Family Law Updates

The findings of the trial court in an action to increase support payments will not be reversed unless contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence.

Settlement Agreement

If parties to a marital settlement agreement intend, on dissolution, to preclude judicial modification of maintenance as to amount, it may be better practice to do so in clear and express terms in a paragraph separate from that limiting termination of maintenance. While maintenance provisions are modifiable upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances, property settlement provisions are not, unless a court finds the execution of the settlement agreement was accompanied by some element of fraud, coercion or misrepresentation. Where the agreement contained no provision which specifically precluded modification, the agreement was modifiable. Once an agreement is embodied is embodied in a divorce decree, its terms will not be modified absent fraud, coercion or contrariness to public policy. The power of the court to modify periodic payments of maintenance and child support is not diminished because the amount of payments was fixed by a settlement agreement agreed to by the parties and incorporated in the decree.


The Department of Public Aid had standing to bring a petition to modify a child support obligation on behalf of a public aid recipients without regard to any assignment of an arrearage to the Department. Illinois Dep’t of Pub. Aid. The filing of a petition to modify a child support obligation is a support services contemplated under the Public Aid Code (305 ILCS 5/10-1 et seq.) providing the department with standing to file a petition. Illinois Dep’t of Pub. Aid.

Support In General

Bankruptcy court determined that the Illinois state court ordered child support debt was nondischargeable; the court found that the debtor waited too long after his divorce and after he assumed the responsibility of support payments to challenge paternity of the child and get retroactive relief, pursuant to 750 ILCS 45/5(a)(1). “Support” is simply a general term that can include educational expenses for a child who has turned 18 but is still in high school, and educational expenses may include room and board, just as the more generic term, support, may include shelter and food; a trial court can award support to disabled unempancipated children, minor or non minor under 750 ILCS 5/513(a)(1), and a kind of support, educational expenses, to non minor children in school under 750 ILCS 5/513(a)(2). In short, if the child has attained majority, the trial court must tern to §513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, 750 ILCS 5/513, when deciding whether to award support for that non minor child. Subsection (a) of this section allows for modification of child support orders only upon a showing of substantial change in circumstances, and the burden of proof is on the party who seeks the modification.

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Understanding How Divorce Law Works

In the case where you are considering divorce, almost regardless of the reasons behind your decision, it is important that you be aware of just what is involved in obtaining a divorce in the US.

In general, the laws of each state set out specific reasons for a divorce which have to be proven before the court is allowed to grant it. This can be under a no-fault heading, an all-fault heading, and a summary heading. In recent years some less adversarial ways to approach to divorce settlements have emerged, like mediation and collaborative divorce, to negotiate mutually acceptable resolutions to conflicts for a couple.

At-fault divorces were originally the only way to dissolve a marriage, and people who had differences or problems were only able to separate, and were prevented from legally remarrying afterward. The state of New York is the only one which still requires fault to obtain a divorce. In an at-fault divorce, one party usually brings divorce proceedings against the other due to some breech of marriage regulations like adultery, abandonment or cruelty.

Comparative rectitude is the name given to a doctrine used to determine which spouse is more at fault in divorce proceedings when both spouses are found to be guilty of breaches. This kind of divorce can affect the distribution of property, and will allow an immediate divorce, especially in states where there is a waiting period required to obtain a no-fault divorce. A defense for this type of divorce can turn out to be expensive and is not usually practical since most divorces are eventually granted anyway, especially when a society comparable to that in the US is not interested in forcing people to remain married any longer. Remember, marriage in the US also has legal ramifications, so if you do not want to be married anymore, you need to get divorced, it is much more than simply taking the mental attitude of no longer being married.

Under a no-fault divorce set of rules, a marriage partner does not need to show that the other marriage partner did anything, or was at fault in order to obtain a divorce. Many common reasons for no-fault divorce can be incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, and irremediable breakdown of the marriage. In the United States, currently 49 states have adopted no-fault divorce laws.

In states that grant no-fault divorces, there may be a waiting period of up to a year before the divorce is considered final. Other requirements include mandatory counseling to see if reconciliation can be achieved if one party does not agree to the divorce, either dependent on an amount of time set by the court, or for a predetermined amount before the divorce may even be applied for,

A summary (or simple) divorce, available in some jurisdictions, is used when spouses meet certain requirements for eligibility, or can agree on important issues beforehand like if it was a marriage lasting under 5 years, there were no children (or, in some states, the couple have resolved custody and set payments for child support), there was minimal or no real property (there was no mortgage on a house or condo), the property owned by the married couple is under a threshold (around $35,000, not including vehicles), and the personal property of each spouse is under a set threshold (typically the same amount as marital property). A simple divorce where both couples agree on how the divorce should be handled and assets divided is also known as an uncontested divorce.

It is estimated that in the US upwards of 95% of all divorces are uncontested, since the two parties are able to come to an agreement (with or without lawyers/mediators) about the property, children and support issues. When the parties are able to agree and present the court with a fair and equitable agreement, approval of the divorce is almost certain. In the case where the two partners cannot come to an agreement, they may ask the court to decide how to fairly split property, deal with children and custody issues, and so forth.

Residency requirements to file for a divorce vary from state to state. In some states, like Colorado, residency requirements are very liberal to accommodate military personnel who have to move often for tours of duty, while other states, like New York, require that you live in them for a minimum of a year with the intention of making this your permanent state of residence. A spouse may separate, move to a state with divorce laws of their choice, establish residency, and file. However, this typically does not change the state in which property and other issues are decided, and it is possible for a court to decide not to hear a petition for divorce if it decides that it does not have legal jurisdiction to do so based on residency issues.

A final consideration to be made when considering where/if to file for divorce is the laws concerning the distribution of property and division of assets. States like Alabama are considered to be an “equitable distribution” state which means that all property acquired during the marriage is divided equally among the two parties. In other states, like California, assets can be awarded to a spouse from the other based on economic need, and in still others, like Alaska, even though it is an equitable distribution state, in some jurisdictions in the state, women have little or no rights to marital property. In some states, alimony is awarded to the stay-at-home spouse, where in others, alimony is paid by the spouse making the most to the spouse making the least, despite the one needing to get child support because they have actual custody.

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Child Custody Cases & What to Expect

As divorce rates continue to rise, more and more children are growing up in a single parent household. Despite the fact that a divorce legally separates the parents from one another, it is important that both remain active in their child’s life. Because the welfare of a child becomes the focal point of all child custody cases, it is essential that you hire a qualified divorce attorney who specializes in this area and will work hard to see that the child’s best interests are met.

Current divorce laws differ from one state to the next, but there are several basic guidelines that each follows in an effort to achieve a fair custody arrangement for all involved. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to answer any questions that you may have regarding local child custody laws, divorce laws and how to prepare for your case.

Child custody may be granted to either spouse but, in most cases, joint custody is sought and approved for those capable of sharing the responsibilities and decision-making aspects of parenthood. Under these circumstances, it is important to understand the different types of child custody and what they mean to you. Temporary custody, which is most commonly agreed upon in the beginning stages of a marriage separation, is reached amicably by both parents and provides for a temporary resolution to issues surrounding visitation without court involvement. During this stage, the court will typically intervene only if one or both parents are deemed to be unsuitable.

In divorce court and/or divorce mediation, there are basically two types of custody, including legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves the rights for making legal decisions for a child, such as those relating to education, healthcare and other important factors that will influence the child’s general well-being. Sole legal custody occurs when only one named parent retains the right to make legal decisions for the child, whereas joint legal custody allows for both parents to handle legal decisions without one having superior rights over the other. Physical custody refers to the child’s actual residence and is either granted as sole, which means the child lives with one parent, or joint, which means that the child resides with both parents separately for a considerable amount of time during each calendar year.

When it comes to child custody cases, the court will attempt to reach an arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. Although the court will often consider the child’s wishes, the final decision is made by a judge after a full review of the case. After a decision is reached in child custody cases, it is widely believed that the child has the right to enjoy an ongoing relationship with both parents, receives continuing care and guidance from both the mother and father, is not influenced by one parent to view the other differently and is able to express his/her feelings and feedback without being made to feel ashamed about said emotions.

When it comes to the custody of your child, it is essential that you consult with and research several different divorce lawyers before making a final decision as to your legal representation. The pursuit of child custody is one of the most important of your life and you will value the advice on divorce as offered by your divorce attorney.

The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional legal advice regarding divorce, child custody, child custody laws and/or divorce laws. If you are in need of divorce advice or are considering a marriage separation, consult with a professional divorce lawyer in your area for further information and/or divorce advice.

Andrew Daigle is an author and creator of many informational websites including Divorce Attorney Search, Mesothelioma Attorney Search and many more.

What You Should Know About Family Law

When issues arise within the family unit or domestic relationships get out of hand, family law is the branch of judicial problem solving that deals with a wide range of family-related issues. Throughout the United States, it is the family courts that often handle the heaviest caseload, as many jurisdictions tackle concerns that deal with gaining custody of a child to dealing with the proper procedure of finalizing a divorce. Within the system, family law cases extend to the wealthiest of local residents to the poorest of single-parent families. No social or economic class has been spared the family court system when any area of family law is involved. Below are some of the many different areas of regulation attached to family law:

When two people wish to get married, they have to go through family law to get the proper approval needed to continue their wedding plans. The same goes for civil unions and domestic partnerships. A civil union provides same-sex couples the rights, benefits, and responsibilities much like the parameters associated with married opposite-sex couples. Domestic partnerships recognizes relationships between two people who live together in a domestic setting that have chosen not to enter traditional marriage, common-law marriage, or a civil union.

Family law then deals with the legal issues that arise during marriage. They will step in when married couples inflict harm upon one another. They will oversee adoption processes and settle surrogacy issues. When a parent abducts his or her own child, family law will be called upon to hear out the case. Child abuse is also an important branch of the law that falls under the most pressing family-related concerns.

When the relationship between two people has soured and the termination of their union has arrived, family law will deal with the matters concerning divorce and annulments. They will see that property settlements and alimony payments are arranged. In the United States, the responsibilities of the parents are dealt with under family law, such as custody hearings, visitation rights, and child support awards.

Opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the view of Family Law Collin County Texas which the author would like for you to visit.

Choose Best Divorce Lawyer Can Make a Strong Legal Case

Marriage is one of the happiest moments of an individual’s life. But it can sometimes prove to be a distressing experience too. Circumstance creates such problems that one becomes hopeless to go on with the marriage. There can be many reasons of breaking of a marriage. Divorce is the legal end of a married life in which the husband and wife get separated from each other. Their relationship comes in problem due to some reason and so they decide to get separated. Well, marriage is one such event that comes in almost every one’s life. Marriage and divorce are two dissimilar stuff. Marriage brings happiness and cheer for you as you are able to finally get your life partner. But when things do not work well in marriage then the situation of divorce appears. We do marriage to lead a happy and peaceful life. Best divorce lawyer is one such person who deals with divorce cases.

If one is in need of a best divorce lawyer, then they need to do some home work to find him out. The advantage of a divorce lawyer is that he will takeout such points that will help you to win the case. A divorce case needs a lawyer who will assist the victim to get separated through legal procedure. Divorce lawyer represents his client’s case in the court of law. The best divorce lawyer can efficiently help out his client as he is well well-known with all the legal rules and laws. Whenever there is a case of divorce, the lawyer has to be cautious and he has to consider every step as it is one of the most serious matters in case of family law. The lawyers need to extremely talented so that he can point out such reasons that can change the face of case.

The lawyer has to make his client familiar with certain things that have to be taken into notice before the client is in the court. Best divorce lawyer has to be cautious that every point his client puts before the judge has to be supported by valid reasons so that a fair decision can be taken. If the lawyer is experienced then it is much better for the individuals as it can help him to make the case in favor. An experienced lawyer knows all the tricks to bring turning point in the case at any point of time. Lawyer must have an idea about various situations and understanding, so that he can guide his client in a best possible manner. During the divorce session, the individuals may suffer from mental pressure. The divorce case can come across a lot of problem in the matter of child custody, division of assets, deciding over the visiting time with child and many other related problems. These types of cases are really sensitive matter that requires careful handling by a best divorce lawyer.

The victim must do some homework so as to get the assistance of best divorce lawyer. Information about them can be found on internet along with their contact information. The victim can call him at any point of time. Check that the lawyer you hired is certified or not. A certified lawyer will make assure to get the best services as he can efficiently handle the victim’s case. One can consult someone who has ever gone through such painful experience in their life. The victim can search into yellow pages that help the victim in finding the perfect lawyer.

Damyel Flower is an experienced divorce lawyer. He has successfully handled many divorce cases.He gives advice to clients who are looking for Art lawyer,Divorce lawyer NYC,Best divorce lawyer.To hire services of a lawyer in New York and any legal advice visit


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Seattle Attorney Family Law Firm | Solve Your Family Law Cases with Experts

Seattle divorce attorneys firm – McKinley Irvin ( focus on complex family legal issues like divorce, child custody, spousal maintenance and international family law matters. We have a great team of experienced Seattle divorce attorneys who are dedicated to providing the superlative legal services to our clients in each and every case. The McKinley Irvin was founded by two famous Seattle divorce attorneys – Sands McKinley and Rita Herrera Irvin in 1991. These Seattle divorce attorneys have 100 years of combined family law litigation experience. No wonder then why McKinley Irvin is being considered as one of the best family law firms in Washington. At McKinley Irvin, our Seattle divorce attorneys believe the rights, responsibilities, and privileges related to family relationships are among the most respected in our society. We can understand the mental disposition of our clients who are pitted against the conjugal crisis. Our professional legal service always takes care of all these aspects.

Family legal cases call for more of the specialized family law knowledge than just experience. At McKinley Irvin, we have quite a few expert Seattle divorce attorneys in various fields like tax, financial planning, parenting investigation, private investigation, actuarial services, business valuation, employment benefits valuation, and real estate valuation.

Currently, we have offices in four different locations such as:

* Downtown Seattle * Federal Way * Downtown Bellevue * Tacoma

You can send us your details with questions and requests by using our predefined Contact Us Format. Don’t send any confidential message until an attorney-client relationship has been established. McKinley Irvin too offers some e-booklets for more information regarding Seattle divorce attorneys for family law cases.

Sands McKinley is the founding partner of the firm and its managing partner. Before stepping out of active practice to focus on management, Mr. McKinley personally represented clients in over 200 contested family law cases. During active practice, Mr. McKinley also represented small to medium sized businesses and individuals in business related planning, formation, contract drafting/negotiation, and litigation.