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Rockford IL Family Law Blog

Penalties for not paying child support in Illinois

Child support orders are fairly common in Illinois. If a child is born out of wedlock or the parents are divorced most likely there is a child support order in place. These orders are designed to ensure the child's needs are being met by both parents and not just the custodial parent. For many children this child support is essential for their upbringing. However, not all parents pay their child support.

In order to combat this problem, in Illinois there are criminal penalties for failure to pay child support. If a parent has not paid child support for at least six months, owes at least $5,000 for past child support or leaves the state to avoid paying child support, they can be charged with a misdemeanor. The parent could be sent to jail and fined additional amounts ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 depending on how much they owe and how long it has been since they paid child support.

Spousal support at issue in divorce of "7th Heaven" actor

Illinois fans of the popular television show "7th Heaven" may have heard about the current divorce case of actor Stephen Collins, who played the father. Recently an audio recording of the actor, in which he allegedly admitted molesting underage girls in the past, appeared on a popular entertainment website. Collins' wife admits she turned the tape over to police but denies releasing it to the website.

In the divorce case, Collins' wife is seeking spousal maintenance of over $13,000 per month. Her attorney claims Collins will have sufficient assets to pay that amount once the divorce is finalized. Collins' attorney, on the other hand, has stated that his client has lost job opportunities and income after many television stations stopped airing re-runs of the popular show.

Learn more about the evolution of spousal support in Illinois

Our firm recently published an important SlideShare presentation about how alimony, also known as maintenance under state law, is going to undergo a major change. View our presentation below for insight into what the future holds concerning spousal support.

In our presentation, we provide you with information regarding:

How is mediation used in a divorce in Illinois?

There are many marriages in Illinois every year. Weddings tend to be very happy occasions and, in most cases, the couple is in love. The couples also are generally able to work things out and deal with differences that arise. However, in many marriages, differences arise that the couple is not able to work out. Often times, these marriages end in divorce. Divorces tend to be the opposite of weddings. They are still emotional, but the emotions often involve sadness and/or anger rather than happiness.

Despite this marked change in emotions, many issues need to be resolved during a divorce. Couples need to divide their marital assets, determine whether one spouse will pay the other spousal maintenance and make decisions regarding child custody and child support.

Benefits of an Illinois order of protection

Domestic violence in Illinois is a difficult issue to talk about and an even tougher one to eliminate. There are many victims of domestic violence and it can have very detrimental effects on both the victim and their family. Unfortunately, many victims of domestic violence are not just abused one time. Often there are multiple incidents and the abuse can continue for years. Therefore, it is important to help ensure that the abuser is not able to have contact with the victim.

To help achieve this goal, the victim of crimes such as domestic assault may be able to obtain an order of protection. These orders were created especially for the victims of domestic violence in order to help keep them from harm. To achieve that goal, the order can prohibit the abuser from contacting the victim.

Determining child custody in Illinois

Divorce and child custody matters can be very difficult for the parents involved. They are generally very emotional decisions as well. Due to the combination of the emotions and the complicated nature of the determination, many times a custody determination becomes quite contentious. Understanding the process and legal basis involved in custody determinations can be very beneficial.

Ultimately a custody determination is made after analyzing many different factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Some of these factors include the age of the child, which parent cares for the child most of the time, their adjustment to each parent's home and many others. Also, either the parents or the courts must decide whether one parent will have sole custody or whether the parents will share joint custody of the child.

Alimony in Illinois is about to Change

One of the primary questions that couples must answer during divorce is this: Will either spouse be financially supported by the other after the divorce?

Did you know that the Illinois legislature recently passed a law that will significantly change the way family law judges answer these questions in our state? If you answered this question "no," you aren't alone.

We recently published a white paper entitled "What Illinois' New Spousal Maintenance Law Will Mean For The Average Divorce." In this paper, we lay out the changes that are coming to alimony - also called spousal maintenance - in Illinois in a way that makes it easier to understand.

"Blurred Lines" singer Robin Thicke's wife files for divorce

Many Illinois fans of the singer Robin Thicke have probably heard that he was having issues with his wife, actress Paula Patton. He has made public attempts to win her back and even recently released an album named "Paula" for her. The attempts appear to have failed, as Patton has now filed for divorce from Thicke. The couple has a four-year old child together and Patton is asking to share joint custody of the child with Thicke.

There are many parents in Illinois who get divorced with children every year. In addition to dealing with who will get the house or how they will divide their assets, parents, like Thicke and Patton, will have to determine child support and child custody. Child support is ordered in almost every divorce with children and it is important to ensure the child's needs are being met by both parents.

What factors are considered in selecting an adoptive family?

There are many children in Illinois who are currently in foster care with no permanent home. There are also many other families who are seeking to adopt a child. Despite this, the adoption process is not that simple. Adoption of a child in foster care is generally beneficial for the child. However, the state wants to ensure that the best interests of the child are being met when they are adopted by a family.

In order to ensure that the situation would be in the child's best interests, there are a list of factors that a guardian and the court must analyze. These factors are: the wishes of the child; the interaction and relationship the child has with the family wanting to adopt; the child's need to continue a relationship with parental figures; the wishes of the child's biological parent prior to the parent's consent to adoption; the child's adjustment to school and community; the child's relationship with siblings and other family members; the mental and physical stability of all parties involved; the background and living arrangements of the adoptive parents and the criminal background check of the adoptive parents.

Basic requirements to a start divorce in Illinois

Divorce is relatively common in Illinois as the divorce rate seems to be climbing higher and higher each year. Before each divorce is finalized many people may know they will need to divide their assets and debts, deal with child custody and child support and possibly have to determine if there will be spousal maintenance. However, before any of that can begin, the couple must file for divorce in the Illinois courts. There are certain requirements that must be met before a person can file though.

First, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce. Then, there also must be a basis for the divorce. This can be a number of things, including but not limited to, one spouse is naturally impotent, one spouse committed adultery, a spouse had a another living spouse at the time of the marriage, a spouse has had a habitual drinking problem or has been addicted to drugs for a period of two years, a spouse has abandoned the other one for a period of one year, a spouse is guilty of extreme and repeated mental or physical cruelty, a spouse has been convicted of a felony and others.