One of the most fundamental concepts of family law in Illinois is the concept of parental rights. Mothers generally have no problem establishing that they have given birth to the baby in question, but fathers can have far greater difficulty in proving that they are a baby's father, especially if the mother is not willing to cooperate. This means that it can be difficult for a father to secure his parental rights.
Most residents of Illinois believe that the entry of a judgment ending their marriages is the final step in a very unpleasant process. In many cases, this belief is accurate, but its accuracy depends upon the wishes of the parties and not upon Illinois' family laws. The parties in a divorce proceeding have two essential rights to modify or amend a judgment of divorce after it is ended: a motion to the court to amend certain portions of the order, or an appeal to the Illinois courts of appeal.
Many couples in the Chicago area are struggling with the decision about whether to end their marriage. The nature of the divorce process depends largely upon the attitudes of the parties. If they are able to communicate openly and honestly, they may be able to reach a decision on every important issue without asking the judge to make the decision. If, on the other hand, they see every dispute as a weapon to be used to aggravate or harm the other party, the process is likely to be very long and fraught with anger and depression. The courts encourage parties to use processes such as divorce mediation or collaborative divorce in an effort to reduce the emotional stress of a divorce and avoid a court trial.
One of the most important issues for residents of Northern Indiana who are contemplating a divorce is child support - how much can a non-custodial spouse be expected to pay or how much should a custodial parent expect to receive. The answers can be found in the general statutory language governing child support and in the specific child support guidelines that set the amount of child support based upon the parents' financial situation.
There is a perception that when couples in Illinois get a divorce, there will be a litany of family law issues in dispute and it can grow endlessly contentious. That is, unfortunately, true in many cases when couples are battling over property, custody of children, support and visitation rights. However, in some cases, the family legal issues are reasonably amicable and the parties can agree on most issues to facilitate a rapid end to the proceedings.
Couples in Illinois who are planning to divorce might think that the case will be heard on that basis with the court allowing it to move forward, assessing the circumstances and making decisions based on the evidence. However, that is not always the case immediately. In some situations, the court will determine that the marriage can be salvaged. With that, there can be an order for the parties to take part in a court-ordered "conciliation" conference.
In a divorce in Illinois, property division might seem like a secondary issue when placed in the context of child support, spousal support, custody and visitation, but that does not diminish its importance. There are many parts of property division that will come to the forefront, including the marital home, motor vehicles, personal items that one spouse or another might want to retain and more. Pensions are also a key consideration. Understanding how pensions are addressed in family law with property division is critical to both the spouse who earned the pension and the spouse who believes he or she should get part of it.
For a couple in Illinois, getting a divorce is a difficult process to go through at any age. Oftentimes, divorce cases are generally perceived to involve younger people. Increasingly, however, older people are getting divorced. These are commonly referred to as "gray" divorces. There are a variety of different issues that will arise for these couples that must be addressed. Understanding the challenges that will come up is critical to deal with the case effectively.
Spousal support, also referred to as maintenance, is a common topic for dispute in an Illinois divorce. There are many factors that enter into the equation as to which spouse will pay support, which will receive it, how much it will be, how long it will last, and if it can be modified. For those who are concerned about this issue, it is important to understand the oft-forgotten details integral to a case.
Most family law issues and cases in Illinois are kept private and people settle their dispute themselves or go to court to have it settled for them. This is a preferable scenario as public scrutiny can complicate the situation and result in the case taking more time and costing more money than would otherwise be necessary. If the participants were well-known as entertainers, politicians or other public figures, it is unavoidable that a divorce will enter the public sphere. The same is true for reality show cast members. This is especially troublesome if the reality show centered around a marriage.