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Oak Park, IL spousal maintenance modification attorneyA common fear that many divorced persons have is of now being alone forever. In some cases, this fear can cause a person to stay in a marriage much longer than they would like. However, contrary to popular belief, those who get divorced will not necessarily remain single for the rest of their lives. In fact, many divorcees take the lessons that they learned in their first marriage and put those towards a healthier and more mature relationship in the future. For some, this may mean a second marriage, while others may prefer to avoid saying “I do” a second time. Regardless of the status of your relationship, it is important to understand how bringing a new partner into your life may result in changes to your divorce agreement. 

Child Support Payments

Parents’ child support obligations are determined using a number of factors. The court will compare the amount of time that the child spends with each parent and see who will be the primary caregiver or custodial parent moving forward. The non-custodial parent is typically responsible for making child support payments to the custodial parent to ensure that children’s ongoing needs are met. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will continue to pay child support regardless of whether either parent gets remarried. 

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Hillside paternity attorneyMany families take the concept of “paternity” for granted, assuming that the identity of the father is assumed and not under consideration. However, some families do not have this luxury. When parents are unmarried at the time of their child’s birth, the father will not always be automatically assumed to be the child’s legal parent. From a parenting standpoint, this may not be an issue for the mother, but there are many benefits that come along with legally recognizing a child’s father.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Legally naming a person as a child’s father can have both emotional and financial benefits. On the personal side of things, most children want to know their biological parents, whether they openly express this or not. Not knowing their father’s identity can leave a lingering question in the back of their minds. Some mothers or children may fear that knowing a father’s identity requires the child to have a relationship with him. However, even if a child does not want a  relationship with their father, it can still be beneficial to know who they are to resolve this internal questioning.

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Oak Park child support attorneyChildren deserve to receive financial support from both of their parents, whether a mother and father are married, unmarried, or divorced. In order to help unmarried or divorced parents share the costs of raising a child, a court may order one parent to make child support payments to the other. In Illinois, child support is calculated using the “Income Shares” method, which takes both parents’ financial circumstances into consideration. If a parent fails to fulfill his or her child support obligations, he or she can face serious civil and even criminal consequences. Child support orders may be modified later if one of the parents experiences a “substantial change in circumstances” that necessitates the change.

The “Income Shares” Model for Calculating Child Support

Before major changes were made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) in 2017, child support was determined using a simple percentage of the paying parent’s income. For example, if a parent had two children with an ex-spouse, he or she would pay a monthly child support payment that was 28 percent of his or her monthly take-home income. Currently, however, Illinois uses a different model to calculate child support. This calculation method takes both parents’ net incomes, as well as the amount of parenting time each parent has, into consideration in order to arrive at an amount that is fair and reasonable. 

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Hillside family law attorney for legal separationA married person may consider divorce as an option for leaving a stressful or unhappy relationship and getting a fresh start. Agreeing to dissolve a marriage can be a difficult choice, since a person may be unwilling to give up the unity and love that brought the couple together. The divorce process will require spouses to identify and resolve the legal issues that must be addressed when ending their marriage, including the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as child custody), child support, and the division of marital property. However, the complexity that might be involved in resolving these matters could be a negative for some couples, and ending the marriage could also lead to unwanted attention or embarrassment for either spouse. For spouses who are considering divorce but are unsure about whether to proceed with the end of their marriage, consulting with a skilled family law attorney could identify some alternative options.      

Can Marriage Counseling Be Beneficial?

Working together with a marriage counselor is an option that a couple may be willing to try once issues arise that threaten the relationship. However, the success of these types of sessions will depend on the amount of time and effort each spouse is willing to put in. While counseling may help some couples save their marriage, research has shown that approximately 38% of married couples get divorced within four years of attending marital counseling.

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Hillside child support lawyer

When a couple begins the divorce process, it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions. On one hand, a divorce can represent a new opportunity at happiness. On the other, a divorce is a separation from someone you once thought you would spend the rest of your life with. When children are involved, a divorce can be especially emotional. 

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