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Rockford IL Family Law Blog

Forms of domestic abuse other than physical violence

Domestic violence occurs often in Illinois. It affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Many times, no one knows about the abuse except for the family that is involved. There are also many different forms of abuse. Most of the time people associate physical violence with domestic abuse, but that is not the only form of abuse. There is also emotional abuse and controlling behavior. The law in Illinois recognizes that there are many different kinds of domestic abuse and provides protection against more than just physical violence.

The law protects people from harassment as well. This includes behavior that has no purpose other than to cause another individual emotional distress. This type of behavior includes repeatedly calling another individual, making a disturbance at their work or school, following them, watching another person by waiting outside their home, car, work or other places. It also includes unlawfully keeping a child away from another parent or threatening to do so.

How to determine whether parents should have joint child custody

Making decisions regarding the well-being of children can be difficult enough when parents are married, but it can be even more difficult after a divorce. After the divorce many decisions need to be made, but the parents are no longer living together and may not get along very well. So, there needs to be an order determining who will be making those decisions for the children and that is what a child custody order does.

The court has to make a decision between sole or joint custody. Sole custody means that only one parent will be responsible for making all the decisions and joint custody means that both parents have to work together to make the decisions.

How long does one have to pay child support?

Parents in Illinois know that they must support their children while they are minors. This includes many financial obligations such as basic needs, extracurricular activities, medical and dental costs and other financial needs. When the parents are divorced, these financial needs are met through child support paid by one parent to the other.

Child support is initially determined by the child support guidelines. This takes into account both of the parent's net income and then based on that determines the amount of child support one must pay each month. The amount stated by the guidelines is what the law feels that a parent is capable of paying and what a child needs.

Illinois mother seeks change in rules for international adoption

Many people adopt children in Illinois every year. The reasons for the adoption can vary greatly. Sometimes a family member adopts the child of a sibling who can no longer care for the child, sometimes a step-parent wants to adopt a step-child and sometimes parents may just want to start a family and have no other means to do so. In those types of situations, there are many places that people can find children to adopt and one of those places is overseas.

Illinois law makes international adoptions more difficult and time-consuming than many other states. There are already strict federal regulations in place that govern who can adopt internationally. However, in Illinois, the Department of Children and Family Services has an process that requires additional approval of an international adoption.

Dividing pension accounts in a divorce in Illinois

Dividing assets in a divorce can be one of the more complicated parts of an Illinois divorce. However, some assets are easier to divide than others. Tangible items, such as furniture or automobiles, can be relatively easy to divide. Dividing bank or retirement accounts with a known amount of money can be fairly easy, as well. However, some assets, such as pensions, can be a little more difficult.

One of the biggest issues that can cause a complication is that the spouse may be unable to access his pension account at the time of the divorce. The person with the pension is not entitled to any of the money until after he or she retires, which could be many years later. However, even though the spouse cannot access the money until retirement, the spouse most likely did accrue at least a portion of the account value during the marriage. That portion is marital property.

Dealing with both sides of domestic violence

Issues surrounding families in Illinois can be very emotional. Many times, the emotions are love and caring, but sometimes, the emotions are on the other end of the spectrum. Family members can become very angry with each other over certain issues. Unfortunately, this anger can lead to physical violence in a home. At times, this situation involves only two people and is what is commonly referred to as a "he said, she said" incident.

Often times, people seek an order of protection when there has been abuse in the home. These orders can be very valuable for those who need the protection. However, they can also be used as a weapon by those who are simply trying to get their significant other out of the house, even if no violence actually occurred. These orders can create major problems for those who are wrongfully accused of domestic violence.

Right of first refusal in child custody matters in Illinois

Many parents in Illinois have joint custody of their children. Even if the parents do not have joint child custody arrangements, most times, the non-custodial parent still receives visitation with the children. Generally, the parents have a visitation schedule that states when the children will be with each parent on a regular basis. Once ordered, each parent is required to follow it.

However, there are many instances when the parent has the children, but needs to work or leave the house for a significant period of time. Depending on the age of the children, that parent will need to find someone to watch the children while he or she is gone. For these types of situations, if it is in the best interests of the child, the judge can grant each parent the right of first refusal.

How does one receive child support in Illinois?

Many people in Illinois are involved with child support orders either on the paying end or the receiving end. Having a child support order in place requires one parent to pay the other parent, but the order by itself does not ensure that the receiving parent will actually get the money. Arrangements need to be made in order for the exchange of money to take place.

This could be done by one parent sending the money directly to the other parent. However, in many cases the paying parent may simply not pay the other parent or pay less than they owe. When this occurs, there is not much recourse for the receiving parent, since they do not have access to the other's bank accounts.

Required investigation prior to adoption in Illinois

There are many children in Illinois in need of a good home and there are many families who want to have families. In other circumstances a child's biological parent is no longer capable of caring for their child and another family member decides to care for them instead. In both types of situations, adoption is a very good way to accomplish this goal. Adoption grants the new parents the legal parenting rights of child and officially makes the child a part of the family.

However, before an adoption can occur, there are a number of requirements that must be met. The first is that the adoptive parents must file a petition with the court. This petition states the names and address of the adoptive parents, information about the child as well as the child's biological parents, the child's relationship to the adoptive parents and other information.

Dividing retirement accounts in an Illinois divorce

As one goes through a divorce in Illinois, there are many issues to discuss as the couple separates their lives. These issues include child custody, visitation, child support, spousal maintenance and property division. Each one of these issues can be very complicated and take some time to resolve. It all depends on the circumstances of each divorce and each issue is very fact specific.

For instance property division can be quite simple for people who do not have many assets, but in can be quite complicated for those with many assets. Just determining what is marital property can be complicated. People may have bank accounts, retirement accounts, stock options and other assets that they owned before the marriage. So, before these assets can be divided one must determine the marital portion of each account. After that the parties can divide assets accordingly.