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Understanding how to make a child support payment

When a couple has made the decision to pursue a divorce in Illinois, they will immediately need to make some critical decisions about the care and needs of their children. In many cases, one or both parents decide to relocate, financial obligations are allocated and court-ordered requirements are laid out for how child care will be paid for and who is responsible for the primary care needs of the children in the relationship. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, parents looking to collect child support payments to fund the needs of their children, must first complete some general requirements. These include the following:

  • Paternity must be established: Using a DNA test or documents that verify the child's parents, paternity must be clearly established. This guarantees that the financial responsibilities do not fall on the shoulders of someone who is not involved in the relationship. 
  • A child support order must be organized: Often, this process requires intervention by professional parties to negotiate, mediate and decide on the long-term agreement for how the children will be cared for. Parents should pay attention to varying agreements so they can include a modification clause should they ever need to make changes to the arrangement. 
  • The child support order should be enforced: Once the child support agreement has been established, the court will guarantee that it is enforced. People who choose not to make payments could face serious consequences including liens on their property, withheld tax refunds and income, and denied passports or suspended driver's licenses. 

Can you relocate if you do not have custody of your child?

Dealing with a divorce is a tough situation. If you have children, then it is even more difficult. Either you or the other parent will likely move out of your family home before the divorce is final and custody has been decided. If you wish you to move and you are the one the children have been with, you could face issues. This is especially true if you decide you want to move out of Illinois.

The law actually addresses this issue specifically once custody is decided. According to the DuPage County Bar Association, any move more than 25 miles from the location of the family home is considered an issue for the family court. However, if you do not have a custody decree, it can muddy the waters.

Understanding the long-term consequences of a criminal conviction

When people are facing the immediate consequences of having a criminal conviction, their first goal may be to simply pay their dues so they can move on with their life. However, what many individuals do not realize is the long-term side effects that having a criminal conviction can create. Depending on the severity of the crime in Illinois, people can spend anywhere from several hours to several years behind bars. 

According to Time Magazine, the consequences of having a misdemeanor conviction is not much different than having a felony on one's record. Even though jail time is not always required for people who have been charged with a misdemeanor, it can certainly affect their record and present consequences that can hinder a person's success over the long run. For example, folks may struggle to be approved for loans, to acquire desirable housing rights and to be awarded specific family rights. In all, between federal and state requirements, there are over 45,000 consequences. 

Being an effective parent when raising your child by yourself

Despite the circumstances that lead to you needing to raise your child alone, the uncertainty of parenting without the help of a spouse can oftentimes be overwhelming and scary. While there may be periods when you have the assistance of other family members or even another parent, you are ultimately left to care for your children by yourself. At Fawell & Fawell, we have helped many Illinois parents to negotiate effective child support agreements to benefit the best interests of their children. 

Your attitude can affect a lot of things, but especially in parenting. When you are upset, distracted, stressed and overwhelmed, your children will sense this and are often prone to the same behaviors. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can still be an effective parent even if you are raising your children alone. Some of the things you may consider include the following:

  • Establish clear limits that discuss the type of behavior you expect in your home. You should also make your children aware of the pending consequences they may be subject to if they are disobedient to your rules. 
  • Follow a routine that has a degree of flexibility, but is also consistent and expected from day-to-day.
  • Take time for yourself to participate in an activity you enjoy or to sit and relax. Giving yourself time to recharge will help you to be patient and attentive when your children require your help.

Ending a marriage in Illinois does not have to be complicated

You and your spouse may have promised years or even decades ago that you would remain together until one of you died. However, relationships morph over time and some couples simply drift apart.

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may naturally feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Here are a couple of important pointers when it comes to filing for divorce in the state of Illinois.

How can a victim affect a criminal plea negotiation?

You might have heard stories of criminal victims blocking plea bargains for domestic violence cases in Illinois, but this power is not as absolute as some might make it seem. In fact, the law on victim's rights places several significant limits on the way a victim might interact with the prosecuting attorney.

You probably know that a public attorney represents victims in criminal cases. This means that criminal prosecutors tend to pursue the best interests of the state, namely punishing and controlling criminal elements of society. You might encounter cases when this goal involves pursuing a trial, but that is not always the case. 

Can you repair a bad reputation after a conviction?

Once you have been convicted of a crime in Illinois, your future may seem bleak and hopeless. Repairing relationships, rebuilding trust and fixing your reputation and how people perceive you is going to take a lot of time, commitment and work. Fortunately, when you focus your energy on how you can be a better version of yourself, you have every chance at fixing your reputation and developing a new, stronger you.

Perhaps the most important change you need to make is to commit to abandoning your previous poor choices that resulted in your conviction in the first place. Assess how you can change your behavior and find ways of doing things that are more effective, respectful and reflective of the type of person you want to ultimately become. According to Forbes, there are three major things you can do as you are working towards rebuilding your reputation. These include the following:

  • Only entertain what you can control: There will undoubtedly be the people who refuse to see you as a changed person. These people are not your priority. Instead, focus on rebuilding trust with the people who do care and who do value your efforts for trying to change. 
  • Understand the extent of the damage: Analyze your situation and how far the damage extends. Make a list of people who you want to apologize to and ways that you can right your wrongs. 
  • Develop a new perspective: Create a vision of your future, complete with all of the dreams you wish to accomplish. Slowly set realistic goals that will get you closer to achieving the "big picture" you have created for yourself. 

Abused children can heal with effective parenting techniques

In situations where families are coping with abuse or the effects of having been involved in an abusive relationship in Illinois, it can take time and commitment to overcome the trauma that is often a result of someone having been mistreated. For children particularly, this process requires adults to intervene in healthy ways and in a timely manner to allow children to recover from negative circumstances and overcome insecurities and fears before they become debilitating. 

According to, children can heal from abuse by developing resilience and learning new, healthy habits. Some of the things that adults should pay the most attention to include the following:

  • They should encourage their children to feel emotions, process them and understand how to cope with strong feelings in ways that are healthy, safe and effective. 
  • They should teach their children about important behaviors and how those behaviors can create security and self-confidence. For example, they should encourage children to get enough rest and eat healthy foods, as well as avoid dangers such as smoking, drinking and promiscuity.
  • They should be consistent in providing for their children to help their children build trust and dependable relationships.
  • They should help their children create strong connections with individuals who will provide support, encouragement and love.

Finding ways to work together when parenting styles clash

Parents in Illinois may not have a name for their style of parenting, but that does not mean they fail to recognize when their former spouse is taking a different tack. Sometimes, their methods may diverge so widely, it can cause problems for their children.

However, according to the Child Mind Institute, children do not suffer as much from inconsistency as they do when there is conflict between parents

Will I owe child support if I cannot work due to a disability?

You and your spouse are getting an Illinois divorce, and it is already clear that your child will be spending the majority of his or her time with the other parent. Being unable to work because of a disability, you worry that the limited income you have may be depleted through child support. But can your spouse take away your benefits?

The Illinois statutes explain that the courts use specific guidelines to determine the amount of child support you and the other parent will pay. This is figured based on the income of each of you, as well as the amount of time your child spends with each of you and other factors.

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