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Springfield, Illinois Divorce Law Blog

Claims of domestic violence may affect custody rights

There are a number of factors that Illinois courts can consider when they assess the best interests of children in child custody cases. Issues that are specific to kids, like their health and attachments to their parents, can be relevant to custody matters. Additionally, factors specifically related to the actions of the parents can come into play when courts have to decide where children should live and regarding whom should be able to make decisions for them.

One factor that can have a big impact on whether a parent gets custody of their child is whether domestic violence has ever been alleged within the family. Domestic violence involves the use of physical, emotional, or psychological force to control or intimidate a person with whom the alleged aggressor has a familial relationship. Domestic violence usually occurs between romantic partners and different forms of abuse and violence can exist between parents and their kids.

Establish paternity to avoid losing parental rights

Previous posts on this Springfield family law blog have discussed what paternity is and how it may be established. Paternity is the existence of a biological connection between a man and a child that demonstrates that the man is the child's father. When a man is married to a woman who gives birth or acknowledges that he is a father when a child is born he may also be legally recognized as the child's dad.

If a man is not legally determined to be a child's father then he loses many rights to be involved in the child's life. He may not be able to get custody or visitation time with the child, and his child may not be considered an heir should the man pass away. However, failing to be legally recognized as a child's father can have even bigger implications if the child's mother decides that she does not want to keep the baby.

Tax deduction for alimony payments will soon disappear

Getting a divorce can throw a huge wrench into the financial planning of an Illinois resident. If that person was a full-time worker and earned an income that supported them and their family then they may see portions of their pay disappear if they are required to provide their exes and kids with support. Divorcing parties who did not work out of the home and who have no immediate means of earning money once they are on their own may need alimony from their exes just to get by.

Alimony can be an important part of divorce negotiations but the tax implications surrounding it are about to change. At present individuals who pay alimony are allowed to exclude the sum of their payments from their taxable income at the end of the year, but that benefit is about to change. After December 31, 2018, individuals who enter into alimony agreements and who are required to pay will have to pay taxes on the money that they provide to their exes.

Are ex-spouses entitled to military benefits?

3949030_S.jpgBeing the spouse of an active member of the military can be a difficult road to walk. While many Illinois families that take on this responsibility are able to work through their stresses and maintain healthy home lives, others crumble under the pressures that are imposed by service. When a service member and their spouse go through a divorce, the non-military party may have questions regarding if they will be able to receive benefits from their ex's service.

Their questions will generally be answered by an assessment of the length of their marriage as well as an assessment of the length of the service member's military career. For example consider a couple that has been married for 30 years. Imagine that before the couple married the husband joined the military and served two years before they wed. Imagine then that he retired 18 years later with 20 years of service to his branch.

Spousal support may be terminated in different ways

29982289_S.jpgNot all spousal support orders are intended to last indefinitely. While it is true that in some cases an Illinois couple may end a long-term divorce and the support-receiving party may not have any chance of re-entering the workforce, for many divorcing parties there is some way for the recipient spouses to find ways to support themselves. Therefore, the type of spousal support that a court orders will have a lot to do with when that order will eventually end.

For example, a court may order a divorcing party to pay their soon-to-be ex support for a period long enough for the recipient to rehabilitate themselves. This could be a period of years if that is the amount of time the recipient needs to prepare themselves to get back to work, or it could be a matter of months if the recipient just needs some extra money to set themselves up for their post-divorce life.

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

86195189_S.jpgA 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.

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