a) He/she told me I could have the “car/savings/tv/etc.,” but it’s not in the court agreement. Can I make them give me what they promised?
I am often surprised by the number of people who come to me after the divorce papers have been executed in an attempt to enforce a promise or agreement they had with their former spouse which was not memorialized in the written Marital Settlement Agreement. Property may be left out of the documents if the parties feel as though the property, whether it be antique furniture or television set, is miniscule to include in the written divorce paperwork. In other instances an issue may arise between the parties during the physical division of the marital property but after the judge has signed off on the court order. In most cases, if the stipulation is not included in the written divorce documentation then “it didn’t happen.” The reason the attorneys and the courts spend time drafting these agreements and fighting over the language included in them is because of the lasting and binding effect they have on the parties. Courts are often unwilling to determine the understanding of an oral (or parole) agreement beyond the scope of the written documentation. Although the attorneys at Hall and Rustom have facilitated many uncontested divorces at the requests of our clients, we ensure that the opposing party (spouse) is fully aware that our firm does not represent his/her legal interests in the matter.
b) We both hired the same attorney to represent us. Should I just share the same attorney with him/her?
c) We just agreed that he/she won’t have to pay child support. If I want child support later, I can always get them to pay later, right?
Illinois law provides that child support is a vested right of your children, not the parents. Therefore, despite what the parents may believe, they cannot use child support as a bargaining chip to negotiate the terms of their divorce. Illinois mandates certain amounts of child support percentages depending upon how many children are born to the marriage. This amount may be altered if the JUDGE, not the parents, find a justifiable reason to DEVIATE from the standard guidelines. If the parties choose to ignore this fact, and further choose to unjustifiably lessen a child support obligation of a given parent, the court may void the enforceability of the divorce documentation. Further, there are time restraints as to how long a party to a child support battle will have to wait to modify a final judgment/agreement by the court. In most jurisdictions, if you want to change a final order by a judge in Illinois, the parties must wait two (2) years before filing the petition to modify support/custody/etc. unless compelling evidence is present to convince a judge. The attorneys at Hall & Rustom work with our clients to ensure that any deviation decided upon by the parties will likely meet the scrutiny of the court prior to the execution of the divorce papers.
It commonly is assumed to simply “go it alone” on, what appears to be, simple family matters. You should always consult an attorney to determine what appropriate measures can be taken to protect your best interests. At Hall & Rustom, LLC, we strive to think five moves ahead to protect not only your present interests, but your future interests. To schedule a free consultation, email attorney Michael Fritz or call (309) 699-4691 to set an appointment.
If you have further questions, please visit our website at www.centralillinoislawyers.com and complete our online submission form. Or, you can call our office at 309-699-4691 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.