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child college expenses in illinois, kane county child support lawyerThe subject of your child’s future college expenses and who will be responsible for them following the end of your marriage can be difficult to address, especially in the midst of an impending divorce. Whether you and your spouse discussed the funding of your child’s education early on in your marriage or did not discuss it at all, you may be wondering who will be responsible for paying tuition and other expenses once you are separated.

Who Pays for What?

While preparing for your child’s education may not be at the forefront of your mind during the divorce process, there are certain discussions you can have with your spouse and attorney to ensure your child’s education is secure when the time comes for them to attend college. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act works in favor of your children and their higher education. Revisions to Illinois state family law in 2016 enabled courts to order a parent to pay for the child’s college if the child is no longer living at home but attending school. Before either parent is ordered to contribute a certain amount to college expenses, however, there are multiple factors that the court takes into account:

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Posted on in Mediation

Kane County divorce lawyerAlternative dispute resolution (ADR) can provide a divorcing couple with an efficient, reduced-conflict path to a mutually-satisfying divorce settlement. However, it is not the right choice for every couple. Sometimes, divorcing through an ADR method like mediation or collaborative law can seem like the right choice, but then prove to be impossible for the couple to complete once they actually begin the process. When this happens, the couple must explore other options for completing their divorce. Sometimes, a couple can try ADR again with greater success. In other cases, litigation is the right choice.

Try Working With Another Mediator

When you choose to divorce through mediation, you and your spouse work with a mediator, a neutral third party professional, to reach a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. Mediators are human beings and, as such, not every mediator is a good fit for every couple. You might feel like your mediator has a bias or is not guiding your divorce discussions in a way that makes you feel empowered. If this is the case, it is perfectly acceptable to stop the process and restart it with another mediator.

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Posted on in Adoption

parental rights, Illinois child custody law, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois law applies the best interest standard in civil matters involving children. Divorce proceedings, child custody battles, adoptions and visitation hearings are all examples of matters where a court must consider what is in the best interests of the child. These best interests include maximizing the child’s physical, mental, moral and emotional well-being.

It is difficult to define the best interest standard precisely, because as any parent knows, what is best for one child might not be what is best for another. However, the law sets forth relevant factors for courts to consider. That list is meant to be a starting point. Courts may consider all relevant factors and not merely those delineated here:

  • The child’s wishes regarding custody, adoption, and visitation rights, if the child is old enough and has the mental capacity to express such wishes;
  • The parent’s (or prospective parent’s) wishes regarding custody, adoption and visitation rights;
  • The relationship between the child and his parents, siblings and any other relevant person, such as a parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend;
  • How well-adjusted the child is to his current home, school and community (if the court is considering an arrangement that would uproot the child);
  • The mental and physical health of all persons involved;
  • Whether there is a pattern or history of domestic abuse in the child’s current or potential home;
  • How willing both parents are to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent (especially with the parent who does not have primary custody);
  • Whether one of the parents is a sex offender; and
  • Whether one of the parents is a member of the military.

Note: One important aspect of the best interest standard is that courts typically presume that is in the child’s best interests for both parents to be involved. However, in a custody proceeding, there is also no presumption in favor of – or against – joint custody.

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Posted on in Divorce

domestic violence, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, Like physical stalking, cyberstalking is a form of domestic abuse. In fact, our increasing reliance upon electronic communication and our ubiquitous presence on social media make cyberstalking an even greater threat. You could be the victim of cyberstalking if a person uses electronic communication to follow, observe, threaten, monitor or contact you without your consent. “Electronic communication” includes – but is not limited to – transmissions via email, text message, instant message and voicemail.

Illinois law classifies three behaviors as cyberstalking. First, a person can be charged with cyberstalking if he uses electronic communication in a way that he knows – or should know – would cause a reasonable person to:

  • Fear for his safety or for the safety of a third person; or
  • Suffer other emotional distress.

Second, a person can be charged with cyberstalking if he knowingly uses electronic communication to:

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney. Illinois family law attorney, divorce negotiation,If you are considering a divorce, the time and expense of a protracted court battle might affect your decision. However, if a divorce is in your family’s best interests, do not be deterred by the legal process. Divorce does not have to involve contentious litigation – it can be resolved through an amicable mediation instead.

In fact, you can address the same issues through mediation that you would address in a traditional divorce proceeding, including child custody, visitation, child support, property division, and alimony. And you can do so without the emotional drama that often accompanies litigation. When deciding whether divorce mediation is right for you, consider the following:

  • Mediation is typically less expensive than a formal legal proceeding;
  • The mediation process usually does not take as long as litigation, which means your divorce will be finalized sooner;
  • Because mediation generally involves less conflict, the divorce will not be as stressful for you or for your children;
  • Mediation offers the parties more control over the divorce and the solutions to the issues addressed above (such as child custody and property division);
  • Without a contentious legal fight, it is easier to preserve a positive relationship between the divorcing spouses; and
  • Mediation allows the parties to maintain the confidentiality of their financial and personal information.

Before you decide to pursue divorce mediation, it is also important to understand the process. Illinois adheres to the Uniform Mediation Act, which ensures the confidentiality of mediation proceedings so that participants feel comfortable speaking candidly about their dispute.

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