Category Archives: Family Law

IL divorce lawyerAs a noncustodial parent, you, unfortunately, do not have much say, or any legal say at all, about your child’s education, day to day activities, healthcare, or living arrangement. The custodial parent with sole legal custody has legal authority to make all of these decisions without the noncustodial parent’s input. As such, many noncustodial parents feel hopeless when they hear that the other parent wants to move out of the county or state, or country, with their child in tow.

The Custodial Parent Must Petition the Court for Permission to Move

Child relocation must be authorized by an Illinois judge before the custodial parent is allowed to move out of the county, state, or country. Even if the other parent has no custodial rights, the parent wishing to move must go to court to get permission before they move with their child. Without doing so, they could be charged with parental kidnapping and lose their custodial rights altogether.

What Is in the Child’s Best Interests?

Children raised by single mothers are more likely than children raised by both parents to:

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IL divorce lawyerThe national divorce rate is about 40 percent, meaning that 40 percent of marriages end in divorce. However, this rate changes based on circumstances married couples face. For example, poverty, having been in previous failed marriages, having a low level of education, and a large age difference between spouses all increase the chances of divorce. However, one element seems to dictate a marriage’s failure rate more than anything else: illness. Marriages in which one spouse is chronically ill have a divorce rate of 75 percent.

A Major Determining Factor in Failed Marriages with Chronic Illness Is Resentment

Chronic illness within marriage is hard on both couples, not just the sick spouse. As a caretaker, one spouse is heavily leaned upon or feels an obligation to be leaned upon, by the sick spouse. They may be required to give up leisure activities, direct finances towards the illness, or spend extra time around someone who is not always in the happiest state of mind. Being a long-term caretaker often leads to depression, and spousal caretakers are more prone to depression than adult children caretakers of parents because of the intimacy between the caretaker and the sick party. As a subconscious response to this mounting depression, and the general inability to do the things they enjoy doing in life, the caretaker spouse often builds resentment towards their ill spouse. With time, enough resentment creates a loss of love, and the only option becomes divorce.

Couples Are More Likely to Get Divorced if the Wife Gets Sick Than the Husband

Oddly enough, married couples are more likely to get divorced if the husband gets sick, versus the wife getting sick, according to various research. Men typically have fewer close friends and family members than women, leaving them with fewer people to rely upon during difficult times. Men tend to rely only on their wives for emotional support, and when their wives get sick and they cannot provide the emotional support that their husbands are accustomed to, their husbands have nowhere to turn due to the poor support system they built for themselves. Additionally, men are more likely to divorce their wives when their wives get sick because of the following:

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IL divorce lawyerMany people who get divorced end up remarrying, or at least finding a new partner and moving in with them. In 40 percent of marriages, at least one spouse has already been married at some point. Spouses who receive alimony need to carefully consider remarriage or new relationships, as they will likely be wiping out their future spousal support payments. In Illinois, the legal obligation of the paying spouse ends when the receiving spouse gets married or begins living permanently with a new partner. A DuPage County family law attorney can help give you more information whether you are the paying or the receiving spouse.

What Types of Spousal Support Are There?

Alimony, which is also called spousal support or maintenance, is a financial payment made from a higher earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse during the divorce process or after the marriage has been dissolved. There are many types of alimony, described below:

  • Lump Sum Alimony—One large payment, not to be repeated
  • Rehabilitative Alimony—Financial support used for vocational training or education
  • Reimbursement Alimony—Payment used to reimburse the lower-earning spouse for expenditures they made during the marriage
  • Bridge the Gap Alimony—Spousal support that is awarded during the divorce process, used to provide the lower-earning spouse the means necessary to continue living the lifestyle they grew accustomed to during the marriage
  • Permanent Alimony—Permanent maintenance payments, usually made monthly
  • Temporary Alimony—Spousal support that has a predetermined end date. Many of the previously described types of alimony are temporary.

Temporary and permanent spousal support is affected by remarriage or cohabitation. Alimony that was already paid, be it a lump sum or monthly allotments, does not need to be paid back after remarrying, except for payments made after the receiving spouse remarried or entered a cohabitation relationship.

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Il divorce lawyerChild support is awarded during divorce, or when no marriage occurred between two parents, based on the following criteria:

  • Child’s needs, including education, medical, food and clothing, and other necessities
  • Child’s financial resources
  • Each parent’s income
  • Each parent’s other financial resources
  • Child’s standard of living during the marriage
  • Number of children the couple has together

When a court makes a decision about child support, that support order is rarely set in stone. If the divorce occurred when the child was seven, there is a very small chance that the order will not be modified over the next decade as the child grows to 18, and then goes to college. Modification orders can be made every few years, or “upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances,” according to 750 ILCS 5 Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. A substantial change in circumstances may constitute any of the following examples:

  • The paying parent gets a large raise.
  • The custodial parent loses their job.
  • The paying parent gets in a major accident.
  • The child begins attending private school.
  • The child reaches an age when he or she no longer requires child care.
  • The custodial parent has access to significantly more financial resources.

Modifying Child Support

Generally, remarrying does not have any effect on child support modification—after all, it is only the financial obligation of each parent to pay for their child’s needs. However, in a few rare cases, courts have sided with the paying parent’s argument that, because of a new spouse’s finances, the custodial parent had increased access to this shared financial resource. It could be argued that a spouse who remarries may be able to tap into the finances of his or her new spouse, using these resources to pay for food, clothing, housing, insurance, and education for their child.

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IL divorce lawyerThere are around 5,000 marriages per year in DuPage County, and there are almost half as many divorces annually, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The first step of divorce begins with what is called the petition for divorce. The petition for divorce is served by one spouse to the other. The spouse that serves the petition to the other is called the petitioner. First, they must file papers with the court, after which they are required to legally deliver, or serve, the petition to the other spouse.

What Information Does the Petition Include?

The petition for divorce generally includes all of the following information:

  • Location of marriage
  • Date of marriage
  • Names and addresses of the spouses
  • Names of children
  • Grounds for divorce
  • Statement that at least one spouse has had residency in the state for at least 90 days, allowing the divorce to take place in Illinois, as per 750 ILCS 5/401
  • Information about how the petitioner wants to settle matters such as division of marital assets, child custody, child support, and alimony

Temporary Orders

A petition for divorce may request the court to place temporary orders to help with the following:

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