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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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Mokena child custody lawyer for right of first refusalIf you are getting a divorce in Illinois, and you have children, you will automatically have more things you will have to do before you can complete the process of legally ending your marriage. When Illinois parents get divorced, they will be required to come up with a parenting plan, which will contain information on how parenting time is allocated between the parents. The parenting plan will also contain other information, such as how decisions will be made about the child’s life, how the child will be raised, and protocols to follow if there are ever any changes to the parenting plan. Though it is not required, the right of first refusal is also something that can be included in a parenting plan.

What Is the Right of First Refusal?

The right of first refusal addresses situations in which a parent is unable to care for a child during his or her designated parenting time. In these cases, the parenting plan would require the parent to contact the other parent to ask if he or she could take care of the child before attempting to make arrangements for alternative care. In cases where the parents can cooperate enough to create their own parenting plan, they can choose whether or not to include information about the right of first refusal. If the court must intervene, it can also determine whether or not the right of first refusal is in the child’s best interest. 

It is widely accepted that a loving relationship with both parents is important for a child’s healthy emotional development. In situations in which one parent has a majority of the parenting time, the right of first refusal allows the other parent to have as much parenting time with the child as possible.

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Mokena parental relocation attorney

It is not uncommon for a person to move after they have finished with a divorce. While this can be a fresh start for many people, relocating can prove to be a challenge if you are a parent. When you are a parent and you get a divorce in Illinois, you are required to submit a parenting plan to the court before your divorce will be granted. In that parenting plan, the terms of your parenting arrangement, such as how parenting time is split between you and your ex-spouse, are clearly laid out. One of the things that is also included in the parenting plan is how parental relocations will be dealt with, which can become a complicated issue if one of you objects to the other’s planned relocation. 

Notifying the Other Parent

Before you do anything, you should first determine whether or not your move is considered a relocation. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), you must follow certain requirements if you plan to move with your child more than 25 miles away from your current home if you currently reside within DuPage, Cook, Kane, McHenry, Will, or Lake counties, or if the new home is outside of Illinois. If you currently live anywhere else in Illinois, a move is only considered a relocation if you move more than 50 miles away from your current home.

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Will County fathers’ rights attorney parenting time paternity

If you are the father of a child, you may worry about what your parental rights are under Illinois law. Unmarried or divorcing fathers are often especially concerned about their parental rights and responsibilities. Although mothers often have the majority of parental responsibility and parenting time, fathers have just as many rights under Illinois law as mothers do. The law treats mothers and fathers equally, but fathers may have unique family law concerns related to paternity and other matters.

The Right to Establish Paternity

When a woman gives birth to a child, she automatically becomes the child’s legal mother. The same is not always true for a child’s father. Unmarried fathers may need to formally establish paternity in order to become their baby’s legal parent. There are three ways to establish paternity in Illinois. First, both parents may sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) at the hospital where the baby was born or at a later date. Paternity can also be established through a court order or through a hearing with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Establishing paternity is the first step in gaining the parental rights afforded to fathers under the law. However, you will still need to file a separate petition for the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time with the court after establishing paternity. You will also be subject to Illinois law regarding child support.

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 Frankfort child support order modification lawyerSome of the most difficult concerns you will face during your divorce are the issues that are related to your children. Many parents worry about the well-being of their child when they get a divorce, both emotionally and financially. The state of Illinois believes that both of a child’s parents have an obligation to financially provide for that child, so almost all divorce cases involving children also involve child support. The amount of child support payments will depend on a variety of circumstances, including each parent’s income, the number of children that support is being paid for, and how parenting time is allocated between the parents. Once a support order is established, that order will remain in effect until the child reaches adulthood -- unless a parent requests that the order be changed.

Modifying Child Support

Every three years, an Illinois child support order is eligible for a modification review. If the order has not yet passed the three-year mark, or if the need for a change is urgent, then a parent may be able to still have the child support order modified. In these cases, a “significant change in circumstances” must be proven before modifications can be made to the child support order. 

What Is a “Significant Change in Circumstances?”

By far, the most common way a child support order is changed in Illinois occurs when one of the parents claims that new circumstances warrant a modification. Illinois courts are given broad discretion when it comes to determining what does and does not qualify as a significant change in circumstances.” Here are some examples of changes that may require a modification: 

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 Mokena adoption attorney for home studiesFor many people, adoption is a very rewarding and fulfilling way to expand their family. If you are considering adoption, there are certain processes that you must go through and qualifications that you must meet before you are permitted to adopt a child. In the state of Illinois, a home study is an important piece of the adoption puzzle. No matter which way you choose to adopt -- whether through a private agency or individual or through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services -- you will have to complete a home study as a part of the requirements to adopt.

Why Are Home Studies Used?

Many people believe that a home study is simply a home visit to talk to you and the other family members in your home. While this included in an adoption home study, it is just a small piece of the bigger process. Home studies are intended to allow social workers to evaluate families and determine whether they have not only the financial resources to adopt a child, but also the emotional ability to accept a child into their family.

Background Checks

Background checks are a requirement for all adults over the age of 18 who reside in the household where the child will be living. The background check must be passed by all members in order for the family to be eligible to adopt. Children who are between the ages of 13 and 17 must consent to a search in the child abuse and neglect registry and the child sex offender registry.

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  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association
  • Will County Bar Association
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association
  • Kane County Bar Association

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