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Kane County family law lawyerAt Goostree Law Group, we know that our clients and other visitors to our website use our blog as a helpful source of information and answers about divorce and family law in Illinois. In our blog posts, we try to answer common questions and address issues that can arise in the divorce process, as well as in other types of family law cases, such as parental responsibilitiesparental rights, and adoption. Today, we will look back at the ten blogs that were the most popular among our readers throughout 2020:

  1. Can I Sign Away My Parental Rights to an Unborn Child? – We talk about the options that a man has when his partner is pregnant but he does not wish or is not ready to be a father.

  2. Grounds for Terminating Parental Rights in Illinois – We discuss the various conditions under which an Illinois court might terminate a parent’s rights regarding his or her children.

Kane County divorce lawyerUnder Illinois law, an employee who gets hurt on the job is usually eligible for benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation program. These benefits are intended to help both the worker and his or her family. But, what happens when a person who is receiving workers’ compensation benefits gets divorced? If you are in such a situation, the answer to this question could have a substantial effect on your divorce.

Are Benefits a Marital Asset?

You probably realize that workers’ compensation benefits are considered a type of asset. The question, however, is whether they are considered part of the marital estate or not. In general, if the accident that made you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits occurred during your marriage, the benefits are likely to be considered marital property. This may even be the case if your divorce was already in process at the time of your accident. On the other hand, if the accident occurred before your marriage or after a judgment of legal separation was entered, the benefits you have received are not as likely to be considered as property of the marital estate.

Workers’ compensation benefits can be paid out in a single lump sum or in a series of payments over time. Regardless of how you are receiving your benefits, if they are determined to be marital property, your spouse could be entitled to an equitable share of them in your divorce. Your spouse will not automatically get half, however, because Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that the court will allocate the marital property between you and your spouse in a manner that is fair and just, not necessarily equal. The law requires the court to consider many different factors when deciding on what is fair.

Kane County family lawyerIf you are going through a difficult divorce or trying to survive an emotional child custody battle, it can often seem like there is no end in sight. But the situation can be far worse if your spouse is abusive to your child. Signs of abuse may not be clear when you are married and together as a family, perhaps because you are always around to keep an eye on improper behavior, but once your co-parent is alone with your child after the divorce, it may be important to stay alert for signs that different forms of child abuse might be occurring. From there, you can take the appropriate actions to protect your child.

Be Aware of Different Kinds of Child Abuse

Child abuse occurs when a child’s physical or emotional health, development, or well-being are put into jeopardy. It can take many different forms, and the signs are not always immediately obvious. Some types of abuse that you should be aware of include:

  1. Physical Abuse—This includes various forms of physical assault, restraint, and other behavior that puts the child in serious danger of physical injury to their body.

St. Charles IL family law attorneyDivorce is hard, no matter what the circumstances are or how “friendly” the divorce may be. Not only is it the end of a marriage, but the finality often hits home over and over again as discussions and negotiations take place regarding a couple’s assets and debts. Who gets the living room set? Who gets the good china? However, the hardest part about divorce typically involves the couple’s children and how parental responsibilities and parenting time are going to be divided.

When You and the Other Parent Cannot Agree

In the best cases, parents are able to come to an agreement and work out a parenting plan that will serve the best interests of their child while respecting each parent’s rights. In such cases, the court will generally approve the plan presented by the parents. Sometimes, however, the parents cannot agree, and litigation becomes necessary. Unfortunately, litigation has a tendency to turn bitter and contentious, which can be extremely difficult for children to deal with.

No matter what the situation may be, you can help protect your children when you are facing a parenting-related dispute by doing a few key things, including:

St. Charles IL divorce attorneyDivorce is an emotionally and financially complex process that affects around 800,000 Americans each year. Sadly, some studies estimate that a person’s net worth could be reduced by as much as 77 percent by the time their divorce decree is finalized. The good news is that this is not always the case. In fact, those who plan and prepare effectively for divorce often fare better than those who do not.

Start by Taking an Honest Look at Your Debt

You may have heard about how important it is to account for all of your assets before your divorce. This is true, of course, but it is often just as important to carefully examine your debt. After all, debt is not going to simply disappear once the divorce is over. Instead, any debt belonging to the marital estate will be distributed between you and your spouse, much like your assets will be. However, there are often additional complexities when it comes to dividing debt. For example, mortgages and other large debts may not be as easy to “split” because the lender or extender of credit may not be willing or able to remove one of you from the account.

At first glance, this might not appear to be much of an issue, but it can be problematic. For example, if you attempt to obtain a new line of credit, such as while trying to buy a car or a new residence once the divorce is over, you may have a hard time managing your debt-to-income ratio. Alternatively, if your spouse is considered “responsible” for the debt in the divorce but your name remains on it, your credit could also take a hit if they ever default on payments.

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