When parents in Illinois go through a divorce, the thought of dividing time with their children is often difficult, and the world of child custody can be confusing and overwhelming. When beginning the child custody process, it can be particularly important to understand the legal terminology that all parties are using, especially when in court or working with a mediator to find a solution.
In the state of Illinois, what many people think of as child custody is called parenting time. However, there is another element to custody that is commonly known as legal custody. This refers to which parent has the right to make decisions about major aspects of a child's life such as health care, religion and education. Legal custody is often shared, and there are advantages and disadvantages to doing so.
When Illinois parents get a divorce, they can help or hinder their children's adjustment with certain actions. For example, parents should notice whether their children are depressed and may want to talk to their children's friends or teachers about how they are doing.
Child support payments that Illinois parents submitted in the 2016 fiscal year may have been part of almost $33 billion that was collected. According to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, 75 percent of that balance was collected via income withholding. To continue collection efforts, the OCSE has announced measures it is taking to improve the agency and recommendations that are being made to payroll businesses and professionals.
When parents in Illinois separate, they may have to reach a custody agreement. In many cases, one parent has primary custody while the other has visitation rights to their child. A visitation schedule is the exact calendar of when the child will spend time with each parent.
When Illinois parents are involved in a custody battle, acrimony and strong emotions can lead to making foolish decisions. One such bad decision is when one parent interferes with the other parent's custodial rights. People should know such actions are classified as custodial interference and can be prosecuted in criminal court with severe consequences for the offending party.
Couples in Illinois who need to divide a 401(k) or company pension plan will need to use a document known as a qualified domestic relations order. Otherwise, they may have to pay high taxes and early withdrawal penalties. A QDRO should be prepared by an attorney in consultation with the plan administrator.
The possibility of divorce may not be the first thing on the minds of couples in Illinois who are getting married, but it might be a good idea to prepare financially all the same. For people who worry that this indicates a cynical view of marriage, one financial expert points out that it is not very different from the precautionary step of putting on a seat belt when getting into a car.
Divorce at any age can be difficult from a financial and emotional perspective. However, there may be unique challenges that Illinois residents or others face if they get divorced later in life. For instance, an individual who may be entitled to alimony may need to find ways to protect that source of income. This may be done by asking to receive a lump sum as opposed to monthly payments.
The financial aspects of a divorce can be some of the most challenging and troublesome parts for Illinois couples, especially when the marital assets are complex. In many cases, a family business may be the most valuable property in the marital estate and a settlement based on its value could be essential to the resolution of the divorce. When dividing such an asset, there can be a number of questions to resolve, including the proper valuation of the business, dealing with its value in relation to spousal support and other assets and ensuring proper reporting of income related to the business.