Family Law & Divorce
Child Related Issues
Will My Child Have to Help Pay for College Expenses in Illinois?
Preparing to pay for a child's college education can be a daunting task to prepare for, especially following a divorce. Depending on the costs of the school they attend, your child may also be required to help you and your spouse with college expenses. We here at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, will help navigate the process for you and your child and assist you in determining how you will both be impacted financially.
When the court is deciding how much you and your spouse will pay, it factors in your child's financial situation too. However, what does the court mean by your child's "financial situation"? It does not refer to whether or not your child is currently employed. Also, it is important to remember that Illinois law does not give your child a free ride through college. The court expects children to apply for financial aid and take as many opportunities as possible to help keep costs down for parents in order to reduce the family's financial strain.
The court will also look at the following possible financial resources:
- Your child's savings accounts;
- Any trust accounts they may have;
- Scholarships they earn;
- Grants; and
- Financial aid.
If your child has been accepted to a school that they can commute from the home, it can make a major difference in paying college expenses. When factoring in the finances for both parents, the court will also consider the child's living expenses. This will help distribute a realistic cost amount for your child's utilities, transportation, and food.
If you would like to discuss with one of our attorneys at MKFM Law, we can answer any other questions in an initial consultation. If you live in DuPage County, Kane County, or Kendall County, you may contact us at 630-665-7300 to set up an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting in this process.
How Much Parenting Time (Formerly Called Visitation) Will I Receive in Illinois?
The first question most parents ask when going through their divorce is: "How much time will I be allowed to spend with my children?" Our team of DuPage County attorneys at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC can help you explain what you need to know. What used to be called "visitation" is now referred to as "parenting time," along with other law changes.
In Illinois, there is no law on the minimum amount of parenting time. The allotted time varies on a case-by-case basis, but there are some typical examples. Time for a parent that is not considered the parent with the majority of the parenting time generally alternates weekends. The weekends start from Friday morning until Sunday evening. In some cases, the parent may also receive one or two evenings during the week for dinner with the child. Each family's specific needs are different but extended time is also allowed for periods where the child has school off such as holidays, school breaks, or the child's birthday.
When deciding who is awarded majority parenting time with the child, the court judges based on the best interest of the child. While coming to this conclusion, the court will look over some of the following factors:
- The wishes of the child, depending on your child's age, maturity and education;
- You and your spouse's wishes;
- What the adjustment will be for the child in regards to schooling, their home, and community;
- The physical and mental health of you, your spouse, and your child;
- If either parent has any past or ongoing acts of violence against the other parent or your child; and
- How willing you and your ex are willing to encourage a close ongoing relationship between your ex-partner and the child.
The attorneys at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC are eager to help you with all the questions you may have. Contact us to set up an initial consultation at 630-665-7300. If you have recently divorced and are working on finding out how much parenting time you are entitled to, visit our Wheaton, Illinois, office. We have helped families throughout DuPage County, Kendall County, and Kane County for generations.
How Do We Tell Our Children About Our Divorce in Illinois?
Deciding how and when to tell your children about your divorce can be tough if you and your spouse do not execute it with a fair amount of planning. Every situation is different, but ideally the best is to give this information on a united front.
It may not always be possible to tell your children with your spouse at your side, but that is what is recommended. This way you can assure your child that they are still going to be loved, cared for, and can lean on you for support during the changes they are about to go through. If you can, choose your timing carefully and keep everything you are saying to your child about the divorce simple.
They could possibly have a friend to talk to who has parents have gone through a divorce and understand what is going to be ahead of them. However, you should try to plan to answer any and all questions your children may have. Prepare yourself for how they could react. Some children instantly show their sadness or anger while other children hold in their feelings.
Avoid the blame game and instead of making the news about you or your spouse's issues, make it about your child and their needs. If your marriage is completely over then be sure to tell them that and be consistent. Some children can be convinced their parents will get back together when that is not always the case.
At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we understand that telling your children about divorce is hard. We have been helping families through these tough times for decades. For more advice or information on subjects of this nature, please contact us for an initial consultation. Call 630-665-7300 to speak with our DuPage County attorneys. Our office is located in Wheaton, Illinois, and we have assisted clients in other neighboring counties such as Kane County and Kendall County.
When Can an Illinois Child Support Order Be Modified?
Situations may arise where you or your spouse need to modify the amount of child support you or your spouse is paying. These support obligations give you the option to change them depending on what the cause may be. The modification process with child support laws and guidelines can be difficult to navigate, but our attorneys at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC can help simplify the process with our years of experience.
If you would like to modify your child support agreement, you will need to file a motion with the court. Our attorneys will need to show that there has been a substantial change in your state of affairs since the original obligation was established. Depending on your circumstances, the amount of child support required can increase or decrease.
However, the court can only make this adjustment based on the date the motion was filed. It is significant that you file as soon as you possible when learning of any financial changes in your life. Some reasons that may cause you to want to change your support payment may be a change in you or your spouse's income, including:
- Substantial changes to any expenses;
- Movement of your geographical location;
- If your child does not live with you or your spouse; and
- If your child has a disability.
On the surface, calculations can seem simple but in fact can be confusing. That is where our team at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC can help. Contact one of our attorneys to set up a consultation. We can help you to be sure that everything you are filing for is in compliance with Illinois laws. We assist clients child support and many other family law related cases. Call us at 630-665-7300 today. We serve clients in DuPage, Kane, and Kendall Counties.
How are Divorce, Legal Separation, and Annulment Different in Illinois?
When you are examining various methods of separation between you and your spouse, it is important to know the differences between your options. Before acting, it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we can help you navigate which route is best for your situation.
A divorce is a complete dissolution of a marriage which leads to what is called a judgment for "dissolution of marriage." This process addresses all of the issues between former spouses such as parenting time for any children you may have, other parental responsibilities, who will be paying child support, distribution of any debts or assets you two share together, and if one of you will have to pay maintenance to your spouse.
The main difference between divorce and legal separation is that a separation does not dissolve the marriage. In order to perform a legal separation, you and your spouse must be living apart from one another. You and your spouse can fill out a legal separation agreement to determine the allocation of certain parental duties or payments such as child support or maintenance. Property cannot be divided unless you and your spouse have agreed.
As for an annulment, it is actually a religious term that is not recognized under Illinois law. You may seek what is known as an "invalidity of marriage," which is a lack of consent due to mental incapacity, being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, underage, or physical unable to consummate the marriage.
At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we have have been proceeding over family law and divorce cases since 1949. If you live in the DuPage County, Kendall County, or Kane County, contact us to set up an initial consultation for any questions you may have. You can reach our Wheaton, Illinois, office at 630-665-7300 for more information.