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Rockford IL Family Law Blog

Not ready to take the plunge and get a divorce? Legal separation may be an option

Headlining the most recent celebrity news magazines is the story of the split of Gwyneth Paltrow and husband, Chris Martin of Coldplay. Having been married for over a decade, and sharing two children, the couple publicly announced their split this March, referring to the split as a "conscious uncoupling." In common terminology, the couple is separating rather than divorcing. But what's the difference?

Failure to pay child support lands man in jail

There are many people in Illinois who have children with an ex-spouse or a person to whom they were not married. In these situations, generally one parent is required to pay child support to the other parent, mandated by a court order. These child support orders are based on a parent's obligation and ability to pay for their child's financial needs. Even those who do not agree with the amount of the child support they are ordered to owe each month pay it understanding the importance of providing for their children. However, there are some who do not pay child support at all, no matter the circumstances.

One man who has failed to comply with his child support obligation was recently arrested and put in jail. This was not the man's first arrest for failing to pay child support though. It was actually the 12th time. Over the years of not paying child support, the man has accrued arrears of over $100,000. Past judges have tried various ways of making the man pay, but he has owed over $100,000 for quite some time now.

Illinois family wanting to adopt duped by supposed mother

There are many couples in Illinois who want children but are unable to have any of their own. Many of these couples have tried different methods but even those have proved unsuccessful. This can be very frustrating for the families and some will turn to adoption in order to have a child. There are many different adoption agencies and ways to adopt children, but generally adoption is not a cheap or easy process.

One Illinois couple who was unable to have children of their own wanted to adopt a child. However, the traditional ways of adopting a child were too expensive, so they turned to Craigslist. They were able to find a mother who was willing to give them her child after it was born. The supposed mother sent pictures of herself pregnant over the months and called them saying she was in labor and about to have a C-section. She even played a recording of a baby crying afterwards.

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst: 4 Ways in Which a Prenuptial Agreement Can Protect Your Interests

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich anymore. With the growing amount of second (and third) marriages, protecting one's estate through prenuptial agreements is becoming an increasingly popular practice. Although most individuals enter a marriage with the expectation to remain with that person 'til death do they part, many lawyers would advise the hopeful newlyweds to hope for the best but plan for the worst. Here are just a few of the many things one may want to consider when deciding on whether or not to hire an attorney to assist with the creation of a prenuptial agreement:

1. Protection from your spouse's debt. Prenuptial agreements can offer protection for married individuals from their spouse's current and future debt. Examples of such debt include student loans and credit card debt. Without a prenup, an individual may take on the debt of his or her spouse, which may adversely affect his or her ability to take out loans, open up credit cards, etc.

Trace Adkins' wife files for divorce from the country star

Country music fans in Illinois may be surprised to learn that Trace Adkins is getting divorced. The country music star's wife recently filed for divorce. The couple was married for 16 years and have three children ranging from 16 to nine-years-old. Adkins' wife is seeking primary custody, spousal maintenance and child support. It is unclear the specific reason for the couple's split, but Adkins had recently started rehab after 12 years of sobriety.

Many couples find themselves in the same situation as Adkins and his wife. People change throughout a marriage and sometimes realize that they cannot be together anymore. Every divorce is different based on the specific situation a particular couple is in. Sometimes people are only together for a short time, have no children and do not have any property together. Generally these couples can easily split their possessions. However, others, like Adkins, have a lot of assets and children. These divorces can be much more complicated.

I thought I was married...until I filed for divorce: What are my rights as a Putative Spouse?

With the ease of access to legal records and official documents provided by the technological advances of this age, it is hard to imagine that one would ever have a need to question the validity of his or her marriage when filing for a divorce. However, it happens. Such a situation involving an invalid marriage is known in Illinois as a "putative marriage."

A putative spouse, according to 750 ILCS 5/305, the "Putative Spouse" law, is one who (1) has undergone a marriage ceremony, (2) has cohabitated with the person whom he believes his spouse to be, and (3) believes in good faith that he is married to his "spouse," yet for one reason or another the marriage is invalid. This invalidation is most often due to technicalities, such as a pre-existing and still-valid marriage of one of the spouses. The person who is unaware that his spouse is already legally married before entering into the second marriage is called the "putative spouse."

Press conference being held to start Child Abuse Prevention Month

Many people in Illinois have been around or a part of domestic abuse. It comes in many forms such as verbal abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse. Often times there is a combination of all three of those. It can involve just the parents or the children as well and many times both are involved. Domestic violence involving the children can be very detrimental to them and the effects can last a lifetime.

One judicial district is holding a press conference to start Child Abuse Prevention Month. A judge will be present along with the County Attorney and others who head various child abuse prevention groups. There will be speakers at the event and displays bringing attention to domestic violence and child abuse victims. There will be a close line with shirts decorated by victims of domestic violence, displaying their experiences. There will also be paper silhouettes representing each child who has been the subject of a domestic abuse investigation.

When grandparents should ask for visitation

Non-traditional families are becoming more traditional these days.

So it's not surprising that grandparents would seek visitation rights of their grandchildren in some instances. Illinois strongly protects parents' rights on how they raise their children, however, there are a few visitation rights for grandparents under the law.

Proposed bill would change visitation rules in Illinois

Many Illinois parents have split up and, as a result, must deal with visitation schedules for their children. These schedules typically are a part of child custody orders. It is fairly common in Illinois for one parent to receive more time with the children than the other parent; generally, the parent receiving more time is the mother. Many fathers, though, would like to have more time with their children and in some situations, it may be beneficial for children to spend more time with the non-custodial parent.

A new bill has been proposed in the Illinois legislature that would give non-custodial parents more time with their children. The proposed bill states that the non-custodial parent must have the child for at least 35% of the time, which translates to about 60 hours per week. The bill does allow for parents to come to their own agreement, however; the non-custodial parent also may waive the 35% requirement if certain conditions make it unfeasible to have the child 35% of the time.

How divorce affects your will or trust

We've written before about the importance of having a will before. However, what happens if you don't change the beneficiary of your assets after you get a divorce?

Forgetting to alter your will or trust after a divorce could be an expensive mistake. After a divorce any portion of a will listing the ex-spouse as a beneficiary would be revoked, however, it only takes effect until the divorce is final not during the proceedings. As such, if one of the spouses were to die during the proceeding then the will would be in effect under the law.