It is no secret that divorce can be an incredibly stressful time for families. While a couple may have to deal with the grief and sadness of a failed relationship, spouses with children must also manage the transition into a new familial structure.
We are all familiar with the idea of an unhappily married couple “staying together for the kids.” If you know someone living such a reality, you may come away from interactions with that person or couple shaking your head wistfully, looking forward to the day when your friend can be happy again. If, however, this describes your own marriage, you should know that, in many cases, living with two parents in a bad relationship can actually be worse for your children than dealing with their parents’ divorce. It might be hard to believe, but, depending on your situation, you may need to consider divorcing “for the kids.”
It is no secret that a divorce can be an incredibly stressful time for families. While a couple may have to deal with the grief and sadness of a failed relationship—not to mention the challenges of the divorce process itself—those with children must also manage the transition into a new familial structure.
Depending on the family dynamics, grandparents may find themselves at the mercy of the parents of the grandchildren in question when it comes to the issue of visitation. Under Illinois law, grandparents have a limited right to request court-ordered visitation privileges with their grandchildren. State law also recognizes a parent’s fundamental right to the final decisions regarding how and where their children are raised and who may have access to them while they are minors. From a legal standpoint, however, the rights of both parents and grandparents are always viewed in tandem with what is in the best interest of the child. Situations do arise in which the best interest of the child may need to be decided by a family court.
If you and your spouse are considering calling it quits, you probably have many concerns. Divorce can affect your finances, living situation, and especially your children. What should you expect your children to experience and feel if you and your spouse split? Every situation is different, but experts agree that there are some common themes to be aware of when it comes to how divorce will impact your child.
If you have a child in Illinois and separate from the child’s other parent, one of you will be ordered to pay child support to the parent who has primary custody over the child. Illinois child support is calculated as a percentage of the payor parent’s take-home pay. The precise percentage depends on the total number of children the parents have in common (not necessarily the total number of children of the payor parent).
Child custody and visitation arrangements can be complex in the best of circumstances, especially if you do not understand the new dynamics of your family structure. Whether you have agreed to this arrangement, or a court has ordered it, it is important to understand how visitation works.
As a divorced parent, you have likely found that it is not always easy to make spur-of-the-moment decisions regarding your child. You need to work together with your child’s other parent to ensure that he or she has all of his or her needs met while maintaining relationships with each of you. This would not be a problem if our lives remained static; however, the reality is that you will need to compromise with your former spouse and abide by court rules for your child’s sake.
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a divorcing parent has the right to seek a temporary custody order for his or her child while he or she works through the divorce process. A divorce can take up to six months to complete from its initial filing to its final settlement. During this time, a temporary custody order provides a framework for the couple’s child’s care and a stable household for him or her until a permanent custody arrangement is developed.
Divorce is hard for families. Amid discussions of property division, alimony, new living arrangements, and changing relationships, children can feel like they have lost control of their lives. This can lead to feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, and even regret and guilt for some children. During this difficult time, your children need your support more than ever. Be there for them as you and your spouse work through your divorce and move forward with your changed lives.