Three years ago, a man read an online classified ad by a female same-sex couple asking for someone to be their sperm donor for artificial insemination. He agreed to do it, and dropped off his donation at the women's house, where he and they entered into a written agreement indicating that he would have no parental rights or obligations.
It is never easy to tell your children that your marriage is ending. Even if they are old enough not to be surprised, you have to choose your words carefully. And, according to parenting experts, you should adapt your message depending on your child's age. You can tell a teenager that you and your spouse are splitting up and you have opted for a collaborative rather than a litigated divorce. With a toddler, though?
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.
Traditionally, the New Year brings a promise that better things are coming. The future is bright, and hope rebounds. But the New Year is also a time for reflection, and for some Chicago families that can mean big changes. January is the most common month for couples to file for divorce, and that can make the long winter months a lot more stressful.
This is not a new topic for us. For the last couple of posts, and in many past posts, we have discussed the challenges surrounding child support payments. For the custodial parent, a few missed payments can spell true financial hardship. For some non-custodial parents, the will may be there, but the means just aren't -- next thing you know, that parent is in jail on contempt charges.
We were talking about child support and collection practices in Illinois in our last post. When a non-custodial parent fails to make timely or regular support payments, the custodial parent and children are, unsurprisingly, at risk. What people may lose sight of, though, is that the single-parent family is at risk sometimes even if support is current.
An article in Chicago Parent recently caught our attention. The article is about collecting (and calculating) child support in Illinois, but it touches on the financial impact of divorce on women. With media coverage focusing so much on celebrities and politicians, it is all too easy to forget about the woman down the street whose husband has missed so many payments that she's now behind on rent and utility bills, in danger of being evicted.
A U.S. senator is sponsoring a bill that could aid parents of missing or kidnapped children by relaxing one Internal Revenue Service rule. The senator said she was motivated to propose the legislation by stories of noncustodial parents disappearing with their children as well as high-profile stories like Elizabeth Smart's.