call us630-584-4800

Free Consultations

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in St. Charles family law attorney

Posted on in Divorce

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, divorce negotiations, marital property, financial records, As a marital relationship deteriorates all aspects of the marriage are affected. This ranges all the way from affection to finances. Once divorce becomes imminent, affection becomes less critical and finances become an all important facet of the relationship. There are two highly contested issues that couples dispute whilst going through a divorce: children and money. If you and your spouse have a respectful relationship throughout the divorce process and are able to discuss these peacefully, all the better. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Tempers run short and emotions flare when two adults decide to split the life they have created together. Fortunately, courts recognize this and have created a process by which couples can get an accurate picture of each others’ finances, even without the help of one another. This process is known as “discovery.”

What is Discovery?    

Discovery is a process by which litigants are legally required to request and admit certain information that is pertinent to their case. In divorce, this generally relates to each spouse’s financial situation. Discovery is regulated by the Illinois Rules of Civil Procedure, a lengthy and highly technical piece of legislation. Each of the techniques used are sworn under oath and are used in the divorce process to determine the assets of each spouse. There are different methods for achieving similar means. For example, interrogatories are written questions that one party delivers to another, to which the opposing party must respond to the best of their knowledge. On the other hand, a deposition is an interview taken under oath and on the record in which the attorneys will ask questions of witnesses, spouses, or related parties. Each of these has a very specific deadline by which the party must respond. If they do not respond, the court can impose sanctions or prohibit the party from using that information at all.

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinios child custody attorney, Illinios family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois created the Department of Children and Family Services to provide social and protective services to Illinois children and their families. One of the department’s most important responsibilities is outlined in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act: DCFS must investigate reports of child abuse or neglect and offer protective services to prevent any further harm from befalling the child. DCFS must keep the best interests of the child in mind throughout this process.

While Illinois law generally assumes that keeping families together is in a child’s best interests, there are situations where DCFS must remove a child from his home. DCFS will only take a child away from his parents if that is necessary to keep the child safe. (Note that the department separates a child from his parents only as a last resort.) The department may ask the family to agree to a safety plan, which typically arranges for either the child or one of the parents to stay elsewhere while DCFS completes its investigation. The plan must be in writing.

If the parents refuse to comply with the safety plan then DCFS can take protective custody of the child for 48 hours. The department can then petition the court to grant DCFS temporary custody so that it can arrange to place the child in foster care. If the petition is denied then DCFS must return the child to his parents at the end of the 48-hour period.

Posted on in Adoption

Illinios legislature, Illinios family law attorney, Illinios child protection laws, Every year the Illinois legislature passes new laws that affect the rights and obligations of state citizens. There are nine new Illinois family-related laws for 2015:

  1. Sixteen-year-olds can be placed in temporary custody with the Department of Children and Family Services for delinquency (committing minor crimes). The age threshold used to be 15 years old.
  2. Amendments to the Child Care and Adoption Act address civil unions and expand the definition of “relative” to include great-grandparents, step-grandparents and cousins.
  3. There is now a Statewide Youth Advisory Board and regional youth advisory board to advise the Department of Children and Family Services on foster services.
  4. Amendments to the Adoption Act provide that an adult adopted person’s birth parent who is named on the original birth certificate may only request a non-certified copy if he or she complies with certain procedural requirements.
  5. The Children’s Advocacy Center Act created accredited children’s advocacy centers throughout Illinois that are responsible for investigating child sexual abuse cases. Amendments to this law expanded their authority to child maltreatment cases. “Child maltreatment” includes certain criminal offenses committed against children and specific violations of the Children and Family Services Act and the Juvenile Court Act.
    1. Children and Family Services Act created the Department of Children and Family Services, which provides social services to Illinois children and their families.
    2. The Juvenile Court Act provides protections to children who are the subject of court proceedings, such as in child custody cases or in instances where children act as witnesses.
  6. Amendments to the Probate Act imposed additional requirements on guardianship petitions for adults with disabilities. For example, the report accompanying the petition must include more information about the people who evaluate the disabled person (to ensure that the evaluation they performed is credible).
  7. The Children and Family Services Act requires the Department of Children and Family Services to provide certain data in its annual report and case tracking system regarding families that are subject to safety plans, and to track specific safety plans.
  8. Amendments to the Child Care Act require the Department of Children and Family Services to provide the Illinois General Assembly with an annual progress report.
  9. Amendments to the Children and Family Services Act allow the Department of Children and Family Services to place children with “fictive kin,” who do not have to become foster parents. “Fictive kin” are people who have close ties to the children or families but are not blood relatives or related by marriage.
Our experienced Kane County family law attorneys keep abreast of changes to Illinois and federal family laws. Contact us today for a consultation if you have any questions regarding your rights and obligations under these new laws. We can assist those in the St. Charles area.

Posted on in Divorce

gay divorce, Illinios family law attorney, Illinios divorce lawyerBefore Illinois permitted same-sex marriage, gay couples had the right to enter into civil unions. (Heterosexual couples, too, have this option.) Semantics and ceremonial purposes aside, there is not much difference between a marriage and a civil union in Illinois, especially since the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act took effect in 2011. That act gives civilly unioned couples the same rights under state law as married couples.

Those rights include the right to de-couple. For a married couple, it means the right to divorce. For a civilly unioned couple, it means the right of dissolution. The laws applicable to a divorce are the same as those applicable to a civil union dissolution. Thus, all couples receive the same benefits under the law when they break up, whether the break up is a marriage or a civil union. Couples in a civil union, like in a marriage, will need to resolve:

  • Disputes regarding the division of property;
  • Whether one spouse will make maintenance payments to the other spouse;
  • Child custody and visitation rights; and
  • Any other issues that arise when the union dissolves.

Establishing Grounds for Dissolution

Illinios adoption laws, Illinois family law attorney, children in foster careA recent audit report reveals that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) cannot accurately account for thousands of runaway or missing foster-care children. For example, the agency admitted that it cannot always distinguish between actual runaways and children who might have temporarily left home without informing their caregivers. Moreover, DCFS does not track the number of foster children who disappear each year or where they disappear from. DCFS officials did not deny that a problem exists, and said that they are working to improve their tracking system.

While foster care might seem like a shoddy substitute for “real” parenting, it is a rewarding system for many youth who might otherwise languish on the streets or land in an orphanage. The audit report highlights a problem, but it also demonstrates that state officials want the foster system to work.

Helping Foster Children Transition to Adulthood

Back to Top