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Crystal Lake spousal support attorneyDivorcing couples usually have a number of questions and concerns about spousal support—also known as alimony or maintenance—when they begin to address financial arrangements at the end of their marriage. One of the most pressing questions for most spouses is whether or not they are eligible for maintenance at all, and if so, how that decision is reached.

Determining the Need for Maintenance

It is understandable to want to know how much you must pay your spouse or how much you are eligible to receive, but the answers to these questions are not cut and dry. The court handles spousal maintenance on a case-by-case basis, taking a number of factors into consideration to first determine whether or not alimony is appropriate. Illinois law requires the court to consider all of the following factors before deciding to grant an alimony award to either spouse:

  • The present needs of each party

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McHenry County family law attorney parenting time

Unlike divorcing couples with children, parents who were never married do not automatically receive rights to parenting time. Instead, they must pursue it. Further, an order requiring the payment of child support does not guarantee parenting time to the paying parent. With this in mind, it is important to understand how you can get time with your child if you were never married.

Why Pursue Parenting Time?

Fathers who are not married to the mother of their child often wonder if it is worth pursuing parenting time with their child. They may be concerned about cost, or they may fear their rights will not be acknowledged by the courts. Rest assured that as long as you are not considered to be a risk to the child’s safety or emotional well-being, it is likely that your presence may be considered a positive influence on the life of your child. Further, studies have shown that children often fare better when they have two loving and connected parents. Since you may be required to financially contribute to the rearing of your child, regardless of whether you pursue parenting time or not, why not consider making an emotional contribution as well?

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McHenry County child support lawyerThe divorce process can be emotionally and financially draining. When you and your ex cared for your children together under one roof, it may have been easier to work together to take care of your family’s financial needs. However, things change significantly after divorce, and both parents may struggle to make ends meet.

If your ex has not been paying child support, this can cause a great deal of difficulty for you. It may be hard to understand why your ex would be avoiding payments, but here are some common reasons that may explain why the funds your child needs are not coming your way:

Changes in Finances

Your ex might not be paying child support because they do not have the money to give. The amount of child support payments specified in a divorce judgment is based on both parents’ finances at the time of the divorce. Issues such as a job loss or large medical expenses can affect how much your ex is able to pay. If you think this may be the reason why you are not receiving child support, you may wish to talk to your ex or even request a modification so that they can at least pay what they are able to. Setting a payment that your ex can afford is better for everyone than not receiving any payments at all.

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McHenry County grandparents rights attorneyWhether you are a divorced parent with questions about your parents or in-laws and their involvement with your child, or you are a grandparent looking to ensure that your grandchildren are raised in the best possible environment, concerns about grandparent rights are understandable. Family changes often affect more than just the immediate family, and it is important for everyone to understand their rights and how they can support the children’s best interests.

What Rights am I Entitled to as a Grandparent?

Nearly 8 million children live with their grandparents throughout the United States, including more than 2.6 million children living in homes where the grandparents are the primary heads of household. Grandparents who serve as primary caregivers often have certain rights regarding the children, as well as options for financial assistance. Even if you are not the primary caregiver, you have the option to pursue certain rights as a grandparent in the wake of a divorce or separation in your family. Here are some important things to be aware of as grandparents:

1. Custody and Guardianship

There are multiple Illinois statutes that give grandparents options for custody and guardianship of their grandchildren. For example, the Illinois Probate Act gives you the option to seek guardianship, rather than custody, of your grandchild. The child’s parents must voluntarily allow this, and they remain financially responsible for the child, so you may receive child support in this case. You also have the option to request custody and authority for most decision making for the child under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, provided that the parents consent. Adoption, through which a grandparent acquires full parental rights, is an option when the parents are no longer living, or when there is cause for the termination of parental rights due to neglect, abuse, or other serious complications. 

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Crystal Lake IL divorce lawyerEach year, when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, people around the world celebrate the ending of the year and welcome in the new year. One of the most popular traditions that is observed for New Year’s is making resolutions to improve yourself and your life. For some people, this may mean quitting smoking or eating healthier and exercising more. If you are going through or have recently finalized your divorce, there is no better way to start your new year than by making it a priority to be happier and healthier than ever before. 

With just a few weeks left in 2020, it is not too early to start thinking about how to make 2021 better for yourself and your children. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions that you can commit to in the wake of your Illinois divorce.

Resolution #1: Pick Your Battles

Fighting with your ex is exhausting. For many couples, divorce means constant arguments and opposition about nearly every aspect of the life they once shared. The divorce is probably not even the beginning of the fighting. You have most likely been arguing with your spouse about trivial things—and non-trivial things—for years. In the coming year, try to be more selective about your battles with your ex. If you feel an argument about to erupt, try to determine whether or not the fight is worth it. Chances are that things will be easier and you will be happier if you just refuse to fight.

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