Child-Related Issues
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Child-Related Issues Lawyers in Barrington IL

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Compassionate Attorney for Divorce and Family Law Matters in Palatine, Cary, and Northern Illinois

In the United States, children residing with both parents declined from 85 percent in 1970 to 69 percent in 2015. Roughly 27 percent of children live separately from their father, up from 11 percent in 1960. This is largely attributed to the rise in children born to parents who are not married.

If you are going through a difficult family law matter involving your children, you need an attorney you can count on. At the Barrington, Illinois, law firm of Lucas Law, we have successfully practiced family law for over 25 years. We are prepared to assist you through any sensitive family matter. Our lawyers strive to help parents understand their legal options in instances of divorce with minor children.

Child Issues and Divorce

When you are involved in a divorce proceeding, it is important to know some basics about Illinois law as well as how your children can be affected by the separation. Some of these matters include:

Age of Majority: The term "age of majority" refers to when an individual is no longer legally a child, which is at 18. Before a child reaches this age, all parents have a legal responsibility to support their children.

Parent Responsibilities: Requirements for parental support for minors continue until the age of (18) or until the completion of high school. A parent's marital status does not change this responsibility. When unmarried parents have a dispute regarding contributions of support, courts are empowered to intervene. There are many issues relating to children that must be addressed in divorce proceedings.

Abuse or Neglect: Over 800,000 children are believed to be either abused or neglected annually in the U.S. During transitions, such as in the actions of divorce, situations of abuse often surface as third-parties (courts) are evaluating what is in a child's best interest relative to custody, visitation and such.

Custody and Visitation

With 2016 changes to the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), the terms "child custody" and "visitation" were changed to "allocation of parental responsibilities" and "parenting time." Parental responsibilities may be agreed upon between the parents, or the court will decide. Some of these aspects include who will be the primary residential parent and assignment of decision-making responsibility for the child's education, health, religion, and extracurricular activities. Parenting time (or visitation) are periods where a parent is responsible for care-taking and lesser-critical decisions of the child.

When courts make decisions based on a child's best interest, they weigh some of the following considerations:

  • Needs and desires of the parent(s) and child
  • Relationship(s) child has with parents, siblings, or others
  • Past parental participation in decision-making
  • Locations, transportation, and daily schedule
  • Potential adjustments to home/school environments
  • Parental physical/mental health
  • Any incidents of violence, abuse, or sexual offender status
  • Parental willingness to encourage the child's relationship with other parent

Also, a proposed parenting plan submitted in agreement by both parents, or individually, is required within 120 days of initiating parental responsibility actions. Ultimately, a plan must be agreed upon, or the court will intervene to do so.

Child Support in Illinois

Amounts of financial support a parent pays to support children are determined in dissolutions. Amounts are calculated in accordance with IMDMA guidelines. There are other support considerations to be made which may include:

  • Educational expenses
  • Medical coverage
  • Expenses of extracurricular activities for education, athletic, and social development.

Ordered financial arrangements may be enforced via wage garnishment, contempt, and criminal actions.

The attorneys at Lucas Law offer professional legal advice to reach child-related goals in matters involving marital dissolution in Illinois. Whether designing a parenting plan, negotiating parenting time or support, we have the experience to guide you through each step of the way. Contact our office at 847-381-8700 for a consultation. We serve clients throughout Barrington, Inverness, Algonquin, Palatine, Cary, and throughout the area.

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