Tag Archives: child support
Types of Post-Decree Litigation
Think you’re done with your ex once your divorce is finalized?
While that is surely the goal, not everyone is so lucky. Many former spouses find themselves back in court years after the entry of their divorce judgments seeking to either a modify or enforce their divorce decrees.
Post-decree includes all litigation that occurs after a decree of divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or judgment of paternity is entered. Post-decree lawyers will often receive inquiries from former or new clients requesting one or more of the following:
While every divorce is different based on the parties, in general divorce law can be boiled down to 5 main areas:
Visitation or Parenting Time
Maintenance or Alimony
What many people tend to misunderstanding about child custody is that it actually is NOT the time spent with your children. Rather custody involves having the decision making authority to be able to decide the so-called “big decisions” that involve the upbringing of your children. The three decision-making areas that the law focuses on are religion, medical care, and education. Parents must be able to agree on these three areas in order to be eligible for joint custody. Elsewise sole custody is generally sought and a custody battle ensues.
Every child under the age of 18 has a right and need to be financially supported by both parents if the parents are alive, regardless of their personal financial situation. Even the unemployed and those collecting disability benefits are legally required to pay child support. Receiving financial support from both parents is designed to provide the child with the absolute best foundation to grow up on. Despite the well-intended nature of child support statutes, it is not always so easily collected. That is why it is crucial to understand the ins and outs of Illinois child support enforcement.
As if being a parent weren’t hard enough these days, things sure do get amplified when you are a single parent. It requires more responsibility, less time for yourself and the constant battle to juggle and find balance in your life. Situations become increasingly more complicated when child support comes into play. Illinois child support payments are generally straightforward and follow a guideline based on the statute. However, there are rare circumstances where the amount of child support can deviate from the statutory guidelines based on variables in the specific case.
There are typically two instances in which people attend mediation: voluntarily to settle a dispute outside of court or as a result of court ordered mediation. In family law, mediation is most often utilized as an alternative to litigating issues before a judge. If the parties are unsuccessful in finding a resolution during mediation, returning to court is most often the next step.
If you have been notified of court ordered mediation you must attend. Any child custody or child visitation case filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, whether through a divorce or parentage action, courts mandate parties to attend mediation unless the parties are able to reach an agreement on their own. Nevertheless, in certain instances, such as cases involving domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness or child abuse, a judge has the authority to keep the parties out of mediation. Furthermore, if circumstances are presented that the parties should not be in close proximity, such as one having an order of protection against the other, mediation would not be considered a viable option.
Domestic violence, or what is now more appropriately referred to as “intimate partner violence,” is a crime taken seriously under Illinois law. Illinois Law gives victims of domestic violence an avenue of safety through “orders of protection.” Orders of protection, which are often referred to as restraining orders, are orders signed by a judge that either order someone to stop certain behavior or to stay away from someone else.
To obtain an order of protection, a person must first ask the court for one by filing a petition. In the petition, the person being abused is required to explain to a judge why an order of protection against their “family or household member” is necessary. This explanation is provided by way of an “affidavit,” wherein the victim of such abuse gives a detailed description of the events that took place. The Illinois Domestic Violence statute relates specifically to “family or household members,” which are defined under the statute as:
Most of you are likely familiar with the saying, “It takes two to tango.” This phrase can have many meanings, but it essentially means that two people are typically responsible for a particular action or result. This saying is often heard when stating that is takes 2 people to bring a child into the world. In the realm of child support, both parents of a child are legally required to financially support their child, regardless of their relationship once the child is born. Child support in Illinois is typically straight-forward when it comes to establishing the amount of child support that a non-custodial parent must provide to ensure the is child properly supported.
Child Custody Arrangements Versus Child Support
While child custody arrangements and child support impact one another, legally, they are separate concepts. A parent still has visitation rights even if child support is delayed or has not been paid. This is an obligation that should still be followed by the residential parent, despite the frustration they may experience from a lack of financial support.
Per Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the residential parent is typically entitled to child support from the non-custodial parent. A common misconception is that child support does not apply in joint custody scenarios. Joint custody is a legal principle and does not impact whether there is a designated residential parent, who would most likely receive child support. Child support is calculated according to percentage guidelines as set forth by statute.