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Kane County family law attorneyAlthough the most commonly known method of collecting child support is through a court order as part of the Illinois divorce process, there are actually two ways of petitioning to collect child support. The first, as previously mentioned, is through an Illinois court. The second is by filing with the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).

If you are a parent of a child and you are attempting to collect child support, read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of using DCSS to assist you, as well as how hiring a skilled child support attorney can help.

How Can DCSS Help Me Collect Child Support?

One major advantage of DCSS is that its services are free. These services include, but are not limited to:

Posted on in Child Custody

Kane County child custody attorneyAlthough some parents will act aggressively to get full parental responsibilities for their children, others feel differently. You may not want full or even partial custody of your child for a number of reasons. Your job, your children from a previous relationship, your desire for privacy, or your feelings that you are not equipped to provide the care your child needs are all possible reasons for wanting your child’s other parent to have the majority of the childcare responsibilities.

What is Best for the Child?

Whether during divorce proceedings or when establishing parental responsibilities between unmarried parents, the court will make decisions according to what is in the best interests of the child. The court also takes the preferences of the parents and the child into account. If you do not want custody of your child at all, the court will most likely award full custody to the child’s other parent.

You must also consider the long-term impact of the lack of a close relationship with your child on your child’s mental health and wellness. Children often do best when they have both parents in their lives, and although you may not be in a position where you feel you can adequately parent now, that may change later on. It can be difficult to modify existing custody orders, and it may be much harder to get custody or visitation rights in the future.

Kane County divorce lawyerIn a high-conflict divorce where you and your spouse are unable to agree on anything, much less who should have custody or parental responsibilities for your child, character witnesses can be a valuable advantage to help you prove that living with you is in your child’s best interests. Here, we will explore the kinds of character witnesses you might use, as well as what a witness does and what you should do if a witness is reluctant to testify.

Types of Witnesses

There are essentially three types of witnesses that might appear in divorce proceedings. An independent expert witness, such as a court-appointed psychologist, testifies about a specific topic but does not work for either spouse. A controlled expert witness likewise testifies about a specific topic, but is retained or paid for by one of the parties.

A lay witness–the most common type of character witness–is not an expert, and ideally is someone who is not biased in your favor. This could be a teacher, a babysitter, a neighbor, or anyone else who has seen interactions between you, your spouse, and your children. A character witness can testify regarding your favorable parenting abilities, or regarding your spouse’s unfavorable abilities. Family members may be seen as biased in your favor, so getting a variety of character witnesses may be more beneficial in supporting your case.

Posted on in Child Custody

Kane County family law lawyerIf you share a child with your ex, and they are considering moving out of Illinois, you may feel nervous about what this means for the future of your relationship with your child. Fortunately, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act includes provisions limiting how far custodial parents can move with their children without court approval.

When is a Parent in Illinois Allowed to Move with a Child?

If your ex has custodial rights or parental responsibilities for at least half of the time, they are able to ask permission from the court to move and take the child with them.

A parent who lives in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry, or Will County can move with a child within Illinois up to 25 miles away from where they lived previously, without receiving court approval. A parent who lives in any other county may move up to 50 miles away. Likewise, a parent who lives near the Illinois border with any other state may move into a different state as long as they remain within 25 miles of their previous location.

Posted on in Divorce

St. Charles IL divorce lawyerDivorce is stressful. This is such a truism it hardly needs to be said. Between splitting up assets, negotiating with your former partner, taking care of any children, and trying to keep a household and career running smoothly, self-care can fall by the wayside.

Ongoing stress is terrible for our mental and physical health, and people will often suffer from illness or chronic pain after a divorce. Anxiety and depression are also common, as is weight gain or loss, substance abuse, and even heart disease. Here are a few things you can do to help improve your health and reduce stress during a divorce.

Exercise

The benefits of exercise extend beyond physical health. Mental health also improves due to better digestion, heart rate, and hormone regulation. You will feel better all around if you can remember to stay active during your divorce–even if you are exhausted.

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