The current child support law in Illinois takes each parent’s amount of parenting time and responsibilities into account, as well as the income of each parent. This law aims to better address children’s needs while taking into account the financial resources of both parents. In addition to the considerations that the new child support law takes into account, there are often disagreements over complicating factors such as:
- Calculation of net income for child support
- The allocation of parental responsibilities between the parents
- Discrepancies between income and earning capacity
- Additional expenses such as extracurricular activities, school and day care tuition, medical bills, etc
In addition, there are often disagreements over the true net income of both parents, for many reasons including business ownership. Our attorneys are experienced in handling these disagreements and in effectively advocating for our clients’ interests and the interests of their children.
In Illinois, child custody is referred to as “allocation of parental responsibilities.” This refers to the legal and physical decision-making responsibilities for a child. Legal decision-making responsibilities include decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, religion, and other major life decisions. Physical decision-making responsibilities refer to where the child will live and how much time they will spend with each parent.
Child custody matters are often the most contentious and hard fought. The emotional investment of parents sometimes makes it difficult to find a mutually acceptable solution. Negotiating or litigating these very sensitive matters requires an attorney who understands the delicate nature of allocation of parental responsibilities proceedings, and has the skill and experience to provide effective advocacy. Whether that means joint custody, sole custody, or something in between, we work toward the outcome that protects the best interests of the children and your rights as a parent.
In Illinois, marital property is divided according to the principle of “equitable distribution” in a divorce. This means that the court will divide the marital assets in a fair and just manner, but not necessarily equally.
Marital property includes all assets and debts acquired during the marriage, regardless of how they are titled or which spouse actually earned or incurred them. Non-marital property, on the other hand, includes property that was acquired by either spouse before the marriage, property received by gift or inheritance, and property specifically excluded by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The court will consider several factors in determining how to divide the marital assets, including:
- The length of the marriage.
- The contributions of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contributions of a homemaker.
- The value of the property assigned to each spouse.
- The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of the division.
- Any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either spouse.
- Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements between the spouses.
- Any other relevant factors.
Domestic violence is a serious issue in Illinois, and it is illegal under both state and federal law. Illinois defines domestic violence as physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, interference with personal liberty, or willful deprivation committed by a family or household member against another family or household member. Family or household members are defined as spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, people who have or allegedly have a child in common, and people who are dating or engaged.
Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and stalking. It can have serious and long-lasting effects on the victim and their children.
In Illinois, victims of domestic violence can seek an Order of Protection (restraining order) from the court. An Order of Protection is a legal order that prohibits the abuser from having contact with the victim and may require the abuser to leave the shared residence, pay temporary child support or spousal support, and surrender any firearms they possess. Violation of an Order of Protection can result in arrest and criminal charges.
Maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is financial support paid by one spouse to the other during or after a divorce. In Illinois, maintenance may be awarded if one spouse has a financial need and the other has the ability to pay.
The court may order temporary maintenance during the divorce proceedings and/or permanent maintenance after the divorce is finalized. The amount and duration of the maintenance will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. In Illinois, maintenance can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a job loss, disability, or retirement. Maintenance will generally end if the recipient remarries or cohabitates with another person in a relationship similar to marriage.
In Illinois, the court considers several factors in determining whether to award maintenance, how much to award, and for how long to award it, including:
- The income and property of each spouse, including marital property divided during the divorce.
- The needs of each spouse.
- The present and future earning capacity of each spouse.
- Any impairment of earning capacity due to staying home to care for children or a disabled spouse.
- The standard of living established during the marriage.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age, health, and occupation of each spouse.
- Contributions by the spouse seeking maintenance to the other spouse’s education or career.
- Any valid agreements between the parties.
- Any other relevant factors.