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Elgin Illinois Family Law Blog

Setting up a flexible custody schedule helps during a school year

There's no question that it can be difficult to set up a child custody arrangement that works for you. Even though you and the other parent have raised your child together in the past, it's far different to do so in two different households.

It can be particularly difficult to come up with a schedule during the school year. For children who are young, schooling is fairly straightforward. They leave in the morning and return in the afternoon. This simple schedule rarely changes and makes it easier for parents to schedule around their children's schooling.

Get a better understanding of child support in Illinois

Child support is sometimes viewed negatively, but the truth is that it's important for providing a supportive home to a child. When one parent out-earns the other, child support can be a way to boost the quality of the child's living environment with a lesser-earning parent. It's also a payment that shows that the parent who does not have primary custody is focused on providing stability for their child.

Children in Illinois have a right to support from both parents. A noncustodial parent has to pay support to the custodial parent. The way that the state comes up with the amount owed can be complex, with many factors being considered. Some factors that play a role in determining the amount of child support to be paid include:

  • How often the child stays with each parent
  • Each parent's income
  • The child's health

Child support mismanagement should be reported

Child support is a payment that is usually paid monthly by a higher-earning parent to the other, lower-earning parent. The support can be used for many things, including expenses that both directly benefit the child (like school clothing) and indirectly benefit the child (like the cost of a home in a better neighborhood in which the child can thrive).

What happens, however, if you're paying support and you firmly believe that your child's other parent is wasting the money on unrelated expenses? In those cases, it's fair to talk to your attorney about seeking a modification in custody or support.

What to know about prenuptial agreements

Boiled down, a prenuptial agreement, or prenup for short, is a private, documented and signed agreement between a couple before marriage. The prenup dictates how their assets will be allocated upon death or divorce and each state has differing laws on how to enforce and validate a prenup.

Other factors to understand regarding prenups include fairness, full disclosure, counsel, planning, premarital assets, setting alimony terms, property division and child support and rights; all of which will be discussed further below.

An attorney's importance shouldn't be overlooked during divorce

Every divorce has four main issues that need to be discussed, even if they don't necessarily apply to your case. Most attorneys will bring up property division, spousal maintenance, custody and parenting time as well as child support during your first consultation.

Without children involved in the divorce, you won't have to worry about custody or child support, so those two factors will quickly fall to the wayside. The other factors, however, will remain important in your divorce discussions.

Here are 3 tips to help your child during divorce

For young children, routines are very important. Unfortunately, with divorce, routines are usually ruined. New routines have to be put into place as you begin working with a custody schedule and have different homes for your child to live in.

The trouble with breaking a child's routine is that it can take time for them to adjust, and they could act out or struggle psychologically with those changes. Though you and your ex-spouse are not living together, there are some things you can do to help.

Speak out if your ex-spouse is misusing child support funds

Child support is an important support for your children. It's a way to make sure they have the income of a two-parent household supporting them, even if you can't live with them.

Child support may seem unfair to some parents, especially if they have their children half the time or even more. The truth is that the support you pay goes toward the things your child needs in their other home. When they're not with you, that money goes toward helping them live in a safe environment, to go to a good school and to receive the necessities of daily living.

You can seek help for a custody dispute

Child custody concerns are probably going to be on your mind during a divorce until you're able to resolve any custody disputes you have. You and your spouse may both want what is best for your children, but you'll also likely disagree on some major points.

It's normal to disagree on visitation time and other factors that involve your children, especially when you're divorcing. However, you can resolve your conflicts in a helpful manner. One thing you may want to try is mediation. Another is arbitration. Even family therapy might be helpful in this situation.

Here's what to do if you're served a divorce summons

If you have received a summons for divorce from your spouse, then you need to know the steps to take next. A summons just lets you know that they have filed for divorce and would like to have your response.

You have 30 days to respond to the summons by filing your appearance and a response. You can also choose not to provide a response to the summons. If you choose not to respond, then the court is able to hold you in default, and your spouse is able to continue the divorce process without any further notice to you.

What do you do if child support causes disputes?

Child support can quickly become a point of contention during a divorce. This is one of many reasons why child support is normally dictated by the court. The judge may tell you how much that the noncustodial spouse will pay based on the guidelines for the state.

However, it is potentially possible to negotiate child support. As long as you and your spouse can agree on how much support is necessary, then you may not need to ask the judge to base your support on the state guidelines.

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