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Recent Blog Posts

Emotional and financial challenges plague gray divorces

 Posted on October 01, 2019 in Divorce

Divorce creates significant uncertainty for couples, regardless of their age, income or if they have kids. For older couples who may have accumulated a significant amount of assets, a divorce becomes more complex – and potentially more hazardous for both spouses as they transition out of the marriage.

Gray divorce, when spouses age 50 or older decide to end their marriage, has been increasingly dramatically in recent years. Since 1990, the divorce rate of these older couples has doubled. As these numbers of older divorcees increases, the risk of emotional and financial turmoil increases, too.

Financial and emotional burdens complicate gray divorces

As the divorce rate increases for older couples, more research is investigating what impacts, if any, these gray divorces have on people.

Emotionally, it is becoming increasingly clearer that a gray divorce has a major psychological impact on people. Recent data suggests that people who are involved in a gray divorce experience higher levels of depression than widowed spouses who saw their partner pass away.

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Not the Father – Can I Take My Name Off of the Birth Certificate?

 Posted on April 01, 2019 in Paternity

At the time a child is born in Illinois, the parents' names are added to the child's birth certificate. The mother's name is always added, and, if the mother is married, the man to whom she is married is considered to be the father and is added to the child's birth certificate as well. What's more, if a child's parents are not married, both can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, which also can be used to add the father's name to the birth certificate.

Of course, there are some cases when a man's name is added to a birth certificate in error; there may be a presumption (based on marriage) that the man is the father, but in truth, the man is not the biological father. If you are a man whose name was added to a birth certificate erroneously, here's what you need to know about removing your name from a birth certificate.

Why You Want to Remove Your Name

If a man is not a child's biological father but is named as such on a birth certificate, the man has legal parental rights. In addition to providing the father with the right to petition the court for custody of or visitation with a child, there also are legal obligations associated with paternity. A man whose name is on a birth certificate may be asked to pay child support, or otherwise support a child financially, including through the man's health insurance, Social Security benefits, veterans' benefits, and more. Rejecting paternity and removing one's name from a birth certificate will legally dismiss these obligations.

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Tips for a Successful Divorce

 Posted on April 01, 2019 in Divorce

Divorce, even when parties to the divorce are amicable, can be emotional and complicated. While there is no doubt divorce can be tough, there are things an individual, and a couple, can do to improve the experience and achieve a successful outcome. Here are some tips for a successful divorce. For information specific to your case, please reach out to our Illinois family law lawyers at the office of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C.

Put a Plan in Place

Failing to have a plan in place for yourself and your life, both during and post-divorce is something that will only complicate the divorce process. Before you even start the divorce process, ask–and answer–important questions, such as:

  • Where will you live before and after the divorce?
  • Where will any children live during the divorce?
  • How will you support yourself financially before and after the divorce?
  • How will you tell friends and family about the divorce?
  • What do you want in terms of spousal support, child custody, child support, and a property division arrangement?

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Religious Holidays and Parenting Time

 Posted on April 01, 2019 in Child Custody

For many parents, spending holidays with their children is more than just celebrating culture and togetherness; there is a religious element that makes the holidays feel that much more important. What’s more, divorcing parents who are religious and want to spend time with their families and children during the holidays may find reaching a custody or parenting time agreement more challenging. Here’s a look into how parenting time during religious holidays is often decided in Illinois.

Reaching a Determination without the Court

The best thing parents can do when facing any custody determination decisions, including one involving shared time during religious holidays, is to work together to reach an agreement everyone can live with. Ideally, parents will be able to sit down together and determine with whom a child will spend each holiday. If one parent is more religious than the other, hopefully the parties can take this into consideration. If parents need assistance in reaching an agreement, working with a family counselor, professional mediator, or another third party can prove helpful.

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Rental Property Division in a Divorce

 Posted on April 01, 2019 in Property Division

Dividing property in a divorce isn’t always a big deal for couples, especially those with few assets and who are renting. Couples who don’t own real estate together may divide property simply by each taking their own personal effects and perhaps divvying up the furniture, or selling it and dividing the proceeds equally. However things get more complicated when the couple owns real estate property together. The couple must decide how the marital home, as well as any rental properties the couple owns together, will be split. Consider the following overview of how property, including rental property, is divided in a divorce.

Equitable Division in Illinois

The law in Illinois requires couples divide marital property–that is, any property acquired during the course of the marriage by either spouse–in a manner that is equitable, but not necessarily equal. Couples are highly encouraged by the court to work together to reach a property division arrangement, as this gives the couple more autonomy in making a decision and is also less expensive and faster. However, in the event the couple cannot decide how to divide property, the court will intervene. If the court makes a decision, the decision will be based on a number of factors, including the existence of a premarital agreement, the length of the marriage, each spouse’s liabilities, the economic circumstances of each spouse and more. Rental Property Division Options

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How Long Do I Have to Pay Spousal Support?

 Posted on March 01, 2019 in Alimony

If you are seeking a dissolution of your marriage, spousal support, also referred to as alimony or maintenance, may be a part of your divorce settlement. This is especially true if your spouse is financially dependent on you, and even more likely if they lack the skills or education to acquire a job that allows them to earn an income that’s equivalent to their accustomed standard of living.

If you are ordered to pay spousal support, which is decided based on numerous factors, ranging from the income and property of each party to the standard of living established during the course of the marriage, then the next question you may have is in regards to for how long that support order will be in effect. Here is what you should know.

Duration of Support Orders in Illinois

The duration of a spousal support order is addressed in 750 ILCS 5/504. The law reads that the duration of a spousal maintenance award is calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage by a number. The specific number is based on marriage length. For example:

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 Posted on March 01, 2019 in Guardianship

In Illinois, guardians are used to provide care and representation to children who are under the age of 18 and do not have (competent) parents, as well as adults who are disabled due to a physical or mental disability. The process for appointing a guardian is complex and should not be initiated without the experience of a qualified attorney.

Guardianship of Minor Children

As explained by the 19th Circuit Court of the State of Illinois, a guardian for a minor child is necessary in the event that the child’s parents are:

  • Deceased;
  • Missing; or
  • Unable or unwilling to care for the child.

There are both guardians of the person, who are responsible for the physical care of a child, and guardians of the estate, who are responsible for the management of assets of children who have money or property valued at $10,000 or more.

In order to be a guardian of a child, a petitioner must be at least 18 years of age, must be of sound mind, must be a legal resident, and must not have a criminal background. Further, the applicant must also be able to fulfill the duties of a guardian. Often times, guardians are family members, such as an adult sibling, aunt or uncle, or grandparent of a child.

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Sibling Visitation

 Posted on March 01, 2019 in Child Custody

For parents who are getting a divorce, often times, the parties who are most affected by the divorce are not the adults but are instead any children involved. This statement is even more true when siblings of a divorce are separated, with one sibling living with one parent, and the other living with the other parent. It can also be difficult for a minor child to live with one parent, and for an adult sibling (18 years of age or old) to be denied visitations rights with the minor child.

When a divorce presents a question regarding the rights of siblings to visit with one another, working with a qualified lawyer is recommended. Consider the following about sibling visitation in Illinois and call our experienced family law attorneys for counsel that is specific to your situation.

Minor Children and Custody and Visitation

When the children involved in a custody or parental allocation determination are both minor children, the court may issue a decision that encourages the relationship between the children to be maintained. The court issues custody decisions that are within the best interests of children involved. In fact, unless extenuating circumstances exist that make doing so inappropriate, minor children are usually kept together in a custody determination.

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Social Media and Divorce

 Posted on March 01, 2019 in Divorce

If you are anything like the more than 226 million adults in American who use social media, chances are that if you are thinking about divorce, the fact that you are a member of sites like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook may be far from your mind. Indeed, social media use is ubiquitous in 2019, and sharing details of one’s personal life online is commonplace.

But before you feel comfortable posting about your marriage or your divorce online, you should think about the impact that social media activity can have your divorce case, and the fact that anything that you do online is a type of digital evidence that can be used against you. Here is what you should know about social media and divorce.

Social Media Activity Is Evidence

The first thing that you should know is that social media activity is public, and therefore there should be no assumption of privacy. Your social media activity can be used against you as evidence in your divorce case. Types of social media activity that may be collected include:

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Can I Deduct Child Support on My Taxes?

 Posted on February 01, 2019 in Child Support

For parents who do not have the majority of parenting time of their children, state law typically requires that child support payments are made to the parent having the majority parenting time. The amount of a child support payment is determined based on a state’s child support guidelines, and, once a child support order is issued by a court, must be paid on time and in full.

Those who have to pay child support often have questions about the system, including whether or not child support payments can be deducted from one’s taxes. Here’s what you need to know–

Child Support Payments Are Not Deductible

According to an FAQ page provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), child support payments are neither deductible by the child support payer, nor counted as taxable income by the child support receiver.

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