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Summer Meant Dill

By Nottage and Ward on July 15, 2018


This fictional story explores a common situation that many Illinois parents face. We encourage anyone with questions to contact a Chicago child allocation attorney.

Recently, we had another one of those Chicago weekends where it felt like summer would never quite arrive and chilly rainfall delayed the celebration for kids all over town, who couldn’t wait to tear off on a bike ride or go swimming with friends. This affected me personally as I saw my 8-year-old daughter—Erin—watch a puddle building in the yard just outside our living room window, her gloom accompanied by the thudding drip of the rain. Let me tell you, it was a sad sight.

“Let’s watch a movie,” I said, mindful of not sounding so cheery as to be condescending, which I knew from experience would get us nowhere.

“Okay, Dad.” Erin shrugged as she followed me into the den. As the movie started, I saw her face drop even further. “Black and white?” she groaned.

“I’ve got a feeling you’ll like this one,” I replied.

We watched the adventures of Scout, Jem, Dill, and Atticus flicker on our television for the next couple of hours. I had seen To Kill a Mockingbird a dozen times, and I’d been holding this ace up my sleeve for just the right moment. You see, since her mother and I divorced a couple of years ago, Erin would stay with me for a few weeks each summer. I held hope that there might come a time when she could relate to one special character in this story—not only Scout, but Dill.

Though his upbringing is complicated, Dill is a curious lad: observant, witty, and imaginative, all of which could be said of Erin. And also, Dill only spent summertime with Scout and Jem, and there was a kind of magic to their days together.

After seeing the film, Erin devoured the book—twice—then reported to me that she wanted “to be a clown when she got grown.”

I am thankful each summer that my ex-wife and I, despite our conflicts, worked out an understanding regarding our daughter’s time with me that was agreeable for all of us. At the time of the negotiation, my father suggested that we seek the guidance of a third party, a mutual friend who is a trusted lawyer, to broker the agreement and make it official.

We did the two most important things: we put Erin’s interests above all else, and we communicated. I don’t know that we could have managed to pull that off as well without legal assistance.

If you are negotiating parenting time rights with your former spouse, we recommend a lawyer to make sure that everything works smoothly and is in the best interests of the children. Contact the trusted legal team at Nottage and Ward, LLP, at (312) 332-2915.

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