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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

Mokena | 815-727-6144   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Oak Brook divorce attorney child issuesOne of the biggest worries and fears that parents have during a divorce is how the end of their marriage will affect their children. While it is no secret that divorce can put children through some stress and uncertainty, it is often the best action to take for the sake of the family. Children who are raised in unhappy households often have self-esteem problems, trust issues, and in some cases, even behavioral or emotional issues that can follow them for the rest of their lives. Telling the children about your divorce can seem like a daunting task, but these tips can help you have a meaningful conversation:

  1. Tell All of Your Children at the Same Time

Many parents make the mistake of not talking to all of their children together when breaking the news of their divorce. They may think that younger children should be sheltered from the news of a divorce, while older children can be trusted with this information. This often puts unfair and unnecessary stress on older children to keep the secret of the divorce from younger children. It is often best to gather all of your children together and tell them all at the same time to avoid any unnecessary difficulties.

  1. Try to Talk in a Way Your Kids Will Understand

Each child is going to be different when it comes to how much they understand about the divorce and what it all means. Younger children typically have a more difficult time understanding what a divorce is, so simple and clear messages usually work best when explaining things to them. Older children and teenagers tend to need more information to feel satisfied with the news of a divorce, but you should still use caution when revealing details about why the marriage has broken down.

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Hinsdale fathers’ rights attorney for parenting time and child support30 or 40 years ago, a mother was typically granted full custody of her children if she and her husband got a divorce. The husband would usually be awarded visitation rights, and he may have been able to see his kids every other weekend or possibly a couple of days during the week. In today’s world, attitudes toward parenting have changed. Fathers are more likely to be given equal decision-making responsibility for children, and they have the right to parenting time. While this is usually true, many fathers still feel that they are not treated the same as mothers when it comes to the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities. In order to protect fathers’ rights, there are some specific issues that fathers should pay attention to when getting a divorce:

Parenting Rights

In the state of Illinois, the courts encourage divorcing parents to come to an agreement on parenting time and decision-making responsibilities on their own. This can be done through the parents themselves or with help from a mediator. If they are unable to come to an agreement, the court will make decisions for them based on what is in the child’s best interests. 

Both parents are legally entitled to have a reasonable amount of parenting time with their children. If a father played a significant role in raising and caring for children while married, he should be able to continue having this same relationship with them following divorce. The only way a court can restrict parenting time is if there is clear evidence that spending time with a parent would endanger the child’s physical, mental, emotional or moral well-being. 

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DuPage County child support lawyer

In the state of Illinois, child custody laws have changed over the past decade, and child support laws have been updated as well. For instance, Illinois no longer recognizes a “non-custodial” parent in a divorce. However, in many cases, the parent with less parental responsibility and parenting time with a child will be mandated to pay some form of child support. Below we will discuss how you and your attorney can work to ensure your child support agreement is accurately calculated and what steps you can take if you are not receiving your payments on time or in full. 

How Payments Are Calculated 

In 2017, the Illinois state legislature passed a new law that redefined the way in which child support payments are calculated. The new legislation is centered around an “income shares” model that uses the income of both parents to calculate the support owed, rather than the income of the higher-earning parent. According to this approach, courts determine the amount of child support parents are responsible for by using economic tables that take into account the combined income of the parents and the number of children involved. Each parent's child support obligation is based on the percentage of the combined income they earn.

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Oak Brook spousal support lawyerFor many couples, getting a divorce can be a big financial burden. Going from being a dual-income family to having to run a household on one income can be tough on anyone. In situations in which one spouse may be greatly disadvantaged financially after a divorce, a judge might deem it appropriate to award that person spousal maintenance. In Illinois, spousal maintenance, which is also known as alimony or spousal support, is calculated using a specific formula, and it usually only lasts for a specific period of time. If you are getting a divorce, you should understand the basics of Illinois spousal maintenance.

Calculating Spousal Maintenance

If a spouse is awarded spousal maintenance, the formula set forth by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) will be used to determine the amount of the maintenance award. The formula applies to any couple whose combined gross annual income is less than $500,000. The formula is as follows:

33.3% of payor’s net income - 25% of payee’s net income = Maintenance award

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Hinsdale divorce and hidden assets attorneyIt is not uncommon in marriages for one spouse to handle a majority or all of the couple’s finances while the other spouse has little to no input on these matters. Family law attorneys and psychologists have a specific term to refer to the spouse who has little say in financial matters: the “out-spouse.” When you are the out-spouse, it can be fairly easy for your partner to hide assets or other property in an attempt to keep more than his or her fair share of the marital estate during divorce. Part of the divorce process is dividing up your marital assets so that you and your spouse each get your fair share. To ensure your property is divided fairly, you have to have at least some idea of what your financial situation looks like, which is rarely the case if you are an out-spouse.

The Discovery Process

If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you, chances are he or she will not be willing to come forward and reveal those assets and financial records willingly. During your divorce, your attorney will be able to obtain this information through what is known as the discovery process. This process is a way that your attorney can formally ask your spouse for financial records. The court can take further action in pressuring your spouse to provide the required information if he or she remains uncooperative. The basic steps of the discovery process include:

  • Request for documents: Your attorney will ask for access to certain documents, which can include tax returns, bank statements, income statements, loan applications, or any other information that may be necessary to obtain a complete picture of your family’s finances.

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