Legal Question in Family Law in Illinois

A woman wants to get divorced. They have a 9yr. old and a 3yr. old. She is the one who takes them to school in the morning and picks them up and takes them to all the activities. He works early and gets home around 7 p.m. Sometimes he has to stay overnight a few nights a weeks. She agrees he is a great father and would like to work out all of the child custody stuff before court. She would like to move about 85 miles away. If she decided to date and move in with someone before the divorce is final would that hurt her chances and could she still move before the divorce is final. She would like to move in August and get the kids in school so they can adjust. Would this be legal? She would like to have every other weekend with the father. A week each month in the summer and he would get most school breaks with them. Her family lives in the same town as the husband and would be visiting a lot. She will tell him when they visit he can have the kids for most of the day on weekends they visit even if it is her weekend. She wants the kids to see him as much as possible. She does not want allimony, or really anything from the house. She would like them to decide reasonable child support not the courts. This is in illinois.

Asked on 5/10/12, 12:23 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jonathan Shimberg Shimberg and Crohn, P.C.

And your question is? The court may not allow them to decide "reasonable" child support if ti is below guidelines.

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Answered on 5/10/12, 12:33 pm
Renee Babcoke Law Office of Renee M. Babcoke

Illinois Code 750 ILCS 5/502 provides that, "(a) To promote amicable settlement of disputes between parties to a marriage attendant upon the dissolution of their marriage, the parties may enter into a written or oral agreement containing provisions for disposition of any property owned by either of them, maintenance of either of them and support, custody and visitation of their children.

(b) The terms of the agreement, except those providing for the support, custody and visitation of children, are binding upon the court unless it finds, after considering the economic circumstances of the parties and any other relevant evidence produced by the parties, on their own motion or on request of the court, that the agreement is unconscionable."

In other words, Illinois courts strongly favor settlement agreements in dissolution actions, but judges are not bound by the terms of the agreement, particularly those that involve minor children of the marriage. There is also plenty of case law showing that Illinois judges strongly disfavor shuttling a child from one school to another or displacing the child in the middle of a school year. So, assuming that the husband agrees with all that the wife is requesting, as set forth in your question, I think your chances of getting a Joint Parenting Agreement approved by the court are good because the terms seem reasonable and in the best interests of the children. I would not make a move, however, without getting all of the terms signed by both parties in writing and getting the COURT'S APPROVAL BEFORE TAKING THE CHILDREN ANYWHERE!

As far as child support goes, 750 ILCS 5/505 sets forth that the minimum amount of child support that a court may order for 2 children is 28% of the non-custodial parent's net income, unless the court finds that amount inappropriate for reasons that it must set forth in the order.

This answer is meant to provide you only with general legal information, as each case (and judge) is different. But, I hope you find it helpful.

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Answered on 5/11/12, 3:22 am

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