Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C.
Schaumburg Family Law Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Child Custody Law

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When choosing a family law attorney, you probably have a number of questions. Some of our most common questions are found here. If you do no see yours listed, please contact our office directly. We are happy to help!

Child Custody Law

As part of your divorce or paternity action, you will normally be restricted from moving out of state without court permission or written agreement from the other parent. There are specific factors that are taken into account when a parent desires to move out of state. If those factors are met, a court may grant you the right to move even if the other parent objects. There are different standards involved for in-state moves.

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If you have more questions or concerns on child custody laws in the Cook County area, please call the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan for a consultation. 

In Illinois, child custody courts recognize “legal custody” for children. That means that the parent or guardian is legally able to make decisions for the child’s best interest. “Physical custody” refers to whom the child will be living with until they reach age 14 when they can make that decision on their own. A parent or guardian can have sole custody (one parent) or joint custody (both parents) and the details of each arrangement will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Legally, at the age of 14, children can make a decision about who they prefer to live within a divorce or separation. The court can overrule their decision if they feel that it will endanger the child or it is not in their best interest.

Create a Parenting Plan

During a divorce or separation, you will create a parenting plan that addresses the arrangements and needs of your child. This parenting plan will outline which parent has visitation rights on holidays, birthdays, special occasions, and vacations. It will also outline who is responsible for transportation arrangements, supervision when it is required, and other details regarding your individual needs.

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It is important to remember that most decisions will depend on you, your spouse or partner, and the needs of your child, which can vary depending on their age and any special care that may be required. If you would like to learn more about child custody in Illinois, please contact our Schaumburg law firm

Last year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Public Act 99-0764, which went into effect on July 1, 2017. The purpose of the act is to change how child support is calculated in Illinois. The new law will use the income share model for calculating child support, which is already customary in many other states.

What Does the New Law Mean for You?

When the income shares model is used for calculating child support, courts are directed to award a minimum percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income. The income of the custodial parent will not come into play.

This model uses an economic table (published by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services) that determines the estimated costs of caring for a child if a couple were living together. Based on the couple’s combined income, the number of children, and cost of living, each parent is responsible for a portion of those costs based on their income. This could mean that current child support amounts will go up or down, depending on the situation.

Other Ramifications of the New Law

In situations where parenting is shared, which is defined as both parents having the child for a minimum of 146 overnights per year, the new law also changes support obligations. The base amount of child support will increase for both parents. But in these shared situations, the more time you spend with your child, the less your child support obligation will be—after you have met the 146 nights per year criteria.

Under the new law, the court is given the option of deviating from the recommended guidelines what it deems it appropriate.

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Every situation is different, and if you have questions about the new child support laws in Illinois, contact Robert M. Kaplan. With his experience and knowledge, he can examine your current custody arrangement and let you know what the new law might mean for you. Call today for a consultation!

If the biological father (for example) is still alive, he must agree to terminate his parental rights–or a trial on the issue of terminating parental rights must be held. Next, you have to prove your fitness to parent to the court. This step is usually not as burdensome unless you have a criminal background, however, even persons with criminal backgrounds can adopt under the right circumstances.

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Do you have more questions on the adoption process in Cook County? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for a consultation. 

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