Enforcing Child Support Payments from Your Co-ParentIllinois made its child support system more equitable when it started using an income shares model to determine payments. With the model, each parent pays a share of the total child-related expenses that is proportionate to their comparative incomes. Still, some parents do not pay their mandated child support, leaving the other parent with a disproportionate financial burden. As a parent, you have legal means of enforcing your child support agreement. A court or state agency can seize the money from your co-parent or punish him or her for not complying.

State Agencies

You can ask the Illinois Department of Child Support Services to enforce your child support agreement if the state processes your child support payments. The DCSS will investigate your claim to confirm that your co-parent is not making the required child support payments. The DCSS has several ways of enforcing child support orders, including:

  • Garnishing your co-parent’s wages or bank accounts;
  • Taking his or her federal and state income tax refunds;
  • Placing a lien on his or her property;
  • Suspending or revoking his or her driver’s license;
  • Denying his or her passport; or
  • Requesting criminal prosecution because your co-parent is in contempt of a court order.

The DCSS will decide which mechanism to use based on how much your co-parent owes and whether he or she has a history of missing payments.

Court Order

You can take your case directly to court by filing a rule to show cause claiming that your co-parent is in contempt of the court order for child support payments. You will need to present a copy of your child support order and documentation of how much money your co-parent owes and how long he or she has failed to make payments. The court will order your co-parent to appear and explain why he or she is not in compliance with the child support order. Parents who are not paying child support often argue that they cannot afford to make the payments because:

  • Their financial circumstances have changed; or
  • The child support order requires them to pay an unfair amount.

The court can threaten asset seizure or jail time if your co-parent continues to violate the court order. Even if your co-parent legitimately cannot afford the child support payments, he or she should have filed to modify the child support order instead of not paying.

Course of Action

You should consult an attorney when your co-parent is not making child support payments. A Kane County family law attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can advise you on how you can enforce the payments. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-879-9090.

Source:

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/forcing-parent-pay-child-support

Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Child support, Coparenting, Enforcing Agreements, Family Law, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney | Tagged , , , |

Four Reasons to Stay Off Social Media During DivorceSocial media is a potential pitfall for divorcees because your spouse can use the content you post against you in your case. Social media users often share information about themselves without considering who can see it and how others could interpret it. You can best protect yourself by not posting anything on your social media account during your divorce. There are several ways that remaining active on social media can hurt you in a divorce case:

  1. Your Content Reflects Your Character: Your behavior during your divorce can influence a court’s decision on the allocation of parental responsibilities and the division of property. People often post pictures of themselves on social media having fun or out with friends. Your spouse could portray a seemingly innocent post as evidence that you are irresponsible as a parent and budgeter of your finances. Defending yourself against these accusations distracts you from other work in your divorce.
  2. You May Say Something You Regret: Your spouse will frustrate you at times during your divorce. Unfortunately, social media allows you to publicly voice your complaints before you have time to think about the consequences of what you said. Public complaints will create further tension with your spouse and undermine your negotiations. You may also alienate friends and family who are uncomfortable being involved in your divorce arguments.
  3. Posts Are Never Truly Private: You may think that you can hide your social media content by changing your privacy settings. How can your spouse use your social media against you if he or she cannot see your accounts? You cannot be sure that what you post will always stay private. Your social media connections can publicly share your content, and your former spouse is likely connected to some of them.
  4. Deleting Posts Could Get You in Trouble: You may not be allowed to hide or take back regrettable social media posts that you made during your divorce. Courts consider social media content that is relevant to your divorce to be evidence in your case. Deleting a post could qualify as spoiling evidence and gives the impression that you have something to hide. The court could fine you and force you to turn over the evidence.

The Role of Social Media in Divorce

Your social media history can be useful during your divorce case if it shows evidence of marital assets or the nature of your relationship with your children. However, you risk damaging your case if you continue to post to social media during your divorce. A Kane County divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., will advise you on how to behave during your divorce. To schedule a consultation, call 630-879-9090.

Source:

https://insights.itsovereasy.com/approaching-social-media-divorce

Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Divorce, Divorce Advice, Family Law, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney, Social Media | Tagged , , , |

How to Save Money on Divorce CostThe cost of the divorce process is one factor that may cause spouses to hesitate in getting a divorce. Studies have estimated that the average divorce in Illinois costs $13,800, which puts the state in the top third of the most expensive states for divorce in the U.S. It is reasonable to consider whether you can afford a divorce if you are heavily in debt or lack financial resources. However, avoiding divorce when it is necessary keeps you stuck in an unhealthy relationship. You also risk your marriage worsening to the point that divorce is unavoidable and more expensive than it would have been before. By understanding the costs involved in the divorce process, you can find ways to save money.

Attorney Cost

Having a skilled divorce attorney is invaluable to you, but it is also likely to be your largest expense. You can shop around to find an attorney you can afford or explore financing options. However, you may be able to save more money by being efficient in your use of your attorney. Attorneys are often paid based on billable hours that they work, and you can reduce the hours by:

  • Preparing questions and important information before meeting with your attorney;
  • Providing copies of key documents on your own so your attorney does not need to file a formal request;
  • Not asking your attorney to perform tasks that are outside of his or her areas of service; and
  • Behaving amicably with your spouse so as not to draw out the process.

Court Cost

The court fees involved in getting a divorce are more rigid than your attorney fees. You will have a basic fee for filing your divorce papers and additional fees for your court appearances. The best way to save money on court fees is by keeping your court appearances to a minimum. Spouses can negotiate their own divorce agreement outside of court and present the agreement for court approval at the end of the process. Courts must intervene in the negotiations when spouses cannot come to terms on a divorce agreement. The spouses must attend a series of divorce hearings, which increases their court and attorney fees.

Do Not Go It Alone

Because of the associated fees, some spouses choose to handle their divorce without an attorney. However, a do-it-yourself divorce is time-consuming and may backfire if you make mistakes. A Kane County divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can efficiently handle your divorce case and help you reach an agreement that best benefits you. Schedule an appointment by calling 630-879-9090.

Source:

https://www.supermoney.com/2018/01/average-cost-divorce-5-major-financial-mistakes-avoid/

Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Divorce, Divorce Advice, Do It Yourself Divorce, Family Law, Financial Problems, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney | Tagged , , , |

Getting Ready to Testify at Divorce CourtEvery divorce case will require an appearance in court to at least finalize the dissolution of marriage and approve the divorce agreement. However, a divorce case in which there is a dispute may require you to testify at a hearing. Testifying can be an intimidating experience because you will be asked several personal questions, some of which may seem like an attack on your character. Fortunately, you will have time to prepare for your day in court because divorce hearings often move slowly. You cannot predict every eventuality, but you can ready yourself for the experience:

  1. Practice Answering Questions: Your attorney has been through many divorce hearings and will know what questions you will be asked. You can have a mock hearing, in which you practice how you will answer the questions.
  2. Dress Appropriately: Your attire should match the formality and professionalism of the courtroom. However, you should not overdress or appear flashy. This may make you seem cocky and contradict your message if you are trying to argue that you need more assets from the divorce. Conservative business attire is usually a safe bet.
  3. Show Up Early: If you aim to get there on time, you risk being late for the hearing. Tardiness implies to everyone in the courtroom that you do not respect the hearing. Arriving early will allow you to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and have another discussion with your attorney.
  4. Bring Support: A family member or close friend can accompany you to the courthouse and provide emotional support. Knowing that you have another ally nearby may comfort you. You can ask your attorney about whether your guest will be allowed in the courtroom during the hearing.
  5. Remain Calm: Your demeanor in the courtroom is important in getting your message across during the hearing. You must clearly and truthfully answer the questions you are asked. If a question catches you off guard, take your time to answer in a calm and coherent manner. Do not speak unless you are answering a question and do not interrupt others. Avoid fidgeting or looking distracted when you are listening to others.

Helping Your Cause

Appearing calm and rational during your divorce hearings will give others the impression that you are responsible, whether it is in managing your assets or caring for your children. A Kane County divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can prepare you for your court appearances. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-879-9090.

Source:

https://www.divorcemag.com/blog/how-to-prepare-for-divorce-court/

Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Divorce, Divorce Advice, Family Law, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney | Tagged , , , |

Children Need Parental Attention During DivorceParenting time is one of the primary ways you can address your children’s needs after a divorce. You and your spouse may disagree about how the parenting time should be divided because you each believe that your children will be best off by spending as much time with you as possible. However, concerns about the quantity of parenting time can sometimes overshadow the importance of the quality of parenting time. Whether you have a majority or a minority of parenting time, it is important that you use that time effectively to address your children’s emotional needs and help them through the difficult adjustment.

Silent Struggles

Children of divorce need acute attention from their parents because the process has left them with many questions and doubts about their lives. Unfortunately, parents who are caught up in a divorce may not notice their children’s struggles and assume that their children will tell them if something is wrong. Your children notice how the divorce upsets you and may be afraid that asking questions will draw your ire. They are waiting for you to notice that they are upset and to talk to them. When you fail to do so, they may conclude that you do not care, which can cause depression and resentment.

Communication

You must approach your time with your children as an opportunity for them to talk to you about their thoughts related to the divorce. To allow them to feel comfortable, you should:

  • Directly ask them how they feel;
  • Attentively listen to what they say;
  • Reassure them about their doubts without rejecting their feelings; and
  • Tell them that you are not upset or angry with them.

As much as you want your parenting time to be happy, it is healthy to allow your children to be sad if that is how they feel. Your children need to express what makes them sad and angry about the divorce and feel that you acknowledge those emotions.

Parenting with Purpose

When arguing with your spouse about the allocation of parental responsibilities, you should ask yourself whether what you want is best for yourself or best for your children. Your children are not a property to be divided but a responsibility to be shared. Both of you have an individual, irreplaceable role in helping your children through what is likely the most traumatic experience in their lives. A Kane County divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can help you create a parenting agreement that is in the best interest of your children. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-879-9090.

Source:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/age-un-innocence/201806/quality-parenting-needed-most-during-divorce

Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Child Custody, Coparenting, Divorce, Family Law, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney | Tagged , , , |