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Recent Blog Posts

Who Keeps the Pets After Divorce?

 Posted on July 16, 2024 in Property Division

IL divorce lawyerWhile legally, pets are property, realistically, they are more like family members. The bond between people and their companion animals can be incredibly strong. Losing a pet in your divorce can impact your mental health and lead to a sense of loss. Many pet owners find that being responsible for a dog or cat makes them more active and much happier. Prior to 2018, courts had no choice but to allocate dogs, cats, birds, and other companion animals as they would any other marital asset - by awarding them to one spouse or the other. Now, courts have the ability to award joint ownership of the family pets. A Will County, IL divorce lawyer can help you work out a custody-like arrangement for your pets or fight to keep them in your sole custody.

Factors in Allocating Ownership of Marital Companion Animals 

In some cases, a pet very clearly belongs to one spouse or the other. This is often the case when one spouse had the pet long before getting married. In other cases, the couple adopted the pet together and shared the work and cost of caring for it. Some things the court might consider when allocating sole or joint ownership of your companion animals include: 

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When to Contest Child Custody

 Posted on July 08, 2024 in Child Custody

Blog ImageContested child custody cases can be hard on everyone involved. It is usually best for parents who are getting divorced to try to agree to a parenting plan out of court with the help of their attorneys and a mediator. However, there are instances where child custody mediation fails, and the parents must allow the court to make decisions. As a parent, you might need to make the decision that litigating child custody is necessary to protect your children if the other parent is being unreasonable or would not do what is best for the children. If you need the court to decide what parenting arrangements are in your child's best interests, you must be represented by an aggressive Will County, IL, child custody attorney.

Reasons to Litigate Your Child Custody Case

Your lawyer will recommend trying mediation first in most, but not all, cases. If mediation fails or is highly unlikely to work, your lawyer might begin preparing to take your case to court. Reasons you may ultimately need to contest your child custody case include: 

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Gray Divorce and Financial Abuse

 Posted on June 28, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerOlder adults are more likely than younger people to fall prey to financial abuse. The perpetrator can be an adult child, a caregiver, or even your spouse. It is more common than you might think for one spouse to take advantage of the other financially, especially when both spouses are at retirement age. If you are a retirement-age adult questioning whether you want to stay married to your spouse, you should speak to an experienced Naperville, IL complex divorce attorney at once. A skilled lawyer can help you recognize the signs of financial abuse in your marriage and take steps to protect your financial health during the divorce process.

Recognizing The Signs of Financial Abuse in a Marriage

A financially abusive spouse will often claim that he or she is only trying to protect you as he or she gradually takes complete control of the finances. While it is sometimes necessary for a family member to begin managing the financial affairs of an elder who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, this process should be overseen by your doctors and an attorney who is obligated to act strictly in your best interests. Signs that your spouse is financially abusing you include:

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Can I Use Fertilized Embryos After We Get Divorced?

 Posted on June 21, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerInfertility is a challenge that many people face, and the rate of couples who deal with infertility is on the rise. Because of this, we can expect to see more and more legal cases, such as divorce, involving questions around fertility. Just a few weeks ago, for example, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are legally considered “people,” making questions about what happens to fertilized embryos in a divorce in that state much more complicated.

Although the chances of such a law being passed in Illinois are effectively zero, Illinois couples who have frozen embryos and are considering divorce are still left with difficult questions about how these embryos - which are a combination of both spouses’ DNA and could potentially lead to the creation of shared children, even after a divorce - should be handled. If you are in this situation, seek the help of a compassionate, experienced family law attorney who will handle your case with sensitivity and respect.

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Recognizing Spousal Abuse in Your Marriage

 Posted on June 13, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerGetting out of an abusive marriage is not easy. No matter what type of abuse your spouse has inflicted on you, leaving him can be emotionally challenging. Most abusers try to make their spouses believe that they need the abuser and cannot handle life on their own. You may have been made to feel that you are completely dependent on your abuser and cannot leave. However, when you begin divorce proceedings, you will likely find that your spouse manipulated you into feeling that way and you are perfectly capable of living without him. You need to be represented by an aggressive Will County, IL divorce lawyer who can help protect you against continued abuse during your divorce. Your spouse will likely try to complicate the divorce.

4 Forms of Abuse Married People Might Face

Recognizing that you are being abused in the first place is not always easy. Some forms of abuse are insidious. Types of spousal abuse include:

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When Do Child Support Payments Stop?

 Posted on June 07, 2024 in Child Support

IL family lawyerIf you are paying or receiving child support, you might wonder when these payments will end. Traditionally, child support payments end when a child becomes a legal adult on his or her 18th birthday. However, this is not always the case anymore. There are several situations where a parent might be required to keep making child support payments after the child who is entitled to support turns 18 years old. If you need to establish child support payments or have questions about when these payments might stop, or if you have an ongoing child custody case, a Will County, IL child support attorney can help.

When Child Support is Still Owed After a Child Turns 18 Years Old 

The reality is that most 18-year-olds are not able to financially support themselves. It is very rare for an 18-year-old to be able to secure employment that pays enough for the new adult to live on. This means that most young adults still rely on their parents for support. Child support payments might continue after a child’s 18th birthday in the following situations:

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Signs Your Child is Not Safe in Your Ex-Spouse’s Home

 Posted on May 27, 2024 in Child Custody

IL defense lawyerWhile a lot of divorced parents dislike leaving their child with their former spouse for a number of reasons, fearing for your child’s safety when she is with your ex-spouse is another matter entirely. It is normal for divorced parents to disagree with some aspects of each other’s parenting styles or to not always agree with each other’s parenting decisions - for example, you might not like it when your ex-spouse lets your ten-year-old stay up until midnight. However, if you start to notice signs that your former spouse’s parenting decisions are putting your child in danger, you need to speak with a Will County, IL child custody attorney immediately. You might be able to modify your child custody order if there is evidence showing that your former spouse is putting your child at risk.

Warning Signs That Your Former Spouse’s Household is Not Safe for Your Child 

Noticing a risk to your child’s safety promptly is critical. You know your child best. If something seems wrong when you pick your child up from her co-parent’s home, do not ignore your gut feeling. Signs that your child might not be safe when she is with your former spouse might include:

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What to Do if Your Spouse Wants to Move with the Kids

 Posted on May 21, 2024 in Child Custody

IL divorce lawyerThe idea of having your children move far away from you might be terrifying. Living a plane ride or a road trip away from the most important people in your could make it very difficult to maintain a strong relationship. Your parental instinct to protect and be there for your children might be screaming for you to stop the move if at all possible. Fortunately, you have the right to contest the other parent’s plan to relocate with your children. A court will not allow your soon-to-be ex-spouse to move far away with the children unless she can prove that relocating would be in the children’s best interest. A DuPage County, IL child relocation lawyer can help you work to prevent a move that might harm your children or your relationship with them.

Showing That Relocating is Not in Your Children’s Interest

The best way to prevent your spouse from moving halfway across the country with your children is to show the court that moving would not be in your children’s best interest based on the factors Illinois law requires courts to consider in child relocation cases. Some tips and strategies for doing this include:

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What Are the Benefits of Legal Separation Over Divorce?

 Posted on May 10, 2024 in Divorce

IL family lawyerSpouses who do not want to live together anymore and need legal agreements regarding their marital property and children can choose between legal separation and divorce. Divorce is the more decidedly permanent option. Legal separation is more easily undone if the spouses choose to rekindle their relationship and start living together again in the future. Most of the decisions spouses would make during the divorce process will also need to be made during the legal separation process. If you choose legal separation, you will need to determine who should take possession of different types of marital property and create a parenting plan, much like you would if you got divorced. A Will County, IL legal separation lawyer can help you decide whether it is better for you and your spouse to divorce or to legally separate.

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Does an Absent Parent Still Have to Pay Child Support?

 Posted on May 06, 2024 in Child Support

IL family lawyerIn Illinois, parenting time and a parent’s duty to support his or her children are two completely separate issues. Every parent who has not formally lost his or her legal status as a parent has an obligation to provide financial support to his or her children. Child support is proportional to the parent’s income and financial means and can be awarded whether or not the parent owing child support gets parenting time. Illinois courts have one goal - to do what is in the best interests of the child in accordance with the law. If your child is owed child support but also needs to be protected from your co-parent, you need to speak with a Will County, IL child custody and child support attorney.

Who is Obligated to Pay Child Support? 

All parents have a legal duty to financially support their children. Normally, it is the parent who has less parenting time - or no parenting time at all - who pays child support. You can file a legal demand for child support as soon as you have legally established your child’s parentage. Legally establishing parentage means proving to the court who your child’s parents are.

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