Archive for July, 2013

When Parents put their Children in the Wrong Role

July 31st, 2013 at 10:32 am

Theresa  Chicago divorce attorneyYou will go through several different emotions before, during, and after the divorce process. These different emotional changes can lead to a displacement of feelings. According to Psychology Today, one very unhealthy but common trend is putting the child in the wrong social role.

The female parent may cast the eldest son in the role of being a surrogate husband. This relationship dynamic can eventually lead to a very unhealthy codependent relationship. This child may be looked as being the new “man of the house”. The male parent may likewise cast the eldest daughter in the surrogate wife role. These roles may be manifested by doing the things around the house that the now absent parent used to do.

The children in these situations often carry the unhealthy codependent traits on into their own adult relationships. The son may end up being controlling over his own wife while the daughter may become subservient to her husband, suppressing her own needs and feelings.

Here are just a few signs that you may be entering into this dynamic with your own children.

  • You spend more time in social situations with your children instead of people in your own age or social group.
  • You discuss your marriage, divorce, and subsequent relationships more with your children than people of the appropriate age.
  • You lean on your child emotionally instead of seeking counseling.
  • Your child cancels plans with their peers because they don’t want to leave you alone.

Going through a divorce is an emotionally taxing situation for anyone to go through. You need to have all of the appropriate allies as possible in your corner. One of those allies should be a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer. Your Chicago divorce attorney will ensure that all of your legal needs are being met and that your best interest, as well as the best interests of your children, are considered.

Adopting Through an Agency In Illinois- What To Expect

July 30th, 2013 at 10:32 am

If you’re ready to take the next step in growing your family through an adoption, a agency adoption may be the right path for you. Knowing what to expect can help to relieve some of the confusion and anxiety surrounding the exciting journey that is adoption. Hiring an adoption attorney is one way to keep you in the know and to ensure that you’re on track.

LauraIf you plan to adopt through an agency, the process begins with the completion of an application. Once you have submitted an initial application, you’ll need to go through a background check, fingerprinting, medical exams, training, and visits to your home made by a social worker. This is what’s known as the licensing process, and all of these steps must be completed before you can move forward with an adoption.

The social worker’s goal is to learn more about your family to help match you up with a child who might benefit from the unique strengths of your existing family. You will work directly with this social worker in determining whether a child is a good fit for your situation. The time is takes to work through these initial stages varies, but it’s expected that most families will know within at least three months what kind of child may be the best fit with your family.

If you identify a child who might thrive in your family environment, you’ll learn more about them and be able to decide if you would like to continue considering this child before meeting him or her. Once a meeting has been scheduled, you will prepare for interacting with this child and preparing yourself for a possible addition to your family. During the meeting, you’ll be able to speak to the child and get a final sense of whether or not he or she would do well with your family. Pre-placement visits will then be scheduled if you elect to move forward, and these visits may go on as long as is necessary in your situation.

With the excitement and high emotions associated with adoption, it can help to have the guidance of an adoption attorney on your side. Contact a Chicago adoption lawyer today to learn more about the process.

Over the Line: Custody and Removal

July 26th, 2013 at 9:46 am

Divorce can be hard, and its difficulties can increase exponentially when children are involved. It is hard enough to deal with the physical and emotional separation of you and your spouse, without having to factor in the emotional and developmental trauma the divorce may cause to your child. If you enter into a custody battle, the court will make a decision based on its interpretation of what is best for the child. One factor that will weigh heavily in a custody battle is each parent’s willingness to encourage and support a relationship between the child and the other parent. After custody is awarded, this consideration may complicate some of your future life choices.

Charles, Dropbox photo   child custodyAfter being awarded custody, there are some things you must consider; for instance, relocation becomes a legal issue. Oftentimes, people may wish to move great distances after finalizing a divorce. There are many reasons one may have to move to another county, state, or even country: relocating for employment opportunities, being closer to family, or just seeking a fresh start.

Before making the decision to move, you should have an attorney carefully go over your divorce judgment and child custody judgment to see if the issue of relocation or removal of the child from the State is specifically addressed.  Under Illinois law, moves within the State are treated differently from moves out of state.  There is no statute in Illinois that prevents a custodial parent from moving within the borders of the State of Illinois; however sometimes parties agree to a mileage restriction which may be enforceable if it was incorporated into an agreed custody judgment.

If a custodial parent is moving out of state with the intention of permanently removing a child from the State of Illinois, he or she must ask the court for permission to do so by filing a Petition for Removal.  Such petitions are governed by Section 609 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (See Illinois Statute § 750 ILCS 5/609).
Relocation laws vary by state.  You will want to know of any particular statutes in your state that could affect your decision. To best understand the implications of a custodial parent’s decision to move, you should seek the counsel of a qualified Illinois family law attorney.

Grandparents’ Rights In Divorce?

July 5th, 2013 at 9:16 am

Grandparents take great pride in their grandchildren. Many hours and dollars are spent on doting and loving this next generation. They are also crucial and influential people in their grandchildren’s lives. So, when a divorce occurs between the parents, grandparents just want the best for their grandchildren and to continue their relationship with them. However, divorces can be ugly and can make grandparents feel left out – so what rights do grandparents actually have?


In Illinois, grandparents can seek custody of their grandchildren in certain situations.  Normally, when a court has to make a custody decision, the judge must decide what is in the best interest of the child.  However, when grandparents are seeking custody, they must first establish that they have  standing under Illinois law.  This means they have to initially prove certain facts about their relationship with the grandchild to show that they have the right to petition the court for custody of that grandchild.  Illinois case law interpreting what a grandparent needs to show to establish standing is complex and continually evolving, so it’s important for a grandparent considering custody litigation to consult with an attorney that concentrates in the area of grandparent rights.
Grandparents also have rights to visitation with their grandchildren in certain circumstances.  In all such cases, however, the court must find that the parent is unreasonably denying visitation to the grandparent.  What constitutes unreasonable denial of visitation? This is a difficult question that the judge must ultimately decide based upon the facts of the case.  Every case is unique in this regard.  For grandparents who are considering filing a petition for visitation with their grandchildren, it is important that they have the input of an experienced attorney in Chicago who has successfully handled grandparent visitation cases, so that they can understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case.


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