Butler & Giraudo, P.C.
Main Site Navigation
We Can Help...

Peoria Family Law Blog

Child support basics

When parents choose to divorce or break-up, it's important to take legal steps to resolve issues related to child custody and visitation. Even in cases where parents are on good terms, having a formal child custody agreement helps provide clarity, legal protections and also affords the custodial parent the opportunity to file for child support.

In cases where parents share joint custody of a child, the parent who earns more income may still be ordered to pay child support. Additionally, for parents who were never married, a father must go through the process of establishing paternity before any action can be taken with regard to child support.

The challenges associated with child custody relocation cases

When parents choose to divorce or separate, they are still bound together by shared parenting responsibilities. This is true even in cases where one parent has sole physical child custody as the noncustodial parent still likely has legal rights to visitation.

What happens, therefore in cases where a custodial parent plans to relocate to another city or state? What rights does a noncustodial parent have? What action can he or she take to prevent a move or help ensure that his or her visitation rights are preserved?

Study shows that when it comes to cohabitation and lasting love, age matters

Many Peoria area residents have likely heard the famous quote related to the notion that "with age comes wisdom." While this point can likely be debated on many fronts, there's no doubt that with age comes more life experiences that, at least in theory, should provide an individual with the insight necessary to make more informed and wise decisions.

When it comes to romance and relationships, experience can be both a positive and negative. In one sense, individuals who have been in many relationships and may even be divorced are likely more inclined to know what they both want and don't want in a relationship. These same individuals, however, may also carry baggage from past failed relationships that can inhibit their ability to trust and form a close and healthy relationship.

Until Facebook do us part

The Internet is all abuzz with social media websites and Facebook is among the most well-known and popular of them all. In fact, statistics from February 2014 show that an estimated 57 percent of U.S. adults have a Facebook account. Social media users readily use sites like Facebook to share photos, post comments and express their likes and opinions about a variety of topics. Increasingly, the social media website is also being used by individuals attempting to gather evidence about an ex during divorce or child custody proceedings.

In 2010, 75 percent of divorce attorneys who responded to a survey by the American Association of Matrimony Lawyers admitted that Facebook is a "primary source of evidence in divorce cases." Fast forward to 2015 and, along with Facebook's popularity and membership, this number has likely increased.

Is your soon-to-be ex-spouse hiding something?

A major part of any divorce revolves around the division of marital property and assets. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that several factors are taken into consideration when making decisions related to a divorcing couple's property and assets. For individuals with a considerable amount of wealth, numerous factors must be taken into consideration with regard to the actual value of assets, consequently, high asset divorces often take longer to resolve. This is particularly true in cases where one spouse attempts to hide assets.

While not a household name, John Sculley is the former CEO of Apple and is perhaps best known as the man who, in 1985, fired the late Steve Jobs from the company he would later go on to lead. After leaving Apple in 1993, Sculley went on to start a successful investment firm. More recently, Sculley has gained media attention for being the subject of a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife in which she accuses the millionaire of hiding assets during the couple's 2011 divorce.

Why many marriages aren't able to endure through the retirement years

In recent years, there has been much reported about the so-called graying of divorce. An Oct. 8, 2014 Time article reported that roughly 25 percent of divorcees in the U.S. are over the age of 50. The increase in divorce among this age demographic has raised red flags among social scientists who worry about the ramifications of divorcing later in life such as financial insecurity.

While many have studied and written about factors contributing to the gray divorce phenomena such as growing acceptance of divorce and longer life expectancies, few studies examine the issue from the other perspective. Namely, what it takes, later in life, to make a marriage work.

Why marriage isn't always happily ever after

Individuals who recently wed likely have many goals when contemplating their futures with a spouse. Among some of the most common marital goals are purchasing a home, having children and attaining a sense of financial security. For most, divorce isn't even something they likely think about or contemplate, yet national statistics prove that nearly one out of every two marriages will end in divorce. 

In an effort to understand human behavior and help account for why so many marriages start off well, but end in divorce; social scientists and researchers are continually looking at trends and possible predictors of divorce. For example, a study conducted by reserachers at Kansas State University revealed that above all other conflicts, those related to finances are the number one predictor of divorce. The findings of a national survey indicate that the earlier on in a marraige arguments about money occur, the more likely a couple will divorce. 

Filing for divorce? Here's what to expect: part II

In our last post, we outlined how a divorce typically proceeds. While it's helpful to gain an understanding of the legal divorce process, it's important to keep in mind that, at any point, issues may arise that can delay the process. Most frequently, delays are related to one spouse's objections to the other spouse's responses to a complaint or occur during settlement negotiations. When disputes arise during a divorce, if not handled appropriately, the whole process can quickly be derailed and grow contentious.

While it may seem nearly impossible to do so, divorcing individuals are advised to do their best to keep emotions in check. Yes, essentially your entire future and those of your children are dependent upon the outcome of a divorce settlement. However, viewing a soon-to-be ex-spouse as an adversary can interfere with one's ability to see and understand the bigger picture and may lead one to act or react solely based on emotions.

Filing for divorce? Here's what to expect: part I

As residents in Illinois prepare to ring in the New Year, many will reflect upon this and other years past. There's something about the start of a new calendar year and the promise of new beginnings that prompts an individual to examine his or her life and take stock of what, if any, changes are necessary. For some married couples, the start of this New Year will signal an end to their marriage as divorce papers are prepared and filed.

The decision to file for divorce is one that many divorcees struggle for months or even years to make. Regardless of one's reasons for filing for divorce, once papers are filed, life will never be the same. Of course, this fact is comforting to many spouses who previously felt unhappy, unfulfilled and trapped in a marriage. In this two-part blog post, we'll take a look at the divorce process and provide some helpful tips to keep in mind while going through a divorce.

How can unwed fathers obtain custody and visitation rights?

In a July post, we discussed why it's so important for unwed fathers in Illinois to establish paternity. Most importantly, a father who is not married to his child's biological mother has no legal parental rights to his child. This means a mother retains sole legal and physical custody and can even put a child up for adoption without notifying or obtaining consent from the child’s biological father.

Once an unwed father has taken steps to establish paternity, he is legally recognized as a child's father. This means a father may petition the court to obtain child custody and visitation rights. When possible, it's best when a child's parents are able to come to an agreement on their own and establish a parenting agreement which then becomes legally enforceable when filed with the court.