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Recent blog posts

Can I Be Ordered to Pay College Expenses as Part of My Illinois Divorce?In Illinois, child support stops once the child turns 18 or when they have graduated high school – whichever happens later. Under Illinois divorce law, the court may order a parent to help pay for a child’s college expenses after child support has ended if the child is planning to continue their education. Although child support is required to be paid even for parents who never got married, Illinois does not require college expense payments to be made. If your child is planning to go to college, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney to file a petition for college expense payments to be granted to your child since it will not automatically go into effect.

College Expenses

A support order can include several expenses related to college, such as:

  • Registration and application fees
  • Tuition
  • Room and board (on or off campus)
  • Educational fees
  • Medical and dental insurance
  • Books
  • Travel to and from school
  • Additional expenses

If the court grants college expenses to be paid, child support continues under the Illinois “college expenses” law that applies to non-minor children. 

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Can You Kidnap Your Own Child in Illinois?When parents are in the middle of a battle over the allocation of parental responsibilities, the state of affairs can be intense. In some cases, the parenting dispute can result in one parent taking the child without the consent and knowledge of the other parent or the court. Despite their status as a legal parent, this still qualifies as “kidnapping” or “child abduction” and can turn a civil case into a criminal case with harsh consequences for the offending parent.

Child Abduction

Kidnapping is a felony in Illinois, and a conviction can result in fines, probation and jail time. An individual will be charged with child abduction when he/she does one of the following: 

  • Intentionally disobeys the terms of a legal court order granting sole or joint parental responsibility, care, or possession to another individual
  • Intentionally hides, withholds, or takes the child without the mother’s or legal guardian’s consent if the person is the assumed father but his paternity has not been legally confirmed or there have been no orders relating to parental responsibilities
  • Intentionally fails, refuses or hinders the return of the child to the legal guardian or parent
  • Knowingly conceals, detains, or removes the child in exchange for payment from an individual who does not have a legal right to the child
  • Intentionally entices or attempts to lure a child who is younger than 17 or traveling to or from school without the consent of the child's parent or legal guardian for other than a lawful and legal purposes

Orders of Protection

If you are worried that your parenting battle may result in the kidnapping of your child, you are able to ask the court to file an emergency order of protection. If you are able to prove an emergency situation may arise, the court will enter the order of protection before notifying the other individual. This is only temporary, but a permanent restraining order can be established as a result of a trial involving the accused party.

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How Criminal Charges Can Affect Your Right to Adopt a ChildAdopting a child is not something to take lightly. Whether you are a grandparent, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, aunt, uncle, or unrelated to the child you wish to adopt, once the adoption process is complete, you are responsible for making sound-of-mind decisions based on the best interest of the child.

However, if you have a criminal record, adopting a child may be more difficult, or in some circumstances, off the table.

What To Expect

According to the Illinois Adoption Act, the following is done during the adoption process:

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Reasons For Signing a Prenuptial AgreementPrenuptial agreements are not mandatory within an Illinois marriage, but any engaged couple that has personal or business assets may want to protect what is theirs before getting married.

A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement that both you and your future spouse construct before getting married. This agreement lays out how property and assets will be divided if divorce or death were to occur. Items that can be included within a prenuptial agreement include:

  • Division of property and/or assets
  • The right to manage and control property belonging to the other spouse
  • Changes or elimination of spousal support/maintenance 
  • Establishing a will, trust, or other arrangement or obligation to carry out the prenuptial agreements terms
  • The ownership rights in and distribution of the death benefit from a life insurance policy
  • Choice of laws that will be used for creating the agreement

Signing a prenuptial agreement may be beneficial for one or more of the following reasons:

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Understanding Why Older Couples Choose Grey DivorceGrey divorce, also known as Silver Splitter or Diamond Divorcees, refers to the older “grey-haired” couples who decide to file for divorce after being in long-term marriages.

According to the Pew Research Center, a study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau found that for every 1,000 married couples aged 50 and over, 10 of them ended in divorce.

Grey divorce entails many issues a traditional divorce carries, such as the division of marital property and assets and spousal maintenance, but is unlikely to include the allocation of parental responsibilities or child support.

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