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How are Additional Child-Related Costs Handled in Illinois Child Support Cases?It has been touted for generations that it takes a village to raise a child and there is a reason for that adage – it is true. Raising a child takes a great deal of dedication, effort, and financial resources. There are so many things you have to pay for when it comes to raising a child. Basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care can add up quickly. Child support exists to ensure that both parents do their part to provide for their child financially when those parents are not married. But what about all of the other costs associated with raising a child? Fortunately, Illinois family law also has guidelines for how other child-related expenses are to be handled and taken care of in addition to the basic child support obligation.

Other Expenses

In Illinois, if parents are unmarried and one parent seeks to collect child support from the other, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) will help to calculate and establish administrative orders for one or both parents to provide support to the child. This number is considered to be the “basic support obligation.” These payments are intended to provide for the child’s basic needs. As any parent knows, the costs of raising a child go beyond providing for his or her basic needs. Here are some common child-related expenses that can be added to the basic child support obligation:

  • Extracurricular activities and school expenses: Illinois recognizes the importance of outside activities and the role that they play in a child’s development. At the court’s discretion, one or both parents can be ordered to pay for any extracurricular or school expenses that are intended to supplement the child’s social, cultural, athletic or educational development.
  • Childcare expenses: In today’s world, childcare is something that most parents cannot go without – and it can get expensive. The court can order one or both parents to pay for reasonable childcare expenses directly to the childcare provider or to one parent. These costs can include daycare, before and after school care or camp when school is not in session.
  • Health care costs: A portion of the basic child support obligation is already intended to be used for ordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses for the child, but the court can also order one or both parents to pay for the cost of any expenses that are not covered by health insurance. These costs can include any unreimbursed medical, dental, orthodontic or vision expenses or prescription medication that is not covered by the insurance.

Get in Touch With a Will County Child Support Attorney

Raising a child is expensive, and Illinois recognizes that both parents have an inherent obligation to financially provide for their child. If you are not married to your child’s other parent and you are seeking to establish a child support order, you could benefit from talking to a knowledgeable Joliet, IL, child support lawyer. At The Foray Firm, we have the experience you need in a family law attorney, and we can help you make sure you are able to provide everything your child needs. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Finding Things You Can Look Forward to in Your Life After DivorceAlmost everyone will agree that divorcing your spouse is difficult. Ending such an important relationship is hard for anyone, whether the decision to end the marriage was mutual or not. Even if you and your spouse both agree that the marriage should end, the emotional process of breaking up is difficult and often mimics the emotional process of grief. Though your partner is still alive, in many ways you are grieving the death of your relationship with them. Though it can feel counterintuitive and extremely draining at times, there are actually some major benefits that you can discover after your divorce. 

  1. You Can Focus on Your Personal Goals: Without a spouse whom you constantly have to consider when making major life decisions, you can begin to focus on your personal goals. If one of your goals is to go back to school and earn a degree, you can do it. If you want to start your mornings with meditation, nobody is stopping you. Being divorced means you are free to do whatever makes you happy.
  2. Shared Parenting Time Means More Free Time: One of the things that many divorced parents fear is not being able to take care of their children all of the time because of shared parenting schedules. While you will still miss your children while they are with their other parent, it also means there will be times when you will be child-free. You will not have to figure out who will babysit your kids if you want to go out with friends. You will not have to wake up early to get your children off to school. You can cherish the time you spend with your children, but you can also enjoy your days off.
  3. You Get to Rediscover Who You Truly Are: Many people cite their divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to them. One of the main reasons why people tend to be so happy after a divorce is because they get to reconnect with themselves. People who have been married, especially those in long-lasting marriages, can lose their identity sometimes. Rather than knowing who you are as an individual, you only know who you are as part of a couple. Divorce allows you to get back in touch with your individual self so you can be the best person you can be.

Contact a Markham, IL, Divorce Lawyer to Help Finalize Your Divorce

One of the ways you can make sure you are in a good place once your divorce is finished is by hiring a skilled Will County divorce attorney. At The Foray Firm, we understand how difficult a divorce can be for your entire family. We can help you settle any issue pertaining to your divorce, from property division to parenting time. Do not settle for less than what you deserve; call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Using Second-Parent Adoption to Establish Parentage in LGBTQ MarriagesIt has been a little over four years since the Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional to prevent same-sex couples from getting married. Since then, thousands of members of the LGBTQ community have solidified their relationships and tied the knot – but they still face a number of issues when it comes to the legalities of family dynamics. Many LGBTQ couples have decided to have children, whether through adoption, surrogacy or a sperm donor. Many states still have laws that only pertain to a man and a woman having children, posing issues for same-sex couples. One solution that Illinois, along with many other states, has created is the practice of second-parent adoption. 

What is Second-Parent Adoption?

A second-parent adoption, also known as a co-parent adoption, is often used by same-sex couples to solidify both parents’ legal relationship to the child. Many states’ laws still rely almost entirely on biological connections to establish parentage. In many cases, one parent in the same-sex couple is the biological parent of the child. Even if the couple is married at the time the child is born, the child is not considered to be the legal child of the other spouse because the spouse is not the biological parent of the child.

The Purpose of Second-Parent Adoption

A second-parent adoption can help same-sex couples by establishing the non-biological parent as the child’s legal parent. The unique thing about second-parent adoptions is that the child’s biological parent does not have to relinquish any of his or her parental rights to the child in order for his or her spouse to adopt the child. 

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Are You a Victim of Parental Alienation?Your children are some of the most important people in your life. Their happiness, safety, and security are often placed well above your own. During a divorce, some parents may be overwhelmed with emotions that they may not know what to do with. If the divorce is especially contentious, parents may begin to lose sight of what is truly important – the children. In these situations, the parents’ hate and contempt for each other overshadows their love for their children, and certain actions are taken that can be detrimental to the children’s wellbeing. One of the most common things that happens during these kinds of divorces is called parental alienation.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation happens when one parent tries to get their child to turn against the other parent. This often occurs because one parent is mad at the other parent and is trying to hurt them in any way they can. Essentially, parental alienation is when one parent uses their child as a weapon against the other parent. The alienating parent may use bribery, false allegations, negative comments or keeping the child from seeing the other parent to paint a negative picture in the child’s head of that parent. Both mothers and fathers are equally as likely to be the alienating parent, but the alienating parent is also likely to suffer from a personality disorder, such as narcissism.

Parental alienation is detrimental to a child’s mental health and wellbeing. Children who are victims of parental alienation become almost brainwashed, hating the alienated parent in an almost irrational way. Children have the right to have a relationship with both of their parents – they naturally want to have a relationship with both parents. When one parent destroys that relationship with the other parent, the child suffers.

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Understanding Illinois Domestic Violence Orders of ProtectionDomestic violence is all too common in the U.S. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 12 million people experience some form of domestic violence in any given year. In Illinois, domestic violence is defined as any act of abuse that is perpetrated toward a family or household member. Abuse can be emotional, physical or sexual in nature. Domestic violence can occur between parents and children, step-parents and step-children, romantic partners, people who have a child in common, people who are married or were once married or people who live together or once lived together. Domestic violence can put the safety of everyone in the family at risk, but fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your family.

What is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a legal order that can help protect victims of domestic violence. The order is given by a judge and can prohibit an abuser from doing certain things and likewise can order an abuser to do certain things or face consequences. An order of protection can:

  • Prohibit an abuser from committing any further abuse;
  • Order an abuser to leave his or her home;
  • Prohibit an abuser from being near the victim and his or her children;
  • Require an abuser to attend counseling;
  • Order an abuser to pay child support or spousal maintenance;
  • Forbid an abuser from removing certain personal property from his or her shared residence; and
  • Temporarily allocate all parenting time and responsibilities to the victim or another person.

Types of Orders of Protection

In Illinois, there are three types of orders of protection recognized by law: emergency orders, interim orders, and plenary orders. Each order typically lasts for different periods of time and certain orders cannot provide certain remedies.

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