Recent Blog Posts

Which Profession Has the Highest Divorce Rate?

 Posted on June 23, 2023 in Divorce

St. Charles Divorce LawyerThere are variations in divorce rates among different professions. A recent study revealed that gaming managers–individuals who manage casinos–and bartenders bear the brunt of this reality, with a staggering divorce rate of over 50%​. Working long hours outside conventional business hours can significantly strain a relationship, leading to its ultimate dissolution. In this blog post, we will explore the specifics of getting a divorce in Illinois, with a focus on professions that are particularly susceptible to high-risk situations.

Illinois Divorce Laws: No-Fault Grounds

Illinois updated their divorce laws in January 2016. Only "irreconcilable differences" is now a valid reason for divorce, which replaced previous reasons like abuse or adultery. Couples in Illinois who desire divorce must now provide evidence that their marriage cannot be mended due to their differences and there is no chance of reconciliation.

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What is the Role of Psychological Evaluations in Litigation Involving the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in Illinois?

 Posted on June 20, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Child Custody LawyerIn Illinois, figuring out custody and the allocation of parental responsibilities can be complicated and emotionally arduous, as parents tend to be strongly opinionated as to their wishes regarding their children. During the custody evaluation process, psychological evaluations are often requested to gain a better understanding of a parent’s mental health and psychological functioning. These evaluations can provide valuable insights into how a parent’s emotional state affects their ability to parent effectively. For legal assistance regarding this important matter, contact a skilled child custody lawyer to put yourself in the best position to pursue a favorable custody and case outcome. 

When Are Psychological Evaluations Used?

Psychological evaluations are typically used in cases where there are concerns about a parent’s mental health, history of substance abuse or addiction, or any significant mental or psychological issue affecting their ability to parent. A court may order a psychological evaluation in an Illinois custody case if it deems it necessary to determine the best interests of the children involved. While medical records and personal testimony are also helpful in making such determinations regarding a parent’s mental and emotional health, psychological evaluations are often the most useful in forming a complete picture of a parent’s overall mental health and emotional functioning. 

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Are Spousal Maintenance Payments Automatically Awarded in Illinois Divorce Cases? 

 Posted on June 15, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Family Law AttorneySpousal support, commonly referred to as spousal maintenance or alimony, is a vital consideration in many divorce cases, assisting individuals in maintaining their financial well-being after divorce proceedings have been completed. Often parties in a divorce may be unaware of the factors determining whether spousal maintenance is paid or what amount should be paid to the requesting party. One widespread assumption is that spousal maintenance payments are automatically awarded in divorce cases. However, this is not the case.

Illinois provides guidelines as to determining whether spousal maintenance payments will be awarded. The final decision will rely upon the individual case specifics and circumstances. There is no universal formula to determine a payment amount. If you have questions or concerns about spousal payments, contact a divorce attorney to see how spousal payments may or may not be relevant to your case. 

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How Are Subpoenas Used in a Divorce Case?

 Posted on June 08, 2023 in Divorce

St. Charles Divorce LawyerContested divorce cases are those in which the spouses disagree about one or more divorce issues. Disagreements about how marital property should be distributed between the spouses or who should have the majority of the parenting time with the children are just some of the circumstances that can lead to a contested divorce case.

Gathering relevant evidence from the parties is a crucial aspect of a contested divorce case. If the spouses are not willing to provide information voluntarily, various legal tools may be used to gather the necessary information, documentation, or testimony. Subpoenas are one such legal tool used in a divorce case. 

What is a Subpoena?

A subpoena is a legal summons, issued by a court or lawyer, that requires someone to provide information or documents relevant to a legal case. Subpoenas can be issued to any person or entity with information pertinent to the case. For instance, in a divorce case, one spouse may subpoena financial documents from the other spouse's employer or bank.

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Co-Parenting Tips for Recently Divorced Individuals In Kane County

 Posted on June 05, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Divorce LawyerDivorce is one of the most challenging life events an individual can go through, especially when children are involved. Figuring out how to co-parent with your ex and create a stable, nurturing environment for your children can be very difficult. Good co-parenting requires flexibility, open communication, and a shared goal of doing what is best for the children. In this blog, we will discuss tips for successful co-parenting with an ex-spouse.

Communicate Frequently, But Get It In Writing

Even if your parenting plan spells out the terms of the parenting time schedule, allocation of parental responsibilities, and other parenting matters, you will still need to communicate with your child's other parent from time to time. Establish a respectful and open line of communication, focusing on the children instead of any interpersonal conflict with your ex.

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Can You Get an Annulment in Illinois?

 Posted on May 25, 2023 in Annulments

St. Charles Family Law AttorneyMost people are only vaguely familiar with the concept of marriage annulment. They may have heard about celebrity couples who get married only to have their marriage annulled a few days later or heard a rumor that you can get your marriage annulled if you have not had sexual intercourse yet. The reality of the situation is much more complex.

Annulment, or as it is called in Illinois, Declaration Of Invalidity Of Marriage, is permitted by Illinois law. However, you can only get your marriage annulled in a very narrow range of circumstances.

If you are married and wish to get your marriage annulled but do not qualify for an annulment, the only option you have for ending your marriage is divorce. In this blog, we will explain when and how annulment is possible in Illinois and what you can do if you require legal help to end your marriage.

Invalidity of Marriage Requirements

When a marriage is dissolved through divorce, the marriage relationship is terminated. When a marriage is annulled through a Declaration Of Invalidity Of Marriage, it is as if the marriage never happened.

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Creating a Safety Plan for Leaving an Abusive Marriage

 Posted on May 22, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Divorce LawyerLeaving a spouse who has physically harmed you, threatened violence against you or your children, or otherwise abused you is a frightening and complicated process. Having a safety plan in place is essential. As you develop your plan, keep the following considerations in mind. If you are ever in immediate danger, call 911 right away.

Consider an Emergency Order of Protection

In Illinois, emergency orders of protection are granted based solely on the testimony of the petitioner, or person requesting protection. In other words, your spouse does not need to be present or even be aware of the fact that you are asking for an order of protection.

An emergency protection order can be customized to your specific needs. Most of the time, a protection order prohibits an abusive person from coming within a certain distance of the victim, contacting the victim through phone, e-mail, or social media, following the victim, or coming to the victim’s workplace or school. An emergency order of protection can also be used to temporarily evict a spouse from the marital residence. Setting up this legal protection creates a formal record of the abuse and gives you the right to call the police if your spouse violates any of the provisions of the order.

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Is My Spouse Entitled to My Social Security Benefits And Retirement Funds if We Get Divorced?

 Posted on May 17, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerFor working adults, retirement offers a much-needed break from the hustle and grind of their jobs. Unsurprisingly, what happens to retirement funds during a divorce is a top concern for many individuals planning to end their marriage. 

Every case is different. However, it is not uncommon for a divorcing spouse to be entitled to part of the other spouse’s retirement assets.

If you are getting divorced and you have questions about how retirement assets or Social Security retirement benefits are handled during a divorce, make sure to work with an experienced divorce attorney who can give you personalized guidance.

401(k)s, IRAs, Pensions, and Other Retirement Accounts

Money saved in a retirement account is treated like other assets during an Illinois divorce. Unless retirement assets are excluded from the marital state through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, any retirement funds a spouse acquired during a marriage are considered marital property.

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Parental Alienation: When a Parent Turns a Child Against Another Parent

 Posted on May 12, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Child Custody LawyerThe end of a relationship or marriage often brings out the worst sides of people. Sadly, children from the relationship often get caught in the middle. Parental alienation is a form of emotional abuse in which a parent intentionally turns his or her child against the other parent. The parent may tell the child lies about the other parent, punish the child for showing love or affection toward the other parent, or refuse to let the other parent spend time with the child.

Illinois courts do not specifically use the term “parental alienation” when referring to this type of behavior. However, a parent’s behavior toward their child can certainly affect the court’s decision regarding child custody issues, including the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.

Parents Are Expected to Foster a Positive Relationship Between the Child and the Other Parent

As we have discussed several times in previous blogs, Illinois courts always want to do what is best for the children in any child-related family law dispute. When a parent engages in a campaign of denigration against the targeted parent, this can be extremely damaging to the child. The child may feel confused, guilty, angry, and depressed. Using a child as a pawn to get back at the other parent is extremely harmful and unethical.

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Divorced Parents and College Expenses: What You Should Know in 2023

 Posted on May 09, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttorneyFor many young people, May is a month filled with graduation parties, ceremonies, and making plans for the future. If you are a parent of a high school or college-aged child, it is important to understand how Illinois law handles college expenses when parents are divorced. Illinois is unique in that divorced parents are sometimes legally required to contribute to their child's college education. Read on to learn more.

Splitting the Cost of Tuition, Books, Fees, Housing, and Other College Costs

Child support obligations typically end once a child becomes an adult. However, in Illinois, a parent may still be required to provide financial assistance to a college-aged child. Illinois courts have the authority to allocate college expenses between two divorced parents. College expenses include the cost of tuition, fees, textbook rental, supplies, housing, and food. The court considers both parents’ financial circumstances when determining how to split college expenses between them. The college student’s own financial resources, including money from scholarships or work-study programs, may also be considered. Sometimes, the student is also required to contribute to college expenses.

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