Illinois Divorce and Family Law Weblog

Helping You and Your Family get through DivorceSM.
Weblog of DuPage County Attorney Raiford D. Palmer, focusing on divorce and family law.
(Copyright© 2005-2008 by Raiford D. Palmer. All rights reserved.) This blog is for advertising only and the contents are not legal advice.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Illinois Divorce Law - Final And Appealable Orders - Post Decree

In Marriage of Knoerr, 2-06-1060 (December 21, 2007) the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District (covering DuPage, Kane, and Kendall Counties, among others) held that an appeal could not be taken from a post-divorce court decision requiring a father to contribute to post-high school educational expenses for a child because another matter was still pending in the case, and the Court had not issued a "final and appealable" order (using Illinois Supreme Court Rule 304(a) language.) The Court stated that only contempt orders requiring fines or penalties may be appealed while other matters are pending in the same case. The Court dismissed the appeal.

The bottom line - you may only appeal from final and appealable orders in Illinois. Temporary orders or interim orders in divorce cases are not appealable. Orders entered (other than contempt orders as stated above) are not appealable while other matters are pending. Appeals are expensive. Make sure your Illinois lawyer understands appellate law and family law if pursuing an appeal.

We can handle your Illinois divorce appeal. Please call 630.434.0400 Ext. 165 or email.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Illinois Divorce Appeals

We handle appeals of divorce judgments in Illinois. We gladly accept referrals from other family and divorce lawyers, and accept cases directly from clients. Our firm has substantial appellate experience and we can handle your appeal efficiently. Please note - temporary orders are not appealable in Illinois divorce cases. You must have a final order to appeal. These can be orders related to custody, maintenance (alimony), child support, division of property and debt, and more. Please contact us via email or at our website today.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Illinois Child Support - Court Order for Support Changes A Must

The only safe way to establish support, reduce it, cancel it, or increase it is to get a court order. Even if you and your ex have an agreement (and even if it is in writing) this is no guarantee that it will be binding later. We've heard of horror stories where one spouse agreed to accept no support for a period of time when the support payor lost a job, only to claim two years later that there was no agreement! Remember, interest piles up at 9% per year for each missed support payment!

Don't trust something so important to a verbal agreement or even a written one. Getting a court order (especially when the parties agree) is fairly easy to do, as long as you comply with the law. The Court will check to be sure you are not going below the legal minimums for support (20% of net income for one child for example) or that you have a valid reason to terminate (child reaches age 18).

This comes up often in cases of "abatement." The typical scenario is where the support payor loses a job and is looking for a new one. The payor and the ex agree that while the payor is looking for a job no support is due. The payor gets a job and resumes paying support. However, the law says in that case that support may be abated (basically paused) but that it continues to pile up. During this time the payor does not need to pay the support as normal, but resumes paying when back on the job. The thing a lot of people miss is 1) they don't get an order and 2) they think the missed payments are "forgiven." Not true. You still owe the money, you were just allowed to pay later.

Don't make the mistake of working under a verbal or even written agreement. The only thing truly binding is a Court order. Also, don't wait to get the order entered. The Court will not allow you to "go back" and terminate or abate retroactively. For example, if you waited a month after losing your job, and failed to pay during that month, the support is actually a missed payment and begins to accrue interest (and you are behind now on your support)! The date you file your motion to abate is the date the Court will use for retroactivity, even if it takes a month or two to enter the order. Another thing--most courts require preparation and filing of an income and expense affidavit when bringing any petition regarding money (child support, maintenance (alimony), etc.). Be sure to prepare the form (or have us do it) and provide the supporting documents (usually past three years of tax returns and a couple of current pay stubs will do it).

Please call 630.434.0400 to schedule your consultation about divorce or post-decree case with attorney Raiford Palmer. Or, email me.

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