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Bloomington, IL Divorce & Family Law Blog by Stange Law Firm, PC

Parents can't always refuse visitation rights

As long as it reasonable to do so, both parents are allowed to maintain a relationship with their children after a divorce. This is generally true even if the parents don't like each other or don't like the fact that they have to share a son or daughter with another person. Custodial parents generally cannot interfere with a visitation schedule because they don't approve of a noncustodial parent's lifestyle.

For example, the fact that he or she is seeing another person doesn't mean that a visitation order can be violated. Visitation orders may also remain in effect even if a parent isn't paying child support. It is worth noting that parents must pay child support even if they don't have access to their children. Ideally, a child will have his or her own bedroom at each parent's home or apartment. However, the lack of a bedroom is not a good enough reason to refuse visitation.

Managing a difficult child custody situation

43276324_s.jpgDivorcing parents in Illinois often find it difficult to adjust to a co-parenting relationship. This is true in the most amicable of cases, but it poses a particular problem in high-conflict situations. The disputes may spill over into the child custody situation, leading to parents bad-mouthing each other to the children or undermining the custody agreement or visitation schedule. While co-parenting with a toxic former partner adds additional strain and stress, there are ways to defuse difficult situations and put the children's best interests first.

Of course, former partners may know how to push each other's emotional buttons. It can be easy for a quick comment or message to lead to a serious argument, sometimes in front of the children. It's important for parents to recognize that their former partner is still the same person, but they no longer have to interact the way they did as a couple. Those unhealthy patterns led to the divorce in the first place, after all. Parents can turn to a therapist or friend for support in dealing with a difficult ex. However, they should avoid confiding in their children. This puts the kids in the middle of the conflict and makes them choose sides between their parents.

Ron Perlman cites "irreconcilable differences" in divorce filing

94378979_S.jpgIllinois fans of 69-year-old actor Ron Perlman may have heard that he and his wife of nearly 40 years are divorcing. They have two adult children, a son and a daughter. The filing was made by Perlman's attorney on his behalf and cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason. Perlman's wife is a jewelry designer.

The separation date on the divorce filing is May 10, 2019. It comes amid speculation that he is in a relationship with his "StartUp" costar Allison Dunbar. Dunbar has posted a number of photos of the two of them together on her Instagram account.

Steps in filing for child support

42500125_S.jpgThere are several steps a parent in Illinois may need to go through to file for child support. A mother who was not married to the child's father at the time of the child's birth may need to establish paternity. If the mother was married to someone else at the time, that person may be listed as the father.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement can help with locating the parent, establishing paternity and collecting child support. It will also assist fathers who need to locate mothers and collect child support from them. It may be necessary to use a database called the Federal Parent Locator Service to find the other parent. Once the parent is located, there is still a lengthy process to go through. It may take several weeks or even months before child support payments start to arrive.

Custody decisions involving very young children

71234126_S.jpgThe guiding principle behind any child custody decision is the best interests of the child. Increasingly, Illinois courts are deciding that shared custody, in which each parent spends at least 35% of the time with the child, is in his or her best interest. However, there may still be some lingering reluctance on the part of the courts to award shared custody of very young children. Where the children are younger than 5, courts may be more likely to grant sole custody to the mother. 

According to the Institute for Family Studies, there is still a lingering belief that the bond between mothers and children becomes weaker when they spend overnights apart from one another. This belief seems to stem from a misleading study in 2013 which, upon evaluation, is not applicable to the general population. A review of 54 studies comparing outcomes for children in sole custody with those for children in shared custody showed that the outcomes for infants and toddlers in shared custody were just as good for those of older children and better than those in sole custody.

Authorities allege three sisters plotted to kill child's father

86168506_S.jpgMatters involving child custody in Bloomington can easily become contentious. Parents cannot be faulted for loving their children, yet at the same time, their motives for not wanting their children's other parents to have regular access to them can often come under question. One might reasonably wonder if they have their children's best interests in mind, or are rather allowing their own personal feelings to drive their decisions. It is understandable that parents feel a great deal of emotion (both good and bad) when it comes to custody matters, but the hope is that such emotion will remain under control and not lead to potentially dangerous actions. 

When it does, its repercussions can often go far beyond the parties directly involved in the custody dispute. Take the case of three sisters from Oklahoma. the trio was recently arrested and charged with attempting to kill the father of one of their numbers children. The woman allegedly hatched a plot to lure the man and his wife to a gas station in a rural community in Alabama. He believed that he was going there to pick up the child for an extended visit. Upon arriving, however, several gunshots were fired at his vehicle (one of which struck him in the shoulder). Authorities believe the child's mother was not at the scene when the shooting occurred; her job was to get him there. Her two sisters then allegedly shot at the man and fled. All three face charges that could send them to prison for several years. 

Settlement reached in slain state senator's divorce case

105999995_S.jpgThose entering into divorce cases in Bloomington may be looking forward to a swift resolution to their proceedings. At the same time, they might also be prepared to battle relentlessly over certain aspects of their cases (such as asset division). Such disagreements can cause divorce cases to linger on for months or even years, which often causes any negative feelings that may have existed between a divorcing couple to fester and grow to the point that both become so bitter and beholden to their claims that neither becomes willing to give an inch to the other. 

In such cases, it often may take something drastic in order to finally reach a resolution. That appears to be what happened in an Arkansas divorce case involving a former state senator and her ex-husband. The couple had been involved in a lengthy and contentious property division dispute which involved (among other things) a substantial tax return received by the senator which her boyfriend (who supposedly had been given power of attorney by her) had attempted to deposit without disclosing the return to her ex-husband. 

The relation of a child's age to how they handle divorce

31020936_S.jpgAcross Illinois, older couples are deciding to divorce at later ages. However, even older divorcing parents should understand that their adult children will be impacted by a split. This is especially important because the impact of divorce on adult children tends to be grossly underestimated.

Very Well Family takes a look at the psychological impact of divorce on younger children. This area of study has a wealth of research behind it. It is generally agreed upon that parents should approach the topic of an impending divorce together, ensuring the child understands they are not at fault. Children should be left out of any squabbles. Typically, younger children tend to bounce back from divorces more fully as long as they have the proper treatment and therapy offered to them in the aftermath.

Amicable split between reality TV stars turns ugly

70188622_S.jpgIt may not come as a surprise to many in Bloomington to learn that divorce proceedings can often become heated. After all, the parties involved may have spent years building up the emotion they felt for each other. When circumstances then precipitate into a divorce, those emotions often do not diminish; they simply go from good to bad. Suddenly, normally rational people may become so caught up in the affairs of another that they may be provoked into actions that they would not otherwise consider. 

Such actions may include domestic violence, which is what a reality television star is alleging was perpetrated against her by her soon-to-be ex-husband. When first announcing their split, the couple pledged to work together to ensure that their divorce ended amicably (which would then assist them in raising their children together). Yet since that time, she has accused him of domestic violence on multiple occasions, even going so far as to have him arrested (however, he was never charged). He dismisses her accusations, yet she claims to have both evidence and witnesses that back up her story. She even has accused him of having a drug and alcohol problem, and has sought a restraining order. 

Who pays for your kids' healthcare?

38821047_S.jpgWhile going through a divorce in Bloomington, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may disagree over many things; one of the few topics that you both can typically agree upon, however, is the importance of seeing to your kids' needs. Yet even that can lead to discord when issues such as who should be responsible for covering the children's healthcare costs come up. If your kids were covered under yours (or your ex-spouse's) group health plan during the marriage, then the expectation will likely be that coverage should continue after your divorce. That may be true in some cases, yet not in others. Knowing who needs to carry insurance on the kids should be something you understand going into your divorce proceedings. 

Per the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, if you (or your ex-spouse) are eligible for group health plan coverage through an employer, then the court will typically require that you (or your ex-spouse) continue to keep your kids on the plan after your divorce as part of your child support agreement. Yet what happens if either you (or your ex-spouse) is self-employed, or neither of your can secure coverage through an employer's plan? 

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