Protecting Private Information in a Divorce RecordIllinois media outlets have taken interest in the divorce case of former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. because the case records include details about his possible improprieties. The coverage is a reminder that divorce records are public information, unless a court specifies otherwise. Reporters use their access rights to investigate public figures, but anyone can request to see the record of any divorce case. Spouses may use personal information as evidence to help determine divorce issues, such as division of property and allocation of parental responsibility. Submitting the evidence can make sensitive information part of the public record, including:

  • Business valuations and trade secrets;
  • Accounts of past infidelity;
  • Accusations of criminal offenses that did not result in official charges; and
  • Details about someone’s private life.

There are actions you can take during your divorce that can protect sensitive information in your case from becoming public.

Sealing Records

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Divorced Parents' Rights When Children Travel InternationallyAs a divorced parent, you want to know that your children are safe and reachable by you, even if you are not awarded primary allocation of parental responsibilities. If your children travel internationally, it can put both their safety and accessibility at risk:

  • The country your children are visiting may be dangerous; or
  • The other parent may use the opportunity to live in the country with your children.

Many divorced parents want to have a say in important parenting decisions, such as allowing their children to travel abroad. Depending on your allocation of parental responsibilities, you may not be able to prevent your children from traveling internationally. You should understand your rights as a parent before your children leave the country.

Parenting Plan

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How Divorce Affects Children With AutismMany parents worry about how their divorce will affect their children. For children with autism, their parents’ divorce can be particularly confusing and disruptive. Depending on the severity of the autism, a child may have difficulty communicating or understanding how others feel. Children with autism thrive on familiarity and consistency. If you have a child with autism, you need to be sensitive to the unique affect your divorce may have on him or her.

Explaining the Divorce

Your child’s lack of communication skills can make it difficult to explain a topic as complex and emotional as divorce. You may have experience communicating with your child, but it can be hard to predict how your child will react. When having the conversation:

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Reasons to Sell or Keep Your House During a DivorceHouse ownership can be difficult to negotiate during a divorce because it is one of the most valuable properties in a marriage. In Illinois, marital property is equitably divided during a divorce, which means it is split fairly but not always evenly. In many cases, one spouse keeps the house, while the other spouse receives compensation through money or other assets. Spouses can also choose to sell the house and divide the proceeds. There are advantages and disadvantages to selling a marital house.

Reasons to Sell the House

  • When you sell the house, you have an actual monetary value for it instead of an estimated value. Knowing the actual value can help in negotiating an equitable division.
  • If you cannot agree on ownership of the house, selling it may be the only way you can reach an agreement. When negotiations are at an impasse, the court will decide how to divide the value of the house and may order you to sell it anyway.
  • While you shared the expenses when married, owning the house individually shifts the mortgage, utility, maintenance and property tax costs to you. Your ability to afford the house may depend on the spousal support payments you receive.
  • If you want to keep the house, you may need to give up several other marital assets. Selling the house allows you to share its value, instead of having to compensate your spouse with other assets.
  • Depending on the volatility of your marriage, you may want to leave the house because of negative memories you have of it.

Reasons to Keep the House

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Planning for Standby Adoption After DeathThe most common adoption cases typically involve an adult becoming the legal parent of a child after the biological parents consent to giving up their parental rights. Illinois is one of the few states to include standby adoption as a legal option. Standby adoption allows parents to decide who the adoptive parents of their children will be in case of their deaths. The rights and responsibilities of parents in a standby adoption are the same as those in other forms of adoption in Illinois, but the process must be planned in advance.

How It Works

Standby adoption may be established as part of an estate plan or when a parent has a terminal illness. The parents must fill out a consent form that:

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174


 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187


Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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