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Rockford IL Family Law Blog

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.

Brandon Marshall's history of domestic violence resurfaces

Many people in Illinois, whether they are football fans or not, have learned that the NFL has come under fire with how it has handled the illegal behavior of some of its players. The main issue is how they have handled players accused of domestic violence. Ray Rice is at the forefront of the headlines, but recently Chicago Bears' wide receiver Brandon Marshall has also made headlines.

The difference is that the reason Marshall is in the news is based on incidents that happened years ago. Marshall has had a well-publicized past of domestic violence with a former girlfriend. He has gone through the legal system based on past incidents and was previously punished by the NFL. ESPN ran a program which was based on an interview with Marshall recorded in 2012 outlining his past. Also, a civil rights attorney has used Marshall's former girlfriend as an example of how the NFL has poorly dealt with victims in the past. Marshall recently addressed all these issues, stating that he is upset about how he is being portrayed and speaking about how he has been able to change his life around.

How does joint custody differ from sole custody?

There are many couples in Illinois who have contemplated a divorce or may be in the process of starting one. There are some issues that any couple going through a divorce will have to work out, but child custody and child support are issues that only those couples with minor children will need to decide upon.

While many Illinois parents may have a general knowledge about what custody means, they may not understand the legal significance of custody labels or how those labels affect visitation with the child.

Illinois parents face many child support challenges

There are many parents in Illinois who have children with a person from whom they are divorced or were never married to in the first place. In these situations child support becomes an issue. It is in the best interest of the child to have parents paying child support to ensure that their financial needs are being met. When child support is not being paid it is the child who often suffers the most.

Child support in Illinois is determined by using the child support guidelines, which were previously discussed on our blog. These guidelines can be complicated and there are many variables. However, ultimately based on the values assigned to a formula, the amount of child support can be estimated.

Grandparent visitation rights to grandchild in Illinois

There are many grandparents in Illinois who have grandchildren, but their own child is no longer married to or in a relationship with the other parent. All too often, the grandparent may not have a good relationship with the other parent, who then will no longer allow the grandparent to see the child. Other times, grandparents may have issues with their own child, who, in turn, no longer allows them to see their grandchild. This can be very difficult for grandparents who have historically established a good relationship with the grandchild.

Grandparents in this situation may have a right to establish parenting time with the grandchild through the courts. In order for this to occur, Illinois law sets certain conditions that must be met. First, one of the parents must be unreasonably denying the grandparent visitation with the grandchild.

Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey possibly heading toward divorce

Illinois fans of Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey may be aware that divorce rumors have surrounded this couple for a while. Canon even recently admitted that they both live in separate houses and sources say that divorce is very likely. They have been separated since May. The couple has 3-year-old twins and Cannon and Carey have reportedly been working out a custody arrangement and property settlement. The couple married in 2008.

The end of a marriage can be a very emotional time for the people involved. There are various reasons people get divorced, but generally neither party is happy with the other one, which can make the divorce process difficult. Despite the ill will they may have towards each other, there are still many issues that must be resolved during a divorce.

Father with history of domestic violence kidnaps children

Unfortunately many people in Illinois are personally familiar with domestic violence. Many people are either the victim of domestic abuse or they may have a relative or friend who has been the victim of domestic abuse. They have either experienced or witnessed the devastation that domestic violence can cause. It can have effect on not only the direct victim, but to the entire family, especially if the couple has children together.

One father in Illinois, who is no stranger to domestic violence, was recently arrested after kidnapping his children. The father is currently on parole after serving jail sentences for felony domestic battery charges and aggravated battery charges. There were also two warrants out for him at the time of his arrest, both of which included domestic battery charges, among many others. Luckily the children were unharmed and found shortly after the father kidnapped them. A relative brought the children to the Department of Children and Family Services building in their town.