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Recent Blog Posts

Know the Four Types of Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

divorce, type of divorce, Arlington Heights family law attorneyWhen you have reached the point in your marriage where you know that it is over, you need to begin thinking about the right way to divorce. Most couples will have several options, depending upon their ability to communicate and cooperate with one another. The type of divorce you choose may also be affected by the complexity of your situation, including concerns for children, diverse business interests, or if you and your spouse enjoy a high net-worth. No matter which route you take, the end goal should be same: an equitable divorce judgment that allows each party to experience a positive post-divorce reality.

1. Do-It-Yourself Divorce

There is almost never a good reason to try to handle your divorce on your own, despite being technically possible. Many Internet resources offer advice on how to save money by representing yourself in the process of a simple divorce, but even the simplest of cases often have unexpected obstacles. What you think you are saving in the moment may end up costing you significantly, since, without an attorney, there is nobody to keep you from making an expensive mistake.

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Do You Qualify for a Joint Simplified Divorce?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

joint simplified divorce, Illinois law, Kane County family lawyersA number of previous posts on this blog have discussed the idea that divorce does not need to be a knock-down, drag-out battle. It is very possible for divorcing spouses to remain calm, civil, even friendly throughout the process. These types of cases lend themselves quite well to proceedings for uncontested divorce, in which neither party objects to the divorce and the details of the agreement are generally negotiated outside of the courtroom. Uncontested divorce is often much faster and less expensive than contested divorce, but the law in Illinois provides an additional option that may be easier and even more cost-effective. It is called joint simplified divorce and there are very specific conditions that apply in order for a couple to be eligible.

What is Joint Simplified Divorce?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act offers an alternative to more traditional divorce for couples without complex marital concerns. In a joint simplified divorce, both parties file the petition together, along with their signed agreements regarding property and support. The court will typically hear the case on the same day that it is filed, and if everything is in order, the judgment may be entered immediately. This represents a dramatic savings in time, energy, and expenses compared to formal divorce proceedings.

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Safe Haven Law: Infant’s Tragic Death Was Unnecessary

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Adoption

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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The Awarding of Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

maintenance, illinois law, Kane County divorce attorneyCertain aspects of divorce under Illinois law are relatively black-and-white. For example, virtually every divorcing spouse is entitled to an equitable share of the couple’s marital property, just like every child is assumed to have the right to financial support from both parents. Other aspects, however, can be more accurately described as falling into much more of a gray area, with ample room for court discretion and subjective considerations. Among the most prominent of these is spousal maintenance, which has long been a source of uncertainty and confusion for many divorcing couples.

Understanding the Purpose of Maintenance

It is important to realize that there no presumed right to spousal maintenance, sometimes called alimony, in the state of Illinois. Instead, it can be ordered by the court based on the examination of the circumstances of a marriage and divorce. Maintenance is intended to limit the extent to which a spouse will be financially disadvantaged by the end of her marriage. While a court may award a man spousal maintenance under the law, more than 95 percent of individuals receiving alimony are women. Decisions about support, though, are not always left to the courts.

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Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Amicable Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

amicable divorce, divorce law, Arlington Heights divorce attorneyA few weeks ago, a post on this blog talked about "divorce selfie" trend that seemed to exemplify the amicable nature of many modern divorces. For many couples, the decision to end their marriage, while difficult, does not end their ability to work together toward a common goal. An amicable, uncontested divorce can save a couple the hassle and expense of having to sort out their differences in court and greatly streamline the entire process. Regardless of how cooperative you and your spouse can be, however, it is still important to seek the assistance of a qualified divorce attorney for a number of reasons.

Divorce Is Often Complicated

Even though you and your spouse may agree on most of the concerns inherent to the divorce, spelling out an acceptable divorce agreement can be difficult. The division of property, for example, is just one area that can be incredibly complex, with valuations needed for homes, vehicles, retirement accounts and more. While you may not have any disagreements over who is getting what, an attorney can help you develop a legally sound arrangement that clearly designates each and every allocation.

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A Negotiated Divorce Agreement Helps Make Life Easier

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

divorce agreement, negotiation, Illinois divorce lawyersA marriage can legally end in just two ways, and both are incredibly difficult experiences. The first is by the death of either spouse, and, of course, the death of a loved one is always challenging. The second, as you probably realize, is divorce, or the dissolution of the marriage, according to the law in Illinois. For many, divorce is no less traumatic than a loved one’s death, and can even be made worse by months of intense fighting and brutal courtroom litigation. There is, however, an alternative to a hotly contested divorce process and, while still not necessarily easy, negotiating the terms of your divorce agreement outside of court may be the best solution for all parties involved.

What Can We Negotiate?

The laws governing divorce in Illinois are contained primarily in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). The IMDMA is a comprehensive set of statutes that covers, often in great detail, the responsibilities of each divorcing party, as well as those of the court, for most matters of family law. Regarding divorce agreements, the IMDMA specifically acknowledges that a negotiated agreement promotes the "amicable settlement of disputes between parties to a marriage." It goes on to specify that such an agreement may contain terms regarding spousal maintenance, the division of property, the allocation of parental responsibilities, and child support.

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You Cannot Forfeit Your Child’s Right to Child Support

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Support

child support, right to support, Arlington Heights family law attorneyWhile divorce is certainly a commonly addressed area of family law, issues of child support are even more common. In order for a couple to get divorced, they must have already been married. Child support, on the other hand, is not dependent upon a legal relationship between the parents. Instead, it is based on provisions in the law codifying the moral obligation of a parent to contribute to his or her child’s well-being. Legislating a parent’s love and attention is obviously not possible, but the state does have the authority to enforce financial obligations, which it may do through orders for child support.

Right of the Child, Not the Parent

In most situations involving divorced, separated, or unmarried parents, one parent is designated as having primary residential responsibility for child. This generally means that the parent is responsible for enrolling the child in school, as well as providing for a majority of the child’s basic day-to-day needs. When child support is ordered, it is typically the primary residential parent who receives the payments on behalf of the child.

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Dividing Intellectual Property in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

intellectual property, Illinois law, Lombard divorce attorneysDuring a divorce most people think about how things like the cars, real estate, and retirement accounts will be divided between the spouses. But, as our society becomes increasingly information driven, another major category of property to be split is intellectual property. This can include everything from copyrights and trademarks to patents and trade secrets.

When Is Intellectual Property Considered Marital Property?

Illinois law has a broad scope of what is considered marital property. The presumption is that all property acquired during the marriage, that was not an individual gift or inheritance, is marital property. This includes typical types of personal property and real estate as well as intellectual property.

If one spouse writes a book during the marriage, the copyright on that book is presumed to be marital property. There are exceptions to this rule and ways to rebut the presumption. However, the starting position of the court is that even intellectual property created or acquired during the marriage is marital property.

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Filing for an Emergency Order of Protection

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Domestic Violence

domestic violence, orders of protection, Lombard family law attorneyWhen you or your child is the victim of domestic violence, it is easy to feel alone and completely helpless. You want to escape the situation and get your child to safety, buy you may not know how or where to go. In many such cases, the most important first step is to place a legal barrier between yourself and your abuser by petitioning the court for an emergency order of protection.

How to Get an Emergency Order

The process of requesting an emergency order of protection is quite simple. You may file your petition for an order of protection with the court of the county in which are living or where you are currently located due to safety concerns. Your petition may alternatively be filed in the county where your abuser lives or where the abuse took place. In the event that your circumstances require an emergency order at a time when the appropriate court is closed—such as a weekend or holiday—you may file your petition with any available circuit court judge or associate judge.

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Special Issues in Illinois High Net-Worth Divorce Cases

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Distribution of Assets

high net-worth, wealthy couple, Arlington Heights family law attorneyDivorce is often a complex mix of anger, resentment, and heartbreak. But, when you also have to deal with complicated financial holdings, business, and asset valuation, it can make the situation even more volatile. High net-worth divorces have issues not found in most other family law cases.

Finding, Valuing, and Understanding the Assets

Most high net-worth individuals hold a variety of different asset classes. Many of the assets are not held personally by the couple, but instead are in different holding companies or tied up in various business and investment structures. One of the challenges in a high net-worth divorce is finding all of the assets. It is not unusual for one spouse to try and hide assets.

Even when all the assets are clearly identified, it can be difficult to both understand what the assets are and what their value is. Often experts, such as forensic accountants, need to be hired to help evaluate the worth of the marital property.

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