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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 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).


Posted on in Division of Property

Illinois divorce lawyerAsset distribution in divorce is almost never easy. However, in some cases, it can be made more complex if there is suspicion that your spouse is hiding something. Whether information or assets, if your spouse is not being honest, it is a problem. Fortunately, there are remedies available under Illinois law.

How to Spot Irregularities

As a general rule, couples in the U.S. can be less than honest with each other regarding financial affairs. A 2016 poll from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) showed that as many as 40 percent of married people hid a major purchase from their spouse or took money out of joint accounts without discussion. During a marriage, this may be able to be solved with discussion or counseling - but during a divorce, or if the purchase is not disclosed during the divorce, it can be a significant issue.


Illinios custody attorneyDuring a divorce or custody proceeding, a phrase that comes up with regularity is the “best interests of the child.” This is the standard used by the court to arrive at final decisions on issues like parenting time, but it can sometimes be defined in confusing ways, especially because the same standard can be used for multiple different issues. If you are going to court to discuss custody issues, having an idea of what this standard actually means can be a big help to you.

Parents’ Decisions Usually Honored

First and foremost, it helps to know that the court will only become involved in custody-related questions in some cases, not all. Generally, a court will honor any agreement that you and your spouse come to regarding parenting time, support, and any other issues like healthcare or education unless that agreement can be shown to be manifestly unreasonable. For example, the court will not permit a couple to put all the financial burden of care for a child onto the spouse who makes less money. If you cannot agree or the agreement is unconscionable, the court will step in.

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