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Rockford IL Family Law Blog

TV star's former partner owes thousands in back child support

Illinois parents can face a difficult time when their former partners not keep up with their child support obligations. Raising a child can be extremely expensive, and even everyday expenses can be overwhelming for a single parent. When parents don't comply with their court-ordered child support obligations, the financial situation of the custodial parent and their child can be stretched to the limit.

Child support is not a voluntary contribution. People who habitually refuse to pay their child support could face jail time, suspension of their driver's licence and other legal penalties. This is the case for the ex-partner of actress Nicole Curtis. He is facing potential jail time after failing to pay child support for Curtis' eldest son, who is now 20 years old. He reportedly owes over $14,685 in back child support.

Negotiations and divorce settlement agreements

Some Illinois couples whose marriages are ending might want to negotiate a comprehensive settlement agreement instead of going to court and having a judge rule on the issues. However, they may want to get a good understanding of their financial and legal situations before doing do.

People should organize their finances and should speak to an attorney about what obligations and rights they have under Illinois divorce law. They might also want to create a budget and think about their wants and needs as well as those of their spouse. It is important that people do not make the mistake of offering more in alimony than they are able to pay.

Shared parenting becoming more common

Illinois parents are developing new ways to raise their children after a divorce. In the past, it was common for fathers to see their children on weekends or other designated times. Today, it is more common for parents to work together to raise their children like they did when they were married. More than 20 states are considering legislation that would require parents take this collaborative approach.

Kentucky and Florida passed laws in the past year that would made shared parenting the default option when a marriage ended. The Florida bill was vetoed while the Kentucky bill makes equal parenting time and custody the default option while a permanent order is being created. Father's rights advocates have pushed for reform of what they see as an unfair system over several years. Lawmakers are generally accepting of reform in an era where gender equality has become a priority.

Reasons for getting divorced in January

In Illinois and elsewhere throughout the country, many people file for divorce during the month of January. March and August are also common months for couples to get divorced, according to research from the University of Washington. The reason why January is a common month for divorce is that many people prefer to not get divorced during the holiday season. This may be especially true for parents with young children.

For some individuals, the magic of the season may be enough to keep them together through the end of December. At that time, the problems that existed prior to the holidays may come back and be too much for some to bear. For others, the stress of the holidays may be what ultimately causes a person to reconsider being in a marriage. The start of a new year may also prompt individuals to consider the state of their relationship.

Divorce in Illinois

Divorce can be a stressful and emotional experience; the loss of companionship and fighting between former partners are some of the more obvious effects. One aspect of divorce that many people may not see coming is the effect on one's credit.

There are several ways that divorce can have an effect on your credit. One common reason for changes in one's credit after divorce is that what may have been a two-income household has now become two one-income households, and that means less credit that will be extended to each individual. Furthermore, what debt they do have will be compared against this lower credit limit. This typically means higher credit utilization rates and, consequently, lower credit scores. If the debt left over from a marriage is split unevenly, this could have a profound effect on that partner's credit because he or she may have even more debt compared against equal or even less income.

Tips for making divorce preparations

For some people in Illinois, the new year or a return from summer vacation may make them realize it is time to get a divorce. Whether or not a person has made a final decision, there are several ways to prepare for divorce.

The person might want to begin by researching divorce laws in the state. It is important to do this on reputable sites, such as those of the Illinois state court. An individual may also want to begin thinking about what kind of questions to ask an attorney during his or her consultation and whether the terms of the divorce could be worked out through mediation. Another thing to think about and start planning for is what one's future will be like after the divorce. A person should also put together his or her financial records. This might include pulling a credit report and gathering bank statements, pay stubs from the end of the year, credit card statements and tax returns.

How bitcoin might be divided in a divorce

When Illinois couples get a divorce, they may need to divide property such as retirement accounts, art collections, and a home. One of them might also have a bitcoin account. This cryptocurrency used to be little-known and not worth much, but as its value increases, it might start to have an effect in these situations.

However, the role of bitcoin in property division also raises other issues. One is about concealing assets. Some websites encourage people to hide bitcoin assets during a divorce, and it would be difficult to trace this activity.

Divorce can cause extended families to grow

The large number of divorced families in Illinois means that the definition of family has branched out in several directions, and the size of American families has also grown as well. Research has found that divorce has made American families significantly larger as stepparents, stepchildren and half-siblings enter a family after divorce.

Almost one-third of U.S. households headed by adults under 55 include at least one stepparent. Similarly, 33 percent of couples over 55 with adult children have stepchildren among them. The study included both married and unmarried couples living together. The study also found that for American families that include grown children, including stepchildren increases family size by an average of 66 percent.

Actress must pay $2,800 a month for child support

Some Illinois custodial parents might find the child support amount awarded to the ex-husband of actress Jodie Sweetin enviable. A court has ordered the star of the television show "Fuller House" to pay $2,800 every month for the support of her 7-year-old daughter.

According to the child support order, the father is to receive $1,400 on the first of every month and another $1,400 on the 15th of each month. Support payments are to continue until their daughter reaches age 18 unless she dies, becomes emancipated or gets married. The court decision also included a requirement for Sweetin to pay child support going back to Sept. 1. She has until March 1, 2018 to fulfill the obligation for retroactive payments.

Social Security payments and an ex-spouse's earnings

Illinois residents who get a divorce might be able to get Social Security payments based on the earnings history of an ex-spouse once they reach the age of 62. The divorce must happen after at least 10 years of marriage, and there must have been some income disparity between the two. The payments cannot begin until at least two years after the divorce.

Social Security payments are calculated by taking the monthly average of the highest-paying 35 years of a person's working life. This is called the Primary Insurance Amount, and it is the amount a person will receive at full retirement at the age of 67. Subtracting this amount from half of the ex-spouse's PIA gives the amount that the person will receive from that spouse. If the result is negative, the person will not receive a spousal payment. If the person is eligible for the spousal payment, the full amount will be paid at 67, but there could be more in some cases if the person waits until the age of 70.

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