Blog posts tagged in Kane County family law attorney
Today’s world is, in many ways, more connected than ever before. Thanks to the rise of digital and online technology, it has never been easier to look for new employment or educational opportunities that may exist far from your current home. For some people, it is also relatively easy to pick up and move to a new city or state in search of a better life, but this is not the case for everyone. If you are divorced, separated, or unmarried and you and your child’s other parent share parental responsibilities, moving to a new area can be rather complicated.
How Far Is Too Far?
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that any move that qualifies as a “relocation” must be approved by the court in advance. A relocation is any move by a parent with half or more of the parenting time with the child that exceeds a certain radius from the current home. If you currently live in Kane County—or Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, or Will County—an in-state move of more than 25 miles is a relocation. If you currently live in any other county, a relocation is any in-state move of over 50 miles. Finally, if you live anywhere in Illinois and move more than 25 miles to a new out-of-state home, the move is considered a relocation.
Sharing custody of your child—now formally known as parental responsibilities under Illinois law, can be challenging under the best of circumstances. Effective co-parenting requires communication, cooperation, and, in many cases, letting a few little things go in order to facilitate a more agreeable situation.
Protecting Parenting Time
When you are a divorced, separated, or unmarried parent, you most likely treasure the time you get to spend with your children. While this may be especially true if your parenting time is less than that of the other parent, most parents recognize that time with their child is special and should be treated as such. The realities of life, however, often create additional difficulties for a divorced parent. For example, what if a PTA meeting or other school-related function falls on a night when your children are supposed to be with you?
Earlier this year, a post on this blog looked closely at a ruling by a Cook County judge that levied what was thought to be the largest child support-related fine in the history of the state against a Herscher car dealership. The story took many in the region by surprise but highlighted the important role that employers are expected to play in ensuring that child support payments are properly made each month. Now, it seems that the dealership will not be required to pay the full fine, as both sides have agreed to an out-of-court settlement, the financial terms of which have not been disclosed to the public.
In April of 2016, Judge Bonita Coleman determined that Country Chevrolet failed to withhold ordered child support payments from the paychecks of an employee. Dealership management claimed that the man in question was not an employee but an independent contractor so the state laws regarding child support withholding were inapplicable in this case. The court disagreed, ordered back payment of approximately $8,000 in child support, and issued a statutory fine of $100 per day for each missed payment, bringing the total fine to almost $2.3 million.
For many years, relationship studies suggested that couples who moved in together prior to getting married were more likely to get divorced than those who waited until after the wedding. While there may have been some truth to those numbers, they now seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Today, more couples than ever are cohabitating prior to marriage, yet the divorce rate is on the decline, and sociologists think that that the two may be related.
A New Way to Look at Love
The generation known as the Millennials is comprised of those born roughly between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. A large number of Millennials are now in their late 20s and early 30s, and the way in which they, as a group, are approaching committed relationships much differently than their predecessors. Young people, in general, are waiting longer to get married, but they are much more likely to move in with a romantic partner than ever before.
Beginning next summer, child support considerations will be drastically different in Illinois than in years past. Long-awaited changes to how child support is calculated in the state are slated to go into effect on July 1, 2017, thanks to a measure signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner earlier this month. The new law fulfills a promise made by lawmakers last year when sweeping reforms to divorce and child custody statutes were enacted but child support discussions were tabled until now. Going forward, parents can expect a more equitable process of calculating each party’s financial responsibilities regarding their children.
Percentage of Obligor’s Income
Currently, a parent’s obligation for child support is based upon two primary factors: the income of the supporting parent and the number of children requiring support. This calculation model is known as “percentage of income,” and Illinois is just one of five states to use a flat-percentage system. Within the law, courts have been granted the discretion to alter the support requirement on a case-by-case basis, but the basic calculation, for all intents and purposes, has become very outdated. Today, both parents are much more likely to be generating substantial income than in previous generations, yet the current law does not expressly encourage the court to take both parent’s income into account when determining an appropriate amount for child support.