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Recent Blog Posts

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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When Can a Child Choose Which Parent She Wants to Live With in Illinois?

 Posted on January 19, 2022 in Divorce

cook county child custody lawyerDivorce is hard on kids in Illinois. They have little to no control over the situation, very little understanding of why it is happening, and often are left to deal with intense emotional fallout from parents who cannot cooperate. Parents who are unable to agree on issues like parenting time and parental responsibilities can expose their children to protracted arguments in which the children feel pressured to take a side. While children are young and impressionable, parents may feel they have successfully “won” their child’s affection and managed to keep them from the other parent. 

But, eventually, children grow up and begin to see the world more clearly. Add to that a hefty dose of teenage hormones, and parents may find they suddenly have a child who prefers their other parent. It can be very difficult to see your child express a preference to live with their other parent, but Illinois courts do take the preferences of the children into account when making decisions about where the child will spend their time. To learn more about when a child can choose the parent they want to live with, read on. 

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Three People Who May Be Involved in an Illinois DCFS Investigation

 Posted on December 23, 2021 in Family Law

cook county family law attorneyGetting the news that you are being investigated by the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) may be one of the most frightening and confusing moments of your life. You may wonder who is responsible for making the report that triggered the investigation and feel angry that your parenting abilities are being called into question. In our last post, we discussed what the DCFS investigation process looks like and whether DCFS has the ability to take a child out of their parent’s home. In this post, we will look at some of the people who are frequently involved in DCFS investigations. Each DCFS case is unique, so if you have any questions, be sure to talk to a qualified Illinois family law attorney. 

Child Protection or Welfare Specialists 

A Child Protection Specialist is a DCFS investigator responsible for doing the footwork of determining whether allegations of child abuse or neglect are true. They can determine whether a crime has been committed and whether a child is, or will soon be, in immediate danger. They can perform scheduled or unscheduled home visits, and can even remove the child from the home if they believe it is necessary. DCFS investigators can also create safety plans with parents to make arrangements for the child to stay with someone else if the child’s home situation deteriorates. 

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Will I Lose Custody of My Children if DCFS Is Investigating Me?

 Posted on December 08, 2021 in Child Custody / Parental Responsibilities

chicago dcfs investigation lawyerParents who have been contacted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) may feel an entire range of emotions - fear, anger, confusion, uncertainty. All of these reactions are normal. The Illinois DCFS is an agency with significant decision-making power when it comes to the welfare of children in the state, and parents need to take investigations seriously. 

However, it is important to remember that an investigation does not automatically signal the termination of parental rights or the removal of children from their home. If you just found out you are the subject of a DCFS investigation and you want to know more, read on. With the help of an experienced Illinois parental rights attorney, you may be able to successfully fight allegations and protect your family. 

Why Am I Being Investigated? 

DCFS investigations generally begin after somebody calls the agency to report abuse or neglect. There are state hotlines people can call, and the person reporting the abuse is often a teacher, healthcare provider, or neighbor. Unfortunately, irresponsible actors can also level false allegations of abuse or neglect. Until you know more about the allegation, it is important to remain calm and not jump to conclusions about who may have reported you. 

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What Can Invalidate a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement in Illinois? 

 Posted on November 16, 2021 in Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Skokie prenuptial agreement laywer Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be helpful financial instruments when seeking to protect individual assets and debts in the event of a divorce. However, for these agreements to do either spouse any good, they must be written in a way that ensures they are enforceable. 

Understanding what might make a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement invalid is an important part of constructing a sound legal instrument that protects both spouses from dispute and heartache down the road. In an age where online legal resources are widely available, consulting a qualified Illinois prenuptial agreement attorney is well worth the time and effort to prevent foreseeable problems. 

Nullified Premarital Agreements

There are several factors that could cause an Illinois court to nullify a prenuptial agreement (and generally speaking, issues that invalidate a prenuptial agreement can also invalidate a postnuptial agreement). These include, but are not limited to: 

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What Should an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Include?

 Posted on November 10, 2021 in Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

chicago prenup lawyerIn a previous post, we discussed common misconceptions about prenups. Now that you know what a prenup is not, you may want to know what a prenup is. How far should a prenup go? Does a prenup last forever? Having an understanding of the basics of prenuptial agreements can help you prepare to negotiate a fair agreement that places your marriage on a firm footing. Everybody’s situation is unique, so be sure to ask your specific questions to a qualified Illinois prenuptial agreement attorney. 

What Can I Include in a Prenuptial Agreement? 

  • Premarital debts and assets - The most common use of a prenuptial agreement is to protect assets that were owned by one spouse before getting married. It can also protect a spouse who does not have debt from having to pay it off after divorce. Spouses may continue the financial provisions of a prenup indefinitely, or agree to a gradual transfer of wealth after a certain number of years of marriage. 

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How Can I Include the Right of First Refusal in My Parenting Agreement?

 Posted on October 29, 2021 in Child Custody / Parental Responsibilities

Chicago divorce lawyerParents getting divorced in Illinois have many different issues to handle as they create a parenting plan for their children. Determining how to allocate important decision-making responsibilities, creating a plan for parenting time, and agreeing about how the children will be moved back and forth are all questions that must be dealt with. 

In addition to these major well-known issues, there is an additional provision called the “right of first refusal” that parents must address in their parenting plan. As with other issues related to the children, parents who work together can create a right of first refusal provision that allows them the flexibility they need. 

Understanding the Right of First Refusal 

Many changes have happened in Illinois family law in recent decades, and the right of first refusal is one such change. These changes reflect a shifting cultural attitude, supported by substantial research, that children are better off when both parents play as large of a role in their children’s lives as possible following a divorce.

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