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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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New Lenox divorce and child custody attorney

If you are getting divorced, and you have children, there are an entire set of issues that must be addressed that will be unique to this type of case. You and your spouse must decide where the children will live, what kind of parenting time arrangements will work for you, and, arguably most importantly, how decisions concerning the children will be made. Illinois courts urge you and your spouse to reach an agreement about these issues on your own, but that is not always possible. If you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement, the court will step in, and a judge will make these decisions for you.

Types of Significant Decisions

What used to be known as “child custody” is now called “allocation of parental responsibilities” in Illinois. In general, significant decision-making responsibilities include any decisions that must be made about the child’s life. The judge can allocate the right to make each of these decisions to one or both of the parents. Decision-making responsibilities that will be allocated include:

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Tinley Park child custody attorney parenting planSome of the most highly contested issues in Illinois divorce cases are those involving children. Both parents are entitled to certain rights when it comes to their children, and this includes both mothers and fathers. Most child-centered issues resulting from a divorce must be accounted for in a parenting plan. 

A parenting plan is a document that outlines and allocates both significant decision-making responsibilities and decision-making responsibilities. A parenting plan can come in handy when issues arise after the divorce is finalized. As part of a divorce decree, this document is enforceable by the court, and parents are required to follow the plan unless it is modified at a later date.

Elements of a Parenting Plan

During a divorce case, Illinois courts require that both parents submit a parenting plan to the court, either separately or jointly. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on your own, the court will likely order you to attend mediation to help you formulate a parenting plan. If that still does not work, parenting time and decision-making responsibilities will be allocated based on what the judge determines to be in children’s best interests. 

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Mokena child relocation attorneyWhen you are a parent, almost everything you do is to make sure your child is happy and healthy. Your child’s best interests are at the top of your list of priorities. Sometimes, doing the best thing for your child may include a relocation, which can be difficult to navigate, since it may require changes to child custody arrangements. In the state of Illinois, it is generally understood that a child flourishes better when both parents are active and involved in the child’s life. Because of this, a relocation with your child must be approved by both your child’s other parent and the courts. Even if your child’s other parent objects to the relocation, you can still petition to relocate with your child as long as you can demonstrate that the move would benefit the child.

Starting the Relocation Process

Before you take your issue to the courts, you may want to address it between you and the child’s other parent first. You should provide the other parent with notice regarding your intended move, and you must then file a notice of relocation with the clerk of the circuit court, and the other parent must sign that notice and file the signed copy. The notice of relocation should be filed at least 60 days before your intended relocation and should include your date of relocation and your new address. If the other parent objects to the relocation, or if you cannot come to an agreement about an updated parenting plan, then you will have to petition the court to allow the relocation. 

How Relocation Decisions Are Made

In all cases involving children, courts make decisions based on what would be in the child’s best interests. Factors that judges consider when making decisions about relocations include:

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