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Wheaton Family Law Attorney
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Wheaton, IL child custody lawyerA major concern within divorce cases that involve families with children is that divorce is widely known to have a significant impact on children, an impact that is rarely a positive one. As a result, issues related to child custody are navigated with the utmost seriousness, as many decisions made regarding child custody will, in all likelihood, play a major role in the development of the children involved. Many questions need to be answered when deciding which parent a child will live with once the divorce has been finalized. 

In Illinois, a court will determine the child's "best interests." Many factors go into making this decision, like the wishes of the parents, the needs and desires of the child, the physical and mental health of all the parties involved, and more. However, it is critical to state that just because a judge may listen to the wishes of the child does not mean the judge is obligated to fulfill the child's preferences. In this blog, we will look at how a child's wishes may or may not influence parenting time allocation and parental responsibilities in divorce and child custody cases. 

So, Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

The short answer is no; a child cannot simply choose which parent they will live with. The court understands that just because a child wants to live with a particular parent does not automatically mean that the child's wishes are in their own best interests. For instance, a child may be influenced to choose a parent who has promised them gifts or something of that nature. While the parent may be a great gift giver, this does not mean that living with that parent is in the child's best interest. 

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Wheaton, IL divorce lawyerRegardless of whether you have recently started the divorce process or have completed the process before last year ended, you will need to think carefully as you prepare to file taxes. Notably, your filing options will depend mainly on factors such as the date of your divorce and terms of the divorce agreement. While getting a divorce is undoubtedly challenging, hiring a highly knowledgeable divorce attorney to help guide you through the process can make it as seamless as possible. 

What to Know About Married Filing Jointly

If you are still married at the end of the tax year, you may still choose to file jointly and receive the benefits, which may include a better standard deduction offered only to married couples. You may also choose to file as married filing separately. 

What to Know About Filing Single

If your divorce has been finalized as of December 31, you will be prohibited from filing married separately or jointly. If you do not have any children or dependents, you will be required to file single, although if you do have a qualifying child or dependent, you may be able to file as head of household. 

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Wheaton, IL collaborative divorce lawyerWhen most people think of divorce, they think of high-drama courtroom proceedings, such as in critically acclaimed films about divorce, like Marriage Story and Kramer vs. Kramer. Perhaps Hollywood is to blame for the incorrect assumption that all divorces equal never-ending drama and heartache, with personal dealings spilling out in a courtroom for all to hear. However, you may be surprised that this is only sometimes the case. In fact, divorce does not need to be a dragged-out and expensive spectacle. 

A collaborative divorce is an option that has been gaining in popularity in recent years, and rightfully so. This blog will delve deeper into the various benefits of collaborative divorce and why collaborative divorce is often the preferred divorce method for so many people. If you want to get a divorce but want to save yourself the emotional turmoil that usually follows divorce and courtroom litigation, contact an experienced attorney who has dealt with collaborative divorces to help protect your rights and guide you through the process. 

 So, What Are the Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce? 

Remember that with collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will still be strongly encouraged to retain attorneys to help guide you through the collaborative divorce process. However, everyone will work together to come to an agreement. Furthermore, there are various benefits to collaborative divorce. These benefits may include the following:

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Wheaton, IL child support enforcement attorneyIn the state of Illinois, matters related to child support are taken very seriously. Since child support directly affects the children of parents who have gone through a divorce, the courts in Illinois are often prepared to place a financial burden on non-custodial parents who have been ordered to pay child support but have failed to do so. In addition, while non-custodial parents may be held in contempt of court for refusing or failing to pay child support, cases involving failure to pay child support are often taken care of before contempt charges are filed. 

To help ensure child support payments are made, the wages of the non-custodial parent may be garnished. In cases involving wage garnishment, the employer of the non-custodial parent will be responsible for deducting a specified amount. In this blog, we will look at how exactly wage garnishment for child support works and what happens in cases where employers do not pay. If you are involved in a situation where your ex-spouse fails to make child support payments, contact a knowledgeable attorney familiar with wage garnishment when collecting child support payments. 

So, How Does Wage Garnishment for Child Support Work? 

In cases where a parent has not received court-ordered child support payments, that parent can petition the court to garnish the non-custodial parent's earnings. The amount of money garnished from the non-custodial parent may involve ongoing payments and any back payments and interest owed. If the court approves the petition to garnish the non-custodial parents' wages, as much as 50 percent of their wages may be deducted. In cases where a non-custodial parent does not have other support obligations, such as spousal support from another relationship, as much as 60 percent of their wages may be garnished. If a non-custodial parent is more than 12 weeks behind on their child support payments, an additional five percent may be garnished from their wages.

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Wheaton, IL military divorce lawyerDeciding to get a divorce is often an extremely difficult and painful decision. This is especially true if you or your spouse are in the military. Suppose you or your spouse are an active duty service member. In that case, it is crucial to understand the considerations that will likely apply to your case as opposed to divorce cases where neither spouse is on active duty in the military. This blog will dive deeper into what you should know about seeking a divorce when a spouse is on active duty. If you ever find yourself in this position, it is essential to seek a knowledgeable divorce attorney who has worked with divorce cases involving active duty military members. 

What to Know About Statutes Protecting Military Members from Divorce Actions

It is important to know that there are laws that protect an active duty service member from being held in default for not responding to a divorce action. These types of laws exist to prevent active duty military members from getting divorced without their knowledge. Furthermore, the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act permits a court in Illinois to postpone any divorce proceedings for the entire duration of a military member's service and 60 additional days once their active service has ended. This helps prevent active duty military members from divorce while they are overseas or stationed in an area where it is difficult to respond. However, a military member can waive this right and thus have divorce proceedings begin while they are on active duty. 

What to Know About Serving an Active Military Spouse 

The spouse not on active duty will need to serve their active duty spouse with a summons and a copy of the divorce action. In cases where the active duty spouse is stationed abroad, the Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents will require that the copy of the divorce action is presented in the local language, regardless of whether the active duty spouse speaks that language. In cases where the divorce is uncontested, the active duty spouse can elect to waive service obligations by simply signing an affidavit acknowledging the divorce action. 

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