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Rockford, Illinois Family Law Blog

Within limits, parents can get creative bargaining child support

In Illinois, parents have some freedom to be creative in their bargaining when it comes to setting an appropriate amount of child support. For example, in lieu of a straight up cash payment, a parent may also agree to pay all or part of particular bills and expenses that come up. Other alternatives may include setting up a fund for one's children so that they can draw income from it.

However, these sorts of agreements are subject to certain limits, since child support is ultimately something that is wrapped up in the well-being of a child and is part and parcel of a parent's duty to care for and support his or her offspring.

Why it is good to have an attorney help with enforcing custody

A previous post on this blog discussed how Rockford, Illinois, parents can compel the other parent to follow the court's orders with respect to child custody and parenting time.

One of course hopes never to be in a situation where they have to force the other parent to do what a court has found, or event what he or she has agreed, is best for their children; however, if they do find themselves in such a situation, then they are most likely not going to get help directly from the police and will have to return to court.

What can I do if I am not ready for divorce?

If your spouse serves you with divorce papers, you might feel surprised or shocked. You have been married for several years and have always managed to make it through the rocky times together. You know things have not been perfect in your relationship and thought you were making progress in moving past them. Divorce is an unpleasant reality for many people in the Rockford area. It can also lead to much confusion and conflict when there are high-value assets involved. 

Try not to let your feeling take over and cause you to say and do things to aggravate the situation. Though you feel blindsided by your partner, there are some things for you to consider if you do not feel ready for divorce

Getting a modification of child support in Illinois

As this blog has discussed previously, Rockford, Illinois, residents who are ordered to pay child support do not have a lot of say in the matter. They either need to come up with the money, or they will face serious penalties that can profoundly affect their lives and can even lead to some time in jail.

When because of a job change or some other circumstance beyond his or her control, a person sees that he or she will no longer be able to pay the child support he or she owes, the proper course of action is to file a petition with the court asking for a child support modification.

Review of how to enforce a child custody order

While it is true that it is always ideal when two Rockford, Illinois, parents who happen to live apart are able to get along well enough to coordinate child custody, parenting time and parental responsibilities in a friendly manner, sometimes this is not possible.

Unfortunately, enforcing a child custody order is not always a matter of just calling the police or the local courthouse and getting one's child back. It is true that in extreme cases, a parent who has chosen to take custody or parenting time in to his or her own hands can wind up in trouble with the local police or prosecutor.

Alimony remains tax deductible, for now

Many residents of Rockford, Illinois, have heard about the recent tax reform package that will being to go in to effect even this year. One of the features of this tax reform was a profound change in the tax treatment of alimony.

Specifically, for all new alimony orders entered after December 31 of this year in connection with a divorce or legal separation, alimony will no longer be tax deductible. However, those facing the possibility of an alimony order being entered for the first time this year will still have a tax incentive to agree to paying it or, for that matter, being willing to pay more.

We represent grandparents in their visitation requests

A previous post on this blog reminded Rockford, Illinois, grandparents that although they have certain rights to request a court to order that they be allowed to visit with their grandchildren, even over the objections of one of the child's parents, these rights are limited and subject to a lot of restrictions.

Grandparents, particularly those who find themselves suddenly not allowed to see the grandchildren whom they used to spend a lot of time with and may have even helped raise, should not feel discouraged after reading over these restrictions, even though they may at first seem a little daunting.

Review of Illinois' grandparent visitation statute

Like other states, Illinois law allows for Rockford grandparents, under certain circumstances to get a court order allowing them to visit with their grandchildren. However, there are certain limitations and restrictions that apply to these grandparents' rights.

For instance, a grandparent can only get a court order for visitation in situations where only one of the child's biological parents is primary custodian of the child, such as when one of the parents is dead or there is a divorce or, in the case of unmarried couples, a break up. In a private civil matter, grandparents generally cannot overrule the wishes of a married couple when it comes to visitation, no matter how unreasonable they may feel the parents are being.

More on Social Security and child support

A previous post on this blog talked about how a Rockford, Illinois, resident's Social Security check, so long as it is not Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, counts as income when it comes to calculating child support since it is there to replace all or part of what one would have made had he or she been working.

While in many cases, Social Security and disability proceeds are exempt from collection, child support enforcement is not one of those cases. Under federal rules, Social Security Administration can and will accept garnishment orders from states seeking to collect on back child support or current obligations.

When is consent to an adoption not required?

One of the most important aspects of finalizing an adoption in Illinois, whether it be the case of a stepparent adopting his or her stepchild or two parents adopting a child, is getting the consent of the child's biological parents.

Rockford residents who are interested in adopting naturally hope that this process goes smoothly, and many of them only are interested in adopting where parents have already agreed to give up their children. However, there are always going to be occasions in which biological parent will not agree to an adoption, even if it is apparent that doing so is in their child's best interests.

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