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Posted on in Divorce

custody arrangement, child custody, joint custody, sole custody, temporary custody, Illinois family lawOften, the most difficult aspect of a divorce is determining who will care for the children and who will make decisions regarding their welfare. Illinois courts will use a “best interests of the child” standard when awarding custody. In applying that standard courts have flexibility to settle on many different types of custody arrangements.

Types of Custody in Illinois According to Illinois law, there are several different types of custody arrangements available to divorcing couples. Temporary Custody - A limited custody pending a full custody hearing. Temporary custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. Filing for temporary custom is often the first step to formalizing custody. Sole Custody - When a single parent has both legal custody (e.g., the right to make long-term decisions for the child) and physical custody (e.g., the right to have the child live with the single parent). Under sole custody, the child has only one primary residence, and the parent with sole custody makes decisions for the child, including decisions regarding education, discipline, religion, or other matters of significance. Joint Legal Custody - A situation in which both parents share responsibilities for the care and control of the child, but the child lives with just one of the parents (e.g., has only one primary residence). Under joint legal custody, the both parents work together to make significant decisions for the child. Joint Physical Custody - Custody in which child spends significant time living with both parents (e.g., where the child has two residences). In a joint physical custody arrangement, the child does not need to spend an equal amount of time with each parent. Additionally, one parent may have sole legal custody, even though both parents share physical custody. Split Custody - Includes a situation in which there are two children and each parent is granted physical custody over one child. Joint Custody Agreements Parents may make their own custody agreements that include any combination of physical and legal custody. However, courts will examine such agreements in light of the best interests of the child. If parents have a history of fighting over matters of child rearing--such as decisions regarding the child’s education, religion, socialization, or the like--courts will be less likely to award joint legal custody. Additionally, Illinois courts may examine other factors when considering joint custody arrangements, such as:
  • Willingness of the parents to share custody;
  • Preferences of the child;
  • Ability of each parent to provide a stable school and social life for the child;
  • Proximity of each parent’s residence to each other and to the child’s school;
  • Employment considerations, such as what hours a parent works and how often they must travel; and
  • Financial means of each parent.
In addition to the above factors, the court will also seek to ensure that each parent is sincere in their desires for custody--that custody arrangements are not a bargaining chip for other matters relating to the divorce. Contact an Illinois Custody Lawyer If you are considering divorce and have questions about how an Illinois court will determine the custody of your children, it is vital that you contact a skilled attorney. The lawyers at Goostree Law Group are dedicated to helping individuals throughout suburban Chicago involved in custody disputes understand their rights. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
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Posted on in Divorce

property division, divorce, cohabitation, lawyer, attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, Chicago divorceThe definition of marital separation is changing. Traditionally, it involved the movement of one or both spouses out of the marital home into smaller houses, or possibly an apartment across town. As more couples deal with upside-down mortgages and a buyer's housing market, the apartment across town becomes the apartment in the basement.

 Many married individuals cannot afford the luxury of a true separation and family law judges are recognizing these financial complexities when making determinations about separation requirements. Ending a marriage often involves the disposition of the marital home. Whether you decide to sell the home and split the proceeds during asset division, or to refinance and “buy out” your spouse, the family home is often the most valuable asset for division in a divorce proceeding. The bursting of the real estate bubble left many married couples owing more than their houses are worth, and selling would leave the family in financial ruins. Those who do choose to sell must wait while their houses sit on the market for months or even years with no response. The only viable alternative is to separate under the same roof in hopes of a real estate turn-around. For some couples, the decision to stay under the same roof is centered around the well-being of the children. Maintaining a sense of stability and routine is just as important as maintaining a roof over their heads. Many parents decide that co-parenting is the best course of action for the children, even in the midst of a painful separation. This can prove beneficial because many judges prefer for parents to make decisions about their children, without necessary intrusion from the court.  How Cohabitation Affects Separation Requirements

Illinois law requires at least a six month separation period before a couple will be granted. divorce. Some states are strict in their definition of separation, mandating that the parties live in completely separate dwellings. In some jurisdictions, one night of cohabitation is enough to break the continuity of separation. Other states are much more liberal, allowing for co-habitation, as long as you maintain different bedrooms and refrain from sexual intercourse throughout the separation. Many jurisdictions fall in the middle of the spectrum, using a totality of the circumstances model to determine whether a true separation has occurred.

 In the past, some Illinois courts have found parties to have met the separation requirement even while living under the same roof. With the widespread phenomena of financial hardship, recent trends suggest that more family court judges are willing to grant divorces for separations occurring under one roof. From a public policy standpoint, separation is meant as a cooling off period, to let feelings settle and perhaps bring about reconciliation. The argument for divorce can be strengthened when reconciliation does not occur among parties under the same roof.  Contact an Illinois Divorce Lawyer An experienced Illinois divorce attorney can advise you about the separation requirements in your case and help you determine whether your housing decisions will impede the process of your divorce. Contact Goostree Law Group, P.C. for a consultation today.
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Posted on in Family Law

grounds for divorce, reason for divorce Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County Divorce Attorney, Illinois divorce, lawyer, attorney, Kane County lawyer, Kane County divorce attorneyThere are times when a couple simply can’t work out their differences during a marriage. Most couples don’t take the idea of divorce lightly. For anyone seeking a divorce, thoughts about the time and money spent on the marriage are exacerbated by the time and money that will be spent in getting the divorce.

In Illinois, sometimes a couple does not give a reason for their desire to seek a divorce, and in those instances, the couple is said to have “irreconcilable differences.” When divorcing couples do give a reason for the divorce, the reason is considered the “grounds” for the divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

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Posted on in Divorce

TalkNo one wants to be the bearer of bad news, such as wanting a divorce.  What people don’t often think about is that it is not only the news that can upset people but also how they are told.  In some cases the topic of divorce can be a relief to the other partner, as they are unhappy with the marriage as well.  Since divorce is a life-changing moment for one of the biggest relationships of your life, spend time preparing for the talk.  It can set the tone for how the divorce will be finalized.  Serving them with divorce papers without a warning can lead to a messy split. Part of the preparation for having the talk is thinking about how your spouse will react.  Consider if your spouse will be angry or defensive or sad about the news.  There is a chance that they will plead with you to stay together for any number of reasons.  Use all their possible reactions to stay firm with your decision to bring your marriage to an end. Then consider the time and the place for the conversation.  It will often take time to convince your spouse that the marriage is coming to an end.  Remember that you have gone through the emotions of preparing for divorce, but your spouse has not.  That is also why the setting should be calm in order to soothe the difficult conversation.  Also keep in mind that if your spouse has a history of violence or abuse of any kind to consider your safety.  It might be a better idea to have this conversation in front of a marriage therapist or in a crowded area. There are a lot of other things to consider about a divorce before you make your intentions known to your spouse.  Before making the split a reality for them, talk to a legal professional who can let you know how the process will play out.  Contact an experienced family law attorney in Kane County today.

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Posted on in Divorce
militaryThe Pentagon has recorded the divorce rate for men and women in the military. They have noticed a decrease to almost seven percent of military women, which is lower than the last two year’s record highs.  In 2012, the rate was almost eight percent. The divorce rate for men in the military has always been low, at around 3 percent for the last three years. The reported decline might be accredited to a decline in length that troops are deployed. During the years when the United States was at war with Iraq and Afghanistan, the families of military personnel paid the price in divorces. In a study by the RAND Corporation in collaboration with the Department of Defense showed that the length of deployment caused divorce.  They used data from 462,444 enlisted servicemen and women.  These people were all married between March of 1999 and June of 2008. The researchers found that the length of the deployment had a measurable effect on the likelihood of divorce.  Each additional month serving their country meant that they were more likely to divorce when they returned home.  This is true in spite of where the couples were married or where the deployment occurred. The one factor that lessened the rate of divorce was whether the couple was married before or after the September 11th attacks. For those married before the tragedy, they were more likely to divorce compared to those who were married after it.  The researchers of the RAND report suppose that those who married after that unfortunate event were more prepared to miss their loved one. There are many services in place that can assist families who have a loved one in the military. An example is the Marine Corps Family Team Building. Navy Lieutenant Commander Nate Christensen who is a spokesperson for the Department of Defense said that “the health and well-being of service members and their families is a priority. Strong relationships are important to our readiness.” Being without your spouse can be difficult on your marriage.  If those programs cannot assist you bridge that gap in your marriage, then it might be time to turn to a legal professional.  Contact a skilled family law attorney in Saint Charles today.
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