Tax Exemptions and Unpaid Child Support

Many court Orders will provide that a parent who is paying child support must be current on child support in order to be eligible to claim tax exemption(s).  This time of year is when that issue often comes to the forefront.

Money-Saving Tips for Those with Divorce or Child Custody Cases

A child custody or divorce case can be one of the most important events in a person’s life.  It can also be one of the more expensive events too.  However, there are things that a person can do to help minimize that expense while also seeking the best possible outcome for the case.

Interrogatories in Divorce and Custody Cases

In Divorce and child custody cases, Interrogatories are a common discovery tool. Interrogatories can help a party to obtain information that is needed to reach a favorable settlement, or to take the case to trial.

Summer Visitation

It is common in divorce and custody cases in Iowa and Illinois for the court to award a non-custodial parent (a parent who does not have primary physical care) an extended block of visitation in the summer months.  Summer visitation is also commonly awarded to both parents so that each parent can have an opportunity to take a vacation or otherwise spend time with the child.  Summer visitation can be a great opportunity for a parent to spend more time with … Continued

Complying with Discovery in Divorce and Custody Cases

In divorce and child custody cases in Illinois and Iowa, Discovery is an important part of the case. Discovery refers to the process through which each side in a divorce or custody case is entitled to gather information from the other side, for use in court later.  It is important to comply with discovery, as a failure to do so can result in significant harm to a case.

Common Pitfalls for People Why Try to Represent Themselves in Divorce Cases

People will sometimes attempt to represent themselves in a divorce case.  When a person acts as their own lawyer (pro se) in a divorce, there are often serious problems created, both in the short term and the long term. Anyone who is considering representing themselves should consider the possible ramifications before proceeding.

Military Orders and Domicile for Divorce Cases

The first step in the divorce process, is determining where exactly to file the divorce and begin court proceedings. This process is usually simple, but it can be difficult for military families. For a divorce judgment to be valid, one of the individuals usually must be domiciled in the State issuing the divorce decree.

How Long it Takes to Get Divorced

A common question in divorce cases is how long it will take for the divorce to be completed.  The answer to that question depends upon many different factors that are unique to each case.  Those factors include the following:

What to Say and Not to Say to Children During a Divorce

During a divorce case, it is critical that both spouses carefully choose their words when discussing the situation with their children.  This is important for both the mental wellbeing of the children, and each spouse’s legal interests in the case.

Deciding Where to File For Divorce

The question of where to file for divorce is one that can be complex, especially when a person has moved recently or has a spouse who lives in another state.  Selecting the right jurisdiction and venue for the divorce case is important, as incorrect choices can cause significant harm to a person’s case and interests.

Things to Discuss with a Lawyer During a Family Law Consultation

When a person consults with a lawyer about their family law case, there are many different things that should be discussed so that the client is as informed as possible about how the case would proceed and the terms of representation.  While each situation is different, there are some common things that are applicable in every case:

Spyware and Other Snooping During a Divorce

Those involved in a divorce case are sometimes tempted to use spyware or other snooping techniques to spy upon their spouse.  Such spying is not favored by the courts in Illinois or Iowa, and can even result in criminal charges.

Finding Hidden Assets During a Divorce Case

In divorce cases, it is not uncommon for a spouse to try and hide assets from the other spouse and the legal system.  It is important to properly handle such attempts to hide assets.

How to Talk to Your Spouse About Divorce

In divorce case, there is always the question about how to break the news about a divorce to one’s spouse.  The right way to handle the sharing of that information is something that will be different for each person, depending upon the unique facts in each case.

Deciding Whether to Move Out During a Divorce Case

Before and during a divorce is started, many people consider moving out of the marital home.  The decision as to whether to move out or remain in the marital residence is a complex one that has significant ramifications upon property, custody, alimony, and other issues for those with cases in Illinois and Iowa.

Dealing with Fraud and Perjury in Family Law Cases

It is sadly common for an opposing party in a family law case to engage in conduct that is fraudulent or involves perjury (lying under oath).  Handling those situations properly, so that the lies do not result in an unfair custody, child support, or other outcome is of great

Documenting Visitation Interference

A parent who is facing visitation interference should carefully document and report that interference, so that their attorney can properly use that evidence in court to resolve the problem.

The Pros and Cons of the “One Judge One Child” Rule

In some counties, there is a “one judge one child” rule which means that a single judge is assigned to handle each hearing in a divorce or custody case that involves one or more minor children.  The purpose of that rule is to ensure that the judge who makes the final custody determination is as familiar with the case as possible, since that judge’s ruling will have a long-lasting effect upon the child’s life.  The one judge one child rule … Continued

The Joint Parenting Agreement

A Joint Parenting Agreement is a common legal document in divorce or child custody cases in Illinois and Iowa.  It contains the terms under which the parents of a child or children will interact as to each other and the children.

The Marital Settlement Agreement

In a divorce case that is resolved by agreement, a Marital Settlement Agreement will set forth the specifics of that agreement.

What is a Divorce Decree

A divorce decree (often formally called a Decree of Divorce or Decree of Dissolution of Marriage) is the formal legal document entered by the court that dissolves the marital relationship between the spouses.  Essentially, a divorce decree is the document that

Father’s Rights in Child Custody and Divorce Cases

The term “father rights” is often informally used in connection with a divorce or child custody cases in Illinois.  This article addresses father’s rights and the state of the law in Iowa and Illinois insofar as the gender of a parent is concerned.

Imputing Income in Child Support Cases

Child support in Illinois and Iowa are based in large part upon the income of the parent who is paying child support.  That makes determining the proper amount of income for child support an important aspect of the case.  The Iowa District Court and the Illinois Circuit Court have the authority to impute income to either party when child support is being calculated.

Dealing with a Manipulative Spouse During a Divorce Case

At some point during their divorce case, many people will encounter attempts at manipulation from their spouse.  This manipulation can center around just about any of the matters that exist in a divorce case, and is important to handle correctly as the outcome of a divorce case will affect a person’s life for years and years.

How to Handle Being Served with Child Custody Papers

A person who is served with papers for a child custody case is often shocked and upset by the situation.  Handing things the right way during that upsetting time is important, as missteps can result in lasting harm to a person’s child custody situation.

The Best Interests of the Child Standard in Illinois and Iowa Family Law Cases

In family law cases, the best interest of the child is the court’s highest priority.  The Iowa District Court and Illinois Circuit Court judges who handle custody and divorce cases are required by law to follow that standard.  This article discusses the best interests of the child as applied by the courts.

Common Holiday Problems in Family Law

The holidays can be a wonderful time to spend with loved ones, yet it can also be one of the more difficult times for those with family law issues.  Properly addressing such problems can help keep the holidays enjoyable.

Mediation in a Divorce Case

Mediation is a process employed by many courts to try and resolve some or all of the contested matters in a divorce case, without having to proceed to a trial.  Sometimes mediation is mandatory, and other times it is voluntary.  The mediation process has the potential to be useful to parties in a divorce case, but mediation also can lead to problems if it is not handled properly.

Dealing with a Spouse’s Improper Spending During an Illinois or Iowa Divorce

During divorce cases, it is not uncommon for a spouse to try and spend marital money in an inappropriate manner.  Sometimes that involves emptying out bank accounts.  Other times, a spouse will overuse credit cards during the divorce case.  It is important to address that improper spending quickly in Illinois or Iowa.

Supervised Visitation with Children in Illinois and Iowa

In cases where a child’s safety or well-being (physical or emotional) would be endangered by regular visitation with a parent, the courts in Iowa and Illinois have the authority to order that visitation be supervised by a

Dealing with an Ex Who Wastes Time on Frivolous Court Appearances

All too often in divorce and custody cases, the opposing party will purposely waste a client’s time and money on frivolous court appearances.  Such a situation can often be addressed in Illinois or Iowa through a Motion with the court, when such behavior rises to the level of violating various Rules of Civil Procedure.

The Importance of Holiday Visitation

For a parent that is not the primary caregiver for a child, holidays can especially important.  That is because the holidays are a time when a combination of factors come together to create an ideal

Emergency Injunctions in Custody and Divorce Cases

In some situations, a court can grant an emergency injunction as part of a divorce or custody case.  That emergency injunction can be used to prevent parental kidnapping, injury to children, or other serious

Don’t Wait to Handle Child Support Cases

When it comes to Child Support, handling the case as soon as possible is almost always the best course of action.  That is true for the parent who is receiving child support, and for the parent who is paying child support.