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Chicago Divorce Law Blog

Jurisdiction Issues in Child Custody and Support Cases

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.

Child Custody and the Role of Child Representatives

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?

Standard for Removal Action under Illinois Law

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.

New Spousal Maintenance Guidelines Examples

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.

Money Fights in Marriage? They May be Healthy

The majority of married couples argue about money at one time or another during their marriage. Many studies have suggested that it is one of the most common reasons why couples divorce. However, not all money disagreements will lead to divorce and, in fact, can actually be healthy for a marriage by allowing the opportunity to “clear the air” if there is an issue that is brewing between the couple. The key in using these arguments in a healthy way is to figure out why the arguments are occurring and how to resolve them.

New Spousal Support Guidelines in Illinois

Illinois alimony changes, Skokie IL divorce lawyerStarting 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.

Are Financial Arguments the Biggest Predictor of Divorce?

financial arguments and divorce, Illinois divorce lawyerOne 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.

How the Courts Calculate Child Support Payments

Child SupportWhen 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.

Spousal Maintenance in High Income/High Asset Cases

high asset divorce maintenance, Skokie Illinois divorce lawyerLast 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.

Illinois Adopts New Spousal Maintenance Guidelines: What Has Changed?

Illinois spousal maintenance guidelines, Skokie divorce attorneyGovernor 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.

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