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Oak Park right of first refusal lawyer

For couples with children who are going through a divorce, one of the most important aspects of the process is ensuring that their child's best interests are met. The courts require that divorcing parents try to work together to create a parenting plan that will determine each parent’s level of authority in making decisions about raising the child, define schedules for the parenting time the child will spend with each parent, and address other relevant issues. If the parents cannot come to an agreement on these issues, these decisions will be made by the judge in their divorce case. The “right of first refusal” is one issue that may need to be addressed in a parenting plan.

What Is the “Right of First Refusal”?

When a parenting plan is approved by the court, it is expected that each parent will follow the court-ordered parenting time schedule. However, situations may arise in which a parent will not be available during their scheduled parenting time, and they may need to utilize a third-party caregiver, such as a daycare, grandparents, or babysitters for a significant period of time. In these situations, the other parent may want to have the option to care for the children. 

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Oak Park prenup attorneyNowadays, it’s common for two people who are planning to marry to create and sign a prenuptial agreement. While it was once considered a document that was only necessary for the rich and famous, a prenup can actually provide benefits for couples at all income levels. This type of agreement can help a couple determine ahead of time how their marital property will be divided in the event they decide to part ways and get a divorce. It may also spell out how assets or property will be handled during the marriage, such as whose name will be on mortgages, car loans, insurance policies, retirement benefits, etc. 

When creating a prenuptial agreement, being open and honest regarding what each person brings to the marriage can lay a solid foundation of trust. With a prenup in place, a couple can make decisions that can help avoid conflict if the marriage does not work out. 

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Oak Park, IL divorce order modification lawyerIn some divorce cases, a couple may change their minds or disagree about certain issues even after the divorce is final. For example, if a person believes his or her ex-spouse violated the divorce decree, he or she can file a “post-decree motion” to enforce the terms of the divorce decree. Similarly, a change in one or both of the former spouses’ circumstances, such as a job loss or relocation, may require amendment or modification of the divorce decree, especially if a child is involved. These modifications or post-decree matters must be approved by a judge and should be fair to each spouse and in the best interests of the child.  

Parental Responsibilities and Child Support

The majority of post-decree matters deal with disputes over child-related issues. Parental responsibilities (formerly called child custody) and parenting time (formerly known as visitation) are determined during the initial divorce proceedings. However, changes may be necessary in some cases, such as when one parent would like to have more parenting time with his or her child. 

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Hillside post-divorce relocation attorneyThere are many reasons why a person would want to move after they have completed a divorce. Getting a new job, starting a new relationship, moving closer to family, or just getting a fresh start are all common reasons why people choose to relocate to a new home. However, when you add children into the picture, relocation could become more complicated. You cannot just pick up and move with your child if you have an existing parenting plan in place. You must first request permission to relocate from the child’s other parent. Then you must request permission to modify your parenting plan from the courts. Taking the correct steps when you are moving is the key to a successful relocation.

Notifying the Other Parent

If you have been allocated a majority of the parenting time or an equal amount of parenting time as your child’s other parent, you can request to relocate with your child. To do so, you must first provide a written notice of the relocation to your child’s other parent, and provide a copy of the notice to the clerk of the circuit court where you were divorced. The notice should be given at least 60 days in advance of the intended relocation, and it should include the date of the intended relocation, the address of your new residence, and the length of time the relocation will last (if it is not permanent).

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Hillside divorce attorney holiday parenting timeHalloween is not a major holiday, so it is a day that often is not listed in parenting agreements, but it can be one of the biggest days of the year for young children. Divorced or separated parents should respect what should be a great time for their kids. Here are some ways parents can work together on Halloween, even though they are no longer together:

1. Remember Who Halloween Is For

Halloween is about the kids, not about you. If you are early in the divorce process, and emotions are still raw, you may prefer to step away for the day if you think you cannot handle the situation properly. As with the other holidays, it may be best to divide Halloween between parents on alternating years. If you can participate in Halloween activities together with your children, that is great. If not, do not force it and ruin what should be a good time.

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