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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Oak Park child support attorneyGoing through a divorce involves many legal steps with various issues to discuss and resolve. If a couple has children together, that means a lot of decisions will need to be made regarding their welfare. Issues such as the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time may be agreed upon by both spouses. However, if the parents cannot come to a resolution, the court will intervene, and a judge will decide what is in the best interests of the kids. Child support is another important issue that needs to be addressed when a couple legally terminates their marriage. The non-custodial parent will typically be required to pay the custodial parent a certain amount each month to help address the child-rearing costs.   

How Is Child Support Calculated?  

According to Illinois’ divorce laws, an “income shares” method is used to determine parents’ child support obligations. The income shares child support model became effective on July 1, 2017. This approach uses a table with economic data to determine the amount that parents would spend on their children’s needs if they were married, based on the combined family income and the number of kids. This amount is known as the Basic Support Obligation, and it is meant to address children’s daily needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.). Under the income shares method, each parent’s percentage share of the combined income will also be calculated, and this percentage will be used to determine how costs will be divided between parents. 

Important Child-Related Costs 

Raising children can be an expensive endeavor. Child support can ensure that both parents contribute to a wide range of costs, from clothes to education to sports clubs. These costs can vary depending on the age of the children. For example, if both parents work full-time, and they have a younger child, they will likely need to pay for daycare until the child reaches the age where he or she begins attending school. In addition, a private school’s tuition will be higher than if their child goes to a public school. A portion of medical and dental visits may be covered by one or both parents’ insurance policies, but there can also be out-of-pocket costs. 

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Oak Park, IL family law attorney for international or domestic adoptionFor couples who cannot have biological children of their own, adoption can be the only way for them to become parents. Adopting a child can also allow spouses who are already parents to expand their family. In addition, adoption can help a single person fulfill his or her dream of becoming a mother or a father. When considering adoption, there are typically two kinds: domestic and international. Determining which route to take involves many factors, such as cost, timeline, and medical history. It is important to do research and select the form of adoption that best fits your family situation or dynamic.  

Factors to Consider When Adopting

Adoption is a serious endeavor that should be carefully considered before committing to it. Whether there are two parents or one parent, there are many issues to think through and figure out. Some of the important factors to consider before embarking on the adoption journey include:  

Cook County property division lawyer for business interests

A divorce can be an intimidating experience for anyone, considering all the legal, financial, and personal issues that need to be worked out once a couple decides to part ways. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means marital property will be divided fairly and equitably, but not exactly in half or 50/50. For those people who own their own company, it can be difficult to think about how to split that important asset. Not only is a family-owned business the basis of someone’s livelihood, it can have great sentimental value if it has been in the family for a long time. Therefore, it is important to understand the business valuation process during divorce to ensure your rights are protected.    

What Is the Value of My Company? 

A business owned by either or both spouses is considered marital property if it was bought, acquired, or founded during the marriage. It can be difficult to put a price on a company when thinking about dividing it as an asset. However, this is an important step when determining what each spouse is entitled to when the marriage ends. A forensic accountant can help place a value on a business by using several different methods. Some of these approaches include: 

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Cook County divorce lawyer for online harassment

A divorce can occur for many reasons, and domestic violence is one of the most serious issues that may lead to the end of a marriage. This type of abuse can take many forms, including harassment, stalking, and electronic monitoring. Stalking is often thought of as the act of physically following someone, and it is not uncommon for an abusive spouse to continue to stalk his or her partner even if one party has moved out of the marital home they once shared together. In today’s online world, a person can also stalk or harass someone electronically via computers or phones. Electronic monitoring refers to videotaping or tracking an individual’s movements without consent by placing video cameras or audio recording devices in his or her home. Fortunately, there are actions victims of this kind of harassment can take to protect themselves and punish their stalkers. 

Stalking Defined 

Stalking is often defined as the act or crime of willfully and repeatedly following or harassing another person with the intent of causing anxiety, fear, or harm to that individual. It is important to note that a person can be charged with stalking someone if he or she remains outside of that individual’s home for more than 10 minutes at a time or for more than 30 minutes total in a 24-hour timeframe for a minimum of five times.

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Oak Park divorce attorney for holiday parenting timeWhen a couple gets a divorce, there are many issues that need to be addressed, especially if the spouses have a child together. Child-related issues such as allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, and parenting time are all important matters. Determining which parent the children will live with and when or how often the other parent gets to see them can be decided mutually by the couple. In this case, the couple can create a parenting plan that outlines the details of a proposed schedule. Co-parenting can be challenging, but studies show that kids benefit from having both parents actively involved in their life. With the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, being open to changes in co-parenting schedules will alleviate stress for everyone. 

‘Tis the Season for Cooperation

The holidays can be chaotic under normal circumstances, but they may seem overwhelming if you are dealing with a recent divorce. Sharing your kids with your ex-spouse may cause conflict, especially if grandparents or other relatives expect them to be at their gatherings, too. Difficult emotions can resurface, but there are ways to minimize the stress of it all. Here are a few tips for navigating the holiday season after divorce to ensure a smooth co-parenting process:

  • Put your children first: Try to imagine how your kids are feeling. Try not to pressure them into feeling bad or guilty if they are spending time with their other parent. You want to help them create happy memories versus negative feelings.       

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