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St. Charles child custody lawyerDuring a divorce, spouses will often encounter multiple types of disagreements over the various issues that will need to be addressed in order to end their legal partnership. For parents, disputes related to child custody will often be some of the most contentious issues, and spouses may have completely different ideas about how to make decisions regarding their children or expectations about when children will live with each parent. By understanding how Illinois law addresses these issues, parents can determine how to reach workable solutions, or they can prepare to advocate for their rights through litigation in court.

Factors Considered in Child Custody Disputes

Parents are usually encouraged to work together to resolve issues related to their children and create a parenting plan that details how they will share parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parents can make sure they are approaching these negotiations the right way by understanding the factors that courts may consider when making decisions about child-related issues. This can also give them an understanding of what issues a judge may look at if negotiations break down and litigation will be required to resolve these matters.

In all issues related to child custody, the decisions made should provide for children’s best interests. The factors that may play a role in determining the allocation of parental responsibilities and the division of parenting time include:

Kane County divorce lawyerThere are a variety of tax issues that spouses will need to consider when they get a divorce. When parents are divorced or separated, a child can only be claimed as a dependent by one party. In many cases, the custodial parent who has the majority of the parenting time will be able to claim a child, although a couple’s divorce settlement may provide for other arrangements, such as each parent claiming a child in alternating years. The parent who claims a child as a dependent can receive a child tax credit when filing their tax return.

In 2021, this issue has been complicated by a law that provides parents with an Advance Child Tax Credit. Divorced parents or those who are going through the divorce process will need to be sure these tax credits are addressed correctly.

What Is the Advance Child Tax Credit?

As part of the ongoing efforts to provide assistance to people who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has begun making advance payments to taxpayers who will be able to claim a child tax credit for 2021. The total tax credit for children who will be five years old or younger at the end of 2021 is $3,600, and children who will be 17 or younger at the end of 2021 will qualify for a tax credit of $3,000. Half of this total credit is being sent to those who can claim children as dependents in monthly payments from July through December of 2021. Parents will receive $300 per month for each child under the age of six and $250 per month for each child under the age of 18.

St. Charles divorce attorneyMarriages can break down for a variety of reasons, but infidelity is one of the most painful and emotionally difficult issues that can lead to divorce. If your marriage is ending because either you or your spouse were unfaithful, you will probably be wondering how this will affect your divorce proceedings. Whether you are struggling to come to terms with your spouse’s infidelity or you are concerned about whether your own behavior during your marriage will play a role in your divorce, you will want to understand how Illinois law applies in your situation.

Addressing Infidelity When Filing for Divorce or Resolving Disputes

Even though the wounds of your broken marriage may still be raw, it is important to understand that the legal process of divorce is not focused on assigning blame for the end of a relationship. When filing for divorce in Illinois, the petitioning spouse will not specify any fault-based grounds for divorce, and they will not give specific reasons for their desire to dissolve the marriage. Instead, a divorce petition will state that irreconcilable differences have led to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This will allow you and your spouse to approach your divorce on equal terms without any disputes over who was at fault.

The purpose of the divorce process is to address the legal issues that must be resolved before the legal partnership between you and your spouse can be terminated. You will be looking to create a divorce settlement that determines how you will separate all of the aspects of your lives that have become combined during your marriage. Illinois law specifically notes that “marital misconduct” is not an issue that will affect decisions in certain divorce-related issues, such as spousal maintenance. This means that even if infidelity was a primary cause of your divorce, it may play no role at all in your divorce proceedings.

Posted on in Child Support

St. Charles family law attorneyParents who get divorced will need to address a variety of issues related to financial support for their children. While both parents are expected to contribute financially to their children’s needs, understanding exactly what is covered by child support can sometimes be a complex matter. By working with an attorney to understand how the law applies in their situation, parents can ensure that their children will have the necessary financial resources, while also making sure they will have the means to support themselves.

Basic Child Support and Additional Child-Related Expenses

In Illinois, parents’ child support obligations are determined using a method that takes both parents’ incomes into consideration. The law details a method of calculating what is known as the “basic child support obligation.” This amount is meant to represent the regular, ongoing expenses that parents would have paid for their children if they were still married.

Each parent is required to pay a portion of the basic child support obligation, but rather than dividing this amount in half, it is allocated based on each parent’s percentage of their combined income. This basic obligation is meant to address children’s ongoing, daily needs. That is, it will cover living expenses such as rent or mortgage payments and utilities for the home where the children live the majority of the time, as well as children’s food and clothing.

Kane County family law attorneyAlthough the most commonly known method of collecting child support is through a court order as part of the Illinois divorce process, there are actually two ways of petitioning to collect child support. The first, as previously mentioned, is through an Illinois court. The second is by filing with the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).

If you are a parent of a child and you are attempting to collect child support, read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of using DCSS to assist you, as well as how hiring a skilled child support attorney can help.

How Can DCSS Help Me Collect Child Support?

One major advantage of DCSS is that its services are free. These services include, but are not limited to:

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