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McHenry County Divorce Attorneys
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Kevin O'Flaherty oversees all legal matters and is actively involved in making sure every client's case, big or small, is handled with excellence and attention to detail. He is available to contact through phone and email and his rates are available upon request.
In this video, we discuss factors Illinois courts consider in determining child custody issues.
Our McHenry County divorce attorneys will take the time to learn about your situation and aggressively argue the facts of your case.
McHenry County divorce courts have wide discretion when determining all child custody and visitation issues including "the best interest of the child."
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("The IMDMA") lists statutory factors that McHenry County divorce courts must consider in determining "the best interest of the child." However, McHenry County divorce courts are not limited to these statutory factors but instead may consider all factors that they find to be relevant. Below is a list of statutory factors that McHenry courts consider when determining child custody and visitation issues.
In this Learn About Law episode, attorney Kevin O'Flaherty discusses the changes made to Illinois child support laws in 2017
Beginning on July 1, 2017, reforms to the child support law will go into effect in Illinois. Rather than a fixed percentage of the non-custodial parent's income going to child support based on the number of children, an "income shares" model for child support will go into effect.
Under the new model, the parents will together be responsible for child support using economic tables that take into account the combined income of the parents, the cost of living, and the number of children. Once this figure is determined, a share will be allocated to each parent based on each parent's income (or potential income) relative to the other parent.
In "shared parenting" situations, this child support calculation will be different. "Shared parenting" happens when each parent is responsible for the child at least 146 nights per year. In these situations, the amount of child support the parents will be responsible is multiplied by 1.5. The number of nights that each parent is responsible for the child will, only in these "shared parenting situations," factor into the calculation of each parent's share of child support.
In this video, we explain the factors that Illinois courts consider to determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate.
Decisions McHenry County divorce courts must make in a divorce case is whether to award maintenance from one spouse to the other, how much to award, and whether the maintenance will be temporary, permanent, or paid in a lump sum. "Maintenance," known as "alimony" is a single or continuing payment from one spouse to the other that allows the spouse receiving maintenance to maintain a similar standard of living to that enjoyed during the marriage. This is separate from child support in that the payment is intended for the benefit of the other spouse rather than for the children of the marriage.
In 2016, the Illinois Marriage and Defense of Marriage Act was reformed with the intention of reducing the potential disputes between parties and with a view toward updating the law to comport with modern co-parenting arrangements.
When initiating a divorce in McHenry County, one of the parties must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This Petition provides information to the court and requests that the divorce court dissolves the marriage and resolve issues regarding child custody, visitation, maintenance, the division of marital property, and division of marital debt. When our McHenry County divorce attorneys file a petition for divorce, we include the following information:
Factual background to give the judge context about each of the parties, the history of the marriage, the children, and the financial situation of the parties. Proof that the McHenry County Circuit Court has jurisdiction to hear the case and McHenry County is the proper venue for the case to be filed. In order for the McHenry County Circuit Court to hear the case, one of the parties must reside in McHenry County and both parties must have resided in Illinois for more than 90 days.
Our experienced McHenry County divorce lawyers will ensure that your petition for dissolution of marriage is prepared efficiently and correctly. From the filing of the petition until the conclusion of your divorce, you will be informed during every stage of the process.
McHenry County Divorce courts determine how property will be divided based on the individual facts of each case. The first step is to determine which assets are to be counted as "marital property," and subject to division by the divorce court.
McHenry divorce courts do not consider the following to be "marital property" and it will not be included in the divorce:
Once the court decides which assets will be included in the property division, they will use the factors below to determine how the assets will be divided between the spouses:
McHenry County divorce courts must award minimum payments from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent if a couple has children together.
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act sets the following minimum percentages of the non-custodial parent's "net income." This must be paid to the custodial parent as child support based on the number of children that the couple has together:
What is "Net Income?"
"Net income" means the "gross income" of the custodial parent minus taxes, health insurance payments, required social security contributions, and additional items in the statute.
Can the Divorce Court Award Higher Child Support Than the IMDMA Minimums?
You should be aware that the percentages listed in the IMDMA are minimums. Divorce courts have wide discretion to award additional support if it is in the "best interest of the child."
Best Interest of the Child
In determining the "best interest of the child" as it relates to child support determinations, divorce courts will review the following factors:
Modification of Child Support
Child support payments can be modified upon a motion by either party showing changed circumstances since the original award.
When Do Child Support Obligations End?
The obligation to pay child support ends when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever happens first.
Our McHenry County divorce attorneys work hard to resolve many issues through settlement and outside of court. When parties are able to reach a settlement, both sides save on the legal fees that would be required should a trial be necessary.
When some or all of the issues in a divorce case can be resolved, the parties will execute a Marital Settlement Agreement. In this agreement, the parties come to terms on child custody, child support, maintenance issues, property division, and division of marital debt.
The court will honor the parties' decisions agreed by the parties in a Marital Settlement, with two exceptions:
After the Marital Settlement Agreement has been submitted to the court, the court will draft its terms into the order of dissolution, and a trial will not be necessary to decide issues covered by the agreement.
Divorce orders may be modified by showing a change of circumstances. However, the parties can agree in their Marital Settlement Agreement to limit modification of the divorce order, unless it relates to child custody, child support, and visitation. If this limitation on modification is in place, either party can vacate the marital settlement agreement and divorce order if they show by "clear and convincing evidence" that the agreement was unconscionable.
Our McHenry County Divorce attorneys make every effort to favorably resolve the issues in your case as possible in order to make your divorce cost-effective.