parenting plan, Arlington Heights family law attorneyIf you plan to divorce in Illinois and wish to share custody of your children with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, you will be required to create a parenting agreement. Parenting agreements, also called parenting plans, create the foundation for post-divorce child custody and visitation. Divorcing parents who wish to pursue joint custody are required to sign a joint parenting agreement which outlines how they will share parental responsibilities and resolve disagreements as co-parents.

What to Include in Your Parenting Plan

There are certain elements an Illinois parenting plan must contain. At minimum, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) requires that a parenting plan include:

  • A designation of the parent who will have the majority of parenting time and who will make most of the decisions about the child’s life;
  • The child’s living arrangements and visitation schedule;
  • Transportation arrangements between the parents;
  • Each parent’s right to access their child’s medical, dental, psychological, school, and child care records (unless denied by a court order or denied because of some type of danger to the child);
  • A mediation provision addressing any proposed reorganization of parenting time or parental responsibilities;
  • The child’s residential address for school;
  • Each parent’s address and personal phone number;
  • Each parent’s place of employment and employment address and phone number;
  • A requirement that if a parent changes his or her residence, he or she must provide the other parent with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of the move. This notice must include the intended date of the move and the new address;
  • Provisions that require the parents to notify the other of any emergencies, travel plans, or other noteworthy child-related subjects;
  • Expectations for how parents will communicate with the child during the other parent’s parenting time;
  • Provisions for resolving relocation issues, if applicable;
  • Requirements for future modifications of the parenting plan;
  • Provisions for the “right of first refusal” and
  • Any other provision that benefits the child or facilitates cooperation between the parents.

The “right of first refusal” refers to the right a parent has to be with his or her child if the other parent does not want their assigned parenting time. For example, if a mother has parenting time scheduled for a particular weekend and wants give up that time, she would need to offer the parenting time to the other parent before calling a babysitter.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorney

If you want further information about the divorce process and child custody law in Illinois, contact the experienced Arlington Heights divorce lawyers at Cosley Law Office. Call 847-253-3100 today.



Posted in Child Custody, Divorce and Children | Tagged , , , , , ,

maintenance, Rolling Meadows divorce attorneysIf you are divorced, you may have been ordered to pay your spouse spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony, is designed to help subsidize a financially-disadvantaged spouse after a divorce. For example, a stay-at-home parent who forgoes work outside the home to care for children is left at a serious disadvantage after divorce. Reentering the work force can be difficult or impossible after such a long absence. Depending on the health, employability, and life circumstances of an individual awarded spousal support, the support may be ordered to last indefinitely. Other times, support is only ordered temporarily.

There are several ways in which spousal maintenance obligations terminate or are available for modification. If you want to stop or modify court-ordered spousal support payments, it may be helpful to learn about Illinois spousal maintenance laws.

Spousal Support Automatically Ends in Some Circumstances

Illinois courts automatically terminate spousal support in some situations. If the recipient spouse passes away, for example, maintenance payments are terminated. Payer spouses are also not required to continue making support payments if the recipient spouse is cohabitating with another person as “de facto husband and wife.” Cohabitation is usually considered to mean that the individuals are living together, sharing finances, and generally behaving as a married couple. If the recipient spouse remarries, the payer spouse is no longer required to make support payments. If you find out that your ex-spouse is cohabitating or has remarried, you can file a motion with the county court to have your spousal support requirement terminated.

When Can Spousal Maintenance Be Modified?

Spousal support may be modified, but only if either party’s financial circumstances significantly changes. Decisions about spousal support changes are largely at the discretion of the court. Those seeking a spousal support modification must file a motion to modify spousal maintenance and explain the reason they are requesting the change. Changes in circumstances which usually justify a spousal support modification include any:

  • Change in employment made in good faith;
  • Damage to the present or future earning capacity of either party; and
  • Major change in either party’s income since the original maintenance order,

After a motion for spousal support is requested, there will be a hearing during which the court will hear arguments from both parties. A family law attorney experienced with spousal support issues can be a tremendously valuable resource when seeking to reduce or terminate maintenance payments.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

To learn more about your legal options regarding spousal maintenance, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer. Schedule your free initial consultation at The Cosley Law Office by calling us at 847-253-3100 today.


Posted in Alimony, Spousal Maintenance | Tagged , , , , ,

marital estate, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyIf you are considering divorce or have already decided to end your marriage, you probably have many questions. One of these questions may be about how your accumulated wealth and property will be divided during the divorce process. Television and movies are rife with examples of a resentful spouse getting more than their fair share during a divorce. However, Illinois courts do make every effort to make property division decisions as fairly as possible. If you are wondering how your property will be divided between you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse, read on to learn about Illinois equitable distribution laws.

If You and Your Spouse Agree on How to Divide Property

Illinois courts encourage divorcing couples to make their own decisions about property. If a couple can agree on who will get what after the divorce, there may be no need for court intervention. Understandably, some divorcing couples are not able to come to such an agreement. If you and your spouse cannot reach a settlement about property and debt, the courts will use a method called equitable distribution to make property decisions.

If You and Your Spouse Cannot Agree on Property Division

Only marital property is divided during divorce. Marital property generally includes all the wealth and assets a couple accumulated after getting married. Non-marital or separate property includes property a spouse entered into the relationship with already. Separate property can become marital property if it is comingled. For example, if a husband enters the marriage with a sizable savings account and then uses some of that money for household expenses, the whole account may be considered marital property.

When an Illinois court decides what property belongs to what spouse after a divorce, it uses a method called equitable distribution. Instead of splitting the marital estate 50-50, many factors are considered by courts in order to reach the most reasonable and fair distribution possible. Illinois courts consider factors including but not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate;
  • The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or caretaker;
  • Any dissipation or wasted/hidden assets;
  • The value of property assigned to each spouse;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s economic circumstances;
  • Any prior marriages;
  • Any valid premarital or prenuptial agreement;
  • The age, health, occupation, employability, and needs of each spouse;
  • Custody provisions for children of the marriage;
  • Whether or not spousal maintenance (spousal support) is being ordered; and
  • Tax consequences of property division.




Contact a Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorney Today

If you have further questions about property division or another aspect of divorce, contact the experienced Arlington Heights divorce lawyers at the Cosley Law Office. Call us at 847-253-3100 to schedule a free initial consultation.



Posted in Division of Property, Divorce | Tagged , , , , , ,