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Q&A

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Can I modify my child support obligation after a court order is entered?

Generally, yes. There are situations in which a modification of child support is allowed under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act as a result of a specific triggering event; however, there are also certain facts that could give rise to a party’s ability to either increase or decrease a child support obligation. Our firm can identify those statutory trigger events and facts and assist you in filing and litigating the appropriate pleadings to accomplish those modifications.

Can the costs of my son/daughter’s college education be allocated by the Court?

Yes, this can be done both pre-decree and post-decree depending on your situation as the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides for allocation of college expenses. There are numerous statutory factors that the court considers when deciding what costs are qualifying college expenses which are subject to allocation as well as numerous factors for the court to consider in how to allocate those qualifying expenses between the parties. Our experienced attorneys can apply these factors to your child’s college expenses and additionally, we can analyze both parties’ financial positions to determine a fair allocation of said expenses to argue to the court.

If my former spouse is not complying with a provision of our Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, can I enforce the provision in court?

Yes, depending on the type of provision that a party is seeking to enforce, whether it is regarding support, parenting issues or property settlement, there are a variety of remedies available. The attorneys in our office can review your Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage and seek the appropriate avenue for enforcement with the Court.

Will I be court-ordered to attend mediation if I file for divorce?

Possibly. If you and your spouse have not reached an agreement regarding allocation of parental decision-making and parenting time by the initial case management conference (the first court date scheduled by the court) it is likely you will be ordered to attend mediation to try to reach an agreement regarding these issues. There are a few exceptions that may allow you to avoid the mediation process (such as if an impediment to mediation exists), but these exceptions are rare and not applicable in most cases.

What is a Guardian ad Litem? Will one be appointed in my case?

A Guardian ad Litem is a lawyer/witness appointed by the court to be the “eyes and ears” of the court to look out for the best interest of the child/children in a divorce or parentage case and to make recommendations to the court regarding allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time. If you have attended mediation or bypassed the mediation step and you still have no agreement with your spouse regarding allocation of parental responsibility or parenting time, a Guardian ad Litem is likely to be appointed.

Will I have to pay for the mediator/Guardian ad Litem?

Yes. For both a mediator or a Guardian ad Litem appointed by the court, the court will allocate the costs between the parties. For the Guardian ad Litem, a specific retainer amount will be set by the court when the Guardian ad Litem is appointed which is then allocated between the parties.

Will my driver’s license be suspended if I refuse chemical testing during a DUI investigation?

Generally, yes, but there are several options available that would allow you to drive legally during the suspension period.

If I was injured in a car accident, is there a time limit for me to file a lawsuit to get compensation from the other driver?

Yes, there are strict time limits for personal injury claims, but they can vary based on the circumstances. You should contact an attorney immediately to find out what your legal rights are, and what options are available to you.

I was served with an Order of Protection; can I be forced to leave my own house?

Generally, yes, even if the mortgage or lease on the residence is in your name. A knowledgeable attorney can speak with you regarding the options available to get you back in your own home.

Can I modify the parenting time schedule ordered by the court?

Yes, a party can always seek to modify court ordered parenting time. Section 610.5 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act sets forth the criteria needed for a modification of parenting time to be granted. Consult with one of our attorneys to determine if a petition for modification of parenting time can be filed in your case.

Is there a difference between a legal separation and a divorce?

Yes, although there are a lot of similarities in the process and in the documentation that will be filed with the court, there are differences in the rights that the parties have once a judgment is entered. It is best to speak to an attorney to discuss the options available to you.

Is there a way to have child support withheld from my spouse’s paycheck ?

Yes, when the court orders child support or maintenance to be paid, the court can also enter an Income Withholding for Support. This is sent to your spouse, or ex-spouse’s employer and directs the employer to withhold the support from the employee’s paycheck and send the support to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit.

What do I do after I am served with a Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage?

There is a time period by which you must respond to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and file your appearance or you could be defaulted by the court. Whether your case is contested or amicable, the experienced attorneys at our office are available to meet with you and discuss the process and provide the representation you need.

What is the difference between a Guardian ad Litem and a Child Representative?

Generally, when a lawyer is appointed to represent a child’s interests in a divorce or parentage case, it is either in the capacity of a Guardian ad Litem or as a Child Representative. A Guardian ad Litem is the court’s witness, he or she prepares a written report, and he or she can be called to testify at the final trial or hearing. In contrast, a Child Representative acts more like an attorney for the child and advocates for what it in the child’s best interest but is not bound by the child’s wishes. These are just some of the basics, but the differences in roles can be nuanced and complex. You should speak to an attorney at our firm for a more in-depth overview.

What if I want to file a divorce case but cannot locate my spouse?

If you have made reasonable efforts to find him or her, you may be able to serve him or her with the divorce case via publication (i.e. publish the case facts in the newspaper) and proceed with the divorce that way.
Contact our office to discuss this option in more detail.

Are the children’s uncovered medical expenses, extracurricular activity expenses, and school expenses included in child support?

No. The Court can allocate these expenses between the parties in addition to setting a child support amount.

Can my spouse be ordered to maintain a life insurance policy insuring his or her own life and naming me as the beneficiary post-divorce to secure his or her child support or maintenance obligation?

Generally, yes.
Contact our office to discuss this issue in more detail.

Can I lose my driving privileges due to a speeding ticket?

Yes. Some speeding tickets are considered Misdemeanor offenses under Illinois law, and can result in the suspension of your driving privileges. An experienced attorney can explain the impact a traffic citation can have on your license.

Is there a way to get my driver’s license back after a DUI?

Yes. You could be eligible for reinstatement through a formal or informal hearing. Our office can evaluate your driving record and present you with your options.

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