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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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Hillside child support attorneyChild support in Illinois is determined using what is known as the “Income Shares” model. This calculation method takes into account each parent’s net income, and, in cases involving shared parenting, it also takes into account the amount of parenting time assigned to each parent. A parent’s child support obligation is intended to be reasonably affordable, while still providing the financial support the other parent needs to cover child-related expenses. However, if circumstances change, the amount of child support a parent pays may no longer be appropriate, and a child support modification may be necessary.

Changing Your Illinois Child Support Order

Child support orders are legally-enforceable court orders that must be closely adhered to. If a parent does not pay his or her child support in full and on-time, he or she may face serious consequences. If you need to decrease your child support obligation, or if you are the recipient parent, and you need to increase the amount of child support you receive, you will need to petition the court for a child support modification. Illinois courts may modify an existing child support order if:

  • There has been a “substantial change in circumstances” (defined in the next paragraph); or,
  • A modification is needed to provide for the child’s healthcare needs; or,
  • There is a considerable difference between the current child support obligation and the guidelines established by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), and the deviation from the guidelines was not an intentional decision by the court.

Defining “Substantial Change in Circumstances”

Typically, a child support order is eligible for modification if a parent’s financial resources or the child’s financial needs have changed significantly. For example, if the paying parent (also known as the “obligor parent”) experiences a considerable increase in net income, his or her child support obligation may increase. Conversely, if the obligor parent loses his or her job, experiences a significant reduction in income, or experiences a significant increase in expenses, his or her child support obligation may decrease. However, the change in employment situation must have occurred in good faith - so if the parent voluntarily quit his or her job or took a position making less money to intentionally reduce his or her child support obligation, the court in these circumstances will most likely deny a modification request. An Illinois child support order may also be modified if the financial resources of the parent receiving support significantly increase or decrease. A substantial change in the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time may also necessitate a child support modification.

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Oak Park, IL legal guardianship attorneySeeing your parents age and develop limitations which make it seem like they may be incapable of fully caring for themselves can be a difficult stage to reach as a child. Maybe you have children of your own, or perhaps you live far away from your parents, making it difficult to care for them or to determine if legal action should be taken to protect them. For adults who become incapable of living on their own and making well-reasoned decisions, the need for guardianship often becomes a reality. Before taking action and deciding that guardianship is the correct path for your family member, it is important to recognize the signs of a loved one in need of help, and to fully understand what legal guardianship involves.

Assessing Your Loved One’s Needs

Illinois law states that anyone age 18 or older is assumed to be capable of handling their own affairs, recognizing them as legal adults. However, certain circumstances can cause a person to become incapable of making their own decisions. A legal guardian may be appointed if a person is disabled because of mental deterioration, mental illness, physical incapacity, and/or developmental disabilities. The purpose of a guardian is to help the individual make decisions, knowing that a sound mind is behind the decisions being made.

A person having a mental disability does not always mean that a legal guardian is necessary. If the individual is still capable of making decisions and communicating their decisions, they likely do not need a guardian. However, this statement can leave some gray area needing to be interpreted. A person making a decision that their loved ones do not agree with, as opposed to being unable to make a decision, are two very different things. If you are unsure of whether or not your loved one really needs a guardian, the following four questions can help you determine their level of need:

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Hillside prenup attorney enforceabilityUncertainty about the future can leave many engaged couples nervous about their marriage, and they may wonder whether getting married is the next best step. Fortunately, a prenuptial agreement can be a good option to make use of for any couple intending to get married. While they may have previously been reserved for the rich and famous, prenuptial agreements have become more and more common as couples have opted to get married later in life with more financial assets to bring into their marriage. It is always advisable to sign a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle, since this legal agreement can help alleviate any concerns that may arise regarding the possibility of divorce. Prenups can save you a great deal of time and protect you from emotional turmoil in the future, but only if all of the terms are valid and enforceable. You should be aware of certain problems that could make your prenuptial agreement invalid, including the following:

The Prenup Is Fraudulent

Spouses may attempt to conceal or undervalue their assets to keep them out of the property division process in a potential divorce. However, it is required that each spouse fully disclose his or her assets before signing a prenuptial agreement. If it is found that a spouse did not fully disclose their assets or financial information, a prenup can be deemed invalid by a court. 

The Prenup Was Not Drafted Properly

Some couples may attempt to use online forms to create a prenup without the help of an attorney. This is never advisable, since it is easy for essential steps to be missed without a professional’s eye for detail and understanding of the legal issues that must be addressed. If your prenup was not drafted properly, and there is necessary language which is missing, it may not be enforceable.

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Oak Park divorce attorney parental alienation

Rarely are divorces completely amicable, without any disagreements throughout the divorce proceedings. Divorce often can be an emotional, life-altering process that can be difficult for some people to deal with in a healthy manner. When children are involved, many times the disagreements can increase. Unfortunately, some divorcing parents wrongfully involve their children in their disputes with their soon-to-be-former spouse, and some parents even deliberately attempt to turn their children against their other parent. These kinds of attempts are known as “parental alienation syndrome.” If you suspect that this is occurring in your divorce, you should contact a skilled family lawyer to help protect your rights with regard to your children throughout the case.

Is Parental Alienation Diagnosable?

The term “parental alienation syndrome” (PAS) was coined in 1985 by a child psychiatrist who noticed certain symptoms in children who were exposed to parental alienation attempts. This kind of alienation can occur when one parent attempts to negatively influence his or her children’s relationship with their other parent, sometimes out of jealousy for that parent-child relationship, or sometimes as a way to supposedly hurt his or her former spouse. Whether or not the negative effects of parental alienation are actually a “syndrome” is questioned by some mental health professionals. The American Psychiatric and Psychological Associations do not recognize PAS as a mental health condition, nor can it be diagnosed by a professional; however, the damaging effects of parental alienation on children can many times be apparent.

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Oak Park divorce attorney spousal maintenance

For some, the financial implications of a divorce may be more harmful than the end of their relationship. It can take months, or even years, for couples to make the decision to file for divorce and their romantic relationship has often deteriorated long before they have even come to this realization. Some spouses may stay together simply because of their financial reliance on each other. In order to prevent people from remaining in an unhappy marriage due to their inability to live financially independent, Illinois courts will evaluate the individuals’ financial situation during the divorce process and determine whether or not financial assistance is needed for either party. It can be a shock to transition from living off of a combined income to barely scraping by on a single income, but often the spouse with the lower income is likely eligible to receive financial assistance, known as spousal maintenance, or spousal support, or alimony, from his or her former spouse.

The Designation of Support

Since each family’s financial situation varies, there are three different types of spousal maintenance from which the court can choose. The type of support that they order is determined by a number of factors, including the receiving party’s employment status, the length of the marriage, and each party’s marital relationship moving forward. Spousal support arrangements can be modified at any time, the most common modification reason being when the receiving party remarries. The following are the three types of spousal maintenance awarded by the Illinois court system:

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