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DuPage County Family Law AttorneyChildren are very sensitive to changes in their family. When parents divorce, children may struggle to adjust to a two-home lifestyle or become overwhelmed with emotions. They may act out at school, experience mental and physical health problems, or withdraw from their family and friends.

Because divorce and other major changes to the family unit are so hard on children, Illinois requires parents involved in family law proceedings to attend a parenting class. Read on to learn more.

Mandatory Parenting Class for Divorcing Parents in Illinois

If you are getting divorced, pursuing a paternity action, or are otherwise involved in a child-related family law dispute, you will likely be required to attend an educational course. The purpose of the course is to teach parents about how family reorganization and related changes affect kids and how to help their children cope with these changes. According to the Illinois Supreme Court, each circuit or county approves of a parenting class. The class must be at least four hours long. Unless good cause is shown, both parents are required to complete the parenting class within 60 days of the initial case management conference. The court has the authority to impose sanctions on any parent who intentionally fails to complete the parenting class. Even if your divorce is uncontested, meaning you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce, you will still be expected to complete the course.

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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton Abusive Marriage LawyerSadly, what is supposed to be a loving relationship can sometimes turn into a relationship based on threats, manipulation, and violence. Domestic violence is shockingly common across the United States. Each minute, approximately 20 people are physically abused by a spouse or romantic partner.

If you are in an abusive marriage, you are not alone. Read on to learn about some of the strategies that may help you protect yourself and your children during the divorce process.

Remember That the Abuse is Not Your Fault

Victim-blaming is a tactic that many abusive people use to try and manipulate their victims. Your abuser may tell you that his or her behavior is justified because you did something to provoke him or her. Sadly, some abuse victims start to believe this. If you are being physically, mentally, or emotionally abused, it is not your fault. You deserve to be treated with respect.

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DuPage County Divorce LawyerWhether you are divorced or unmarried, raising a child with an ex can be challenging. Understandably, parents want what is best for their children. When two parents disagree about what is in a child’s best interests, the situation can quickly escalate. Building a parenting plan is the best way to ensure that you and your child’s other parent are on the same page. Parenting plans are also required for parents getting divorced in Illinois.

Required Elements for Illinois Parenting Agreements

Parents who file for divorce in Illinois are asked to submit a parenting plan to the court. If the parents cannot agree on the terms of the parenting plan, the court will have them each submit their own plan separately. Often, parents who disagree about child custody issues are required to attend family law mediation to discuss the issues and work out an agreement. If mediation fails, the case may advance to litigation.

The two main factors in an Illinois parenting plan are:

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Naperville guardian ad litem lawyer

Originally published: June 12, 2019 -- Updated: November 30, 2021

UPDATE: If a guardian ad litem has been appointed in your divorce or child custody case, you will not only need to understand the procedures they will follow as described below, but you will need to prepare for how you will work with the GAL to address your children’s needs and best interests. When answering a GAL’s questions or responding to their requests, it is important to do the following:

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IL divorce lawyerDomestic abuse can take many forms. Some victims suffer physical abuse including punching and kicking. Others are psychologically manipulated and isolated from their loved ones. Some aggressors show up at the victims’ homes, schools, and workplaces or use threats and intimidations to maintain control over their victims. If you have been stalked, threatened, or abused, you should know that there are legal protections available to you in the form of protection orders.

Emergency Order of Protection

Domestic violence or domestic abuse involves abuse between family members, past or current romantic partners, or household members. If you have been the victim of domestic violence, consider obtaining an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP). An EOP is a court order that prohibits the abusive person from contacting you or coming near you. Depending on your particular needs, the EOP may require the abusive person to temporarily move out of your shared home, surrender his or her Firearm Owner Identification Card, and stay away from your work or school. You can get an EOP on an “ex parte” basis which means that the subject of the order does not need to be present. Often, EOPs are issued by the court on the same day on which they are requested. An EOP is a legally binding court order. Violating any provision within an EOP is a criminal offense.

Plenary Order of Protection

Emergency protection orders are designed to be temporary. They only last up to three weeks. When you request an EOP, the court will usually enter a hearing for a Plenary Order of Protection. This protection order lasts up to two years. To get a Plenary Order of Protection, you will attend a hearing and explain why you are requesting protection. You or your attorney will present evidence of the abuse or stalking to the judge. The subject of the order of protection, called the respondent, will have an opportunity to defend himself or herself against the accusations. However, if the respondent fails to show up for the hearing, the judge will most likely grant your request and enter the Plenary Order of Protection.

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