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When Can I Adjust My Parenting Plan?In every divorce involving children, parenting plans must be formulated. Parenting plans, commonly known as custody arrangements, divide responsibilities between each parent. They define responsibilities such as the time each parent is scheduled to spend with their child, who should be the one taking the child to medical visits, and which house the child will reside in. These are just a few of the many responsibilities required of a parent as well as those that are defined under parenting plans. While parenting plans are legally in place until the child turns 18 years old, it is almost impossible for them to last that long without a need for adjustments – situations change and so do children’s needs. 

Which Situations Warrant an Adjustment?

As with any legally-binding contract, there must be legitimate proof that an adjustment is necessary. Judges do not simply change parenting plans for the convenience of the parent. There are certain situations that will allow, and even prompt, judges to modify a family’s arrangement. The following are common examples:

  • The child is not safe, especially in their residence;
  • A parent is moving or relocating;
  • The child is older and has asked for adjustments to be made;
  • A parent’s work schedule has changed, affecting their ability or flexibility to care for the child;
  • The family’s situation has changed, specifically their financial stability; and/or
  • Their current arrangement is not being followed.

Some families have a combination of the circumstances mentioned above, while others have different reasons altogether. Regardless, each decision is situational and is dependent on the child’s best interests.

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DuPage County estate planning attorneyThe world of estate planning can become quite overwhelming for many people. Not only does estate planning force you to confront your own mortality, there is also a vast array of estate planning instruments for you to choose from. It can be difficult to know for sure what types of estate planning tools and documents will best allow you to reach your personal and financial goals. Two of the most common types of estate planning instruments are a last will and testament and a trust. While these tools can achieve similar goals, there are several importance differences between a will and a trust.

The Benefits of Drafting a Will

You may be surprised to know that only about 40 percent of Americans have a will, trust, or other estate planning document in place. When drafting a will, you must consider how your assets will be distributed to beneficiaries upon your death. Understandably, it can be very difficult for people to make plans for after they pass away. However, creating a will allows you to be in control of how your property is disseminated. You worked hard to earn the property that you have, so it is only fair that you should get to choose how it is distributed and who will receive it. Perhaps even more importantly, creating a will saves your surviving loved ones from the burden of having to guess how you would have wanted your property to be passed down.

Differences Between a Trust and a Will

A trust is similar to a will in that it allows you to dictate how your property is distributed to beneficiaries. However, a trust differs from a will in that it gives another party, called a trustee, the authority to manage your assets for the benefit of your beneficiaries. There are many different types of trusts which could benefit you and your family depending on your unique circumstances. These include a revocable trust, irrevocable trust, special needs trust, testamentary trust, charitable trust, and many more. Unlike wills, trusts are not required to go through probate, the court process which confirms the validity of the will and supervises the distribution of property. Probate is a state court proceeding which means that anyone can access information regarding the deceased person’s property, liabilities, beneficiaries, and more. Families who wish to keep this information private often use a trust in order to avoid probate.

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How Do I Know If My Loved One Needs a Legal Guardian?Minors are accustomed to having a legal guardian who makes large decisions for them. While they may have some say in the matter, the final decision is left to the older party. Unfortunately, some individuals must experience this more than once in their life. Older people or those with disabilities often have to allow a legal guardian to take on the “official” responsibility of legal decision-making. Being the party taking on the guardianship responsibility can be emotionally and physically taxing, but recognizing that your loved one needs help could save them from making irreparable legal decisions.

Signs That Your Loved One Needs Help

Guardianships are most commonly issued when someone has a mental disability or when someone’s age affects their clarity of mind. However, just because a person has mental disabilities does not mean that they should have a legal guardian. The purpose of legal guardianship is to make legal decisions for another person when they have the inability to do so. Thus, potential guardians should evaluate their loved one and their ability to engage in the decision-making process. The Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission suggests answering the following four questions to gauge your loved one’s mental capacity for making decisions:

  1. Do they understand that a particular decision needs to be made?
  2. Do they understand the options available in any given decision?
  3. Do they understand the consequences of each available option?
  4. After making the decision, are they able to properly inform appropriate parties?

My Loved One Needs Help, But Can I Be Their Guardian?

There are regulations on who can act as a legal guardian to ensure that the individual’s best interests are upheld. Any individual who is over the age of 18, has a “sound” mind, has not been convicted of a serious crime, and is deemed acceptable by the court is eligible to be a legal guardian. Potential guardians must be able to provide the court with proof of an active and suitable course of action for the individual. In some cases, agencies may be appointed as legal guardians – excluding banking institutions and those providing residential services to the individual. Whether private or public, agencies can often provide more active guardianship than the individual’s loved one since they do not have the same emotional ties to the individual. However, family or friends can make the best guardians in some cases since their desire to make good decisions for the individual has a personal connection behind it. 

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How Does Remarriage Affect Child Support Payments in Illinois?Child support laws vary from state to state, especially in situations where one spouse remarries. Illinois uses an income shares model to calculate how much each parent must contribute to child support. The parents’ combined net income and the number of children will determine their combined child support obligation. Then, each parent will pay a percentage of the obligation that is proportionate to their percentage of the combined incomes. For example, a parent who makes $70,000 of a $100,000 combined income would pay 70 percent of the child support obligation.

The parent who has a majority of the parenting time will receive child support payments from the other parent, regardless of who has a greater income. However, a minority parent with a lesser income is not required to pay as much towards the children’s expenses as the majority parent with a greater income. The equation can change in a shared parenting agreement, which Illinois defines as each parent having at least 146 days with the children during the year. There are also situations in which a parent can request a modification of the child support payment. 

How Does Remarriage Tie In?

Illinois allows a parent to petition to modify child support when there is a change of circumstances that affects either:

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Can I Get Financial Help With My Adoption?It is no secret that adoption is expensive. Many families wish they could adopt but simply cannot afford the additional expenses that are tied to adoption. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, private agency adoptions can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000. This price tag does not include any of the costs associated with raising a child, which can steer couples hoping to start a family away from considering adoption. Foster care adoption is the most financially-friendly option available to potential parents. In many cases, the adoption gets funded by the state, with few fees involved aside from an attorney’s assistance in the legal process. There are even some instances that allow adopting couples to qualify for continued compensation.

What is Title IV-E Adoption Assistance?

Unfortunately, foster children get adopted at a much lower rate, especially those with special needs. The medical expenses or other costs that are unique to a special needs child can keep couples from considering taking them in. What many do not realize is that adoption assistance is available to parents of special needs children adopted through the foster system. Federal adoption assistance is known as Title IV-E, whereas state assistance is non-IV-E. Both forms of assistance can provide monthly maintenance payments, medical assistance, and other support until the child turns 18 or, in some cases, 21 years old. There are three criteria that must be met to qualify for special needs determination:

  1. The state determines that the child cannot or should not return to their birth parents’ home;
  2. A specific factor, condition, or a combination of the two has made the child more difficult to place for adoption; and
  3. Unsuccessful efforts have been made to place the child without using adoption assistance.

What Makes a Child Eligible for Title IV-E?

The eligibility listed above must be met before a child will be considered to receive Title IV-E adoption assistance. There are five qualifications tied to Title IV-E; however, only one must be met to qualify for the assistance:

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Arlington Heights estate planning attorneysWhile many people assume estate planning only involves drafting a will or other estate planning document which dictates how assets are distributed upon an individual’s death, this is only one of many types of estate planning instruments which can benefit you. An advance directive, also referred to as a living will, medical directive, or advance decision, is a type of legal document which specifies how decisions should be made on behalf of an individual who is incapacitated by illness or injury. Read on to learn about how incapacity is defined for the purposes of these types of decisions in Illinois.

An Incapacitating Accident or Illness Can Happen to Anybody

If you are like most people, you have probably not given a lot of thought as to what would happen if you became unable to speak for yourself. Although we often think of incapacitation as something that happens to elderly people or those with Alzheimer’s Disease, the truth is that people of all ages can become incapacitated. For example, if you are in a serious car accident, you could suffer a head injury which leaves you in a coma. Who would make medical decisions on your behalf if this happened? Would you wish to be kept alive via artificial life support if there was little chance of recovery? These are the types of questions which can be addressed through an advance directive.

When Do Advanced Directives Take Effect?

There is not a specific set of criteria which is always used to determine when a person is incapacitated in Illinois. The situation will vary significantly based on the unique circumstances of the sick or injured person and his or her loved ones. If you are unable to speak for yourself and a loved one has petitioned the court to become your legal guardian, a judge will decide whether or not you are disabled to the point that you require a guardian. The Illinois Probate Act states that a disabled person is one who:

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What are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation?Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that works for many couples seeking to end their marriage but wanting to skip the typical divorce proceedings. This type of alternative resolution becomes somewhat of a conversation between the spouses and a mediator. After the mediator explains the process, they will act as a neutral third-party. The session will typically last a few hours as a group, followed by the mediator meeting with each party individually to speak with them. This will allow the spouse to tell them anything they feel that they left out or any information that they felt uncomfortable sharing with their spouse in the room. 

A second session will be scheduled to make final decisions. Issues discussed are uniform to that of a divorce; however, there are supposed to be little to no arguments done in the mediation process. The allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, division of assets, and spousal maintenance are the main topics that are deliberated. The mediator will then draw up the plans based on the conversation between the spouses that lays out their divorce in front of them.  

Advantages of Mediation

Divorce mediation requires an amicable relationship between both spouses as the purpose of the alternative dispute resolution is to avoid conflict. While it does not work for all couples, many prefer mediation over typical divorce proceedings for a variety of reasons.

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Mistakes to Avoid in Your Parenting HearingWhether the allocation of parental responsibilities determinations are done by negotiating with your spouse or become a “battle” in front of a court, this portion of divorce is often the most difficult. Every parent wants the best for their children, and it can be difficult to figure out what is “best” when you and your spouse are accustomed to co-parenting under one roof. Parenting cases can get ugly even when divorcing couples are on amicable terms.

Common Errors

The determination of your parenting plan is an important part of the divorce process to prepare for. An experienced attorney should warn you of the following mistakes:

  1. Talking About the Case with Others: While it may be an instinct to confide in friends, this can lead to your demise in the end. You and your spouse probably still have mutual friends or friends that know each other, and gossip spreads fast. It is important to keep the details of your case confidential to avoid accidentally informing your ex about your defense tactics.
  2. Letting Your Emotions Make Your Decisions: The purpose of the allocation of parental responsibilities is to put your child’s best interests forward regardless of your relationship with your spouse. The reason for your divorce does not necessarily reflect on their parenting ability or style. Friends or family members will frequently take your side and provide you with a multitude of reasons to fight for sole responsibility. However, it is important to remember that what is best for you may not be best for your child.
  3. Using Your Children: Many parents can fall into the trap of hearing their ex’s business through their child or using their child as a messenger between parents. Placing your child in the middle of your divorce is an easy way to lose their respect and damage your relationship. This will be seen as bad parenting by a judge and can land you in hot water with your parenting arrangements.
  4. Social Media As an Outlet: In the digital age, many people turn to social media for comfort or for a sense of validation from friends. The worst time and place to talk about your new life or vent about your old one is on social media. Your account can be used against you in multiple areas of your divorce proceedings.  

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

The errors listed and explained above can hurt you in your divorce case, but the biggest mistake of all is failing to hire an experienced attorney for the allocation of parental responsibilities. No matter how many tips and tricks you follow, having a professional on your side is the best way to fight for your child.  At A. Traub & Associates, we will provide you with the legal advice you need while fighting for you throughout your divorce proceedings. If you are searching for help in your parenting case, contact our Arlington Heights family law attorneys at 630-426-0196.

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Lombard estate planning attorneysWhen you hear the phrase “estate planning,” you might think of extremely wealthy people meeting with their lawyers and accountants to create wills and trusts that will facilitate the transfer of assets from one generation to the next. However, there is much more to estate planning than just wills and trusts. More importantly, estate planning is not just for those with extensive assets or complicated investments. Every adult should have an estate plan of some sort in place as a measure of protection in the event of a tragedy.

One estate planning tool that is often overlooked or misunderstood is the power of attorney. A power of attorney can be extremely useful in protecting your best interests should the unexpected occur.

Power of Attorney Basics

Using a power of attorney document, a person—called the principal—can appoint another individual to serve as his or her agent in financial matters. Illinois law also recognizes powers of attorney for health care which give agents the authority to make medical-relate decisions for the principals.

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Lombard estate planning attorneysIf you have started the process of estate planning, there is a good chance that you have spent some time thinking about how you will distribute your assets among your children, grandchildren, loved ones, and, possibly, charitable organizations. Depending on the size of your family or your circle of friends, it could be quite easy to overlook the pets that might be an important part of your life. Is it possible to look after companion animals like dogs or cats in your estate plan? In short, the answer to that question is yes.

What Are Pet Trusts?

Under Illinois law, a person is permitted to create and fund a trust for the stated purpose of providing for the care of “one or more designated domestic or pet animals.” The applicable part of the Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act (760 ILCS 5/15.2) does not specify the types of animals that can be covered, but a series of cases in Illinois courts have set precedents that allow pet trusts to cover dogs, cats, horses, and several other animals. Livestock, such as cows and sheep, are generally not eligible.

In order to establish a pet trust, you must specifically identify each animal to be cared for with funds owned by the trust. You will need to list the animal’s species and breed (if applicable), as well as its name, age, sex, and any other important factors like implanted microchips or tags. If your animal has any known health concerns, those should be noted as well so that the person you appoint to manage the trust—called the trustee—knows what to expect regarding the animal’s necessary care.

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Lombard estate planning attorneysThe benefits of proper estate planning cannot be overstated. Drafting a will, trust, or utilizing other estate planning documents puts you in charge of you and your family’s future in a way that nothing else can. Having a comprehensive estate plan also saves your loved ones the burden of making highly personal decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated or pass away. Many married couples, especially couples with children, recognize the importance of estate planning. However, there are some situations in which one spouse is interested in estate planning but the other spouse does not want to participate. If you are married and interested in gaining the many benefits that come with a comprehensive estate plan but your spouse is disinterested, consider the following tips.

Consider Why Your Spouse Is Not Interested in Estate Planning

Estate planning can bring up many upsetting topics. Wills and trusts deal with what happens to your property upon your death. Advance medical directives dictate how healthcare and financial decisions should be made on your behalf if you are incapacitated through illness or injury. Naming a guardian for minor children forces you to consider who you would want to raise your children if you and your spouse pass away before the children are adults. It is completely understandable that many people would want to avoid these topics – especially if they do not understand the advantages estate planning brings.

Speaking with your spouse about why he or she does not want to participate in the estate planning process may give you insight about how to help them overcome their hang-ups. It is important to remember that while estate planning does deal with unpleasant topics, the peace of mind you will gain from having your plans in place far outweighs the discomfort of facing these topics. 

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Summer: Wedding Season or Divorce Season?When most people think of summer, they imagine attending weddings and enjoying time spent with their families. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many couples. According to research conducted by University of Washington sociologists between 2001 and 2015, there is a biannual pattern for divorce. The months of March and August have been found to have high volumes of divorce. While it may seem like a coincidence, there are actually reasons for this spike in ending marriages.

 

Why the Divorce Pattern?

All relationships are different thus making each divorce case unique. Despite the individuality of each couple, studies have found a few common denominators that may contribute to this seasonal divorce pattern.

  1. Post-Holiday Blues: Holiday season is charged with excitement and fun activities to attend. Whether it is Christmas dinner or a Fourth of July barbecue, families spend a lot of time together throughout the holidays. This brings many families together but can also drive some apart. It is common for all of this “family togetherness” to cause emotions to rise and friction to occur. Most couples will wait for things settle down after the holidays before officially deciding to go separate ways.
  2. Back to School: Many parents will wait until the end of the summer before disclosing their decision to divorce to their children. Going to school is a good distraction for children, eliminating large amounts of time that could be spent at home, worrying about their family’s relationships. Having children in school throughout the divorce process also makes it easier to get legal processes done without childcare responsibilities interfering.
  3. Vacation Stress: Family vacations are more common in the summer due to the nice weather and time off from school. Similar to holidays, vacations can bring on more problems than good memories. Traveling is stressful, especially with a spouse that you are unsure about. Traveling difficulties and a large amount of time spent together can ultimately lead to conflict and a solution of permanent separation.

Contact a Lombard, IL, Divorce Attorney for Help

Filing for divorce is difficult, regardless of how much conflict exists between you and your spouse. Parting ways with someone you thought you would spend a lifetime with is not easy no matter the situation. At A. Traub & Associates, we take on the legal process to give you time to focus on your emotional well being. If you are filing for divorce, contact our Glen Ellyn divorce attorneys at 630-426-0196. 

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DuPage County estate administration lawyersIf you have started creating your own estate plans or you have recently lost a loved one, you may have heard the term “probate.” This term is used to refer to the legal proceedings which transfers a deceased individual’s assets to heirs. If the deceased person, or decedent, has signed a will before he or she died, the probate courts determine whether or not the will is enforceable and oversee the distribution of the decedents’ assets. If a decedent does not have a will or the will is not enforceable, the probate process is much more involved. Because it can often be time-consuming and expensive, many people try to avoid probate through careful estate planning.

What Happens During Probate?

The probate process differs from estate to estate depending on several factors. If the decedent had a will, the judge will ensure that the will meets the criteria required by Illinois probate law. Wills must be written and signed by the deceased person. If evidence exists to suggest that the deceased person wrote their will under undue influence or that the will is fraudulent in some way, the will may be invalidated.

If the decedent had identified an executor in their estate plans, the judge will assign this person several responsibilities. The executor must distribute the decedent’s assets according to the will, notify the decedent’s creditors of the decedent’s death, pay the decedent’s final bills, and file income taxes on their behalf. Generally, the executor role falls to the decedent’s next of kin if there was no prior determination regarding this important responsibility.

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Posted on in DCFS

What Happens If I Report Child Abuse?Feeling the need to report child abuse is a serious and uncomfortable situation to encounter. Many people will ignore signs that may resemble abuse because they do not want to misinterpret what actually happened. Reports state that of incidents of abuse go unreported, leaving most abused children in dangerous homes. While it can feel as if you are intruding on someone else’s business, reporting suspected abuse can save a child from a lifetime of trauma.

 

Types of Abuse

  1. Physical Abuse: This form of abuse is fairly self-explanatory and easier to spot than others. Any form of physical injury that is not accidental is considered physical abuse. Some children may be able to hide their injuries as “playing rough outside”; however, constant bodily injuries could be a sign that the child may be suffering from physical harm at home.
  2. Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse can be performed by a parent or an older child. This can be difficult to detect as children do not fully understand the problems with the assaults. That is one of the many reasons why sexual abuse goes unreported. According to Childhelp, 20.7 percent of adults report having been sexually abused as a child.
  3. Emotional Abuse: Many adults may think it is questionable to report this form of abuse; however, it is just as detrimental to children as other forms of abuse. Emotional abuse can include name calling, insulting, threatening violence, or withholding love or support. Some may see this as “tough parenting,” but repeated abuse can cause damage to a child over time.

What Happens If I Report a Parent?

If you suspect a child is being abused, it is important to specify the type of abuse and provide the child’s information. Child Protective Services will meet with the parents to assess the situation and see if a problem is going on. One report does not result in a child’s removal from their home. CPS will provide the family with resources such as counseling, mental health/drug abuse services, training on financial responsibility, and parental education. If the child is in serious danger, they will be removed from the household for their own safety. While it may seem that you are breaking a family apart, the child’s safety is most important.

I Was Reported to DCFS – What Do I Do Next?

Being reported to the Department of Child and Family Services can be extremely stressful and frustrating for a responsible parent. It may seem like the reporter is out to get you or that DCFS is disregarding your history as a good parent. Many reports do not continue past the initial checkup, but it is important to be prepared if the case goes to court. If you have been accused of child abuse and need legal assistance, contact our experienced Glen Ellyn, Illinois, DCFS lawyers at A. Traub & Associates. Call 630-426-0196 for a free consultation. 

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Lombard estate planning lawyersEvery adult should have some type of estate plan in place. Even just a relatively simple will could provide a great deal of security and direction for surviving loved ones in the event of a tragedy. However, the reality is that more than half of Americans do not have an estate plan of any kind.

While there may be many reasons for this, arguably the most common is procrastination. Most people realize that an estate plan is a good idea, but it is not always something that is a high priority. As a result, people tend to wait until they approaching retirement age to begin the process. Those who wait, unfortunately, often find themselves the unwitting targets of scammers who are simply looking to make money as they prey on the fears and uncertainty of those looking for peace of mind.

What Are Trust Mills?

Estate planning scams can take many forms, and they are not limited to shady-looking, back-alley operations. Fully licensed attorneys have been known to take advantage of estate planning and administration situations in an attempt to collect unnecessary fees. Trust mills are another common source of estate planning scams that you should be aware of.

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What is an Adoption Home Study and How Can I Prepare?The adoption process is quite lengthy and requires lots of preparation in order for you to be ready to immediately care for your new child. A home study is one step of many in the adoption process. The purpose of a home study is to ensure that you and your spouse are good potential parents who can provide a child with a safe and happy home. The home study is more than just a house inspection. The inspector will also spend time interviewing both parents to gauge their character and parenting ability. This part of the adoption process can be extremely nerve-wracking but is also the part of adoption that you have the most control over.

What Should I Bring to My Home Study?

Home studies vary depending on the type of adoption that you and your spouse decide is best. However, the primary goal and document requirements remain fairly consistent. Home studies often take longer than a single visit, sometimes taking months to fully complete. The best way to reduce the amount of time spent in the home inspection is to educate yourself on the process and have the necessary documents in hand. These can include:

  • Certified copies of birth certificates;
  • Adoption decrees for any other adopted children;
  • A marriage certificate;
  • Death certificates of former spouses;
  • Divorce papers for you and your spouse;
  • Employment and income verification;
  • Proof of life and health insurance;
  • A list of assets;
  • Debt information; and
  • Mortgage or rent information. 

The interview also requires physical exam results as well as a public health and fire inspection for your home. While the paperwork may seem daunting, it is crucial that you bring multiple copies of each form to avoid scheduling additional appointments. 

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DuPage County estate planning attorneyMore than half of Americans do not have any estate planning documents in place at all. Those that do most often have a will and nothing more. However, there are many estate planning instruments above and beyond a last will which can be greatly beneficial. One of these instruments is a trust.

Some people shy away from trusts because they do know exactly how trusts work or how a trust can benefit them and their family. Others assume that only the wealthy require trusts to handle the distribution of assets after their death. Neither of these estate planning myths is true. Read on to learn about the basics of trusts and how a trust may be able to work for you. 

How a Trust Works

In a last will and testament, an individual writes directions for how his or her property should be distributed to heirs upon his or her death. A trust can also address how property is passed down to beneficiaries, but in a different way. A trust establishes an agreement between a testator and a trustee. The testator is the person creating the trust and may also be referred to as a settlor or grantor. The trustee is tasked with managing the settlor’s assets and distributing those assets according to instructions contained in the trust. The trustee is a fiduciary with a legal obligation to follow the terms of the trust and avoid any self-dealing or conflicts of interest in managing assets contained in a trust.

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Common Parenting Schedules to Take into ConsiderationDetermining the allocation of parental responsibilities can be one of the most difficult aspects of divorce. Parents are not used to having to schedule a time to see their children. It is typically built into their schedule out of default. Making parenting decisions can be the portion of divorce that causes the most conflict. Emotions can run high, which can lead to an inaccurate representation of who you are as a parent. In order to avoid being overwhelmed by the legal process, it is important to be prepared when discussing parenting schedules.

Common Schedules

Although all parenting schedules can be adjusted to fit your family, there are four common divisions of parenting time that many families follow.

  1. 50/50: Evident in the name, the 50/50 plan has the child spending equal time with both parents. Some families have the children spend a whole week with each parent while some prefer to alternate days. This schedule is best when both parents live nearby and both are actively involved in parenting. The 50/50 schedule can make it difficult for the child to feel grounded depending on the number of days spent in each household.
  2. 60/40: This schedule is close to the 50/50 plan but assigns a primary home for the child. The 60/40 requires four days with one parent and three days with the other. Children will normally stay with one parent during the week and spend a long weekend with the other parent. This tends to give the child more stability during the school week, allowing them to focus on their academics during the week.
  3. 70/30: This schedule has the child living with one parent five days a week and the other two days a week. Similar to the 60/40, children normally stay with the non-custodial parent on the weekends, but this is adjustable based on each family’s situation.
  4. 80/20: The 80/20 has the child spending the majority of their time with the custodial parent while visiting the non-custodial parent every other weekend. Many families choose this to give both parents time with their children on the weekend, especially if both parents work. Although the child lives primarily with one parent, it can be difficult to spend “quality time” with them during the week.

Contact a Lombard Divorce Lawyer for Help

Divorce changes your lifestyle significantly, especially for parents. Rather than seeing their child every day, parents have to learn to adjust. At A. Traub & Associates, we work with you to do what is best for your whole family. If you are searching for assistance with your divorce, contact our experienced DuPage County attorneys for a free consultation at 630-426-0196.

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Lombard estate planning attorneyAlthough we generally consider marriage to be primarily a romantic relationship, when two people join their lives together, it is also a financial union. Many studies show that disagreements about finances are the top predictor of divorce. One of the best ways that engaged couples can avoid this pitfall is to be upfront, honest, and proactive about financial plans and concerns from the very beginning. If you are a newlywed or plan to “take the plunge” this summer, it is important to consider the estate planning steps you should take to safeguard your family’s financial future.

Create Your Last Will and Testament or Update Your Existing Will

In past blog posts, we have discussed some of the most ubiquitous misunderstandings about wills. Perhaps the greatest myth regarding wills is that they are only needed after a certain age. The reality is that an adult of any age will benefit from creating a will.

Although it is unpleasant to think about, unexpected tragedies happen every day. By creating a will now, you are safeguarding your ability to make decisions about what happens to your debt and property after you pass away. Furthermore, creating a will helps you identify and explore your current financial situation. This can help you and your soon-to-be-spouse better discuss financial concerns and plans for the future. If you already have a will, you will need to update it after getting married. An experienced estate planning attorney can be a valuable resource when drafting or updating a will.

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What Is Child Relocation in Illinois and How Can I Get It Approved?Many people decide to relocate after a divorce in order to have a fresh start. Seeing their former spouse in town or going to places that you used to frequent throughout your marriage can make it difficult to move on and start over. While this does not require court approval for all divorcees, those with children will need to get this legally approved. This is mandated in Illinois in order to prevent the custodial parent from intentionally keeping their children away from their other biological parent. This can occur if the marriage did not end amicably; however, a bad marriage does not make someone a bad parent. Despite the cases where one parent is attempting to control the other, relocation can be done with the child’s best interests in mind.

What Is Considered Relocation in Illinois?

Moving and relocating are not one and the same. Relocating is moving a residence on a much larger scale. According to Illinois law 750 ILCS 5/600, there are a few specific parameters required to be classified as “relocation”:

  • A child living in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will county moves to a new residence that is 25 miles from the child’s current residence;
  • A child living in an Illinois county that is not listed above moves to a new residence within the state that is 50 miles from their current residence; or
  • A child moves to a new residence that is outside of Illinois and is more than 25 miles from their current residence.

What Does the Court Consider When Evaluating My Request?

There are various factors that the court will look at to ensure that the intentions for the move have the child’s best interests in mind. A judge will typically speak to the child depending on their age and maturity level. Although the child’s opinion may not be the determining factor in the court’s decision, facial expressions and body language can sometimes reveal more information than words. The judge will also look at the potential change in the quality of life. This includes the child’s educational, physical, and emotional development. The reputation and level of education of the child’s current school are often compared to the new school to ensure that they will have equal opportunities if the relocation is approved. Another area that the court will focus on is the child’s relationship with each parent. If the child has a strong relationship with the non-custodial parent and moving would disrupt that, the judge will probably not allow them to move. At the end of the day, the court’s priority is the child’s happiness and well-being.

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Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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