Tag Archives: DuPage County divorce lawyers

When Is Supervised Parenting Time Appropriate in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton-supervised-parenting-time-lawyerDuring and after a divorce, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows both parents to have reasonable parenting time with their child. In some situations, if a parent is worried about his or her child’s physical or mental well-being when spending time with the other parent, he or she can request a hearing to ask for supervised visits. The parent requesting this supervision needs to show evidence to support this request. If you are ordered to have supervised parenting time with your child, an experienced family law attorney can help you determine the best way to proceed.

Factors that May Require Supervision

Many factors are considered when deciding if parenting time will be supervised or not. In general, Illinois courts prefer to promote a healthy parent-child relationship, even during disputes over parental responsibilities (child custody). For a parent to have supervised parenting time, the court must consider the child to be in serious danger if he or she were to be left alone for a period of time with that parent. The court also has the right to modify an existing parenting time order if needed.
If two ex-spouses have an argument, or if one parent does not like the other parent’s new partner, that typically does not qualify as seriously endangering the child mentally, physically, or emotionally. On the other hand, if the other parent (or his or her new love interest) is physically or verbally abusive to the child, that is grounds for seeking supervised parenting time. In some cases involving domestic abuse to the other parent or the child, the court may issue an order of protection to limit or restrict an allegedly abusive parent’s access to the child entirely.
If one parent is diagnosed as mentally ill or is found to be abusing drugs or alcohol, those would be valid reasons for supervised parenting time. After a certain amount of time, supervised parenting time orders can be reviewed to determine if they should be reversed or modified. This could happen in cases where an alcoholic parent becomes sober, or if they are under the care of a physician and are seeking treatment or therapy for a mental disorder.

Who Can Supervise Parenting Time?

Once supervised parenting time is ordered, the court can appoint another family member, a friend, or a third party to supervise the visits between a parent and child. Supervised parenting time centers can provide a neutral meeting place where trained staff or social workers can observe the visits. In most scenarios, there is no fee for low-income families to attend these centers.
In Illinois, courts can place other types of restrictions on parenting time if they determine it is necessary or in the best interest of the child, including specifying certain locations for visits,  denying parenting time when the parent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or restricting overnight parenting time.
Normally, only parents have a legal right to parenting time. In certain situations, however,  grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings can request a visitation order from the court if they so choose.

Contact a DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

Divorce can be difficult in many ways. If certain events lead to you being required to have supervised parenting time with your child, you should speak to a diligent Wheaton family law attorney. We can review your case to determine if the order can be reversed or modified. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.

Sources: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000



An Alternative to Divorce: Legal Separation

DuPage County separation attorneyDivorce is a huge decision and step in a person’s life. Once a divorce is granted, a couple’s marriage is over, and it brings significant changes to finances, child custody, and living arrangements. Every relationship faces challenges at some point, and needing a break to assess whether the marriage can work is not uncommon. Some spouses may not be ready to file for divorce, but still need some structure for parenting issues, property rights, and financial support.

One option at this juncture is a legal separation. While it can ultimately lead to divorce, that outcome does not always occur. Couples who enter into legal separation agreements are still legally married and cannot remarry or finalize certain aspects of dissolving the marriage without seeking a divorce. In other words, legal separation is revocable, whereas divorce is not once granted.

Breakdown of Legal Separation

Legal separation is a court-approved action that recognizes and formalizes the physical and financial separation of a couple as they consider reconciling or getting divorced. It differs from physical separation, in which a couple simply agrees to live apart, by creating an enforceable agreement binding the spouses to certain terms related to parenting, child support, alimony, and property division. In order to qualify for this legal remedy, at least one spouse must have resided in Illinois for at least 90 days and the couple must be living apart. This procedure is still available even if one spouse does not presently live in Illinois, but if he/she never lived in the state, the court will not be able to settle issues of child support and maintenance. Additionally, in order for the court to have authority to order a parenting plan, the child must have lived in Illinois for at least six months. Further, the parties must agree on the division of marital assets and debts for it to be included in the court’s order. Otherwise, this issue will remain open and unsettled. Another important point to understand is that any award for spousal maintenance will be revisited if a divorce case is later filed, with no impact from the earlier award on the divorce proceeding. Only in instances where a couple agreed to non-modifiable alimony would this treatment not be applied.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

As noted, legal separation does not end a marriage, and thus, gives the couple time to reconcile in a controlled manner. If divorce does come, the legal separation agreement that governed the time the couple lived apart while married could be used to form the basis of the final divorce settlement. As a result, many of the complicated issues of divorce would already be settled, meaning less expense, time, and stress. This may provide the alternative a couple needs to repair their marriage, or at least give them the ability to say they tried everything to save the relationship.

Seek Legal Advice from a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney

Admitting there are problems in your marriage is not easy, and sometimes, taking time away from one another is necessary to gain clarity on whether to stay together or get divorced. If you are contemplating a legal separation, talk to an experienced divorce attorney today. The dedicated DuPage County divorce lawyers at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group know how to structure a legal separation so it both supports you during this time and streamlines divorce if that choice is ultimately made. Contact us at 630-518-4002 for a free consultation.



The Importance of Timing for a Claim of Dissipation

dissipation, Wheaton divorce lawyersIn any proceeding for divorce, the spouses must reach an agreement regarding the division of their marital property. If they cannot, the court will equitably allocate the marital estate between the spouses, taking a number of statutory factors into account. During the process, either spouse may file a claim of dissipation, alleging that the other party has spent or “dissipated” marital assets inappropriately, and that the dissipated money should be repaid to the marital estate before proper allocation can be completed. When the spending occurred, however, is an important consideration, and one that may impact the court’s ultimate decision regarding the claim.

What Is Dissipation?

Under Illinois law, dissipation is a spouse’s use of marital for his or her own personal benefit and not for the benefit of the marriage. Dissipation is often alleged in cases where one party has spent a great deal of money on drugs, alcohol, gambling, bad investments, or extramarital affairs. In some cases, dissipation can also include the destruction of or failure to maintain an asset. Such actions are problematic because inappropriate spending or destruction can significantly reduce the value of the marital estate.

Dissipation Timing

If your spouse has never been very good with money, it is easy to think that years of apparently wasteful spending may constitute dissipation. In Illinois, however, both statutory law and court precedents have established that the inappropriate use of assets is only considered dissipation if it occurs while “the marriage was undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown.” While such a determination may seem subjective at best, it is intended to prevent the need for a full accounting of expenditures throughout the entire course of a marriage which may have lasted for decades. The law also provides that dissipation claims are limited to actions or spending that occurred within five years of the filing of the petition for divorce.

Making Your Claim

To be considered in your divorce, a claim of dissipation must contain several specific elements, including:

  • The specific property or amount you believe was dissipated;
  • The date or period during which your marriage began irretrievably breaking down; and
  • The date or period during which the alleged dissipation occurred.

Once your claim has been properly filed, the burden of proof shifts to the other party. He or she will be required to show that the spending or actions in question were intended for the benefit of the marriage. Alternatively, he or she may dispute your claim that the marriage had begun to break down at the time the spending took place.

Guidance From a Professional

Claims of dissipation can be complex, but they are an important part of the divorce process for many couples. If you would like to learn more about the possibility of claiming dissipation, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. We can help you analyze your situation and provide the assistance you need every step of the way. Call 630-871-1002 today for a free consultation with Andrew Cores Family Law Group.