When both parents have passed away without a clear directive, complicated child custody issues may arise. If there are multiple family members contending for the right to raise the child, it most likely will fall to the court to decide who will have custody. Depending on the circumstances, this can be a difficult decision for a family court judge to make.
Parents who have long hoped for a change in the way child support is calculated in Illinois may find renewed hope in a recommendation by the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee. Experts say the state's child support models haven't been updated since the 1980s. With 38 states having changed their outdated models since then, many believe Illinois lawmakers should get with the times.
The traditional concept of the American family may have once been defined as a heterosexual married couple linked by biological offspring, but the contemporary definition of "family" is changing with the times. As treatments like in vitro fertilization gain footing as reliable forms of reproduction and unmarried and same-sex couples start families of their own, the genetic link between parent and child can be missing. And while family bonds may be just as strong as they ever were in this modern landscape, many state and federal laws fail to recognize the parental rights of men and women in these types of domestic arrangements. In fact, one recent child custody case highlights just how fragile the situation can be for parents in Illinois and all across the country.
In instances where one parent fails to provide financially for his or her children, the court may intervene to enforce child support stipulations. The parent can be responsible for any overdue payments he or she owes in addition to their current monthly fee. If the parent continues to defy court orders, possible legal consequences might include wage garnishment or even incarceration. In one state, one extreme case of a man neglecting to pay owed child support has led the court to take drastic measures.