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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.

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 Divorce
 While some are celebrating and spending time with family, others are coping with the emotions prompted by a divorce. Perhaps there is no good time of year to legally separate or divorce, but there are several options for navigating challenging times. A Chicago Tribune article provides some options for recent divorcees.  For those considering a divorce during the holidays, there are many activities to consider: Think of the Timing Can you wait? If possible, allow the holiday season to conclude before pursuing the divorce. Every situation is different, but if you have young children, distancing the divorce from holiday traditions and celebrations may keep them from associating a festive time with the family split. Reach out to Family and Friends There is nothing wrong with surrounding yourself with people you love and letting them know you need emotional support. Meet a loved one for lunch or help a friend decorate. Sometimes being out and busy may help to temporarily shift the focus from your situation. Spend Time with Children Children have a way of taking your mind away from grown-up problems. Help them bake a dessert or color a picture. Simple activities can give you a much needed respite from the complexities of life. Find a Support Group Find people who are going through the same thing. Sometimes you need to talk about your feelings with people who are also facing divorce. You may have to search until you find the group that is best for you, but it may be a worthwhile pursuit. Hire a Family Law Attorney Family law attorneys are a great resource. They handle the legal process so that you can focus on moving forward emotionally. An excellent divorce lawyer will not only advise you on the best strategies and solutions, but will be personable and take the time to listen to your story and help you establish attainable goals. Divorce can be an emotionally complex process, but the legal part does not have to be. Contact an experienced family law attorney in St. Charles, Illinois today.

Section 510 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides for maintenance, formerly known as spousal support, and for the termination of maintenance payments in a variety of circumstances. For example, maintenance payments may stop or change a party’s employment status, income, or future earning capacity changes. Maintenance payments will also stop when or if the party receiving maintenance remarries or cohabitates with another. This last criteria, cohabitation, has the possibility be tricky and upsetting for one or both parties.

Loving young coupleCohabitation, when two unmarried persons live together, is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Cohabitation often makes sense for a couple because of finances, companionship, or some other reason. The Chicago Tribune reports that the number of unmarried couples cohabitating has increased 550 percent since 1995, to a total of about 1.5 million couples today. Perhaps more importantly, cohabitation today is not just limited to younger couples who have never been married; cohabitation is also popular among couples aged 50 and older. And typically, cohabitating people of this age group have been divorced. After a divorce, both parties are likely trying to look to the future, move on, and perhaps pursue a new relationship. Cohabitation may not even be a factor that occurs to them. However, cohabitation is important because of its tremendous impact on maintenance payments and because there is not necessarily a clear line between cohabitation and dating. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act does not offer a definition of cohabitation, it merely specifies that cohabitation must be “on a resident, continuing, conjugal basis.” Illinois courts, including those in Kane County, have held that the burden of proving cohabitation is on the party seeking the termination of maintenance to prove that the party receiving maintenance is in a de facto husband and wife relationship with a third party. In interpreting this, courts have looked to the length of the relationship with the third party, the amount of time the couple spends together, the nature of the activities engaged in, the interrelation of their personal affairs, whether they vacation together, and whether they spend holidays together. For example, in In re Marriage of Susan, a 2006 case in which the Appellate Court of Illinois for the Second District considered cohabitation, an divorced woman who spent the night several times a week at her boyfriend’s house, spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with him, went on camping trips with him, and sent out joint Christmas cards with him was found to be co-habitating and her ex-husband’s petition to terminate maintenance was successful. The facts in each individual’s situation will likely be different, and there is no clear line between dating and cohabitation. For help understanding if Illinois law on cohabitation may affect you, contact a Kane County divorce lawyer.

Posted on in Divorce

If the department managing child support has handed down a decision in your case that you do not agree with, you can appeal via a written request to the department within the time frame listed in your notice by working with your family law attorney.  When you receive your notice, keep track of the contact information and dates listed in that documentation. Staying on top of the dates and being prepared goes a long way towards getting you a fair child support appeal hearing. You can only request an appeal or a change in child support amounts when there are significant circumstances in your life or the life of the child that warrant such a change. For example, a job loss or a reduction in income for the non-custodial parent is an adequate reason for an appeal. If you do appeal for an additional hearing, the review of your request will depend on submitted documentation. Some examples of commonly submitted documents include an amended or new court order and copies of any circuit clerk payment ledgers that have not previously been provided by you. Crafting a letter to the department will initiate your appeal hearing. You must include the reason you are appealing and details about the initial finding from the department. When you submit these documents, be sure to include our name, Social Security number, the name of the custodial parent, the order docket number, and your child support case number (this one starts with a “C”). These details should be included in any communication and documentation send to the child support department. If you are missing some of the documents needed to start your appeal, do not hesitate to send in what you have already, since the time frame for appealing is a firm deadline and could terminate your option to appeal at all if you do not adhere to it. Going through a child support case, and especially finding out that the determination obtained is not what you were expecting, can be difficult. Knowing the steps in a child support case and determination is important for putting your mind at ease. If child support will be an issue for you, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney today to schedule a consultation about a child support appeal.  

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