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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

More child support requested from Jose Reyes

18825743_S.jpgIllinois baseball fans might have heard that Mets player Jose Reyes is in a dispute about child support with a woman with whom he had an affair. The two have a 7-year-old daughter together.

Reyes currently pays $11,500 monthly in child support from his salary of $22 million per year. The woman asked for the amount to be quadrupled. Her attorney said that her only income came from a rental property Reyes had bought for her. According to some sources, Reyes had been paying her more in child support, but in 2015, after his wife learned of the affair, the amount went down.

How courts deal with disputes over religion involving kids

50573887_S.jpgEaster weekend is very important for some families, but its significance should not be diminished if one parent does not want to attend church or other religious services. Religion (or participation in religious ceremonies) can be a very difficult subject between divorcing and separated couples. Parents may feel very strongly about including (or not including) their children in religious events and may be quick to seek court intervention to get their way. This post will examine the difficulties courts may have in adjudicating these issues.

Questions about religious inclusion arise under the framework of legal custody. When a parent is awarded this form of custody, there are empowered to make decisions about important aspects of a child's life, including medical treatment, choice of school and religious upbringing, to name a few. When disputes arise about religion, a family court judge must balance a parent's First Amendment right to practice their religion against the child's best interests.  

Uses, misuses of child support payments

43131649_S.jpgWhen Illinois parents divorce, the non-custodial parent usually must pay child support to the custodial parent. This money must be used for maintenance of the child or children. It should not be used for personal expenses of the custodial parent.

For example, child support can be used to pay rent, the mortgage or utilities, since the child clearly benefits from having a safe place to live. The money also could be used to pay a child's school expenses, including supplies and school clothes, as well as for any extracurricular expenses for activities the child is involved in. Child support also may be used to pay medical expenses, including vision and dental care. Food and toys are also reasonable child care expenses.

The 20/20/20 rule for military divorces

50864636_S.jpgIllinois residents who are married to a member of the military and getting a divorce may wonder how their healthcare and other benefits will change. What happens after a divorce depends on the length of the marriage, how long a spouse has served in the military and the amount of time military service and marriage overlapped.

When figuring out whether benefits continue after a military divorce, the "20/20/20 rule" applies. This means that a marriage must have lasted for at least 20 years, a spouse must have served for at least 20 years and the marriage must overlap with the service for 20 years or more. Anyone who was married to a military service member for less than 20 years does not receive any benefits, and any current benefits end when the divorce is finalized.

When a noncustodial parent becomes disabled

Many Illinois parents have gone through a divorce and have been awarded primary physical custody of their young children. In most cases, the court has also awarded them child support, and these parents often rely on prompt and timely payments to meet the costs of raising their children. While noncustodial parents may make every effort to comply with their obligations, a question arises as to how to proceed if such a parent suddenly becomes disabled as result of an accident.

Generally speaking, a disability will not end the obligation to provide support. However, it can clearly impact the ability to do so, especially when it results in an inability to return to work for a prolonged period. If the disabled parent becomes entitled to receive benefits through an employer-provided insurance policy, then payments should continue to be made. However, the amount of benefits will in most cases be less than the salary the parent had previously been receiving. In such an event, it is likely that a court would approve a request to modify the amount as child support is based in part on the income of the noncustodial parent.

How to break the news of a divorce to children

12940561_S.jpgIt goes without saying that divorce can be emotionally traumatic for the individuals involved. But when people with children decide to divorce, it affects more than just them; especially when there are children involved. After all, they are still parents even though they are no longer husband and wife.

Because children will stay involved in their parents' lives, they should continue to keep their children's feelings at heart. The first (and probably most important) step in this process is telling a child about a divorce.  This post will provide some helpful tips. 

Child support cases involving domestic violence

20612432_S.jpgWhen Illinois parents are the victim of domestic violence and are ending their marriage as a result, it can cause them to be reluctant to seek child support as they may fear retaliation. Even if the abuser does agree to make child support payments, it could be another way to exert control with a view towards reneging on the promise in the future.

An abuser may use a number of tactics in order to get the parent to drop the child support case. Common techniques include threats. For example, the abuser may threaten to personally harm the custodial parent or threaten to take the child away from them if they file for child support. They may also make empty promises to pay child support voluntarily without going to court. In many cases, this results in the custodial parent only getting insignificant amounts of child support given at random times or no payments at all. They may also ask to make payments directly instead of having the payments garnished from their wages, though the result often ends up being the same.

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

60225517_S.jpgWhen 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.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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Belleville, Illinois 62221

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