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DuPage County child support attorneyIn July of 2017, Illinois enacted major changes to the way child support is calculated. Previous to this change, child support obligations were calculated by applying a percentage based on the number of children requiring support to the obligor parent’s income. For example, if you had one child, you would pay 20 percent of your net income in child support, and if you had two children, you would pay 28 percent of your income. Some parents are still subject to child support orders created under the old law, but any new child support arrangements will be calculated using the “Income Shares” method. Illinois child support orders now take both parents’ net incomes and amount of parenting time into consideration. If you are a parent who has children with more than one person, you may wonder how the court will determine a child support arrangement that is achievable with regard to your financial resources while still providing for all of your children’s needs.

Income Shares Child Support Guidelines

The Income Shares model for child support calculation involves the following steps:

  • Both parents’ net income is added together to determine their combined net income. This combined amount represents the financial resources that would be available to the child if the parents were married.

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Wheaton order of protection lawyerAn order of protection is sometimes called a protective order or restraining order. Victims of abuse, stalking, harassment, or domestic violence may request a restraining order to protect themselves from their abuser. There are three main types of orders of protection in Illinois: an emergency order of protection, interim order of protection, and plenary order of protection. An emergency order of protection can be used when a person needs immediate protection from an abusive spouse, ex-spouse, family member, or another person who may harm him or her.  

What Can an Emergency Order of Protection Do for Me?

An emergency order of protection (EOP) is a court order that will prohibit an abusive person from further abusing you, your minor child, a disabled adult, and even your pets. The specific provisions contained in an EOP vary depending on your particular needs. The EOP may require the abuser to refrain from contacting you and to stay a certain distance away from you, your children, or your workplace, children’s school, or home. If the abuser violates the order, you can call the police and have that person arrested.

How Can I Get an EOP?

An emergency order of protection can be obtained at your local county courthouse by filing a Petition for Order of Protection with the circuit clerk. Your petition will need to include information about what the abuser has done and said to you, the dates and times of previous instances of abuse, what types of injuries you have sustained, and any other relevant information. The court can grant an emergency order of protection without notifying the abuser about the protective order.

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Wheaton divorce mediation attorneyThe end of a marriage is rarely without conflict, but some divorces involve more contention than others. If divorcing spouses cannot reach an agreement about issues such as asset division, child custodychild support, and spousal maintenance, the court will need to intervene. Courtroom litigation is typically more expensive, time-consuming, and stressful than alternative means of resolution like mediation and collaborative divorce. When spouses are able to put their resentments aside and work cooperatively to resolve divorce issues, they will likely save a great deal of time and money. Read on to learn about two alternative dispute resolution methods available to spouses getting divorced in Illinois.

Negotiating Issues With the Help of a Mediator

It can be nearly impossible for two people who are ending their marriage to remain objective and reasonable when discussing divorce-related concerns. Spouses may understandably have a great deal of pent up anger, sadness, or disappointment about the circumstances that led to the end of the marriage. A mediator can be a huge benefit to spouses who need help staying on track and remaining focused on the goal of resolution during divorce negotiations. The mediator’s job is not to deem either spouse’s ideas and opinions as right or wrong. Instead, the mediator facilitates a productive, cooperative discussion so that spouses can reach an agreement about divorce issues without the need for court intervention. Unlike court litigation, conversations had during mediation are confidential.

The Collaborative Law Process Offers Many Benefits

The collaborative divorce process may be right for couples who have disagreements about the terms of their divorce, but they are not completely opposed to negotiating the terms cooperatively and amicably. During the collaborative law process, both spouses and their respective attorneys hold a series of meetings to discuss divorce issues in a non-combative, constructive way. The spouses, their lawyers, and any other professionals participating in the process, such as child specialists or financial professionals, sign a contract called a “participation agreement.” This contract states that both spouses, their attorneys, and the other professionals involved in the process promise not to go to court. When courtroom litigation is off the table, the spouses and their legal counsel can focus on finding creative ways to reach a resolution. Everyone involved is encouraged to work together to reach a settlement, because if the case does proceed to litigation, the parties’ attorneys will withdraw from the case, and both spouses will need to find new legal representatives.

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DuPage County spousal support attorneySpousal maintenance, also called alimony or spousal support, refers to payments that an individual makes to their former spouse after a divorce. Spousal support is only ordered in certain divorce cases, and it is meant to ensure that a divorced person can maintain the lifestyle they were used to during their marriage. In some cases, maintenance payments will be ordered when a lesser-earning spouse needs financial support for a period of time until he or she can obtain the skills or education necessary for suitable employment. However, some spouses may not ever be able to become financially independent after a divorce. In these cases, permanent spousal maintenance may be ordered.

When Is Spousal Maintenance Ordered?

There are two ways that spousal support will typically be awarded in Illinois. The spouses may have decided upon a spousal maintenance arrangement through a prenuptial agreement or another type of marital agreement, or spousal support can be ordered by a judge. During a divorce or legal separation, the judge will decide whether to award maintenance based on the circumstances of the case. In order to determine whether a person is eligible to receive spousal maintenance, the judge will consider factors including but not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s income, present and future earning capacity, and overall financial circumstances

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Wheaton asset division attorneyWhen you and your spouse got married, you might have moved into a house that one of you owned already, or you might have found a new home together. Since your wedding, it is also possible that you and your spouse have upgraded and bought a house big enough to accommodate your growing family. If you find yourself facing the prospect of a divorce, however, how and when you and your spouse bought your current home could affect its status as a marital asset.

Equitable Distribution in Illinois

According to Illinois law, a divorcing couple’s marital property is to be divided equitably, or fairly, between the spouses. The law also defines marital property as assets or debts acquired by either party during the marriage, with limited exceptions for inheritances or gifts to one spouse. Property that was acquired before the marriage is considered to be non-marital and is not subject to being divided during the divorce. This includes the home where you and your spouse were living when the marriage ended.

How and When the Home Was Purchased

If the home in question was purchased and fully paid off by either you or your spouse before you got married, it is not likely to be considered a marital asset by the court. It would more likely be considered a non-marital asset and awarded to the spouse who bought it originally. However, if you bought the home together at any point during your marriage, the home would probably be considered marital property.

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