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Recent Blog Posts

A New Approach to Parental Responsibilities

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Custody

parental responsibilities, child custody, Illinois family law attorneysWhile it does not occur in every case, it is certainly common enough. Following a divorce, separation, or breakup, many parents engage in a bitter battle over who will get custody of their children, and who will be relegated to visitation, often with reluctance on the part of the primary custodian. For many years, the laws in Illinois have provided the possibility of sole or joint custody, which parents too commonly saw as a content to be "won" or "lost." Starting next year, that will no longer be the case as the concept of child custody in the state of Illinois is getting a complete makeover.

Family Law Reform

The changes to child custody come as part of a sweeping measure that is drastically updating the state’s approach to divorce and family law in general. The law was passed earlier this year and was signed by the governor in July, paving the way for the updates to take effect on January 1, 2016.

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Going Through a Divorce This Holiday Season?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

divorce, holiday season, illinois divorce attorneysThe winter holidays, for many, are a time filled with joy, laughter, and family get-togethers. At the same time, you may feel like you are being pulled in a million directions, with presents to buy and wrap, food to prepare, and, often, travel arrangements to be made. That is not even to mention concerns related to work, school, or other obligations. For those who are in the midst of a divorce, however, the holidays can seem almost empty, and devoid of the happiness they once promised. If you are going through a divorce, there are some thing you will probably want to keep in mind.

Stay Involved

As tempting as it may be to sit home and to avoid the company of others, consider pushing yourself to go out and interact. The feelings of loneliness and sadness are a natural part of the divorce process, and there is nothing wrong with you for feeling that way. But isolating yourself during the holidays may not be the best solution. Make the effort to see family and friends, even it is not the most comfortable. Allow yourself to be distracted, even if just for a little while, and if loved ones offer support, do your best to accept it graciously.

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Instead of Paying Child Support, He Bought Christmas Gifts

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Support

child support, christmas presents, Illinois family law attorneysWhen you receive child support payments from your child’s other parent, you and your child may come to rely on those funds to help provide basic necessities. If you are fortunate enough, a missed payment here and there will not cause a major financial crisis. Depending upon your situation, though, a single missed payment could cause you to be unable to pay the rent or to miss a utility bill deadline. But what happens when your child’s other parent shows up with Christmas presents this year instead of making his ordered payment?

Child Support Calculations

Under Illinois law, an order for child support is based on the net income of the supporting parent and the number of children being supported. Variations are permitted based on your family’s individual circumstances, but, in general, the considerations are the same. Most orders for support require the supporting parent or an employer on the parent’s behalf to submit payments to the State Disbursement Unit for proper documentation and allocation to the residential parent. This is how the state is able to keep track of the supporting parent’s compliance.

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Phubbing Could Be Killing Your Marriage

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

cell phone, phubbing, Arlington Heights family law attorneysWith today’s technology, there is world of information and connectivity available with just a few taps on your smartphone. Cell phones and mobile devices have become such a part of modern life that virtually everything that once accessible only by a desktop computer can now go with you everywhere. The potential downside, however, is that it can be easy to get lost in the virtual world and a recent study indicates that many relationships are starting to suffer as a result. Phone snubbing—or phubbing, as it has come to be called—is becoming a problem for many couples, as one or both partners are often distracted by their phones even while in each other’s company.

First Formal Research

A research group at the Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business conducted a study that is being billed as the first of its kind, examining the effects of phubbing on relationship satisfaction. The findings, which were published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, indicated that more than 45 percent of the 453 adults surveyed have been phubbed by their partner. Nearly a quarter of the respondents indicated that phubbing is causing conflict in their relationship. Co-author of the study, Professor James Roberts observed, "Something as common as cellphone use can undermine the bedrock of our happiness—our relationships with our romantic partners."

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Is an Uncontested Divorce Right for You?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

uncontested divorce, divorce, Illinois divorce attorneysDivorce is not always a long, ugly, mess. In Illinois, uncontested divorces are increasingly common. Instead of both sides filing motions and petitions with the court over a period of months and even years, in an uncontested divorce, the two sides agree to everything beforehand.

The Pros of Uncontested Divorces

Uncontested divorces are becoming more popular because of all the benefits they offer over a more traditional approach to divorce. Uncontested divorces are usually:

  • Faster than regular divorces;
  • Less expensive;
  • Less emotional; and
  • More conducive to better post-divorce relationships

In an uncontested divorce, a couple can be finished with the entire process in less than a month. While it is still important that both sides have their own independent lawyer, legal fees and court fees are much lower when both sides agree on the main issues and there are not legal arguments being battled back and forth.

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The Other Parent Is a Still a Parent

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Custody

parenting time, Illinois law, Arlington Heights family law attorneyFor a number of months, posts on this blog have talked about some of various aspects of Illinois family law that were set to change going into 2016. Some of the bigger changes revolve around the state’s approach to divorce and child custody, with the law being updated to address the evolving needs of today’s families. One seemingly smaller amendment, however, addresses parental visitation and presents parents with a new way of thinking about the idea.

Parental Responsibilities

The changes to the law regarding visitation are part of the larger shift in the philosophy regarding child custody. Divorcing, separating, or unmarried parents will no longer be competing for arrangements like sole or joint custody, or for titles such as custodial parent. Instead, parents are expected to cooperate in developing a plan for sharing parental responsibilities. These include both significant decision-making responsibilities, such as education, medical care, and religious training, as well as everyday life responsibilities, known as caretaking functions.

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New Law Looks to Expedite the Divorce Process

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

divorce, separation, Illinois family law attorneysIf you are like most married people, you probably approached your marriage with a hopeful spirit and a commitment to building a life with your spouse. It is an unfortunate reality, however, that many couples simply do not belong together. The best intentions and years of effort by you and your spouse may not be enough to overcome your differences. In recent years, a trend has begun to emerge among couples who may not wish to remain married but have no intention of making each other’s lives miserable in the process.

A cooperative divorce is always preferable to one that is contentious and stressful, but until now, the law in Illinois tended to keep a couple together longer than many felt necessary. Beginning in 2016, amendments to the law now allow a divorce to proceed much more quickly than ever before, permitting the couple to focus on more important aspects of their lives without undue delays.

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Lifestyle Clauses in Prenuptial Agreements

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Prenuptial Agreement

prenuptial agreement, lifestyle clause, Illinois family lawyersAs we have recently discussed in greater detail in other posts on this blog, at-fault divorce is now a thing of the past in Illinois. No matter what you think your spouse may have done, a family court will only care about one thing: whether or not irreconcilable differences have caused the breakdown of your marriage. It has long been the case that marital misconduct cannot be considered by the court in proceedings for spousal maintenance or property division either. The court may, however, recognize a prenuptial agreement between you and your spouse that includes what are commonly known as lifestyle clauses, allowing the behavior of one spouse or the other to still affect divorce proceedings.

Infidelity Clauses

Despite the Illinois law prohibiting divorce on the explicit grounds of adultery, the most common type of lifestyle clause found in many prenuptial agreements provides for a penalty in the event one spouse cheats. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel reportedly have such a clause in their prenuptial agreement, and many other celebrity couples are thought to as well. If such an agreement is seen by the court as reasonable, whatever financial or property-related penalty upon which you have agreed may be enforced. This, howeer,

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Dealing with Debts after Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Distribution of Assets

marital debt, Lombard family law attorneysAdjusting to life after a divorce can be challenging. One of the hardest things can be learning to deal with the new financial picture, especially any new debts you may have acquired as part of the divorce.

Setting a Budget

Family courts not only have the authority to divide the marital assets, but they may also be tasked with dividing the marital debts. This may mean you have less disposable income than you did before the divorce. It is important that you carefully review your finances early on and set up a realistic budget.

Failure to pay debts on time will not only put you further behind financially, but can also end up getting you in trouble with the family law court. If you are ordered to pay a joint debt, and fail to do so, your ex-spouse could petition to have you fined for being in contempt of court.

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Updated Statute Presumes Parental Cooperation

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Custody

parenting plan, cooperation, Lombard family law attorneyFor the last several months, posts on this blog have discussed at length a number of changes being effected in the state of Illinois, particularly as they relate to divorce and family law concerns. Most of the updates are intended to facilitate and encourage a more amicable divorce process, which is beneficial not only to the spouses themselves, but to any others who may be affected, most especially children. A divorce or separation in which contentiousness and acrimony can be minimized often allows for a much more stable future, free from most divorce-related grudges and hurt feelings. While encouraging reasonable negotiation between divorcing couples of all types, the new law expects active cooperation from parents, in particular, requiring them to be more a part of the decision-making process than ever before.

New Year, New Outlook

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