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Rockford, Illinois Family Law Blog

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.

What can I do to adjust the amount I pay in child support?

During the divorce process, one of the many issues the parents of children will tackle is child support. In many cases, the court will order a parent to provide ongoing financial support for their children, particularly if those children are to be placed in the physical custody of the other parent. The overall goal is to ensure the child, or children, receive the same amount of support they received while the parents were legally married.

Of course, the process of determining how much child support is to be paid takes place at the time of the divorce proceedings and is based upon the present financial situation of the parents. Over time, circumstances can, of course, change. A parent paying child support may change jobs - or possibly lose a job - that puts that person in a significantly different financial situation, for example. When this happens, it may be possible, and even necessary, to seek a change in the amount of child support to be paid.

How to find out if a spouse has hidden assets

There are severe penalties in place for spouses who hide assets during a divorce. It is illegal to lie about anything during the court proceedings, and after you and your spouse have signed a financial affidavit, then you both need to be completely transparent until the divorce is final. 

Although there are laws against hiding assets, many spouses choose to do so anyway because they do not think the other spouse will discover anything. You may have a sneaking suspicion your partner has assets hidden, but it can be tough to prove anything without sufficient evidence. Fortunately, there are actions to take to locate any hidden assets before finalizing the separation. 

Can a court order me to mediate my custody dispute?

This blog has in the past discussed the benefits and the drawbacks in mediation. While mediation is a great way to help parents cooperate in resolving their child custody disputes, it is not always right for everyone.

For instance, a victim of domestic violence might not want to mediate with his or her perpetrator, as that opens the door to further traumatization and, possibly, additional abuse and manipulation.

Two times to alter a prenup after marriage

Prenuptial agreements have become increasingly popular among newly married couples. In particular, millennials appear to realize the importance of such an agreement before following through with marriage. Time Magazine reports that a majority of attorneys have seen an increase in the number of people asking about acquiring a prenup.

How long-term unmarried couples divide property

Many people in Rockford, Illinois, have lived together without being married for years if not decades. In all likelihood, over their years together, these couples have intermingled their separate property and have otherwise lived a common life and maintained a common home together.

However, Illinois law does not have a way for a couple to go through the divorce process when they have never been married, which means that these couples have no legal way, at least not through the court system, of dividing their property.

Overview of legal separation in Illinois

As is the case in many other states, under Illinois law, Rockford residents are allowed to file for a legal separation in lieu of a divorce. People may want to explore this option for a variety of different reasons.

In some cases, couples need to separate but have moral or religious objection to divorce, while in other cases, there is a psychological or emotional barrier to ending one's marriage in the eyes of the law as opposed to just taking a break. In some cases, legal separation may even be in couple's best financial interest.

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The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, Inc. 728 North Court Street, Suite B Rockford, IL 61103 Phone: 815-981-4859 Fax: 815-997-5129 Rockford Law Office Map