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Naperville family law attorneysAs form of dispute resolution that is available in virtually every type of civil proceeding, mediation typically allows competing parties the opportunity to hammer out an agreement that reasonably meets the needs of everyone involved. This holds true in a large number of arenas, including personal injury concerns, business disputes, and, of course, divorce and family law. Perhaps the biggest advantage to seeking mediation in your divorce or child-related matter your ability to be clearly heard throughout the process, a luxury not necessarily afforded in many court-handled cases.

Strict Legal Guidelines

While the statutes regarding divorce and family law are constantly being updated to allow for more individual consideration, the fact of the matter is that a court can only do so much. A presiding judge is expected to take into account an ever-growing list of circumstantial considerations, which may include those related to each spouse and the children involved. To truly appreciate a family’s situation, a judge would need to review the case for hours and hours, discussing intimate details with each party, and doing so is clearly not a realistic expectation. Thus, court decisions are often based on a very limited understanding of the facts, and only those that each party remembers to include in presented documents.

You Control the Pace

In family law mediation, however, you and your spouse are not only intimately involved in the process, you also dictate the negotiations. A well-trained mediator, of course, is there to facilitate the discussion and to keep you both on a path toward resolution, but will also ensure that you have every opportunity to be heard. Nobody—not even your attorney—understands your situation as well as you do, and mediation provides you the chance to express your specific needs, desires, and concerns regarding the outcome of your issue. Your spouse will be afforded the same opportunities, allowing your resulting agreement to reflect the actual, nuanced circumstances of your situation.

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DuPage County domestic abuse attorneysWhen you think of the words “abuse” or “domestic violence,” you may picture a man or woman with bruises and scars. However, abuse can involve much more than physical violence. One of the most insidious forms of abuse is financial abuse. Sadly, many marriages throughout the United States involve some version of economic abuse. If you have been a victim of financial abuse, you should know that there is hope. Divorcing a spouse who uses money to control and manipulate you can be difficult, but it is possible.

Warning Signs of Economic Abuse

Economic abuse typically involves restricting a victim’s access to financial resources. Abusers may control their victims’ access to money and refuse to let them have any financial independence as a means of gaining power over them. Research shows that most victims of financial abuse are women, but men can also be victims of financial abuse.

Some common warning signs that could indicate that you are in a financially-abusive relationship include:

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DuPage County child support attorneyMany parents do not realize the amount of money it actually takes to raise a child. When child support payments become a part of your monthly expenses, you may find yourself in a financial predicament. Child support is designed to help a child with unmarried or divorced unmarried parents to enjoy the same quality of life that he or she would have with married parents. In Illinois, child support amounts are determined by analyzing each parent’s income, employment, health, and other factors. If you cannot afford your court-ordered child support, read on to learn about what your next steps should be.

Never Stop Child Support Payments Without Notification

Illinois takes child support nonpayment very seriously. If you cannot afford your child support, never simply stop payments. Missing payments or paying only partial amounts can result in significant negative consequences. Parents who fail to pay their support payments in Illinois can have their wages or bank accounts garnished, tax returns intercepted, a lien placed against their property, and their driver’s license suspended or revoked. In severe cases of child support nonpayment, parents can face passport denial and even criminal prosecution. Parents who own $5000 or more in past-due support can also have their name and photograph posted on the “Illinois Deadbeat Parent” website.

File a Request for a Child Support Modification

If you are a parent who cannot afford your current support obligation, your first step should be to notify the person who receives your support. Next, file a “Petition to Modify Support,” with the county court. Modifications to child support obligations are only granted if there is a good reason for the court to change the order.

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