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1. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that you as the father paying child support can claim the exemption for your child (or the children) as dependents on your Federal and Illinois Income Tax returns. If nothing is said in the Divorce Settlement Agreement, only the mother by default can claim them. Also it should be in writing that your former spouse will release the exemption to you by signing an IRS form 8332 and providing the signed form to you each year you are to claim the exemption. This example assumes that the mother has residential custody of the children.
2. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that you as the mother do not need to sign the IRS form 8332 granting your former husband the right to claim the dependent exemptions for your child (or children) if he is not current in his child support payments to you.
3. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that if you as the father must pay part or all of any medical, dental, doctor or hospital bills for your children that you should receive written copies of any medical, dental, doctor or hospital bills from your former wife within ten days of the treatment or bill and if not, that you do not have to pay those bills.
4. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that you as the mother should receive from the Father paying child support written notice of any changes to his job including any and all promotions, bonuses, commissions or additional pay or income and if you do not receive that written notice then your former spouse is responsible retroactively to pay the proper percentage of any of that money he forgot to mention to you for additional child support.
5. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that you as the mother shall have the right to have the father of your children provide his W-2's, 1099 forms and Federal and Illinois Income Tax returns to you each year that you are receiving child support so you have a basis to ask for an increase if it shows he makes more money.
6. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that you as the father shall be given copies of the FAFSA application and all documents submitted by your former spouse in your child's application to be admitted to a university, college or trade school, if the Divorce Settlement Agreement makes you responsible for part of the costs. In addition, that you the father is advised in writing of all stages of the admission process and that you have a say so in the selection of the school.
7. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically whether you as the mother are owed part of your husband's retirement account and that an appropriate Domestic Relations Order (DRO) be prepared, submitted and entered by the Court at the same time as the Divorce Judgment or Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage is entered. If not submitted as the same time then the Divorce Settlement Agreement should specifically state who has the responsibility (and pays the costs) to have the DRO prepared and entered. If the Divorce Settlement Agreement is not specific as to who has the responsibility, entry of the DRO is delayed and your spouse dies you may never get your share of his retirement account.
8. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically what you as the Father earn as a basis for child support, so if circumstances change such as a loss of job, you can Petition the Court for a reduction in child support. Remember most importantly if you're paying child support you must file a Petition asking to reduce your child support with the Court if you lose your job or your pay is decreased. If you do not, you will continue to owe all unpaid child support even if you are completely out of work. You will also owe mandatory 9% per year interest on top of that for each payment you miss.
9. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that you as the mother should receive above and beyond child support from the father part payment of the expenses of day care, before and after school care, and babysitters. Also, you should receive part payment of the child's or children's public school fees and extracurricular activities such as sports, band, school trips and other paid for school events as well as summer camp.
10. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that you as the father do not agree to mother changing the residence of the children to an area outside of "say" 30 miles from the mother's residence without your consent. The mother can move anywhere in Illinois otherwise. Remember that Illinois is a huge state and it is approximately 375 miles from Chicago to Cairo, Illinois in the Southern tip of Illinois so some geographical restriction should be in every Divorce Settlement Agreement. Although note that mother cannot relocate the children out of Illinois without your consent or a Court order granting her permission to permanently relocate the children outside of Illinois.
If you are in need of a child custody or divorce attorney in Hinsdale, Illinois contact the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio by calling 630-920-8855. We serve clients throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarden Hills, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Geneva, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Western Springs, LaGrange, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.