Illinois child support: the basics

Whether you might be paying child support or receiving it on behalf of your child, there are certain basics facts you need to know about child support in Illinois. I’ve put together this overview of the Illinois law on child support as reflected in Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the “IMDMA”)(750 ILCS 5/505).  [continue reading…]

Visitation interference is common in Illinois child custody disputes. It is also a crime in Illinois pursuant to Section 10-5.5 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/10-5.5). Aside from committing a crime, a person who interferes with visitation would most likely be in violation of a court order; for more information about getting someone to follow a court order, see my post “Court orders: Get them enforced!

The law states that “Every person who, in violation of the visitation, parenting time, or custody time provisions of a court order relating to child custody, detains or conceals a child with the intent to deprive another person of his or her rights to visitation, parenting time, or custody time commits the offense of unlawful visitation or parenting time interference.”

Below are some important points about the crime of visitation interference:

  1. Getting prosecution is difficult: The crime of visitation interference is just that – a crime. And because private individuals do not prosecute crimes, the state’s attorney must bring charges. Unfortunately, the state’s attorney has no where near the capacity to pursue every parenting who has committed the crime of visitation interference.
  2. Joint custody creates difficulties with police: Although the statute does not say parents who share joint legal custody are exempt from the crime of visitation interference, many police departments believe that is that case because of their interpretation of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling. Further, police generally do not want to get involved in child custody disputes, so trying to avoid arresting someone for visitation interference is fairly consistent with their general attitudes towards child custody.
  3. Either parent can commit the crime: Traditionally, one parent is viewed as the “residential parent” and the other parent receives visitation, or “parenting time.” And although the law is most commonly though of as applying to interference with visitation specifically, it can also apply to the parent who receives visitation if he or she interferes with the other parent’s court-ordered time.
  4. A non-parent can commit the crime: Even a person who is not a parent can be convicted of the crime of visitation interference. For instance, if a friend of one parent does something to interfere with the other parent’s time with the child, that freind could be convicted of visitation interference.
If you are having a problem with visitation interference, contact me, Chicago divorce lawyer David Wolkowitz. I may be able to help.

Illinois Child Custody Factors

In Illinois, courts are to determine child custody questions “in accordance with the best interest of the child,” pursuant to Section 602 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/602). While the court may consider any factor relevant to the child’s best interest, the legislature has directed courts to specifically consider the following factors: [continue reading…]

Simply put, an uncontested divorce in Illinois is a divorce where the spouses agree to every aspect of their divorce, or dissolution of marriage. But, marriage can be complicated. As a Chicago divorce lawyer and Illinois family law attorney, I suggest you peace sign for uncontested divorce in Illinoisbecome familiar with exactly what you will have to agree to in your divorce case.

For an uncontested divorce in Illinois, spouses will have to reach agreement in the following areas:

  1. Child custody: Will parents share “joint legal custody,” so that they are both legal guardians?
  2. Children’s residence: Where will be the children’s official residence?
  3. Child support: How much child support will be paid? And to who?
  4. Dividing assets: How will the marriage’s assets be divided? Who gets what? Should some of it be sold, and the proceeds distributed? Who gets the house?
  5. Dividing debt: Marriages can be dissolved easier than debt. Who’s going to pay the bills?
  6. Alimony: In Illinois, the legal term for alimony is “spousal maintenance.” How much alimony should be paid, if any, and for how long?
Even if your marriage has taken on a certain amount of acrimony, you and your spouse might be able to come to agreement for the benefit of everyone involved. In the end, an uncontested divorce is about pragmatics: putting the past behind you and moving ahead as quickly as possible.
If you think an uncontested divorce might be a possibility, I can help you develop an approach to use in bringing up the topic with your spouse. See the post I wrote titled Phases of an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois for a bit more information on the most affordable way to get divorced in Illinois.  I also wrote a reasonable comprehensive articled titled, “FAQ: Fast and Affordable Uncontested Divorce in Illinois.” Or, you can contact me for a free consultation.

A party to a legal proceeding, including an Illinois family law dispute, can be found to be in contempt of court when he or she disobeys a court order.Illinois family law judge, Chicago divorce court judge

If you are involved in an Illinois family law case and the other party is not obeying a court order, then you should take action to see that the court order is enforced. For instance, the other party may refuse to follow an order from visitation, may not be paying child support according to a court order, or may otherwise be in violation of an Illinois family law court order.

The good news about seeking to have another party held in contempt of court is that, if the court finds the other party to be in contempt of court, the other party often has to pay your attorney fees. In other words, you can hire an attorney to get your court order enforced, and often the other person has to pay for it!

If you are having problems getting the other parent to follow court orders, contact me – Chicago divorce lawyer David Wolkowitz. I may be able to help. Also, check out my post titled “The Crime of Visitation Interference in Illinois.”