I Have Just Been Granted Supervised Visitation – What Now?In most divorce and parenting cases, the court wants to keep both parents in the child’s life. What this looks like, exactly, varies from family to family. For parents who both have played an integral role in the child’s upbringing, the court will attempt to split parenting time equitably, though not necessarily equally. Most arrangements will have one parent keep the children throughout the week, with the other parent caring for the kids over the weekend. However, some families do not have healthy enough relationships to have this type of parenting plan. In the instance that a child’s safety is at risk, the court will need to reconsider what these parenting plans will look like. Depending on the details of the situation, the court may grant supervised visitation in order to keep the parent-child relationship alive while protecting the child from potential harm.

Reasons for Supervised Visitation

For parents with a history of neglect and abuse, the court will advocate for the child by not letting them be alone with the parent. Unfortunately, these accusations are not always true — it is not unheard of for one parent to make false claims about the other to restrict their parenting rights. Courts will grant supervised visitation to watch the relationship between the parent and child and assess the child’s safety with the parent. The following are reasons why someone may be subject to supervised visitation with their child:

  • Fear of the parent kidnapping their child from their co-parent
  • Accusations or evidence of physical or emotional abuse
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Previous inappropriate sexual behavior
  • A mental illness diagnosis
  • Claims that the child feels unsafe when they are alone with the parent
  • Incarceration of the non-custodial parent

How to Handle the Supervision

If you have recently been restricted to supervised visitation with your child, your instinct is likely to fight for you and your child’s rights to be together. While this may seem like an admirable response, it can be taken in the wrong way by the court. The best way to earn your way back into your child’s life, unsupervised, is by respecting the regulations of your current arrangement and working to keep your relationship with your child. It is important that you understand that all of your conversations and interactions with your kids are being recorded throughout your visit — any slip-up can be used against you. It is a good idea to plan activities for your time together since it can be awkward to have a genuine interaction while a third party is present. Having a plan can distract you from the stranger in the room and will also show that you care for your child and your time together. Be sure to monitor your tone and language throughout the visit. You should avoid talking about your former spouse and using crude language. You want to appear to be a good influence for your child, rather than a bitter ex. For your own personal sanity, it may be a good idea to find a friend who you can vent to or even speak with a counselor or other mental health specialist. If you do not take the time to process the arrangement and your feelings about it, you may end up boiling over during your supervised visit.

Call a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

The best way to defend yourself against your co-parent’s accusations is by working with a reputable parental rights lawyer. Without a legal professional’s advice, things can quickly escalate in court and you may end up hurting your case rather than proving your devotion as a parent. Whether you are at the beginning of a parenting battle or have just received notice that your visits must be supervised, the legal team at Van Larson Law, P.C., is prepared to take on your case. Our lawyer has over 39 years of experience working with family law cases and has helped parents fight for their rights to see their children. If you are filing for divorce and have children, contact our Batavia, Illinois, divorce attorney at 630-879-9090 for a free consultation.




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Is Filing for Divorce Right for Me?Recognizing that your marriage may be coming to an end can take you months, if not years, to put into words. You have likely felt your relationship deteriorating over time but have not been ready to accept that ending the marriage may be what is best for you and your spouse. Before filing for divorce, many couples will live apart to gauge their feelings towards their spouse and their life together. In fact, Illinois may require you to live separately for six months before you are legally able to divorce if your spouse does not agree to the divorce. With the thought of divorce swirling in your head, you are likely having a number of feelings come over you all at once — remembering the good times you have had together, but feeling unsure if this outweighs your current discontent. Every marriage is different and there is no “right” or “wrong” answer, but divorce experts have recognized a few common signs that may point towards a need for divorce.

Everything Falls on You

Marriage is a partnership that requires patience and an ability to compromise. When arguments come up, do you feel as if the blame is always on you? In many cases, one spouse can feel forced to compromise during every disagreement, and after years of blame, their marriage will feel less like a partnership and more one-sided. If your partner makes you feel as if everything is your fault and fails to listen to your ideas or opinions, your unhappiness is likely stemming from this imbalance and it may be a sign that the relationship is no longer right for you.

You Are Tired of Fighting

It is normal and healthy for couples to argue because two people cannot agree on everything. However, when arguments are a daily occurrence and you are no longer interested in fixing the problem, you have likely detached yourself from the relationship. Couples who are willing to seek out additional support to better themselves and their marriage are actively working on improving their future. Those who are uninterested in putting in the additional effort should reconsider their feelings about their life moving forward.

Consider Your Kids

Many couples will stay together because they believe that getting divorced will hurt their children and make their adolescence difficult. What these parents fail to recognize is that children often emulate their parents’ relationship since this is what they are used to seeing. As a parent, you should ask yourself, “Is this the marriage that I would like my child to have in the future?” Kids are more intuitive than parents give them credit for and they are likely aware of your unhappiness in your relationship. If you would not want your child to have a marriage like yours, then you should not allow yourself to settle either.

Call a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Coming to the conclusion that divorce is what is best for your family is no easy task. Even if you are unhappy, the fear of starting over can keep you in your marriages much longer than you would have wished. The legal team at Van Larson Law, P.C., are well equipped to help guide you through the divorce process, assisting in areas such as asset division, allocation of parental responsibilities, spousal support payments, and more. Our attorney has over 39 years of experience practicing law in Illinois. If you are considering divorce, contact our Batavia, Illinois, divorce attorney at 630-879-9090 to schedule your free consultation.




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What Can You Do If Your Co-Parent Violates Your Parenting Plan?A parenting plan created during a divorce is more than a simple agreement between two parents. It is a legally binding document that outlines how parenting time with the children will be divided and who has the right to make decisions about the children. A parent who ignores the terms of the agreement is violating a contract and could be held legally responsible for their actions. How should you respond to a violation of your parenting plan? Should you immediately take your co-parent to court after they break your agreement? Filing a court order is usually not the first step you should take when dealing with a violation.

How Might Your Co-Parent Violate Your Plan?

The first thing that comes to mind with a parenting plan violation is not following your parenting schedule. Your co-parent may be late in dropping off the children or coming to pick them up, which throws off your schedule. However, they could also violate the agreement by making a decision without consulting you first or not following your agreed-upon rules for raising the children, as long as those rules are explicitly stated in the plan.

Communication First

You should give your co-parent a chance to explain themselves after the first time they break your parenting agreement. There may have been circumstances that were beyond their control or a misunderstanding about the parenting plan. After repeated violations, you need to have a serious conversation about your parenting arrangement. It could be that:

  • There has been a change of circumstances that prevents your co-parent from sticking to the plan
  • Your co-parent is being lackadaisical in following the plan
  • Your co-parent wants to change the plan but has not taken the proper step of requesting a modification
  • Your co-parent disagrees with you on what the plan allows

By talking to your co-parent, you may be able to work out the problem without needing to go to court.

Legal Enforcement

You may need to file a motion for contempt of your parenting plan if your co-parent refuses to obey it. You will prepare documentation of how your co-parent has violated the plan, such as a record of the times they were late in bringing the children for an exchange. Your co-parent will be summoned to appear in court, where they can explain their actions. The court will give an order on how to follow the parenting plan, which you both must obey.

Contact a Batavia, Illinois, Divorce Lawyer

Filing a complaint in court is usually the last resort during a disagreement over a parenting plan. Before taking that action, you should talk with a Kane County divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., about whether you can settle your differences outside of a court. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-879-9090.



Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Child Custody, Coparenting, Enforcing Agreements, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney | Tagged , , , |

How to Use Social Media to Tell Others About Your DivorceOne of the many uncomfortable tasks that you have following your decision to divorce is when and how to tell others about it. You need to break the news personally to your children and close family members. Some friends may also deserve to hear the news directly from you. What about the other people you interact with on a regular basis? It could be emotionally tiresome to repeat your divorce conversation with all of your friends and other social acquaintances. Some couples will instead announce their divorce on social media. Before you decide whether a social media announcement would be right for you, you should consider the potential benefits and pitfalls.

Advantages of a Social Media Announcement

The most appealing part of announcing your divorce through social media is that it removes the pressure of having numerous in-person conversations about your divorce. Beyond that, a well-executed social media announcement can help you control your public message about your divorce:

  • You and your spouse should use the same announcement so that your message is consistent.
  • You can set the tone for the message, whether it is somber or more hopeful.
  • You can use filters to determine who is able to see your announcement.
  • You can set clear boundaries for talking about your divorce any further.

Setting the right tone in your announcement can be helpful if you are worried about how people will respond to it. Your friends should follow your lead if you express that you hold no resentment or want to focus more on your roles as parents.

How It Can Go Wrong

Social media is not the place to air your grievances against each other or share intimate details about your marriage and decision to divorce. A social media announcement may not work for you if you cannot compose a calm message or if you disagree with your spouse about what the announcement should say. Your announcement should also use an appropriate tone given the news you are delivering. Some couples will add humor to their announcement to try to break the tension, but some friends may not understand the humor or may not find anything funny about divorce.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

After announcing your divorce on social media, it is advisable to not discuss it any further on these platforms. Things that you say about your divorce in public can sometimes be used against you in your case or create tension during negotiations. A Batavia, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Van Larson Law, P.C., can help you focus on completing your divorce without the drama. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-879-9090.



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What to Do If You Cannot Afford to Pay Child SupportNot all cases of a parent failing to pay child support involve “deadbeat” parents who are trying to shirk their financial responsibility. Sometimes, a parent cannot afford the payments due to circumstances that are out of their control, such as:

  • Losing their job
  • Suffering an injury that prevents them from working
  • Being forced to make a major purchase or go into debt because of an emergency

If you find yourself unable to keep up with your child support payments, you need to present the problem in court and see if you can reduce your payments.

What Not to Do

You can be found in contempt of a court order if you do not pay child support, even if you cannot afford the payments. Do not assume that it is okay to miss a payment without saying anything to your co-parent. Regardless of your financial means, you are still knowingly violating your child support order. You should also avoid creating an informal agreement with your co-parent where you reduce your child support payments or defer payment. A family law court will not recognize changes to your child support payments that are made outside of the court-approved order. An informal agreement will likely not protect you if your co-parent files a complaint against you for not paying child support.

What to Do

If you cannot afford your current child support payments, the only solution is to request a modification of your child support order in court. Illinois allows you to modify your child support payments if:

  • You can prove a significant change in your financial circumstances; or
  • Three years have passed since the order was created or last modified.

Illinois calculates child support based on the parents’ combined incomes and the amount of money it believes is necessary to pay for child-related expenses. It will not reduce your child support obligation unless you can prove that your income has greatly decreased since you created the child support order or that you cannot realistically keep up with the payments. You need to present your income and expense records for the past several months as evidence of your claim.

Contact a Batavia, Illinois, Family Law Attorney

Your request to modify your child support order may go smoothly if your co-parent agrees to the modification. However, they are likely to contest any attempt to reduce your child support payments. You can prepare for filing your petition by working with a Kane County family law lawyer at Van Larson Law, P.C. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-879-9090.



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