Illinois Can Suspend Your Driver's License for Missed Child SupportThe continued payment of child support is a serious matter in Illinois. Your co-parent can take you to a family court to enforce your child support agreement if you miss payments. A court that finds you in contempt of your child support agreement can use wage garnishment or the seizure of other property or funds in order to repay the money that you owe. As further punishment for your lack of payment, Illinois can suspend your driver’s license until you pay the child support in full.

Suspension Policy

Both Illinois courts and the Department of Child and Family Services have the authority to request your driver’s license suspension if you have not made any child support payments for at least 90 days. In either case, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office receives the request and will notify you of your pending suspension, to start in 60 days. At that point, you have two options:

  • You can repay your child support in full, which will cancel the suspension; or
  • You can attend a Secretary of State’s hearing on your suspension.

The hearing will determine whether to allow your driver’s license to be suspended and whether to give you limited driving privileges. The suspension can last indefinitely until you have fulfilled your child support obligation. To reinstate your driving privileges, you will need another hearing with the Secretary of State’s office to prove that you are in good standing with your child support payments.

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Protecting Your Children from a Dangerous Co-ParentThe equal right to parental responsibilities after a divorce assumes that the children will be safe with both parents. Unfortunately, some divorced parents put their children in danger because of their personal behavior and lifestyle choices, such as substance abuse or frequent partying. It is your responsibility to protect your child if you have reason to believe that your co-parent is a threat to your children’s safety. You may need to file a court order to change the allocation of parental responsibilities. However, you must present evidence of your co-parent’s dangerous behavior.

Forms of Danger

It is not enough to say that your co-parent has a drinking problem or behaves recklessly. You must focus on how your co-parent’s actions are putting your children in danger. There are clear ways to connect your co-parent’s irresponsible behavior with his or her parenting ability, such as:

  • Abusive behavior due to substance abuse;
  • Putting your children in a dangerous situation, such as driving under the influence;
  • Exposing your children to harmful influences; or
  • Neglecting your children.

Presenting Evidence

You may discover your co-parent’s irresponsible behavior by talking to your children or noticing a change in their own behavior or appearance. However, you may need more evidence to prove that your co-parent is a danger to your children. Consider the following factors:

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Three Responses to Your Divorcing Spouse's AngerDivorce has the unfortunate tendency to bring out the ugly side in some people because they feel hurt and stressed out by the end of their marriage. Your spouse may react by becoming angry and spiteful during the process. The anger may be obvious if your spouse has frequent outbursts or accuses you of wrongdoing. It can also be more subtle if your spouse is unwilling to negotiate and seems more interested in hurting you than reaching an agreement. There is little you can do to change your spouse’s behavior, but you can try to make the best of the situation with these tips:

  1. Respond to Anger with Calm: You may be angry at your spouse for his or her behavior, but showing your anger will make the situation worse. Stick to constructive conversations and ignore your spouse’s provocations that are meant to drag you into an argument. Let your attorney speak on your behalf if you find yourself losing your calm. Remind yourself that the divorce process will eventually end and you can limit your contact with your spouse after that.
  2. Understand Why Your Spouse Is Upset: Your spouse’s anger is part of his or her grief over your divorce. People who are grieving often experience anger before they reach acceptance. Your spouse is angry about the divorce, and you are the natural person to focus that anger on if your spouse blames you for the divorce. When you view anger as grief, it may be easier to remain calm because you feel some empathy towards your spouse.
  3. Defend Yourself When Necessary: You can stay calm and even be empathic towards your spouse, but you still must protect your own interests during the divorce negotiations. Some arguments are worth having if the issue is important to you, such as the allocation of parental responsibilities. Explain what you need to receive from the divorce agreement with an understanding that your spouse may disagree. Insist on having respectful and reasonable negotiations. If your spouse’s anger is out of control, you can tell your spouse that you are pausing the negotiations to allow him or her to calm down.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

The best way to respond to a difficult spouse during a divorce is to demonstrate a calm and respectful demeanor. You can hope that your spouse will follow your lead, but you can control only your own behavior. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can prepare you for success in a high-conflict divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Divorcees Prefer Silence When Facing Financial ProblemsPeople who have filed for divorce are less likely to talk to others about their personal finances, according to a recent CNBC survey. Amongst the survey respondents who were divorced, 56 percent said that they rarely speak with family members about their money. Only 27 percent of all the survey respondents gave the same answer. There is nothing wrong with financial discretion when talking to family members. However, divorcees put themselves at risk if they do not talk to anyone about their financial troubles.

Reason for Silence

People dislike sharing their financial concerns with friends and family because they may be embarrassed about their situation. Unfortunately, divorce causes financial trouble for some people because:

  • They are primarily relying on their individual incomes to support themselves;
  • They lost some of their marital properties as part of the divorce;
  • They may have new expenses, including purchasing or renting their own homes; and
  • They may be required to pay child support and spousal maintenance.

It takes humility to admit that you need help despite worrying whether people will think less of you because you are struggling to pay bills and control your debt. Even if you are not in financial danger, you may be embarrassed to show that you cannot afford the same lifestyle as when you were married.

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Who Will Control Your Child's College Fund After Divorce?Divorce can disrupt the financial plans from your marriage, including savings you have accumulated for your child’s college expenses. If you have been making regular contributions to a college fund, you may worry about how you will continue to afford them on your individual income while also supporting yourself and your child. You should discuss your college savings plan with your spouse during your divorce negotiations, including who will control any existing savings and how to ensure that the money goes towards your child.

Types of Plans

Savings accounts from your marriage, such as a retirement plan, are considered marital assets because they are funded with marital income. Even if you keep control of the entire account after your divorce, you may need to compensate your spouse for half of the value of the account. A court may exclude your college savings account from your marital property if it classifies the account as a fund set aside for your children. The best way to do this is by creating a plan that is meant for college savings, such as a:

  • 529 savings plan;
  • Custodial 529;
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account; or
  • Trust in your child’s name.

Plan Control

If you created the college savings account before your divorce, you will need to decide which parent will be in charge of the account moving forward. Usually, one parent assumes total control of the account, though you can split the account and each receive half of its value. You can include conditions in your divorce agreement stating that:

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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