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Recent Blog Posts

What is an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on November 18, 2022 in Divorce

Chicago divorce attorneyGetting a divorce can be one of the saddest, most contentious, and bitter processes that a person can ever experience. At least, that is the usual assumption when it comes to getting divorced. It is undoubtedly true that many divorces involve lots of anger and unpleasantness, particularly when children are involved. However, what if there was a way to get divorced that was not quite so terrible? 

There is a divorce process that can end things in an amicable way that will leave both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse feeling heard and respected once the divorce is finalized. This process is referred to as an uncontested divorce. If you are seeking a divorce and believe that you and your partner can handle things amicably and cooperate effectively, an uncontested divorce may be a good option for you. Consider consulting with an experienced divorce attorney with familiarity with uncontested divorces to get the process started. 

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When Divorce Mediation May Not Work

 Posted on October 26, 2022 in Divorce

Chicago divorce attorneyFor many spouses, divorce mediation or other methods of cooperative divorce may be preferable to a prolonged courtroom battle. Divorcing spouses who use mediation may be able to save substantial time, money, and stress. However, alternative dispute resolution tactics may not be effective - or even worth trying - for every set of spouses. The process requires cooperation and a certain level of emotional maturity to succeed. Both spouses must be willing to make compromises with one another. Both spouses must be able to commit to participating in mediation or negotiation efforts.

While you and your spouse need not be amicable for divorce mediation to be an effective strategy, having a high level of conflict or certain types of intense conflict may mean that uncontested divorce is not likely to be a viable option for you. There are some signs that may lead your attorney to steer you toward the courthouse and away from a cooperative divorce. You also have the option of attempting to cooperate and then resorting to litigation should it fail. 

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What to Do When Your Spouse Threatens to Seek Sole Custody

 Posted on October 06, 2022 in Child Custody / Parental Responsibilities

Chicago child custody lawyerFor most parents, their greatest concern in a divorce is not who keeps the living room furniture, but rather, how much time they will get to continue spending with their children. Seeing the other parent obtain sole child custody is often a parent’s worst fear. If your spouse is threatening to pursue sole custody, or to keep the children from seeing you, you should know that this result is highly unlikely unless there is genuine evidence that you are harmful to the children. If no such evidence exists, courts in Illinois immensely favor a parenting time arrangement that allows both parents time with their children.

In most cases, you need not fear that you will never see your children again, regardless of what your spouse says. It is, however, important to promptly speak to an attorney, who can respond to the threat on your behalf and continue working to protect the precious time you share with your children. 

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Important Considerations Before Planning to Relocate With Children

 Posted on September 30, 2022 in Child Custody / Parental Responsibilities

skokie child custody lawyerMany recently divorced parents find it helpful to leave the area where they resided during the marriage to seek a new beginning elsewhere. Relocating can have a wonderful effect on the mental health of a newly divorced parent, particularly if the divorce was very challenging or the marriage itself was harmful. However, in Illinois, a parent cannot simply pack their children's belongings and relocate to a faraway area without first obtaining permission from the court. Parental relocations are not automatically granted if the other parent objects. If your former spouse resists the relocation and has been allocated any parenting time, the court is likely to conduct a thorough analysis before reaching a decision. As is true for all family law cases pertaining to children, this issue must be decided in favor of what is in the child’s best interests. It is important to consult an attorney before requesting permission to relocate with children. 

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Divorce or Legal Separation - Which is Right For You?

 Posted on September 19, 2022 in Divorce

cook county divorce lawyerIn Illinois, spouses have the option of legally separating rather than divorcing. Legal separations is an option for spouses who feel that they no longer want to live together as a married couple and would like legal recognition of their separation, but also do not want to divorce. Divorce and legal separation have some commonalities, but a few major differences. After a legal separation, you remain legally married, but may largely live as if you are divorced. As in divorce, you and your spouse will be able to formally divide marital property and create a parenting plan if you have children in common. There are a number of factors you and your spouse should consider before choosing between a divorce and a legal separation. If you are unsure which is best for you, an attorney may be able to help you understand how each may affect you so that you can make a well-informed decision. 

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What Does the Divorce Mediation Process Look Like? 

 Posted on August 26, 2022 in Divorce

cook county divorce lawyerMost people are familiar with the term “mediation” but may not know exactly what working with a mediator looks like. In an Illinois divorce case, understanding the mediation process is essential for setting realistic expectations and pursuing successful negotiations over your divorce settlement. If you are considering divorce and want to know more about whether a mediator could help you, read on to learn more about what working with a mediator is like. 

What Does a Divorce Mediator Do? 

Before a divorce can be finalized, spouses must reach an agreement about property and debt division, spousal support, and, if there are minor children involved, child support and child custody. Naturally, this can be difficult, especially if spouses have a hostile relationship. The purpose of mediation is to allow couples to put aside their personal differences and negotiate their divorce decree fairly. 

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What Can I Expect From a Divorce if My Spouse is Physically Abusive? 

 Posted on August 12, 2022 in Uncategorized

rolling meadows divorce lawyerIllinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that spouses cannot give specific reasons for getting divorced other than “irreconcilable differences.” Even ugly or distasteful behaviors such as infidelity and domestic violence will not give one spouse preferential treatment during divorce proceedings. That being said, judges are very sensitive to the physical and emotional danger that domestic violence can cause to spouses and children, and there are protections available to victims of domestic violence. If you are thinking about getting divorced from an abusive spouse, here are some ways you might expect your divorce to be different. 

Getting an Order of Protection

When you are ready to file for divorce, it may be wise to get an order of protection. These are legally binding court orders that require an abuser to stay away from a victim and his or her children, including their schools and workplaces. You can get an Emergency Order of Protection ex parte, meaning your spouse does not have to be present during the initial hearing. However, to extend the order of protection, you will both need to appear before a judge to present your evidence. Your attorney can help you gather evidence and file for an order of protection. 

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Paternity Disputes in Cook County

 Posted on July 25, 2022 in Paternity

cook county paternity lawyerThe best interests of the child is the backbone of not only the family law system but, ethically, society as a whole. Notwithstanding abuse or neglect, parents generally have certain rights, including the right to parenting time.  However, the situation becomes much more complicated when paternity of a child is unknown. The complexities and nuances of sensitive issues like paternity can be painful, humiliating, and frustrating to both the mother and the father, and most especially, the child.  A  family law attorney can advocate for parentage rights.

Establishing Paternity

Three ways in which paternity is established include the following:

  • A Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form must be signed by both parents and filed and witnessed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

  • The Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services issues an Administrative Paternity Order.

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Child Support and College Education Expenses in Chicago

 Posted on July 08, 2022 in Child Support

chicago child support lawyerNegotiating education expenses for a child in a divorce decree can be contentious, especially if the divorce is acrimonious. In Illinois, child support usually ceases once a child is 18 years old and graduates from high school. After child support obligations cease, some divorced parents may still need to pay higher education expenses. Effective January 1, 2016, Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act affirms that divorced parents may be required to contribute to their non-minor child’s post-high-school education and living expenses. 

Contingent to the divorce decree, the college contributions that each parent and child are obliged to make can be modified. A divorce attorney understands the complexities of non-minor support and can help modify or enforce the divorce decree.

Stipulations of the Illinois Law 

Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act includes certain stipulations. Since the financial circumstances of each parent and student may change, the divorce decree can be amended at the court's discretion. A parent may no longer be able to pay tuition and living expenses because of unemployment, illness, or disability. Alternatively, a parent may purposely neglect these obligations.

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Same-Sex Marital Rights and Divorce in Cook County 

 Posted on June 15, 2022 in Divorce

chicago divorce lawyerThe LGBTQ+ community has historically struggled to attain equality. Not so long ago, a spouse of a same-sex couple did not even have the right to visit an ill or dying partner in the hospital.  Unless there was a written agreement, the homemaker or domestic partner of a same-sex couple was not eligible to inherit the estate of a deceased breadwinner.  Instead, the estate would be liquidated and divided among blood relatives, even if the relatives were estranged. Effective June 1, 2014, Illinois recognized same-sex marriage. Same-sex spouses can get married and, if the marriage does not work out, they can get divorced

Divorce involving homosexual couples is typically the same as divorce involving heterosexual couples. However, there may be additional complications regarding child custody and other matters. 

Rights of Same-Sex Couples in Illinois 

The rights that same-sex married couples now retain include but are not limited to the following. 

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