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Recent Blog Posts

Orders of Protection: Leaving an Abusive Marriage in Illinois

 Posted on November 02,2022 in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles, IL divorce lawyerAccording to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, approximately 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute. Statistics gathered by Illinois domestic violence advocacy organizations reveal that domestic violence also continues to rise in the state of Illinois, which saw a 40 percent increase in requests for services last year. More than 40 percent of women in Illinois and 25 percent of men say they are survivors of domestic violence.

If you are a domestic violence survivor who is seeking to leave your abusive partner, it is imperative for your safety and your children’s safety to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. A Kane County divorce attorney can help. One of the first things your attorney can do is help you obtain a protective order against your abuser. 

Emergency Orders

When the survivor is facing an imminent risk of harm, they can file for an emergency order of protection. In these situations, the alleged abuser is not notified of the requested hearing or given a chance to object to the petitioner’s request in order for the court to issue the order. Typically, the emergency order will be in effect for 14 to 21 days, but when the court issues the emergency order, it also schedules a hearing for a plenary (long-term) order before that expiration date. If the hearing cannot be scheduled before the expiration date, the court will extend the emergency order’s date.

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Do Illinois Courts Consider a Child’s Wishes in Custody Decisions?

 Posted on October 28,2022 in Child Custody & Allocation of Parental Responsibility

St. Charles, IL child custody lawyerPart of our job as parents is teaching our children how to be independent. This includes encouraging them so they are ensured their voices are heard and that their opinions and feelings matter. This process is an ongoing one and there are times when parents do need to overrule what their child wants because it is not in their best interest. One question that parents going through a child custody case often ask is whether or not the court will take into consideration the child’s wishes. Although in many cases the judge will consider the child’s wishes, it will not be the deciding factor.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

In 2016, there was a major overhaul to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Lawmakers eliminated the phrase “child custody,” replacing it with the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. What did not change is how family court judges decide the allocation and parenting time, basing those decisions on the best interest of the child doctrine.

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Is a Business a Marital or Separate Asset in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on October 20,2022 in Illinois Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyerAlthough the divorce rate has somewhat decreased over the past few years, it is still high. Approximately half of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce. Sixty percent of all second and 73 percent of all third marriages also end up in divorce court.

One of the major issues that divorcing couples need to decide is how their marital estate will be divided between the two of them. This can be difficult enough, but when one or both spouses own a business, that equitable division of assets can become very complicated. This is just one more reason why anyone going through a divorce should have a skilled divorce attorney advocating for them.

Is a Business Marital Property?

If the business was formed while the couple was married, the court will likely rule that the business is a marital asset. This applies no matter what type of business structure – partnership, LLC, or corporation – that the business was formed under.

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Ex Parte Emergency Child Custody Orders in Illinois

 Posted on October 12,2022 in Child Custody & Allocation of Parental Responsibility

St. Charles family lawyerIn most situations, an Illinois family law judge will not make a decision regarding the custody of a child unless both parents are able to present their side/argument to the court. However, there are situations where the court will grant one parent temporary emergency custody based on that parent’s testimony alone, often without the other parent even being notified of the hearing if there are allegations that the child is in some kind of danger of abuse or neglect if they are left in the other parent’s care. These child custody orders are referred to as “ex parte” orders.

When Are Ex Parte Orders Issued?

As mentioned above, under normal circumstances, the court wants to hear from both parents – along with any witnesses they may have – as to what their preferred role in the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time should be.

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Many Couples Turning to Mediation for Their Illinois Divorces

 Posted on October 04,2022 in Illinois Divorce

 St. Charles, IL divorce attorneyThere is no denying that divorce and all it entails takes a heavy emotional toll on a family, especially on the children. But not every divorce needs to be a contentious one. In fact, more and more couples are realizing the benefits of using mediation as a major component in the divorce process. A mediation attorney from our law firm can explain how this less stressful and friendlier process can be used to obtain resolutions to issues of child custody, division of assets and property, spousal support, and more. Below is a brief overview of how divorce mediation works. Call our office for more details about how it could work in your situation.

Mediation Process

The goal of mediation is to avoid having to litigate your case and go to trial. Not only does this cut down on the emotional side of divorce, but it also helps the financial side. It is recommended that both spouses still have their own attorneys during mediation because there are legal requirements that Illinois family law statutes may require that could affect the agreement you and your spouse come up with. Having your own attorney also ensures your rights are protected and you are not being taken advantage of by the other party.

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Can Marijuana Use Affect Child Custody in Illinois?

 Posted on September 22,2022 in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles Family Law AttorneyOn January 1, 2020, recreational marijuana use in Illinois became legal. Although this law means that a person could no longer be criminally charged for possessing cannabis, it did not address how family courts should address the issue when it comes to parental responsibility and parenting time issues, except to say that marijuana use, like alcohol use, cannot in and of itself be considered when making decisions about custody. 

The Best Interest of the Child Standard

When an Illinois family court judge is determining child custody, their decision will be based on the best interest of the child. It is generally accepted by the majority of judges that a child’s best interest is served best when both parents are actively involved in their life. There are exceptions to that, however, such as in cases where the welfare of the child could be in jeopardy because of the actions or behaviors of a parent.

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You Have Decided to End Your Marriage. Now What?

 Posted on September 19,2022 in Illinois Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyerYou have finally made the difficult decision to end your marriage but now you are unsure of how to begin the process. Dealing with the emotional aspects of a divorce can be hard enough, and the stress and worry about your future and your children’s future can feel overwhelming. But the steps you take at the beginning of this process can go a long way in protecting that future, especially the financial side of it. The following are some steps you can take to begin the divorce process while protecting yourself financially. For more details, contact a Kane County divorce lawyer.

Get Legal Advice

The first thing you should do before moving forward is speak with a qualified divorce attorney. Even if you think your divorce is going to be friendly because you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to child custody and family finances, it is important to understand that once that divorce petition is filed, the process can quickly become a contentious one. Having an attorney dedicated to your best interests will ensure you are protected should this occur.

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When Should I File My Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on September 08,2022 in Illinois Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyerIn most cases of divorce, the erosion of the marriage takes place over a period of time. It is not uncommon for one or both spouses to change their minds many times before making a final decision about whether they truly want to end the marriage. Once that decision is made, however, the question then becomes when they should file their dissolution of marriage petition with the court. In some cases, the petition can and should be filed right away, but in other situations, it may be better for financial reasons to hold off for a bit before legally initiating your intention to end your marriage.

Equitable Distribution

When a couple is married, they amass what is referred to as their marital estate. This includes any real estate they own, financial assets, household property, and vehicles. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that in a divorce, the court’s goal is to divide that marital estate in a fair and “equitable” manner. Keep in mind that equitable does not necessarily mean equal or 50/50 like in community property states. An exception to this division of assets is if the couple had a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place that stipulates what each spouse will end up with in a divorce.

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Legal Options When Your Ex Ignores the Divorce Decree

 Posted on September 06,2022 in Illinois Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyerNational statistics show that approximately 50 percent of all married couples divorce. The percentage for subsequent marriages is even higher – 60 percent of all second marriages end up in a divorce court and a whopping 73 percent of all third marriages also end in divorce. Illinois is ranked at number 44 when it comes to the national divorce rate with a rate of just over 6 percent; however, while that number may seem low, remember the population of the state is approximately 13 million people.  

Every divorce case is different – the process and resolution with some cases are quick, while the process and resolution with others drag on for months or even years. The constant in all Illinois divorces is that the court will issue a divorce decree that declares the marriage is legally over and stipulates the final decisions on child custody, child support, division of assets, alimony, and any other issues. And although this decree is a legal order from the court, some spouses fail to adhere to it. What legal options do you have if your ex-spouse is not obeying your divorce decree?

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Tips for Dads During Divorce

 Posted on August 23,2022 in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles fathers rights lawyerDealing with a divorce is difficult for an entire family. However, unique issues can arise for non-custodial fathers after a separation or divorce. No longer living with your children is difficult, and it can be devastating for a parent. Suppose you are a father who is no longer the primary custodial guardian in your child's life. In that case, it is a good idea to prepare for this transition in a few ways. Here are four critical tips for dads during a divorce. 

Stay on Top of Your Parenting Plan 

When you are no longer the custodial guardian of your children, it is easy to overlook the day-to-day activities and responsibilities of being a parent. It is important to stay organized with your parental responsibilities. During the divorce, both parents are included in creating custody, visitation time, and responsibility plans for life after the separation. Typically, each parent is allocated specific responsibilities and visitation with the children. You must stay on top of these responsibilities to maintain an important role in their lives. 

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