Showing posts from February, 2010

What if you disagree with a court order? What to do (and not do).

The Sun-Times reported today on a case where a law student in a Cook County custody dispute landed himself in trouble. The trouble surrounds allegations that he defied a court order regarding the upbringing of the divorced couple's child in the Jewish faith. It was reported that the custody arrangement provided for the child to be raised Jewish but that the father had the child baptized Catholic without mom’s consent and on another occasion brought a TV news crew with him when he took the child to a Catholic Church for mass. This allegedly violated the court’s orders. If you knowingly violate a court order you disagree with and have no valid excuse to do so, there is generally punishment – sometimes a jail sentence. Disagreeing with the court's order is NOT a valid excuse. Obviously even attorneys are not immune from the rancor and emotional blinding a custody dispute can cause. But to openly disobey a court order AND have it televised, is pretty extreme. Which brings me to

Sick days NOT marital property that your spouse can take a share

In a split decision, the Illinois Supreme court ruled this month that accrued sick days are NOT marital property that your spouse can get a share of in a divorce. Since it was a split decision, there is still some debate about it but the law will be clear nevertheless. In the case the husband had banked over 100 sick days at his government job (good gig if you can get it) The supreme court said no deal to the trial court's split because the value assigned to the sick days would be too speculative and that it was unknown whether the husband would ever use his sick days before he terminated his employment or retired. Therefore, wife did not get a piece of it. Of course, reading through the case, it seems like the value of what the party's were fighting over was about $15,000. Taking a case up the Illinois Supreme Court case is VERY expensive. This is likely one of those cases where the parties spent upwards of $30,000 on attorney fees to fight over $15,000. Who made out in t

Obligations to contribute to college expenses - Summary of Illinois Law

The court can award college contributions at any time until the child receives a 4 year degree (not graduate degree contributions) and courts generally will not order a parent to pay toward a child that takes more than 4 years to complete a 4 year degree. The educational expenses may include room, board, dues, tuition, transportation, books, fees, registration and application costs, medical expenses including medical insurance, dental expenses, and living expenses during the school year and periods of recess. There is much more to it than that and courts weighs a number of factors including: (1) The financial resources of both parents. (2) The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved. (3) The financial resources of the child. (4) The child's academic performance. A question I often also get is "What about the income of my new spouse?” While the new spouse's income is not directly considered in the equation, many judge'