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Crafting a Child Visitation Schedule in Illinois

child visitation schedule

 

Most parents envision having an active relationship with their children – full of good times, laughs and fond memories. Rarely do people plan on being single parents or imagine going through the process of splitting time with their children with their former spouse. Many individuals whose marriage ends in a divorce or have a child out of wedlock never expected it. Whether you are in the process of a divorce or a parentage case for child custody in Illinois, a very important task may be establishing a child visitation schedule. read more

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What happens during Court Ordered Mediation?

mediation

There are typically two instances in which people attend mediation: voluntarily to settle a dispute outside of court or as a result of court ordered mediation. In family law, mediation is most often utilized as an alternative to litigating issues before a judge. If the parties are unsuccessful in finding a resolution during mediation, returning to court is most often the next step.

If you have been notified of court ordered mediation you must attend. Any child custody or child visitation case filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, whether through a divorce or parentage action, courts mandate parties to attend mediation unless the parties are able to reach an agreement on their own. Nevertheless, in certain instances, such as cases involving domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness or child abuse, a judge has the authority to keep the parties out of mediation. Furthermore, if circumstances are presented that the parties should not be in close proximity, such as one having an order of protection against the other, mediation would not be considered a viable option. read more

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What is a Guardian Ad Litem or Child Representative?

guardian ad litem

If you are a parent involved in a custody or parenting time dispute in the Circuit Court of Cook County chances are you have heard of, or are seeking the assistance from, a guardian ad litem or child representative to represent your child(ren) in court. A guardian ad litem or child representative is a licensed attorney who is a neutral third party that advocates for the well being of the child most commonly in child custody cases, divorce, child support or paternity suits.  While the role of guardian ad litem is similar to that of a child representative, the statute distinguishes some key differences between the two.  If an attorney is appointed on behalf of your child(ren), it is important to know which title has been given to them by the court. read more

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