For 13 years, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have stood steadfastly next to one another -- despite critics of their 25-year age difference. Now, the couple has announced that they will be taking time apart to re-evaluate their marriage, and rumors have been swirling over the possibility of a future divorce.
There used to be a commercial on television that made a lot of people laugh. It featured a young lawyer entering an older lawyer's office to discuss a personal injury case they were handling. The older lawyer appeared quite confident and learned -- he was surrounded by leather-bound law books -- as his eager associate explained that they have just received the defendant's response to their complaint. "Who's representing them?" the older lawyer asked. The younger attorney looked at the paper and named a local Lake County law firm.
The 36,000 or so active duty military men and women who make Illinois their home received news last week about an important policy change. The Pentagon announced on Aug. 14 that same-sex spouses of military personnel will be eligible for federal benefits no later than Sept. 3. Civilian defense employees will also be eligible.
We often talk about the difficulties of paying and collecting child support. In our last post, for instance, we discussed a new law in Illinois that the governor believes will help to reduce the state's $3 billion child support backlog. One man, however, finds himself in the unusual position of having been diligent with support payments only to discover, years later, that the child is not his.
Both the IRS and the state of Illinois consider gambling winnings to be income. You have to report it on your tax returns, and you have to pay taxes on it. Lottery winnings, slot machine jackpots and your take from hitting the trifecta -- it is all income. And because it is all income, it is also subject to garnishment for child support debt.
When we say there are serious consequences for not making child support payments, we are not kidding. The primary risk, of course, is to the child's well-being: Remember that one or two missed payments can put a single parent below the poverty line; in Illinois, two-thirds of children in poor families live with just one parent.
We are continuing our discussion of a woman's situation with her immigration status, her marital status and her wish to bring her son to the U.S. In our last post, we discussed the different ways she could first establish permanent residency and then become a citizen.