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Joliet IL Divorce Law Blog

Illinois parents may be concerned about parental relocations

When Illinois couples go through divorce, many changes may affect them as well as their children. Because individuals typically begin living in different houses after a separation, parental relocations could become an issue. If a parent feels the need to move to a different area, child custody agreements may have to be made or re-examined due to that particular condition.

It was recently reported that children in higher-income families appear to be most affected after their parents' divorce than children in middle- and lower-income families. Because children may have grown up with a certain amount of privilege, the financial impact of divorce could affect them as much as the adults involved. A household may go from having two income sources to only one, or if it was a one-income household to begin with, one parent may become heavily reliant on child support.

Alimony may be a concern for Illinois residents

As any Illinois resident who has gone through divorce knows, coming to agreements regarding the various separation aspects can be difficult. For many divorcing individuals, alimony can be a considerable point of contention. Even if payment plans are initially set after the separation, changes in income and lifestyle could potentially lead to individuals requesting alimony modifications. Because there is no set way to determine what amount to which a party may be entitled, cases of spousal support can vary.

Many states across the country have been contemplating the issue of alimony reform, and some states have even reworked the way payment amount and duration is determined. As of now, many cases in various states may have similar circumstances but vastly different outcomes, depending on what a court system in the area may deem appropriate. It has been suggested that perhaps a standard formula for calculating alimony should be implemented.

Financial knowledge may help during Illinois high asset divorce

Finances are often a major aspect of an Illinois resident’s adult life no matter what particular stage they are in. The financial aspect can also play a considerable role in high asset divorce cases. Such situations can lead to individuals needing to figure out how to handle their money before, during and after divorce, especially if the separation leads to them acquiring a considerable amount of money.

First of all, it is important for all the financial information to be brought forward during the separation so that the correct decisions can be made. This may mean gathering bank statements, account information and any records of debts that one or both parties may be responsible for. Having knowledge of finances may also mean understanding the value of certain property.

Child custody could be affected by kids' opinions in Illinois

After parents have gone through the divorce process, child custody arrangements have likely been made. These agreements typically provide for the children to live the majority of their time with one parent, with fewer days spent with the other parent. Once child custody agreements are made, they may stay the same for some time, but modifications could come about if circumstances change.

For some Illinois parents, they may be hurt and dismayed if their child comes to them and expresses a desire to live with the other parent. It may be difficult for parents to understand why a child would want a change, and their ideas may jump to the worst conclusions. If the other parent’s house has less rules, they may fear that their child will become less disciplined and start getting into trouble. However, the want of change could also be due to a lack of emotional connection with one parent or the other.

Divorce mistake: compromising financial settlement for custody or visitation rights

Property division is an important aspect of divorce, probably the most important issue other than child custody. This is particularly the case when there are significant assets involved in the divorce. This is why it is critical for those pursuing a divorce to work with a qualified advocate in establishing their goals for the property division aspect of the divorce process.

While the circumstances of each case vary, there are common issues that tend to come up in case after case. A recent article in TIME Money listed some common mistakes one can make in property division. The article presents the mistakes as ones which women are particularly prone to fall into. We’ll focus on one particular mistake the article mentions. 

Child support cases weighing down Chicago-area rapper

Chicago-area rapper Chief Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart, has had his share of trouble. The 18-year-old has had multiple interactions with the legal system since becoming famous back in 2012, when he signed a record deal. In addition to drug charges, the rapper has been hit with charges of disorderly conduct and DUI, including civil charges.

The most recent legal issue for Cozart is that a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to show up in court for a child support case involving his 17-month-old daughter. Cozart apparently owes the child’s mother over $10,000 in back child support, and a petition was filed last month in connection with the deficiency. In addition to that case, there is another child support case in Cook County against the rapper. 

Focusing on children could ease Illinois child custody decisions

After the initial decision is made to go through with a divorce, Illinois parents will need to face a number of other choices. Child custody is a significant concern of many parents after they decide to separate, and depending on the nature of the divorce, one parent may believe they are better fit to care for the children than the other. Though it may seem like significant time and energy should be put into getting a certain way during such proceedings, it is important to ensure that children are handling the situation well.

During these proceedings, communication is key. If children begin to withdraw from their parents or seem uninterested in the future, they may not be taking the news of divorce and custody arrangements well. By creating an open line of communication and allowing children to ask questions about how they will be impacted by these decisions, they may be better able to understand why arrangements are made certain ways.

Asset protection trusts another option for divorce protection

Prenuptial agreements have become a popular way to protect one’s assets in the event of divorce, not only among the wealthy, but increasingly among folks of ordinary means. These agreements, as readers know, can be an effective way for couples to establish the terms of a potential break-up, particularly with respect to finances. A less used and less well-known way to achieve the same goal is to make use of a domestic asset protection trust.

Domestic asset protection trusts are irrevocable trusts recognized by some states, which protect the creator of the trust from having assets seized by creditors, including a spouse These trusts are unique in that the creator of the trust still has some access and control over the assets, but not so much to allow creditors access. Currently, there are 15 states which recognize asset protection trusts. Illinois is not one of them. Luckily, one does not have to be a resident of a state to have an asset protection trust under that state’s laws.

Post TitleParenting time bill under consideration in Illinois

Readers may or may not have heard about a measure currently being considered by Illinois lawmakers. The measure concerns the issue of custody and how judges allot parenting time between parents. All too often, judges make parenting time determinations that end up leaving noncustodial parents at arm’s length from their children. Often, the parent in this situation is the father. This is less than ideal, since research shows children do better when they have active involvement from both parents, even after divorce.             

The primary standard governing judges in making custody and parenting time determinations, of course, is always the best interests of the children. Advocates of the bill currently under consideration, though, say that more preference needs to be given to equal parenting time. Under the most current version of the bill, judges would be urged—though not required—to consider equal parenting time for both parents. The bill would also require that custody disputes be resolved within 90 days. Previous versions of the bill have failed to gain the support necessary to get very far. 

Celebrity custody dispute highlights importance of prenup validity

Prenuptial agreements, when well-negotiated and properly executed, can be an invaluable way for couples to establish some of the terms that will govern the unhoped-for event of divorce. While prenuptial agreements are not for every couple, there are many who could benefit from taking the terms of divorce into their own hands, particularly those who stand to lose a lot in divorce.

One of the keys for any prenuptial agreement is to ensure that each and every provision is valid. In other words, the overall agreement must be free of coercion, fraud and other such complicating matters, but each individual provision must be in line with public policy. It is not, for instance, in line with public policy to include provisions regarding who will or will not have custody of the children in divorce, or provisions putting restrictions on child support.