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What Happens to My Children in a Legal Separation?

 Posted on September 19, 2023 in Child Custody / Parental Responsibilities

Chicago, IL legal separation lawyerOne of the most important concerns in a legal separation is figuring out what will happen to your children. It is important to put your children first and work together with your spouse to create a plan that is in their best interests. Failure to do so may require going to court to get a judge’s decision on child support and parental responsibilities. This can be a difficult process, but it is important to remember that the judge will make decisions based on your children’s best interests.

If you are considering legal separation in Chicago, it is important to speak with an experienced divorce and family law attorney. They can be an invaluable asset in helping you understand your legal rights and options and can represent you in court throughout the process.

Parental Responsibilities

One of the most important issues to be decided in a legal separation is determining who will be granted parental responsibilities for their children. There are two main responsibilities to consider: decision-making and parenting time.

Decision-making refers to who has the legal right to make decisions about the child's upbringing, such as where they will live, go to school, and receive medical care. Parenting time is the amount of time a parent can spend with their children.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on the division of parental responsibilities, then a judge will have to step in and make the decision for you. The judge will look into several factors before making a final decision, which can include:

  • The needs and wishes of your child

  • The needs and wishes of you and your spouse

  • Previously agreed-upon terms by you and your spouse

  • The history of or potential for violence by you and your spouse

  • The mental and physical health of both parties

  • The ability of you and your spouse to encourage and foster a continued relationship with your children

Child Support

Another important issue to be decided in a legal separation is child support. Child support is a financial payment that the non-custodial parent makes to the custodial parent to help cover the costs of raising a child.

Child support payments are calculated based on many factors, including:

  • The financial resources and needs of your children, your spouse, and yourself

  • The number of children you and your spouse share

  • Child support that the non-custodial parent already pays for children of previous partners

  • The standard of living your children would have benefited from had the legal separation not taken place

How Can I Protect My Children During a Legal Separation?

Safeguarding your children from the turmoil of a situation like legal separation is crucial. There are some things you can do to protect them, such as:

  • Explaining to them that you and your spouse are separating, but that you still love them and will always be there for them

  • Reassuring your children that they did not cause the separation

  • Avoiding talking negatively about your spouse in front of your children

  • Maintaining a consistent routine for your children to help them feel safe and secure during this time of change

  • Encouraging your children to talk to you about their feelings and let them know that it is okay to feel sad, angry, or confused

Contact a Chicago, IL Divorce and Family Law Attorney

Legal separation is a legal process that allows couples to live separate and apart while remaining married. It is often seen as a trial run for divorce, but it can also be a permanent arrangement. Adding children to the equation creates additional obstacles that can be navigated more easily by consulting a Skokie, IL legal separation attorney. The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C. concentrates its practice specifically on divorce and family law. Put your children first and contact Mr. Ross today at 312-984-1514 to book an appointment.

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