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Posted on in Visitation

DuPage County visitation lawyersIn Illinois, only parents are entitled to visitation rights with their children. However, in certain situations, non-parent relatives such as grandparents, great-grandparents or siblings may petition for visitation rights. Whether or not they will be granted depends on the facts of the case, but the law does allow for such considerations in certain situation.

Statutory Authority

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act grants parents the right to visitation—now known as parenting time—with their children. This right is generally upheld in all but the most extreme circumstances. Illinois courts tend to be of the opinion that children are best served by having both parents in their lives and have expressed this belief even in cases where one or both parents are incarcerated or profoundly mentally ill. The only criteria the court uses to deny parenting time is if it finds that spending time with a particular parent would endanger the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health.

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DuPage County family law attorneysThe issue of taxes is often a difficult one during a divorce. Taxes may become especially challenging if both spousal and child support are ordered to be paid by the same party. However, Illinois permits what is referred to as unallocated support or separate maintenance, which can greatly lessen a paying parent’s tax bill while ensuring that their obligations are still met. If you are in a precarious financial situation, it may be to your benefit to learn more about unallocated support.

Tax Burdens on Support Payments

Under federal law, child support payments are not taxable income for their recipient parent, nor are they tax deductible for the paying parent. This is due, in large part, to the fact that federal tax law permits one parent to claim the child or children as dependents for other tax credits. Spousal maintenance payments, however, are deductible by the payer and taxable as income for the recipient. This can create a tax disparity for the payer, because very often, child support in Illinois will total much more than the amount of spousal maintenance.

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DuPage County paternity lawyersIn Illinois, most of the time, paternity is not assumed when a child is born to unmarried parents. In most such cases, it must be affirmatively acknowledged. It is imperative that you understand how the law applies to your situation so that you do not wind up with limited rights to see your children. A failure to acknowledge paternity at the appropriate time can severely restrict your right not only to see them, but to exercise your rights with regard to their lives and welfare.

How to Acknowledge Paternity

The procedure to formally acknowledge paternity differs, depending on whether or not you are married to the child’s mother. If you are married to her, you are by law presumed to be the father of any children born to her during your marriage, unless you complete a Denial of Paternity form at the appropriate time (usually immediately following the child’s birth). If you are not married to her but she is married to someone else, her husband must complete the Denial of Paternity. In addition, both you and the mother must sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. Failure to do so will place the husband by default as the father. If neither you nor the mother is currently married, you must both complete the VAP, but there is generally less of a hurry.

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