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IL family lawyerHousing, childcare, extracurricular activities, and other child-related costs can create a significant financial burden on a single parent. Child support payments can ease this burden substantially. Unfortunately, consistently getting the child support you need is not always easy – especially if the other parent is not consistently employed. Your financial needs and the financial needs of your child do not change simply because the paying parent or “obligor” loses his or her job.

Illinois Child Support and Unemployment

In Illinois, child support payments are based on a statutory formula that takes both parent’s income into account. The lower a parent’s income compared to the other parent’s income, the lower his or her child support obligation. The parent with the greater share of “parenting time,” or time spent with the child, is the child support recipient and the other parent is the obligor. If a parent’s income is zero because of a job loss, his or her child support payment may or may not be reduced.

Voluntary Unemployment or Involuntary Unemployment

Illinois law makes a distinction between voluntary unemployment and involuntary unemployment when it comes to child support payments. If a parent quits his or her job, the court will be less likely to grant him or her a reduced child support obligation. If a parent is laid off or fired, the court will consider the parent’s attempts to regain employment. If an unemployed parent makes genuine efforts to become suitably employed, the court may allow the parent to pay a lowered child support obligation until he or she regains employment. If a parent makes little effort to find another job, it is unlikely that the court will be sympathetic to the parent’s situation. The parent may be expected to continue paying child support at the rate he or she paid it before the job loss.


IL family lawyerThe relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is very special. Unfortunately, divorce, family arguments, and other circumstances can sometimes get in the way of this relationship. If you have grandchildren, you may be curious about your legal right to see them. You may ask, “Can my child prevent me from seeing my grandchildren?” or “Can I get visitation rights?” In Illinois, grandparents may petition the court for court-ordered visitation in some circumstances.

When Are Grandparents Awarded Visitation?

The law presumes that it is in a child’s best interests to have each of his parents involved in his life. Consequently, parents have a right to visitation, technically called “parenting time,” unless there is a good reason to restrict a parent’s parenting time. The same presumption does not exist for grandparents. However, grandparents can petition the court for visitation under certain circumstances. Illinois courts only grant grandparent visitation if at least one of the following is true:

  • The parents are divorced, and at least one parent agrees to grandparent visitation
  • The parents are unmarried and do not live together
  • At least of the parents is deemed “unfit” due to neglect, abuse, addiction, or other concerns
  • At least one of the parents has been absent from the child’s life or in jail for three or more months

Illinois courts always make decisions about child custody or visitation based on what is in the child’s best interests.


Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney child support

For high school seniors, the beginning of spring means that graduation is just around the corner. Many high schoolers are already preparing for college next fall. If you are a parent of a school-aged child, you may have concerns about how you will finance your child’s college education. You may have questions such as, “Am I required to pay child support after my child turns 18?” or “Which parent pays for university costs?”

Paying for College as a Divorced or Unmarried Parent

If you are a divorced or unmarried parent in Illinois, it is important to know the law regarding college-related costs. Many parents assume that their child support obligation ends once their child turns 18 and graduates high school. This is generally the case. However, parents may be required to contribute to their child’s post-secondary education. Unlike typical child support, there is not a statutory formula for calculating the amount that a parent must contribute to post-secondary expenses. However, there is a cap on the amount that a parent may be required to contribute to college costs. Parents cannot be required to pay more than what it would cost for their child to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.


Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney surrogacy

Surrogacy can allow an individual or couple to fulfill their dreams of becoming a parent. However, surrogacy is also a complicated process – legally, emotionally, and financially. If you want to use a surrogate to have a child, it is essential that you learn about surrogacy laws in Illinois and work with an experienced family law attorney. Your lawyer can protect your rights and the rights of your unborn child, draft a comprehensive surrogacy contract, and ensure that your surrogacy plan meets the requirements set forth by Illinois law.

Understanding the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act

The Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act (IGSA) establishes the requirements for a valid gestational surrogacy contract. If parents follow these requirements, the parents will be automatically named on the child’s birth certificate and will not need to take additional legal action to gain parental rights for their new baby. In a gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not biologically related to the child. The egg and sperm are combined using in vitro fertilization and then the embryo is implanted in the surrogate’s uterus. The IGSA sets forth many requirements, including:


Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney order of protection

Domestic violence affects the lives of millions of individuals in Illinois and across the country. If you, your child, or a disabled adult who you know have been abused or harassed, you may be interested in getting an order of protection. Called restraining orders in other states, an Illinois order of protection is a legal court order that prohibits someone from further harassment and abuse. It may require the abuser, called the respondent, from coming to your home, workplace, or school or contacting you. It may even require the respondent to move out of your shared home or surrender any firearms he or she owns.

Emergency Orders of Protection May Be Granted Based on Your Testimony

In Illinois, there are three main types of protection orders: emergency orders of protection, interim orders of protection, and plenary orders of protection. Emergency orders of protection (EOP) are often issued on the same day that they are requested. In most legal actions, the respondent must be served with notice of the action. However, an EOP may be granted “per se,” which means that the respondent is not present or notified of the court order. The EOP may be granted on your testimony alone.

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