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Kane County Divorce LawyerParents who get divorced have seemingly countless matters to figure out. Child custody, child support, and other child-related legal issues can be complex – legally and emotionally. If you are getting divorced and you and your spouse disagree on the terms of child custody, you may understandably be feeling overwhelmed. It can be hard to know where to even begin. This blog will discuss Illinois laws regarding child custody disputes and what to do if you need help with custody concerns during your divorce.

Essentials of an Illinois Parenting Plan

The parenting plan or parenting agreement forms the foundation of any child custody arrangement. The main elements contained in the parenting plan include:

Allocation of parental responsibilities – Parents will need to determine how major decisions about their child’s life will be made. Parents may decide to make decisions about their child’s education, healthcare, religion, and other significant issues jointly or each parent may be designated specific decision-making authority. Alternatively, one parent may be given sole decision-making authority.

St. Charles Divorce AttorneyMost people have heard of prenuptial agreements, but fewer have heard of postnuptial agreements. A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenup, but it is completed after the couple is already married. Like prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements describe the spouses’ property rights and financial obligations in the event of divorce or death of a spouse. The reasons that couples utilize postnuptial agreements are varied and each situation is different. This blog will discuss the most common reasons married couples draft postnuptial agreements and what you can do to get started if you are interested in setting up a postnuptial agreement.

Postnups May Be Used for Financial or Personal Reasons

Postnuptial agreements or “postnups” have become increasingly popular in recent years. More and more couples understand the benefit of establishing their financial rights and responsibilities in an official, legally enforceable document.   

Some of the most common reasons couples draft postnuptial agreements include:

Kane County Family Law AttorneyThe term “paternity” refers to fatherhood. Mothers and fathers in Illinois often have questions about how paternity works. Contrary to what many believe, paternity is not always automatically established by a baby’s birth. In some cases, parents must take additional action to formalize the child’s legal relationship with his or her father. The situation becomes especially complex when a mother is unsure of who the father is, or the father denies his paternity.

How Can I Establish a Child’s Legal Relationship with His or Her Father?

If parents are unmarried, they must establish paternity. The easiest way is to sign a document called a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) and submit it to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). Paternity may also be established through an administrative order through the HFS or through a court order.

What if I Signed a VAP and Then Found Out I Am Not the Father?

If you signed a VAP because you thought you were a child’s biological father and then found out you were not the father, you can complete a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity within 60 days of signing the VAP and file it with the HFS.

Kane County Child Support LawyerChild support used to be calculated solely based on the obligor’s net income and the number of children being supported. For example, a parent supporting one child paid 20 percent of his or her income in child support and a parent with two children put 28 percent of his or her income toward child support. However, Illinois has since modernized the child support calculation method to include the income of the both parents.

Typically, a parent’s actual income is used to calculate child support. However, there are situations in which the court may use a parent’s “imputed income” to determine the child support obligation.

What is Imputed Income?

The majority of child support orders are calculated using the parents’ actual income. The amount that a parent pays is based on his or her share of the parents’ combined income. If one parent makes $30,000 a year and the other parent makes $70,000 a year, the parents have an annual combined income of $100,000. The parent who makes $30,000 would be responsible for 30 percent of the basic support obligation. However, if the court feels that a parent is intentionally earning less than he or she is capable of earning, the court may use the parent’s imputed income instead of his or her actual income.

How Does Sole Custody Work in 2022?

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County Parenting Time LawyerAs you may already know, Illinois laws are frequently updated and modified. Some of the biggest changes to Illinois divorce and family law took place in 2016. The language used to describe child custody matters was just the start of the changes. Legislators also modernized the way courts handled child custody and divorce issues, prioritizing the involvement of both parents in a child's life.

If you are getting divorced or are unmarred and share a child with an ex, you may have questions about how to get sole custody. How does sole custody work? Can a father get sole custody? Are mothers granted sole custody by default? These are complicated questions, and the answers vary case by case. The best way to get advice specific to your situation is to work with a skilled family law attorney. Read on to learn more about how Illinois law currently handles custody matters.  

Sole Custody Versus Joint Custody in Illinois

In 2022, the terms "sole custody" and "joint custody" are only used informally. The law does not describe custody in these terms any longer. Instead, the law breaks down custody into two main components:

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