In the years following an Illinois divorce, many families struggle with adjusting to the new structure of the holiday season. Parents can have difficulties accepting that they will lose a measure of time with their children during the holiday season, and struggles over how that time will be divided is an issue within many families. However, there are tactics that parents can use to ease the stress of accommodating a custody arrangement at this time of year.
Once the decision has been made to end an Illinois marriage, many Illinois spouses are eager to get the process started. However, timing can become an issue, especially as the holiday season approaches. For many, the prospect of discussing divorce between Thanksgiving and Christmas is less appealing than a giant hunk of their mother-in-law's fruitcake.
Getting through a divorce requires solid negotiation skills. Spouses must negotiate about property, custody, spousal maintenance and child support. It can be tough work when the stakes are so high -- deciding who will have custody is not the same as deciding where to go for dinner.
We are still talking about the difficulty of enforcing child support agreements. If a noncustodial parent fails to pay, the custodial parent can go to court, certainly, but Illinois has had a poor track record of enforcing those court orders.
This is a continuation of our discussion about the problems of collecting child support payments in Illinois. The state has a terrible reputation -- "one of the worst," according to one attorney -- but there are pockets of progress. Lake County is among them.
We are picking up the discussion from our Nov. 14 post. The subject is nonpayment of child support here in Illinois. The state Department of Healthcare and Family Services has been doing a better job of collecting and disbursing support payments from recalcitrant noncustodial parents, but "better" means moving from collecting 55 percent of what was owed in 2008 to collecting 58 percent in 2012 -- and those percentages only represent cases handled by the department. That leaves a lot of families without the income they need to make ends meet.
Deciding to file for divorce can be a difficult and emotional decision to make. Many people struggle with the thought of ending their marriage, worrying about the impact it will have on their current lifestyle as well as how it will affect their children.
Illinois has a bad reputation when it comes to collecting child support. The system has some very convenient aspects, but it also lets noncustodial parents get away without paying and without penalties for not paying. As a result, cases can languish with the state for years before any progress is made or before the children simply grow up and become ineligible for child support.
At this writing, the most the press can find out about Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's plans to sign the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act is that it will happen sometime in November. The signing will likely be a major event, just as the state legislature's approval of the bill was on Nov. 5.
After what most are hailing as an historic vote in the legislature on Nov. 5, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said he will sign the legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage in the state. When Quinn follows through, the right to marry regardless of the spouses' genders will have been approved in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
Divorced parents in Illinois often have questions about child custody and child support orders. Getting divorced with children can make everything seem very complicated, especially when parents cannot agree during the divorce process.