The Chicago Family Law Blog

January 2013 Archives

Child Support, Alimony, and Taxes: What You Need to Know

Divorce decrees that include child support and alimony, like most do, can make your finances more complicated, especially around tax time.

Not only do you have to account for your income to the IRS, you also want to avoid paying more in taxes than you need to. What you really need is a primer on how your child support and alimony payments will affect your tax obligation.

The good news is both of those will lessen your tax burden. But they each have a different tax status according to the IRS.

Modifying Child Custody in IL: Getting the Court on Your Side

During a divorce, the parties have to determine custody and visitation, but those decisions aren't set in stone. It's possible to modify a child custody order long after the divorce is settled.

That doesn't mean the process is easy or you're guaranteed to get the arrangement you want. But if you can prove your case to the judge, it's possible to alter the custody and visitation arrangement.

It's not enough to prove that you just want more time with your children. The court will be looking for specific factors to determine whether to modify the custody order.

What Can Be Protected in a Prenup?

Summer is wedding season, which means winter is wedding planning season so it's time to ask yourself, "should you get a prenup?"

Don't scoff; a prenup isn't just for pessimists or people who think their marriage will fail. After all, you're already signing a contract to get married. At least a prenuptial agreement is a contract that you can have some control over.

Contrary to what celebrities may indicate, a prenup isn't all about keeping what's yours in the event of a divorce. It may actually help you avoid problems in your marriage.

Could Illinois' Gay Marriage Debate Be Trumped by SCOTUS?

The push for marriage equality has hit Illinois once again, with proponents reintroducing a bill earlier this week that would recognize gay marriage. Previous attempts have failed to produce much more than the separate-but-almost-equal civil union arrangement. Should the bill pass as written, Illinois would become the eleventh state to recognize same-sex marriage.

In other words, whether you are for it or against it, this is potentially a very monumental piece of legislation. But the debate could become completely irrelevant in a matter of months.


2012's Most Popular Family Law Posts (Part II of II)

Criminal lawyers deal with crime. Employment lawyers deal with jobs.

What do family lawyers deal with? Divorce, prenuptial agreements, child abuse, retirement planning, contracts, and a number of other fields.

The second half of our 10 most popular posts of 2012 (the first five can be found here) cover the gauntlet of family legal issues, from a woman's role in the household to celebrity child custody disputes.

2012's Most Popular Family Law Posts (Part I of II)

Family. For some, it evokes warm memories of holiday dinners. For others, it means divorce, stabbings, and dirty, dirty affairs.

Our readers seem to have preferred the latter in 2012, though we must admit, the law usually doesn't come into play until someone is stabbed or a marriage is dissolved.

Illinois Senate Could Still Approve Gay Marriage This Week

Late last week, word emerged that Illinois, less than two years after allowing civil unions, was quite possibly on the verge of introducing the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which would add Illinois to the ever-growing list of states that allow same-sex marriage. After a few hiccups, it finally passed the Senate committee and was ready for a full vote by a lame-duck legislature.

And then it wasn't.

Friday's legislative session was canceled and as a result, the bill was shelved, according to the Sun-Times. That doesn't mean the end of the battle. In fact, it may even be reintroduced today, as the 98th General Assembly is sworn in. To prevail, it will still have to overcome a few remaining obstacles, however.

Avoiding Legal Pitfalls of Surrogacy and Sperm Donation

You’ve heard of that poor kind-hearted man in Kansas, right? He answered an online advertisement for a lesbian couple that was seeking a sperm donor. The parties came to an agreement, signed a contract, and one of the women conceived a child.

Hard times hit and the couple applied for state benefits. Kansas sued the sperm donor for child support because the parties did not use a doctor in the insemination process, reports the Associated Press.