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Rockford IL Family Law Blog

Kelly Rutherford's child custody case has another complication

Fans in Illinois of Kelly Rutherford may have been following her very complicated child custody battle. Initially, a California court ordered that Rutherford's ex-husband have custody of the children in Monaco after he lost his visa and had to return to the country. Since then, Rutherford has had to fly to Monaco in order to see her children.

Recently, she made another attempt to bring her child back to the United States. However, a California judge ruled that the state did not have jurisdiction over the matter since Rutherford did not live in the state enough of the time to establish residence. This was very frustrating for Rutherford since it was a California court that made the initial decision and she resided in California about the same amount of time then.

Determining child support when a parent is unemployed in Illinois

Many parents in Illinois are no longer in a relationship with the other parent. In these situations, one parent is often required to pay child support to the other parent. The amount of the child support payment is determined using the child support guidelines. The main factor in determining a parent's income is the gross income of the parents.

However, not all parents have jobs. When a person is unemployed, they may not be receiving any income, which would mean that they would not owe child support. Some of the unemployed parents may have been laid off and are having trouble finding new employment, but others are not even trying to find a job or are receiving money from another source.

Establishing a parent-child relationship after surrogacy

There are many couples in Illinois who want to have children. Many couples may have some issues getting pregnant, but, in most situations, they are eventually able to conceive. However, this is not always the case. There are a large number of couples who are not able to conceive for one reason or another. These couples could adopt, use in-vitro fertilization or could also use a surrogate in order to have children and start a family.

All of these options require the parent to go through legal channels in order to make the child their own. For instance, if a couple decides to use a surrogate, another woman is the one who carries and delivers the baby. So, the intended parents need to complete paperwork in order to legally establish the parent-child relationship.

Dividing unvested stock options and bonuses in a divorce

When people are married in Illinois, it is common for each spouse to have property of their own. However, once the parties are married, any property that is acquired during the marriage is marital property, regardless of which spouse actually obtained the property. When a couple is divorced, they must equitably divide the marital assets. This can be fairly straightforward at times or very complicated in others.

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.