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modification, St. Charles family law attorneysThe purpose of divorce is to separate two peoples’ lives that have been intertwined through marriage. When two people get married, they not only combine their personal lives but also their financial lives. In order to divide them again during a divorce, a judge will decide what is a reasonable amount of marital property, spousal support, and/or child support to assign each spouse. These decisions are made based on several factors such as each spouse’s income, their contributions during the marriage, and their respective parental responsibilities. But, what happens if these factors change after the divorce is finalized? In a case like this, a divorced individual may need to seek a divorce decree modification.

Verbal Agreements Are Not Enforceable

Circumstances which would necessitate a divorce modification include substantial changes in income, illnesses, relocation, or remarriage. Generally, courts do not make changes to the original property or debt division, but modifications of spousal support or alimony, child support, and parenting time, are more common. Couples who wish to modify the terms of their divorce agreements by way of a verbal agreement should be ward that such verbal agreements are not enforceable by the court. Modifications must be in writing and approved by the court to be effective.

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child support, Kane County family law attorneysEvery child deserves to have a safe, comfortable home in which to grow up. When parents divorce, one of the courts main duties is to make decisions which will benefit the children of the marriage. Often, this means that one of the spouses will be compelled to make child support payments to the other in order to help them raise the children.

When Is Child Support Awarded? 

Child support is almost universally granted to one of the spouses during a divorce. Illinois courts base their child support decisions on an “income shares” model. This model considers both parents’ incomes and the number of children, as well as the amount of parenting time each parent has. The amount of child support is based on an estimation of the total cost of raising the child. This cost is then equitably divided between the parents based on each of their respective net incomes. The parent with more parenting time will usually receive the support payments.

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Posted on in Child Support

child support, Kane County family law attorneysBefore July 2017, the way child support was calculated in Illinois was considered by many to be outdated and ineffective. The previous method of calculating child support was based almost solely on the income of non-custodial parent—the parent with fewer parental responsibilities. These child support laws and calculation procedures were criticized for placing an unfair burden on the paying parent.

An Outdated Model

For several decades, Illinois child support payments were determined as a percentage of the paying parent’s income based on the number of children being supported. Many people found such a method to be inherently unfair for two main reasons. First, fewer families rely on a single income than they once did, especially in the wake of a divorce, but only one parent’s income was considered when calculating child support payments. Doing so failed to account in any real way for the child’s standard of living or the income of the parent with primary residential responsibilities.

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new law, St. Charles child support lawyersIn July of this year, a new law regarding the calculation of child support went into effect in Illinois. The measure was intended to update the state’s approach to child support and to bring Illinois more in line with most other states. The change was largely seen as an improvement over the previous law, as calculations must take into account the income of both parents instead of just the paying parent, as well as a number of other factors that were not considered in the past.

Those who already have a child support order in place may be curious about how—if at all—the new law will affect their current obligations. Most, however, will need to wait until there is a sufficient justification to amend their existing order before they will see any changes to their support payments.

Substantial Changes in Circumstances

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Posted on in Divorce

taxes, Kane County divorce attorneyWhen you are in the process of getting a divorce, the last thing you are probably thinking about is your tax return. However, there are often significant tax consequences for both spouses after a divorce judgment is finalized. Both you and your attorney should be familiar with the possible outcomes, so you are not hit with an expensive surprise after the divorce is complete.

Dependents, Child Support, and Alimony

By far the biggest question for most couples is how to handle child and spousal support (also called alimony) in regard to tax liabilities. Child support differs somewhat from spousal support in that child support is not tax deductible while spousal support is. Conversely, child support is not included in taxable income for the spouse who receives it, but spousal support taxable.

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