call us630-584-4800

Free Consultations

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in family lawyer

Posted on in Family Law

Same Sex Marriage in Illinois, lawyer, attorney, marriage, Illinois, Chicago, family lawIf you are a same-sex couple wishing to get married in Illinois, you may not have to wait until this summer, as was reported in the news late last year. While the historic same-sex marriage law does not go into effect until the first day of June 2014, Illinois counties are opening their courthouse doors one-by-one and letting gay couples come inside to complete marriage licenses, although recent rulings have led to dissent within the state.

 Brief History On November 20, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed Public Act 098-0597, legalizing same-sex marriage and making Illinois the 16th state in the Union to recognize the equal rights of gay couples. The bill passed in the state Senate in February 2013 and narrowly passed in the House on November 5th, whereafter it was quickly approved by the Senate and signed by the Governor. However, the law does not officially go into effect until June 1, 2014. Despite the relatively quick work by lawmakers to get a controversial bill passed and enacted, some citizens of Illinois have continued to challenge the government’s position and have sued for the right to marry sooner. Last month, on February 21, 2014, their persistence paid off when United States District Court Judge Sharon Coleman ruled that a denial of marriage to a same-sex couple in Cook county was a violation of the couple’s constitutional rights.  Controversy Continues Presently, the office of the Illinois Attorney General and some local State Attorneys cannot agree on how to respond to the recent Federal Ruling. Attorney General Lisa Madigan published a letter after the Cook county ruling, stating that other counties should follow and issue marriage licenses now, even before the law goes into effect. If a couple is denied a license, she promised that her office would intervene in a lawsuit filed by the couple against the county. One State Attorney that disagrees is Lake County’s Mike Nerheim, who stated that Lake County would be issuing no marriage licenses until June. He warns that any invalid marriage may cause future divorce and probate problems.  Contact Legal Help Today If your county will not issue you a marriage license because you are gay, and you are just insistent on a spring wedding, then you may want to sue the county. Another option, though not very convenient, may be to get married in Cook County or in another county that is honoring same-sex marriage at this time. If you are facing legal issues related to same-sex marriage or civil unions, the family law attorneys at Goostree Law Group can assist. Our experienced staff can assist you with pre-marital agreements, adoptions, and all aspects of dissolution of marriage.
Last modified on

Posted on in Divorce

best interest of my child, family law, divorce, children of divorce, family lawyer, IllinoisThe 1990s sitcom “Married With Children” popularly spoofed how some parents act once they have dropped their dreams and started raising children. The caricatures in the Bundy cast resonated and the show lasted over 10 years, longer than many modern marriages.

Raising children is one of the most rewarding yet demanding parts of many marriages. The stresses of parenthood are often at the root of conflicts between spouses. At times, primary caretakers may feel robbed of their opportunity for a career or of the opportunity for at least one happy hour with friends again. Alternatively, a primary breadwinner may feel nagged or burdened by an unfulfilling job under the pressure to provide more and more security for a growing family. Both parents may feel guilty spending any time or money on something that does not involve the kids or other spouse. When these problems grow to seemingly unmanageable proportions, you may start to want out. At the same time, dissolving a marriage is proportionately harder when you have children. You do not want to hurt your kids, and you may dread the thought of splitting custody. Regardless of your specific situation, keep in mind that the underlying principle of all legal matters related to these issues is “the best interest of the child.”

 Who Gets To Decide What Is In The Best Interest Of My Child?

 The law in Illinois, in determining child custody after a split, involves a standard regarding the best interest of the child. But who gets to decide? Naturally you may not want the state telling you how to raise your own kids. Fortunately though, you and your spouse will have the first opportunity to come up with a plan.

Last modified on

Child Custody agreements for any family can become a convoluted, strenuous battle that can take several years to finally be resolved. A prime example of the stress that encompasses child custody disputes is the case Redmond v. Redmond, which involves a local Illinois woman who became engaged in a child custody battle with her child’s father, a citizen of Ireland.

 international child custody dispute IMAGEThe Battle Overseas

The couple in this case, Mary and Derek, met each other in Ireland. Although they were never married, they lived together in Ireland for 11 years. Their son, however, was born in Illinois, but the three of them returned to Ireland 11 days after the birth.

Last modified on

Posted on in Divorce

When divorcing, there are several factors that come into play. One of the more complicated processes of divorce—an aspect that has long-reaching effects well beyond divorce proceedings—is the distribution of property. Generally, anything acquired during the marriage, regardless of which partner’s name the purchase was in, is considered marital property and is liable to be split evenly. Yet states all have their own rules when it comes to property division after divorce, and, according to the Huffington Post, this matters. Most states, Illinois included, “use a set of rules called equitable distribution to divide a couple’s assets.” While this places “considerable power in the judge,” a fallible human being who happens to be presiding over that particular divorce, this is what most people consider the fairest way to divide marital property.   Reflection

According to Divorce Mag, “the premise underlying the Equitable Distribution Law is that marriage is, among other things, an ‘economic partnership’ to which both parties contribute as spouse, parent, wage earner, and/or homemaker.” Equitable distribution laws allow for one spouse who may not have been the primary earner to have some financial recourse following the divorce. It’s important to bear in mind that not everything a couple owns is necessarily considered marital property. Marital property, according to Divorce Mag, “is defined as all property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage from the date of the marriage through the commencement of a matrimonial action or the execution of a separation agreement.” This means, of course, that if you’re planning on buying a new car and you’re planning on getting divorced, it could save you money in the long run to wait to buy that car until the divorce proceedings have been initiated. Otherwise, your soon-to-be-ex spouse will be entitled to half of that car. Property that is always separate includes that which either spouse owned before the marriage, personal injury compensation, and property defined as separate in an agreement such as a prenup. If you or someone you know is considering divorce and looking for advice about property distribution, the most important step is to seek the counsel of an experienced family law attorney. Don’t go through it alone. Contact the offices of Goostree Law Group today.  
Last modified on

Posted on in Divorce
In the throes of divorce, planning for the future may seem the farthest thing from your mind, especially when it involves planning for a future you would otherwise have spent together. And yet planning for your kid’s college in the midst of a divorce is an important thing to keep in mind. Just because you’re getting separated doesn’t eradicate the need for college savings and cooperation when it comes to your children, no matter how difficult that may be. Some couples decide to continue to save together for their kids’ college; others each decide to put what they can (or a pre-specified amount) aside and come together only to write the check later. “Saving for college after a divorce is a process of communication,” according to US News and World Report. “However, the communication is easier if a framework is set up during the divorce settlement.” Setting Up a 529 Account For College During Divorce IMAGE Illinois divorce lawyer This framework could have many different structures, and it should be considered with both your and your ex’s divorce lawyer at the time of divorce. One such framework “could include freezing the current 529 plan account (a tax-advantaged investment account used for higher education), splitting 529 plan accounts when needed and deciding what proportion each parent will pay toward their children’s education,” according to US News and World Report. This also ensures that neither ex will be able to have access to the 529 account because no more deposits are being made, meaning that the only person who will have access to the account is the designated child. “Freezing the account would also prevent a parent from using account funds to pay for the education of child from a new marriage,” according to US News and World Report. If it seems risky to leave the investment decisions up to only one parent—the account owner—after divorce, the other option is to have the judge split the existing account 50/50. A qualified family law attorney can assist this decision, and many others. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois divorce lawyer today.

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last modified on
Back to Top