IL family lawyerIt can be tempting for a spouse to monitor the movements of the other, especially during divorce or searching for suspected infidelity. Cell phones can easily be tracked without the other spouses’ knowledge, and GPS devices the size of a coin can be hidden in vehicles without being detected. Furthermore, accessing a spouse’s emails can show what they have been up to, not just where. However, tracking or spying on a spouse in such a manner is not necessarily legal in Illinois, and by doing so and getting caught, it can have a profoundly negative effect on your divorce be creating further distrust, anger, and feelings of betrayal. GPS tracking and digital spying will most likely result in a contested divorce, as the spied-upon spouse will feel they have less reason to compromise.

Electronic GPS Tracking Can Be Illegal in Illinois

Under 720 ILCS 5/21-2.5, it is a Class A misdemeanor to place a GPS device on a person or their car, without their consent, in order to track their location. However, it becomes more complicated when the vehicle is owned jointly in a marriage. While it may not be illegal, or at least a punishable offense, for one spouse to secretly track the other, it can certainly have a negative impact on divorce decisions like child custody if it reveals the poor character of a parent.

Tampering with Computers, Such as Reading Your Spouse’s Emails

Another way that spouses keep tabs on another during divorce is by secretly accessing the other’s phone or laptop to read emails. This is also unlawful in Illinois under 720 ILCS 5/17-51. While criminal charges may never be filed, reading the emails and private messages of your spouse can:

...
Continue reading

IL divorce lawyerChild support is a crucial financial tool for custodial parents and, of course, their children. In fact, full or partial child support payments account for 16 percent of custodial mothers’ total yearly income, and nine percent for custodial fathers. Sadly, a large percentage of non-custodial parents refuse to comply with their court orders, and either fail to pay on time or simply refuse to pay outright. Less than half (45.6 percent) of custodial parents receive full child support payments. Custodial parents were owed $10.4 billion in deficient payment in 2013 alone.

Many parents are owed tens of thousands of dollars from years of missed payments, which only makes things harder on the non-custodial parent’s own child or children. Collecting overdue child support payments is difficult enough when the parent lives in the same state as the custodial parent. It is even more complicated when the non-custodial parent moves out of state. It can seem impossible to enforce payments when the parent leaves the country. However, an attorney may be able to help you.

Utilizing the Office of Child Support Enforcement Is Key to Child Support Success

The Office of Child Support Enforcement works with foreign countries to enforce child support payments from non-paying parents who have skipped out on their financial obligations. Countries that have joined the Hague Child Support Convention (of which there are 31 countries) or Foreign reciprocating countries (FRCs) cooperate with the U.S. Department of State to hold non-paying parents accountable.

...
Continue reading

IL family lawyerCourt-ordered visitation time is just that—court-ordered. As such, a custodial parent is violating the law by denying you visitation with your child, or by reducing the time that you spend with your child by dropping them off late or insisting that you have them home earlier than the parenting plan mandates. This interference damages the bond between non-custodial parents and their children, creates conflict between the parents that the child will inevitably pick up on and blame themselves for causing, and is a common tactic to “get back” at the non-custodial parent for grievances of the past. According to Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/10-5.5, a parent who is found guilty of unlawful visitation or parenting time interference has committed a petty offense. The third offense is a Class A misdemeanor. The non-custodial parent has the option of filing a petition for unlawful visitation interference.

Other Types of Interference with Visitation and Custody

  • Custodial parent agrees to drop the child off for visitation and they bring the child late;
  • The custodial parent insists on picking the child up early, before visitation time has expired;
  • Custodial parent does not make the child present, or does not have them ready to go, at the agreed upon time and location for the non-custodial parent to pick the child up for visitation;
  • The custodial parent makes excuses to alter the days of visitation, to reduce the hours or days of visitation, or threatens to disallow the non-custodial parent access to their child if they do not agree to the custodial parent’s terms;
  • The custodial parent insists on tagging along or acting like a supervisor during visitation time activities when the non-custodial parent does not want them to participate in visitation;
  • Denying the child to talk on the phone or via email with the non-custodial parent; and
  • Asking the child to report on the non-custodial parent in order to petition the court to reduce their visitation rights.

Remedies to Interference

If the court agrees with your argument:

  • You may be awarded extra visitation time to make up what you lost;
  • The court may permanently change the custody agreement to give you shared or full custody, assuming you meet the definition of statute 50 ILCS 5/600 for “caretaking functions;” and/or
  • The other parent may be fined or even given a jail sentence.

Interference Needs to Be Habitual in Order for the Court to Take Action

If the interference is a one-time thing or happens just occasionally, you may not have a solid case to petition the court to change the custody agreement or getting back your lost time. The interference must be habitual.

...
Continue reading

IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, marital assets are divided equitably. While you may end up receiving less than half of the total assets, the court ensures that assets are not distributed unfairly. Marital assets include everything from income, dividends, investment returns, real property, vehicles, and more that were acquired during the duration of the marriage. Assets owned by either party before the marriage began are considered non-marital assets, as are personal injury settlements, lawsuit awards, and inheritance.

This means that, for a long marriage, most of the assets are probably marital property that must be accounted for and divided equitably. For high asset marriages, it is not uncommon for one of the parties—usually the spouse in charge of banking, finances, and taxes—to hide some of the marital assets in order to make off with more than their fair share. If you are going through a divorce, you need to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that all assets are accounted for.

How Are Assets Hidden?

The most common ways that assets are hidden by one spouse from the other include the following:

...
Continue reading

Il family lawyerOf the 13.4 million custodial single U.S. parents, half have a legal or informal child support agreement with the other parent. Child support is used to pay for food, rent or mortgage payments, education, clothing, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and everything else that a child depends upon. As a parent’s financial situation changes, they may have a decreased or increased ability to pay child support or to financially support their child as the custodial parent. Moreover, child support may need to be modified due to a change in the child’s circumstances, such as needing cancer treatment, or no longer needing as many hours per week in childcare once they are enrolled in public school.

As children grow, parents get promotions or lose their jobs, families suffer unexpected medical emergencies, and other normal life events unfold throughout the years, a child support agreement that once made sense, may no longer be relevant. As either the custodial or paying parent, you may be able to modify the child support agreement if you can prove to the court that there have been substantial changes in circumstances for you, the other parent, or the child. A DuPage County family law attorney can help you petition the court for this much-needed modification.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

According to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, child support is eligible for review for modification every three years. Or, a review can be done when a significant change occurs in the child’s needs or the financial ability of either parent. These changes in circumstances include the following:

...
Continue reading

Free Initial Consultations

phone 630-920-8855
address15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521
phone 331-588-6611
address21 North 4th Street, Geneva, IL 60134
Our firm handles family law and personal injury matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Geneva, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Western Springs, LaGrange, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

© 2019 Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio 15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521 630-920-8855

OVC Lawyer Marketing

Share Your Experience

X