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Rockford, Illinois Family Law Blog

A defense when restricted visits are threatened

Even if they know that their behavior has not been perfect, one of the last things that a parent wants to hear is a threat that they could have their parenting time restricted. The thought of supervised visits can conjure up images of sitting in an office with one's child and an unfriendly professional who is just watching.

Moreover, supervised visits can be quite expensive. And, in the experience of many, it is hard to get back to unrestricted parenting time once supervised visits have been ordered.

Under what circumstances can parenting time be restricted?

A previous post on this blog discussed some of the reasons why a Rockford, Illinois, court might restrict a parent's responsibilities to make decisions for his or her child or even limit or restrict that parent's time with the child. However, although the reasons mentioned in that post would certainly be concerning, it is important to remember that judges cannot restrict parenting time for any reason.

Indeed, as this blog has discussed, our state's laws requires that, before a judge can restrict a parent's rights, the judge must find that a parent did or failed to do something that put his or her child's health or well-being in significant danger. While certainly abuse, drug addiction and the like can qualify under this standard, a parent need not be perfect to have unrestricted parenting time. Isolated mistakes, even if they are somewhat serious, as well as behavior that is obnoxious or designed to annoy the other parent and even many violations of a custody or parenting time orders are not going to be enough to restrict parenting time.

3 reasons why visitation may be restricted

Being a parent is hard work. It is often even harder if someone is navigating the process of parenting during or after a divorce. Parents want to be in their child's life to the greatest extent possible, but sometimes this is made difficult by custody arrangements and other factors. If a judge has restricted visitation rights, for example, a parent will likely have a difficult time parenting and bonding with the child.

Why is visitation restricted? There are a number of reasons this might happen. The following are three of the most common. If a parent would like to challenge a restriction or fight for greater visitation rights, he or she must first understand why the courts limited them to begin with. 

Parenting plans and custody schedules with teenagers in mind

In many ways, co-parenting a teenager is different from co-parenting a younger child or toddler. Your parenting plan and residency schedule should reflect this dynamic, even if you have children in different age groups.

Important post-divorce things to keep in mind for your teenagers are these: They probably prefer to spend more time with friends rather than with family, they are eager to experiment with different activities, they may work (or want to work), they want a high degree of control over their schedule and they absolutely need both parents' support and involvement as they navigate life.

In kind income and how it factors in to child support

As has been discussed in previous posts on this blog, Illinois courts will determine the amount each parent is responsible for in child support largely based on the income of each parent.

Basically, a formula is applied to each parent's income and, once expenses are also accounted for, gives a suggested dollar figure for child support. Courts are generally expected to use this figure unless there is a good reason to deviate from it.

How do I establish paternity in Illinois?

This blog has posted previously about how unmarried couples may choose to resolve their issues with dividing property should they decide to split up.

As many Rockford, Illinois, residents probably know, unmarried couples who have lived together for a long time and who may even have a child together will also have parenting responsibilities to resolve as part of their split. Given the long-term nature of the relationship, a split will mean both parents and their children will have to go from all living together to figuring out how to carry on in two separate homes.

Standard for changing parental responsibilities in Illinois

While this blog has in the past mentioned that parents in Rockford, Illinois, can ask for their allocation of parental responsibilities to be changed, the subject may bear some further discussion.

After all, it could well be of importance to a parent who realizes that his or her child needs a different child custody arrangement for the child's own good. Likewise, parents who are trying to rebuild their relationship with their children will want to know how the can take the next legal step in doing so.

How to put a value on a piece of art

Previous posts here have discussed some items that are commonly held by couples with significant wealth, such as shares in a family business or other investments. These sorts of property are commonly at issue during the course of a high asset divorce or separation, but it is good for even happily married couples to have some understanding of how to get a value on a piece of property when it is not possible to just look up the going market price.

Another item to which couples in the throes of a divorce or other financial crisis may have to pay particular attention is artwork. Like many other types of property, artwork does not usually have a fixed or even readily ascertainable value, so the only way to really know how much a piece of art is worth is to sell it on the open market. A sale, however, is not always a realistic option. At this point, it may be necessary to involve an expert art appraiser, as well as an experienced family law attorney. Still, there are some principles our readers can keep in mind if they own artwork.

What happens to property after unmarried couples split

A previous post on this blog talked about how unmarried couples in Rockford do not have recourse to divorce or divorce-like procedures should they split up and need to divide their property. This is because Illinois law does not recognize such a procedure.

Study shows time divorced dads in Illinois spend with kids

One of the most contentious parts of any divorce involves allocating how much time each parent spends with any children they share. Both parents need to play a role in the development of their children, but a recent study shows that divorced fathers in Illinois spend far less time with their kids compared to fathers in other states. 

The Daily Journal reported on a study about how much time dads spend with their kids, on average, in each state. Illinois had one of the lowest scores in the entire country. The study found that on average dads in Illinois without any kind of criminal history saw their children roughly 23.1 percent of the year. The only states that scored lower were Tennessee, Oklahoma and Mississippi. This means that the average divorced dad in Illinois spends about 80 days out of the year seeing his kids. 

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