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IL divorce lawyerMany Muslim families in DuPage County struggle with the decision about whether a divorce is appropriate. Although two spouses might be having significant problems in their marriage, the prospect of going through a divorce can be unappealing for religious and cultural reasons. Yet for many Muslims, there is a need to move forward with a separation that involves the court making decisions about marital property and child custody. In some situations, there are allegations of family or domestic violence, and one of the spouses might not feel safe remaining in the relationship or in the same household. In other situations, the animosity between the spouses might have reached a level that requires a change.

For Muslim spouses in DuPage County who do not feel comfortable getting divorced, a legal separation might be an option. Although many states in the country do not have specific provisions for a legal separation, the state of Illinois does specifically consider legal separation in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Our experienced Oakbrook Terrace family lawyers want to help you gain more information about legal separation.

Support and Maintenance Can Be Ordered in a Legal Separation

One of the first and most important issues to know about legal separation in Illinois is that the IMDMA allows the court to order support and maintenance in a legal separation. The statute expressly states that any individual living separate and apart from his or her spouse may have a remedy for reasonable support while they live apart.

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IL family lawyerIf you are in the process of filing for divorce in DuPage County, or you are planning to file for divorce, you may have questions about child support and college expenses after the divorce. In particular, if you and your spouse have one or more children who are nearing the age where they will attend college, the matter of paying for college expenses can become contentious, especially if you had college expenses plans in place that will be difficult to maintain after a divorce. You might want to know: can the court order one or both of the parents to pay for college expenses under Illinois law?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), in a divorce, educational expenses for a non-minor child can be awarded. The following information can help you to learn more about how this works. If you have additional questions or need assistance, you should reach out to an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer. The advocates at Farooqi & Husain Law Office are committed to serving the Muslim community and can begin working with you on your case today.

What Are Educational Expenses for a Non-Minor Child?

Under the IMDMA, educational expenses for a non-minor child are essentially college expenses. In a divorce case, the court can award money out of the income or property of either spouse for the educational expenses of any child. The court can also require either or both parties to do or pay the following:

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IL family lawyerDivorces in DuPage County can be contentious, particularly when a married couple shares minor children from the marriage. When a couple does divorce, it can also be difficult for extended family members to hear that they will not automatically be granted time with the children. Many Muslim families in Oakbrook Terrace with young children involve grandparents in the children’s lives, and it can be devastating for grandparents to learn that they might not be spending as much time with the children once the divorce is finalized and the allocation judgment outlines parental responsibilities and parenting time. In some situations, a grandparent or another non-parent (such as an adult sibling or a step-parent) might try to seek the equivalent of parental responsibilities.

Do courts ever grant rights to grandparents and other non-parents? In limited circumstances, the court may determine such an arrangement is in the child’s best interests. Our experienced DuPage County family lawyers can explain in more detail.

Visitation By Certain Non-Parents Under Illinois Law

Under Illinois law, this issue is covered by a statutory section on visitation by certain non-parents. Although the term “visitation” is no longer used to refer to parental rights (and has been replaced with language of “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time”), the term visitation is still used when a non-parent is seeking certain communication or time with the child.

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IL divorce lawyerMany spouses who make the decision to get divorced have minor children from the marriage. When there are minor children from the marriage, parental responsibilities will need to be allocated. There are essentially two different ways of allocating parental responsibilities under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA): either through a parenting plan developed by the parents or through the court’s allocation judgment. In both scenarios, the wishes of the child, or the child’s preference, can be taken into account but typically will not be the sole deciding factor in how parental responsibilities are allocated. Keep in mind that parental responsibilities include both significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. We will say more about how a child’s preference can come into play for both types of parental responsibilities.

Allocating Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities and Considering the Child’s Preference

Under the IMDMA, significant decision-making responsibilities are one of two forms of parental responsibilities, previously known in Illinois as child custody. Significant decision-making responsibilities are most similar to what we previously knew as legal custody or the parent’s responsibility for making significant decisions about the child’s upbringing. Generally speaking, significant decision-making responsibilities typically include decisions about the child’s education (including where the child goes to school and who tutors the child), health care issues (including the types of medical, dental, and psychological treatments a child receives, as well as the providers the child sees), and religion (including what the child’s religious upbringing is and where the child receives religious training, education, and community).

Does the child get to have a say in how significant decision-making responsibilities are allocated? The answer to that question depends upon the specific facts of the case, but the IMDMA does allow the child’s wishes to be one consideration. Under the IMDMA, significant decision-making responsibilities are allocated according to what is in the best interests of the child. Whether the parents allocate these responsibilities in a parenting plan or the court does so in an allocation judgment, the “child’s best interests” must be what governs the allocation. In considering the child’s best interests, the IMDMA says that “all relevant factors” should be considered, including:

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IL alimony lawyerWhat happens when a parent in Illinois wants to relocate with his or her child after a divorce? After you go through a divorce and begin sharing parental responsibilities with your former spouse, it is important to remember that unexpected events may arise that necessitate a modification to your parenting plan or your allocation judgment. One of the reasons that you may seek to modify your parenting plan or allocation judgment is that you want to relocate with your child.

How difficult is relocation, and what do you need to know about how it is handled under Illinois law?

Defining Relocation Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

How far away do you want to move with your child? Whether you have a majority of parenting time or share parenting time nearly equally with the other parent, do you even need to make any changes to your current parenting plan if you are moving to another house or apartment? The answers to these questions depend upon whether your planned move would actually be defined under the IMDMA as “relocation.”

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