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Arlington Heights Parenting Time LawyerPeople move for a variety of reasons including a new job, better schools, or a chance to be closer to extended family. However, there can be complications with a relocation in the wake of a divorce if you and your former spouse are sharing custody of your children. Indeed, if your move meets certain distance criteria, you are required to seek approval from the court. If you are considering a move, you need to be well-informed about your legal requirements and should know on what grounds your former spouse could contest the move.

Implications of a Relocation in Illinois

In Illinois, when one parent who has primary or shared custody wishes to move, no matter the distance, they are legally required to notify the other parent at least 60 days before the planned date of the move. For relocations above a certain distance, special approval of the court is required because of the potential impact it may have on the existing parenting plan and parental responsibilities. These distances are:

  • More than 25 miles if the child currently resides in Cook, Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane, or Will Counties

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Posted on in Family Law

shutterstock_1935621667-minDuring the 1970s, the introduction of no-fault divorce laws in the United States made it much easier to get divorced and divorce rates subsequently skyrocketed. For many people, this was an unalloyed good; getting out of difficult or abusive marriages became much easier. But for decades, divorce laws definitively favored the mother when children were involved. Mothers often automatically received full custody and fathers had to fight an uphill battle in court to gain access to their children. 

Today, divorce laws in Illinois are gender neutral and it is much easier for men to have shared parenting time and parental responsibilities. Nevertheless, myths about men in divorce persist. If you are a man seeking father’s rights in Illinois, here are three common myths and the truth about them.

Myth One: Wives Are Always Awarded Spousal Maintenance

In the past, men traditionally earned all or most of a household’s income. Because women were frequently homemakers with little education or income of their own, spousal maintenance (previously known as alimony) was nearly ubiquitous. Today, however, Illinois spousal maintenance laws are written to consider both spouses’ education and incomes, and Illinois family courts are more concerned with fairness and facts than tradition.

Myth Two: If a Father Does Not Pay Child Support, He Cannot See His Children

Children need financial support from both parents, and child support orders are legally binding. There are serious consequences for not paying child support on time and in full. However, fathers are never prohibited from seeing their children only because they have not met their child support obligations. Illinois law separates child custody and child support, and parents who cannot afford their child support payments can petition for a modification in court.

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parenting agreement, Arlington Heights family law attorneyMany parents who get divorced choose to co-parent their child. If you plan on sharing custody—formally called the allocation of parental responsibilities—with your child’s other parent, you will be required to create a parenting agreement. This agreement is used by the courts as a way of establishing how parental responsibility of a child is shared between two unmarried parents.

There are certain elements of the parenting agreement which you must include, but you are free to include as much additional information as you want. A parenting agreement can become more than just another piece of paperwork which you must fill out; it can form the foundation of a healthy, productive, and cooperative co-parenting relationship.

What Must Be Included in an Illinois Parenting Agreement

Certain information is required to be entered into an Illinois parenting agreement. These items include but are not limited to:

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Posted on in Family Law

adoption, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyWhen people think about adoption, often the first thing that comes to mind is a couple or single person adopting a new child into their family. However, this is far from the only situation in which legal adoption is useful. When a single parent with a child gets married, their spouse become the child’s stepparent. Many stepparents are just as involved in their stepchild’s life as a biological parent would be. In these situations, the stepparent may wish to adopt the child so that they become the child’s legal parent as well.

When Can a Stepparent Legally Adopt Their Stepchild in Illinois?

Stepparent adoption is only possible if certain conditions are met. Firstly, stepparents who want to adopt their stepchild must be legally married to the child’s custodial parent. Even if a life partner or long-term boyfriend or girlfriend has been acting as a parental figure in a child’s life for years, he or she must be married to the child’s parent in order to adopt him or her through a stepparent adoption. Secondly, the stepparent must have the stepchild’s consent to adopt him or her if he or she is over age 14. Lastly, because Illinois law only allows a child to have two legal guardians or parents, the child’s other parent must be deceased or terminate his or her parental rights for stepparent adoption to be possible.

Some parents will voluntarily terminate their parental rights in order to allow for stepparent adoption. If the child’s other parent does not consent to the adoption, however, it can only proceed if that parent is deemed to be unfit.

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phone stalking, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyCyberstalking is becoming an increasingly common component of domestic abuse. Most cell phones have GPS and location features which could be providing an abuser with a victim’s exact location, and it happens more than you might think.

To determine the extent of the problem, NPR interviewed 70 domestic violence shelters across the United States, and the results are staggering.  Nearly 85 percent of shelters reported that they work with victims whose abusers used GPS to stalk and harass them.  Even more disturbing, three-quarters of shelters have found hidden apps on victims’ mobile devices used to eavesdrop on conversations. Most domestic abuse shelters encourage victims to turn off the location services on their cell phones and to disconnect from social media apps like Facebook to help prevent this.

The Main Goal of Stalking Is to Gain Control

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