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Rockford, Illinois Family Law Blog

What's a 'right of first refusal' in child custody?

Your ex-spouse has been placed on mandatory overtime at work -- so they're working much longer hours than normal. As a consequence, they're simply not available during their normally scheduled visitation.

So what happens to the kids? A "right of first refusal" clause can make the answers easier to figure out.

3 tips for preparing your finances ahead of divorce

If ending your marriage is inevitable, fragile emotions will often wage war with common sense, so it helps to adopt a business-like attitude. Your primary goal is to come out of the divorce with a secure future, but your financial situation may seem overwhelming. The more familiar you are with your current income, liabilities and assets, the easier it will be to create a plan for your post-divorce life.

Here are three tips for preparing your finances for divorce and beyond.

What happens if you don't pay child support in Illinois

Money's tight and you're worried about paying the rent or mortgage, keeping your car and putting food on the table. Is skipping a child support payment or two an option?

Not really. Skipping a child support payment is a risky proposition under any circumstances. Parents are generally expected to pay their fair share of support for their children, and skipping a few payments could deprive your child of some essential needs.

Here's what happens to your pension when you divorce

Divorce can be a difficult process for any couple. It can be even more complicated if it happens later in life, there are unequal financial circumstances and a spouse's pension comes into play.

Pensions have become increasingly less popular than divorce in recent years. Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2002 revealed that 20% of marriages were likely to end within the first five years. That same data showed that 33% of marriages were likely to be dissolved within the first 10 years. Those statistics also show that only 18% of private-sector employees have pensions. At least 35% of them did back in the 1990s.

Are you headed for a divorce?

Everybody told you that the "honeymoon phase" of your marriage would eventually give way to daily routines and ordinary life -- and you were fine with that. You weren't expecting, however, for your relationship with your spouse to fizzle away entirely.

Yet, here you are. You're starting to wonder if your marriage is going to last (or whether you even want it to do so).

When can grandparents seek visitation rights in Illinois?

Lots of people cherish the time they spent with their grandparents -- and rightly so. Grandparents can be a source of wisdom, love and support for their grandchildren throughout their lives.

Grandparents in Illinois can sometimes seek visitation rights with their grandchildren -- even over the objections of that child's parents. To do so, the grandchild must be at least 1 year of age and at least one of the following must be true:

  • One of the grandchild's parents must be considered an unfit parent or be deemed legally incompetent
  • One of the grandchild's parents must be incarcerated for 90 days or longer or has been absent from the child's life for that period of time
  • One of the grandchild's parents is deceased
  • The grandchild's parents are divorced and one will not permit the grandparents to have visitation with the grandchild
  • The grandchild's parents are not married and do not live together

How do you communicate with your spouse during divorce?

Your marriage is over, but your relationship with your ex-spouse is just beginning. Since you have children, you'll be co-parenting together for years to come.

Do yourself a favor and start the process off right -- because what you do now will have a significant effect on how you continue to communicate in the future with your co-parent. Here are some tips:

What if you need a modification of child support in Illinois?

Illinois is rather particular about how often parents are allowed to ask the court to review their child support orders. Absent any significant changes in the child's needs or the non-custodial parent's income and resources, you can only make a modification request every three years.

But what if you do have a significant change in your income? Economic upheavals are happening all over the country and a lot of people are out of work -- many of them uncertain when they'll be able to return. Those child support obligations can pile up rather quickly when you don't have an income coming in.

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