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Bloomington Divorce Blog

How is child support determined in Illinois?

When you choose to seek a divorce from your spouse in Bloomington, one of the first important points to enter your mind will likely by how you will support your children. The deterioration of your relationship with your spouse has little bearing on your feelings towards your children, so your willingness to continue to provide for them is likely not an issue. Having said that, you also do not want to be left having to bear the entire burden of doing so if it is not necessary. This speculation all leads to one simple question: how does the state determine child support? 

A general overview of the process is provided in Section 5-505 of Illinois' Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. According to this law, child support determinations are made as follows: 

  • Yours and your ex-spouse's monthly net income is determined
  • Those two amounts are combined to determine a total monthly household income
  • An appropriate amount is selected from the state's schedule of basic child support obligations based on the number of children you share and your total monthly household income
  • Your share of that amount is determined based on your contribution to the total monthly household income

False claims of family violence

68711027_S.jpgThere are many different fathers' rights topics that may need to be taken into consideration by someone who is going through the end of their marriage. Not only do concerns related to the financial side of divorce often arise, such as alimony payments and calculating child support, but there are many other facets of family law that can be particularly difficult for some fathers. For example, a bitter custody dispute over kids may surface and during this battle, a father's former partner may falsely accuse them of family violence, which could shatter their life in more than one way.

Family violence allegations can trigger a ripple effect of hardships in a father's life, and these difficulties may be even more pronounced for someone who is trying to adjust to daily life in the wake of a recent divorce. They may be criticized by friends and family members for allegations that are completely untrue and they could even face problems related to their career. Restraining orders and being unable to spend time with kids are some other concerns for many fathers. Unfortunately, some people falsely accuse their child's other parent of family violence because they want to win a custody battle. Or, in some instances, a father may be falsely accused of family violence by a bitter ex who wants revenge.

Changes to terminology regarding child custody

97054168_S.jpgIf you are a parent seeking to divorce your spouse, you may wonder about child custody arrangements. However, both the term and the concept are a little outdated. Rather than using the term "child custody," Illinois courts now refer to the allocation of parental responsibilities. We at Stange Law Firm believe the change is beneficial because even if communication is problematic between two parents, the new rule involves both parents in their child's life rather than determining custody and arranging for visitation. 

Allocation of parental responsibilities involves the creation of a parenting agreement or plan. According to FindLaw, in most cases, parents and their attorneys are able to negotiate a parenting plan themselves. In such instances, rather than litigating the matter, the attorneys can then simply submit the plan to the court for approval. 

Reviewing Illinois' paternity laws

68553932_S.jpgThe moment that you learn you are going to be a father can be quite shocking, particularly if you are not married to the child's mother. Many men from Bloomington come to us here at the Stange Law Firm in this scenario with the same sentiments. Some may be excited at the prospect, others may question the validity of such claims, and others might feel conflicted. Whichever of those groups you happen to fall into, it is important that you understand the local laws regarding men in your position.

Interestingly, a DNA test alone is often not considered to be sufficient evidence to establish paternity. Instead, the state has established guidelines that presume paternity. Per Section 46/204 of the Illinois Parentage Act, you are presumed to be the father of a child in any of the following scenarios: 

  • The child was born while you and their mother were married, or were in a civil union (or similar legal relationship)
  • The child was born within 300 days of the end of your marriage, civil union (or similar relationship) with their mother
  • You entered into a legal relationship with the child's mother (that was later declared invalid) within 300 days prior to their birth
  • Your marry or enter into a civil union (or similar legal relationship) after the child is born and you consent to have your name listed as a parent on their birth certificate

3 dead after violent encounter stemming from couple's divorce

32612731_S.jpgWhile the pressure and emotions associated with getting divorced will undoubtedly affect all separating couples at some point, it can reach an extreme in some cases that results in tension that could turn dangerous. Unfortunately, there are some people in Illinois who are so angry at how their marriage is ending and perhaps with their former spouse's behavior, that they become violent and dangerous. 

This is what happened in a recent case in Pennsylvania that left three people dead, including a man who was later identified as the perpetrator. It appears as though he was angry with how his divorce played out. People who knew the couple and investigators determined that after the couple's divorce was finalized, the man was "set off." He tried unsuccessfully to kill his ex-wife, but she was able to get away uninjured. Next, he entered a senior citizen facility where he murdered both of his parents. 

Considering co-parenting after divorce? Three tips for success.

41255754_S.jpgCo-parenting is an arrangement that allows both parents to play an integral part in their child's daily life after a divorce is finalized. This form of parenting has grown in popularity in recent years as research has shown that, barring any instances of abuse, children generally do best when both parents are actively involved in their upbringing.

In theory, co-parenting sounds great. The reality is not always as wonderful. You and your ex have chosen to move forward with a divorce for a reason. It can be difficult to put the frustrations that led to the divorce aside and move forward with a successful co-parenting agreement.

How does property division work?

20774363_S (1).jpgMany couples who think of divorce imagine fighting over who gets what. While it's true people often disagree on how to divide their belongings after a marriage, there are laws that courts use to assist with this process.

How your assets will be divided depends on where you were married, but luckily property laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.

Divorce Mediation: A Better Way For Many

60259205_S.jpgIf you were to use your local newsstand or your Facebook feed to learn about divorce, you would think there are exactly two ways a couple can approach the process:

  1. A knock-down, drag-out fight, where the goal is victory at all cost regardless of how much emotional and financial damage is inflicted
  2. A kumbaya celebration, where all issues are uncontested and the couples moves forward into a world where they still regularly hug despite their decision to end their marriage

In the real world you call home, things are not so black and white. While some issues may be worth litigating in court, most issues can be resolved in a more collaborative fashion. This allows couples to negotiate outcomes to the issues they disagree on while quickly moving forward on the issues where there is agreement. Mediation and collaborative law can save couples time and money while creating a much more hospitable environment for children.

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