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Massive layoffs at companies like Twitter and Meta have been making headlines across the country recently. Being laid off from your job can cause a lot of stress and uncertainty, especially if you have children. Simultaneously, in what has been called “The Great Resignation,” people are leaving jobs at an unusually high rate. If you or your child’s other parent is unemployed, you may wonder how this will influence your child support order. The answer to this question depends on several different factors.
Child Support Calculations in Illinois
In Illinois, child support payments are determined through a calculation process called
Continue Reading Does a Parent Have to Pay Child Support If They Are Unemployed? 

The two main components of child custody in Illinois are “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” Parental responsibilities involve the big decisions in a child’s life, such as education, religion, and medical care. Parenting time is simply the time each parent spends with the child. Parents can either share these responsibilities and parenting time, or one parent can have sole responsibility for the child. If parents cannot agree on parental responsibilities and parenting time, the court will make a judgment based on what is in the child’s best interests.
Factors Considered by Illinois Courts in Determining Child Custody
The Illinois Marriage
Continue Reading How are Child Custody Disagreements Resolved in Will County? 

Marriage is about much more than money. However, when a marriage ends, financial matters are often a chief concern. If you are getting divorced, you may have questions and concerns about how marital property, such as bank accounts, real estate, and household items will be divided between you and your spouse. The situation becomes even more complicated if you or your spouse own complex assets like investments, retirement accounts, royalties, deferred compensation, businesses, or professional practices.
Divorcing spouses are expected to freely provide financial documents and truthfully disclose their income, assets, and debts. Unfortunately, some spouses lie about
Continue Reading Financial Dishonesty and Your Illinois Divorce Settlement

While same-sex marriage has been recognized in Illinois for some time now, parentage issues for same-sex spouses are an evolving area of law. Illinois is among the first states to offer same-sex spouses the same presumption of parentage that opposite-sex spouses have long enjoyed. In opposite-sex marriage, a child born to the wife is palso presumed to be the husband’s child. This presumption exists even if the spouses used a sperm donor or there is another reason to believe that the husband is not biologically the father. In Illinois, the presumption that a child born into a marriage is a
Continue Reading Understanding Parentage for LGBTQ+ Spouses

The period during which a victim of domestic violence attempts to escape the relationship, often by way of a divorce, can be a dangerous period. Many abusers react strongly to the prospect of losing a person they intend to retain complete control over. There may be an elevated risk of further violence, harassment, or intimidation during the time in which you are making a plan to exit. Seeking an Illinois Order of Protection may be one way to mitigate these risks. Orders of Protection can forbid the abuser from engaging in certain forms of conduct that may have a frightening
Continue Reading Remedies Available in an Illinois Order of Protection

Depending on the circumstances and timing of a child’s birth, some Illinois parents will need to take additional steps to ensure that they are their child’s legal parent. Other individuals are presumed to be a parent based on a legal relationship with the child’s mother. If you are a presumed parent, then you will generally not need to take additional steps to designate yourself as a legal parent to the child. In Illinois, biological parentage is not required to sustain a presumption of legal parentage. For example, if a woman is married to another woman who gives birth, both
Continue Reading Who is a Presumed Parent in Illinois?

Alternative dispute resolution methods are often seen as being primarily for spouses who are amicable, or at least on civil terms. It is true that it can be helpful to the process if the divorcing spouses are still on good terms. Spouses who remain friendly can generally have rational, productive discussions about the issues in their divorce case. However, alternative divorce resolution techniques may still be possible for spouses experiencing a high level of conflict. If you and your spouse have reached a point where you cannot stand to be in the same room, much less collaborate and compromise with
Continue Reading If I am Not on Civil Terms With My Spouse, Could Uncontested Divorce Still be Possible?

It is generally presumed that it is in the best interests of children to have a relationship with both of their parents when the parents are not in a romantic relationship or marriage. However, this is a rebuttable presumption, and in certain circumstances, is negated entirely. Where one parent is causing harm to the child, it is the duty of the other to take steps to protect the child. It is important to understand the legal boundaries of what a parent may and may not do in an effort to keep the child safe. Harm may come in the forms
Continue Reading Options for Protecting Children From a Harmful Parent

A significant percentage of spouses who divorce in modern times are not required to engage in a courtroom battle in order to terminate their marriage. Many elect for cooperative divorce techniques including but not limited to mediation and attorney-facilitated negotiation. Cooperative divorce is often employed regardless of the level of amicability, as the issues incident to divorce can be resolved by mutual agreement even without bringing the spouses face to face. Yet, certain circumstances can render collaborative divorce impossible or impracticable. 
If your spouse is unwilling or unable to cooperate with these alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, it may be prudent
Continue Reading When to Prepare for Divorce Litigation

Trust and honesty are extremely important in a relationship. You and your spouse should be comfortable telling each other just about anything – especially when it comes to their financial status. Yet, it happens all the time that people sign a prenuptial agreement thinking they have all the right information, only to find out that some very important things were left out. If you were not represented by a lawyer when you signed your prenuptial agreement, you probably did not do a huge amount of fact-checking. After all, this was the person you were about to marry. You were likely
Continue Reading What If My Spouse Took Advantage of Me Using a Prenuptial Agreement?

Orders of Protection can be great tools for helping you keep yourself and your children safe during a divorce. However, what these orders can and cannot do is not always well-understood. Some people—women particularly—refrain from getting a protection order even though they are eligible for one, often due to misconceptions about how they work. While protection orders are civil, rather than criminal, your spouse can be arrested if they violate one. This is often enough of a deterrent to keep domestic violence offenders away from their victims.

However, civil protection orders should not be used as tools of manipulation
Continue Reading What an Order of Protection Can and Cannot Do in a Divorce

As you might imagine, money is a huge factor in any divorce case. This is especially true in contested divorces. When a spouse gets divorced, he or she is expected to provide financial information in a financial affidavit. In Illinois, this document helps to determine things like child support and property division during divorce.
Unfortunately, some spouses lie on their financial affidavits. They may intentionally undervalue their assets or fail to list all sources of income to make their financial situation appear bleaker than it actually is. Spouses may also inflate debts and expenses to reduce financial obligations like child
Continue Reading How Do Financial Affidavits Influence Divorce in Illinois?

No one wants to be involved in a child custody dispute, but if you have a difficult relationship with your child’s other parent, it can be tempting to resort to unsavory tactics to gain more parenting time. While many divorced or never-married parents dream of getting sole custody, it is rare in Illinois. Your desire to spend as much time as possible with your children is very understandable, but it is important to play by the rules. Here are some common tactics that you should avoid when you are involved in a child custody dispute. 
How Not to Fight a
Continue Reading What Not to do During a Child Custody Dispute

During a divorce, it is not uncommon for one parent to claim that the other is an unfit parent in an effort to get sole custody. You may be reading this because your (soon to be ex) spouse has called you an unfit parent and threatened to take sole custody of the children. If this is your situation, you should know that your spouse is not very likely to succeed. Unless you have truly endangered or harmed the children and there is proof, it is exceedingly rare for a court to deem one parent unfit and award the other
Continue Reading What Does "Unfit Parent" Really Mean?

It is common for the mother of a child to initiate a parentage case, hoping to positively identify her child’s father and seek child support. It is a bit less common for such a case to be opened by a father, but in Illinois, either parent – or alleged parent – can petition a court to declare parentage. Fathers often do so when the mother of the child they believe is theirs is not letting them see the child. Establishing paternity opens the door for a father to seek court-ordered time with his child. This sometimes happens when the mother
Continue Reading Can a Potential Father Start a Paternity Case in Illinois?

This is a fairly common question – and the answer is yes, you can divorce your spouse while they are incarcerated. There may be a few extra steps and some complications, but it can be done. In fact, you may have somewhat of an advantage in your divorce if your spouse is currently locked up. Prisons and jails rarely, if ever, allow inmates to appear in divorce court. Your spouse can retain their own attorney to represent them, however. Especially if your spouse is incarcerated for a crime against you or your children, like domestic violence or child abuse, it
Continue Reading Can I Get Divorce While My Spouse is in Jail?