Today, unique family arrangements are the norm, so divorce, and therefore child custody proceedings need to be altered. Families are so unique with a mix of children and parents in our evolving society, and our laws need to change to meet this. I want to be a lawyer because it is the most transparent form of the implementation of justice in our society today, and this justice means fairness for all. In my state of Illinois, there are about 70,000 marriages that occur each year (“Marriage/Divorce Statistics”). Yet, additionally in Illinois, according to the Department of Public Health, about 30,000 people also get divorced each year (“Marriage/Divorce Statistics”). This even correlates to the overall statistics within the entire nation where half of marriages end in divorce (“What You Need to Know about the New Child Custody and Alimony Laws in Illinois”).
I made many discoveries about the regulation of licenses for varying occupations through my work interning at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. This work included monitoring complaints against medical doctors. But when discussing individual rights while working there with a counsel, she described to me how a doctor loses his or her medical license with the department if they are unable to pay their child support in the state of Illinois.
Yet, I feel like there is a massive flaw to this situation that is not resolved with this punishment on the parent through his or her occupation. If a person no longer possesses the license that would allow them to continue with his or her practice, then it will be impossible for this person to make any money through this work. In turn, there will be no possibility of acquiring funds to pay for child support. Until this issue is resolved, there is an infringement on individual rights for the people that this affects. It seems ridiculous that these people should be expected to pay to support their child when they lose chances at earning money because he or she no longer has a job.
Furthermore, child support can be allotted within the state of Illinois based on a percentage of the amount that a person makes. Yet, a person’s income would fluctuate based on this loss of the license to continue practicing. This would in turn affect the child and cause less money, as determined through law to be a just amount, to be potentially a part of the parent’s income. This would result in less money to be given to child support. This would completely defeat the point of who this is suppose to protect. It takes away money from both the parent and the child and therefore hurts not only the parent but punishes the child as well.
These child custody arrangements occur after divorce which can be incredibly expensive in the state of Illinois. On average, it costs about $15,000 and an additional $11,000 for attorney fees that can increase with an hourly rate (“How Much Does Divorce Cost in Illinois?”). It is even more expensive when a child is involved, so this would exemplify even further the financial strain and the significance of these court proceedings (“Illinois Divorce Questions”). In the state of Illinois, a spouse can be responsible for the fees of their formers spouse. Yet, on one hand, a spouse should not necessarily have to pay for their former spouse. But also, on other hand, the other spouse should not necessarily have not all of the fees from their divorce taken care of. This should be true since this spouse did not necessarily agree to the expensive proceedings that occur with this divorce.
Furthermore, no fault reasons for divorce were recently introduced in Illinois, yet Illinois law still has statutes where adultery could result in jail time. This possibility of prison as a punishment for this lack of commitment to a marriage seems archaic. It also seems archaic that impotence can be used as a means of fault in divorce (“What You Need to Know about the New Child Custody and Alimony Laws in Illinois”). This is similar to how an annulment in the state of Illinois is possible if the spouse was unaware of this impotence (Guillen, Attorney Lina). I think an alteration to the distribution and maintenance of medical licenses to parents paying child support is necessary. A parent cannot be expected to make up for the money if he or she cannot pay child support originally. Then, the parent has an even greater challenge to earn back the medical license no longer possessed. They then cannot even pay this child support to earn back the license he or she lost. If this medical license is back, a parent could get money through his or her occupation to serve his or her child through child support.
Guillen, Attorney Lina. “Grounds for Divorce in Illinois.” DivorceNet.com. Web. 31 May 2017.
“How Much Does Divorce Cost in Illinois?” – Lawyers.com. Web. 31 May 2017.
“Illinois Divorce Questions.” Cordell Litigation Firm, Web. 31 May 2017.
“Marriage/Divorce Statistics.” Marriage/Divorce Statistics. IDPH. Web. 31 May 2017.
“What You Need to Know about the New Child Custody and Alimony Laws in Illinois.” The Daily Journal. 09 Jan. 2016. Web. 31 May 2017.