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Peoria Family Law Blog

How To Make Co-Parenting Easier

Let's face it, while incredibly rewarding, parenting also comes with many challenges. For parents who are divorced or separated and who share child custody and parenting responsibilities, these challenges are often compounded by communication problems and a general failure on the part of parents to come together and get on the same page.

Even under the best of circumstances, parenting is difficult and co-parents must work even harder to ensure that they are providing their children with the love, support, boundaries and consistency they need to be happy and thrive. The following are three things that co-parents can commit to doing to improve their relationship with each other and, most importantly, their children's lives.

Paying support for child's college education

Generally, child support payments stop when a child reaches the age of 18 and is considered an adult. However, Illinois allows a divorced parent to file for college expenses, asking their ex-spouse to help support their child through college. This is especially relevant if the child likely would have had access to college education if their parents had not divorced. The amount a child can receive will depend on a number of factors.

Alimony order requirements and proceedings

Alimony, also called spousal support, refers to provisions made by one spouse to another after a separation or divorce. Alimony is not a requirement for divorce, and nowadays most courts stay away from granting alimony. It is up to the judge, however, to decide whether alimony orders need to be issued or not.   

Holiday Survival Tips For Recently Divorced Parents

For many people, Thanksgiving and the holiday season are about spending time with family members and friends, making memories and honoring traditions. Despite the celebratory and joyous overtones, for many, the holidays can be stressful. This is often especially true for individuals and families who have been affected by a recent separation or divorce.

For recently separated or divorced parents, the holidays can be especially confusing and difficult as moms and dads attempt to navigate their new roles as co-parents and may have to cope with not having their children by their side during Thanksgiving dinner or upon waking on Christmas morning.

Alimony tax and deduction requirements

Alimony can be defined as one spouse's payment to the other spouse after separation or divorce. The alimony you are required to pay can be deducted. The recipient of the alimony is either your spouse, former spouse or in some cases a third party may receive the payments on behalf of your spouse. Alimony is not paid in any form if the spouse has passed away. Alimony is considered a form of income and is taxable. You would benefit from the arrangement if the recipient pays the tax on alimony. It is advisable to do this because often the recipient's tax rate is significantly lower than that of the person paying the alimony.

Father's rights to school and medical records

Whether you are an adoptive parent or a biological parent, once you have established paternity, you have certain rights over how your child should be raised. With the divorce rate spiking each year, and the high number of unwed parents, father's rights have been getting a lot of attention.

Prenups No Longer a Stigma

Times have changed. In the old days, a prenuptial agreement seemed to be the exclusive territory of a wealthy executive who left his family to marry his young secretary, or perhaps it was when two old-money families sealed a merger through the marriage of their kids. But in the era of duel income families and women working in every area of the job market at every level, a prenup may simply be the smart option for when couples decide to get married.

Perhaps one of them is saddled with a lot of debt from attending medical school or getting their MBA and they want to pay for it on their own. Perhaps one or both of you have been previously married and feel better if your personal assets amassed to this point stay with you and your kids. Maybe one of you is poised to start a new business venture and doesn't want the debt to be tied to the marriage.

What spousal maintenance looks like from both ends

The entire divorce process is mentally and emotionally taxing, but one incredibly challenging piece of it is spousal maintenance, or spousal support (formerly called "alimony.") The purpose of spousal maintenance is to aid the spouse who would face greater economic hardship or be unable to maintain the same standard of living after the divorce, as in the case of a stay-at-home parent with limited work experience, for example.

Even if all the other details of a divorce have been sorted out, spousal maintenance often remains an unresolved area that is difficult to talk about. How does spousal maintenance get sorted out, and how does it work?

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