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safe haven, child concerns, Lombard adoption attorneysIn a scene that is all too familiar in the Chicago area, a newborn baby girl was found in critical condition earlier this week, abandoned just a few hundred feet from a North Side hospital, a designated Safe Haven under Illinois law. Police officials indicate that the infant was alive when she was found but, despite being rushed to the hospital, did not survive. What makes the story even more heartbreaking is that the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office found that the girl was severely beaten and that her death has been ruled a homicide by "multiple blunt force trauma."

So Close to Available Help

According to reports, the baby was discovered by man walking toward a nearby apartment complex. He picked up the child and alerted security guards, who notified the police. When responders arrived, the child was alive but in critical condition. A source close to the investigation said the girl was in a patch of grass near a dumpster, with evidence of "embryonic" fluid close by. The patch of grass is situated between Weiss Memorial Hospital and Uplift High School. A few steps more, and the child could have been left safely and legally with hospital staff, rather than being left to suffer and die in the cold.

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Posted on in Divorce

Infidelity, while it may seem an overplayed meme in modern society, is still one of the most common reasons for divorce in America. According to InfidelityFacts.com, only 31 percent of American marriages last after an affair has "been admitted to or discovered," and the divorce rate in America is just over 50 percent. Despite the risks associated with having an affair, the majority of people in long-term committed relationships, at least according to InfidelityFacts.com, admit to being unfaithful. This percentage is just slightly higher for men (57 percent) than for women (54 percent), but the fact that both percentages are over half may be shocking. The average length of an affair is about two years.  

And yet an affair may not just be the actual physical act of cheating. The idea of an emotional affair is, in some cases, even more offensive than physical. In more than 40 percent of American marriages, "one or both spouses admit to infidelity, either physical or emotional," according to InfidelityFacts.com.

So what is an emotional affair? According to Oprah.com, it’s exactly what it sounds like. "Many people convince themselves that as long as there’s no sex, it’s not an affair. But it is," writes Dr. Gail Saltz. It "has to do with the amount of emotional energy that you pout into the other person and are no longer giving your partner." So what determines an emotional affair, and what’s just a friendship with a person of the opposite sex?

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According to CBS Chicago, in the upcoming year, there is going to be a new shelter in the Chicago Lawn area for domestic violence victims. Agency officials stated that there has been a large amount of calls for help in that area and that presently there is just nowhere for the victims to seek shelter. TheresaThe occurrences of domestic violence statistics are staggering and it happens more often than people realize. In fact, some divorce mediation programs report that up to 80 percent of divorces cite some kind of domestic violence as a reason for the divorce filing. In Chicago, there is a specific procedure used for handling divorce mediation where domestic violence is reported. Each party named in the divorce wait in separated waiting areas while filling out a 14-question written interview regarding safety concerns. The parties are then interviewed privately to screen for domestic violence. Each party is also escorted separately from the building by security guards. Domestic violence incidences are taken seriously because of the possible grievous consequences. Many states do have different procedures in dealing with domestic violence divorces such as waiving the cohabitation clause. Some states do require that a divorcing couple live apart for a predetermined amount of time before the court will grant the divorce. Domestic violence is also a serious consideration when it comes to issues of child custody and visitation. A parent that has a history of domestic violence may be limited to supervised visitation sessions for the protection of the children. If you are a victim of domestic violence and you are seeking a divorce, you need to hire an empathetic and informed Illinois family law attorney to ensure the safety and protect the interests of you and your children.

Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/freedigitalphotos.net

A Brooklyn appellate court decided that a prenuptial agreement between Elizabeth Petrakis and her husband, Peter Petrakis, will be thrown out. This decision almost never happens, according to Elizabeth’s attorney. Her lawyer also stated that "To a large degree, this has upset the heretofore common thinking that prenups were not subject to challenge. ... Now there&s precedent for vacating a prenup."

According to this article in the Huffington Post, the prenup was presented to Elizabeth three months before the marriage. It stated that she would get $25,000 for every year they were married, but all assets acquired during their marriage would belong to Peter in case of a divorce. Elizabeth refused to sign it until four days before the wedding, when Peter told her he’d tear it up once they had children.

Unfortunately, Peter never tore it up—an act which Elizabeth’s attorney calls fraud. This deception was the grounds for the case, and why the appellate court ruled in Elizabeth’s favor.

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ChristineDivorce is rampant in our society and taking the way out can be a breath of fresh air.

But what about the breath of 80 year old love?

November 25, 1932, marked the first "I do" by John and Ann Betar of Fairfield, Connecticut. Eighty years later they not only have happiness together but five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren to add to the bliss.

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Tax issues are confusing as it is, but when you are in the midst of a divorce, you may have various questions about how to file, what forms to file, and how to handle payments such as child support and alimony for tax purposes. Fortunately, a recent article from the Huffington Post details the most commonly asked questions about divorce and taxes.

The first question often is about your filing status – joint or single? If you are still married on December 31st, you are still married for tax purposes, even if you already have filed for divorce or are living separate from your spouse. Filing a joint tax return has many advantages, ones that a couple often should take advantage of if at all possible. However, a joint return also means joint liability for any tax debts that are owed and for the findings of any audit by the IRS.

Divorcing couples often wonder who has the ability to claim a child as a dependent on taxes, given the circumstances. Generally, the custodial parent has the right to claim the child, which is the parent with whom the child has lived for more than one-half of the year. However, if there is a court order to the contrary, i.e. that states which parent should claim which child on taxes, then you must follow the court order.

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Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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