Tag Archives: parenting time

Celebrating Your First Post-Divorce Father's DayJune 18 marks the annual celebration of Father’s Day in the U.S. While it is usually a time for fathers and their children to bond, a newly divorced father may experience the holiday differently. Depending on the parenting time arrangement, his children may be unavailable to visit him that day. If he does get to spend the day with them, he may not know how to celebrate. Past Father’s Day traditions may have relied on the mother’s involvement. Divorced fathers need to take an active role in creating a positive Father’s Day experience for them and their children.

Save the Date

You should talk to your former wife about your desire to spend Father’s Day with your children, especially if it would require altering your parenting time schedule. Parenting time agreements are legally binding, but parents can make minor adjustments without needing court approval. Hopefully, your former wife will appreciate the day’s importance to you and your children. However, you can also help with scheduling by being flexible:

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Recognizing Different Parenting Time ViolationsWhen a court rules on parenting time as part of the allocation of parental responsibilities, it is a legally enforceable court order. A parent who violates the agreement may face criminal and civil consequences, including:

  • Fines;
  • Scheduling make-up parenting time for the other parent;
  • Payment of a cash bond to insure against future violations;
  • Probation;
  • Driver's license suspension; and
  • Up to a year in prison after a third offense.

Abuse of parenting time unlawfully reduces the amount of time one parent gets to spend with his or her children. There are multiple methods that parents can use to violate a parenting time agreement.

Withholding Children

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Kane County family law attorneyWhen you are a divorced parent, figuring out how to divide holiday parenting time can be very difficult. It is especially challenging if you and the other parent are not able to communicate effectively. Any parent who has a healthy relationship with their child, however, will want to spend time together during important family holidays like Christmas. Doing so is possible with some advance planning and cooperation between you and your ex-spouse.

You and your former partner may already have an agreement in place regarding where your child will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A holiday parenting schedule is often included in a court-approved parenting plan. In many situations, parents—especially those who live relatively far from one another—will enjoy Christmas parenting time in alternating years. For example, your child may spend Christmas with you this year and, next year, he or she will spend Christmas with the other parent.

If you and the other parent live close enough, however, your child may be able to spend part of the holiday with each of you. Of course, this may be more complicated in terms of transportation and scheduling meals with extended family, but the time with your child on Christmas is worth the extra trouble.

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Illinois child custody lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyWhen a couple with a child divorces, the court must determine the best possible parenting time arrangement for their child by examining various factors at play in the parents' lives. These factors include each parent's income and asset level, the individuals living in each parent's household, and any issues present that could impact the child's health or safety. Drug or excessive alcohol use by a parent is one of these factors.

In contentious divorces, one parent might accuse the other of struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. The court must address this to determine whether it is true, which usually means that the parent accused of having an addiction must undergo a drug test. It is up to the judge to determine whether a divorcing party must take a drug test. Sometimes, the judge does this following a request by one spouse and in other cases, the judge decides this without input from either divorcing party.

Following a Positive Drug Test

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Illinois child custody attorney, Illinois family law attorneyIf you are a father facing divorce, you might find yourself stressing about what will happen to your relationship with your children. Although you have a full, equal role in your child's life, many individuals throughout the United States hold outdated notions about a mother's role in her child's life versus a father's role. You might also have heard that courts tend to favor mothers when determining custody arrangements and that after a divorce, a father simply becomes an ATM for child and spousal support.

Do not let these ideas trap you into thinking you have no power or rights in your divorce. The concept of child custody has been dramatically altered in recent years and now, it is known as parenting time and parental responsibilities. These refer to the roles that each parent fills in his or her child's life and the specified blocks of time they spend with the child in the years after their divorce. Under Illinois law, a parent's gender has no bearing on these determinations and when child support is deemed to be necessary, it is ordered based on the parenting time arrangement determined by the court. Your attorney will fight for your right to be treated fairly during these determinations and if you feel your gender is being used in any way to justify less parenting time or a larger financial obligation than you deserve, voice your concerns to your lawyer.

Showing That You Are an Involved Parent

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

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St. Charles, IL 60174


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Wheaton, IL 60187


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