Tag Archives: child support

IL divorce lawyerWhen two people decide to make a split in their relationship, one of the first and most difficult decisions is often where the couple will live. If they are not married but only living together, the choice is often much simpler, as the person whose name is on the lease or mortgage will inevitably retain use of the property. If a true joint lease or mortgage, then it can indeed be every bit as complicated. But for a married couple - especially with children - the challenge is deciding who will stay in the marital home. In most cases, men tend to be the ones to depart quickly upon conflict. But this may not always be a good decision. So, before you move out of the marital home, here are some considerations you might want to discuss with a DuPage County divorce lawyer.

He Who Stays and He Who Pays

Effective January of 2019, Illinois’ child support statute has dramatically changed. Unlike before, the law no longer creates a strict guideline based on just the number of children a couple has. Instead, the new law takes into considerations such as:

  • How many children the couple has
  • Whether there are children from other relationships
  • Who is paying health and dental insurance
  • Who is paying daycare and other childcare expenses
  • Relative income of both parties
  • The relative amount of parenting time each parent has

This is a significant departure from the past, and it can be a good thing for parents who have fairly equal parenting time with a spouse who earns far less. By having more equal parenting time and covering extra expenses for the kids, it reduces the amount of direct support that must be paid, if any. However, it is important to keep in mind that the marital home has a somewhat intangible effect on parenting roles. Here is why.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce makes virtually everything more complicated, especially when children are involved. More time and added communication are required of parents who are divorced or separated; everything from creating a time-sharing plan during summer vacation and agreeing on what expenses each parent is responsible for paying when it comes to college costs, to figuring out who takes the children to their bi-annual dental cleaning appointment involves complexities that single household families do not have to deal with. One more added complexity is that of taxes. Only one parent can claim their child as a dependent on their taxes, and this continues to be a point of conflict months or years after divorce.

What Are Child Tax Credits?

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 eliminated the dependency tax exemption that parents could claim, a parent who claims dependents still has options for other tax benefits. These include a tax credit for the child and earned income credit. A parent can receive up to $2,000 in tax credit per child under the age of 17 and up to $500 for each child aged 17 to 19 or each child aged 19-24 who is enrolled in full-time college.

A tax credit offsets tax liability. For example, if a parent made $40,000 over the course of a year, their $2,000 tax credit would bump their taxable income down to $38,000. With two children under 17, they would double their tax savings. As such, parents with joint custody often disagree about who gets to claim their child or children as dependents, because only one parent can do so.

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Il family lawyerDivorce is often an expensive, long, drawn-out affair that takes many stressful months and east up thousands of dollars. On the other hand, your divorce could be amicable, be over in a short period of time, and cost you very little. However, you never know how your spouse will react to your demands, what problems may arise, and whether or not things will take a turn for the worse. As such, it is important to not only seek out legal counsel from the beginning, but to create a plan to ensure that you have enough money to get through the divorce, potentially with independence from your spouse.

Living Arrangements

Some spouses can make it under the same roof for many months during their divorce, and some even choose to live with one another after the divorce has been finalized. For those who do not have close friends or family members to stay with and are stretched tight for cash, living with your soon to be ex-spouse may be the only option available. For those who do have the means or opportunity to live apart, separating may be the best choice during divorce. This means deciding who stays in the current home and who rents an apartment or house for the next number of months. The additional cost of renting another place may be taken into account during divorce.

Deciding with Whom Your Children Will Live

If you have children, child custody and the parenting plan may be the most hotly contested part of the divorce. However, even before the divorce is finalized, parents must either agree on a living situation, or they can take the matter to court. Under 750 ILCS 5/603.5, the court can create a temporary parenting plan before the divorce is finalized, making a decision based on what is in the child’s best interest.

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IL divorce lawyerStudent loan debt can take a toll on your child’s future. Therefore, planning for your child’s college is crucial. If you are divorced, however, you may find planning for college to be particularly difficult.

You are likely wondering how your child’s other parent will make decisions about paying for college when it is time for your child to earn a degree. Here are some tips for planning for college after a divorce:

Plan Early

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Restoring Your Parental Rights After PrisonPeople who served time in prison can struggle upon their release into society. They must acclimate themselves to normal life, with the new limitations that come from having a criminal record. Re-establishing their roles as parents can be one of the most difficult adjustments. Parents who are former convicts may need to take legal action to be able to see their children on a regular basis. Even after that is accomplished, the parents must work to build or repair their relationships with their children.

Parental Rights

Incarceration does not automatically strip a parent of his or her rights to see and make decisions about the children. A party seeking to limit or terminate a parent’s rights must prove that the parent is unfit and that the decision is in the best interest of a child. A court may decide based on:

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