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The Foray Firm

How to Successfully Co-Parent After a Contentious DivorceRarely do couples walk away from their spouse without some conflict arising in the divorce process. For some, the property division process can reveal hidden assets or greedy intentions that you never experienced with your spouse throughout your marriage. For parents, deciding their future parental arrangements can bring out an ugly side of them. You may argue over who will be the primary parent, what legal rights you each have, or how often each parent will spend time with the kids. Whether you deliberate over every little detail or have one, large argument that damages your relationship further, it can be difficult to move forward as co-parents. With a combination of good communication and self-recognition, you and your co-parent can begin to transform your damaged romantic past into a well-working, co-parenting relationship.

Self Responsibility

As silly as it may sound, taking good care of yourself – mentally, physically, and emotionally – can in turn improve the way that you treat others. It is important to recognize your successes and faults from your marriage so that you can make progress moving forward. Many divorcees will continue to blame their ex for the breakdown of their marriage and age-old arguments will never be left in the past. If you do not take the time to heal or work on yourself, your past can continue to damage your future relationship with your former spouse. 

Focus on Common Goals

The reason that you and your spouse filed for divorce was a lack of romantic or lifestyle compatibility, not your inability to care for your kids. Even if you still see and do things differently in the parenting department, recognizing that you have a common goal – your child’s happiness – can help bring you back to the real purpose of your continued relationship. If you both acknowledge that your child is your priority, this can help mitigate any other disagreements that you may have about how to raise your child.

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How to Conduct Yourself in Court During Your Parenting CaseFor many, a divorce may be their first experience in a courtroom with a judge making decisions for them. While you have probably seen television shows that depict court proceedings, this is not an accurate representation of court and the characters’ actions are likely something that you should avoid following. No matter the reason you are in court, your conduct can greatly affect the outcome of the case. This is especially crucial for those discussing parenting arrangements for their children. In these parenting cases, the way you hold yourself is your first impression on the judge and likely the most important. Courtrooms and legal proceedings often make those who are unfamiliar with the process nervous and uncomfortable, causing them to act differently than they do in normal life. While you may not be able to keep yourself from being on edge, keep in mind the following tips that can help you present yourself in a good light:

  1. Clothes Matter: In a similar fashion to a job interview, your outfit can be used to gauge your personality, commitment to the case, and overall capacity to appear professional when necessary. It is important to wear business attire to court — no jeans, t-shirts, or sweatpants. By dressing for the occasion, you are showing the judge that you take this court proceeding seriously and are able to put yourself together when necessary: an important parenting quality. It may be a good idea to show another person your chosen outfit before showing up in court.
  2. Timeliness Is Key: Being on time to your court hearing and being present shows your respect for the legal team working on your case and that you take the matters of parenting seriously. This is also reflective of your ability to make time for your children, even if it means showing up to court. The judge will be analyzing all of your words and movements, and being on time says “I care and I will be there for my child.”
  3. Respect the Judge: There are a few things that those involved in a court case should know before the hearing starts. Everyone in the courtroom should stand when the judge enters or leaves the courtroom. This is age-old etiquette that is still followed today. Anytime the judge speaks to you, stand and respond, calling them “Your Honor.” They will let you know when it is your time to speak, and you should avoid speaking out of turn. Showing disrespect to the judge will only work against you in the decision making process.

Call a Naperville Parenting Attorney Today

The best way to prepare for your courtroom hearings is to speak with an experienced attorney. They will be able to provide you with the basic etiquette information as well as any additional tips for the particular judge working on your case. Because they are familiar with the judges in the area, they will likely have some hidden tips that they can provide you with that cannot be found elsewhere. The Foray Firm has extensive experience working in the family courts throughout the south suburbs of Chicago and we assist our clients before every courtroom appearance. If you are fighting for your rights as a parent, contact our Joliet divorce lawyers at 312-702-1293 to schedule a free consultation.

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Markham parenting time attorney supervised visitation

During a divorce, parents must decide how they will continue to parent their child moving forward. This can be difficult for parents since they are likely used to seeing their children on a daily basis. Ideally, courts try to keep both parents in the child's life since this is often deemed beneficial for the child. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If the court determines that you are unfit to take care of your child alone, they may grant you supervised visitation or deny you from seeing your child at all. Typically, the court will allow supervised visitation before taking such drastic actions as banning you from spending time with your child. Having another party in the room while you are taking care of your kids can be uncomfortable, and the nerves may bring out the worst in parents. Staying calm and having a game plan for your supervised visit is the best way to move towards removing those restrictions.

Create an Active Visit

You will have a certain amount of time to spend with your child, so it is important to make the most of it. It is a good idea to have a few activities planned for your child so that you appear prepared and invested in spending time with them. These “events” do not have to be anything out of the ordinary, but they should tailor to your child’s interests. Even if you just color or play Legos, that shows that you are willing to set aside time for your kids.

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Do I Need Permission From My Child’s Other Parent to Relocate?After getting divorced, many individuals will choose to have a fresh start, and for some, this means moving to a new place in a new location. For those going through the major life changes that inevitably come with divorce, this fresh start can be a good way to move forward towards a future that is focused on their happiness. However, for those with children, it may not be that easy. Divorcing couples with children will forever be connected by their shared kids. With parenting time agreements and child support payments, it may feel as if this new beginning may never start. Making the decision to move with your children may be restricted depending on the circumstances, and it is important to avoid violating this restriction as it can lead to serious legal consequences.

What is Considered Relocation?

Not every change of residence is considered relocation. For instance, the state cannot restrict you if you would simply like to move down the street to start fresh in a new house. However, anyone looking to relocate with their children will need permission from their child’s other parent or from the court. So, what is considered relocation by Illinois law?

  • If the child’s current primary residence is in DuPage, Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, or Will County and you move them to a location within Illinois that is more than 25 miles from their current residence
  • If the child’s current primary residence is not in one of the abovementioned counties and you move them to a location in Illinois that is more than 50 miles from their current residence
  • If you move the child outside of the state of Illinois and their new residence is over 25 miles away from their current residence

How Do I Get Permission?

If the parent who is the primary caretaker of the child would like to relocate with their child, they will need to provide their child’s other parent with written notification of their intent to move. This must be done 60 days before the parent and child intend to relocate, and it must inform the other parent of their intended move date, their new residence’s location, and the length of time that the relocation will last if it is not intended to be indefinite. The non-relocating parent is able to sign the relocation notice, granting the moving parties permission to do so, if they are comfortable with the relocation taking place. If this is the case, court permission is not required. However, many parents may not be comfortable with their child being so far away from them. If the non-moving parent refuses to sign the notice, the relocating parent may file their request with the court. The court may also deny the request; however, they will be looking at the request from a much different perspective. With no emotional investment to the parents or child, the court can act as the necessary third-party to determine whether or not this move is really in the best interests of the child. In many cases, impartial judgment may be necessary as emotions can often cloud a parent’s judgment on both ends.

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An Overview of Child Relocation Requests in IllinoisRelocating your family to a new environment can play a role in your divorce proceeding or come up after the ink has dried on your divorce papers.

Although you believe moving your child 500 miles away from where your divorce occurred will be good for them, the court and your child’s other parent may not agree.

In Illinois, the parent with primary parenting time does not need court approval to move with their children if the other parent does not object or the move is within 25 miles of their current residence in Will, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake or McHenry counties. For other counties, the limit is 50 miles. Any move outside of those set mile ranges must be filed by written notice and approved by the court.

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