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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:

Posted on in Child Custody

Kane County child custody attorneyAlthough some parents will act aggressively to get full parental responsibilities for their children, others feel differently. You may not want full or even partial custody of your child for a number of reasons. Your job, your children from a previous relationship, your desire for privacy, or your feelings that you are not equipped to provide the care your child needs are all possible reasons for wanting your child’s other parent to have the majority of the childcare responsibilities.

What is Best for the Child?

Whether during divorce proceedings or when establishing parental responsibilities between unmarried parents, the court will make decisions according to what is in the best interests of the child. The court also takes the preferences of the parents and the child into account. If you do not want custody of your child at all, the court will most likely award full custody to the child’s other parent.

You must also consider the long-term impact of the lack of a close relationship with your child on your child’s mental health and wellness. Children often do best when they have both parents in their lives, and although you may not be in a position where you feel you can adequately parent now, that may change later on. It can be difficult to modify existing custody orders, and it may be much harder to get custody or visitation rights in the future.

Kane County divorce lawyerIn a high-conflict divorce where you and your spouse are unable to agree on anything, much less who should have custody or parental responsibilities for your child, character witnesses can be a valuable advantage to help you prove that living with you is in your child’s best interests. Here, we will explore the kinds of character witnesses you might use, as well as what a witness does and what you should do if a witness is reluctant to testify.

Types of Witnesses

There are essentially three types of witnesses that might appear in divorce proceedings. An independent expert witness, such as a court-appointed psychologist, testifies about a specific topic but does not work for either spouse. A controlled expert witness likewise testifies about a specific topic, but is retained or paid for by one of the parties.

A lay witness–the most common type of character witness–is not an expert, and ideally is someone who is not biased in your favor. This could be a teacher, a babysitter, a neighbor, or anyone else who has seen interactions between you, your spouse, and your children. A character witness can testify regarding your favorable parenting abilities, or regarding your spouse’s unfavorable abilities. Family members may be seen as biased in your favor, so getting a variety of character witnesses may be more beneficial in supporting your case.

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