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How are Additional Child-Related Costs Handled in Illinois Child Support Cases?It has been touted for generations that it takes a village to raise a child and there is a reason for that adage – it is true. Raising a child takes a great deal of dedication, effort, and financial resources. There are so many things you have to pay for when it comes to raising a child. Basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care can add up quickly. Child support exists to ensure that both parents do their part to provide for their child financially when those parents are not married. But what about all of the other costs associated with raising a child? Fortunately, Illinois family law also has guidelines for how other child-related expenses are to be handled and taken care of in addition to the basic child support obligation.

Other Expenses

In Illinois, if parents are unmarried and one parent seeks to collect child support from the other, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) will help to calculate and establish administrative orders for one or both parents to provide support to the child. This number is considered to be the “basic support obligation.” These payments are intended to provide for the child’s basic needs. As any parent knows, the costs of raising a child go beyond providing for his or her basic needs. Here are some common child-related expenses that can be added to the basic child support obligation:

  • Extracurricular activities and school expenses: Illinois recognizes the importance of outside activities and the role that they play in a child’s development. At the court’s discretion, one or both parents can be ordered to pay for any extracurricular or school expenses that are intended to supplement the child’s social, cultural, athletic or educational development.
  • Childcare expenses: In today’s world, childcare is something that most parents cannot go without – and it can get expensive. The court can order one or both parents to pay for reasonable childcare expenses directly to the childcare provider or to one parent. These costs can include daycare, before and after school care or camp when school is not in session.
  • Health care costs: A portion of the basic child support obligation is already intended to be used for ordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses for the child, but the court can also order one or both parents to pay for the cost of any expenses that are not covered by health insurance. These costs can include any unreimbursed medical, dental, orthodontic or vision expenses or prescription medication that is not covered by the insurance.

Get in Touch With a Will County Child Support Attorney

Raising a child is expensive, and Illinois recognizes that both parents have an inherent obligation to financially provide for their child. If you are not married to your child’s other parent and you are seeking to establish a child support order, you could benefit from talking to a knowledgeable Joliet, IL, child support lawyer. At The Foray Firm, we have the experience you need in a family law attorney, and we can help you make sure you are able to provide everything your child needs. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Finding Things You Can Look Forward to in Your Life After DivorceAlmost everyone will agree that divorcing your spouse is difficult. Ending such an important relationship is hard for anyone, whether the decision to end the marriage was mutual or not. Even if you and your spouse both agree that the marriage should end, the emotional process of breaking up is difficult and often mimics the emotional process of grief. Though your partner is still alive, in many ways you are grieving the death of your relationship with them. Though it can feel counterintuitive and extremely draining at times, there are actually some major benefits that you can discover after your divorce. 

  1. You Can Focus on Your Personal Goals: Without a spouse whom you constantly have to consider when making major life decisions, you can begin to focus on your personal goals. If one of your goals is to go back to school and earn a degree, you can do it. If you want to start your mornings with meditation, nobody is stopping you. Being divorced means you are free to do whatever makes you happy.
  2. Shared Parenting Time Means More Free Time: One of the things that many divorced parents fear is not being able to take care of their children all of the time because of shared parenting schedules. While you will still miss your children while they are with their other parent, it also means there will be times when you will be child-free. You will not have to figure out who will babysit your kids if you want to go out with friends. You will not have to wake up early to get your children off to school. You can cherish the time you spend with your children, but you can also enjoy your days off.
  3. You Get to Rediscover Who You Truly Are: Many people cite their divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to them. One of the main reasons why people tend to be so happy after a divorce is because they get to reconnect with themselves. People who have been married, especially those in long-lasting marriages, can lose their identity sometimes. Rather than knowing who you are as an individual, you only know who you are as part of a couple. Divorce allows you to get back in touch with your individual self so you can be the best person you can be.

Contact a Markham, IL, Divorce Lawyer to Help Finalize Your Divorce

One of the ways you can make sure you are in a good place once your divorce is finished is by hiring a skilled Will County divorce attorney. At The Foray Firm, we understand how difficult a divorce can be for your entire family. We can help you settle any issue pertaining to your divorce, from property division to parenting time. Do not settle for less than what you deserve; call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Are You a Victim of Parental Alienation?Your children are some of the most important people in your life. Their happiness, safety, and security are often placed well above your own. During a divorce, some parents may be overwhelmed with emotions that they may not know what to do with. If the divorce is especially contentious, parents may begin to lose sight of what is truly important – the children. In these situations, the parents’ hate and contempt for each other overshadows their love for their children, and certain actions are taken that can be detrimental to the children’s wellbeing. One of the most common things that happens during these kinds of divorces is called parental alienation.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation happens when one parent tries to get their child to turn against the other parent. This often occurs because one parent is mad at the other parent and is trying to hurt them in any way they can. Essentially, parental alienation is when one parent uses their child as a weapon against the other parent. The alienating parent may use bribery, false allegations, negative comments or keeping the child from seeing the other parent to paint a negative picture in the child’s head of that parent. Both mothers and fathers are equally as likely to be the alienating parent, but the alienating parent is also likely to suffer from a personality disorder, such as narcissism.

Parental alienation is detrimental to a child’s mental health and wellbeing. Children who are victims of parental alienation become almost brainwashed, hating the alienated parent in an almost irrational way. Children have the right to have a relationship with both of their parents – they naturally want to have a relationship with both parents. When one parent destroys that relationship with the other parent, the child suffers.

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Will County divorce attorney

Divorcing is never easy and is even more difficult when you have children to worry about. Most divorcing parents’ number one concern during divorce is how their children will deal with the news that Mom and Dad are no longer together. While some children are able to accept the divorce and adapt to the life changes that come with the situation, other children may need a little more guidance and attention during the transitory period following the divorce. Just like adults, no two children are the same, so a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. Still, many children of divorce go through issues that are similar to each other. Here are a couple of tips to help your child cope with the stress of your divorce:

  1. Do Not Overshare: There is a fine line between what is appropriate to share with your children during a divorce and what is not. What you tell your child should be based on their age and maturity level but also on how appropriate the information is. Your child does not need to know if their parent had an affair with another person. Your child should mostly just know about changes in their living arrangements, schools or parenting time – not the messy details.
  2. Make Sure They Know It Is Not Their Fault: It is common for children to believe that they are somehow at fault for the divorce. You should be sure to clearly explain to your children that the divorce is a parent issue, not a child issue. Reassurance can be key here – try to periodically reassure your child that both you and your co-parent still love them very much, even though you are no longer married to each other.
  3. Maintain a Sense of Stability: Divorce is a time of great change, which can really throw some children off. Many children are flexible and can adapt to change, but several changes at once can be hard for anyone. To help alleviate some of this stress, try to maintain as much of a sense of stability as possible, especially during the divorce process. Keeping parenting time schedules consistent and routines the same in both households can help your child feel safe and secure.

A Will County Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Children can be some of the most affected family members during a divorce. Depending on their age and maturity level, they may not completely understand what is going on, which can make things difficult. If you and your spouse are planning on getting a divorce, you should talk to a skilled and compassionate Homewood, IL, divorce attorney. At The Foray Firm, we know that everyone in the family is affected by divorce, though children can be especially vulnerable. Call our office at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation today.

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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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