Category Archives: Family Law

Back-to-School and Co-Parenting

Back-to-School and Co-Parenting

It might seem as though the time has flown by, but the summer holidays have ended, and autumn is right around the corner. And from the shelves overflowing with notebooks and pens to the demand for new clothes and backpacks, it is abundantly clear that it’s time for many children to head back to school. This is either fantastic or sad depending upon your perspective, however one thing is certain: it’s time to re-evaluate your boundaries, rules, and parenting arrangements with your co-parent.

Get Ready for the School Year

The new school year is a time of adjustment for many reasons. This can include your co-parenting approach, which might change according to your child’s new schedule and the new responsibilities they hold. It is important to make sure you have a good handle upon their school hours and what to expect regarding extracurricular activities. If you already have this information, make sure to share it with your co-parent so that everyone is on the same page and can work together to ensure your child’s success. You’ll also want to work out transportation details for school, extracurriculars, and parenting time in advance.

Revisit House Rules

Something else to keep in mind as the new school year dawns is that your child’s rules might change accordingly. Perhaps you have a new house rule regarding a bedtime, for example, that wasn’t in effect over the summer. It is a good idea to communicate with your co-parent to keep the rules consistent between both houses. Children benefit from structure and keeping the guidelines surrounding their personal and school lives clear from parent to parent can help them thrive.

Communicate with the School

Finally, it might be a good idea to reach out to your child’s school. Being able to speak clearly and honestly with your child’s instructor is always a good idea, and it can help them better understand your child’s needs. Keep in mind that teachers who understand the potential struggles your child might face can serve as your child’s allies by keeping an eye on them and reacting to their actions and needs proactively. This might mean calling you to discuss problem behavior or simply re-directing your child during the school day. Either way, building a positive relationship with your child’s instructors is a good idea to pursue, and one that you could embark upon with your co-parent.

For more information regarding co-parenting and the new school year, as well as how to obtain an official parenting plan, contact the professionals at Abear Law Office today!

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time in Illinois

For nearly two years now, the terms “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” have been used in place of the terms “child custody” and “visitation.” Illinois family laws were updated in January 2016 to better recognize and support children’s rights, encourage a healthier relationship between parents and children, and ensure more positive parental decision-making.

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Dissolving a Civil Union in Illinois

civil union is defined as a legal relationship given to Illinois adult partners who are not married. On January 31, 2011, the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act was signed to allow both heterosexual and same-sex couples to be in a civil union with the same obligations and rights as married couples. The Civil Union Law became effective June 1, 2011.

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How to Apply for Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions

There is a lot of information that many people may not be aware of with regard to domestic partnerships and civil unions. In order to file for a civil union partnership certificate, depending on the living situation, one needs to thoroughly understand the process. One also needs to know how to apply for a domestic partnership, depending on his or her circumstances.

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What to Do If Your Ex Refuses to Follow a Court Order

When a family court issues an order, it expects that the parties will follow it. If your spouse—or ex-spouse—refuses to comply with an existing court order, a family law attorney can help you understand your available options. In some cases, your best choice is to file a Rule to Show Cause or a Contempt Action.

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Decrease Your Chances of Divorce

Data from the American Psychological Association shows that up to 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. The likelihood of divorce also increases significantly for those in second or third marriages. People are always wondering, “can I divorce-proof my marriage?” When most couples get married, they imagine a wonderful romance, and likely do not plan to get divorced. With the addition of complicated schedules, bills, jobs, children, and messy houses, however, marriage can easily and quickly turn from romantic to mundane. Many divorces happen for the right reasons when a couple hits an impasse and is unable to remain together. In those cases, it is healthy and necessary to separate. Are there ways, however, to “divorce proof” your marriage, or at least help your marriage endure? A contributor to the Boston Globe recently surveyed many successfully married couples, and while there may be no way to truly divorce-proof your marriage, here are some insightful tips that may help you and your spouse strengthen your relationship and decrease your chances of divorce.

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When Does a Court Award Attorney Fees to the Prevailing Party in a Family Law Case?

An award of attorney fees may seem like a unicorn to some: a mythological event that some swear they have heard of from others but not seen themselves. This can be disheartening news to some divorce or family law litigants who have little money but are hoping that, if they prevail in their case, the court will order the other party to reimburse them for the legal fees they expended.

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Will Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Changes Affect My Pending Divorce?

On January 1, 2016, new laws affecting divorces, child custody disputes, and paternity proceedings take place throughout Illinois. Many of these laws were enacted to reflect current societal realities in Illinois and make the process of obtaining a divorce and/or establishing a parent-child relationship easier. But as anyone who has gone through a divorce proceeding or had to have a child custody issue decided by a court can attest, domestic relations disputes are not always resolved quickly. What laws would apply if a person were to file for divorce or initiate a child custody proceeding in 2015 but that proceeding was not ready for a final decision by the court until 2016?

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Appealing a Family Court Decision

No lawyer or litigant likes to lose in court. This is especially true in divorce cases where a “losing” party can have his or her financial interests and/or parental rights adversely impacted. When this happens, the “losing” party – the one whose interests were adversely affected by the trial court’s decision – may be left wondering how such a terrible (relatively speaking) decision can be undone. Most individuals have heard the term “appeal” and know that an “appeal” can reverse a decision entered by an Illinois trial court. Can you appeal a trial court’s decision in a divorce or child custody case? More importantly, should you appeal a decision?

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