Category Archives: Children

Celebrating Halloween as a Divorced ParentHalloween is a holiday that is full of precious memories for parents and children. If you are divorced or separated from your co-parent, you may be missing out on watching your children trick-or-treat or enjoy other Halloween festivities. Divorced parents carefully divide their time with the children during the winter holiday season, but you may not have thought about Halloween when creating your parenting plan. There are still ways that both divorced parents can share Halloween with their children

Trick-or-Treating

Both of you can accompany your children for trick-or-treating if you and your co-parent can be cordial with each other for a couple of hours. Focusing on your children may distract you from falling into your typical arguments. If you cannot stand being around your co-parent for even that long, you could plan to switch as chaperones to the children midway through the trick-or-treating. You could also take your children to trick-or-treat in your neighborhood if you live close by. However, they will feel most comfortable trick-or-treating in their own neighborhood with their friends.

Maintaining Roles

One parent may have traditionally taken the lead on certain Halloween activities while you were married. Maybe one of you is better at carving jack-o-lanterns or putting together costumes for your children. Keeping up these traditions after divorce will make Halloween more enjoyable for yourself and your children.

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When a Parent's Beliefs Endanger a ChildOne of the difficulties when separate parents raise children is how to handle conflicting beliefs. Parents may have different opinions on:

  • What their children's religious beliefs should be;
  • Which medical treatments should be allowed; and
  • What they should eat. 

Decisions about how to raise children must be made with their best interests in mind, but what is best for the children is subjective in these cases, which are more about personal preference. A family court is unlikely to intervene in these disputes, unless a parent’s beliefs are harmful to the child.

Religion

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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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Kane County family law attorneyWhen a couple gets married, it is not at all uncommon for a spouse—usually a woman, but not always—to take her partner’s last name as a symbol of their union. Some partners choose to hyphenate their surnames so as to keep their own identity while adding their spouse’s name to theirs. When a marriage comes to an end, it is relatively easy—and usually part of the standard divorce paperwork—for a spouse who changed her name to change it back during the proceedings. But, what about the children of a divorcing couple? It turns out that changing the name of a minor child in Illinois may be more complicated than most people realize.

What the Law Says

While most of the legal details surrounding marriage and divorce are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5), name changes are typically made in accordance with the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5). The statute provides that a name change for a minor child is possible if the court finds “by clear and convincing evidence that the change is necessary to serve the best interest of the child.” A separate provision in the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 (750 ILCS 46) allows for a child’s name to be changed if both parents agree, though this law is typically utilized in cases of unmarried parents or when parentage is in question.

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Kane County family law attorneyAlthough same-sex marriage is legal throughout the United States and Illinois law was recently amended to allow same-sex parents to become legal parents to any child born or conceived during their marriage, there are still certain issues that same-sex parents can face that do not affect heterosexual parents or, if they do affect heterosexual parents, do not affect them as widely or as profoundly. In the divorce process, same-sex couples are treated identically to heterosexual couples – or ideally, should be. Sometimes, a biased judge can make unfair rulings, requiring the couple to take time to appeal the ruling in order to receive fair treatment. If you are a parent in a same-sex relationship who is divorced, preparing to divorce, or working through another legal issue like adopting a child or modifying an established court order, discuss any specific issues you might face with your family lawyer before your proceed.

Legal Parentage of Your Children

In 2015, the Illinois Parentage Act was altered to be more inclusive of same-sex couples. Now, any child born or conceived during a couple's marriage, regardless of the couple's genders, is legally the child of both parents.

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

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Wheaton, IL 60187

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Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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