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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Family court can't issue orders for bankruptcy court to follow

When Illinois couples divorce, they should be aware that the family court's orders regarding property division may not always stand up in other courts. A case that was decided by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court demonstrates the limits of a family court's jurisdiction.

Two weeks after getting divorced, a man filed for bankruptcy. The judge in his divorce case had ordered him to pay his ex-wife $53,000 as a part of the property division. The judge had also ordered that he pay $1,300 per month in child support and further stated that the $53,000 would not be able to be discharged in a bankruptcy.

Child support and remarriage

2654957_S.jpgMany individuals choose to marry again after they have divorced. Illinois parents who have decided to get remarried to a new spouse and are currently receiving or paying child support should be aware of how the new marriage may impact child support payments.

The custodial parent should still receive payments, regardless of his or her decision to remarry, as providing financial support for a child is the responsibility of the child's birth parents. If the new spouse of the custodial parent wants to legally adopt his or her children, it will be necessary to have the non-custodial parent surrender his or her parental rights. If the remarriage of the custodial parent results in an improved financial situation, instead of opting to stop child support payments, he or she should consider placing the funds in a savings account for the children's education.

Child custody battle for Scarlett Johansson

22988109_S.jpgIllinois fans of actress Scarlett Johansson may be aware that she has been negotiating with her husband, Romain Dauriac, as the two prepare to divorce. On March 7, Johansson left the negotiating table to file divorce papers. Although Dauriac has asked her to return to negotiations, observers say she is unlikely to do so. Furthermore, she most likely filed the papers to establish New York as their 2-year-old daughter's residence rather than Dauriac's home country of France.

Dauriac could also file in France, and this would mean that there would need to be a legal decision about the child's residence. However, according to Dauriac's attorney, he does not wish to leave New York as long as the two can share custody of the child.

Using the Child Support Recovery Act

35010665_S.jpgIllinois parents who are owed child support have the ability to seek to collect it. In many cases, custodial parents may need to go to court in order to potentially recover the back child support that they are owed under the federal Child Support Recovery Act. However, there are certain things that they must do before they go before a judge.

First, parents should have evidence that they attempted to collect the child support from the noncustodial parent. They must also have evidence that the noncustodial parent has not made payments for an extended period of time. Finally, if the parents were not married when the child was born, the custodial parent should have evidence of paternity.

Willfully failing to pay child support is illegal

11137381_S.jpgAfter child support orders have been issued during Illinois divorce proceedings, some parents fail to comply with them. While some may become delinquent because of financial problems, others willfully attempt to avoid paying their court-ordered child support. It is illegal under federal law for parents to intentionally avoid making their child support payments.

The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act is a federal law that was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1998. The act makes it illegal for parents to move to other states simply to avoid meeting their child support obligations. Parents can be charged under the act when they move to other states and have failed to make child support payments for more than a year and have balances of more than $5,000.

Making divorce easier for children

11675918_S.jpgIf a couple with children in Illinois decides to end their marriage, it's important that people focus on trying to make the process as easy as possible for their kids. While divorce will almost always have some sort of negative effect on kids, the degree to which children have trouble dealing will often depend on how parents act during and after the divorce.

Some of the ways to help make the divorce process easier for children include determining when the best time is to announce a divorce and ensuring that fighting is kept to a minimum. Some individuals may find it easier to tell children they are divorcing during the school year while they can focus on their studies; others may want to make the announcement over a break so kids have time to cope.

Managing bank accounts after a divorce in Illinois

12497071_S.jpgMany experts recommend that when a couple gets a divorce, they should begin to split up their finances immediately. This usually involves closing joint bank accounts and/or removing a spouse as an authorized account user and then creating entirely new accounts.

However, not everyone will want to close their bank accounts and start over again. For many people, bank accounts are set up to automatically pay bills their checking account. A number of individuals also have direct deposit through their employer so they don't have to bring a paycheck to the bank.

Unpaid child support in Illinois

46638040_S.jpgChild support exists to provide financial assistance to parents raising a child or children on their own. With child support, it should be easier for single parents to provide clothing, food and shelter for children. As a result, when a couple splits up and one person is no longer living with their children, this parent is normally obligated to pay child support.

However, in many cases, child support is not always forthcoming or not on a timely basis. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, single mothers receive just 67.5 percent of the child support owed to them, and single fathers receive 74.9 percent of the child support they are supposed to get. Based on research published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, it appears that fathers who do not make regular child support payments have several things in common.

Shared custody and child relocation issues in Illinois

45758308_S.jpgWhen parents go their separate ways after a divorce, they typically end up with shared custody of children. A parent who later wishes to move will have to initiate a legal process to inform the other parent and gain consent if the move qualifies as a relocation.

In Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will counties, the law defines relocation as a move that exceeds 25 miles from the child's current home within the state or to another state. Madison County and other counties in the state define relocation as a move of over 50 miles within the state or over 25 miles to another state. A parent needs to send written notice to the other parent and the circuit court 60 days before the move or as soon as possible. The parent needs to provide the new address and the expected duration of the move.

When parents abduct their own children

Parents who abduct or kidnap their children in Illinois and other states violate both federal and state laws as well as their custody orders. Depending on the state, judge, and family circumstances, the parent who kidnapped the child may permanently lose his or her custody rights. He or she could also face criminal charges with penalties such as jail time, loss of visitation rights, and steep fines.

When a parent kidnaps a child and remains in the U.S., law enforcement officials, such as the FBI and other state and federal authorities, are the best option. They are experienced in these matters and best equipped to search for the missing child. Parents are allowed to hire private investigators to conduct their own investigations, but this course of action can be very expensive.

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