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Posted on in Divorce
The first step that many people take when trying to get out of an abusive relationship is to obtain an order of protection. To prevent domestic violence, an order of protection, or restraining order, is a legal document that states that the abuser must stay away from the victim for a certain amount of time, and that the abuser can be arrested for violating the order. A person can obtain and order of protection by requesting one after criminal charges have been filed against the abuser, asking a Kane County family law attorney to request one, contacting your local domestic abuse hotline or by asking for one yourself at the local clerk’s office. Some people, after being abused still decide to move away to get away from their abuser. If you decide to stay in a place where your abuser can get to you though, you should take precautions at your home to protect yourself. Change your locks in case your abuser has a key, add a security system including outside lights and smoke alarms and arrange for your work calls to be screened. Also ask neighbors to call the police if they see the abuser and always report violations of an order of protection. Lucy Domestic Violence If you choose to leave and get away from your abuser, be sure to involve the police for safety and bring with you the following:
  • ATM cards, credit cards and your checkbook
  • Identification for yourself and your children
  • Important paperwork such as divorce papers, school records, insurance papers and your order of protection if you have one
  • Medical records
  • Medications
  • Keys
  • Clothes
  • Toys for your children
  • Current unpaid bills
  • Payment records
If you are trying to leave an abusive relationship, contact a Kane County family law attorney for help. Attorneys at Goostree Law Group can help you stay away from your abuser and stay out of your abusive relationship in Kane County, Ill. today.  
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Posted on in Divorce
Divorce is very troublesome and exhausting for everyone involved. Not only has a relationship that was supposed to last a lifetime fallen apart, but children must adapt, and finances must be split. The couple has to split their assets and money and create new, separate, homes. Along with the emotional turmoil, there are also plenty of financial difficulties as well. Lucy divorce financesTo be prepared for the financial burden, follow these steps:
  • Document your finances from the last five years. Include tax returns, investments, and assets like your home, vehicle and liabilities. This will be helpful to determine child and spousal support and especially if you believe that your spouse is hiding anything from you.
  • Discuss division of property with a Kane County divorce attorney. Understand that some assets are valued differently than others. Assets are rarely split 50-50, but the values of what each spouse will take away in the divorce will be split equally.
  • Avoid emotional decisions when planning for finances. Some couples just want the divorce process to be over as quickly as possible and may give away something that they actually want. On the other hand, some people may drag out the process because they do not want their spouse to get something just because they are angry. Avoid this as much as possible so that everything can be dealt with in an efficient manner.
  • Prepare for your future financially. If you do not work because your spouse has a full time job that covers all expenses, realize that you will no longer have that income once the divorce is complete. Even if you receive spousal support it will probably not be as much as you are accustomed to having while married.
  • Stick to a budget. Do not try to compensate the hardship by overspending on your children. You do not need to win your child’s devotion by buying it. Buy your children what they need and if you want to get them something extra do not do it to “beat” their other parent. Keep a budget in mind at all times.
  • Re-examine your retirement plans. Without your spouse, your long term life goals may change and you may want to change your lifestyle plans as well. Before changing anything, though, determine what you can afford to do.
If you are going through a divorce, contact a family law attorney for assistance with divorce finances. Attorneys at Goostree Law Group can help you plan for your future as a newly single man or woman in Kane County, Ill. today.
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Posted on in Divorce
When parents are going through a divorce, it is very difficult to deal with emotionally as the relationship falls apart and both spouse’s lives are uprooted. Having children makes divorce even more difficult, because parents must put their personal issues aside and put the children and the children's needs first. LucyHere are some facts that answer frequently asked questions about Illinois child custody and how it might affect your situation:
  • The court has the power to decide the custody of the child if the parents live in different states, or if the parents have recently moved to a new state. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act determines which state is considered the “home state” of the child. The home state is Illinois if the child has lived there for at least six months or has moved out of Illinois within the past six months.
  • If parents have some significant connection to Illinois, Illinois state courts may also hear the custody case.
  • Illinois does not assume that joint custody is in the best interest of the child as some states do. Maximum cooperation by all parties involved is the goal of Illinois courts for a custody arrangement, but factors such as domestic abuse may affect the outcome of the custody hearing.
  • Custody arrangements cannot be altered without agreement by both parents, unless other factors cause reason for doing so without consent. If the child’s current environment is harmful to the child in any way or the circumstances of the parents have changed two years or more after the original custody arrangement was agreed upon, the change to the custody arrangement is considered to be necessary.
If you have any concerns about the custody of your child if you are going through a divorce in Illinois, contact a Goostree Law Group attorney. Located in St. Charles, Ill. these family law attorneys can assist you with your child custody issues today.  

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Posted on in Divorce
Putting aside the age-long question of the value of a premarital agreement, a.k.a. prenup, couples considering them must ensure that they meet the state minimum statutory requirements. Most couples hire a family law attorney to draft them professionally in order to avoid any potential issues. However, even with attorney help, here are a few things that couples should keep in mind. Unlike most contracts, prenups become effective once the marriage is official. Nothing of value needs to be exchanged, what contract lawyers refer to as consideration, is necessary in order for the contract to be valid. RigersSecond, prenups must be in writing and executed by both parties voluntarily. Generally, prenups set forth what is marital and non-marital property, and the method of distribution of said property in case of a divorce. Aside from property division, prenups can also cover spousal support, what laws would apply in case of a divorce and common issues that may arise. However, prenups may not adversely affect the right of a child to support. Another benefit of prenups is that couples may amend them after the marriage if circumstances change, provided that the same formalities are met (i.e., changes are in writing and signed by both parties). While a valuable planning tool, the history of prenups is rife with abuses, forcing the Illinois legislature to create certain defenses to enforcement. An otherwise valid prenup, is unenforceable if the party seeking to avoid it can show that it was not entered into voluntarily, its terms are one sided and there was inadequate disclosure of assets prior to its execution. This usually arises in the context where there is an uneven distribution of wealth. The wealthier spouse can afford to hire a family law attorney to draft the agreement for both spouses without the other spouse being represented by an attorney. In these cases, courts will be particularly suspicious of the motives of the party that had an attorney. Entering into a premarital agreement has long lasting consequences and each spouse should have an experienced family law attorney review the agreement prior to signing it. At Goostree Law Group, we have represented St. Charles clients with their family law needs, including premarital agreements.

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Posted on in Divorce
Theresa Child custody in Kane County Part of any divorce agreement that involves children is a child custody agreement and a visitation schedule. The parent that the children live with is the custodial parent. The parent that is living outside of the child's permanent home is the non-custodial parent. Child custody in Kane County can be changed with the help of an attorney if your current situation is not working for the children. Sometimes, custody and visitation agreements come easily, while other times it can be a definite point of contention. Most states divide the parenting time in an 80/20 split with the custodial parent having the children 80% of the time. The division may include things such as visitation with the non-custodial parent every other weekend, one weeknight during the week (depending on where the parents both live), a few weeks out of the summer vacation, as well as divided holidays. The schedule is determined by several factors, such as the age of the children and the geographic location of the parents. The schedule will be amended to accommodate things such as the extracurricular activities of the children. It is important to remember that the most important thing is that both parents actively participate in the children's lives. The children are going to go through the transition of not having both parents in the home. They deserve to have both parents in their lives, unless one is deemed an unfit parent. It is important to remember that visitation and child support are two separate issues that do not intertwine in any way. If the father does not pay his ordered child support, that does not give the mother just reason not to adhere to the order for visitation, and vice versa. If you have questions regarding establishing or amending an order for visitation or child custody in Kane County, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Your family attorney will look over the existing order and make recommendations. If you choose to follow the recommendations, your lawyer can also represent you in family court.

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