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St. Charles Divorce LawyerDivorce is one of the most challenging life events an individual can go through, especially when children are involved. Figuring out how to co-parent with your ex and create a stable, nurturing environment for your children can be very difficult. Good co-parenting requires flexibility, open communication, and a shared goal of doing what is best for the children. In this blog, we will discuss tips for successful co-parenting with an ex-spouse.

Communicate Frequently, But Get It In Writing

Even if your parenting plan spells out the terms of the parenting time schedule, allocation of parental responsibilities, and other parenting matters, you will still need to communicate with your child's other parent from time to time. Establish a respectful and open line of communication, focusing on the children instead of any interpersonal conflict with your ex.

Communication through text messages, emails, and other written forms is often preferred to phone calls or face-to-face communication. Written communication allows both parties to ensure that what they are saying is helpful and will not stir up unnecessary conflict. Having your discussions in writing is also useful if there is ever a misunderstanding or question about the plans that were made.

Kane County Divorce LawyerLeaving a spouse who has physically harmed you, threatened violence against you or your children, or otherwise abused you is a frightening and complicated process. Having a safety plan in place is essential. As you develop your plan, keep the following considerations in mind. If you are ever in immediate danger, call 911 right away.

Consider an Emergency Order of Protection

In Illinois, emergency orders of protection are granted based solely on the testimony of the petitioner, or person requesting protection. In other words, your spouse does not need to be present or even be aware of the fact that you are asking for an order of protection.

An emergency protection order can be customized to your specific needs. Most of the time, a protection order prohibits an abusive person from coming within a certain distance of the victim, contacting the victim through phone, e-mail, or social media, following the victim, or coming to the victim’s workplace or school. An emergency order of protection can also be used to temporarily evict a spouse from the marital residence. Setting up this legal protection creates a formal record of the abuse and gives you the right to call the police if your spouse violates any of the provisions of the order.

St. Charles Child Custody LawyerThe end of a relationship or marriage often brings out the worst sides of people. Sadly, children from the relationship often get caught in the middle. Parental alienation is a form of emotional abuse in which a parent intentionally turns his or her child against the other parent. The parent may tell the child lies about the other parent, punish the child for showing love or affection toward the other parent, or refuse to let the other parent spend time with the child.

Illinois courts do not specifically use the term “parental alienation” when referring to this type of behavior. However, a parent’s behavior toward their child can certainly affect the court’s decision regarding child custody issues, including the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.

Parents Are Expected to Foster a Positive Relationship Between the Child and the Other Parent

As we have discussed several times in previous blogs, Illinois courts always want to do what is best for the children in any child-related family law dispute. When a parent engages in a campaign of denigration against the targeted parent, this can be extremely damaging to the child. The child may feel confused, guilty, angry, and depressed. Using a child as a pawn to get back at the other parent is extremely harmful and unethical.

Kane County Family Law AttorneyFor many young people, May is a month filled with graduation parties, ceremonies, and making plans for the future. If you are a parent of a high school or college-aged child, it is important to understand how Illinois law handles college expenses when parents are divorced. Illinois is unique in that divorced parents are sometimes legally required to contribute to their child's college education. Read on to learn more.

Splitting the Cost of Tuition, Books, Fees, Housing, and Other College Costs

Child support obligations typically end once a child becomes an adult. However, in Illinois, a parent may still be required to provide financial assistance to a college-aged child. Illinois courts have the authority to allocate college expenses between two divorced parents. College expenses include the cost of tuition, fees, textbook rental, supplies, housing, and food. The court considers both parents’ financial circumstances when determining how to split college expenses between them. The college student’s own financial resources, including money from scholarships or work-study programs, may also be considered. Sometimes, the student is also required to contribute to college expenses.

The Amount a Parent May Be Required to Pay is Limited

The amount a parent may be required to pay is capped by Illinois law. A parent cannot be required to contribute more than what it would cost for the child to attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Tuition and fees are currently estimated at $17,572-$22,836 for the 2023-2024 school year at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. However, keep in mind that this figure does not include housing, supplies, textbooks, and related expenses.

Kane County Child Support LawyerAs any parent can confirm, raising a child is costly. Tuition and other educational expenses, childcare, extracurricular activities, clothing, housing, and groceries are just some of the many expenses a parent will need to cover. Child support payments help distribute the cost of raising a child between the two parents.

Unfortunately, some parents try to pay less than their fair share of financial support. If your child's parent receives cash income “under the table,” you may worry about how this will influence child support payments. In this blog, we will discuss how child support is calculated in Illinois and what you can do if your parent is trying to manipulate the child support order by failing to disclose all sources of income.

Basics of Child Support Orders in Illinois

When the court determines the amount of child support to be paid, the court begins by gathering financial information from both parents. Each parent's net income is calculated by taking their gross income and subtracting taxes, other support obligations, and certain other expenses. The parents’ combined income determines the total amount of support owed by both parents. The total support obligation is then distributed between the parents. The parent with less parenting time pays his or her share through child support.

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