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Assistance for Illinois

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What is the name of your state? What is the name of your state? Illinois (we live in Arkansas, kids are in Illinois)

We are preparing to file for court ordered visitations, possibly Joint custody of my husband's two children. Their mother plays visitation games constantly with my husband. At this time there is no court ordered visitation schedule or custody order. They are 12 and 9 and both want to visit every summer, but she plans too many events for them to be able to.

1) What would be the advantages/disadvantages of filing for joint custody rather than just filing for court ordered visitations?

2)Will it be harder to get Joint than just to get ordered visitations? All we want is to be able to have them for a good portion of the summer and Christmas/Spring Break alternated.

3)If anyone has any advice, links, forms, paperwork or anything to help me on my way I would appreciate it.

I am hoping to do this Pro-Se as we cannot afford a lawyer, so any paperwork or forms that could be sent my way for use in Illinois, would be greatly appreciated : [email protected] I have been through the article database at DeltaBravo.com and that was very helpful. Most cases that I have read already have a custody plan in place and they are trying to get it changed. In our case, there is not court ordered custody or visitations, we are wanting to establish one now so that the kids can come for visits without their mother interfering.

I have a long distance parenting plan written up but don't really know where to go from here. I want to be very sure I have everything prepared before I start a court battle, also because we live so far away it will be difficult. I was considering suggesting the plan to her first to see what she says, but my husband advised me that she will turn it down without looking at it. So I am now thinking about going straight through the courts and taking her by surprise. She is very well off financially and can easily afford a good lawyer, so any advantage will help. I just don't know if we are getting into a tough battle or if it will be relatively simple since we are not trying to take them away from her completely.

4) Does anyone know if simply getting court ordered visitations, possibly Joint custody, is easier or harder than average cases?

Sorry for all the questions and the length of this message. I am just trying to cover everything. I considered going to apply for legal aid, but not sure where I need to do that at. Arkansas is also, in my experience, very hard-nosed when it comes to trying to get any help from them.

5) Anyone have experience or know here to get legal aid in Arkansas?
6) Or will I need to get it in Illinois since that is where I will be filing it at?

Ok, I am done with questions for now. Hopefully someone out there has the info on Illinois that I need or can point me where to get it! I am going to go search the internet again. Thanks a million.



Fight for it all.....

The way I look at it is that you should fight for custody (full custody).. The reason that I say that is that if you do win which is possible, then you can use that as a starting point.. If you have full custody and are willing to have joint custody, then she may agree..

The visitation would be easier than anything as it is the right of the father... Getting what you "want" in visitation is a little harder... If there is no order for visitation is it safe to say that there are no orders for child support...


Actually there is a Child Support order. She went to court for that (or should I say filed for it, she never appeared at the court hearings for it). As far as custody/visitation, she let him see htem with no problems at first. So there is Child Support order, but no custody order.

The last thing we want is full custody unless the kids are wanting to live with us, which neither has expressed to us, they just want to visit us. I don't think I am up for a full custody battle as it invloves so much more than a visitation battle, from what I have read. They aren't mistreated or in danger with her, she just plays mind games with them about visiting their dad. I want to make this court deal go as smoothly as possible without creating more problems than necissary. If we fought for full custody, I don't see why a judge would grant it to us when there is no legitimate reason to take them from their mother. I am scared to death going into this just for joint without a lawyer let alone trying for full.


the attitude should be the same...

when going into court to have new orders or modification done you need to understand that you are fighting a status quo that the courts will try to uphold... Visitation is a given.. It cannot be denied.. Its just a matter of how much and when... Go to deltabravo.net for some articles on visitation and custody... The reason that I say you should fight for it all is b/c mom will be fighting like it is the end of the world and if you aren't prepared then she will railroad you.... Go in with a compromise uin mind but don't let mom know that.. Fight for it all and mom will be more than happy to settle for the compromise....

Depending how serious mom's mind games are, this might be a good candidate to claim PAS.. Do some research on deltabravo and then see if this fits the situation....

I too am going pro-se so I know how worrisome it can be.. The best advice is to educate yourself and continue to look for lawyers willing to work with your income level.. Good Luck..

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