Posted on in Child Custody

right of first refusal, Palatine parenting time lawyerIn Illinois, before agreeing to a custody arrangement, divorcing couples are required to consider including a right of first refusal provision in their parenting plans. This means that before a parenting plan can be approved, parents must consider including a guarantee that anytime the custodial parent needs someone to care for the children, he or she must ask the other parent first before engaging the services of a babysitter or other family member.

Current Law

According to Illinois law, if a Family Court awards parenting time to both parents, it must consider whether one or both parties should be awarded the right of first refusal, which would give the non-custodial parent the first opportunity to care for the child if the custodial parent intends to leave for a significant period of time.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Palatine family law attorney, terminating parental rightsSometimes, terminating a parent's rights is in a child’s best interest. Most often, this occurs in the case of an adoption proceeding. However, in the case of abuse, neglect or abandonment, a Court may terminate a person’s parental rights without an adoptive parent stepping in to take the abusive parent’s place.

Termination

In Illinois, there are two ways to terminate parental rights:

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Palatine family law attorney, military child custody proceedingsThe stresses of military deployments can lead struggling couples to begin the process of divorce and custody proceedings while one party is still overseas. However, a federal law, the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA), provides some protection to members of the military who are at a disadvantage in asserting custody rights due to physical distance.

SCRA

Under the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act, judges are permitted to grant a stay of custody when a military member’s participation in the proceedings is materially affected by his or her service. In fact, stays are mandatory for 90 days after deployment if certain conditions are met, including the submission of:

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Palatine family law attorney, DCFS reporting requirementsBetween 2011 and 2013, residential Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) facilities reported 29,425 incidents of children who had gone missing while in DCFS custody. Tragically, many facilities did not immediately report runaways or missing children, making it much more difficult, if not impossible, for local law enforcement to locate them. However, a new law, known as the Safeguard Our Children Act, went into effect in Illinois this year and is aimed at addressing these practices. The law places a series of requirements on DCFS employees in regards to reporting incidences where children of any age, who are under their care, have been missing for more than 12 hours.

Senate Bill 1775

The new law, introduced last year by Senator Bill Cunningham, requires DCFS to consider a child under its care, who is living in a residential facility under contract with the Department, missing if he or she:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Palatine family law attorney, visitation interferenceUnder the changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the consequences of one parent’s interference with the other parent’s allocated visitation time are more severe and rigidly enforced than previously. The violation of a parenting agreement can result in a variety of civil and criminal penalties and range from fines and driver’s license suspensions to probation and jail time. Moreover, a negative impact on a child's well-being is extremely likely to occur with regard to scheduled visitation interference.

Petitions

The new law, which went into effect this year, requires Courts to provide expedited procedures for handling the enforcement of parenting time. In order to bring an action for enforcement of visitation rights, a parent or guardian must file a petition with the Court. The following information must be included:

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