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Washington Illinois Family and Real Estate Law Blog

If you cannot pay your child support payment

As the noncustodial parent, you have been making your child support payments regularly since your divorce was finalized in Illinois. However, you suddenly find yourself unable to make the payments. We at the Essig Law Office understand that the state has protection in place for those whose altered circumstances mean they cannot pay the original child support amount.

According to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the agency's Division of Child Support Services sends out notices to parents once every three years informing them that they may file for a review of the child support order. This notice includes the instructions for doing so. Maybe you are not going to be able to wait three years, though. 

Is your family hoping to move forward with stepparent adoption?

Many Illinois families grow and expand through adoption. There are a few different types of adoption, and in your case, you may not want to adopt domestically or internationally, but to adopt your stepchild. If you are looking to take this step and adopt the biological children of your spouse, it is helpful to understand how this process works.

Stepparent adoption could be a great step for your family, but it's more complicated than simply completing the paperwork. It involves getting permission from the other parents or seeking the termination of parental rights of the other biological parent. If this is a path you would like to pursue, it could be beneficial to seek a full understanding of your legal rights and options.

Before signing a commercial lease

Committing to a location is a major factor for business owners in Illinois. Even when someone finds the storefront that has the right foot and vehicle traffic, the wrong lease agreement can ruin the company.

Here are some things for people to keep in mind when going over the lease.

How do you know if an item is worth fighting for?

You expect to downsize as you go through the Illinois divorce process, but that does not mean you are willing to give up some of the personal objects from the family home. In fact, some of these may well be worth going to court over. Determining the value of tangible assets can help you decide whether your attachment is emotional or financial, and whether you should be ready to bargain.

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, one of the major tasks before property division is the inventory of assets. While you are making this list, it is a good time to note factors that may affect an item's worth. For example, you may include the following information:

  • Distinguishing marks
  • Measurements
  • Date of origin
  • Provenance
  • Photos 
  • Written description

New GOP bill could complicate divorce for people paying alimony

Couples who have run into irreconcilable differences in their marriage may turn to divorce as a promising solution to ending volatile relationships and creating newfound independency. As many divorcing Illinois couples are aware, the process of separation is often riddled with complications related to issues such as child custody, separation of assets, relocation and alimony. 

Unfortunately, matters could become more complicated for couples going through a divorce when alimony payments are required. The reason is a new GOP bill that is currently underway in which people paying alimony will no longer be able to use their payments as a tax deduction if the bill is passed as a law. Lawmakers remind people that if the bill is passed, it will not change the process for couples already paying alimony, and it will not affect divorcing couples until after the end of 2018. However, after that time, using alimony as a deduction on taxes will no longer be an option. IRS records showed that in the year 2015, nearly 600,000 Americans used their alimony payments as a deduction. Legal professionals note that the change could prolong the process of divorce for many couples and cause more turmoil and contention during negotiations. 

Can a premarital agreement prevent an alimony award?

Before you and your spouse married in Illinois, you sat down and talked about the future of your finances together. Both of you agreed that if you divorce, neither of you should have to pay alimony. However, now that you are facing the split, your spouse is saying that agreement will not hold up in court.

Is that true? It may be if one or more of the following factors is relevant:

The importance of an honest disclosure report

The house has curb appeal, and on the inside, it looks pristine. However, Illinois homebuyers should not fall in love with a home based on its face value.

FindLaw explains that the sellers should provide a disclosure statement that describes the property's condition. At this point, buyers can weigh the issues that may lurk beneath the surface and request that these be corrected as part of the deal. Alternately, they could request that the price is lowered so that the cost of the repairs they must do is offset. When the seller lies on the disclosure form, is the buyer left holding the bag?

Reducing the complications in a high-asset divorce

If you are planning to file for divorce in Illinois, you know that you are facing a potentially complex and lengthy process, especially if there are significant wealth and assets at stake. A high-asset divorce is often a high-conflict divorce, but there are steps that you can take to ensure that you do everything possible to protect your financial interests.

Even before you file for divorce, you would be wise to take certain steps to prepare for what is ahead. One of these steps is to simply seek a full understanding of your rights and legal options. When you understand your property rights, you can more effectively pursue what is rightfully yours while avoiding unnecessary conflicts.

Suggestions for maintaining mental health through a divorce

Often, many divorcing couples in Illinois become so focused on what their ex is doing, how things are unfolding and achieving desirable outcomes, that they may forget to take proper care of themselves. One area of health that can decline greatly without the right attention is a person's mental condition. Even during a process as volatile and stressful as divorce, people should remember to support and maintain their mental well-being to prevent unnecessary stress, anxiety and long-lasting emotional trauma.

According to Mental Health America, people who find themselves experiencing the tumultuous emotional drama of a divorce or separation can benefit from implementing some simple suggestions into their routine. Some of the things they can do to maintain their mental health include the following:

  • Make time for interests: People should make a list of things they are interested in trying and things they enjoy doing. Making time to pursue these passions is a healthy outlet for coping with emotions and can create feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment.
  • Seek support: There are many different types of support groups for people who are going through a divorce. By utilizing these kinds of resources, people may find relief as they are able to share their thoughts in a controlled and objective environment. People may also find healing being able to hear the stories of others and identify new ways to cope and thrive despite their current situation.  
  • Express feelings: While people may be tempted to hide how they feel or act as though everything is okay, doing so can be detrimental and damaging to mental health. Rather, people should embrace the emotions they feel and express them freely.

Can unpaid child support affect passport applications?

Many people realize that unpaid child support can affect families in a variety of negative ways, from creating financial hardships for children and custodial parents to the treat of arrest and tax refund interception. If you are obligated to make child support payments, it is also important for you to bear in mind that falling behind on child support could disrupt your life in other ways. In fact, some people in Illinois may be unable to apply for a passport due to their child support delinquency.

According to the U.S. Department of State, those who owe greater than $2,500 in delinquent child support lose their passport eligibility. Before you are able to successfully apply for and receive a passport, you will need to pay child support arrears. It is also important to point out that it can take a few weeks for your name to be cleared, so you should approach this matter as soon as you can.

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  1. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  2. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  3. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  4. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

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