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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

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708-449-7404

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.

Financially, every child has a right to receive support from both of their biological parents. Children are entitled to child support to ensure that their ongoing needs are met. Depending on their father’s occupation and insurance coverage, children may also be eligible to receive health insurance benefits. Children are also eligible to receive any Social Security benefits, Veteran’s benefits, or an inheritance upon their father’s death.

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Oak Park post-divorce enforcement lawyerThere are many reasons you might need to return to court after completing your divorce. For example, you might need to ask for a modification of your divorce decree because your or your former spouse’s circumstances have changed. However, you may also face situations in which your ex-spouse has not complied with the legally binding terms in your divorce decree. 

Sometimes, you and your former spouse might be able to meet with each other to address these issues without getting the courts involved, but in other situations, you might need to take legal action to enforce your divorce decree. Either way, you will want to work with a family law attorney who is experienced in addressing post-decree matters.

Post-Decree Enforcement Issues

The terms set forth in a divorce decree are legally binding, and both parties are required by law to follow them. If either party does not meet their court-ordered obligations, the other party may bring the case back before the court to enforce these terms. In some cases, the parties may be able to address and resolve these issues when they arise, while in other situations, a non-compliant spouse may face penalties such as being held in contempt of court. Here are some examples of common post-decree enforcement issues:

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Hillside, IL divorce decree modification attorneyWhile some folks may believe that a divorce decree is a permanent and unchangeable legal document, there are actually many common circumstances that may call for modification of the decree. After all, life is rarely static, and you may experience a variety of life events and circumstances that might render your divorce decree unreasonable, invalid, or otherwise unfeasible. 

Typical Reasons to Change Spousal Support or Child Support

In the years following a divorce, myriad circumstances may change for one or both parties that would require post-decree modifications. This is quite common with spousal support and child support. Some common situations in which support may need to be adjusted after a divorce include:

  • An increase or reduction in income for either party;
  • Loss of employment;
  • Disability; and,
  • Health expenses from a major medical illness.

If either ex-spouse is faced with any of these situations, or if children experience issues which affect their ongoing needs, a post-decree modification may be necessary to adjust the amount of money one ex-spouse must pay to the other.

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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. 

To calculate the amount of child support payments, each parent’s net income is established by taking their gross income and subtracting certain deductions, such as taxes, health insurance premiums, mandatory retirement contributions, and previous child support or spousal support obligations. Next, the total amount of money needed to support the child is determined based on the amount parents who earn that combined income would typically spend to support the number of children they share. Finally, this cost is split proportionally between the parents based on their net incomes. The parent who has the majority of parenting time will typically be the recipient of child support, and the other parent will be the payor.

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Oak Park divorce lawyer post-decree mattersGoing into a new year, many people often try to set goals in order to improve their everyday lives. These resolutions may range from promises to eat healthier to working towards a better career, and there are limitless possibilities for self-improvement. If you are trying to move past a divorce, there are several goals that you can put into place to help make this task easier to achieve. While beginning a new year alone can be difficult, there are a number of positive steps you can take that can help you build a successful life after your marriage has ended.

Act Appropriately Towards Your Ex

Following your divorce, you and your ex-spouse may still have to communicate with each other on a regular basis. Whether it is due to child custody, child support, or different post-decree matters, a variety of situations may arise that will require the two of you to cross paths and interact. By treating your ex with respect and kindness when possible, you can avoid a toxic relationship and reduce stress in your life.

If, however, your ex chooses to act in a way that increases conflict, it is highly recommended to remove yourself from the situation and seek help. Utilizing a support system that includes friends, family members, and a therapist or other trained professionals can provide you with a safe space where you can express your thoughts and feelings. You may also need to seek out legal help if you need to obtain a restraining order to protect your safety, or to possibly modify or enforce the terms of your divorce decree.

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