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Posted on in Child Support

Receiving Retroactive Child Support PaymentsBoth legal parents have a financial obligation to support a child from the time it is born, even if one of the parents is not an active part of the child’s life. Child support is a common aspect of divorce but can be more difficult to establish when the parents were never married. A father can submit a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, or the mother may file a petition to establish paternity. In disputed paternity cases, the court can order the father to pay retroactive child support if it legally establishes his paternity. The retroactive payments could go back to the date of the initial court filing or the date of the child’s birth.

Reason for Retroactive Payments

Retroactive child support commonly starts on the date that the parent filed a petition to establish paternity or to establish child support. In most cases, the mother is the one who is attempting to force the father to take financial responsibility for their child, though a father could file a petition to establish child support from an absent mother. Illinois allows retroactive child support orders to prevent a parent from avoiding their financial obligation by prolonging the court case. A paternity case can take months to settle and can be extended with other legal actions, such as appeals.

How Far Back Can Payments Go?

Illinois law allows courts to extend retroactive child support payments to dates before a parent filed a petition. Courts have interpreted this as the authority to start the retroactive payments as earlier as the child’s birth. The law lists several factors that courts must consider when setting the start date for retroactive payments, including:

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Medical Practice Included When Doctors DivorceDoctors as a profession are statistically less likely to be involved in a divorce. They have demanding workloads that can strain a marriage, but a successful doctor is often financially stable, which helps a marriage. When a doctor does divorce, their practice is part of the division of marital properties. Valuing a professional practice is different than other businesses and requires financial professionals who are familiar with these practices.

Practice as Property

Your medical practice is marital property if you started it after your marriage. If your practice predates your marriage, you must include its increase in value since your marriage as part of your marital property. Unlike with other types of businesses, your spouse does not have the option of owning part of your practice unless they are also a doctor in the same practice. This static ownership means that you will need to compensate your spouse with other marital properties. Your student debt from medical school is marital debt if it was accrued during your marriage. You may be able to offer to assume sole responsibility for the debt as compensation for your medical practice.

Valuing a Practice

A medical practice shares many of the factors used in determining the value of other businesses, such as revenues, physical assets, and growth potential. Two factors of particular concern when valuing a medical practice are:

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Posted on in Divorce

Journaling Can Help You with Divorce EmotionsDivorce can create negative emotions that need an appropriate outlet. It is unhealthy to let anger, anxiety or depression fester inside of you, but you should not unleash them on family and friends or during your divorce negotiations. Support groups or physical activities are good outlets for some people. For others, writing down their thoughts in a private journal helps them safely express their feelings. Here are four pointers if you decide to write a divorce journal:

  1. Keep the Journal to Yourself: This is a journal for yourself and not a blog. You are more likely to be truthful and freely express yourself if you know that no one else will be reading what you write. Your journal is an opportunity to express thoughts and feelings that you do not want others to know because of how they may react.
  2. Find a Comfort Zone: You can keep a journal in a physical notebook or a computer text document. Pick the form of writing that you are more comfortable with. Do not worry about proper grammar or well-crafted sentences. This is not a school assignment or a business document. It is more important that you understand what you are writing.
  3. Set a Loose Schedule: Many people like to write in their journals at the end of the day because they can recount the events of the day and let out their feelings before they go to sleep. Journaling is most effective if you do it consistently, but do not pressure yourself to write every day if you do not feel up to it.
  4. Create a Narrative: Studies on journaling during and after divorce show that it is healthier when writers tell their divorce as a story instead of writing out things that bother them. You can create an imaginary audience who you are writing to. Explaining your divorce to someone else, even if you never intend for them to read it, can force you to consider what you are feeling and why you feel that way. Instead of obsessing about your negative emotions, you may understand them better.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

Journaling is not for everyone. Some people struggle to write about themselves or find the writing process arduous. The purpose of an activity such as journaling is to find a healthy way to manage your emotions. If you do not like writing a journal, a divorce coach can suggest other healthy outlets. Our Kane County divorce lawyers at Goostree Law Group can refer you to our in-house divorce coach to complement our legal services. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


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Keys to Understanding, Enforcing Your Order of ProtectionOrders of protection exist to shield victims from their domestic abusers and help them establish independence. Escaping an abuser is not always as simple as leaving them. The victim may be worried about:

  • Where they will live;
  • How they can protect their children;
  • How they can support themselves; and
  • How they can prevent their abuser from retaliating against them.

An order of protection can solve these problems. The abuser can be required to leave the victim’s residence and stay away while the order is active. The children will stay with the victim and may have limited visits with the abuser if the court determines it to be safe. The court can require the abuser to pay child support and other expenses. However, an order of protection is effective only if it is being enforced. You must understand what your order can do and how you should respond if you suspect your abuser is violating the order.

Terms of the Order

Orders of protection in Illinois offer 17 remedies to be used against the alleged abuser, who is also called the respondent. The remedies include all of the benefits mentioned above, as well as others that may apply in specific situations. You must select the remedies you wish to use in the order. Overlooking a remedy could leave you vulnerable in ways that you are not expecting.

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Posted on in Divorce

Why DIY Divorce Can Be CostlyWe live in a do-it-yourself culture where people try to save money by performing complex tasks on their own – whether it is doing your own home repairs or completing your own divorce. In both cases, you may think that you can avoid the biggest expense by not hiring a professional to do the job for you. With a divorce, you see a wealth of online divorce resources and sites that proclaim the benefits of DIY divorce. Why pay a divorce attorney when the internet has all the information you need to file your own divorce? The answer is that a DIY divorce can be costly in its own way. Some of the costs are immediate, but it may take years for you to realize the long-term costs.

Immediate Costs

A DIY divorce is not divorcing without a lawyer. You are essentially serving as your own lawyer for the divorce. Unlike a divorce lawyer, you likely do not have previous experience with divorce law. Before starting a DIY divorce, you should understand that you are responsible for:

  • Learning your state’s divorce laws and how they apply to your case;
  • Identifying and assessing the value of all of your marital and nonmarital properties;
  • Scheduling your divorce negotiations and court appearances;
  • Writing and reviewing your divorce agreement; and
  • Presenting your agreement in divorce court.

Representing yourself in your divorce can be the equivalent of working at least a part-time job. You may need to work fulltime on your divorce if you want to finish it in a timely manner. Mistakes are natural when you are learning something as complicated as divorce, and each mistake costs you more time and possibly court fees. Courts will reject divorce agreements that do not comply with state laws.

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