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Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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708-449-7404

Oak Park family law attorney for step-parent adoptionIt is common for divorced or unmarried parents to eventually move on from their previous partner and seek out a romantic relationship with someone new. When starting a new relationship, parents will need to consider the manner in which their children will relate to their new partner. Relationships between step-parents, and step-children relationships, can be tricky to navigate, especially in the beginning stages. However, by using the tips below, a step-parent can build a healthy and loving relationship with their step-child. And over time, a step-parent may decide that legal adoption is a further step they want to take.

The Dos and Don’ts of Step-Parenting

There is no tried-and-true playbook on how to parent, whether you are a biological parent or a step-parent. However, boundaries are often one of the main issues that step-children have with their parent’s new partner. Step-kids can often feel as if their step-parent is trying to replace their biological parent, and boundary issues can arise when a step-parent tries to discipline their step-child. 

It is important to have a conversation with your partner about what the parenting dynamics in your relationship are going to be. Some parents may expect their new spouse to take on a more involved parental role, while others may wish to avoid the issues that can arise regarding boundaries and discipline. There is no right or wrong approach, but discussing expectations can help eliminate any gray areas that may arise.

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Hillside, IL empty nest divorce lawyerIt is a fact of life that children will eventually move on and leave the house when they reach a certain age. For many families, this occurs when kids head off to college, while for others, children may remain living at home for longer. Regardless of when the kids leave, it is not uncommon for parents to feel a sense of loss and uncertainty when their children move out. 

For many couples with children, their kids can become their whole life. Mornings may involve serving breakfast and packing lunches before kids head off to school, weeknights may be focused on helping with homework, and weekends can be all about sports tournaments and other activities. However, what may seem like chores and responsibilities can be sorely missed when they disappear from your everyday schedule. When these tasks vanish, and you and your spouse have more time alone with each other, it can be beneficial for your relationship, or it may expose unresolved conflicts and difficulties, which might result in a divorce.

When Is Divorce Necessary After Children Leave the Nest?

It is common for couples to experience a strong sense of loss when their children move out. For some parents, “empty nest syndrome” can make them realize that the only thing keeping their marriage together was their kids. If you are wondering whether divorce might be your best option after your children have left home, you may want to consider the following:

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Oak Park, IL child custody attorney for parental relocationA parent’s worst fear is waking up one day and finding their child is gone. The only way that most parents can foresee this happening is if their child is abducted by a stranger. However, kidnapping can also be done by someone you know, including your child’s other parent. If one parent decides to move to a new location with the child without the other parent’s permission, they are kidnapping their own child. In some cases, parents may choose to move with their child without realizing that this could pose an issue, but it is important to understand that a distinct legal process must be followed in parental relocation cases.

What Is Parental Relocation?

The state of Illinois does not restrict parents from moving down the street or across town with their child, and many recently divorced parents will move from their previous residence to pursue a fresh start as a single parent. However, if a parent who has primary custody of their child, or who shares custody with the other parent, plans to move a certain distance, they must receive permission from either the other parent or from the court to ensure that both parents can continue to share in parental responsibilities and parenting time. The following situations are considered parental relocation under Illinois law:

  1. The child lives in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will County, and their new home will be more than 25 miles from their previous residence;
  2. The child lives in a different county than those listed above, and their new home will be more than 50 miles from their previous residence; or,
  3. The parent is moving outside of Illinois, and their new residence will be more than 25 miles from their previous residence.

How Can a Relocation Get Legally Approved?

There are multiple ways to have a parental relocation request approved, not all of which require going to court. Every intended relocation that falls into one of the 3 categories described above requires that an official request be filed with the court and sent to the child’s other parent. This notice must be provided 60 days before the intended move, and it should include the relocation date, the new address, and the intended length of stay if the move will not be permanent. 

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Hillside, IL legal guardianship attorneyThe day that a child must become a parental figure for their own parent is not a day that anyone looks forward to. While you may not be parenting in the sense of teaching them right from wrong or watching them grow up, you may reach a time in which you need to step in because your parents or other loved ones are unfit to take care of their own affairs. Becoming your parent’s legal guardian can be a difficult task, but it may be necessary in some situations. In some cases, a legal guardian may also need to be named for a disabled person, and this kind of guardian does not have to be related to the disabled person to be named as their guardian. 

It is important to understand what this new role of being a guardian entails. There are a number of different types of guardianships, each of which allots different responsibilities to the guardian. The person a guardian provides care for is known as a ward. Depending on the level of competency of the ward, as well as their needs, the duties and responsibilities of a guardian may vary. The following are the common types of guardianships granted in Illinois:

Full Responsibility or Limited Power?

  1. Plenary Guardianship: This is the general name for a guardianship. These guardians have the most responsibility, and they may manage not only the ward’s estate, but also their physical needs. These individuals are granted all of the possible powers and duties by the court.
  2. Limited Guardianship: These guardians do not have as much control over the ward’s affairs. For those granted a limited guardianship, the court will decide what powers the guardian has, depending on the ward’s needs and ability to care for themselves. This is done to ensure that the guardian is not given power over the ward in areas that are not necessary.
  3. Temporary Guardianship: Not every ward needs a guardian indefinitely. In many situations, an individual may only need assistance because of an emergency but is otherwise capable of handling themselves. Typically, temporary guardians are put in place if the ward’s previous guardian has died, or if the court has yet to appoint a guardian but has reason to believe that the individual needs one for their immediate protection. Temporary guardianships can last up to 60 days, but such guardianships may be extended beyond that if necessary. 

What Responsibilities Will a Guardian Have?

  1. Guardianship of the Estate: This means that the guardian would be in charge of the ward’s legal and financial affairs. This includes managing all of their finances, properties, and assets.
  2. Guardianship of the Person: These types of guardianships are for persons who are incapable of physically taking care of themselves. These guardians will make decisions regarding the ward’s physical care. This can include making healthcare decisions and choosing where they will be living based on their physical needs.

Call an Oak Park Family Law Attorney

As explained above, there are a number of different types of guardianships, and it can be difficult to determine the level of care and attention that your loved one needs. This can be an emotional decision to make, and it can significantly alter the everyday life of both the guardian and the ward. The Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. works to help all of our clients protect their loved ones or be protected themselves. Whether you are the one in need of a guardian, or you seek to be the guardian for a loved one, our guardianship attorney, who has been skillfully handling guardianship matters for over 32 years, can assist you in establishing a guardianship arrangement that meets your needs. Contact our Hillside guardianship lawyer at 708-449-7404 for a free consultation.

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Oak Park, IL spousal maintenance modification attorneyA common fear that many divorced persons have is of now being alone forever. In some cases, this fear can cause a person to stay in a marriage much longer than they would like. However, contrary to popular belief, those who get divorced will not necessarily remain single for the rest of their lives. In fact, many divorcees take the lessons that they learned in their first marriage and put those towards a healthier and more mature relationship in the future. For some, this may mean a second marriage, while others may prefer to avoid saying “I do” a second time. Regardless of the status of your relationship, it is important to understand how bringing a new partner into your life may result in changes to your divorce agreement. 

Child Support Payments

Parents’ child support obligations are determined using a number of factors. The court will compare the amount of time that the child spends with each parent and see who will be the primary caregiver or custodial parent moving forward. The non-custodial parent is typically responsible for making child support payments to the custodial parent to ensure that children’s ongoing needs are met. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will continue to pay child support regardless of whether either parent gets remarried. 

However, a parent may ask for an adjustment to the amount of child support if they have experienced a change in circumstances. For example, If the non-custodial parent remarries and will be contributing toward the support of step-children, he or she may ask for child support payments to be lowered. On the other hand, if the custodial parent remarries, and this results in a change in his or her household finances, child support may also be adjusted at the court’s discretion.

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