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Kane County family law attorneysWhen you are responsible for making child support payments, virtually every financial decision you make can affect your ability to meet your obligations. This is especially true if you are considering a job or a career change, as your income is very likely to change. While an increase in your income can be a good thing, a decrease could make it impossible for you to comply with your child support requirements. You may be able to petition the court for an order modification, but depending upon the circumstances of your employment, your request could be denied.

Illinois Law

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, an order for child support may be amended upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. Losing a job, starting a new one, a significant promotion or demotion, and a complete career change could all create a significant difference in your monthly and annual income. The law recognizes a change in employment status as one of the possible causes for a substantial change in circumstances for the purposes of pursuing an order modification.

Good Faith

Everyone has made choices in their lives that have had a negative outcome, despite being made for the right reasons. Your intentions are an extremely important consideration when seeking a child support order modification, particularly if your income has decreased. If you simply walked away from a steady job with no current, realistic prospects, you are not likely to be granted relief. Similarly, if you were dismissed from your job for inappropriate or destructive behavior, or lack of production due to your own fault, your support obligation will probably not be reduced.

Geneva child custody lawyersWhen a couple with children gets divorced in Illinois, they are required to create a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a formal document that lays out each parent’s responsibilities and rights regarding the child and provides a foundation for ongoing, cooperative parenting. If the parents cannot come up with a workable plan on their own, the court may do for them.

Under Illinois law, there are over a dozen considerations that must be included or addressed in a parenting plan, including things such as a parenting time schedule and the child’s permanent address for school enrollment purposes. Other elements can also be included at the discretion of the parents or the court, including the right of first refusal. If the right of first refusal has been included in your parenting plan, you need to know what it means.

Bonus Parenting Time

For the purposes of a parenting plan, the right of first refusal applies when a parent needs childcare during his or her allotted parenting time. Depending on how the right is structured in your plan, the right of first refusal could apply when one parent has meeting some evening or it could be saved for longer periods, such as an all-day event on a weekend when the parent was supposed to have parenting time. If the right of first refusal is invoked, the parent who needs child care must let the other parent know and give the other parent the chance to have extra parenting time.

Kane County family law attorneyChild support is intended to help parents provide for their minor children. Generally, an order for child support will terminate once the child turns 18 years old. If the child is still enrolled in high school at age 18, the child support is extended through age 19. However, there are some instances where child support orders can extend past the usual age 18 or 19 cutoff.

A child who is physically or mentally disabled may not be able to care for himself or herself and will therefore need the assistance of a parent or guardian well into adulthood. In cases such as these, courts may order one or both parents to continue to contribute to support. These support orders can last as long as the court finds necessary to secure the disabled child’s quality of life.

Not Every Disability Necessitates Ongoing Support

Geneva parenting time attorneyFamily and relationship experts have long known that children generally fare best after their parents’ divorce or separation when both parents continue to play an active role in the children’s lives. There are, of course, many ways for parents to maintain a healthy relationship with their children, but most experts believe that time together is a vital part of doing so. In recent years, there has been a greater effort in many parts of the country to include fathers more in parenting arrangements following a divorce or separation, but change, it seems, has been slow in coming to Illinois.

In many situations, mothers are granted a majority of the parenting time with their children while fathers are forced to make do with less. A new study shows how much less, and the results are rather alarming.

Illinois Near the Bottom

Kane County family law attorneyIn just a few short weeks, your children will be out of school for the summer. They are probably already looking forward to the freedom to sleep in and to spend time recreating with their friends. As a parent, you may also be excited for summer, but it is also common for parents to approach the extended break from school with at least some concerns. Such worries are often amplified for parents who share parental responsibilities with an ex-spouse. If you are subject to an Illinois parenting plan or custody agreement, it is important to prepare well in advance for the months ahead.

Review Your Existing Arrangements

Before planning any trips or summertime events, it is important to know what your parenting plan says about the summer break. Many parenting plans give the bulk of summer parenting time to the parent who sees the children less often during the school year—particularly if that parent lives relatively far away. Other plans keep a schedule similar to that which is in place during the school year. If your plan makes definitive arrangements regarding summer parenting time, you need to follow them or come up with a compromise so that both you and the other parent can enjoy the summer as well.

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