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Recent Blog Posts

Can I Ask My Ex to Sign Over His or Her Parental Rights?

 Posted on July 01, 2018 in Child Custody

Being a parent is hard work, and sometimes, the job is made even more difficult by the inappropriate actions of the other parent. Whether as a result of a divorce case, an abuse case, or a case involving domestic violence or other improper or illegal act, there may be a situation in which you wish to ask your ex to sign over their parental rights. Consider the following about the termination of parental rights in Illinois, and call our law firm for information specific to your case–

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Termination

A parent can terminate their rights in Illinois either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Involuntary termination of parental rights. A court may terminate a parent’s rights in the event that the parent is found to be “unfit,” as defined in 750 ILCS 50 as, “Any person whom the court shall find to be unfit to have a child…” In determining whether or not a parent is unfit, the court will consider:

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Stepparent Rights after Divorce

 Posted on June 01, 2018 in Divorce

Getting a divorce is a difficult undertaking, and for divorcing couples with children, getting a divorce can be that much more challenging. This is especially true for stepparents, who may want to have visitation with their stepchild, but are unsure of their legal footing when it comes to seeking parenting time. If you are a stepparent who is getting a divorce, here is a look into what you need to know regarding your rights to time spent with your stepchild–

Can a Stepparent Seek Custody or Visitation with a Stepchild?

There are certain situations where a court may award a stepparent visitation with, or even custody of, a stepchild. Indeed, a stepparent has the right to petition the court for custody of a stepchild when:

  • The parent who would otherwise have the majority of parenting time (i.e. the biological parent of the child) is deceased, disabled, or otherwise unable to provide care for the child;

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Can I Move Out of State with My Kids after a Divorce?

 Posted on June 01, 2018 in Child Custody

If you are the custodial parent of your children post-divorce, you may have questions about what your rights regarding your children are. For example, if you’ve been offered a new job or opportunity out of state, do you have the right to move your children out of state with you? The following considers what you need to know about parental relocation with children after divorce. If you have more specific questions or are looking for legal guidance, call our family law attorneys at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. for a consultation today.

Legal Process for Relocating with a Child

There is a legal process for relocating with a child in place that you must follow if you are the parent with whom your child spends the majority of their time (and the other parent has visitation rights), or if you and your ex-spouse share equal amounts of time with your child. Also, it’s important to note that this process is required for parents moving out of state with a child if the home is more than 25 miles away from their current residence.

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Divorced Parents – Who Pays for School Supplies?

 Posted on June 01, 2018 in Divorce

With summer upon us, parents are currently more worried about things like daycare and ensuring their children stay out of trouble during the longest days of the year than they are about homework, school supplies, and extracurricular activities. But before you know it, August and September will be here again, which means that children and parents alike will be getting ready for the return to school. For divorced parents, this time can raise a lot of questions about parental responsibilities. For example, who is responsible for paying for school supplies?

With Whom Does the Child Live?

After a divorce in Illinois, many obligations regarding payment for a child’s activities, school, and any “extras” are determined by with whom the child lives, which in turn determines which parent pays child support. This is because basic costs of raising a child, including ordinary extracurricular activities, clothing, and education are already factored into a child support payment. This means that the parent with whom the child spends the majority of their time should receive a child support payment that is large enough to cover the costs of school supplies.

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Summer Break Visitation – What Are the Rights of Parents?

 Posted on June 01, 2018 in Child Support

When kids are out of school for the summer, parents may have big plans for spending time together. From road trips to summer getaways, camping to family barbeques, the summer is the perfect time to get in quality time with your kids. But for parents who are divorced, the summertime can be stressful, as parents may have a number of questions about their visitation rights. Here’s a look into what you need to know about summer break visitation after divorce in Illinois:

1. Refer to Your Parenting Schedule

At the time that you got divorced, you and your ex-spouse likely submitted a parenting schedule to the court that outlined each of your responsibilities and rights regarding time spent with your child. There’s a strong chance that your parenting schedule not only addressed how time would be shared during the school year, but how custody during holidays and the summer break period would be shared as well. If your parenting schedule includes a strict schedule for the summertime, you are obligated to adhere to it. If you need to request a change, you can ask your ex-spouse to accommodate your needs, but they are not legally required to do so.

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Do I Have Visitation Rights with My Siblings?

 Posted on May 01, 2018 in Divorce

Getting a divorce can be tough on everyone, especially children in the divorce. Indeed, not only may children be forced to live with only one parent–potentially damaging their relationship with their other parent–but they may also lose out on the ability to live or spend time with other loved ones in their life, including siblings. Which is why it is important for siblings–or for those who are representing their interests–to understand siblings’ rights to visitation in Illinois.

Does the Law in Illinois Protect Siblings’ Rights to Visitation?

Divorce often means that siblings are separated from one another. Sometimes, one sibling will live with one parent, and the other sibling with the other parent. Other times, the siblings are related by marriage or by the blood of one parent, not both. For example, children may be biologically related to the mother, but only one child is related to a father in a divorce case. As such, the child biologically related to the father may live with him, and the other child will reside with the mother.

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5 Reasons for a Prenuptial Agreement

 Posted on May 01, 2018 in Divorce

Whether or not to enter into a prenuptial agreement with a soon-to-be-spouse can be a contentious issue; many worry that prenuptial agreements are unromantic, or may even be indicative of predicting that the marriage will fail. However, prenuptial agreements have a number of benefits, too. Indeed, consider these five reasons for forming a prenuptial agreement in Illinois–

  1. Prevent Surprises in a Divorce

One reason to get a prenuptial agreement is that doing so can help to ensure that both you and your spouse understand your financial obligations in a divorce and what a divorce settlement will look like should you choose to part ways. This can both prevent surprises in a divorce, and save money on litigation costs and lawyers’ fees in the future.

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What Is a VAP?

 Posted on May 01, 2018 in Divorce

When parents welcome a new child into this world, there is a lot to think about. Indeed, from worries about breastfeeding to concerns about college funds, new parents are often overwhelmed by the questions and tasks that surround a new baby. However, while there may be a lot on your mind, one very important thing to think about is a VAP.

VAP – What’s That?

Standing for Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, a VAP is an important legal document that establishes a father’s legal rights in regards to their child. While parents who are married or in a civil union and have a baby both automatically have parental rights over that child, if parents are not married or in a civil union, they will need to fill out a VAP to ensure that the father’s rights are recognized.

Information You Will Need When Filling Out a VAP

As provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health, if you and your spouse are ready to fill out a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, which you can do at the time of the child’s birth, you will need:

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Do I Need a Guardian Ad Litem?

 Posted on April 01, 2018 in Divorce

Getting a divorce in Illinois is an emotional experience that can have a profound effect on all parties involved, including of course the divorcing couple and any children that they may have together. While some parents are able to work peacefully together to determine what a time-sharing agreement will look like when the divorce is finalized, others are not, and reaching a custody decision may prove very difficult and contentious. In many cases, a guardian ad litem will be brought in – here’s what you need to know:

What Is a Guardian Ad Litem?

Also referred to simply as a GAL, a guardian ad litem is an attorney who is responsible for representing parties’ children in a divorce. Essentially, the job of the GAL is to find out as much as possible about the child’s living situation and the child’s best interests, and then make a recommendation to the court about parenting time and decision-making based on investigations. Again, the GAL is responsible for representing the child, and does not work for either parent. The biggest difference between a GAL and a child representative is that the former can be called as a witness to provide testimony.

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Benefits of Mediation

 Posted on April 01, 2018 in Divorce

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution that is used to help divorcing couples understand each other, and work together to reach an agreement about tough issues in a divorce. While mediation is not always effective, it can be one way to mitigate litigation, as well as the high costs, time expenses, and emotions that accompany going to court.

Mediation may be something that couples choose to engage in on their own, or it may be court ordered. Either way, there are multiple benefits of mediation, including:

Mediation Can Be Less Expensive

Costs in a divorce increase dramatically when a couple needs to go to court to resolve issues, such as how property will be divided or who will get custody of a shared child. These expenses are comprised of both court and lawyer fees and going to court can wind up costing thousands of dollars. If you want to avoid the highest costs of divorce, mediation is often a much less expensive option.

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