Tinley Park Illinois Family Law Blog

Legal custody and physical custody: What is the difference?

If you are going through divorce, one of your biggest concerns will be how it affects your children and, most likely, you’ll also be dealing with the emotions of not spending as much time with your children if you are sharing custody of them with your ex. One of the issues you’ll confront is sharing legal custody of your children versus sharing physical custody.

What do each of these terms mean? How will they impact how much you see your child and how much you’ll have to negotiate with your spouse about choices for your child?

How does child support affect a child's life?

Child support is a necessary support for children of divorced or separated families. Unlike in a married family, children of divorce do not always live in a two-parent household. They may not have the same opportunities as other children as a result of the lack of a second parent's income.

That's why child support is so necessary. Child support gives these children the opportunity to live in a situation similar to what they'd be provided in a two-parent home. Here are a few examples.

Estate planning: An essential part of growing older

Estate planning is an important part of growing older. You want to make sure that you take steps to protect yourself, your assets and your beneficiaries. An estate plan does all this by making sure your wishes are protected by law.

A good estate plan has several parts including your will, the assignment of guardians, trusts and more. Your attorney will talk to you about your specific situation and the plans that you need to put into place to protect your interests.

Who decides on the custody of children in divorce cases?

As someone who is living in conflict with your significant other, one of your major concerns is how to get your children out of this situation. You don't want them to see you and your spouse fight. You want them to live comfortably and to be happy at home.

You know that you and your spouse will have the right to custody if you pursue a divorce, but you're not sure how the court will decide. Fortunately, there is some helpful information that can assist you in making decisions about child custody.

Worried about child support spending? Your attorney can help

Child support is sometimes seen as a necessary evil among some parents. They know they need to take care of their children, and doing so requires that they pay an ex-spouse each month. The problem some people have with child support is not knowing where the money is being spent.

Some argue that child support is unnecessary if a parent has shared custody or that the support should be limited to paying only for items the child needs, like food, clothing or schooling. The reality is that child support can go to anything, from housing costs to clothes shopping for a parent, the children and others.

Yes, you should talk to your attorney before divorcing

Divorces are all different, which is why it's important to speak to your attorney long before you ever consider talking to your spouse about separating. Your attorney has important information about the things you need to do before you divorce so that the divorce can go as smoothly as possible.

For example, did you know that it's better to collect supporting documents, proof of your assets and financial printouts before you talk about divorce? It's easier to collect these important documents before you go through divorce since your spouse will be more willing to help you find paperwork you're looking for or since the passwords and access to certain documents won't be restricted.

How children are damaged when parents put each other down

Whether you are married, separated, or divorced please stop putting the other parent down in front of your children. It is one thing to speak privately to a counselor or best friend about your frustrations with the other parent, but when you do so in front of your children, it causes them great damage.

Children are highly sensitive to the conflict going on between their parents. They want to believe in the fairy tales they’re watching on television and reading about in books. Children often feel confused and hopeless when they think of how love and relationships appear in reality. But, as parents you owe them the kindness and respect of stepping away from negative criticism of the parent that shares their DNA.

Get help setting up your estate plan

You got married, bought a house and started a family. Everything is going right for you. Then, in a split second, you just managed to miss a high-speed collision. It was shocking, but it shows you how quickly your life can change.

After that kind of incident, it makes you realize how important estate planning is. If something were to happen to you and your spouse, who would take care of your children? What bills would need to be paid or creditors satisfied?

Handle your emotions and get the most from your divorce

It can be hard to handle the emotions of a divorce, but there are a few things you can do to make divorce easier on yourself even if you've been blindsided. For instance, you can set aside specific days to handle paperwork or plan special outings to get away from the people who remind you of your divorce.

When you're dealing with the emotions of a divorce, the last thing you want them to do is to influence the way you react to your spouse's requests or demands. When you're reactionary, you're more likely to become angry or to fail to think things through completely, so it's best if you can find a place of calm before handling divorce subjects.

How does your divorce really affect your child’s education?

Could your divorce hurt your child’s potential for higher education? Recent research suggests that divorces in previously stable families negatively affect an older child’s potential for higher education.

The research also found that children from unstable, lower income or more chaotic family arrangements are not affected the same way. While this seems counterintuitive, if chaos is the norm, it seems children can adapt and even improve when a turbulent marriage come to an end.

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