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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.

Kane County divorce attorneyEven after a divorce, it is important for parents to maintain their relationships with their children. This usually means that there is still contact with the other parent–even if it is hostile in nature. Sometimes, the relationship between former spouses is so hostile that one spouse will attempt to turn a child against the other spouse in an effort to retaliate against them or get revenge.

In addition to being extremely damaging to the psychological well-being of a child, parental alienation is painful and confusing for the parent towards whom the alienating behavior is directed. A previously happy and content child may suddenly become withdrawn or angry and begin repeating ugly language they learned from the alienating parent.

Although Illinois law conspicuously rejects the term “parental alienation syndrome,” due to its lack of specificity, the law instead has a host of procedures and statutes to inhibit what might be considered parental alienation.

Kane County family law attorneyChild support can be difficult to negotiate for parents who are no longer in a relationship. Even after a child support plan is put in place, the parent who is responsible for paying child support may purposely or accidentally halt payments. Regardless of the reason for stopping child support payments, the receiving parent and child(ren) are put in a difficult situation when they cannot get the financial support they need. If the paying parent has stopped making payments, you have options to get the child support you need.

Work Directly With the Paying Parent

Try to work things out with the delinquent co-parent. Do not seek to withhold parenting time from the spouse who is delinquent on payments, or otherwise seek revenge. Even if there is an enforceable court order, co-parents may be able to work something out together. If it does come to a court battle, do not jeopardize your case by neglecting your responsibilities under the child visitation order.

Work with the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)

You may also notify the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). After you notify DCSS of the delinquent payments, DCSS will begin to oversee the situation and verify that the payments are late. Be aware that before DCSS can take any action regarding the delinquent child support, they are obligated to notify the non-compliant parent and warn them about the consequences of nonpayment. 

St. Charles IL family lawyerParental financial support doesn’t necessarily end when a child turns 18. Although college may not be an option every child pursues, if a child does decide to go to college, divorced and unmarried parents could be responsible under Illinois law for sharing the expense of their child’s continued education. This is considered “non-minor support,” and the law in this regard is complex and less developed than child support for minor children. Typically, college expenses are addressed in a divorce agreement (or parenting agreement, for non-married parents), but as the expenses and expectations of college change rapidly, such an agreement is often left until the child reaches college age.

Considerations in an Order for College-Related Expenses

Here are some of the factors a court will take into account when deciding how parents should contribute to a child’s educational expenses:

  • Pre-college expenses - Parents are responsible for covering the cost of applying to up to five colleges and up to two standardized college entrance exams like the ACT or the SAT. Parents may even be required to pay for a college exam preparatory course.

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