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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.

Illinois defense attorneySometimes, young people make mistakes. When that happens, Illinois law allows them to be tried in juvenile court as long as they are under the age of 18. If your child has been arrested or charged with a crime, the matter will be handled in a very different way than it would be in an adult courtroom. Nonetheless, ensuring you have a good attorney to help your family through the process can make things easier on all involved.

Many Differences

Unlike proceedings in regular court, juvenile proceedings have differing nomenclature and require different people and things. For example, representation by an attorney is required in all cases in Illinois juvenile court, and in most cases, a putative offender’s parents are also required to be present. Also, under Illinois law, minors who commit crimes are not seen as criminals, per se; rather, they are seen as “delinquent minors,” and the focus in most juvenile cases is intended to be on rehabilitation, rather than retribution. This does not always play out, but the general slant of the law pointed is in this manner.


Illinois custody attorneyIf you and your spouse have any children, one of you will be ordered to pay child support starting after your divorce proceedings, as well as possibly spousal support. While the court’s decision must stand for the moment, it is possible to modify either support order after enough time has passed. The law holds that there must have been a “substantial change in circumstances” in order to do so, however, and that vague term can sometimes cause confusion.

Timelines Matter

Unlike in other states, a child support or spousal support order may be modified by the court anytime after its entry, though the timing will be scrutinized to ensure that it is being requested for appropriate reasons. (In other words, a modification requested solely to vex the other parent will not only be denied, it may result in a contempt of court citation for the requester.) Also, any support obligation that is already due and owing may not be retroactively modified, even if your request is granted.


illinois domestic violence attorneyOn a lot of occasions, people who are charged with a crime might only be familiar with the offense because of television and pop culture. This is especially true for many domestic violence defendants, who are often unaware that what they have allegedly done even falls under the specter of domestic violence. If you have been charged, being able to separate fact from fiction about Illinois’ domestic violence law can make all the difference.

Domestic Violence Law

Contrary to what one sees on television, Illinois’ domestic violence law is far-reaching, covering much more than just spouses. The statute defines domestic violence as a crime against a household member and specifically defines household members as including spouses, but also many others. Household members include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, any other blood relative, and many other categories of a person both related and not related by blood to the alleged abuser.


Illinois family attorneyGrandparents are an integral part of the family, but they have limited legal rights when it comes to visiting their grandchildren. Grandparent visitation often becomes an issue when parents divorce. The custodial parent generally has the right to decide who spends time with the child, and he or she might not want the child spending time with the other parent’s side of the family. In that case, do the grandparents - and other non-parent family members - have any legal options?

Non-Parent Visitation Rights Under Illinois Law

Illinois law provides limited protections to grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings, and stepparents seeking visitation time with a child. The law defines “visitation” as “in-person time” with the child, but it can also include electronic communication such as texting and talking on the phone. (Note that “siblings” include half-siblings and stepsiblings.)


Posted on in Child Support

Illinois family attorneyStatistics from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) show that approximately 62 percent of Illinois high school graduates go directly to college in the following year, with that number on the rise. If your children decide to go to college, you may have an obligation, even if you are divorced, to help contribute to that fund. Being armed with the relevant information can help you understand the extent of your responsibility to contribute, if any, versus anything you may personally elect to contribute.

Illinois Law on “Non-Minor Support”

As with most aspects of family law, an Illinois court will usually only get involved in the issue of college expenses if the two divorcing parents cannot agree on the obligations (or lack thereof) of each party during their divorce itself. If a court does have to get involved, the relevant Illinois law is fairly specific about obligations in some aspects, but others are left almost entirely up to the interpreting authority. It is referred to as the law of non-minor support (even though some college freshmen may be under the age of 18 when they begin school).

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