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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

IL family lawyerWhen you go through a difficult divorce involving minor children from your marriage, the prospect of needing to go back to court in order to modify an order can feel daunting. However, parents and children can experience significant changes in circumstances that require a modification of an existing allocation judgment or child support order. In particular, if you lose your job or if you suddenly are required to take a substantial pay cut, you may be concerned about meeting your child support obligation. Under such circumstances, it may be possible to ask the court to modify the child support order. When you are seeking a modification, you should always work with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney.

How DuPage County Courts Determine Child Support

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), courts in DuPage County and throughout Illinois determine child support obligations based on guidelines and the “income shares” model for calculating child support. This method is streamlined based on the total income of both parents. In using the income shares model, the court will combine both parents’ incomes to determine the total income. Then, the court will look at the Illinois child support guidelines, which provide a specific monthly child support obligation based on the total income (of both parents) and the number of minor children in need of support.

The court determines each parent’s percentage of that obligation based on the parent’s individual income, number of overnights with the child, and other relevant factors. Yet a parent’s ability to pay his or her child support obligation can change over time.

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IL family lawyerIf you are going through a complicated family law matter and it seems as though it will be difficult or even impossible to resolve the dispute without doing harm to your family, you might want to consider a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). More specifically, family mediation might be able to provide you with the necessary tools to resolve the dispute with your spouse or another family member while helping you to keep costs down. If you have questions or want to learn more about family mediation in DuPage County, you should seek advice from one of the Oakbrook Terrace family law attorneys at Farooqi & Husain Law Office. We are committed to serving the Muslim community and can discuss ADR options for your family law case.

What Is Mediation?

Under Illinois law, mediation is defined as a process in which a mediator facilitates communication between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute. A neutral third party known as a mediator is the figure who facilitates dialogue between the parties and helps them to reach a decision that resolves their dispute. Mediation can be helpful in family law cases, but it is not limited to family law matters. To be sure, mediation can be used in an attempt to resolve a wide variety of legal disputes.

It is important to understand some key elements of mediation if you are considering it for your family law case. First, the mediator plays a role that is very different from a judge. Unlike a judge, who hears both parties’ sides and makes a decision, the mediator does not hear the disputing parties’ positions and does not issue any rulings or judgments. Instead, the mediator is there to help the parties engaged in discussion about the dispute, to negotiate, and ultimately to resolve the dispute. Next, and also importantly, if the parties do not reach an agreement in mediation, nothing that has been said or communicated is binding. Mediation only becomes binding if the parties voluntarily agree.

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IL custody lawyerAt Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we have years of experience representing parents in the DuPage County Muslim community in a wide variety of divorce and family law matters. We often speak with parents who have questions about child custody, known as “parental responsibilities” under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). The following are some of the common questions we receive, along with answers that can help you to gain a better understanding of child custody in Illinois. If you plan to move forward with a divorce in which parental responsibilities will need to be allocated, you should seek advice from a DuPage County family lawyer.

What Are the Different Types of Parental Responsibilities?

There are two different types of parental responsibilities under the IMDMA: significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. The language in the IMDMA changed in the recent past, incorporating these forms of parental responsibilities instead of legal and physical custody. You can think about significant decision-making responsibilities like legal custody (when a parent has the right to make significant decisions about the child’s life and upbringing), and you can think about parenting time like physical custody or visitation (when the child spends time with the parent and the parent provides caretaking functions).

Do Parents Have a Say in the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?

Parents can have a say in the allocation of parental responsibilities if they are able to work together to develop a parenting plan in which they allocate parental responsibilities. A family lawyer in DuPage County can help with this process. As long as parents allocate parental responsibilities in a parenting plan based on the child’s best interests, the court can approve the plan, and it can have the same legal force as an allocation judgment. However, if the parents cannot agree, then the court will allocate parental responsibilities, and the parents will play much less of a role in determining how significant decision-making responsibilities are parenting time are allocated and shared.

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Il divorce lawyerIf you are thinking about filing for divorce in DuPage County and want to get the process completed as quickly as possible, you may have found information about “joint simplified divorce” under Illinois law, and you may be wondering if you qualify. Joint simplified divorce is, in large part, what it sounds like: a simplified divorce process through which two parties can quickly dissolve their marriage legally.

However, many Illinois residents do not qualify for a joint simplified divorce. Indeed, joint simplified divorce has many requirements, and it can be difficult for parties to meet those requirements. We will tell you more about joint simplified divorce in Illinois to give you a better understanding of who may qualify for it under Illinois law.

Many Married Couples Will Not Qualify for a Joint Simplified Dissolution Procedure

For Muslim couples in DuPage County, joint simplified divorce will not be an option if you have children from the marriage, and it is not an option for any parties anticipating a high asset divorce. Further, it is not a possibility in any situation where one of the spouses will need to seek spousal maintenance or support.

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IL custody lawyerIf you are considering divorce in DuPage County and have minor children from your marriage, or if you are a family caregiver to minor children, we know that you likely have questions about child custody. The child custody process, now known as the allocation of parental responsibilities under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), can be extremely complicated. We routinely assist parents in the DuPage County Muslim community who have concerns or inquiries about how courts make child custody decisions when courts allocate parental responsibilities, and how the proceedings even begin.

While a divorce can be an event that initiates a proceeding for the allocation of parental responsibilities (meaning that the court will need to allocate parental responsibilities, including significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time based on what is in the best interests of the child), there are other ways in which this process can get initiated. The dedicated DuPage County child custody lawyers at our firm want to provide you with more information.

How Courts Begin the Process of Allocating Parental Responsibilities

Many people assume that child custody proceedings, or the process in which the court allocates parental responsibilities, can only be initiated in a divorce case. While divorce is one of the ways to get this process started, the IMDMA also provides for numerous others. The following are situations and parties that can initiate the process:

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you have made the decision to file for divorce — or you have at least made the decision to speak with an attorney about the possibility of filing for divorce—the next steps can feel daunting. For most residents of DuPage County, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer. Once you have scheduled an initial consultation, you will likely be wondering what you need to bring with you when you meet with a divorce attorney for the first time. While preparing for a divorce consultation can feel intimidating, you should keep in mind that this consultation is for you so that you can get a sense of the attorney’s role in the process, whether you want to work with this particular divorce lawyer, and what major issues you are likely to face in your divorce.

The family law advocates at Farooqi & Husain Law Office have years of experience assisting members of the Muslim community in DuPage County with divorce. Recognizing the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) will govern your divorce proceedings, the following is a checklist to consider when preparing for your divorce consultation.

1. Financial Documents

The first and most important category of items to bring to any divorce consultation concerns your finances (and financial documents from the marriage). The divorce lawyer will want to have a sense of the complexity of dividing marital property, whether you will want to seek spousal maintenance (or should expect to pay spousal maintenance), and how the court is likely to handle child support if there are still minor children from your marriage or if you have children in college.

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Illinois family lawyerThere are many situations in which a wife wants to file for divorce, but the husband controls all of the money thereby making it difficult for the wife to afford an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer to help with the case. For wives in DuPage County who want to file for divorce but have been stay-at-home parents throughout the marriage, or for another reason the husband controls the marital assets, it is important to know that there may be options to obtain attorney fees from the husband.

The dedicated family law advocates at Farooqi & Husain Law Office are committed to providing counsel for members of the Muslim community throughout DuPage County, and we can speak with you today about paying for your divorce when your husband controls the family’s finances.

Temporary Relief and Petition for Attorney Fees

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Illinois family lawyerIf you are thinking about filing for divorce in DuPage County, it is important to have an experienced advocate on your side throughout the process. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we regularly assist members of the Muslim community with family law matters, including the dissolution of marriage. Your Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorney can help to ensure that you are prepared for divorce and that you have taken all of the necessary steps, but in the meantime, we have some tips for making sure that you are on the proper track.

1. Get Your Finances in Order

Whether you handle the family finances or not, it is important to get your finances in order and to have a clear sense of marital property. As such, you should carefully consider your income and your budget, and you should also make a list of all marital property that you know about. When you make a list of property, be sure to include both assets and debts, and provide the following information:

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