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Keeping Your Phone Number and Other Protection Order RemediesWhen filing an order of protection in a domestic violence case, the petitioner may suddenly realize the various ways he or she is connected to the abuser. The victim must take steps to cut off access to properties and finances in order to shield him or herself from the abuser. However, both the accuser and accused may normally have an equal right to the shared properties. Illinois lawmakers included several remedies in the state's order of protection law that favor the petitioners’ rights to access and control various properties. A revision to the law went into effect at the start of the new year that extends those rights to cell phone accounts.

Phone Control

Under the revised law, a petitioner who has filed an order of protection may request that a wireless service provider move his or her phone number to a separate account. The law is meant as another way for domestic violence victims to be financially independent from their abusers. Domestic partners often share a wireless telephone service plan. If the abuser is the primary holder of the account, he or she has control over all phone numbers related to the account. With the new law, the petitioner

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Posted on in Pet Custody

New Pet Custody Law Goes Into Effect in 2018Determining pet custody is complicated in a divorce because it involves aspects of the division of marital property and traditional custody concerns. Illinois’ divorce laws define pets as property, which can be marital or non-marital depending on when ownership started. However, most owners think of their pets in a way that is similar to children. A new Illinois law, going into effect at the start of 2018, changes how pet ownership is treated in a divorce to more closely align with how many owners think of them. Pets are a responsibility that can be shared between divorcing spouses, instead of merely a property that one party gets to keep.

Terminology

The law introduces terms that are important to understanding the nature of pet custody during a divorce:

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Four Scenarios Using Illinois' New Child Support LawIn July, Illinois enacted a long-anticipated overhaul of its child support payment law. Whereas the previous system always placed the financial burden on the party with less parenting time, the income shares model more equitably splits the parenting cost between the parties. The court combines the parents’ net monthly incomes and calculates the percentage of the combined incomes that each parent’s individual income accounts for. The court consults a chart that quantifies the expected monthly child-related expenses, based on the number of children and combined incomes. Each parent is responsible for paying for a percentage of the child-related expenses that equals the percentage that his or her income makes up of the combined incomes.

In most cases, the parent who is allocated a majority of the parenting time will still receive child support payments from the other parent. However, the amount will vary more than it did under the previous system, depending on:

  • If the recipient parent has a greater income than the paying parent; and
  • If the parenting time is split so that each parent has the children for at least 40 percent of the time during a year, which is called Shared Physical Care.

To help explain the new income shares model, here are four child support scenarios. In each scenario, the parents have two children and a combined net monthly income of $5,000:

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illinois divorce law changes, kane county divorce attorneysIf you are an Illinois resident currently in the midst of the divorce process, you may have concerns about recent changes in divorce law that passed in 2016 and how they might affect you and your family once your divorce is final. The good news is that a majority of these changes were put into motion to ease common divorce tensions, with the goal to reduce conflict and simplify the process as a whole. While there will always be some level of conflict where divorce is concerned, revisions to our state’s laws serve to streamline the experience for each party involved.

Here are a few ways recent law changes have changed how couples divorce, but for the better:

1. Revisions to Grounds for Divorce

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Posted on in Divorce
The start of every new year often involves the implementation of new laws that can affect your rights during divorce. For example, this year the “Right of First Refusal”  was codified into state law. It will take effect in 2014 may affect your rights as a parent involved in a custody dispute.

right of first refusal IMAGEThe Law

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, 750 ILCS 5, was amended within the past year to include the Right of First Refusal in section 602.3. Basically, this amendment was introduced to allow the court, if it finds that it is in the best interest of the child, and the court awards joint custody or visitation rights, to find that both parties will have the right of first refusal to care for the minor children if during the party's normal parenting time an extended absence is necessary.

The synopsis of the Bill, as introduced, suggests that an absence of four hours constitutes the minimum time of absence under which the right of first refusal should be exercised by the custodial parent. The amendment itself, however, does not set a minimum time of absence but rather, it states only that an absence for a “significant” amount of time will invoke the right of first refusal.

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