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Peoria Family Law Blog

Determining child support obligations in Illinois

Making sure that kids have everything they need is an essential part of being a parent, but things can get complicated after divorce. Maybe you are facing the adjustment of becoming a single income household or have to find a way to reenter the workforce. Illinois child support laws make sure that kids are not lost during this time of transition.

Illinois uses the Income Shares Model for determining which parent should receive child support, and for how much. This model does not just take a flat percentage of the paying parent's income. Instead, the court will use a formula to consider both you and your ex spouse's financial status.

Protect complex marital property with a postnuptial agreement

Societal perception of prenuptial agreements has changed over recent years. These legally-binding agreements protect both parties should they decide to divorce, often addressing different topics such as property division and alimony. But there is another handy agreement that is often overlooked, even in marriages with significant business interests or complex marital property -- the postnuptial agreement.

The primary difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements comes down to the timing. A prenup is signed before marriage, and a postnup is signed after. Both types of agreements also generally address the same topics. However, many couples in Illinois find that postnups are useful in ways that prenups simply cannot fully cover.

Does a divorce dispute always have to go to court?

Filing for divorce is an emotional process, but it is a legal one as well. This leaves plenty of room for dispute over things like business assets, retirement savings and more. It is understandable that some people in Illinois might feel compelled to "win" these disputes, but there may be a more appropriate option. Even when dealing with complex assets, a collaborative divorce can leave both parties feeling satisfied with the end result.

A collaborative divorce means that one is no longer working against a soon-to-be ex-spouse, but instead with him or her. The process is surprisingly straightforward, with both parties working together to agree on an acceptable divorce settlement. They are not alone in this, though. Both people generally seek help from attorneys who can keep their best interests in minds. Neutral, third parties will also help guide the divorcing couple from an objective standpoint.

What are my options if I can't pay child support?

Providing children with financial security and stability is important, and most Illinois parents do their best to do just that. For divorced parents, part of creating a financially stable life is by either paying or receiving child support. But what happens when one parent is no longer able to make his or her monthly payments? This can be a very scary situation, but there are options to make things work.

When someone no longer has the financial resources to meet his or her obligations, it is a good idea to request a modification of the support order. There are two ways in which a parent might get a modification. If a child support order was issued by the court, then it can only be modified through the judicial process. This means that the court would have to approve the request, although it will only do so if the parent has some kind of substantial change in his or her circumstances. For example, he or she might have unexpectedly lost a job.

MacKenzie Bezos' success with her high asset divorce

The stakes are high during divorce, and even seemingly small decisions can significantly influence the outcome. During a high asset divorce, a couple must seriously consider the implications of dividing certain marital property. MacKenzie Bezos apparently made a few key decisions that ensured her continued financial stability after her divorce from Jeff Bezos -- the founder of Amazon.

Investing is just one way that some Illinois couples earn passive income. MacKenzie and Jeff were no different and had several sizable investments that they had to split up during asset division. MacKenzie chose to let her ex-husband have her stake in both Blue Origin and The Washington Post. While it might feel unwise to willingly let go of these investments, she received something much more rewarding in return.

How do you decide a child's best interests for child custody?

Parents just want what is best for their kids, and that does not stop because of divorce. In fact, you might be even more focused on your child's best interests now. But what exactly are Illinois courts talking about when they say "best interests of the child?" While this can be up to interpretation, the court will look at some important factors when deciding what child custody arrangement is in your son or daughter's best interests.

The judge might consider you and your ex-spouse's wishes, especially since as parents you are most familiar with your child. Depending on your child's age, the judge might consider his or her wishes too. Those wishes may reflect your child's relationship with you, his or her other parent and other important people in his or her life. These kinds of relationships are important factors in considering your child's best interests.

A survey shows that divorcing women face financial surprises

Ending a marriage brings changes in the lives of both parties. However, a survey of women in various stages of divorce revealed unexpected consequences as they faced the future.

Many of the survey participants cited "financial surprises" in a post-divorce world.

Fathers can benefit from virtual visitation

Life as a parent is rarely easy, and things like divorce, new jobs and moving can make things infinitely more complicated. Fathers who accept new positions or jobs that take them several hours away, or even across state lines, may wrestle with how to balance their parenting responsibilities over bigger distances. Thanks to new and rapidly evolving technology, some dads are finding faster and easier ways to connect with their kids between physical meetings.

Virtual visitation allows a child to remain in contact with one of his or her parents by using technology. Video chatting might be the first thing that pops into mind, but it involves things like email, texting and almost any other type of contact using technology. This type of visitation is fairly new, but Illinois is one of several states with laws that allow courts to order virtual visitation.

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