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Domestic And International Family Law Blog

What if I am facing collection remedies for child support?

For Illinois parents who are obligated to pay child support to the custodial parent, it is important that the payments are made when they are supposed to and are paid in full. If there is an issue with the child support and the custodial parent seeks to receive it through other means, it is possible that the supporting parent will be informed by the state that he or she will have a tax refund or other money taken to pay for past-due child support. Knowing how to handle this situation is important.

In some instances, the supporting parent will agree that there is a delinquency. If so, then there will be a date at which the payment must be received by the other parent. To stop the tax refund or other moneys from being taken to pay the child support, it is critical to pay what is owed. There is a form that will come with the notification and it must be filled out to stop the federal tax refund from being withheld for child support.

When is moving viewed as parental relocations in Illinois?

One of the most difficult issues to deal with in an Illinois divorce is if the custodial parent seeks to move away with the child. The noncustodial parent has the right to parenting time, but this can be made more difficult when there is a decision on the part of the custodial parent to move elsewhere. This move can be within the state or to another state entirely.

The foundation for handling a relocation is understanding how the law defines it. Prior to taking steps to address such a circumstance, knowing the definitions is imperative. Relocation means that there is a change in the residence from where the child primarily lives in the following counties: Cook, Will, McHenry, DuPage, Kane or Lake and the new location will be more than 25 miles away from where the child was. Internet mapping services are used for measurement purposes.

What are the pros and cons of divorce mediation in Illinois?

Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation that couples can choose to resolve issues. In Illinois, this method involves a neutral third party who assists the parties with resolving conflict. This mediator is responsible for facilitating communication between the parties, and assisting while they negotiate an agreement .

Like any approach, divorce mediation has its advantages and disadvantages.

When can a person be charged with failure to pay spousal support?

One of the most difficult issues to navigate in an Illinois divorce is how much a supporting spouse must pay to the other spouse. Often, these situations can become contentious with the spouse obligated and ordered to pay child support failing to do so. It is illegal to flout the order to pay support. When there is an issue making the payments or a supported spouse is not receiving what he or she is supposed to, the person who is failing to pay can be charged with failure to support. It is important to understand the circumstances under which a person can be charged with this offense.

When there is a willful and unexcused refusal to provide the ordered support to a former spouse amid the knowledge that the spouse needs the support or there is a desertion or willful refusal to provide the support for children, it is against the law. A willful failure to pay support when it is required through a court or administrative order and it has not been paid for more than six months or the person is behind by more than $5,000 while he or she is able to provide that support will be charged.

David Schaffer elected into The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation

David Schaffer of Schaffer Family Law, Ltd, in Naperville has been elected into The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). This is a global honorary society of lawyers, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars. Fellows are elected by their peers and membership is limited to one percent of licensed U.S. lawyers and a limited number of international lawyers.

How does Illinois law treat property division in a divorce?

Property division disputes are common in many divorces in Illinois. This is true regardless of the financial circumstances. It can happen to people who have significant assets, those who are considered middle class and people who are of modest means. Oftentimes, people enter a marriage with certain property they consider their own. After they are married, they accrue different levels of property ranging in value. Sifting through complex property division issues first requires an understanding of state law and how it treats property.

If the couple acquired property while they were married, it will generally be viewed as marital property. With that, it will be assessed as property of both parties and divided accordingly. This is the marital property presumption. However, the state courts will also seek equitable distribution of property. There will be a goal of fair division. "Fair" does not necessarily mean it will be split in half without gauging the circumstances of the marriage itself.

Illinois ranked near the bottom for fathers' parenting time

Parenting time is a major concern when parents in Illinois split up. After the relationship has concluded, many cases will involve disagreements regarding custody and visitation. As always, the best interests of children take precedence, but it is also important to keep track of trends regarding how parenting time is allocated. One recent study indicates that fathers in Illinois are close to last in the U.S. for the amount of time they get with their children.

In Illinois, fathers have slightly more than 23 percent of parenting time, ahead of only Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. A company in Utah that provides software designed to assist parents to share custody of children formulated these conclusions. The statistics stem from surveys and judicial standards. Included are cases in which both parents are seeking custody without any extenuating circumstances involved in the case.

How do I get a fair settlement in divorce?

You may be in the process of going through a divorce. Of course, there are many things to consider. You may be a parent, so you must contemplate your children's needs. You may be a homeowner and you need to figure out what happens to your property. You may also be wondering how do you get a fair divorce settlement.

The last thing you want to do is go to war with your spouse during this divorce. A contentious divorce can also be stressful for your children. Being able to properly communicate your needs will assist you in working toward a mutually beneficial settlement that you both feel is fair and reasonable. When spouses agree to work together then most of these negotiations can happen outside of the courtroom. Open communication is key to facillitate a smoother divorce. 

Can prenuptial agreements in Illinois be unenforceable?

Illinois couples will get married with the intention that the union will last. Unfortunately, the divorce rates are such that it is just as likely that it will fail as it will succeed. People will frequently try to shield themselves from the possibility that there will be a divorce by crafting prenuptial agreements, also referred to under the law as premarital agreements. Even if the document is completed based on the law, there are times when the agreement is unenforceable. Knowing how the law determines if the agreement is unenforceable can be important to both spouses.

The party that was asked to sign the agreement must meet certain criteria for the agreement to be valid. If that person did not enter into the agreement on a voluntary basis, it could be unenforceable. There is a chance that the agreement was unconscionable, or unfair, when it was executed. If that is the case, and the person who signed it: did not receive a fair and reasonable disclosure regarding the other person's property and finances; failed to sign a written waiver foregoing that disclosure; and did not or could not have had sufficient knowledge of these issues, then the document could be unenforceable.

How are visitation orders affected by a child's best interests?

Parenting time is often one of the most contentious of family law issues, so understanding state law is imperative. A key factor in this is understanding the child's "best interests" and how the court will decide upon the allocation of parenting time.

In some cases, the parents will come together on their own and agree to a parenting plan. This can happen in situations in which the parents are on amicable terms. However, some parents are unable to see past their issues or have concerns regarding the parenting time, and it is necessary for the court to decide how it will be allocated. There are various factors that the court will consider. The parents will undoubtedly have desires regarding parenting time - this will be weighed. The child might be of sufficient maturity to contribute to the decision. Parents will often have a certain amount of time they spend caring for the child - the previous 24 months before the filing will be factored in with parental responsibilities. If the child is under 2-years-old, the amount of time spent caring for the child since birth will be considered.

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