Custody and Visitation
Courts are faced with extremely challenging decisions when parents cannot agree on what is in the best interest of their children. Child custody and visitation disputes can be some of the most emotionally charged issues when relationships between parents fail.
The Law Offices of Howard Peritz is highly skilled in litigation of child-related issues, but also have extensive experience resolving these matters outside of court.
In Illinois, the court may order either or both parents to pay child support. Illinois uses a guideline support formula to determine a parent’s support obligation. This percentage gradually increases based on the number of children. The support obligation is typically applicable until the child turns eighteen years old, or for any child under nineteen who is still attending high school. The court, after considering the best interests of the child, is entitled to deviate from the guideline support formula, but must explain the reasons for such deviation. Factors to be considered by the court include the financial resources of both the parent and child, as well as the physical, emotional, and educational needs of the child.
Illinois law provides that a judge may order divorced parents to contribute to the payment of college expense for their child(ren). These expenses may include, but are not limited to, room, board, dues, tuition, transportation, books, fees, registration and application costs, medical expenses including medical insurance, and living expenses during the school year and periods of recess. Unlike child support, judges are given discretion when ordering parents to contribute to college expenses. Our attorneys have represented clients in countless cases involving the issue of a parent’s contribution to college expenses.
Maintenance, formerly known as alimony, is financial support paid from one spouse to the other incident to a divorce or legal separation. Unlike child support, which is frequently set at a percentage of the payor’s net income in accordance with certain statutory guidelines, the amount and duration of a maintenance award is discretionary with the court, and is based on a variety of relevant factors. These factors may include, but are not limited to, the following: the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, the physical and mental condition of each of the parties, the standard of living established during the marriage, the needs of each party, the present and future earning capacity of each party, the income of each party, the property of each party, any impairment to the present and/or future earning capacity of each party, contributions and services to the education, training or career of the other, and any other factor that the court deems relevant. Marital misconduct, however, is not a relevant factor for the court to consider in awarding maintenance.
The entry of a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage is often not the end of disputes between divorcing spouses. As the bonds of matrimony are dissolved, a new relationship is forged between divorced spouses. Many financial and custody- related matters that arise after a divorce involve even greater complexity than the issues presented before the divorce decree was entered. The Law Offices of Howard Peritz are experienced in post-divorce disputes and understand the legal and practical nuances of both pre- and post- divorce proceedings.