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Filing an Uncontested Divorce in IllinoisContrary to what you see in movies and television shows, settling your divorce case in court is almost always a last resort. Illinois courts highly encourage couples to try to make decisions pertaining to their divorce on their own without outside intervention. Not only does that save you time and money, but it also allows you to keep the control in your hands and enables you to decide your own future. Some couples have tried to avoid going to court and are unable to come to their own resolutions, but most couples see the benefit of settling their divorce outside of court or filing for an uncontested divorce.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Almost all divorces contain the same issues that must be settled before the divorce can be completed. These issues include:

An uncontested divorce occurs when couples can come to an agreement on these issues without having to go to court multiple times and involve a judge. Therefore, in the simplest terms, an uncontested divorce is a divorce that is settled without the intervention of a judge or court.

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What Are My Options if My Ex Does Not Pay Child Support?Child support is relevant in any case involving a child whose parents are not married or in a relationship. Many times, the parent who takes care of the child a majority of the time will receive child support and use it to help cover some of the costs associated with raising a child, like clothes, food, healthcare, and schooling or extracurricular expenses. Both the courts and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) can issue orders requiring a parent to make support payments, but that does not always mean that the parent will obey. Unpaid child support can be frustrating for the parent who relies on it and can spell out serious trouble for the parent who will not pay. Fortunately, there are things you can do if your ex is not paying the child support that he or she is required to pay.

What is Failure of Support?

If a child support order is entered into by either DCFS or a judge, it has been determined that the parent has the financial resources available to pay the child support. If that parent refuses to make the support payments or does not make the payments, he or she can be considered to have failed to pay a support order. The Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act states that a person can be held in contempt of a support order if they:

  • Refuse to pay spousal maintenance
  • Refuse to pay child support and have the ability to pay such support
  • Have not paid their support obligation for longer than six months or have accrued more than $5,000 in unpaid support
  • Have fled the state to avoid paying support or owe more than $10,000
  • Have not paid the support obligation for longer than one year or owe more than $20,000 

Steps You Can Take

Child support orders are court orders, meaning your ex has a legal obligation to pay the order or they could face consequences. This also means that you have the right to pursue legal action against your spouse for not paying the support. While you can work directly with the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to take legal action against your ex, working with an attorney is faster and can produce better results.

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Joliet-adoption attorney

It is not uncommon for people to get remarried after they have ended their first marriage. Remarriage is a second chance at happiness for many people. When you get remarried, you often bring many things with you from your previous life, including your children. Creating a blended family can be extremely rewarding, but it comes with its challenges. Remarriage itself can be difficult, but you can overcome its challenges by preemptively planning your future with a skilled family law lawyer. Here are a few tips on how to create a successful and happy blended family:

 

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How are College Expenses Handled During a Divorce?College is not cheap. Since the 1980s, college tuition costs have risen more than 200 percent for public universities across the country, making covering the expense of higher education more difficult than ever. Because of this, young adults are living with their parents longer than any generation prior to them. For parents getting a divorce, paying for their children’s college education can be a point of contention during the divorce negotiations. Fortunately, Illinois law has included provisions in the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) on how post-secondary education expenses are distributed between parents.

Covering the Costs

The IMDMA allows courts to allocate costs to either or both parents based on a variety of factors. The judge can order that property allocated to either spouse during the asset division process be used to pay for post-secondary education, either now or when the time comes. Child support payments can also be extended beyond when the child turns 18 for the purpose of paying for college. A variety of things can be included in college costs, as long as the costs are accrued before the child’s 23rd birthday, or in some cases, the child’s 25th birthday. These costs can include:

  • A prep course for a standardized college entrance exam
  • Two standardized college entrance exam fees
  • Fees for up to five college applications
  • Tuition and fees
  • Housing expenses and meal plans
  • Medical insurance and dental expenses
  • Reasonable living expenses for the child
  • Books and supplies 

Who Pays for What?

As mentioned before, either parent or both parents can be held responsible for paying for the costs related to the child’s college education. If the parents cannot come to an agreement as to how these costs will be covered, it will be up to the judge to decide for them. The judge will make his or her decision based on a variety of factors, including:

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Markham family law attorney postnuptial agreementAlmost everyone has heard of a prenuptial agreement. Most of what many people know comes from movies or television shows portraying a woman marrying a wealthy man and signing a prenuptial agreement to protect his riches. Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements come from the same family of legal documents and can do just about the same things. Both agreements can dictate which property is and is not marital property, how that property will be divided in the event of a divorce and the terms of spousal maintenance, among other things. The thing that differs between a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement is when the agreement is signed. A prenuptial agreement is signed before the wedding and a postnuptial agreement is signed after the wedding. Here are a couple of situations in which you may want to consider getting a postnuptial agreement:

  1. You Did Not Have Time to Sign a Prenuptial Agreement: One of the most common reasons why couples get postnuptial agreements is because they either did not or could not sign a prenuptial agreement before they were married. A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, which is why it is a popular option for those who found the idea of a prenuptial agreement unromantic or those who did not have enough time before the wedding to create one.
  2. Circumstances Have Changed During the Marriage: There are a variety of reasons why a married couple might want to get a prenuptial agreement, most of them stemming from the fact that their circumstances may have changed during the marriage. For example, coming into an unexpected inheritance or winning a large sum of money can prompt a couple to want to reexamine their finances. Another reason could be because one spouse unexpectedly decided to take time off of work to care for and raise the couple’s children. This puts that spouse in a more vulnerable financial position and a postnuptial agreement could promise support if the spouses were to ever divorce. 

Whatever the Reason, You Need a Homewood, IL, Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer by Your Side

If you did not get a prenuptial agreement before you were married, it is not too late. You can still get a postnuptial agreement at any time after your marriage, and it can be used much like a prenuptial agreement. There are many situations in which you may want to consider getting a postnuptial agreement, which is why you should call a Will County postnuptial agreement attorney to discuss your situation. At The Foray Firm, we understand that a postnuptial agreement could be the key to a happy marriage. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

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BBA Of Will County Illinois State Bar Association Cook County Bar Association The National Bar Association BWLA
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