Posted on in Child Support

Illinios child support lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyFiling for child support can feel like just another task to pile on top of the already overwhelming divorce process. As a newly single parent, you face the challenges of caring for your children in the midst of the separation, and understandably, you want to make sure they continue to be provided for despite the changing circumstances.

Here are some common questions you might have as you begin to file for child support in Illinois:

How Can I Locate the Non-Custodial Parent?

For some divorcing parents, circumstances might arise that prevent you from knowing the whereabouts of the other parent. This can mean a lot of unease when it comes to seeking child support, but thankfully, locating the non-custodial parent is one of the services the state can offer you. They can also help confirm paternity, as well.

What Is a Typical Hearing Like?

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyWhether your decision to end your marriage has been a mutual one or a tough conclusion you’ve had to make all on your own, divorce is never easy. Even amicable separations can bring about a lot of headache when it comes time to take legal action. Both partners must come to an agreement on how assets should be divided, who will take ownership and responsibility for what, and if children are involved, parenting time (visitation) and child support must be arranged and agreed upon.

If you live in Illinois and have recently come to the conclusion that it is indeed time for you and your partner to file for divorce, here are some basics to help you get started.

The Statutes

As you begin to seek representation and commence the divorce process, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the state’s divorce statutes. These written laws explain the guidelines for dissolution of marriage and how they are defined. For example, Part IV of The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act covers everything from Irreconcilable Differences to Legal Separation. While the legal jargon can be hard to digest and is best read through with an experienced attorney, the statutes clearly and specifically lay out what you need to know. You can find these laws via the Illinois General Assembly government website (www.ilga.gov).

State Requirements

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Illinois child custody laws, Illinios family law attorneyWhen you lose an allocation of parental responsibilities case, it can feel like you will only rarely see your child. However, there are many things you can do to increase your time with your child. It often starts with maintaining a positive relationship with the other parent. Even if the court has decided it is not in the child’s best interest for you to be the primary caretaker, that does not mean you do not have a vital role to play in your child’s life.

Right of First Refusal

Under Illinois law, when the child lives primarily with one parent, the other parent can ask the court for the “right of first refusal” when childcare is needed. This means that before the child is put in daycare, the other parent should be given the chance to be with their child instead.

This situation can benefit everyone involved. You and the child get to spend more time together, and the other parent saves on childcare costs. This arrangement works best when the two parents have an amicable relationship and both parents are willing to be flexible and put the needs of their child first.

Sharing Carpool and Taxi Duties

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyOne of the most technically difficult parts of a divorce can be the dividing of the marital property. Before the work of dividing the assets can even be started, the assets must receive a valuation.

How Marital Property Is Divided

Illinois considers all property, with a few exceptions, acquired after the date of the marriage to be marital property. Unless the two sides come to an agreement on their own, a judge is required by law to divide the property equitably. This means studying all the relevant factors and dividing the property fairly. This does not necessarily mean the property is divided equally.

How Much of the Value of an Asset Is Marital Property?

Some assets, such as a business or retirement account, may have been acquired before the marriage. However, most likely any increase in value to these assets after the date of the marriage may be considered marital property.

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Posted on in Child Support

Illinois child support attorney, Illinois family law attorneyDivorce is a daunting, emotionally draining process for anyone, but when children are involved, the additional task of seeking and obtaining child support adds a whole other element of stress to a couple’s plate. As a parent undergoing divorce, you want to make sure your children have everything they need to thrive and succeed while ensuring your family’s best interests are protected in wake of the separation.

The Facts

The state of Illinois has laid out some clear, helpful instructions for parents who need to apply for child support, and state assistance in this area is efficient and plentiful. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, here are some facts that will help acquaint you with the process:

  • Child support services are offered to children who live both in and outside of Illinois state;
  • Parents applying for child support are not required to receive public assistance;
  • The Department of Healthcare and Family Services can help establish paternity for your child or help locate the non-custodial parent, if needed; and
  • Child support services are provided by Illinois state at no cost to you.

Securing Financial Support

One of the biggest worries parents have when preparing to seek child support is wondering whether or not financial assistance can be obtained and then reliably sustained over a period of time. The good news is the state has many methods to ensure financial support is collected and that the rules for collection are enforced.

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emotional support, Kane County divorce lawyerDivorce can have long-lasting effects on the entire family. Issues such as allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody), child support, and parenting time (visitation rights) all need to be addressed as the divorce process is underway, and the emotional toll on everyone involved can be incredibly overwhelming.

The state of Illinois is also aware of these effects, and thankfully, the state legislature encourages certain practices to help ensure the children in the family are receiving the emotional support and attention they need during such a tough, transitional period.

Divorce Education Benefits the Whole Family

The Kids in a Divorcing Society program—also simply referred to as "KIDS"—is an educational program provided by Kane County for parents undergoing divorce. The goal of the program is to help equip parents with the tools they need to learn how to best restructure their families in a way that minimizes the negative emotional impact on their children before, during, and after the divorce is finalized. The KIDS program teaches the parent coping skills for re-entering the world as a newly single parent, and also benefits the child long-term by empowering and arming the parent with positive, effective parenting techniques.

Some helpful topics the program will cover:

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Posted on in Family Law

new illinois family law 2016, kane county divorce lawyer

New Divorce, Parentage and Family Law statutes become effective on January 1, 2016. The changes are immense and reflect the most significant shift in family law since the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was instituted in 1977. As news reports of the new laws hit the internet, there is both information and confusion. Clients are beginning to ask: how will this affect my case? Former clients who have been divorced for years or are having their alimony or support amounts reviewed are asking: will this change the amount I pay or receive?

Our firm is studying the new laws, strategizing about how to best help our clients, and implementing changes for the first of the year. Our office will be closed on Thursday, November 5, 2015, as all of our attorneys will be attending an all-day seminar on the new laws.

I had served on committees which drafted proposed legislative changes, and testified before the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on the custody law changes. Our firm will incorporate that knowledge in advising clients on the new allocation of rights and responsibility laws which replace our former custody laws.

The new maintenance and child support laws provide for complex calculations in determining how much each side will pay or receive.

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