Tag Archives: Wheaton divorce attorney

Back to School Co-Parenting

back to school, DuPage County family law attorneysThe stores are filled with sales on pencils, notebooks, folders, and backpacks. This could only mean one thing: it is back-to-school season! If you are a parent, you have probably been buying supplies, meeting new teachers, and getting back into the swing of the school year. Things may be especially chaotic if you have recently split from your spouse. How can parents manage school schedules and responsibilities while sharing parental responsibilities with their ex? There is no perfect way to co-parent but experts do have some advice for newly divorced parents helping their child go back to school.

  • Do not be afraid to involve the school staff. If you are worried about how your child will deal with the strain of school on top of dealing with a changing family, you are not alone. Many families have found themselves in a similar position. The teachers, counselors and other school staff have probably helped dozens of students through such family changes. Do not be afraid to reach out and let your child’s teacher know what is going on at home.
  • Check the school’s website for valuable information. As technology becomes a greater and greater part of our everyday lives, many schools are utilizing the internet in order to communicate with parents. Make sure you get on any email or text lists your child’s school may use and check out the school’s website for information. Many schools even post grades online so that parents can see how their children are doing in their classes.
  • Get on a consistent schedule. Parenting experts agree that children thrive when their lives are predictable and scheduled. If it is possible, talk to your ex and work out when the child will wake up and when he or she will go to sleep. Will he or she finish homework before or after dinner? Try to have a similar schedule and rules as the child’s other parent.
  • Avoid burdening your child with adult worries. As tempting as it is to “trash-talk” a deadbeat ex, doing so will only burden your child with information that they are not equipped to handle. Even if you do not get along with the child’s other parent, remember that they are still an important part of your child’s life. If you need to have a tough conversation with your ex, stick to the facts, and keep the details between the adults.
  • Communicate with the other parent. Those who share a child with an ex-spouse are in a different situation than those who do not. Divorced couples who do not have children are able to make a clean break from each other. Once a divorce is finalized, they can move on with their lives. Couples who share a child do not have this ability. Even though you have decided not to be in a romantic relationship with your child’s other parent, you will still have to communicate with him or her regarding your child’s well-being. It can be a difficult process but your child will be happier and healthier for it.

We Can Help

If the back-to-school season has revealed issues that need to be addressed in your parenting plan, contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation with the Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.





Can My Spouse Prevent a Divorce?

divorce, Wheaton divorce lawyerDivorce can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life, especially if they are not the one who initiated proceedings. However, some try to actively make things harder for their spouse by doing things such as refusing to sign divorce papers, hiding information, and generally doing their best to impede the legal process. When you are dealing with such obstruction, it is understandable to wonder if it is actually possible for your spouse to deny you a divorce, but rest assured, the answer is no,though it can be made complex and expensive by an intransigent partner.

Delay Tactics Are Common

If you are the person to initiate divorce proceedings against your spouse’s wishes, it is not uncommon for him or her to attempt to delay or otherwise affect proceedings. One common way in which a spouse may attempt to thwart a divorce going forward is to make themselves unavailable to sign the papers. The rationale behind this is the presumption that proceedings cannot go forward without proof that the responding party—your spouse, in this example—has at least been made aware of the filing.

Alternatively, your spouse may decide to refuse their signature on divorce papers because they intend to contest your version of events. They have a right to do so, but it must be done in good faith. Illinois law holds that before anything else is debated, the issue of whether the marriage is irretrievably broken must be decided, and if you are able to show that you are of that opinion to a judge’s satisfaction, there is very little your spouse can do about it.

Potential Consequences

If your spouse generally cooperates with your wish to divorce, even if he or she is displeased, the court will process the divorce in a fairly standard fashion. However, if it is found that he or she has contributed to unreasonable delays, acted in bad faith, or declined to participate in proceedings at all, your spouse may wind up receiving the short end of the proverbial stick, either via a default judgment or being found in civil contempt. A default judgment is generally entered when you have exhausted all possible methods and remedies in attempting to serve your spouse, including service via publication in the relevant local newspaper. It essentially grants the divorce without passing judgment on issues such as child support since no information about the other spouse’s finances or overall well-being is available.

Contempt is a different matter. Defined as “conduct calculated to embarrass, hinder or obstruct a court in its administration of justice,” or to try and undermine the authority of the court to dispense justice, it is not often used against family court defendants. However, it is a tool in a judge’s arsenal when someone’s behavior is deemed to be egregious, especially if asset or support negotiations are being conducted in bad faith. If your spouse’s behavior rises to an especially outrageous level, this may be one option that can cease such delaying tactics.

Get Help Obtaining a Divorce?

Most of the time, when one spouse asks for a divorce, it can be completed in a relatively short span of time, assuming both spouses behave appropriately. If one spouse is dead set against a divorce, it can create real problems. If this is your situation, it can help to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side. Our passionate DuPage County divorce lawyers are happy to sit down with you and determine what the best path is for you. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation.




Differences Between a Military Divorce and Civilian Divorce

military, DuPage County divorce attorneyMany U.S. citizens choose military careers, to make a difference or to get out and see the world. However, this does affect some aspects of civilian life, including marriage and divorce—the latter in particular, especially when children and issues of parenting time are involved. Going through a divorce from a military servicemember, especially if they are on active duty at the time of proceedings, can be a complex process. It can be extremely advantageous to have knowledgeable legal representation on your side.

Timing Matters

While most civilians can simply be brought to court anytime papers are served on them, military personnel are more likely to in different situations, especially if they are serving actively abroad. It is generally possible to serve military personnel with divorce papers or any other kind of legal document, but because they likely may not be able to present themselves physically within the relevant jurisdiction, they are afforded certain legal protections that must be honored. The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA) permits that even with service being appropriate in all respects, a hearing on the matter may be suspended for up to the servicemember’s entire tour of duty plus 60 days.

The rationale behind this is not simply to make the civilian spouse wait. If the servicemember is abroad, they have no opportunity to appear in court, and without an appearance, they could potentially be subject to a default judgment if the SCRA did not exist. A default judgment would be fundamentally inequitable and against public policy, especially if there are children involved. The state has a vested interest in children having time with both parents unless one or both are proven to be unfit.

Asset Division Will Differ

The other way in which military divorces will follow significantly different procedure than those between two civilians is in the matter of asset division, more specifically retirement pay and accounts. In a civilian marriage and divorce, retirement accounts are subject to Illinois’ equitable distribution. This used to not be the case regarding military retirement pay. It was not until 1982, when the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) was enacted, that divorcing spouses were held to have any right to any of the servicemember’s retirement pay.

It is still important to keep in mind two things. First, your civilian retirement instruments, such as your 401(k), are still divisible under state law, and, second, military disability pay is not divisible at all. Sometimes a servicemember will take a portion of their retirement pay early, as a sort of temporary disability pay via the Veterans’ Administration (VA), or convert a portion into long-term disability payments, and federal courts have held that this money is not divisible under any circumstances. The rationale is that to make it divisible in divorce would essentially punish the servicemember for being disabled, either temporarily or permanently, which makes even less sense than it would in a less hazardous job.

Need Help Understanding Your Military Divorce?

If you are going through or about to go through a divorce from a military servicemember, enlisting a passionate DuPage County military divorce lawyer can make the process much smoother. Contact the Andrew Cores Family Law Group today to set up an initial appointment.