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Joliet IL Divorce Law Blog

Steps to determine how child custody is decided

One of the first steps in the process of assessing child custody is to understand the options that are available. There are several different types of child custody arrangements available to Illinois residents. One of these is joint legal custody, which means that both parents make the decisions that affect their children's upbringing and welfare. Conversely, sole custody is often chosen when one of the parents is deemed unfit or incapable of fulfilling his or her required parental duties.

Most parents going through divorce wonder which will receive custody of the children. In cases in which the parents successfully reach out-of-court agreements, it is typical for the family court judge to honor the parents' decisions. The parents may decide on an arrangement of true joint custody, which entails the children dividing the time they spend actually living with each of their parents equally. They may also decide that the children should live primarily with only one parent, as long as a schedule for visitation is implemented.

Reform of shared parenting plans improves overall process

Some Illinois readers may be aware that recent reforms to another state's divorce law have been found to be positive, according to a new study. The study, which was released in late October, found that the reforms improved part of the process involved with shared parenting plans. Researchers concluded that these reforms placed an emphasis on putting the best interests of the children first.

This study was conducted by the National Center for State Courts. It evaluated revisions of the law which occurred during the passing of the 2007 Parenting Act. This change to the state divorce law was the biggest in 20 years, according to some lawmakers. It mandated parenting plans, the like of which are used to fill in the details of the couple's life after their divorce, including how parenting time is divided and basic parenting class requirements, as well as mediation for contested cases.

Understanding what child support covers in Illinois

When an Illinois parent is going through a divorce, the topic of child support is likely a significant part of the process. There is a common misconception that child support should only cover the child's essentials, including food and clothing. However, in all actuality, this type of support is intended to cover a wide range of expenses, including school fees, medical fees, entertainment, extracurricular activities and a variety of other things.

In order to clarify coverage, all 50 states passed child support guidelines that help determine how much child support a parent is required to pay. Of course, family courts then take into consideration a multitude of other factors, including the parent's income, as well as his or her ability to pay. Additionally, the child's financial needs and the amount of child support required to maintain the child's previous standard of living are also taken into consideration.

Billionaire begins high net worth divorce proceedings

The Illinois divorce trial of Kenneth Griffin, billionaire hedge-fund magnate, and his wife, Dias Griffin, began on a recent Monday in October in a courtroom in Chicago. It remains to be seen if Griffin will suffer a major financial hit in this high net worth divorce. Regardless, it is still possible that the public proceedings could cause more unwanted personal and financial scrutiny of his company, Citadel. 

The divorce, which was initiated by Griffin in July 2014, comes after 11 years of marriage. Over the past year, the couple has been battling during the process of court filings, and the case is now set to move forward in Cook County Circuit Court. Unless a settlement occurs, it could very well drag on for several months.

Church service interrupted by police for child custody case

As many Illinois residents know, a divorce that involves a child custody case is rarely easy for any party involved. It can be challenging for the child involved to see his or her mother and father splitting up and not getting along with one another. However, with the intervention of the police and a church service being interrupted, a recent child custody case got even more complicated.

The event transpired on a recent Wednesday in an out-of-state church during a service. According to local police, investigators had served a court order that would reunite a member of the congregation, a 13-year-old girl, with her father. However, just as in some divorce proceedings, not everything went as expected.

Child support now payable at some 7-11 locations

As some Illinois residents may know, 7-Eleven recently made headlines concerning the new approach to child support payments. In a move to facilitate the process of paying child support, a new program was unveiled that might just make it a little more convenient. The program, called Pay Near Me, was recently made available at approximately 1,600 out-of-state 7-Eleven locations.

By the end of last year, outstanding child support payments reached $17.6 billion in the other state. According to an official from the Department of Child Support, this money could have gone to shelter, food and clothing for children. With such a large amount of missed payments, the state is trying to find ways to help parents make the process as easy as possible.

Woman seeks child custody rights with jail sentence looming

Many Illinois residents are most likely aware that child custody battles can be complex, emotionally charged and influenced by any number of factors. Recently, a woman involved in an out-of-state child custody battle requested that the court make a decision on parenting responsibilities that concern her 2-year-old daughter. The woman also faces an impending ruling by a high court that could mean she spends significant time in jail.

Last year, the woman was sentenced to over a year in prison when she was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter as well as leaving the scene of an accident in relation to the deaths of two teens in a car accident that occurred in January 2012. The woman is in the process of appealing this decision, but her ex-boyfriend has asked in a counterclaim for sole custody of their daughter. The man claims that if his ex-girlfriend's appeal is denied, she might spend up to 18 months in jail.

Recently introduced Illinois law affects child support

As some Illinois residents may know, a newly introduced law aims to ensure that children, as well as their parents, receive any and all child support payments due them. The child support law was introduced by Rep. Camille Lilly of Chicago earlier this year. It received bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, and, last week, it was signed into law.

The measure was introduced earlier this year as House Bill 2791. It will direct experts to analyze and study unpaid child support's root causes. It will then assess future policy changes that could make the system of child support not only more efficient but also more responsive when it comes to the needs of Illinois families.

How is alimony calculated in Illinois?

Earlier this year there were changes made to Illinois spousal support laws regarding the way it is to be calculated. The new guidelines outlined in Senate Bill 3231, which took effect at the beginning of 2015, set very specific standards regarding the percentage of income one may be entitled to depending on the length of one's marriage and the incomes of both spouses. Alimony may not be granted in every divorce case, and the changes approved in this bill only apply to those couples whose combined income is under $250,000.

In order to determine if a spouse is eligible for alimony several things will first need to be considered. Some of these include the length of the marriage, the incomes of each party, educational and career opportunities and the standard of living each party has grown accustomed to during the marriage. These and other factors used to determine if alimony is to be awarded have not really changed with the new guidelines. It is the numbers used to calculate spousal support that have truly been affected.

A Hollywood couple's high net worth divorce

As some Illinois residents are aware, Hollywood couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner recently announced their divorce. As the couple has an estimated combined net worth approaching $115 million, there is much at stake in this high net worth divorce. It has also recently come to light that the couple never obtained a prenup.

Many people have discussed the possibilities of what happened to cause the breakdown of their marriage. However, one of the largest questions is to see exactly how the couple's finances will be split. Considering that the announcement of the breakup happened exactly one day after their 10th wedding anniversary, there has been a large amount of speculation as to how that might affect the division of their combined net worth.