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Hey there.

I’m 38, she’s 37. We have 3 kids (all are ours together); f18, m10, f8. We’ve been married for 17 years.

We thought we were in love, but basically got married because of the birth of our first daughter.

I’ve never felt a connection to my wife, she seemed like a different person than who I was dating from the day our daughter was born and we moved in together.

I’ve done everything I can to try to make things work, but she just doesn’t seem to care about any of us (my opinion).

My eldest daughter asked me when she was 7 when “we” were leaving. I’ve always done my best to discourage her disparaging her mother, but she’s not dumb and knows her mother doesn’t show care for us.

She has a close friend who we’ve essentially adopted (unofficially) who claims us before her natural parents, even she keeps asking when my eldest daughter and I can move out with her.

I’ve tried over the years to help with housework, but honestly she refuses to even clean up after herself and unless I want to do everything 100% myself it’s never going to get done. (Yeah, I know how backwards this all sounds).

That’s been going on since the beginning and has always been a major source of stress in the relationship.

I’m a hopeless romantic and I’ve felt trapped in a loveless marriage that I’ve desperately tried to make work for the last 17 years. Neither of us has ever cheated and there is no one else on the horizon, that’s not what this is about.

I just don’t think I can reserve myself to living this way the rest of my life, in a wreck of a house with a spouse who does not (can not?) show affection, even with the simplest of gestures.

This being Illinois, I’m terrified of custody laws and WILL NOT be separated from by children. I would gladly share custody but will not lose it.

That brings me to my first question…

1.  QUESTION: What are the current laws regarding custody and father’s rights? Are my fears unfounded?

ANSWER:  Laws of Joint Custody

(750 ILCS 5/602.1)
Unless the court finds the occurrence of ongoing abuse, it shall presume that the maximum involvement and cooperation of both parents regarding the physical, mental, moral, and emotional well-being of their child is in the best interest of the child. There shall be no presumption in favor of or against joint custody but upon the application of either or both parents, or upon its own motion, the court shall consider an award of joint custody. The court may enter an order of joint custody if it determines that joint custody would be in the best interests of the child, taking into account the following:

1. The ability of the parents to cooperate effectively and consistently in matters that directly affect the joint parenting of the child. “Ability of the parents to cooperate” means the parents’ capacity to substantially comply with a Joint Parenting Order. The court shall not consider the inability of the parents to cooperate effectively and consistently in matters that do not directly affect the joint parenting of the child;

2. The residential circumstances of each parent; and

3. All other factors which may be relevant to the best interest of the child.

Also this being Illinois, I’ve already dealt with child support once, when we first moved in together.

There was a 3-month period where our daughter was born, we lived together but were as yet unmarried.

She had applied for any assistance she could get, including cash assistance.

The day we got back from our “honeymoon” (a weekend in Chicago), there was a notice in the mailbox about the “back child support” I owed.

It literally took YEARS to sort it all out, and neither of us are willing to deal with Illinois on this issue again.

That brings me to my next question...

2. QUESTION: Is there any way to work out cash support of our children in a mutual way NOT INVOLVING the courts, child support enforcement agency, etc?


I.Statutory Law re Child Support:

Within the past five years, the statutory law regarding child support has had the most changes since the adoption of the child support guidelines. This presentation will first will highlight significant changes to §505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), and many of the statutory provisions regarding support which are often overlooked.

A.IMDMA §505 – Child Support:

By Federal mandate, each state must review and amend its guidelines every four years. Illinois has been deficient in so doing. The first time that Illinois did so was in 2003 with Public Act 93-0148 in which Illinois increased the support level for two children to 28% of net.  There are only six states (including Illinois) which follow a model in which the support guidelines are based upon a percentage of income.  As of 2007, 39 states follow what is called the “income shares” model.

1.General Support Provisions: Some of the significant portions of §505(a) read as follows (enforcement procedures and certain other portions are generally omitted; emphases are added):

(a)In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, declaration of invalidity of marriage, a proceeding for child support following dissolution of the marriage by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, a proceeding for modification of a previous order for child support under Section 510 of this Act, or any proceeding authorized under Section 501 or 601 of this Act, the court may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child of the marriage to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for his support, without regard to marital misconduct. The duty of support owed to a minor child includes the obligation to provide for the reasonable and necessary physical, mental and emotional health needs of the child.  For purposes of this Section, the term “child” shall include any child under age 18 and any child under age 19 who is still attending high school.

(1)The Court shall determine the minimum amount of support by using the following guidelines:

Number of children
Percent of Supporting Party’s Net Income
1 20%
2 28%*(changed in 2003)
3 32%
4 40%
5 45%
6 or more 50%

(2) The above guidelines shall be applied in each case unless the court, after considering evidence presented on all relevant factors, finds a reason for deviating from the guidelines. Relevant factors may include ***.

If the court deviates from the guidelines, the court’s finding shall state the amount of support that would have been required under the guidelines, if determinable. The court shall include the reason or reasons for the variance from the guidelines. 

I hope you all have learned a little about the laws of Divorce concerning this issue with this question.  Thank you for submitting your question and I hope it has helped you.  I am protecting the person and not publishing names or any private information.

Question: Is there a statute of limitations on divorce in Illinois?
Answer: There is no statute of limitations for a divorce decree. The terms and provisions in the decree are final and binding forever.
Leave a comment


  1. bill

     /  04/25/2011

    can a spouse move out of state with her children while in divorce procedings.and can a female who is being emotional abused file for divorce and move out of state with her children

    • Jackie Paulson Author

       /  05/15/2011

      Since you have not given me more information on your case, your State you live in this is a hard question to answer. Their are processes to take and procedures to take. The first one is to get a “restraining order” against the spouse who is abusing you. In my case, It was written that no parent can move out of state until the child reached the age of 18. My daughter is now 17 and neither parent moved out of of State. My humble opinion is not to pack up and move out of State as this could hurt your case.


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