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Posted on in Divorce

Kane County family law attorneysHas your spouse recently filed for divorce? If so, he or she was able to choose the county in which the petition was filed and in which the proceedings are to be held. It may come as a surprise to learn that you are not necessarily bound by your spouse’s choice. While he or she may have filed first, you have the right to object to the chosen venue, but the law in Illinois requires you to act quickly.

What is Venue?

In the legal realm, the term “venue” refers to the county or district court system in which a case will be heard. For the purposes of divorce in Illinois, proceedings are generally held in the county circuit court. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, it is presumed that a couple’s divorce will be heard in the county of residence of at least of the parties. For example, if a husband and wife have separated, and the husband lives in DuPage County while the wife resides in Kane County, the law expects that the couple will file their petition for divorce in one of those two counties. A non-residential county may be chosen if there is a valid justification for doing so.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Ilinois child support lawyerThe recent revisions to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act clarified the rules regarding parents' obligations to help their children with college expenses. Specifically, they give the court the right to order that divorced parents contribute to their children's college expenses if the child or one of the parents petition for such an order before the child's 23rd birthday. The amount of money a parent can be required to contribute is limited to the cost of attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the parent may not be required to continue to contribute past the student's 25th birthday.

Parents are also permitted to dispute orders for financial contributions to college costs. The language in the law states that parents may be required to contribute “except for good cause shown.” There are multiple reasons why a parent might feel he or she has good cause to not be required to contribute to his or her child's college bill, one of which is the sense that the money would not be put to good use.

Determining Whether College Is a Worthwhile Investment

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Posted on in Child Custody

Relocation-and-Child-CustodyPreviously, if a custodial parent wanted to relocate out of Illinois with his or her child, he or she needed to obtain an Order of Removal from the court to be able to do so. This came after the court examined the situation fully, seeking answers to issues like whether the move would provide a better quality of life for the child, whether the child could continue to maintain a relationship with his or her other parent after the move, and whether moving out of Illinois was, in fact, necessary for the parent and child to change their lives for the better. The only exception to such examinations were cases where the child's other parent approved of the move in writing. Moving within Illinois was not regulated by the court at all.

But since the changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act went into effect on January 1, 2016, the rules are different for parents who want to move with their children. Now, certain moves within the state do require permission from the court, while some moves out of Illinois do not.

Moves Within Illinois

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Posted on in Child Custody

child-custodyAs our society progresses, our laws need to change to reflect these changes. Decades ago, Illinois' divorce and child custody laws included a provision known as the tender years doctrine, which awarded custody of young children primarily to their mothers on the basis that a mother could care for a young child better than a father could. This was done away with as gender roles changed and the court recognized that fathers can be as capable of caring for their children as mothers. Similar changes are coming to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act come January 1st, 2016 through Senate Bill 57.

These changes include many new developments to Illinois' child custody laws. In fact, one of these changes is the deletion of the term “custody.” To learn more about the changes that are coming and what they could mean for you and your family law case, contact an experienced Illinois family attorney for guidance.

New Terms Replace Old Terms

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pro seIn the United States, every individual has the right to work with an attorney. For those who can not afford attorney fees, low-cost and even pro bono attorneys are available to represent their rights and interests in court. Despite the availability of low and no-cost divorce attorneys, some individuals still choose to represent themselves in court. These individuals are known as “pro se” litigants. Although you are certainly within your right to go to court as a pro se litigant, it is not in your best interest to do so. An experienced divorce attorney can explain all of your rights, your legal obligations, and the court processes that you will have to work through to you. Work with a divorce attorney to make the divorce process as smooth as possible.

You Do Not Know What to Say or How to Say It

Obviously, you need to tell the truth when you are under oath. You are under oath in all court hearings, depositions, and documents filed with the court. But when you are under oath, the statements that you make can sometimes be used against you. Your attorney can coach you about the difficult questions you might face and how to answer them without incriminating or misrepresenting yourself.

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