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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Oak Park child support attorneyGoing through a divorce involves many legal steps with various issues to discuss and resolve. If a couple has children together, that means a lot of decisions will need to be made regarding their welfare. Issues such as the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time may be agreed upon by both spouses. However, if the parents cannot come to a resolution, the court will intervene, and a judge will decide what is in the best interests of the kids. Child support is another important issue that needs to be addressed when a couple legally terminates their marriage. The non-custodial parent will typically be required to pay the custodial parent a certain amount each month to help address the child-rearing costs.   

How Is Child Support Calculated?  

According to Illinois’ divorce laws, an “income shares” method is used to determine parents’ child support obligations. The income shares child support model became effective on July 1, 2017. This approach uses a table with economic data to determine the amount that parents would spend on their children’s needs if they were married, based on the combined family income and the number of kids. This amount is known as the Basic Support Obligation, and it is meant to address children’s daily needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.). Under the income shares method, each parent’s percentage share of the combined income will also be calculated, and this percentage will be used to determine how costs will be divided between parents. 

Important Child-Related Costs 

Raising children can be an expensive endeavor. Child support can ensure that both parents contribute to a wide range of costs, from clothes to education to sports clubs. These costs can vary depending on the age of the children. For example, if both parents work full-time, and they have a younger child, they will likely need to pay for daycare until the child reaches the age where he or she begins attending school. In addition, a private school’s tuition will be higher than if their child goes to a public school. A portion of medical and dental visits may be covered by one or both parents’ insurance policies, but there can also be out-of-pocket costs. 

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Cook County divorce lawyer for online harassment

A divorce can occur for many reasons, and domestic violence is one of the most serious issues that may lead to the end of a marriage. This type of abuse can take many forms, including harassment, stalking, and electronic monitoring. Stalking is often thought of as the act of physically following someone, and it is not uncommon for an abusive spouse to continue to stalk his or her partner even if one party has moved out of the marital home they once shared together. In today’s online world, a person can also stalk or harass someone electronically via computers or phones. Electronic monitoring refers to videotaping or tracking an individual’s movements without consent by placing video cameras or audio recording devices in his or her home. Fortunately, there are actions victims of this kind of harassment can take to protect themselves and punish their stalkers. 

Stalking Defined 

Stalking is often defined as the act or crime of willfully and repeatedly following or harassing another person with the intent of causing anxiety, fear, or harm to that individual. It is important to note that a person can be charged with stalking someone if he or she remains outside of that individual’s home for more than 10 minutes at a time or for more than 30 minutes total in a 24-hour timeframe for a minimum of five times.

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Oak Park divorce attorney for holiday parenting timeWhen a couple gets a divorce, there are many issues that need to be addressed, especially if the spouses have a child together. Child-related issues such as allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, and parenting time are all important matters. Determining which parent the children will live with and when or how often the other parent gets to see them can be decided mutually by the couple. In this case, the couple can create a parenting plan that outlines the details of a proposed schedule. Co-parenting can be challenging, but studies show that kids benefit from having both parents actively involved in their life. With the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, being open to changes in co-parenting schedules will alleviate stress for everyone. 

‘Tis the Season for Cooperation

The holidays can be chaotic under normal circumstances, but they may seem overwhelming if you are dealing with a recent divorce. Sharing your kids with your ex-spouse may cause conflict, especially if grandparents or other relatives expect them to be at their gatherings, too. Difficult emotions can resurface, but there are ways to minimize the stress of it all. Here are a few tips for navigating the holiday season after divorce to ensure a smooth co-parenting process:

  • Put your children first: Try to imagine how your kids are feeling. Try not to pressure them into feeling bad or guilty if they are spending time with their other parent. You want to help them create happy memories versus negative feelings.       

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Cook County child custody lawyer remarriageThe decision to divorce does not come easily to many couples, especially after a long marriage or if children are involved. However, in many cases, divorce can be for the best if the relationship is dysfunctional or abusive. After a period of time, some people may fall in love again and wish to get remarried. This can mean a second chance at happiness for a parent, but their children may harbor negative feelings toward their new stepparent. A remarriage may also mean a new house and step-siblings, as well as changes to parenting time schedules and child support orders. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to keep the lines of communication open between co-parents. In addition, there are some practical ways to help you and your kids adjust to the transition of a new blended family.

Blending Family Units Together

Blending two separate families can be complex for many reasons. Children often feel resentment or anger toward their new stepparent, especially if they have to move into a new house or to a new state. The following are some key points parents should keep in mind when getting remarried:

  • Expect change - Routines and schedules will be different, so be prepared for an adjustment period as everyone gets used to a new lifestyle. This could mean a new home, new school, and step-siblings. 

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Oak Park family law attorney for adoptionMany couples struggle with infertility and therefore turn to adoption to achieve their dream of having a family. In some cases, parents might already have biological children but choose to adopt another child as a way to expand their family, or a couple may conceive a child after they adopted one. No matter what the circumstances, there are many children who need good homes, and adoption is a wonderful way to provide them with a nurturing, safe place to grow up. Raising children is not easy, and bringing up an adopted child along with your biological children can be even more challenging. 

Guidelines for Blended Families

If you are raising both adopted and biological children, you may find it difficult to meet each child’s specific needs while also making them feel loved and part of the family unit. It is important for every child to have a safe, loving home. Here are some helpful hints to consider when you add to your family:

  • Prepare children for a new sibling: Talk to your children and tell them why you are adopting to ensure that they do not think it is because they are “not enough” or inadequate in any way. Involve them in preparing for their new sibling’s arrival by having them help decorate the baby’s room or create a new play area for all of them. 

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