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Inverness child custody attorneyIn a perfect world, all children would live with both parents in a safe and loving home. However, this stable and supportive situation does not exist in all families, and children can end up splitting their time between parents, living solely with one parent, or being cared for by relatives.

Child custody, referred to as parental responsibilities under Illinois law, legally and traditionally rests solely with the parents. Parents are presumed to be fit, and efforts are made to keep children under their parents’ care. For a variety of reasons, however, parents are sometimes unable or unsuitable to take on this responsibility, and in these cases, a safe and stable alternative must be found that protects the best interests of the child. The road to achieve custody rights as a non-parent can be difficult, but not impossible.

Challenges to Custody

The biggest challenge any non-parent will face when seeking to assert custody rights is whether he or she has standing to bring the matter before the court. Standing refers to the petitioner’s ability to maintain a legal case. With non-parents, standing will only be found if the child is not in the physical custody of either parent (step-parents and grandparents do not necessarily need physical custody to gain standing if certain conditions are met). The person caring for the child must have obtained possession by consent, acknowledgment, or acquiescence of the parents, and the arrangement needs to be more than temporary.

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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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Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois family law, Palatine Family Law AttorneyWith the recent passage of the “modern family” bill, Illinois family law will soon undergo drastic changes. The Bill amends the law in areas including child custody, the grounds for divorce and parental relocation. Senate Bill 57, signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, goes into effect January 1, 2016.

Child Custody

One major alteration to Illinois law is the abolishment of the concept of child custody. Instead, Judges will allocate parenting time and parental responsibilities between the parents. Each parent will be assigned specific childcare tasks that deal with different areas of upbringing. These tasks may include decision-making responsibility in areas, such as education, religion, nutrition, health care, the child’s daily schedule, discipline, relationships with others and childcare.

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Premarital agreements have a bad reputation. People associate premarital agreements with a lack of commitment or as only appropriate for the very wealthy. But in reality, premarital agreements can provide stability and security to any marriage – regardless of financial situation. While Illinois’ divorce rate is somewhat lower than the national average, divorce is still common. If you live in Illinois and are contemplating marriage, consider whether a premarital agreement might be right for you.

Prenuptial Agreement IMAGE

A premarital agreement – also known as a prenuptial agreement or a “pre-nup” – is a written agreement between two prospective spouses in contemplation of marriage. Once signed by both parties, it becomes effective upon marriage.

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