Butler Giraudo & Meister
Peoria 309-407-3332
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Peoria Family Law Blog

What are the benefits of paternity establishment?

If you recently split up with your partner, you may be going through different challenges. However, if you had children together, moving forward can be even more complicated. In Peoria, and across all of Illinois, it is essential for fathers who are in this position to do what's best for their children while recognizing and standing up for their rights as a father. If you are the father of a child but paternity has not been established, it may be helpful to go over some of the benefits of paternity establishment.

According to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, establishing paternity can be beneficial for various different reasons. For example, it can allow children to gain access to vital medical data as well as Social Security, medical assistance, inheritance, veteran's benefits, and financial support. However, establishing paternity does not only benefit children but can be very useful for fathers as well. For example, a father can gain access to legal rights with their child and have their name listed on the child's birth certificate by establishing paternity.

Can back child support interfere with my passport?

As a non-custodial parent, you may have different concerns, such as struggling to pay alimony or spend time with your child. However, child support can be particularly difficult for some people who are going through financial complications in Peoria, and elsewhere in Illinois. Falling behind on your child support payments may affect you in different ways, from the garnishment of your wages to interception of your tax refund. Moreover, you could be taken into custody or even unable to apply for a passport if you have unpaid child support.

According to the U.S. Department of State, those who have more than $2,500 worth of unpaid child support are not able to receive a passport. In fact, not only will you be unable to successfully apply for a passport if you owe more than $2,500 in back child support, but your current passport, if you have one, will be revoked. Whether you plan on leaving the country for business purposes or wish to visit some of your family members who live overseas, being unable to have a passport can completely interfere with your plans and leave you stuck in the U.S.

After divorce, you will need a good, workable parenting plan

As the old song says, breaking up is hard to do, especially when the breakup affects the whole family. When you divorce, your children will not only have to cope with a new chapter in their lives but will have to become used to dividing their lives between you and their other parent.

One of the first challenges for the children will be adapting to two homes. How well they do it will depend on the kind of parenting plan you put in place.

Can tax refunds be affected by back child support?

If you are obligated to pay child support, you may have difficulty making your payments for numerous reasons. For example, you might be trying to recover from a medical issue that you never saw coming or you could have lost your job. In Peoria, and other Illinois cities, failing to pay child support can have dire consequences, which is why you should try to look into any options that may be available. For example, unpaid child support could affect your taxes.

Those who owe a certain amount of back child support may have their tax refund intercepted, according to the Administration for Children & Families. In fact, falling behind on child support can not only result in the interception of tax refunds from the federal government, but at the state level as well. The ACF says that these interceptions are carried out in attempt to gather payments that have been missed. Moreover, unpaid child support can result in other consequences, including the denial of a passport, the garnishment of wages, and even the suspension of a driver's license.

Why alimony shouldn’t be gender biased

In an Illinois marriage, couples often compromise on which of their careers they will make their decisions based on. Pay, benefits and location are often factors that lead to valuing the job of one spouse over the other. When it comes time to make changes, such as staying home with a child or moving across the country, the spouse with the less lucrative position may be the one who leaves the workplace altogether, or finds whatever job is available to suit the circumstances. Once this is done, it can have a lasting effect on a career.

According to Forbes magazine, now that women have become primary breadwinners in nearly half of marriages, divorce may leave men with limited options for successfully supporting themselves. Even so, it is often assumed that while a woman in this position will of course seek spousal support, a man will not. This may be due in part to cultural norms and gender expectations. Some claim it is not socially acceptable for a man to request support from a woman, but many believe this line of thinking is sexist.

Qualifications for modifying your spousal support

While you may have thought that all negotiations ended when the judge declared you legally divorced, the truth is that there are many circumstances that may require you to revisit your agreements and evaluate whether changes are needed. This often needs to be done in an Illinois courtroom to ensure that you receive fair treatment and are given just consideration. We at Butler, Giraudo and Meister are not only here to help you during the initial determination of your divorce arrangements, but also to assist with any adjustments that need to be made in the ensuing months and years.

 

The importance of fathers

When parents decide to terminate their marriage, there are a host of issues that must be negotiated in the divorce settlement. Parents must determine whether sole or joint custody is best for the child, and create a parenting plan that works in the best interests of the child. In families where one parent lives a significant distance away or where the child attends school, one parent is often awarded sole-physical custody of the child. As parents make these crucial decisions regarding their children, it is crucial to keep in mind the absolute importance that fathers have in a child’s life.

In homes where children do not interact with their fathers on a regular basis, kids may struggle academically as well as socially. They may have trouble earning good grades, trying new things and making new friends. Studies show that children who have regular interactions with their fathers are more emotionally secure, able to explore their surroundings and confident in new situations. Ultimately, children who are with their fathers are less impulsive, less aggressive and generally more dedicated.

Looking over statistics on child custody

When it comes to child custody, there are many factors to take into consideration. For example, a parent who is preparing for court or already going through a bitter custody dispute should understand which factors the court will examine when determining which outcome is in the best interests of the child. For parents who are going through a custody dispute in Peoria, or even preparing to file for divorce in the state of Illinois, reviewing statistics on child custody may help.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, estimates show that 22 million children under 21 were living with 13 million custodial parents in early 2014, while their other parent was residing somewhere else. Among children who were under the age of 21 and living with their family, more than one-quarter of them were staying with a custodial parent during this time frame. Clearly, a significant number of children in the United States live with a custodial parent, which highlights how important it is for parents and courts to work towards an outcome that is healthy for children.

Managing your emotions during divorce

For many people, splitting up with a spouse may be one of the most difficult experiences of their life. After all, divorce can bring major life changes, such as relocation and affecting relationship with children. At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, we also know how divorce can affect couples financially (property distribution, child support, etc.). If you are already going through the divorce process or are just thinking about filing for divorce, it is very important to manage your emotions well.

During divorce, you may experience a plethora of emotions. For example, you may be angry about the possibility of losing your ability to spend time with your child. Or, perhaps you are worried about how your marital property will be divided. In fact, simply divorcing a spouse can change your life significantly and you may feel overwhelmed.

Good parenting includes facilitating a bond with the other parent

In Illinois, when the judge allocates parenting time, one thing he or she will take into account is how willing you are to make sure your child is able to develop and maintain a relationship with the other parent. Following a divorce, emotions can be very strained. You might be wondering how you can facilitate a relationship between your child and the other parent when you are grieving and angry, and the other parent does not act appropriately. It may be difficult, but there are strategies for success. 

How can you encourage your child to have a relationship with the other parent? 

  • Do not disparage the other parent in front of the child.
  • Keep conflict away from the child.
  • Do not use the child to send messages.
  • Encourage communication between the child and the other parent.
  • Make sure the other parent knows about school events, sports and doctor’s appointments. Share a calendar to give the other parent the opportunity to attend.
  • Remember that shared parenting is not about equal 50/50 time. Do what is best for the child when it comes to sharing time.
  • Reassure your child that you and the other parent will always love him or her. You may have to repeat that many times to give the child security.
  • Keep to the parenting agreement. Pay child support on time. Do not miss visits. Be consistent.
  • Do not try to one-up the other parent. You do not always have to be the “Disneyland” parent who does exciting things all the time. Be boring and enjoy your child’s company. 
  • I cannot even express in words the level of gratitude that I feel. ‘Thank you’ doesn't seem to be enough. Please know that your services and compassion will never be forgotten! I am forever grateful!

  • Thank you so much for your hard work and expertise. I feel as a father in the state of Illinois that what I am trying to achieve is nearly impossible. I am so glad I chose to have your office full of extremely intelligent women represent me.

  • We would like to say thank you for your expertise, education, and kindness when we met with you! Your confidence has helped to comfort us and give us hope that resolution of the issue is possible.

  • I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your time, energy, and efforts you put into our case. Thank you for helping make our son's quality of life better. I cannot tell you how happy we are!

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