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Naperville child support attorneysIf you are going through a divorce, the court will usually factor health care costs into the child support order they issue. This could significantly alter the amount of regular child support payments depending on what your and your spouse’s insurance offers. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) outlines exactly how a court will calculate a child support order, so it is important to learn more about how this legislation could affect your divorce order by discussing your case with a divorce attorney. 

Child Support and Providing for Health Care Costs in Illinois

Basic child support requirements already should include ordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses. Also, the court may decide to require one or both spouses to ensure that their health insurance coverage covers their child, that they purchase health/dental/or vision policies to cover their child, or that they use alternative solutions to cover their child’s present and future medical needs. While child support orders typically require one spouse to make regular payments to help the other spouse provide for their child, the court may also encourage one or both spouses to pitch in to meet any medical expenses that are not covered by insurance, like office or pharmacy copays.

In some cases, the divorcing spouses may not have the financial resources and opportunities to provide private health care coverage for their child. If this is the case, a court may require that one or both parents purchase insurance coverage as soon as the cost is reasonable given the spouses’ circumstances, or the court can order the ex-spouses to file for public health care coverage for their child and split any remaining costs. 

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DuPage County family law attorneysLegally, it does not matter which spouse files for divorce in Illinois. The spouse that files for divorce is called the petitioner (or plaintiff), and the other is the defendant (or respondent.) Technically, this terminology has no impact on the outcome of a divorce. However, which spouse files for divorce can have subtle, largely subjective effects on the divorce proceedings, a few examples of which we will offer in this post. If your spouse filed for divorce or you plan to, do not hesitate to speak with a divorce attorney so that you can be better prepared to pursue a fair and sustainable outcome.

Why the Timing of Divorce Filing Could Matter

Before understanding the psychological consequences of filing for divorce, it is worth understanding how the time when a petitioner files can affect the divorce process. First, the court will most likely use the date of filing to determine the value of a couple’s assets that must be divided. If you wait too long to file, your spouse can dissipate your marital assets to try to prevent you from getting your fair share. It is possible to recover dissipated assets, but doing so is not always easy.

Also, the Illinois spousal maintenance formula uses the time of filing to calculate the duration of payments. A court will multiply the length of a marriage by other variables to determine the length of maintenance awards. Therefore, if you wait longer to file, the spouse responsible for paying alimony will have to do so for longer. Depending on which end of the relationship you are on, this may or may not benefit you.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysEvery state has different requirements for divorcing couples. Illinois is unique in that a court may require a divorcing couple to attend parenting education classes before finalizing their divorce. This recent legislation is designed to prioritize a child’s well-being as they transition into a divorced family. If you are going through a divorce and have children, you should assume that you will be required to attend these classes and prepare accordingly. Sometimes, parents go into separation with vastly different ideas of what is best for their child, so attend your sessions with an open mind and take the necessary compromises to protect your child’s future as much as you can.

Illinois Parenting Education Classes

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 924, the Parenting Education Requirement, states:

“Each circuit or county shall create or approve a parenting education program consisting of at least four hours covering the subjects of parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities and their impact on children.”

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