IL custody lawyerIf you are planning to file for divorce from your spouse, or if your spouse recently filed for divorce in DuPage County and you have been served with divorce papers, you may be unsure about the next steps that will follow in your divorce case. For couples with minor children from their marriage, the process of moving forward with a divorce can be particularly stressful. As you might already know, rather than awarding child custody to one or both parents, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) clarifies that parents should be allocated parental responsibilities based on the “best interests of the child” standard. But what do courts mean when they refer to the best interests of the child?

The IMDMA provides some clarifying language that can help parents to understand what courts are aiming for when they allocate parental responsibilities. If you still have follow-up questions after learning more about the best interests of the child standard, you should get in touch with a DuPage County child custody lawyer to learn more.

IMDMA Recognizes the Significance of Parental Responsibilities

According to the IMDMA, when the court seeks to determine a child’s best interests in allocating parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities, it does so with the acknowledgment that parental responsibilities are “paramount responsibilities in our system of justice.” Accordingly, in determining what is in a child’s best interests, the court will think about the following issues outlined in the statute:

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IL custody lawyerIf you recently went through a divorce and have minor children from your marriage, you may also have a parenting plan in place that allocates parental responsibilities. Your parenting plan may include the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities under Illinois law, as well as the allocation of parenting time. There are a wide variety of reasons that one or both parents may want to modify an existing parenting plan. One of the parents, for example, might have started a new job that has significantly different hours and limits that parent’s ability to provide caretaking functions on certain weekends that are currently part of that parent’s parenting time. Or, for example, the child’s extracurricular or school schedule might have changed, meaning that the parents’ schedules will also need to change.

Whatever the reason is for modifying an existing parenting plan, and especially an allocation of parenting time, it is important to know what your options might be. If you have questions or need assistance, one of the experienced DuPage County child custody attorneys at Farooqi & Husain Law Office can speak with you today.

Parents Can Agree to Modify a Parenting Plan

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) clarifies that modification of an existing parenting plan is always possible by “stipulation of the parties.” In other words, if one or both of the parents want to modify the existing parenting plan and both parents agree to that modification, they can do so. In general, modifications are generally straightforward and relatively easy when both parties agree to a modification—whether for a parenting plan or another post-divorce order.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce for Muslims in DuPage County can be extremely complicated, especially when there are questions about how Islamic law will apply to the divorce proceeding and the steps that must be taken to obtain an Islamic divorce certificate in addition to a civil divorce decree. One issue that is not especially common but can arise in a Muslim divorce is this: the spouses have minor children from the marriage, and one of the parents is less religious than the other and wants to move away from raising the children in a religious environment. In other words, one of the parents wants to move away from educating the children according to the beliefs and practices of Islam, but the other parent vehemently disagrees. If you are the other parent—the parent who believes in a strong religious upbringing for your children—you are likely concerned and want to know: Can I continue to raise my children according to the teachings of Islam after the divorce?

At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we know how complicated questions about childrearing can be after a divorce, especially when those matters get at the fundamental religious beliefs of the parties. An experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer can help.

Religious Upbringing Under Illinois Law

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs the allocation of parental responsibilities, including a parent’s ability to make decisions about the child’s religious upbringing.

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IL custody lawyerImagine that, in the new year, your employer informs you that you will need to relocate for your job. You may be excited about the opportunity for a promotion, but you may also be worried about child custody and how your relocation will affect your parenting time responsibilities. The answer depends on a number of different factors, including where your boss wants you to relocate and how far it is from your current location. If you have questions about child custody and relocating for a new job, you should seek advice from an experienced DuPage County child custody attorney. In the meantime, here is some additional information that may be able to help you understand how a move can impact child custody.

Do You Already Have a Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment?

The first question you will want to think about is whether your divorce is finalized and a parenting plan or allocating judgment already exists. If you are only at the early stages of a divorce or child custody case, the court can take into account a planned relocation as it considers what is in the best interests of the child. In other words, you will not need to make any modifications if parental responsibilities—including parenting time—have not yet been allocated.

However, if you are planning to move quite a distance from your current residence, it is essential to have a DuPage County family lawyer on your side to ensure that you are able to share in significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time regardless of your physical location.

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IL divorce lawyerAfter a divorce in DuPage County involving minor children, it can be difficult for the parents to adjust to co-parenting. This is particularly true when the parents had a very contentious divorce case or when the parents simply are struggling to get along. However, most parents in the Oakbrook Terrace area will end up sharing parenting time in some capacity. To be sure, under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), Illinois courts presume that “both parents are fit” for parenting time, and typically the court will only restrict parenting time when there is a history of violence with one of the parents. Indeed, the court will only restrict parenting time if “it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a parent’s exercise of parenting time would seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.”

Given that restrictions on parenting time do not occur with most families in a divorce case, it is likely that parents will share parenting time, even if it is not a 50-50 split. This means that the parents will need to think carefully about co-parenting and how to communicate about their children even if they experienced a particularly contentious divorce. Believe it or not, technology—and online communication tools specifically—can help to make co-parenting easier. Some co-parenting apps may be able to help you transition into post-divorce life and co-parenting with your ex-spouse. We want to discuss some of those online tools and apps with you.

What Can Online Communication Tools Help Parents to Do?

There are a number of benefits to using online communication tools for co-parenting purposes. Rather than communicating in person or over the phone, online communication tools can make it easier for parents to share information about their children, and those tools can make those communications more convenient for both parents. In addition, when parents use online communications tools and apps, studies suggest that parents tend to communicate more frequently about their kids, and the quality of their communications actually improves.

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