Claiming that he is experiencing financial difficulties and serious illness, former Chicago Bulls star basketball player Dennis Rodman has filed papers in court stating that he is currently not able to meet his child support and spousal maintenance obligations. At the beginning of March, those unpaid obligations for child support for his 9 and 10 year old children reportedly totaled $808,935. The children are from the 51-year-old ex-athlete's third marriage.
We are finishing up our discussion of a federal regulation set to take effect in March 2013. The rule could have a dramatic effect on noncustodial parents who receive federal benefits and who owe child support payments. The rule comes from the Department of the Treasury, because it writes the checks. The rule will affect clients of the Department of Health and Human Services, though, and advocates are saying the two should talk.
It is hard to argue that there is no child support crisis in Illinois. The most recent data available shows that the Office of the Attorney General collected $190 million in child support from 89 of the state's 102 counties. The question is, how much of that money goes to the families, and how many support payments go into the state's coffers?
The Department of the Treasury recently announced that federal benefits will not be paid by paper check after March 2013. Instead, the funds will be directly deposited into beneficiaries' bank accounts or loaded onto prepaid debit cards. Over the next 10 years, the move to paperless could save the government $1 billion ... and impoverish almost a quarter of a million people.
A new policy at the Department of the Treasury is under fire for what many believe will be a dire, if unintended, consequence. While the change looks like a neutral cost-savings effort at first glance, noncustodial parents -- in Illinois and every other state -- who are behind on their child support payments could pay the price.
Christie Brinkley will return to the stage in April. She will play Roxie Hart in the musical "Chicago," a career move that ex-husband Peter Cook claims is behind her public accusations regarding their ongoing dispute over custody and support of their children. Brinkley's camp counters that Cook was the one to take the argument to the media when he agreed to a TV interview.
We are continuing the discussion from our last post about same-sex marriage and data. As Illinois and other states -- and presidential candidates -- debate the pros and cons of same-sex marriage, partisan and independent organizations are gathering data to support one side or the other.
Same-sex marriage is still in the headlines in Illinois. The arguments for and against have not varied much over the years, though the civil union law added a little complexity on both sides. What we do know is that the debate won't die down any time soon -- it is an election year, after all.
Are you a habitual tobacco user? Illinois smokers are probably familiar with the various risks associated with the use of cigarettes. However, did you know that as a smoker, you could potentially lose your kids in a child custody dispute?
Couples who are separating or divorcing often disagree about who gets the pet. In some extreme cases, one spouse will abuse the pet, using custody as a weapon. A few states, Illinois among them, have laws that protect animals in domestic violence situations. Fortunately, those cases are few and far between. Most of the time, when a pet enters the picture, he or she is the subject of a custody and visitation arrangement.