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Mt. Prospect family law attorney, divorce and sibling relationships, children and divorce, Illinois family law, child visitationDivorce is unavoidably difficult for people, both inside and outside of a couple's core family. However, children almost universally suffer a negative impact from divorce. Having a sibling to commiserate with and draw support from can help to mitigate the damaging effects. Still, this system of shared support can only work if siblings live together, or at the very least, visit regularly.

Splitting up siblings in a divorce is rarely the best or desired option for the children involved. However, for practical or legal reasons, sibling separation may still occur. Large families, blended families with half-siblings, and children with significant age differences are all examples of circumstances in which the children may be split between each parent. The best interests of the child are always at the forefront of child-related family law cases, and Illinois specifically wants to enable separated siblings to maintain regular contact.

Sibling relationships are special and important to each child's emotional and psychological development. To support these relationships, Illinois authorizes Courts to order visitation if a parent is preventing contact. Consider the following information with regard to when and how visitation will be granted by an Illinois Court.

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Palatine child custody cases, Palatine Child Custody AttorneyA Florida mother recently filed suit in Federal Court to prevent her ex-husband from having their four-year-old son circumcised. However, a lower Court has ordered the woman to turn the boy over for surgery — she had previously agreed to allow the circumcision in a child custody agreement.

Illinois Joint Legal Custody

The default under Illinois law is to grant a child’s parents joint legal custody — an arrangement that can be granted even if one parent has primary physical custody. Joint legal custody means both parents have a right to make decisions regarding all aspects of a child’s life, including religious upbringing, education and medical care. Parents who share legal custody are therefore required to talk and come to an agreement on all issues, just as they would if they were still married.

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Illinois Fathers and Sexual Assaultchild custody, child visitation, Illinois fathers, Palatine child custody attorney, sexual abuse, sexual assault cases, child custody cases

An Illinois law enacted in 2014 denies child custody or visitation rights to men who father a child through sexual assault or sexual abuse, regardless of actual criminal conviction for the assault. Prior to enactment of the new law, a man usually had to either be convicted of, or pled guilty to, any type of criminal sexual assault to automatically be denied custody of, or visitation with, his child.

As previously written, custody or visitation could only be denied if the father had been convicted in a criminal Court of law. Recognizing that many women choose not to press charges against their rapist, and that an acquittal in a criminal Court means only that the prosecution could not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt – not that the accused was innocent – the Illinois legislature chose to revise the law.

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