Both Illinois and Federal Law give clear guidelines on where cases involving child support or custody may be brought initially. Under Illinois law, the place where these actions must be brought is in the child's "home state," which is defined as "the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding." Put simply, the question to ask is where has the child been living for the 6 months immediately before the case has been filed.
Custody in Illinois doesn't just refer to the parent a child primarily lives with. Rather, there are two kinds of custody in Illinois: physical and legal. Under those types of custody, there is also joint custody and sole custody. So what exactly does all of that mean? And how do things like child support and paying for higher educational costs factor in?
A removal action occurs when a custodial parent who is separated from the other parent - either through divorce or because they were never married in the first place - tries to move out of state with their children. If the noncustodial parent agrees to the move, the process can be as simple as entering an agreed order with a judge. However, if the noncustodial parent objects, the court will become more involved, and the process will likely take between 3 and 6 months.
Illinois new spousal maintenance laws went into effect on January 1, 2015. A breakdown of how the new guidelines work and the likely effects of them can be found here. But how will these new guidelines actually work in practice? Let's look at some examples to find out.
Starting on January 1, 2015, Illinois will become one of the first states to implement strict numerical guidelines for alimony. These guidelines only apply to marriages with a combined gross income of under $250,000 in which a judge determines support is appropriate. Judges may only deviate from these guidelines if they explain their reasoning in writing.
One of the biggest issues married couples have that can put a strain on a relationship is finances. Many studies, including one from the Kansas State University, reveal that if couples consistently fight about money, this could be a strong indicator that divorce may be in their future.
When a family faces a divorce, the main concern is the welfare of the children. This involves a lot more than child support; it requires both parents to set aside their differences and not to assign blame. Still, child support is an important topic not only for divorcing spouses but also for unmarried couples who have children.
Last week in "Illinois Adopts New Spousal Maintenance Guidelines: What Has Changed?" we discussed the new guidelines that Illinois judges must consider in determining spousal maintenance awards. Most cases will be subject to the new guidelines. However, certain high income and high asset divorces will not be subject to the new guidelines.
Governor Quinn recently signed an amendment to Illinois’ divorce and family law statute into law. For the first time, judges will have guidelines to consider before awarding spousal maintenance, or alimony, to a party in divorce. The change will be significant. Until now, judges have had tremendous discretion to award any amount of maintenance for any amount of time. Most judges will now rely on guidelines for determining maintenance.
Did you know that you may owe income tax on money you receive in your divorce? It’s true, and whether you must pay tax depends on why you are receiving money in your divorce case.