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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

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Hinsdale fathers’ rights lawyer

In today’s world, there is no such thing as a “typical” divorce. There are many ways a couple can end their marriage, and the outcomes will change depending on the needs of each family. Some families are still traditional in the sense that the mother is the primary caregiver and is the one who spends the most time with the children. In other families, fathers are more involved in raising their children, which can cause tension and stress when it comes to making child-centered decisions during a divorce.

Though the law states that both mothers and fathers should be treated equally, fathers are sometimes still seen as “second-class” parents, and some dads feel that they are not given the same consideration as mothers when it comes to issues such as parenting time. Divorce can be difficult for everyone, but its negative effects may be especially worrisome for fathers. Here are a few tips to help dads aim for success during and after a divorce:

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Hinsdale divorce attorney for child issuesCouples get divorced for many reasons. Maybe you and your spouse have realized that you are two different people who want different things. Maybe you still love each other, but you have grown apart. Or maybe some other type of conflict has occurred, such as infidelity or financial issues. Whatever the reason for the divorce, it is likely that you and your spouse will not be on the best of terms. It is not uncommon for couples to experience contentious divorces, and issues involving children are often some of the most difficult matters to resolve. Sometimes, children can be caught in the crossfire of marital conflicts. Here are a few ways you can protect your children as much as possible during your divorce:

  1. Do Not Fight in Front of the Kids

One of the most detrimental things children can experience is to witness their parents constantly fighting and arguing. High levels of conflict can create a sense of tension and unhappiness in the home, and this can manifest negatively in children. Kids who observe their parents’ arguments are more prone to behavioral problems and emotional issues. During your divorce, you should do your best to avoid arguing in front of your children, forcing them to take sides, or asking them to send messages between you and your spouse.

  1. Keep Routines as Stable as Possible

As you go through the process of ending your marriage, you and your children will probably experience many changes. You and/or your spouse may need to find new living arrangements, your daily schedules may shift, and your life in general will change. For children, all of these adjustments can be difficult, especially when they come all at once. You can help your children transition into these changes by maintaining consistent routines as much as possible. Try talking with your spouse to make sure the same rules are followed in both households, and try to stick to similar schedules for meals, bedtimes, etc.

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Oak Brook parenting time attorney

There is arguably no relationship more sacred than the one between a parent and child. For children, solid, loving relationships with their parents are crucial for their healthy development and well-being. Because of this, many states, including Illinois, have placed specific emphasis on allocating parenting time to both parents of a child, rather than solely to one parent. Though it may not always be a 50/50 split, most cases involve both parents having parenting time with their children, and it is typically in the child’s best interests to spend time with both parents. However, there may be cases in which a judge finds that it is necessary to place restrictions on parenting time.

When Are Parenting Time Restrictions Appropriate?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifically states that both parents are presumed to be fit to care for their child and that in such cases, the court will not place restrictions on parenting time. In divorce and family law cases, the duty of the judge and the court is to ensure the child is being taken care of adequately. If the court finds that the child’s physical or emotional well-being would be endangered if he or she were to spend time with a parent, then the judge can restrict parenting time for that parent.

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DuPage County lgbtq divorce lawyer child custodySince 2013, gay marriage has been legal in the state of Illinois, and since 2015, it has been legal throughout the entire country. Many LGBTQ couples rejoiced in their newfound ability to get married, but they may still have a number of issues to overcome when it comes to LGBTQ families and the legal dynamics of those relationships. One of the issues that LGBTQ couples still face is children and how both parents can have equal parenting rights to those children. Many laws today are still worded to accommodate “traditional” parentage, with a mother and a father being the child’s parents. A handful of states (including Illinois) have developed what is called second-parent adoption, which is useful in both LGBTQ marriages and divorces.

Defining Second-Parent Adoption

Also known as a co-parent adoption, a second-parent adoption is one of the best ways an LGBTQ couple can ensure both parents have a legal relationship with their child. Typically, establishing legal parentage is still almost entirely based on the biological ties a child has with his or her parent(s). In many cases, when same-sex couples have children, one of the spouses is the child’s biological parent, such as when the child is conceived through a surrogate or using a sperm donor.  

Why Use a Second-Parent Adoption?

Marriages between a man and a woman are rather simple when it comes to determining parentage. If the mother was married at the time of the child’s birth, the man she was married to is presumed to be the child’s biological and legal father. In same-sex marriages, legal parentage is not that easy. Even if the parents are married when the child is born, the child is typically not considered to be the legal child of the non-biological spouse. Second-parent adoptions allow the non-biological parent of the child to establish legal parentage, ensuring that their parental rights and relationship with the child are legally recognized.

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Hinsdale fathers’ rights attorney for parenting time and child support30 or 40 years ago, a mother was typically granted full custody of her children if she and her husband got a divorce. The husband would usually be awarded visitation rights, and he may have been able to see his kids every other weekend or possibly a couple of days during the week. In today’s world, attitudes toward parenting have changed. Fathers are more likely to be given equal decision-making responsibility for children, and they have the right to parenting time. While this is usually true, many fathers still feel that they are not treated the same as mothers when it comes to the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities. In order to protect fathers’ rights, there are some specific issues that fathers should pay attention to when getting a divorce:

Parenting Rights

In the state of Illinois, the courts encourage divorcing parents to come to an agreement on parenting time and decision-making responsibilities on their own. This can be done through the parents themselves or with help from a mediator. If they are unable to come to an agreement, the court will make decisions for them based on what is in the child’s best interests. 

Both parents are legally entitled to have a reasonable amount of parenting time with their children. If a father played a significant role in raising and caring for children while married, he should be able to continue having this same relationship with them following divorce. The only way a court can restrict parenting time is if there is clear evidence that spending time with a parent would endanger the child’s physical, mental, emotional or moral well-being. 

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