As a Chicago divorce attorney I am frequently asked questions regarding child support issues. The Chicago family law governing divorce cases, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, provides that a parent must pay child support from “all income from all sources”. Income is generally thought of as salary, other compensation from employment, interest, dividends, monies from partnership entities, perquisites, and the like.
In In Re the Marriage of McGrath, a case decided in 2011, a Court used the regular withdrawals from an unemployed father’s IRA account as “income” for purposes of child support. In the McGrath case, the father was unemployed at the time of the divorce and the issue of child support was reserved. Nearly one year after the divorce, the father was still unemployed. He had been withdrawing $8,500.00 each month since the divorce to pay his own living expenses. When the mother petitioned the divorce court for child support, the court considered the $8,500.00 per month as income to the unemployed father, and awarded child support based upon the IRA withdrawals. The father argued that the IRA account did not constitute income because the money in the account was no different than a savings account, i.e. the money was already there. Also, the father had been awarded his IRA account as part of his property settlement in the divorce.
The Appellate Court affirmed the trial Court’s decision, saying that a trial court has the discretion in the appropriate case to order child support based on… Continue reading
As a Chicago divorce lawyer I am intimately aware of the fact that Illinois is in the minority of states which allow a divorce court to obligate a parent to pay a child’s expenses attributable to a college education or professional or other training after graduation from high school. (Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act)
The divorce statute provides that educational expenses may include, but are not limited to, tuition, room and board, transportation, books, fees, registration and application costs, medical expenses including medical insurance, dental expenses, and living expenses during the school year and periods of recess.
Since the majority of Chicago divorce cases are settled between the parties without the necessity of a trial, the rights and obligations of each party are expressly set out in a contact called a Marital Settlement Agreement. The terms of the parties’ agreement are approved by the court when the divorce is granted.
In the case of In Re The Marriage of Peterson, the parties had entered into a settlement agreement which reserved the issue of each party’s obligation to contribute to the college or other education expenses of the parties’ children pursuant to Section 513 of the divorce statute. The final divorce decree did not specify that each party was obligated to contribute or the amount each was to contribute. The divorce agreement just provided that the issue would be determined at a later date.
The mother filed a lawsuit for college education expenses after… Continue reading
Belle Lind Gordon is a sole practitioner whose practice focuses on divorce and family law cases. As a sole practitioner, she is better able to provide the personalized attention clients want and desire. Practicing Divorce and Family Law in the Chicago, Highland Park & Oakbrook area since 1980, Belle Lind Gordon understands that Divorce and Family Law involve emotional and financial issues. She is a compassionate and dedicated divorce attorney committed to helping you resolve these issues. The best indication of her success is reflected by the steady stream of referrals she receives from former clients.