As more states legalize same-sex marriages, the legal landscape continues to evolve in the United States. In Illinois, same-sex marriage was legalized on June 1, 2014. The statute promises marriage equality under the law.
Sometimes, the fairy tale does not last. Sometimes, the story does not end with, "happily ever after." Sometimes, boy meets girl does not end well. But, if the legacy of that relationship is an Illinois baby, each parent has obligations that survive long after the relationship has come to an end. One of those obligations is child support.
Parents who must pay child support need to do so regularly. Those payments generally do not go directly to the other parent, but to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, P.O. Box 5400, Carol Stream, Illinois 60197-5400.
For many Illinoisans, child custody is tough enough when both parents live near each other. But what happens when one parent wants to move hundreds of miles away or even across state lines? The answer (unsurprisingly) is that it depends. It depends on what the noncustodial says; it depends on how far the custodial parent wants to move; it depends on the child's best interest. Below are three questions and answers that shed some light on how these factors influence the outcome.
What if both parents agree to the move? Usually a court will allow a custodial parent to move if the non-custodial parent has agreed in writing to the move and the subsequent affects that move will have on child custody and visitation.
Children are important -- and dependent. They cannot provide themselves food, clothing or shelter. They need their parents to provide these things. But not every parent does. Sometimes, one parent will ignore his or her basic responsibilities. Indeed, some parents will continue to disregard those responsibilities even after a court has ordered them to pay child support. Take, for instance, a rapper from just across the Illinois border.
Readers may remember the man as the father who claimed he died in 2009, so he was no longer eligible to pay child support. Because the rapper is still very much alive, even other rappers called him out for the outlandish claim.
Some divorces breeze right along toward a quick conclusion. Others do not. Many couples can expect a drawn out process filled with back and forth about a litany of high-stake issues: who gets the kids, the house, the retirement accounts and so much more.
The myriad of life-altering questions that need to be answered during one of the toughest points in a person's life is just one reason that Illinois residents should be prepared. The attorneys at the Law Offices of KML Associates have more than 30 years of experience guiding Illinois residents through the divorce process and helping them make thoughtful decisions that serve them well both at the time of the divorce and into their future.
For Illinoisans with children, many of the biggest issues to resolve during a split involve children. Sometimes both parents want to be the primary caregiver; other times one parent wants the other parent to pay (what seems to the other parent to be) a princely sum for child support. This post will speak more about the first scenario: child custody.
Child custody comes in several shapes and sizes. The first thing to know is that there are actually two forms of child custody: physical and legal. Physical custody governs where the child will live. The parent who has physical custody of the child is said to be the custodial parent; the other parent is the non-custodial parent. By contrast, legal custody addresses which parent can make important decisions about a child's health, religion, education and more.
Many Illinoisans can act like reasonable adults while going through a divorce, others less so. For some of these folks, divorce brings out the absolute worst. Take, for instance, a recent case in which a husband claims his marriage never happened -- even though he had a wedding, held out his wife as his wife for 20 years and had three children with her.
The husband argues the marriage was not legal, so the wife cannot divorce him. Specifically, he argues that under his state's law, a couple has to have a marriage license before they get married. In his case, he and his bride-to-be applied for the license two days before the wedding, but did not receive it until more than a week after the wedding.
A recent Gallup poll involving more than 130,000 Americans may interest Illinoisans. The poll looked into what was more stressful: divorce or the separation that precedes it. The poll found that the initial separation was more stressful than the actual divorce.
The author of the study speculated that the finding has to do with uncertainty. Those who are separated have a lot of uncertainty. They are separated, but it's not yet final. Maybe the couple will get back together, maybe they won't. In contrast, a divorce brings closure.
Just as each Illinoisan is unique, so too are the family-law issues he or she encounters. Some Illinoisans get married, start a civil union or begin a domestic partnership. Others get divorced or dissolve their relationship. Some Illinoisans need an order of protection. Others need to create, modify or enforce a child-custody agreement. Some need to calculate child support; others need to enforce it.
Whatever the reason for an Illinoisan's journey into family law, the Law Offices of KML Associates is well equipped to help. We have decades of experience serving clients with difficult legal issues, from divorce to asset division, from child custody to child support. You do not have to handle these issues alone.
When high-profile Illinoisans divorce a common topic is the strength of the couple's prenuptial agreement. When done properly, these agreements, along with postnuptial agreements, can be essential for almost everyone, from business owners to stay-at-home moms to those who want to make sure they get the pet in case of a divorce.
But doing a pre- or post-nuptial agreement right can be tricky -- hence the speculation every time a high-profile couple calls it quits.