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Naperville family law attorneysAn order for spousal maintenance, or spousal support, in a divorce is issued on a need-based review of each individual case. There is no presumption that one spouse or the other will be required to pay spousal support. Spousal support, though less common than in previous generations, is still awarded in many divorce cases to help alleviate the financial burden of the divorce on an economically disadvantaged spouse. Once the final divorce judgment is entered, the spousal support order becomes enforceable by law and the supporting spouse must comply or face court sanctions. But what about during the divorce? Can spousal maintenance be ordered while the proceedings are still ongoing?

Temporary Orders

The simple answer is yes. Spousal support can be ordered by the court before the final divorce judgment is entered, but the order takes a somewhat different form. The process for obtaining a temporary maintenance order is different as well.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (720 ILCS 5) provides that either party in a divorce may request temporary spousal maintenance via a motion and a financial affidavit. The affidavit is a sworn (or affirmed) statement that lays out a party’s current financial situation, including all income, debts, and expenses. When filing, the spouse must also include supporting documentation such as tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and others as appropriate. The court will also take into account the current arrangements regarding parenting time and parental responsibilities.

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DuPage County domestic violence lawyersDomestic violence continues to plague millions of families throughout Illinois and around the country. Each year, an estimated 10 million women and men are subjected to physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner, which averages to a shocking 20 per minute in the United States. According to the law in Illinois, domestic violence extends well beyond physical abuse, as the term also includes harassment, stalking, intimidation, and other forms of emotional and mental exploitation.

For many victims, filing for an order of protection is the first step toward seeking help and escaping an abusive situation. In Illinois, there are three types of orders of protection, and it is important to know how they each work.

Emergency Order of Protection

As the name implies, an emergency order of protection can provide immediate relief for a person who has been the victim of domestic violence or is afraid of becoming a victim. An emergency order of protection can be granted based solely on the sworn testimony of the victim if the court is convinced that the person is truly in danger or suffering emotional distress. The alleged abuser does not need to be notified in advance, nor is he or she required to appear. An emergency order can last for up to 21 days, enough time for a hearing to be scheduled regarding a more permanent solution.

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Naperville child custody lawyerThere is little question about the difficulty of parenting after a divorce, separation, or break-up. If you have been given significantly less parenting time than your child’s other parent, maintaining a meaningful relationship with your child can be even more challenging. But, what happens if the other parent convinces the court to restrict or limit your parenting time even further? An experienced family law attorney can help you understand what options you may have and work with you in taking the steps to restore your parental rights.

Grounds for the Restriction of Parenting Time

The governing principle of Illinois family law regarding children and parenting responsibilities is always to serve the child’s best interests. In doing so, the court begins with the presumption that active participation by both parents is best for the child, and, therefore, will allocate parenting time to each parent based on the family’s circumstances. Your parenting time cannot be restricted unless the other parent can show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that your behavior or lifestyle seriously endangers your child. These dangers can be to child’s mental, moral, or physical health, as well as to his or her emotional development.

Types of Restrictions

In the most extreme situations, your right to parenting time may be suspended completely, but the court will usually try to avoid taking such measures. Instead, your time with your child may be reduced or limited to certain physical locations. Additionally, the court could determine that you may only exercise your parenting time under supervision by the other parent or a third party. Other restrictions may include keeping certain people away from your child, required abstinence from drugs or alcohol immediately prior to and during your parenting time, and any other limitations the court finds to be appropriate.

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