Showing posts from September, 2014

The delicate 'stepparent' role in divorce and custody cases

If you are divorced, you are usually free to date, marry and have relationships with other people.  But, if you have children of your former marriage or relationship, you must be careful how you bring a new love interest into your life. As a Chicago divorce and custody attorney, I often deal with the results of careless behavior by well-meaning parents .  For example, a new 'girlfriend,' a new 'boyfriend,' or another adult brought into the household to be around the children.  My advice:  When dating, don't even expose the children to the new person for several months.  It's a mistake to bring the person home, introduce them to the children, and then have a new person in a month or two after you break up.  It cheapens relationships and commitment in the eyes of a child.  I call it ' invisible dating .' If you're going to bring home a new pet, you don't then dispose of that pet two months later after the children have formed an attachment to

EOB's, Divorce and Custody

I have seen many cases where a divorce judgment or custody order says the parents are to split 'non-covered' medical expenses for the children.   Then, one parent brings the other parent to court -- claiming they're in "contempt of court" for failing to pay their share.  Problem:  What is the amount of those "non-covered" expenses? Every time someone presents a medical-insurance card at a doctor's office, the insurance company will generate an 'Explanation of Benefits' form, also called an 'EOB.'  This form will list the original cost of the treatment or procedure, the discount granted to the insurance company (for being part of their network), the amount to the insurance company is going to pay, and the remaining amount.  It is this remaining amount, the patient's share, that is the true "non-covered" expense. So... if you have a judgment or child-support order, and the other parent is giving you an invoice or bill