Recent Blog Posts

How Can Divorced Parents Plan for College Expenses?

 Posted on August 03, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Divorce LawyerGoing to college right after high school is one of the most popular paths young people take today. College is no longer something reserved for only the best academic performers, but rather, something most white-collar employers expect. It can be challenging for any family to cover the complete cost of a college education. Between tuition, textbooks, and room and board, sending your child to college without having them incur student loans can be a challenge. If you and your spouse are getting divorced while your child is still in grade school, you may wonder whether your spouse will still contribute to college expenses. Fortunately, in Illinois, courts can order both parents to contribute what they can towards your child’s educational expenses. In most cases, this can be done as a part of your divorce decree. If you are concerned about paying for college after a divorce, it is best to speak with an attorney to determine what options you and your child may have. 

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When Can Digital Evidence Play a Role in Divorce Proceedings?

 Posted on August 01, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Family Law AttorneyIn today's digital age, we rely heavily on electronic devices and online platforms for communication, socializing, and storing personal information. As a result, digital evidence has become increasingly relevant in divorce proceedings. Whether this evidence consists of text messages, emails, social media posts, or location data from smartphones, electronic records can provide valuable information that may impact the outcome of a divorce case. Some ways that digital information can affect a divorce include:

Discovering Hidden Assets

Many people use online banking services or financial apps to manage their finances. By analyzing bank statements and transactions made through these platforms, it may be possible to identify suspicious activity or undisclosed accounts. Attempts to hide assets may be brought to the attention of the court, and this may affect decisions about the division of marital property.

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Does it Matter Who Files First in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on July 28, 2023 in Divorce

St. Charles Family Law AttorneyWhen it comes to filing for divorce, many individuals wonder if there are any advantages or disadvantages to being the first one to file. While it may seem like filing first could provide certain advantages, the reality is that, in most cases, it does not significantly impact the outcome of the divorce proceedings. Illinois is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that the reason why the divorce is taking place, or who filed first, does not typically play a major role in the resulting settlement. However, it is important to consider various factors and consult with a divorce attorney to ensure the best possible outcome for your specific situation. 

Someone Must Be at Fault, Right?

Regardless of why the divorce is taking place, the only grounds for divorce in Illinois are irreconcilable differences. This means that neither party needs to prove either was at fault for the disintegration of the marriage. Additionally, Illinois law dictates that the court does not favor one party over the other based on who filed first. Rather, the focus is on the equitable division of assets, child custody, and other relevant factors. 

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3 Ways to Remind Your Child That Your Divorce is Not Their Fault

 Posted on July 24, 2023 in Divorce

St. Charles Divorce LawyerIt is normal and common for a child to feel as if they are to blame when their parents get divorced. Many children struggle with self-blame when their parents begin to separate. They may reflect on times they have misbehaved and wonder whether it had anything to do with your decision to get divorced. Almost no parent would say that their child is the reason for their divorce. Reminding your child that they are not to blame in your divorce can help your child cope with the divorce in a more healthy way. It can be difficult for children to adjust to spending time with their parents in different households or only seeing one parent most or all of the time. Parents should take steps to protect their children’s emotional health during this time. Helping them understand that nothing happening is their fault can go a long way towards raising an emotionally healthy child after divorce. 

Helping Your Child Understand That They Are Not at Fault 

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Can Children in Kane County Choose Which Parent to Live With?

 Posted on July 14, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Family LawyerWhen parents are getting a divorce or separating, one of the most contentious issues is often who will have more parenting time to spend with the children. Few parents are willing to give up any amount of time they could spend with their child in a shared custody arrangement. While Illinois has largely dispensed with the term “primary custody,” it does often work out so that one parent’s home is the child’s primary residence, while the other parent enjoys shorter amounts of parenting time. Determining which parent will have the children most of the time can be difficult for many families. One option that many parents choose is to enlist the help of a mediator and work out an arrangement by mutual agreement. However, in cases where this is not possible or practical for any reason, it typically falls to the court to make that decision. While a child’s input on the matter is important, it is not generally the deciding factor. 

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What Should an Illinois Parenting Plan Include?

 Posted on July 11, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Child Custody LawyerWhen parents with at least one child in common get divorced in Illinois and will share custody, they must file what is called a parenting plan. Parenting plans may also be needed for parents who were never married, but are separating. A parenting plan is more than a visitation schedule, and more than a child support order. Parenting plans include a wide variety of information and agreements or court orders. In many cases, parenting plans are developed by mutual agreement of the parents outside of court. These plans are of very high importance to both the parents involved and the children involved, as they make quite a few provisions regarding how co-parenting will work after the divorce is finalized. It is important to be represented by an attorney before you begin to discuss future co-parenting plans with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. An attorney can help you understand what rights you as a parent have and what rights your children have in this situation. 

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What is a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity?

 Posted on July 06, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Family Law AttorneyIn Illinois, there are several paths to establishing that you are the father of your child. If you are married to the mother around the time the baby is born, you will likely be declared the father automatically. If this is the case, you do not need to take any further steps to become a legal father as well as a biological one. However, if you are not married to the mother, you will need to take additional steps. In some cases, you may even need to go to court to have yourself declared the legal parent of your child. A court can order a DNA test if the mother denies that you are the child’s birth father. However, the easiest way to establish legal parentage is usually by signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity. If you are unsure about your own path to legal parentage, it is best to speak with an attorney about what your options are. 

Understanding a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

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The Importance and Purpose of Premarital Agreements

 Posted on July 01, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Divorce AttorneyIt is crucial to understand the importance of a prenuptial agreement in marriage, including its purpose, benefits, and drawbacks before making a decision. Even if you do not plan on getting one, it's helpful to have knowledge about it to be prepared in advance.

Understanding Premarital Agreements

A premarital agreement, commonly known as a "prenup," is a legal agreement that two indiviuals sign before getting married or entering a civil partnership. Prenuptial agreements have been used for a significant amount of time, but they have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Premarital agreements can be helpful for many couples, but there are misconceptions that they are only for the rich or signify a lack of trust. Actually, a premarital agreement is a sensible measure that couples can take before tying the knot.

Why People Choose Premarital Agreements

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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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