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Commerce Bank Building
Peoria, IL 61602
309.407.3332
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Morton, IL 61550
309.263.1204

Peoria Family Law Blog

It may be a big lie, but it isn't quite fraud

An Illinois appellate panel has reversed and remanded a woman's petition to annul her marriage on the basis of fraud. While the case does not make new law, it is an interesting example of the subtleties of the state's marriage laws.

When a married couple wants to split up, they have two options: divorce or declaration of invalidity. (Since 1977, the state has used the term "declaration of invalidity of a marriage" in place of "annulment." So, legal documents generally use the former, but in common discourse the terms are interchangeable.) The difference is important. When the couple divorces, the marriage is terminated. With a declaration of invalidity, the marriage never took place.

Kids do the darnedest things when one parent disses the other p3

The custody dispute we have been talking about has taken a number of very unusual turns. At times, the situation sounds like the plot of a movie, with international locations, accusations of abuse and kidnapping, and years of fighting over visitation agreements. The parents are at war, and the effect on the children is just considered collateral damage.

As we explained, the couple's marriage apparently fell apart when the husband took a job in their native Israel. They divorced, and the mother was granted physical custody of the three children. Over the next few years, she apparently refused to allow her ex-husband to see their children.

Kids do the darnedest things when one parent disses the other p2

There is nothing really easy about divorce and child custody matters. Even in cases where the divorce is amicable and the kids are handling the situation well, the truth is that a family is breaking up. The new configuration may be better for everyone involved, but such a fundamental life change is hard.

There are some situations that are tougher than others, and one parent relocating is near the top of the list. If a parenting schedule is already in place, the parties have to start from scratch. If there is no parenting plan yet, or if the parties are already antagonistic or even hostile, a solution may seem entirely out of reach.

Kids do the darnedest things when one parent disses the other

On July 21, 2015, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 57 into law and, with that signature, took the state many steps closer to a more modern approach to family law. The act will significantly change the laws governing marriage, divorce, custody and other matters that fall under the family law banner after its effective date of Jan. 1, 2016. We will go into more detail about the particulars in a future post, but here we want to look at custody decisions and the best interest of the child principles.

For the time being, state law requires courts to consider the best interest of the child when making decisions about custody and visitation. Current statute lays out a number of factors that the court must take under advisement, examining each independently in order to build a complete picture of the child's current situation and how the alternatives presented will affect his or her welfare. None of these factors carries more weight than the others. For the most part.

Kids do the darnedest things when one parent disses the other

On July 21, 2015, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 57 into law and, with that signature, took the state many steps closer to a more modern approach to family law. The act will significantly change the laws governing marriage, divorce, custody and other matters that fall under the family law banner after its effective date of Jan. 1, 2016. We will go into more detail about the particulars in a future post. Here we want to look at custody decisions under the current law, using the best interest of the child factors.

For the time being, state law requires courts to consider the best interest of the child when making decisions about custody and visitation. The statutes lay out a number of factors that the court must take under advisement, examining each independently in order to build a complete picture of the child's current situation and how the alternatives presented will affect his or her welfare. None of these factors carries more weight than the others. For the most part.

Not the father? You'll want to protect your rights

Want to make life a little better? Some with wisdom will tell you that one thing you can do is to always assume positive intent. Those who make that their practice say it makes it easier to face any given moment calmly, collectedly and rationally.

Assuming positive intent is something that can be difficult to do in the context of Illinois family law. Where issues of parentage are concerned, especially in cases where the parents of a child are unmarried, there can be a general bias against the father. We touched on this in an earlier post.

When creating a prenup, what are you allowed to include in it?

For many couples, the prenuptial agreement is shrouded in mystery or it is just something that the couple won't consider because of preconceived notions about the contract. That's perfectly understandable because there was a time -- and it wasn't too long ago -- when prenuptial agreements were frowned upon. But now, these contracts are huge parts of not only the divorce process, but the couple's marriage as well.

So what can you include in a prenuptial agreement, and what is forbidden from being included?

Are you and a spouse or partner rehashing the same old arguments?

As human beings, we all have certain wants and needs and when these things aren’t being fulfilled or met, we tend to feel unbalanced. For married couples, a spouse who feels unbalanced may, on some level, blame his or her wife or husband. Regardless of how different couples and spouses can be, all married couples argue and, according to marriage and family counselor and researcher Dr. John Gottman, the topics of these arguments tend to be similar.

In his 40 years of studying and researching marriage and the relationships between spouses, Gottman estimates that nearly 70 percent of the arguments in which married couples engage remain unresolved. Why do they remain unresolved? According to Gottman, most married couples don't argue effectively and, consequently, end up rehashing the same issues over and over again.

Same sex marriage, divorce now legal in all 50 states

There have been many changes to the laws regarding same-sex relationships in Illinois over the years; however, the biggest change of all came today when the U.S. Supreme Court held that gay marriage is a fundamental right in all 50 states.

The 5-4 decision came as a hard-earned victory for Illinois advocates who have been fighting for marriage equality for years. The Chicago Tribune reported that the decision is likely the most impactful victory for same-sex couples in U.S. history, and means there is no more distinction between gay marriage and heterosexual marriage.

How is child support calculated and what happens if a parent doesn't pay?

When a minor-aged child's parents divorce or split-up, steps must be taken to decide child custody and visitation. In most child custody cases, one parent is deemed to be the custodial parent or the parent with whom the child lives the majority of the time. In order to provide for a child's basic, education and medical needs; a custodial parent is advised to file for child support.

Illinois' child support law uses a basic percentage formula for determining child support. Under the statute, a non-custodial parent with one child is required to pay the equivalent of 20 percent of his or her net income in child support payments. The percentage and amount increases depending on the number of dependants involved and maxes out at 50 percent with six or more dependants.

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