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Peoria Family Law Blog

Do grandparents have child visitation rights in Illinois?

We've written several blog posts about child custody matters and the impact on both children and parents. In many families, child custody and visitation matters impact not only parents, but also grandparents who, as a result of a child’s divorce or split, may experience a change in access to a grandchild.

Illinois does not have a formal grandparent visitation law. However, under certain circumstances, grandparents may take legal action to gain visitation rights to a grandchild. For many children, grandparents play an integral role in their lives. In cases where the circumstances of child custody and visitation agreements related to a divorce or pending divorce adversely impact a grandparent’s access to and relationship with a grandchild, families are advised to attempt to sort out a visitation agreement on their own.

Are child custody agreements set in stone?

When two parents split-up or divorce, matters related to child custody must be determined. Even in cases where a split or divorce is amicable, parents would be wise to take steps to establish a formal and court-enforceable child custody agreement. Doing so helps protect the custody rights of each parent in the event one's relationship with an ex changes or one parent moves to another city or state.

There are two basic types of child custody, joint and sole. In a sole custody agreement, one parent retains full physical and legal custody of a child. Barring charges of domestic abuse or violence, the other parent is typically awarded visitation rights to a child. In joint custody agreements, parents have an equal say in matters related to their child's care and wellbeing. Frequently, joint custody arrangements also provide each parent with access to and time with a child.

How socio-economic factors influence how kids adjust to divorce

When a child's parents divorce, he or she is likely to be impacted by many changes. For children from wealthier families, these changes are likely more significant in number and impact thereby leading to negative behavioral changes. This is one theory that researchers cite in helping explain findings from a recent study about how children are impacted by divorce.

The study, which was conducted by researchers from two prominent U.S. universities, reviewed data from 4,000 children who from 1986 to 2008, participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. When dividing up respondents based upon income, researchers discovered that children from wealthier families appeared to display the more negative behaviors after a divorce.

Midlife divorcees may struggle to find support

At any age, getting divorced is likely to be a difficult and emotional experience. For couples who have been married for decades, divorce can be especially hard as children are likely to be grown and out of the home and friends established and settled in their lives and marriages.

A mid-life divorce can leave an individual feeling lost and out of place. Many individuals who divorce in their 40s and 50s are also forced to deal with the financial and social implications of divorce as finances are cut in half and family members and friends may be wary of divorce-related conflict and discussions.

Are Facebook users destined to divorce?

The Internet and rise of social media websites have forever changed the way people communicate and share information. Today, it's easier than ever to reunite with an old friend or flame via a social media website. Many of these sites also provide opportunities to network and forge new friendships and relationships. Facebook is undoubtedly one of the most well known and widely used social media websites in the world.

By the end of 2013, worldwide an estimated 1.23 billion people had a Facebook account. The fact that so many people use the social media site recently prompted researchers at Boston University to study possible correlations between Facebook use and marital happiness.

What is parental alienation?

In many cases when parents divorce, decisions related to child custody and visitation are made by a family law judge. Once child custody and visitation orders have been established it is then the responsibility of both parents to follow the orders. Additionally, both parents are responsible for their actions and behaviors with regard to how they communicate and attempt to co-parent with an ex-spouse.

Unfortunately, some divorced parents are not able to move beyond their own hurt and negative feelings towards an ex-spouse for the sake of a shared child. As a result, a child may become the victim of what's known as parental alienation the results of which, for both a child and parent, can have long-term emotional and psychological repercussions.

When it comes to divorce, more money often equals more problems

For anyone, going through the divorce process is likely to be a highly emotional and confusing time. Not only is an individual attempting to cope with numerous, and often conflicting, emotions but steps must also be taken to ensure for and protect one's current and future financial wellbeing.

Individuals who fail to be vigilant and actively participate during the divorce settlement process may risk losing out on their fair share of marital assets. For couples of considerable wealth, matters related to the division of assets and property are often much more complex and, in some cases, a wealthy husband or wife may engage in questionable or illegal activities to retain as much wealth as possible.

How divorced parents can help a child succeed this school year

As the nights grow cooler and the days shorter, school-aged children in and around Peoria, Illinois are heading back to school. This time of year can be difficult for both parents and children as days are jam packed with learning, socializing, after-school activities and homework. For divorcing or recently divorced parents, back-to-school time presents new challenges as both they and their child attempt to adjust to school-related and child custody-related changes.

For moms and dads still embroiled in the divorce process, a child's return to school can be an especially chaotic and difficult time. For the sake of a shared child, it's imperative that divorcing or divorced parents set aside their personal differences and vow to communicate effectively and work together to help a child succeed in school.

Divorce basics for Illinois residents

Marriages fail for numerous reasons; a husband or wife is unfaithful, a couple is overwhelmed by financial difficulties or spouses simply grow apart. Whatever the reasons may be, when an individual has made the decision to file for divorce and end a marriage, it's important to understand state-specific divorce laws and become educated about the divorce process.

In order to obtain a divorce in the state of Illinois, an individual must have lived in the state for at least 90 days. Provided an individual meets state residency requirements, he or she must decide upon what grounds to file for divorce; fault or irreconcilable differences or what is commonly referred to as no fault.

Living and learning through the divorce process

Every divorce starts with one spouse filing a petition for divorce. In some cases, a couple discusses a spouse's divorce filing and the act is expected. In other cases, a spouse may have previously mentioned divorce, but the actual act of filing for divorce catches a husband or wife off guard. In other instances, a spouse's decision to file for divorce comes as a total surprise to an unsuspecting and devastated wife or husband. In all cases, the action of filing for divorce forever changes the relationship between spouses, as the wheels of the divorce process are set in motion.

Depending on a couple's situation and whether shared children are involved, a divorce may be finalized in a few short months or can drag on for years. Even couples who are fortunate to have a relatively quick and easy divorce are likely to encounter both challenges and surprises throughout a divorce. So how does one maintain their sanity during what is often such a difficult process?