At the Law Office of Ronald Justin, which is a leading family law firm in Chicago, IL, our team always stays abreast of recent changes to important laws and statutes. This allows us to provide you with the top-notch legal services we are known for.
Here’s what you need to know about important changes to family law statutes in Illinois:
Child custody and foster care
The Illinois Department of Child and Foster Services (DCFS) is now required to offer aftercare services when returning a child to the custody of a parent after foster care. According to the new law, these services must be offered to both the child and their family for at least six months from when the child has returned home. The goal of this is to ensure children thrive in their new environment after being in foster care.
Before a child is discharged from foster care, officials from the DCFS are also now required to complete a home safety checklist within 24 hours. The checklist helps DCFS officials determine whether the child will be returning to a safe and stable home. Officials must complete another checklist within five days after the child returns home, and once every month until the case has been closed.
Child abuse allegations
The above law also affects child abuse reporting. Whenever a report of suspected abuse is made by a mandated reporter using a telephone hotline, and a prior report of abuse exists for the household, then the DCFS must accept the report as a child welfare services referral.
If the family refuses to cooperate or denies access to the home, then this requires an investigation by child protective services. Our family law firm in Chicago, IL, is hopeful that these reforms will lead to better accountability and increased protections for children.
Previously, spousal support payments were tax-deductible for the spouse providing payments. The spouse receiving support was required to include all payments as part of their taxable income. A new law that recently passed shifts the tax burden completely to the payor spouse.
The effect of this law means that the spouse providing support will essentially pay taxes twice on any money used for alimony. We anticipate this will be a very contentious issue in divorce cases, as obligor spouses will likely fight for lower payments. If you are getting divorced and you suspect this may be an issue, it’s important to consult with an experienced lawyer. Our family law firm in Chicago, IL, can help.
Calculations for determining the duration of spousal support have also changed. Previously, the duration of spousal support was calculated using a multiplying factor that increased for every 5 years of marriage. Now, the multiplying factors change for every year of marriage, which will shorten the duration of spousal support.
Schedule a consultation with our family law firm in Chicago, IL
If you’re seeking legal representation for a family law case, the Law Office of Ronald Justin can help. Our experienced legal team will fight for your rights and work toward resolving your case fairly.
We can assist with a variety of family law matters, including divorce and separation, child custody, child support, and more. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our leading family law firm in Chicago, IL.