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.
Every year, many Illinois couples choose adoption as a means to grow their families. Under the Illinois Adoption Act, various laws exist to protect adopted children and their families. These laws regulate the five types of adoptions available to Illinois couples and the steps that a family must take to adopt a child.
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.
It can be overwhelming to think you might be facing the end of your marriage. When you took your vows, you promised to be together for the rest of your lives. But now, months, years or even decades later, you find yourself unable to relate to your partner and ultimately, unhappy in your marriage. You are not a failure. Your partner is not a failure. People change as they mature and sometimes, spouses make mistakes that break their marriages beyond repair. When you are at this point in your marriage, it is often healthiest for all parties involved for you to seek a divorce.
If you were adopted or one of your parents was adopted, you might be interested in your biological relatives. Though you may love your adoptive parents or grandparents, there may be a question in the back of your mind regarding those to whom you are related. Or, you may wonder about your genes, family illness or history. You can find this out by requesting a copy of your original birth certificate, which may even put you in direct contact with biological parents, depending on their wishes.
Lots of parents in Illinois choose to expand their families by adopting children. Every family has its own reason for choosing this route and for many, it is a deeply personal and often emotionally-charged decision. Adding a child to your family through adoption can be one of the most rewarding choices you will ever make, creating the parent-child bond that lasts a lifetime and changes a family forever.
When you are going through a divorce, the prospect of having to set up a child custody arrangement can seem daunting. You might worry about an outside evaluator meeting with you to ask you questions about your home, your lifestyle, and your relationship with your child, then deciding where your child should live. This is a very simplified view of the child custody evaluation process and in most cases, you will have plenty of opportunity to provide a detailed account of your parenting style and work with your former spouse and the evaluator to develop a custody arrangement that meets your child’s needs.
If you have a child or children, you are required by law to support child until the child reaches the age of majority. The amount of child support you are required to pay must be reviewed and subsequently approved by a court of law. Once a judge approves the amount of child support obligation the non-custodial parent owes, the judge will put that amount into a judicial order. This judicial order is recorded and the determined amount must be paid. If a non-custodial parent fails to pay his or her child support obligation, he or she may be held in civil contempt, where he or she can be arrested until he or she “purges,” or pays, a specified amount of past due support.
Many divorced parent can attest that their divorce was a difficult process. Even the most amicable situations still carry a level of stress and distrust between spouses, and often, the total upheaval of the life of their children. During a divorce, feelings of bitterness and betrayal are frequently most acute, and their effects may last for months and years. For divorcing parents, who now have to co-parent, it is extremely important to avoid projecting such emotions onto the children, regardless of intention.
In a divorce situation, making arrangements for the custody and care of your children will be among the most difficult decisions to be made. Regardless of your feelings toward your ex-spouse, your children still deserve the best efforts of both parents in providing for them. For this reason, many divorced parents are recognizing the importance of a parenting plan that they have jointly negotiated rather than relying solely on a judge’s interpretation of the law.