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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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 Frankfort divorce lawyer for child issues

Divorce can be a very stressful and emotional time for everyone in the family, but it can be especially difficult for children. There is no way to predict exactly how your child will react to a divorce, but many children experience feelings of sadness, anger, shock, resentment, and even guilt when dealing with their parent’s divorce. Many of these feelings are normal emotions that the child will experience as they go through the grieving process. Though there is no way around these feelings, there are many things you can do to help your child learn how to adapt to their new circumstances. Here are a few ways you can help your child cope with your divorce:

  1. Be Prepared to Answer a Lot of Questions

Children are naturally curious, so it is only normal for them to have a lot of questions once you break the news of the divorce. Your child might ask you where they are going to live, if you or your spouse will be moving out, why you are getting a divorce, and if they will change schools, among other things. You should be prepared to answer these questions, and if you do not currently have an answer for these questions, be honest with your child and tell them you will let them know as soon as you can.

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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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Orland Park fathers' rights lawyer

The domestic landscape has greatly changed from what it was 20 or 30 years ago. More fathers are stay-at-home dads than ever before, and many mothers earn incomes equal to or higher than their husbands. Though not all families are set up that way, the general attitude toward men as caretakers has become much more accepting. When a couple goes through a divorce, most fathers still want to play an active role in their child’s life, though they may feel discouraged and disadvantaged when doing so. Certain topics are still skewed in the woman’s favor in many courtrooms, even though the judge may not necessarily mean to do this. If you are a father who is going through a divorce, you should understand how certain issues may affect your rights as a father in Illinois.

Spousal Maintenance

The idea of spousal maintenance was originally created to allow wives who got a divorce to continue to share a portion of their ex-spouse’s income. This occurred mostly in the days when the women were predominantly stay-at-home mothers who did not have careers and did not earn their own income. 

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Mokena divorce lawyers

Divorce is stressful, even for the most steadfast of people. When there are children involved in a divorce, things become more complicated. Children tend to process divorce differently than adults because they are still developing mentally and emotionally. If a divorce is not handled properly, children can experience lasting effects, such as depression and low self-esteem. 

Illinois courts take a very child-centered approach to divorce proceedings. They put the children’s best interests first when making child-related decisions. But what actually are the child’s best interests?

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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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