The Chicago Family Law Blog

October 2011 Archives

When Am I Liable for the Acts of My Child?

We wrote before that parents can be liable when their kids violate Chicago curfew laws. That means that if your kid is out too late, you (and not your kid) pay the price.

Violating curfew laws is just one way that parents can be held liable for the actions of their children. Parental liability laws in Illinois can be tough, and if you are not careful, you may be paying for the actions of your children.

How Do You Perform a Cook County Name Change?

A Cook County name change is not difficult. However, there are steps you need to take before your name change is official.

First, you need to make sure that you are capable of changing your name in Illinois. Generally, people can change their names if they have been a resident in Illinois for at least six months. However, there may be complications and special rules if you have been convicted of certain crimes in the past like sex offenses and violent felonies.

Deciding to Divorce in Illinois; Making Lists

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer when deciding to divorce. However, giving some structure to the decision-making process can help you make the decision.

At the most basic level, you may consider making a series of lists. The obvious list may be one that gives reasons to stay married on one side, and reasons to get divorced on the other. This exercise will force you to think about the reasons you really want to divorce, and after putting down the pros and cons on paper, a decision may become apparent.

Modifying Child Support and Maintenance in Illinois

If you pay or receive child support and maintenance, the amount of child support and maintenance is not fixed indefinitely after the judge makes the order. Instead, a change in circumstances can result in modifying child support or maintenance obligations in Illinois.

For both child support and maintenance, a court may adjust the award based on a substantial change in circumstances. What does this mean?

Cupcake Assault Leads to Domestic Battery Charges

Dawn Montesdeoca was arrested and charged with domestic battery after allegedly pelting her husband with cupcakes. For the cupcake assault, the 60-year-old woman could face jail time.

On Saturday, Montesdeoca got into an argument with her 56-year-old husband and the fight quickly escalated into a food fight, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. However, the husband did not find the incident amusing and called the cops.

What are Illinois Child Support Penalties?

We've previously written about how a court determines the amount of child support payments owed. So what happens if you fail to pay this amount and are subject to Illinois child support penalties?

Determining how much child support is owed is relatively easy, as courts have a statutory guideline to follow. A percentage of your net income is paid over to the custodial parent depending in part upon the number of children you have.

How Much Do you Owe? Learn About Illinois Child Support Laws

With the Joe Walsh child support saga dominating the news, you may be curious at how the court came up with the $2,136 a month figure that Walsh supposedly owes his ex-wife.

Illinois child support laws generally include within payments the obligation to provide for the physical, mental, and emotional health needs of a child. This can include things like clothing, education, food, and other needs for a child under the age of 18.

Joe Walsh Says Wife Agreed That He Not Pay Child Support

What is equitable estoppel?

The Joe Walsh child support battle took an interesting turn& this week as the Congressman argued that his ex-wife should not receive any of the alleged missing child support payments due to this somewhat obscure legal doctrine.

Last year, Laura Walsh made a child support claim of $117,437 against her ex-husband after she found out that he had enough money to give personal loans to his own political campaign, reports the Daily Herald.

Facts About Alimony in Illinois

When you get divorced, you and your former spouse will split your assets. You will retain your non-marital assets (e.g., assets you acquired before marriage), and a court will decide how the marital assets will be divided (e.g., assets you acquired during marriage).

But even after dividing your property, you or your spouse may still need continuing monetary support. For example, alimony in Illinois provides for former spouses who may have given up a career to raise a family, and now need some support while they sharpen their skills and reenter the workforce.

Marital Property Illinois

You may be wondering about marital property Illinois. Unlike a lot of other states, Illinois is not a community property state. So if a couple divorces, there is not an equal split of marital property. Instead, a court will determine who gets what and how much in a case-by-case analysis.

First, you should be aware that marital property does not include all of your assets. Generally, marital property only includes the property you acquire post-marriage. So if you acquired a $100,000 bond prior to marriage, that bond is likely considered non-marital property and is not subject to division after a divorce.

Eric Gilford Gets 100 Years for Killing Wife and Unborn Son

U.S. Navy recruiter Eric Gilford wanted to reconcile with his pregnant wife on their daughter’s fourth birthday. Courtney Gilford, 34, refused and the sailor went berserk. Eric Gilford stabbed her 16 times in front of their daughter and then placed the little girl on top of the dying woman.

The judge ripped into Gilford for the brutal attack and traumatizing his young daughter, sentencing the sailor to 100 years behind bars, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. While the little girl was physically unharmed, she had witnessed the entire gruesome incident and will forever have to remember the killing on her birthday.

What is Prohibited Marriage in Illinois?

There are several reasons for a prohibited marriage in Illinois. The most commonly known is the age of consent law where someone is considered too young to be married, and the marriage is invalidated. However, there are other reasons that can prohibit you from getting married.

First, polygamy is illegal. People may not be married more than once at the same time in Illinois. So even if you are separating and going through a divorce, you cannot legally marry until your previous marriage has officially and legally ended.