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Posted on in Child Custody

Same-Sex Divorces Have Little Precedent for Child CustodyWith the legalization of same-sex marriage also came the need for same-sex divorce. Many aspects of divorce law are used equally in heterosexual and homosexual divorces. However, same-sex divorce is new territory, and decisions in cases often set new legal precedents.

Child custody (or the "allocation of parental responsibilities") is one of the trickiest parts of same-sex divorce because the process of having a child is more complicated than in a heterosexual relationship. Only one parent can claim biological rights to the child. With adopted children, the legal process of the adoption becomes important in determining parental rights. There are no laws specifically addressing same-sex divorce and custody. More general laws and court decisions are the best determiners of how a case will play out.

Biological Parent

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childrenand divorce, illinois divorce attorneyNo matter how hard parents work to reduce the stress, confusion, and hurt their children experience due to divorce, there is simply no easy way to get around the difficulties that surround the process. Divorce is emotionally taxing on everyone involved, but according to staff from the well-revered Mayo Clinic medical research center, there are certain steps you can take as parents to help make your children’s adjustment a little less painful in the long run.

Get Off On the Right Foot

While we know it is impossible for anyone to emerge from divorce completely unscathed, the transition can, at the very least, be less jarring when it is handled with care from the very beginning. This is especially true where children are concerned, as they are still developing and their emotions are heightened during stressful circumstances.

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Kane County child custody lawyersSharing parental responsibilities can be quite complicated for divorced, separated, or unmarried parents. Each parent may have an idea of how he or she thinks the child should be raised, and such ideas often differ—even between reasonable, well-meaning parents. Conflicting ideas about parenting can create confusion for the child, which is why it is so important for parents to work together to develop a parenting plan that clearly determines what role each parent will play in making significant decisions about the child’s life.  

What Are Significant Decisions?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines “significant decision-making” as “deciding issues of long-term importance in the life of a child.” The law also provides several considerations that are always considered significant decisions, such as:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Kane County family law attorneysDivorced and unmarried parents often face a number of important decisions when determining how to structure parenting arrangements for their children. You may be aware that recent changes to the law in Illinois have increased focus on cooperative parenting agreements and joint parenting plans. While cooperative parenting is great in theory, the reality is often much different. In many cases, it may still be appropriate for one parent to pursue sole responsibility for important decision-making, the amended version of what was once called sole custody.

New Terminology, Similar Responsibilities

For many years, the state of Illinois recognized two distinct types of arrangement for child custody: sole custody and joint custody. Each referred to the concept of legal custody, meaning the authority to make decisions regarding a child’s life and upbringing. A parent with sole custody was responsible for making all important decisions, while parents with joint custody would need to make such decisions together.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois child custody lawyerAs divorced parents, it is your job to cooperate and work together for your child's benefit. But what if you and your spouse disagree on the course of action that would best benefit your child? For example, if your child suffers from a mental or physical health problem, you might want to research alternative treatment options or a specific type of therapy, while your former spouse wants to stick to traditional treatment methods. Watching your child suffer can be heartbreaking and fighting with your former spouse about how to help your child can be frustrating.

Parental Responsibility Allocations Determine Each Parent's Say in the Child's Treatment

In Illinois, the court develops a parenting time agreement and an allocation of parental responsibilities for divorcing couples with children. These replaced the terms “legal custody” and “physical custody” when the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was revised in 2015.

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