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               As humans, we were not meant to be socially isolated. Social isolation is believed to elevate our stress levels and it can lead us to have feelings of loneliness, fear of others, or even negative self-esteem. Currently, in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, considering the mass closures of schools and businesses, instability of employment or employment at home and the tension of the unknown can cause stress to build and lead to increased incidences of domestic violence. Hence, during this time of social distancing and shelter-in-place, domestic violence experts and shelters have expressed deep concerns as to the safety of domestic violence victims, as abusers can use social isolation to gain greater control over their victim, thus increasing the risk of a survivor’s personal safety.

              Per the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (750 ILCS 60), domestic violence is defined as any of the following: physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation (but does not include reasonable direction of a minor child by a parent). In a nutshell, harassment includes behavior that is not reasonable and it causes another emotional distress. Examples of emotional distress include creating a disturbance at a place of employment or school; repeatedly telephoning a place of employment, home or residence; repeatedly following someone to a public place or places; stalking (keeping someone under surveillance by remaining present outside their home, school, place of employment, vehicle or by peering into someone’s windows); improperly concealing a minor child;  repeatedly threatening to improperly remove a minor child from the physical care of a parent; repeatedly threatening to conceal a minor child or threatening physical force, confinement or restraint on one or more occasions.

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Posted on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_Covid-19-updated_20200320-145152_1.jpgAs we all endure this difficult time of uncertainty and frustration, many questions may come to mind as to the current status of our legal system and its procedures when it comes to pending or new family matters. Hence, we have prepared some basic questions and answers to try and address some of the questions that people may have.

Q.  Are the courts still open and functioning?

           A.    Courthouses in Kane, DuPage, Kendall and DeKalb are still open for EMERGENCY matters only. The courts have issued administrative orders limiting non-essential (non-emergency) matters and rescheduling non-emergency civil matters through April 17, 2020. However, courts have noted that cases may be continued between 30 to 60 days.

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The Illinois Income Share Model has gone into effect, and as previously discussed in our most recent blog entry, both parents’ gross income must be determined for purposes of calculating their child support obligation. However, the statute now provides for various deductions to be applied to a parent’s gross income before a parent begins their child support calculation. This is important, as we previously discussed in our most recent blog, because a parent’s gross income will help determine a parent’s net income and based upon the total combined available net income of both parents, we will calculate what percentage each parent will be responsible to provide support. Hence, if a parent’s gross income is reduced from the get-go, it will in effect also reduce a parent’s net income therefore potentially reducing a parent’s contribution to child support. Bear in mind that this reduction in child support is not meant to allow parents to evade their child support obligation, rather, it is meant to consider what other obligations a parent may have that affects the available net income the parent has to contribute towards child support.

Pursuant to the Illinois Income Share statute, a parent’s gross income may be adjusted as follows:

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llinois Income Share Model: How to Calculate Child Support as of July 1, 2017

On July 1, 2017, the Illinois Income Share Model will go into effect and substantially change the way we calculate child support today. Up until July 1, 2017, only the net income of the non-majority parent (or non-custodial parent) is used to calculate child support. Currently, net income is defined as total of all income from all sources minus various deductions such as Federal income tax, State income tax, Social Security, mandatory retirement contributions, union dues, health insurance premiums and court ordered obligations. Once a parent’s net income is calculated, the non-custodial parent pays a percentage of his net income as for child support depending upon the amount of children he or she must support (one child=20%; two children=28%; three children=28%; four children=40%). The new income share model will still rely upon a determination of a parent’s net income; however, the definition of net income will be modified. Moreover, the new model will also consider the income of both parents in determining what share of child support each parent must pay. Moreover, the new law has developed two separate charts: 1) to calculate a parent’s net income and 2) to calculate the amount of child support required for a child (or children) based upon the total combined net income of both parents. Click below to see charts.

Gross to Net Income Conversion Table

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