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Rockford IL Family Law Blog

When it is necessary to get custody of a brother or sister

When a person in Illinois decides it is necessary to get custody of a sibling, there may be several obstacles in place. One will be proving to a court that the child is experiencing abuse or neglect and should be removed from the biological parents. Another will be convincing the court that a brother or sister is the best placement for the child. The person must demonstrate an ability to care for the child in a stable environment.

If the person is seeking custody because the parents have died, this may be a less difficult situation. Ideally, the sibling would be named as the child's guardian in the parent's will. If this is not the case, there might be other family members who are trying to get custody of the child. The judge will then decide which situation is in the best interests of the child. Another scenario is one in which the child is already in the foster system. This may also present fewer obstacles since the state would usually prefer to place a child with a family member.

Alternatives for making a child support decision

There are a few alternative dispute resolution procedures as well as more informal types of negotiations available for parents in Illinois who are getting a divorce and who would like to participate in making a decision about child support rather than going through litigation. Parents might choose to negotiate informally to reach an agreement. If they do so without their respective attorneys, they can then have them review it. In some cases, they may allow the attorneys to do the negotiating.

Mediation involves parents working with a professional trained in conflict resolution to reach a solution that suits them both. In arbitration, parents would each tell their side of the story and present any evidence to a neutral third party, and the arbitrator makes a decision. However, parents may not be required to abide by this decision.

Male unemployment increases likelihood of divorce

Despite the increased participation of married women in the Illinois workforce since the 1970s, social expectations about men being the breadwinner of the family appear to create marital stress. A sociology professor from Harvard University concluded that husbands had a greater chance of getting divorced if they lacked a full-time job.

The professor analyzed data that was collected over a 46-year period on approximately 6,300 married couples across the country. Unemployed husbands within any given year had a 3.3 percent chance of a divorce compared to employed husbands who experienced a divorce at a rate of 2.5 percent.

What to know about nesting

Illinois parents of minor children may have heard of a concept called nesting. In this type of an arrangement, divorced parents take turns living in the marital home. This allows the child to stay in a familiar environment while being able to spend time with both parents after they have divorced. In most cases, parents will rent a home or apartment to occupy when they are not living with the child.

Nesting may be ideal for parents who may not be able to afford a second home. Having the ability to rent a small apartment instead may work out financially while also helping the child adjust to his or her new reality. A permanent living arrangement is ideal for the child because he or she can get into and stay in a routine, which may make it easier in the months and years following a divorce.

How politics is damaging relationships

Some Illinois couples may have experienced more strain than usual on their relationships since the presidential election in November. Between April 12 and April 18, a Virginia polling company conducted a survey of 1,000 people around the country to learn more about the effect of politics on relationships and found that among millennials, 22 percent had broken up with a partner over political differences. Across all couples, 1 in 10 said they had done so.

The study also found that 22 percent of people said they knew a couple whose relationship had suffered directly from the election of President Trump. Although money is a frequent topic of dispute in relationships, more than one in five people in relationships reported that since the election, they had fought about politics more than finances.

Factors involved in elder divorce

Illinois residents who are at ot older than 50 and married might wonder about reports that divorce between older couples is rising. While it is true that the divorce rate for older couples has doubled over the past 30 years, there are factors involved that affect the chance of divorce for those 50 and older.

According to several studies, the divorce rate for couples in this age group is still relatively low, at about half that of couples younger than 50. The reasons for divorce at this age bracket are also different than for younger couples. A report from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University found that factors such owning property together, wealth, whether the couple was in a first time marriage and the quality of the relationship over the years were played an influential role in the divorces of older couples.

3 warning signs your spouse is hiding assets during divorce

One of the basic functions of a divorce is dividing assets. In order for a fair distribution of assets to take place, you and your spouse must both disclose all your finances. Sometimes this does not happen, especially in high-asset divorces. Your spouse may attempt to hide valuable property or income to avoid splitting them in the settlement.

Do you think your spouse might be hiding assets? Here are some top warning signs to watch for that your spouse is being dishonest about finances.

Limiting parental contact via calls, texts

Illinois parents who have gone through a divorce and who have primary physical custody may wonder if they can prevent the other parent from contacting their child via text, phone or video call. In general, as long as the other parent has some custodial rights, this is not permitted. If a parent attempts to do so, the noncustodial parent may be able to take legal action.

However, there are circumstances in which one parent might feel that doing so is necessary. If the other parent is harassing the child, it might be necessary to limit or block communication. This may also be the case if the other parent is abusive. A parent should document the harassment as evidence to use in court.

How do children's wishes affect child custody?

Illinois parents who have gone through a divorce might find that the child involved might want to live with the non-custodial parent. While this is not an issue if the parents negotiate an agreement outside of court and are both comfortable with the move, if there is a custody order, a child's wishes might not be enough to change it.

In child custody matters, the court will always place its primary emphasis on the child's best interest. This means that even if the court considers the child's wishes, the court must first determine certain things. For example, the child's age and maturity level will be examined to see if the child is able to make this decision. In the case of adolescents, the court might have to evaluate if the teen genuinely wants to live with the non-custodial parent or if the teen is perhaps looking to move in with the parent perceived as more lenient.

Planning for a custody battle

Illinois parents who are getting divorced will also have to deal with deciding child custody issues. While for some parents this can be an amicable negotiation with shared custody as a result, for others, the dispute might become more complicated and end up in court. This is particularly true when parents decide they want to go for primary or sole physical custody of their children.

If the child custody dispute does end up going to court, parents need to be prepared and plan correctly so that their chances for success can improve. The first thing parents must understand is that the court will be concerned with the best interest of the children, which often means that both parents should have access to their children to continue developing their relationship. Additionally, parents must understand that their idea of a 'good parent" is not necessarily the court's idea, so a custody battle in court might end up with some surprising results.

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