dads, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyWhile fathers have always played an important role in the upbringing and development of children, they have not always been treated as such by the courts. This was often due to the assignment of traditional gender roles. Further, it was originally thought that the mother was more critical in the child’s early years. Yet, as time passed, fathers began to gain some important recognition in the lives of their children. The composition of families also started to change. Now there are fathers who stay home with their children and mothers who work outside of the home. Does this necessarily affect the allocation of parental responsibilities or assignment of parenting time in divorce though? It is possible but not guaranteed.

How Child-Related Matters Are Determined

In Illinois, divorcing parents are permitted to negotiate an agreement regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time details of their case. Generally, this offers numerous benefits for families, including the freedom to create a parenting plan that is more tailored to their family’s specific needs. For example, if the couple feels the child and family would benefit most from the father receiving a greater allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time because he works from home, they could create and agree upon a parenting plan that reflects this decision.

Not all divorcing couples are able to agree upon child-related matters, however. Further, not all families should attempt negotiation (i.e. situations involving domestic violence). In these cases, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time are decided by the courts. To make this determination, the judge will look at a number of factors to determine the best interests of the child, including:

  • Wishes and needs of the child;
  • Wishes of each parent;
  • Child’s involvement and adjustment to school, community, and home;
  • Each parent’s willingness to encourage a healthy and ongoing relationship with the other parent;
  • Previous agreements regarding decision-making of the child;
  • Each parent’s prior involvement in the child’s daily upbringing;
  • Ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions in the best interest of their child;
  • Distance between each parent’s residence and any difficulties in transporting the child;
  • Physical violence or threat of violence from either parent;
  • Neglect or abuse against the child or against another member of the household;
  • Mental, physical, and emotional health of all parties involved;
  • If one of the parents is a convicted sex offender (and how that may impact the safety of the child; and
  • Any other factors that the court deems relevant.

What This Means for Stay-at-Home Dads

While, on one hand, a judge might consider granting a stay-at-home dad a greater allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, this may not always be the case. If, for example, the stay-at-home dad has a substance abuse problem that essentially required the mother to work to support the family, this could be used as a factor against him. This may not necessarily be the case, of course, since every situation and family is different. However, it is important to note that there are many factors that go into determining which parent receives the greatest allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities.

Contact Our Experienced Family Law Attorneys

Divorce is a complex matter, legally and emotionally speaking. Our skilled Rolling Meadows parental responsibilities lawyers can help you manage the issues you are facing while also ensuring that your rights, and the rights of your child, are protected. Schedule your free consultation with us today to learn more.



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parenting style, Rolling Meadows family lawyersDifferences in values and parenting philosophies can cause conflicts between two people. Not only can these differences cause difficulties with parenting after a divorce, they can be part of the reason why a couple divorced in the first place. But as a divorced parent, working cooperatively with your former spouse for your child’s benefit is an important skill to develop

One way to reduce co-parenting conflicts is to understand your parenting style and that of your former partner. Developmental psychologists have identified four distinct parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Most parents’ individual styles fall somewhere between two or more of these archetypes. By recognizing where your parenting style falls as well as your former partner’s parenting style, you can develop a coherent parenting plan that works for all members of your family.


Authoritative parenting is often deemed to be the most effective for raising well-adjusted children because it balances high expectations with support and understanding when the child does not meet these expectations. Authoritative parents encourage open communication with their children and have clear, consistent consequences for broken rules.


Uninvolved parenting, also known as neglectful parenting, can have a long-lasting negative impact on a child. An uninvolved parent does not meet his or her child’s physical or emotional needs. Examples of this include not knowing the child’s teacher, leaving the child alone for prolonged periods of time, and failing to make an attempt at connecting with the child on any meaningful level.


Authoritarian parenting is strict parenting. Authoritarian parents have clear rules for their children but often do not provide explanations for these rules or expectations, citing their position as parents—“because I said so,” for example—as the reason why their children must obey. Children of authoritarian parents often have few personal choices in their lives and as a result, can develop low self-esteem and associate obedience with love.


Permissive parenting, also known as indulgent parenting, is parenting without rules or consequences. Permissive parents often attempt to avoid conflict with their children and may attempt to be their children’s friends, rather than their parents. This type of parenting style often lacks structure and a blurring of both the parent and the child’s role in the relationship.

Work With an Experienced Family Lawyer

Every parent has a unique parenting style. Parental attitudes and values do not develop in a vacuum, but instead through a combination of the individual’s personality, culture, the individual circumstances he or she faces, and the parenting style with which he or she was raised. If you are a parent facing a family law issue like determining a parenting time agreement or seeking a modification to your child support obligation, speak with an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. At Cosley Law Office, we are equipped to address all of your divorce and family law needs. Contact us today to set up your free consultation with a member of our firm.



Posted in Children of Divorce, Parental Responsibilities, Parenting Time | Tagged , , , , ,

annulment, Arlington Heights family law attorneyThere are many reasons why couples choose to end their marriages. In the state of Illinois, couples have the choice of ending their marriage either through divorce or annulment. Divorces and annulments are similar in terms of making a determination about a couple’s marital status.

However, they differ because while a divorce legally ends a valid and existing marriage, an annulment is the legal process used to end a marriage that was never valid. In Illinois, this is referred to as a “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage.” This effectively makes it as if both parties were never married in the first place – as far as the government is concerned.

Grounds for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage

Grounds for annulment may vary in different states and legal jurisdictions. However, Illinois recognizes only a few circumstances as grounds for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage, including:

  • A party lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage at the time of the marriage ceremony, either because of mental incapacity, infirmity, or under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other incapacitating substances, or a party was forced into the marriage through fraudulent means;
  • A party lacked the physical ability to consummate the marriage and at the time of the marriage, the other party was unaware of the incapacity;
  • A party was 16 or 17-years-old and did not have the consent of his or her parents or legal guardians, or judicial consent; and
  • The marriage is otherwise “prohibited.”

Important Issues to Consider

In addition to the grounds for annulment, there are several other important issues to take into consideration before filing for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage, such as:

  • Illinois law considers any children born or adopted during a marriage that is declared invalid to be lawful children of both parties.
  • Unless the court finds after considering all relevant circumstances that the interests of justice would be served by making the judgment of annulment not retroactive, it declares the marriage invalid as of the date of the marriage. Therefore, dissolution of marriage (divorce) laws relating to the division of property and maintenance (or alimony) do not apply.

Get in Touch with a Rolling Meadows Divorce Attorney

If you need to speak to a legal professional about your divorce or annulment, consult Cosley Law Offices. Contact us today to speak with an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney. Call our office today at 847-253-3100. We offer all clients free initial consultations.



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