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Will County family law attorneyChild support is a crucial resource for divorced and unmarried parents. However, meeting your child support obligation can be extremely difficult when you have no source of income. If you or your child’s other parent was fired, laid off, or quit his or her job, you may wonder how this will affect child support. Do unemployed and underemployed parents still have to pay child support? What happens if a parent voluntarily quits his or her job?

Child Support Calculations When a Parent is Unemployed

The amount that a parent pays in child support in Illinois is based on the “income shares” model. Both parents’ net incomes are used to determine an appropriate child support obligation. When one parent has no income, this obviously affects child support calculations considerably. However, the reason that a parent is unemployed also factors heavily into the situation.

Involuntary Unemployment

If a parent was laid off or terminated and makes honest attempts to regain suitable employment, the court will likely look much more favorably on his or her situation. The unemployed parent may be granted relief through a lower child support payment amount. However, unemployed parents cannot simply stop making payments or pay a lower amount on their own. They will need to seek an official modification of their child support order to lower their child support obligation. Failure to follow the proper procedure to modify child support can result in penalties for nonpayment.

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Joliet divorce lawyerFor married couples who own a home, figuring out who, if anyone, gets to keep it is often one of the most difficult parts of the divorce process. However, it is important not to overlook the challenges for divorcing couples who rent a home or apartment together. If you and your spouse are renters, you may not have to deal with the complexities of dividing real estate property, but you may still face conflict when it comes to deciding who will stay in the apartment and who will be responsible for paying rent as your divorce proceeds.

Rental Leases in Divorce

If you have decided to get a divorce, there is a good chance that you and your spouse want to start living separately. However, a rental lease can make this complicated. In many cases, the names of both spouses will be on the lease, which means that you both have a claim to stay there until the lease ends, and you both are obligated to continue paying rent.

If you and your spouse are on relatively good terms, you may be able to address these issues by reaching an agreement. For example, you could consider whether one of you has another viable place to stay, like with a friend or family member. If you have children, you might consider an arrangement in which the parent with primary childcare responsibilities will stay in your rental home so as to better maintain the children’s routine.

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Will County divorce lawyerFor both parents and children, a divided parenting time schedule is one of the most difficult adjustments to make after a divorce. While Illinois courts tend to prefer arrangements that allow both parents to spend time with their children, this still means that each parent will spend significant time away from them. In many cases, the parenting time balance is at least slightly skewed toward one parent, and this can make the situation even more difficult for the parent with a lesser share.

If you have been granted less parenting time in your divorce resolution, it does not necessarily mean that you are a lesser parent. Often, such an arrangement is simply best for your children so as to provide stability and minimize interruptions to their routine. While maintaining your relationships with your kids under these circumstances may require a little more effort, it is certainly possible.

Keeping Your Relationships Strong

Here are some suggestions that can help you maintain a strong bond with your children, even if you do not see them as often:

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Will County family law lawyerFor many couples, a prenuptial agreement is a useful tool to help each partner define and protect their interests in property and assets. Agreements that are written and willingly signed by both partners are generally legally binding and enforceable, including in the event of a divorce. However, they are not necessarily permanently set in stone. There are many reasons why you may wish to modify a prenup at some point during your marriage, and you should know that it is possible to do so.

How Do I Modify a Prenup?

In Illinois, the primary legal requirements for modifying a prenuptial agreement are the same as the requirements for creating a prenup in the first place. Namely, the modifications must be set down in writing, and both you and your spouse must sign the document indicating your agreement. You can also revoke a prenuptial agreement entirely through the same process. The most challenging part of modifying a prenup may be finding terms that you and your spouse both agree to. However, there are situations in which updating your agreement can be beneficial for both of you.

Reasons to Update a Prenuptial Agreement

You and your spouse may want to update your prenup if one of the following applies to you:

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Joliet IL family law attorneyDomestic abuse is a problem that affects millions of people throughout the United States, but many people are reluctant to admit that they have been victims or take action to protect themselves. If you, your child, or another loved one has suffered from abuse from someone in your household, you should know that it is possible to seek help through the Illinois legal system by petitioning for an order of protection. A protective order may be warranted in more situations than you would expect, and it is important to understand how to go about obtaining one.

Reasons to Petition For an Order of Protection

An Illinois order of protection can provide safety from many different forms of domestic abuse. Physical violence may be the most obvious form of abuse from which a person needs protection, but it is certainly not the only one. You can also file an order of protection in response to willful deprivation of food, shelter, medical care, and other needs, or in response to certain forms of emotional abuse, including threats, intimidation, harassment, and surveillance. If you believe that you or someone in your household has been victimized by any of these behaviors, you should consult with an attorney to understand your options for protection.

Can I File a Petition?

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse from your spouse, parent, sibling, or another member of your household, you have the right to petition the court for an order of protection for yourself, as well as your children who may be at risk. However, you need not be a victim yourself in order to file a petition. Illinois law also allows anyone to file for an order of protection on behalf of a minor child or a disabled adult who cannot file on their own. If, for example, you have witnessed abuse between other members of your household, or you are aware of abuse toward your child when they are staying with their other parent, you can take action to help protect the victim.

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