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Springfield, Illinois Divorce Law Blog

What is a "no-fault" divorce?

51090434_S.jpg"No fault" divorce may seem like an odd phrase to give to a legal process that is literally built upon terminating a relationship where the parties no longer want to be affiliated with each other. It would seem that in such circumstances two Illinois residents would feel as though the other is at fault for causing them to want to divorce and to divide up the life they had built together as a married couple. However, a "no fault" divorce does not mean that a divorce is without conflict, but rather that it has arisen due to the unfixable breaking of the couple's marriage.

Illinois recognizes fault-based grounds for divorce, such as desertion and domestic violence. In situations where one spouse hurts or leaves the other, the victim-spouse may allege that, due to the fault of the other, the marriage must end. However, when such extreme fault factors are not present in a marriage the partners who want to end it need an alternative path to divorce.

Addressing child custody issues as an unmarried parent

A divorce is not the only event that may require Illinois parents to address the future of their children. Parents who have chosen to bring children into the world outside of formalized marriages may confront their own unique issues in the event that they elect to end their relationships. Although some similarities will exist between child custody matters for married and unmarried parents, several important differences make it imperative that unmarried parents understand their rights.

First, a father who has not acknowledged their paternity over a child or who is not listed on the child's birth certificate may not be considered a parent to their child and may therefore not be able to pursue custody of them. A presumptive father may wish to take action to affirmatively demonstrate his relationship with his child.

What is a paternity test?

12054218_S.jpgThe birth of a child can be a wonderful time in the life of the new baby's parents. While most Illinois residents embrace the opportunity to raise children and grow their families, others may face serious and even traumatic legal issues if they are uncertain of their roles in the children's lives. Particularly, men who are not certain if they are the biological fathers of children born to their spouses and partners may question what role, if any, they should place in the lives of the children.

In order to determine a man's legal rights and options with regard to a new baby, he may choose to or may be asked to submit to a paternity test. A paternity test is an evaluation of a man's genetic material that compares the collected specimen to one collected from the child in question.

Ending a child support obligation in Illinois

91707506_S.jpgChild support is an important obligation between parents and their children. It is often ordered by courts or agreed to by parents when those parents end their marriages or their relationships. Child support is intended to be used to provide children with what they need, such as clothing, housing, transportation, food and other necessities.

However, certain events can happen that can bring child support obligations to their ends. Many Illinois child support orders terminate when the children who are covered by them turn 18 years old. Others end when the kids are 19 years old and still in high school.

Get legal support during a military divorce

18853941_S (1).jpgFew choose to enter the military and work for the safety and security of their nation through one of the branches of armed service. Those who do, however, give up a great deal in order to protect others. Illinois men and women who have sacrificed in their personal and professional lives to serve the United States deserve the help and support of those who respect their choices when it comes to settling matters related to divorce.

Not all divorce and family law attorneys recognize the unique differences that may appear in military divorces. From where a divorce may be filed to the timeline of how a divorce may be decided, military divorces can present nuances that differ from standard divorces between civilians.

What should be included in a parenting plan?

7897455_S.jpgA parenting plan is the schedule and set of expectations that Illinois parents agree to follow when they must share custody of their children. They are often created in conjunction with divorces and may be created based on the negotiations of the children's parents. There are some key terms that should be included in each parenting plan to make sure that it is sufficient to support the best interests of the child or children that it concerns.

One of the most important aspects of a parenting plan is the inclusion of a physical custody plan that explains where a child will live and when they will have visitation time with their other parent. If a child is subject to a joint physical custody schedule then the parenting plan should outline how and when the child will transition from household to household. The parenting plan should also explain if one or both parents have legal custody of their child.

The role of spousal support in an Illinois divorce

41866876_S.jpgAlthough it is not uncommon for both of the partners to a marriage to be employed and earn significant incomes during their lives, some couples still practice the more traditional path of having one partner manage household responsibilities while the other works outside of the home for pay. In the past, women were more likely to be stay-at-home parents and household managers than their spouses, both over time more men have embraced this role as well.

When the partners to a marriage are able to earn their own incomes and support themselves, spousal support may not be an issue in their divorce. However, when one partner may be financially disadvantaged due to the end of their marriage a court may grant them support so that they may get back on their feet as they transition to single life.

Helping clients evaluate their ongoing child custody needs

53911791_S.jpgWhen parents in Illinois work to establish a child custody plan that will dictate where their children will spend their time, they are tasked with ensuring that the product they come up with serves their kids' best interests. This can be a daunting undertaking for many reasons. If the parents share multiple kids they may find that their children's needs are different from those of their siblings, and they may also find that their kids' needs change over time.

During the summer months parents often have more time with their kids due to the children's release from school for a summer break. Summer vacation can be a great time for parents to assess if their children's custody plans are working and to anticipate any changes that may need to occur before their kids head back to school in the fall.

Brad Pitt gets more time with his children

41108923_S.jpgAfter a divorce it can be difficult for a family to find balance, especially when children were involved in the process of undoing a marital relationship. Many Illinois parents struggle to discover ways of ensuring that parent-child bonds remain strong. For one former celebrity couple, court intervention was necessary to ensure that the father's options for seeing and communicating with his kids were not infringed upon by their mother.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were married for several years and have six children. Jolie was originally awarded primary custody of the children, but Pitt made changes to his work schedule and life to make time to be with his three sons and three daughters. A court recently recognized Pitt's efforts and ordered that he be allowed more time with the kids or Jolie could face the loss of custody.

Child support may be applied to many expenses and costs

40452060_S.jpgThe cost of raising a child can be staggering. Even if a parent could only provide their child with the basic necessities the youth needed to survive, they would still need to put a roof over the child's head, keep clothing on their back and fill their plate with food multiple times each day. However, parents in Illinois do so much more for their kids than the bare minimums and all of those costs and expenses can add up to an enormous sum as their children get older.

When a parent has custodial rights over their child, the child's non-custodial parent may be required to provide them with child support. Child support is financial support and generally is paid on a monthly basis until the child becomes an adult or is otherwise emancipated from the care of their parents. When a parent provides their child with child support those payments may be used for many different child-rearing purposes.

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