Zuba & Associates, P.C.

Rockford IL Family Law Blog

Siblings may be custody lifeline for younger brothers or sisters

For many families in Illinois struggling with custody issues, deaths in the family, substance abuse, criminal charges or other serious concerns, a sibling may wish to seek formal custody of their younger sibling. A sibling may want to provide their younger brother or sister with a stable home while keeping the child out of foster care or other types of state placements outside the family.

Siblings share one or both of their parents, so a custody issue can be very emotionally compelling. At the same time, many siblings are close in age to one another, so a sibling seeking child custody must be able to demonstrate their suitability as a legal guardian.

Child support agreements made outside of court

When Illinois parents of minor children decide that they no longer want to remain married, they must come to an agreement on child support. Two common ways to do this include informal negotiations and alternative dispute resolution processes. Both of these options occur outside the traditional courtroom setting, potentially making it easier for parents to work together for the benefit of their children.

If the parents are able to work together, they could reach an agreement in an informal setting. Some parents may work out their agreement without outside help, though others choose to work with their attorneys to finalize the agreement before it is submitted to a judge and some prefer to work with attorneys throughout the entire process. Ultimately, the parents are looking to come to a written agreement that can be approved by the court.

Co-parenting with nesting

Illinois parents who are getting a divorce may want to consider nesting as part of their co-parenting arrangement. Nesting, which entails allowing the children to remain in the family home while the parents come and go according to their custody schedule, provide a number of benefits for the children.

Nesting is similar to shared physical custody as it allows both parents to bond with their children and remain an active part of their everyday lives. However, unlike shared custody, nesting does not require that the children move between homes, which can often cause a disruption to their lives.

Likelihood of divorce correlated to husband's employment

In 2016, the "American Sociological Review" published a study that found that one of the major factors in whether a couple would divorce was the employment status of the husband. This means that if a husband in Illinois does not work full time, the marriage has a 3.3 percent chance of getting a divorce in any given year. In a marriage in which the husband works full time, the chance drops to 2.5 percent.

The study was done by a Harvard sociology professor who looked at more than 45 years of data and over 6,000 couples. She found that in the mid-1970s, the likelihood of divorce increased. However, it was not tied to women's economic independence or division of household chores.

What causes gray divorces

Older Illinois couples who are considering ending their marriages should know that the rate for gray divorces, or divorces for individuals aged 50 or older, has been increasing. They may also be surprised to learn about the factors that are contributing to this.

Although the gray divorce rate is two times what it was 30 years ago, it is still not high, particularly when it is compared to the rate for other age groups. For example, the divorce rate for people under 50 years old is twice the rate for those who are older than 50.

Political differences putting an end to relationships

Some couples in Illinois may have had more relationship troubles since the presidential election. According to a survey by Wakefield Research, 22 percent of people say they know of a couple whose relationship has been adversely affected by the election of President Trump.

The study surveyed 1,000 respondents during one week in April and found that one in 10 couples split up over political differences after the election. Millennials had a higher rate of breaking up over politics than the general population, with 22 percent reporting that they ended relationships due to such disagreements. While many couples argue about money, more than one in five reported arguing more about politics than money in the past six months.

Finding noncustodial parents for child support purposes

Some noncustodial parents of children in Illinois fail to pay child support, and locating them can sometimes be difficult. When custodial parents are trying to find the noncustodial parents, they can use some of the services that are provided through their state child support agencies.

In Illinois, the state agency has a parent locator service. The agency will start by opening a case when the custodial parent is either referred to it or has applied for child support. In order to help locate the parent, the agency will collect as much information from the custodial parent as possible and will work to verify it if needed.

Study shows mandatory interlock laws reduce drunk driving deaths

Lawmakers in Illinois and around the country have been given fact-based evidence from researchers concerning the efficacy of laws that impose ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of convicted drunk drivers. These devices prevent vehicle operation when they detect alcohol in the driver. A study that analyzed more than three decades of national data on alcohol-related traffic fatalities found that these deaths went down the most in states where all people convicted of a DUI offense had to use ignition interlocks.

When the study compared the results to places that only required the intervention for repeat offenders or at a judge's discretion, mandatory laws emerged as the strongest way to prevent roadway deaths due to impaired driving. States with mandatory laws experienced a 7 percent reduction in these deaths.

Illinois man sentenced on drug trafficking charges

A 28-year-old Illinois man has been sentenced to four years in prison followed by two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges in Jackson County. Officers with the City of Carbondale Police Department took the man into custody in July 2016 after receiving a tip from Amtrak investigators. The man's brother had earlier been sentenced to four years of probation after admitting to possessing marijuana.

Amtrak investigators are said to have told police that the man's brother was using a Chicago to Carbondale train to transport drugs. Police set up a surveillance operation at the Carbondale Amtrak station, and they claim to have observed the man's brother exit the train carrying a large black duffel bag. Police say the man's brother then got into a car driven by the man.

Changes in Illinois child support calculations

Most non-custodial parents living in Illinois understand their obligation to support their children financially. In situations where parents cannot agree on an acceptable support payment amount, it is up to the courts to calculate the noncustodial parent's financial contribution. State law has been changed to allow for a different method of calculating these payment amounts.

The new calculations will officially go into effect on July 1, although some courts are already using them. One of the most significant changes is that child support will not simply be based on the noncustodial parent's income and resources, but judges will take several factors into consideration. These factors will include the resources and income of the custodial parent, the contributions that each parent made during the marriage and how much time the noncustodial parent spends with the child or children.

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Zuba & Associates, P.C

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6067 Strathmoor Drive
Rockford, IL 61107

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