Intimacy Issues: Children who come from unhappy homes can also have issues in their own relationships when they get older. They saw how their parents interacted as they were growing up, so they tend to steer clear of any type of intimacy because they fear they will be hurt. Even when they do enter into an intimate relationship, they tend to remain reserved, cautious or guarded.
  4. They Can Develop Mood or Behavioral Issues: Many children whose parents are constantly bickering or fighting tend to develop mood or behavioral issues. Children who come from households full of tension tend to struggle with problems such as dysthymia, depression, anxiety or even personality disorders or substance abuse. These children may also have behavioral issues, such as difficulty managing their anger.

A Homewood, IL, Divorce Attorney Can Answer Any Questions You May Have

It is no secret that a divorce can be tough on everyone in the family, especially the children. As a parent, you have a responsibility to protect and care for your children. In some cases, getting a divorce may do just that. Though it may be rough for a little while, your children will be happier and healthier in the long run. If you have questions about the divorce process or how to get started, contact The Foray Firm. Our skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys can answer any questions you may have about the process. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to set up a consultation.

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