In 1986, the Illinois State Legislature enacted the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, 750 ILCS 60/101. The purpose of the Act is to prevent a person from being harmed or abused. The Act allows a person relief through civil courts versus having to go through the criminal court system. The Act provides protection for married and unmarried parties. An action may be brought under the Act as either an independent action or in conjunction with a divorce proceeding. The Domestic Violence Act requires a lower burden of proof than does the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. In an action under the Domestic Violence Act, the Petitioner must show abuse and harassment; that there is a likelihood that the abuse will continue unless the Respondent is prohibited from those actions; and that the balance of hardship weighs in favor of the Petitioner.
When you file an action for relief under the Domestic Violence Act, you are asking the court to issue an “Order of Protection” enforceable, if it is violated, with either civil or criminal penalties. The relief requested can be for the Petitioner as well as other protected persons, such as children or disabled adults. A summary of the remedies that may be obtained under the Act, 750 ILCS 214/60(b), are:
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
The Illinois child support statute sets out “guideline” support percentages to be paid by the non-residential parent, based upon the number of children in the family. For example, if there is one child, 20% of the payor’s net income; if there are two children, 28% of the payor’s net income. The statute is precise as to what can and cannot be deducted from a payor’s gross income. To determine net income the support amount is based upon income from all sources, not just a parent’s salary.