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Recent Blog Posts

Before You Hit Send: The Potential Danger of Text Messages

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

text message, Lombard divorce lawyers"Merry Christmas"

These two words were the entire contents of the first-ever text message, sent on December 3, 1992, by a 22-year old software engineer. Since that time, text message communication has become a way of life, with upwards of six billion messages exchanged every day in the United States. Text messages are short, simple, and quickly accessible for nearly every American adult, which explains their explosion in popularity. However, the very same characteristics that make text messaging so convenient can also create problems for those involved in legal proceedings, especially proceedings related to divorce or children.

Too Available?

When you are going through a divorce or other matter of family law, you will most likely experience a wide range of emotions. Feelings of anger and betrayal can quickly transform into a sense of hope and new beginnings, then back again in the span of just a few hours. For the most part, you would probably not be inclined to call your soon-to-be ex if you suddenly got mad about something he or she may have done. With a cell phone in your pocket or purse, however, you may be tempted to fire off a quick text message, and that could be a mistake.

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Cook County Judge Hits Employer With $2.3 Million in Child Support Penalties

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Support

child support, Lombard family law attorneyIn what many are calling the largest ruling of its kind in the state’s history, a judge in Cook County has awarded a Flossmoor woman nearly $2.3 million in penalties payable by her ex-husband’s former employer. The court found that the employer—a Herscher car dealership—should have been withholding child support payments from the man’s paycheck but failed to do so. The dealership tried to claim that the man was an independent contractor and not an employee, but the court disagreed.

Income Withholding Notices

According to the law in Illinois, when a person is required to pay child support, his or her employer must be notified and served with an income withholding notice, unless there is a court-approved alternate agreement between the parties on record. The notice must include the employee’s information and the amount that is to be withheld from each paycheck. Once the employer has received the income withholding notice, it is the employer’s legal responsibility to withhold the correct amount the forward the funds to the State Disbursement Unit so they can be distributed to the parent receiving support. Failure to comply with the notice can leave the employer subject to fines of up to $100 per day.

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Mediation Is Not Always the Best Path

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Mediation

mediation, Illinois divorce, Lombard family lawyerA litigated divorce can be extremely stressful, time-consuming, and, in many cases, rather expensive. As an alternative, many couples are able to reach a reasonable divorce agreement through the process of mediation, meeting with a third party facilitator to work out their differences on the all of the pertinent issues. While it can be a very useful tool, there are certain situations in which mediation may not be appropriate. In these cases, litigation may provide the only option for an equitable divorce settlement.

Potentially Less Accountability

Mediation is, at its core, a negotiation process, which means that the parties often begin at extreme opposite ends of a particular issue and work their way toward compromise somewhere in the middle. Complex divorce cases—especially those involving one or both spouses with high net-worth—typically require complicated evaluations of business interests and real estate holdings. These evaluations may be artificially inflated in a mediated divorce case, with the implication that they are merely a starting point for the negotiation. This can be dangerous if one party lacks the appropriate knowledge to properly challenge the valuation or does not have the opportunity to cross-examine the expert who prepared it.

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Child Support Orders and the 20 Percent Modification Rule

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Support

modification, Lombard child support lawyersWhether you make or receive court-ordered payments of child support, you probably realize how much your children depend upon compliance with the order. As time goes by, however, an order may become out of sync with your child’s needs or your own financial situation. Fortunately, Illinois law provides several scenarios in which a modification of a child support order may be appropriate.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

Assuming that you pay child support, dramatic changes in your life or the life of your child can, obviously, affect your ability to make payments or the amount of support needed to truly help your child. For example, if you are injured in car accident, you may not be able to work for a time, making compliance with your support nearly impossible. Similarly, if your child is diagnosed with a serious medical condition, he or she may require additional support to help subsidize medical treatment. According to the law, a child support order can be reviewed for modification "upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances."

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