Blog
Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

708-449-7404

Oak Park Parenting Time LawyerSpouses in Illinois often get divorced because abuse or neglect exists in the marriage. Sometimes, such behavior is directed towards a couple’s children even before the couple decides to separate. Other times, fears of child abuse may suddenly arise after a child comes back from spending parenting time with their other parent and something seems terribly wrong. Regardless of how the issue arose, it is essential to take your hunches about child abuse or neglect seriously. If you are in this situation and wondering whether the situation may justify a parenting agreement modification, read on. 

Do I Need to Show Evidence of Abuse? 

Illinois courts take allegations of child abuse very seriously. However, family court judges are also aware that spouses will sometimes make false or exaggerated claims about abuse to try to get revenge on each other, or to try to keep children away from their other parent. For these reasons, it is essential to have some tangible evidence that child abuse is taking place so something can be done. 

Sometimes, child abuse is obvious. If your child comes home from visiting their other parent and has physical injuries, or claims their parent or someone else hurt them, you may need to contact the authorities right away. But when abuse is more subtle or takes the form of emotional or verbal abuse, gathering evidence can be more difficult. Parents should be cautious about questioning their children about abuse because it may be easy to accidentally give children false memories, or to make it difficult for them to remember what really happened. Help from a therapist or other child psychological experts may be necessary to discover the truth.   

...

Oak Park Divorce LawyerIf you or your future spouse own a business, you know the hard work and dedication it takes to be an owner. As you are approaching your marriage, you may have questions about the impact that getting married  may have on your business. To protect your business’ assets and clearly and legally establish what is and is not marital property, you and your spouse may choose to sign a prenuptial agreement. No one wants to think about divorce before they are even married, but having a prenuptial agreement in place, especially when a business is involved, can provide peace of mind and establish a clear understanding of your finances. 

Signing a prenuptial agreement is not a predictor of divorce. As the average age of wedded couples grows older, and more assets are often brought into the marriage, it can be a good way of knowing each other's assets and debts. This can help avoid arguments about finances later, which are a leading cause of divorce. Both parties should be as upfront as they can during the preparation of a prenuptial agreement. During the divorce process, the agreement can be thrown out by a judge if, for example, one of the parties hid assets from the other, or if one spouse felt coerced into signing the agreement. 

With regard to a business, you will likely need to get a formal valuation of it for the purposes of a prenup . Typically, if a business was started before the marriage, it is usually considered non-marital property. A prenuptial agreement may also still be a good idea if you will be going into business together, or if one spouse will be doing work at the business of the other, because even if you started the business before the marriage, without a prenup, the business  might later be considered partially or even fully marital property. A prenuptial agreement can also be used to specify each spouse’s share of the business's assets and liabilities, as well as how any appreciation would be divided  in case of a divorce. While Illinois is an equitable distribution state–marital assets are divided equitably between the parties, not equally–it can still be beneficial to both spouses to agree upon a split upfront. 

...

Oak Park Family Law AttorneyIf you have been through a divorce and have children, you may be the recipient of child support payments, or you may be the one making the payments. The initial payment arrangement is either agreed to during the divorce process or through a court order by a judge ruling on the issue. It is based on certain factors, including the combined income of the two parents, how many children are being supported, and local cost of living charts. However, the courts recognize that living situations can change post-divorce. Child support modifications are available for many changes in post-divorce circumstances, and employment status is one such circumstance.

If the parent making the payments loses their job, they can request a temporary reduction through the court in the amount they have to pay. Either parent can petition the court for a child support modification to change the original order. If the job loss was due to being laid off, being fired, or if they are unable to work due to factors outside of their control, the court is more likely to grant a modification request. However,  if the child support payor voluntarily left their job and has not been making a concerted effort to regain employment, or willingly took a substantial pay cut, the court may deny the request. It is important to attempt to keep making the payments previously ordered by the court in the divorce case until the modification has been approved by a new court order.

The same factors are considered if the parent receiving the child support payments loses their job. They can request a modification to increase the payments they receive to offset their lost income, but, again, the court will look at the reasons for the job loss or pay cut, as well as look at their employment search Efforts.

...

Oak Park Family Law AttorneyFathers who are involved in family law court cases usually want to make sure their parental rights will be protected. When a married couple with children gets divorced, both parents will usually have the right to share custody (now known as “parental responsibilities” in Illinois) of their children. However, if a child’s parents are unmarried, the father likely may first need to establish paternity before he will have any legal child custody rights. By understanding when it may be necessary to establish paternity and the rights that will apply to parents and children in paternity cases, fathers can make sure they take the correct legal steps that will allow them to maintain close, ongoing relationships with their children.

Establishing Legal Paternity in Illinois

If a mother is married when her child is born, by law her spouse is presumed to be the  parent of the child. However, if the mother is not married, she and the father may need to take steps to ensure that the father will be recognized as the child’s parent. Even if both parents agree that a man is the child’s father, a failure to legally establish paternity may result in disputes in the future if the parents disagree about how they will share custody, or about other subjects. Without legal rights toward the child, the father may be unable to participate in raising the child or spend regular time with them.

To avoid these types of problems, parents can establish paternity by signing a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” form (“VAP”). This may be done immediately after the child’s birth, and hospital personnel can usually assist parents in the completion of this form. Parents may also agree to voluntarily acknowledge paternity at a later date, and they may do so by obtaining a form from their local courthouse or child support office. If both parents do not agree to acknowledge paternity, either parent may pursue a paternity case with the assistance of Illinois Child Support Services, or they may file a petition with the court and ask a judge to order genetic testing to confirm the identity of the child’s father.

...

Hillside Divorce LawyerWhile a spousal maintenance award will not be made in every divorce case, such an award may be appropriate in cases where one party will require financial support in order to maintain their standard of living. For example, if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent, they may ask for their ex-spouse to provide them with ongoing support payments to ensure that they will be able to meet their financial needs as well as maintain a residence where they can continue to provide care for their children at home during the day. While arrangements for spousal support may address a person’s needs as they move forward following their divorce, the circumstances of both parties may change in the future. If these changes would affect a person’s ability to continue making maintenance payments, or if the recipient of support will no longer need financial assistance, post-divorce modification of a spousal maintenance order may be necessary.

When Can Modifications Be Made to Spousal Support?

Generally, a person can request modifications to spousal maintenance payments if there has been a significant change in circumstances for either party. This kind of situation will typically involve changes to the income that a person earns. For example, a person who pays spousal support may encounter financial hardship due to the loss of a job or a serious injury or illness. If they will be unable to continue paying support while also covering their own ongoing expenses, they may ask for the amount of support to be reduced temporarily, or reduced permanently, or they may request that maintenance payments be terminated altogether.

Modifications may also be needed to address changes that affect the recipient of spousal support. Since maintenance is often intended to help a person become self-supporting, such as by pursuing a college degree or receiving occupational training, it may be appropriate to terminate support payments if the recipient has re-entered the workforce and is earning an income that is sufficient to meet their needs. Maintenance will also be terminated if the recipient gets remarried or begins a new relationship in which they are living together with their partner.

...
Illinois State Bar Association LAW QA Verified DuPage County Bar Association American Bar Association Highly Recommended by Locals On Alignable Martindale-Hubbell Gold Client 2018 AVVO Will County Bar Association Vincent C. Machroli & Associates, P.C. BBB Business Review
Back to Top