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Bolingbrook divorce attorney co-parenting

When you have children, divorce usually does not mark the end of all interactions with your ex-spouse. In most cases, the two of you continue to bear an important responsibility to share in the raising of your children. While it can be nice to have the other parent’s support and assistance, co-parenting after divorce may also result in disagreements and conflict between you and your spouse, so you should know how to manage those conflicts to keep them from getting out of hand and hurting your children.

Tips for Successful Co-Parenting After an Illinois Divorce

It is not always easy to co-parent with your ex, but following these suggestions can help you reduce stress and maintain a better situation for yourself and your children:

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Naperville divorce attorney parenting plan

If you are considering divorce and have children with your spouse, you may be wondering how things will be handled if you do decide to split. Not all divorcing couples experience contention in their parental relationship; some simply lose their romantic connection after some time together. Regardless of how amicable your relationship is, you are required to create a parenting plan according to Illinois divorce laws. Co-parenting can be difficult, especially with someone who you have legally divorced. This parenting plan will help guide you and your spouse with your future parenting arrangements and decisions, especially if you do not stay on friendly terms forever.

Illinois Requirements

Parenting plans are fairly customizable to fit each family’s unique needs; however, there are a few issues that are required to be addressed in an Illinois plan. The first topic that must be outlined is parental responsibilities. Divorcing parents must designate a custodial parent, or primary caregiver, and non-custodial parent. You should also detail who will be doing what, including each parent’s ability to make education, healthcare, and extracurricular activity decisions. Parenting plans will also include a detailed schedule, known as parenting time, which notes who will be caring for the child each day of the week. Each family’s parenting time arrangement will differ, with some choosing a more equal division and others having one parent be the primary parent. You must also include information about how you will handle disagreements on your parenting plan. Most parents will turn to mediation to avoid spending time in court, but if a history of abuse is present, this may not be applicable. One of the last required areas in an Illinois parenting plan is how to handle the relocation. If one parent wishes to relocate with his or her child out of state, he or she will need permission from the other parent, or the court, to do so.

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Naperville child support attorney

Child support obligations do not always end when a minor turns 18. In Illinois, the law also provides for non-minor support obligations. Specifically, a parent may be required to make certain “contributions” toward their adult child’s college expenses. Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act authorizes a judge to make such orders. Unless the parents agree otherwise, the court will not order parents to support their child’s education past their 23rd birthday. (In exceptional circumstances, this may be extended to the child’s 25th birthday.) In this context, educational expenses include not only tuition but also housing, medical, and other “reasonable” living expenses. That said, a parent is not obligated to pay the full cost of an out-of-state private school. Illinois law caps a parent’s total obligations based on the current in-state tuition and room and board rates used by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Contributions to College Savings Plans Do Not Reduce Obligations 

A recent decision from the Illinois Second District Appellate Court, In re Marriage of Wilhelmsen, illustrates how Section 513 of the IMDMA can be applied in practice. This case involved the parents of three children. The parents divorced in 2013. At the time of divorce, the parents entered into a marital settlement agreement (MSA), which was approved by the court as part of the final decree. Under the MSA, both parents agreed to share their children’s college expenses under Section 513. Separately, the father agreed that he would pay approximately $79,000 in back-owed support to all three children’s college savings (Section 529) plans.

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Plainfield parenting time attorney

When most people get married, they intend the union to last a lifetime. However, that is not always the case due to various reasons. Statistics show that between 40 and 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. In some cases, infidelity, abuse, financial or cultural differences can put a significant strain on a relationship, causing it to break down. Spouses may try counseling to save their marriage, but in many cases, it might be too little, too late, ultimately leading to the difficult decision to part ways. When a couple has children together, there are many issues that need to be resolved before the divorce can be finalized in Illinois. This includes the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, formerly known as child custody and visitation. Divorce typically requires an adjustment period for everyone involved, but an experienced family law attorney can guide you through the process.  

Creating an Effective Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a legal document that outlines important matters that affect any children in a divorce, including how those decisions will be made. This plan also includes a parenting time schedule, which specifies what days of the week each parent sees his or her children. 

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