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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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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneyThe image of the traditional American family has evolved from one of a mother, father, and a child or children, to now include the “blended” family. A large portion of families in the United States are part of a blended situation, which means one spouse is either divorced or widowed with children, and has gone on to remarry someone with a similar past. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates 1,300 new stepfamilies form each day. This union creates a “his, hers, and ours” situation that was once only seen in TV comedies like “The Brady Bunch.”

Just because this is more common in today’s society does not make the transition any less awkward at first, nor do all tensions easily conclude with a happy ending as seen on TV. Here are a few tips to make your new family work:

Acknowledge the Children's Relationship With Their Other Parent

Although divorce can have a dramatic effect on children, most studies acknowledge children do well post-divorce if both parents continue their parental roles following the separation, regardless of remarriage. Let the child know the new stepparent will not replace their biological parent, but that it is an extension of their current family.

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