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High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Oak Park IL family law attorneyDuring the Illinois divorce process, parents have an important responsibility to fill out a “Parenting Plan” document which states the details of parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities between the two parties. Parents may cooperate in the creation of a single parenting plan, or each parent may feel the need to draw up their own plan during the divorce case. With either approach, once the divorce is finalized and a plan is approved by the judge, it becomes legally binding. However, if your circumstances change after the divorce, you may be able to modify the parenting plan.

When It May Be Necessary to Modify a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is not necessarily set in stone. If you, your former spouse, or your children go through major life changes after your divorce, a judge may agree to modify the plan. Here are a few situations that may warrant a modification.

  • One parent moves out of state.

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Oak Park family law attorneyIf you are getting a divorce from your spouse, you may have ill feelings toward that person. Your anger and resentment may be so intense that you want to bad-mouth your ex-spouse every chance you get. However, doing so will likely only serve to perpetuate a hostile situation. It can also be damaging to your children, and it can even affect the outcome of the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities.

The Downsides of Bad-Mouthing Your Former Spouse

Speaking poorly about your former spouse can be harmful to both you and your kids. Keep in mind that your ex-spouse is still your children’s parent. Just because you no longer get along with your ex, that does not mean he or she is any less of a parent to your children. Your children still love your ex-spouse and look up to him or her. It will be hurtful for your kids to hear you speaking poorly about someone they care about, and they may feel forced to take sides. Being caught in the middle like this is a lose-lose situation for a child, who will likely feel guilt and shame because they are unable to make both parents happy. Children may even feel that they are doing something wrong themselves, which can lead them to develop self-esteem issues.

Bad-mouthing your former spouse can also negatively impact your standing in disputes over the allocation of parental responsibilities. Illinois courts decide on these issues based on what is in your children’s best interests, and one factor that they consider is each parent’s willingness to support their children’s relationships with the other parent. If you show that you will remain hostile toward your former spouse and endanger these relationships, you may be granted less parenting time and decision-making authority.

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Oak Park adult guardianship lawyerObtaining guardianship over an adult can be a sensitive topic in many situations. When you ask a court for guardianship over a person, you are essentially asking them to grant you decision-making authority over important aspects of that person’s life. Sometimes, guardianship authority will be limited to certain purposes, such as managing a person’s financial affairs. However, other times, guardianship authority will include decision-making power in nearly all areas, especially when an individual is incapacitated to the point where they are not able to make decisions about their own affairs.

Common Situations that Warrant Guardianship

There are various reasons why a person might have a guardian appointed for them. According to Illinois law, an adult can only have a guardian appointed to manage their affairs if they are disabled and unable to “make or communicate responsible decisions” about their personal affairs. In Illinois, guardians can be appointed in cases of mental or physical disability, as well as in cases of gambling or addiction which prevent a person from effectively managing their affairs.

Making the decision to appoint a guardian for someone can be difficult. The person who needs help may feel as if their rights and freedoms are being taken away, even if you are only trying to help. It is common for people to be unsure if guardianship is the right choice for their situation. Here are some of the most common situations that warrant establishing guardianship:

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Oak Park IL family law attorneyIn Illinois, parents are legally required to provide financial support for their children until they turn 18 or graduate from high school, whichever comes later. When parents are no longer in a romantic relationship, even the smallest of child support issues can lead to major conflict. There are many reasons why a parent may be behind on child support payments, but when they miss payments purposefully, there are certain things the other parent can do to try to recover the missing amount.

Notification of Delinquency

One option when the other parent is not paying support is to notify the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). After receiving notice, the DCSS will begin to monitor the paying parent’s account. Before any actions can be taken, however, the DCSS must first notify the non-compliant parent of the delinquent status of their account and the resulting actions the Division may take. This allows the non-compliant parent a chance to explain why their payments are overdue and to confirm whether the amount due is correct.

Potential Remedies for Late Child Support Payments

If the paying parent is subsequently notified that DCSS action is going to be taken against them, DCSS can use several methods of recovering support for unpaid obligations, including:

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Oak Park IL family law attorneyIn today's world, there is no such thing as an "average" family. Years ago, the traditional mother, father, and baby set-up was the norm, but nowadays, things are much different. According to the 2018 American Community Survey conducted by the Census Bureau, more than 6 million people lived in a household with a child who is not biologically related to them, including in a stepfamily. One reason for this is that many people who get divorced end up getting remarried, which often creates blended families, bringing children from prior marriages together in one household.

One question that may go through any stepparent's mind is whether they can adopt their stepchild. While there is definitely a legal way to adopt a stepchild, it can be a somewhat complicated process. There are many details pertaining to the adoption process that you will have to understand and address before you are able to adopt your stepchild.

Determining Adoption Eligibility

Before you can adopt your stepchild, you must be sure that you actually qualify to adopt him or her. In Illinois, adopting a stepchild requires:

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