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Posted on in Family Law

child abuse, Illinois family lawyer, Kane County, child abuse, lawyer, attorneyA heartbreaking story of child abuse broke early this year, on January 21st 2014, when 6000 pages of allegations against 68 Chicago priests were released to the public. Of course, the problem of abuse in the Church did not just recently surface. Accounts of child abuse date back 500 years; one of the reasons cited for the Protestant Reformation includes Martin Luther’s dismay at questionable conduct he witnessed at the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church on his first pilgrimage there. In 1517, he traveled to Rome a devout follower of the Catholic faith, and he left determined to start a movement against it. Despite the sordid side of its history, the Catholic Church is certainly not the only institution involved in such indignity – other churches, schools, daycares, colleges, residential care facilities, and private homes have all had instances of abuse.

Legal Ramifications Even where abuse cases are reported years later, brave victims may receive some solace in the public acknowledgment of the crime, and the resulting formation of better practices to reduce the number of new victims. The allegations surrounding the Chicago incidents were published online as part of a settlement agreement between the Chicago Archdiocese of the Catholic Church and attorneys of the victims. Most of these cases of abuse occurred prior the 1990 and apparently all of them were eventually reported to authorities. Part of the outrage in Chicago, similar to the scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky at Penn State, was based on how various authorities – specifically the hierarchy in the church – handled, or mishandled, reports as they came in. In order to protect individuals and the reputation of the church as a whole, officials chose to transfer offenders to new churches as a temporary solution, and cast a blind eye where possible. Friends and family members of victims have responded strongly to this organizational conspiracy however, and the criminal laws punishing perpetrators of child abuse are significant.

In addition to being registered in the sex offender registry, convicted sexual abusers of children in Illinois can receive considerable penalties, including:

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.

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.

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.

Posted on in Family Law
As the year wraps up, so does another 12 months of fascinating research into marriage and divorce. Across numerous fields, divorce has been a hot topic for study, leading to some of the most interesting research of the year. Take a look at these findings to see what researchers discovered or published in 2013. Divorce Can Have a Serious Impact on Men’s Health divorce in Illinois imageResearch from the Journal of Men’s Health showed that serious physical and emotional challenges are faced by men post-divorce. Relying on support systems and adjusting to new life, along with the healing powers of time, can help to mitigate these concerns and reduce risks. Unreasonable Behavior Leading Cause of Divorce This year, “unreasonable behavior” surpassed infidelity as a leading reason for divorce, according to research done by Co-operative Legal Services. Fewer Siblings Linked To Lower Divorce Risk Come from a big family? You might be facing an increased risk of divorce, at least according to scholars at Ohio State University. Drinking Habits Linked to Divorce Do you and your spouse have completely different drinking habits? If so, this might be a factor linked to your likelihood to divorce. Researchers at the University of Buffalo followed more than 600 couples to generate this conclusion. Divorce Might Be Contagious If you have close friends or family members that have gone through a divorce, you have an increased change of splitting up your married, too. According the Pew Research Center, those individuals who have had a close divorce encounter through a friend or loved one face higher risks themselves. If all this started you thinking about your own marriage, it could be time to take the next step with your case. If you’re ready to talk options, reach out to an Illinois family law attorney today. You can get a fresh start in life if you are thinking about divorce.
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