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Springfield, Illinois Divorce Law Blog

Prominent former congressman ordered to pay child support

67084405_S.jpgIllinois cases in which a couple is at the end of a marriage can be complicated. This is particularly true when there are children involved. Adding to the litany of issues that will arise is when the couple in question is prominent and has significant assets. Those who are involved in a divorce that has the extra issues that accompany a great amount of attention must make certain that they protect themselves from the beginning of the process to the end.

The former United States Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has been in the process of getting a divorce from his wife. Mr. Jackson and his wife were both sentenced to jail for having roles in financial malfeasance. They both served their sentences and are now free. Mr. Jackson is getting workers' compensation and disability at this time, and has been ordered to pay child support to his wife in the amount of $1,529 each month for their two children, ages 16 and 13. The payments are set to begin in March.

How do state courts decide if alimony is necessary?

30807004_S.jpgWhen a marriage ends in Illinois, one of the prominent questions that will arise is whether there should be spousal support, also known as alimony. The court will decide if an award is justified, how much it will be and how long it will last.

The court examines each party's income and property, including marital and non-marital property. It also examines the financial obligations that each party must face after the marriage has ended. In addition, the court will weigh the needs of the parties and the earning capacity of each party. The court will also consider issues of fairness. For instance, if one spouse chose to forgo a career in order to allow the other to get a professional education and pursue a career, the court may find this history a mark in favor of granting spousal support to the lesser-earning party.

Can I receive TRICARE military benefits after a military divorce?

There are many military members and former military members in Springfield who have decided to divorce. Divorce issues that worry many the non-military spouses of these military members center around health care military benefits through TRICARE. There are eligibility requirements that must be met. The level of benefits and their duration will depend on the length of the marriage and its status in overlapping with the service member's time in the military. There are two situations to know about: the 20-20-20 rule and the 20-20-15 rule.

With 20-20-20, the non-military former spouse can have TRICARE under their own Social Security number if the following requirements are met: the military member had a minimum of 20 years of service for retirement pay; the couple was married to one another for a minimum of 20 years; and the 20 years of service -- whether it was as an active member or a reservist -- overlaps with the marriage. When these requirements have been met, the non-military spouse will receive a new identification card with his or her own name and Social Security number.

Steps to take after moving forward with a divorce

30679756_S.jpgSpringfield residents who are preparing to divorce will frequently have a difficult time dealing with such an emotional time. The last thing on their minds are the various ramifications of a divorce if they do not take certain steps and precautions. However, it is important to remember these issues. This is particularly wise at the start of the new year, as research has shown that many people file for divorce in January.

Finances and control are common factors in a divorce. Once the decision to divorce is made, if there are powers of attorney or other health care documents, these should be changed. Whether it is a contentious parting or an amicable one, the former spouse should not be able to make life and death decisions. Many couples have joint financial accounts. It is advisable to close these accounts and establish separate ones. Debts should be cleared as much as possible and any recurring costs need to be changed to the new account. If there are joint credit cards, they should be closed. This will avoid future problems of being responsible for debts accrued during the marriage or after the divorce proceedings began.

Illinois legal assistance with a contested divorce

42083975_S.jpgNot all Illinois divorces are desired by both parties. In fact, while a large portion of divorces are done with both parties in agreement, there are situations when one spouse will contest the divorce. This is one of the divorce legal issues that is often understated. For those who are seeking to divorce and have a spouse who is contesting it or a spouse who would like to try and save the marriage, legal help is essential.

Numerous issues can be at play with a contested divorce. Perhaps one spouse would like to try and salvage the marriage. There could be children who are in the middle of the dispute. When the couple is at the end of a marriage -- even with one spouse still trying to fight the decision -- it can take a significant amount of time to settle and cause a fraying of emotions to formulate an agreement for a divorce. Many of these cases will drag on until it is necessary to go to court. While it is preferable for both sides to agree to divorce and that the relationship be amicable, this does not always happen.

Illinois grandparents' rights case moves toward resolution

42108941_S.jpgGrandparents' rights can be a complicated aspect of a child custody dispute in Illinois, particularly when each side is expressing intense emotions regarding the matter. Since child custody can be contentious with accusations and allegations from both sides -- particularly if one of the parents has died -- it is exceedingly important for the participants to have assistance from a legal professional to protect their rights, maintain a relationship with children and protect all parties.

An ongoing case between a woman and the parents of her late husband resulted in a decision from the judge that the mother will not get custody of the child for now. The dispute is between the woman and the family of her husband who had been murdered by the woman's grandmother. Initially, the court gave custody to the father's parents, but the mother took the child and went to Florida. The woman was found in Massachusetts in September. She was subsequently extradited back to Illinois with the child staying with the father's family. The hearing that was held in late-December was to decide if the daughter was neglected by the mother.

What factors determine best interests of the child in Illinois?

37840978_S.jpgWhen a couple in Springfield shares a child and is no longer together, there are many different issues that arise when it comes to the best interests of the child in the context of parenting time, visitation rights and the relationship with children. There can be rampant confusion as to what is referred to with the words "best interests." Because of that, it is wise to have a grasp on what is taken into consideration when the best interests are decided upon.

The child's best interests will be determined by considering all key factors. These can include the following: the child's wishes, contingent on the maturity and ability to make a statement as to these choices; how the child has adjusted to the home, community and school; the health of those involved, including mentally and physically; and if the parents are able to come to agreements to make decisions on behalf of and concerning the child or if there is a significant amount of contentiousness between the parties that can negatively affect their ability to make these decisions.

Divorce involving Jesse Jackson Jr. moves forward in Illinois

Divorce can be a difficult situation for any Illinois couple, but it is particularly complicated when there is a significant amount of money involved and it is a high-profile marriage. There can be complex property division, items in dispute, and the need to navigate the difficult pathways that accompany such a situation. As with any legal case, it is wise to have advice from experienced professionals from start to finish. If the end of a marriage is likely to be played out in the media, this is especially true. Regardless of the circumstances, having legal help in moving forward with a divorce is an imperative.

Jesse Jackson Jr., the former U.S. representative and the son of the famed civil rights leader, is divorcing from his wife. Mr. Jackson filed his case and cited irreconcilable differences as the reason. The couple had been married for 25 years and has had legal problems related to campaign finance issues that led to incarceration for both. In August of 2013, they had issued guilty pleas related to financial malfeasance in their campaign fund. Mr. Jackson was incarcerated for diverting $750,000 for the personal use of him and his wife between 2005 and 2012. Mrs. Jackson was also sentenced to prison.

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