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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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New Lenox divorce attorney emotional issuesGetting a divorce is one of the most stressful life events you can experience, second only to the death of a loved one. Divorce turns your entire life upside down, from your living situation to your financial situation and everything in between. With such a huge change in life, your emotions can get the best of you, and when that happens, things can start to go downhill. While there is no getting around the pain of a divorce, there are things you can do to manage these difficulties. Here are a few healthy coping strategies that you can practice during and after your Illinois divorce:

Do Not Beat Yourself Up Over Your Emotions

The first thing you should know is that you will probably struggle emotionally. You will probably feel sad beyond belief or as angry as you have ever been in your entire life. You may experience every emotion on the spectrum in the span of a single day. It is important to know that this is all normal. No one person has the same reaction to separation and divorce, and that is okay. Remember that these things you are feeling are temporary and that you will eventually feel like yourself again.

Focus on Your Physical Health

A great way to cope with your divorce is by focusing on what you can control. You cannot control how your spouse will react to the legal steps you take during the divorce process, and you cannot control how your children will respond to the news that your marriage is ending. What you can control is yourself, and you should place emphasis on that. Make sure you get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself physically can work wonders for your mental state as well.

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 Frankfort child support order modification lawyerSome of the most difficult concerns you will face during your divorce are the issues that are related to your children. Many parents worry about the well-being of their child when they get a divorce, both emotionally and financially. The state of Illinois believes that both of a child’s parents have an obligation to financially provide for that child, so almost all divorce cases involving children also involve child support. The amount of child support payments will depend on a variety of circumstances, including each parent’s income, the number of children that support is being paid for, and how parenting time is allocated between the parents. Once a support order is established, that order will remain in effect until the child reaches adulthood -- unless a parent requests that the order be changed.

Modifying Child Support

Every three years, an Illinois child support order is eligible for a modification review. If the order has not yet passed the three-year mark, or if the need for a change is urgent, then a parent may be able to still have the child support order modified. In these cases, a “significant change in circumstances” must be proven before modifications can be made to the child support order. 

What Is a “Significant Change in Circumstances?”

By far, the most common way a child support order is changed in Illinois occurs when one of the parents claims that new circumstances warrant a modification. Illinois courts are given broad discretion when it comes to determining what does and does not qualify as a significant change in circumstances.” Here are some examples of changes that may require a modification: 

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 Mokena divorce attorney for children’s college expensesEvery parent only wants what is best for their child. For parents, divorce can be incredibly complicated and stressful, since not only do the decisions made affect one’s own future, but they will affect children’s futures too. Divorce does not always come at the best time, and parents with teenage children may worry about the upcoming costs of their child’s higher education. Normally, child support payments only last until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. A parent may worry about covering the costs of a child’s college education, and it is important to understand how Illinois law addresses these expenses.

Parental Contributions Toward College Expenses

Illinois courts understand how expensive college can be, and they recognize the importance of a college education for children’s success. Illinois law provides guidelines for how parents may be required to contribute toward children’s college expenses, which expenses are covered, and how they will be paid. Educational expenses must be incurred before the child turns 23, or, if good cause is shown, no later than the child’s 25th birthday. Contributions to educational expenses can be awarded out of the property and income of both parents and can be made payable directly to the student or to the school. Prior to awarding money toward the child’s education, the court may require the family to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What Expenses Are Covered?

If the court decides that the parents are able to provide for some or all of the costs associated with the child’s education, the expenses will be allocated between the parents. Expenses that parents may be responsible for covering include:

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Mokena child support attorneyDivorcing when you and your spouse have children can be much more difficult than if you did not have children. In addition to worrying about your own feelings about the divorce and your well-being, you also have to worry about how the divorce will affect your children. In addition, there are a few more issues you will have to tackle before you can finalize your divorce, such as your children’s living arrangements, your parenting time schedules, and child support. In Illinois, courts can order one or both parents to provide financial support for a child until the child reaches the age of 18 or they graduate high school, whichever comes later. There is quite a bit that goes into the calculation of child support, so it is important to understand how these obligations are determined.

Determining the Basic Child Support Obligation

The state of Illinois calculates child support using an “income shares” model. This means that the amount of support each parent owes the child is based on his or her income and the percentage of the total household income he or she provides. First, a Gross to Net Income Conversion Table provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family services is used to determine each spouse’s net income. Next, those values will be added together to find the combined net monthly household income.

An Income Shares Schedule will then be used to determine the basic support obligation amount based on the parents’ combined net income and the number of children. The amount of this obligation will be split between the two parents, depending on each parent’s contribution to the monthly household income. Typically, the non-custodial parent will pay their portion of the obligation to the custodial parent, and it will be presumed that the custodial parent will be directly using their portion of the obligation to provide for their children’s needs.

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