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Recent Blog Posts

Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection

 Posted on June 08, 2022 in Domestic Violence

cook county protection order lawyerIn the United States, one in three women and one in seven men are victims of domestic violence. Due to fear, embarrassment, or shame, domestic violence incidents are underreported, so the actual statistics are probably higher. The abused, of course, have nothing to be ashamed of as they hold no culpability for the perpetrator's behavior. 

Domestic violence does not discriminate and affects all races, creeds, sexual orientations, and educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. A domestic violence attorney can help victims obtain orders of protection to help safeguard them from abusers.

Domestic violence devastates families and is detrimental to society. It comprises physical violence and many other forms of abuse.

Seven Types of Domestic Violence

  1. Physical Abuse – Offenders physically assault victims by any means, such as slapping, punching, shoving, strangling, dragging, pulling by the hair, kicking, stabbing, shooting, suffocating, or strangling.           

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Parental Relocation Disputes

 Posted on May 19, 2022 in Child Custody / Parental Responsibilities

shutterstock_76317310.jpg Divorce and child custody arrangements can be traumatic for a child, but uprooting a child from one city or state to another can elicit another host of traumatizing challenges. Motives such as employment advancement or a better educational opportunity might be a compelling reason for parental relocation. Still, the child's best interest should remain at the forefront of any life-changing decision. According to Illinois law, a parent with 50 percent or more parenting time is permitted to relocate the child without permission from the other parent or the court, so long as the relocation does not exceed a specific radius. 

When a move exceeds a certain radius, it is considered a relocation, necessitating permission from the other parent. If a parental relocation is in dispute, the parent can petition the court. 

Parental Relocation Law 

Effective January 1, 2022, Section 750 ILCS 603.5 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was amended with Section (a-5). This amendment allows the child's relocation to be temporary until a final judgment is made as long as it serves the child's best interests. The parental responsibilities of the original custody decree, including parenting time and decision-making, remain unchanged throughout the temporary basis of the relocation. This modification benefits the relocating parent by eliminating the waiting period for the court's final decision. Furthermore, Section (a-5) enables the family to temporarily assess how the relocation will affect the child and disputing parent.  

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Ten Advantages of Legal Separation

 Posted on May 06, 2022 in Uncategorized

shutterstock_605213087-2.jpg Legal separation is an alternative to divorce, offering the disputing spouses space, security, and time to evaluate their marriage. Although not a surefire precursor to divorce, like divorce, legal separation also requires a court order. To seek a legal separation, married spouses must live apart and address parental responsibilities, child support, and spousal support. Divorce can be emotionally strenuous and financially draining. Legal separation might be a viable solution as it can prepare families for the finalization of divorce or give them a chance of reconciliation.

Similarities and Differences between Legal Separation and Divorce

In a legal separation, all assets and debts accumulated after the separation are non-marital, but benefits like health insurance are still shared. Legally separated spouses are granted the liberty to assess their marital strife peacefully. Legal separation can be temporary as there is always a possibility of a reunion. Separated spouses are still technically married.

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Child Support Basics for Parents in Illinois

 Posted on April 26, 2022 in Child Support

Chicago child support attorneyDivorced and unmarried parents still need to provide financial support to their children. In Illinois, this is accomplished through child support payments. Many parents are confused about their child support rights and responsibilities in Illinois. They do not know how much payments will be or who will receive payments. Parents also have questions about what to do when a parent is not paying child support. Whether you are unmarried, divorced, or intend to divorce soon, it is important to understand how child support is handled in Illinois.

Calculating the Amount of Support

Divorcing spouses are able to reach their own agreements about divorce issues like property division or child custody. However, child support is always decided by the court. The amount that a parent pays is based on a mathematical formula that takes both parents’ financial circumstances into account. The parent with less parenting time (previously called visitation) pays child support to the parent with greater parenting time. Courts can deviate from the child support formula in certain situations, including with one or both parents have an exceptionally high income.

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I Was Accused of Child Neglect. What Next?

 Posted on April 14, 2022 in Family Law

Chicago DCFS investigation lawyerAs a parent, grandparent, or other individual tasked with caring for children, an accusation of neglect or abuse can be shocking and offensive. If you have been accused of neglecting your child, you may be unsure of how to respond to the situation. You may be full of questions. Will I be investigated by the DCFS? Will I lose custody of my kids? Will I go to jail? This type of uncertainty is normal. The best thing to do in a situation like this is to work with a skilled criminal defense lawyer experienced in defending against accusations of child neglect and abuse.

DCFS Investigations in Chicago

In Illinois, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is the government entity that investigates allegations of child abuse or neglect. You may have learned about the accusations against you because a DCFS investigation has been launched against you. Many people in this situation feel like the DCFS automatically assumes accusations of child abuse or neglect are true, even if there is little evidence to support this presumption. Fortunately, parents and guardians have rights and will be given a chance to defend themselves.

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Do Wives Always Get Alimony After an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on March 27, 2022 in Divorce

Chicago alimony attorneyMany spouses are awarded alimony, or spousal maintenance, both during and after an Illinois divorce. Yet while alimony used to be nearly ubiquitous for women, who were generally the spouse responsible for raising children, Illinois law has changed to reflect the fact that women are often at least as active in the workforce as their partners. 

Among other modifications that modernized the law, there is now no guarantee that a wife will get either full custody or spousal maintenance after a divorce. However, if one spouse would be at a significant financial disadvantage after a marriage ends, a court may order alimony payments. Here are some factors that can influence whether spousal maintenance will be part of your divorce decree. 

Did One Spouse Make Significantly More Than the Other? 

If one spouse outearned the other throughout the marriage and the quality of life of the lesser-earning spouse would be significantly diminished after the divorce, a court may order temporary spousal maintenance even if the lesser-earning spouse is working. Unless the marriage lasted more than 20 years, spousal maintenance will likely only be temporary until the lesser-earning spouse has enough time to get on his or her feet after the divorce. 

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Is Temporary Alimony Awarded in Illinois Divorces?

 Posted on March 17, 2022 in Divorce

Chicago maintenance attorneyDivorce is known for being expensive and people often put off pursuing divorce for many years because they fear the financial consequences will be too great. Much of the time, the people postponing divorce are women who have given up careers to be homemakers and who, without the assistance of their husbands, worry they cannot pay for an attorney. 

While many of the partners who are reluctant to file for divorce might receive spousal maintenance and money from their marital property after the divorce is finalized, it is impossible to predict how long a divorce will take. Fortunately, there may be another option - temporary relief

Temporary Child Support and Alimony

Illinois law allows spouses to ask a court for a temporary order requiring the other spouse to pay child support and/or spousal maintenance. The spouse petitioning for financial support can file an affidavit stating that they need immediate help and why. This requires the petitioning party to give evidence of their financial status, using income records like bank accounts, W2s, and tax returns, and expense records like mortgage statements, medical expenses, or school tuition. 

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Three Situations When Divorce Mediation May Not Be Appropriate

 Posted on February 18, 2022 in Divorce

Illinois divorce mediation lawyersMediation can be one of the most valuable tools a divorcing couple has. When utilized wisely and efficiently, it can speed up the divorce process and make difficult areas less contentious. Spouses can benefit from mediation, but children perhaps benefit the most from the potential to reduce conflict between their parents during an otherwise difficult period. 

However, mediation is not appropriate for all divorce cases. Certain situations may make mediation unwise, unsafe, or impossible. If you are getting divorced in Illinois and are wondering whether mediation with a trained and experienced divorce mediator might be right for you, read on. 

Domestic Violence

Both parties must be committed to peaceably resolving their differences for mediation to be successful. When one spouse is abusing the other spouse, it damages whatever little trust might be left to negotiate with. It may also put the victimized spouse in the uncomfortable or dangerous position of being manipulated or further psychologically abused. Victims of domestic violence may feel unsafe or unable to speak their mind, express their concerns, or trust that their spouse is negotiating in good faith. 

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Five Different Kinds of Adoptions in Illinois

 Posted on February 10, 2022 in Adoption

Chicago adoption attorneyCouples and individuals considering adoption in Illinois are considering one of the most generous and loving acts a family or person could do. The adoption process is often long and complex and requires serious commitment and the help of experienced attorneys and other professionals to complete. For this reason, it is important to learn as much as possible about the different kinds of adoption in Illinois and which one may be right for you. 

Related Adoptions

A related adoption is an adoption between a child and another family member, including grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, or stepparents. Related adoptions often happen after a child’s parents have passed away or lost their parental rights. Related adoptions are often the most straightforward of all adoptions because a relationship already exists between the child and the prospective parent. 

Standby Adoptions

Standby adoptions are somewhat similar to related adoptions because a child’s parent must designate a person to be a child’s new guardian if a certain event, like a parent’s death or permanent incapacitation, takes place. Standby adoptions are generally used when a parent is terminally ill and the adoption is finalized when the parent has passed away. 

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Can a Father Get Primary Custody in Illinois?

 Posted on January 31, 2022 in Child Custody / Parental Responsibilities

rolling meadows fathers rights attorneyMany parents experience conflict in their divorce and one of the most contentious areas is often issues related to the children. Parents will often try to compete with each other to be the best parent and sometimes use the children as weapons in a sort of proxy war to “get back” at each other for the hurt they experienced in their marriage. 

For other parents, however, there are legitimate concerns about the parental fitness of their former spouse and concerns about the wellbeing of the child. If you are interested in obtaining the majority of parenting time with your child or being allocated full parental responsibilities, read on.

Illinois No Longer Uses the Concept of “Custody”

Even if a child in Illinois spends all their time with one parent, that parent does not have “full custody” of the child because Illinois no longer uses the term “custody” at all. To allocate the process of childrearing more equitably between parents, Illinois law now uses the terms parenting time and parental responsibilities instead. “Parenting time” describes when a child will be with a specific parent, and “parental responsibilities” describes important decision-making responsibilities on behalf of the child for major issues. 

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