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.