Recent Blog Posts

What to Keep in Mind For Your Parenting Agreement

 Posted on January 10, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerGoing through a separation or divorce can be an enormously difficult transition, especially when children are involved. Despite the challenges, establishing a comprehensive, well-thought-out parenting agreement upfront is one of the most important things you can do as co-parents to protect your kids’ best interests. An Illinois family lawyer can help you with your agreement.

Define Custody Arrangements Up Front

Clearly defining custody arrangements up front is crucial for minimizing confusion and conflict down the road. Illinois law provides for joint custody or sole custody awards. Be explicit in your parenting plan about who holds decision-making authority and responsibility over matters like health, education, religion, and other major areas of the children’s lives. 

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What Makes a Divorce Complex?

 Posted on January 07, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerDivorce can be a complicated process, and complex divorces are often even more stressful. Your complex divorce may deal with high assets, child custody disputes, and other complicated financial issues. If you are struggling to come to an agreement with your spouse or you have many assets on the line, it is important to seek the help of an experienced Illinois complex divorce lawyer.

Are Complex Divorces Highly Contested?

Complex divorces can be highly contested, and this commonly occurs in cases where there are hidden assets, financial issues, high-value assets to divide, and issues surrounding child custody or child support. In many cases, spouses are not able to settle on an agreement between dividing property and marital assets, and they might not be able to agree on child custody or support arrangements.

If your divorce is highly contested and complex, it is important to engage in the exploration and discovery of all financial issues and factors that might be affecting child custody or support arrangements. The state of Illinois encourages an equitable division of property and assets, though this can be a point of contention for many couples.

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Will My Bipolar Disorder Affect My Child Custody Case?

 Posted on December 30, 2023 in Child Custody

IL famil lawyerChild custody cases can be a grueling ordeal. When one parent has bipolar disorder, it can raise questions about their ability to provide a stable and nurturing environment for their child. In Illinois custody cases, the court cares about what is best for the child. If you have bipolar disorder and are wondering whether it will affect you having a fair chance at custody of your child, contact an attorney in Illinois at your earliest convenience. Your lawyer is a legal professional well attuned to what factors the court considers when making custody determinations. 

Does the Best Interest of the Child Standard Include the Mental Health of the Parent?

Yes. In Illinois, each parent's physical and mental health is considered when making custody decisions. While having bipolar disorder may be a factor, it does not automatically disqualify a parent from obtaining custody or visitation rights. As long as the parent suffering from bipolar disorder is still able to provide a stable and nurturing environment for the child, having bipolar disorder will likely not prohibit the parent from seeking custody or visitation rights.

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Illinois Family Law Terms to Know

 Posted on December 28, 2023 in Family Law

IL family lawIf this is your first time going through a family law case in Illinois, some of the language used might sound odd or confusing at first. Illinois changed some of the terms it uses to refer to things like the time a parent spends with their child after divorce. Other terms have remained unchanged for years, but you may not have encountered them before. Although it can take some getting used to, most of the terms Illinois uses are quite self-explanatory. You may still hear old terms like “child custody” used informally. Your DuPage County, IL, family law attorney may even use these terms when discussing your case with you for clarity. However, in legal documents, the new terms will be used, so it is important to know them

Understanding Family Law Terms in Illinois

Some of the terms you might encounter in a family law case include:

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Long-Distance Co-Parenting Strategies

 Posted on December 15, 2023 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerCo-parenting after divorce can be difficult even for parents who live in the same neighborhood. When parents live far away from each other, working together to put the child first can be a challenge. Living far apart can be a good thing in some ways. If you and the other parent have a high-conflict relationship, your ability to co-parent may benefit from rarely or never having to see each other in person. While custody hand-offs might be more complicated, they are generally more rare. It is fairly common for children to live with one parent during the school year and spend summer and winter breaks with the other parent. With few other options, this can make settling a custody dispute out of court by agreement simple. If one parent is relocating after a divorce has been finalized, the parties will need to seek a post-decree modification. It is important to be represented by a Wheaton, IL, child custody lawyer during any proceedings. 

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Which Parent Gets Custody During the Holidays?

 Posted on December 09, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

IL family lawyerFor parents, the prospect of spending a major holiday without their children can be jarring. Most major holidays are considered family affairs. Unfortunately, when two parents are no longer living together, one of them is likely to miss seeing their children on some important holidays. Holiday parenting time should be addressed in the parenting plan you will be legally required to have before your divorce is finalized.

Attorneys and mediators can offer many different creative options for parents who must share their children’s time during the holidays after a divorce. A lot of different factors can go into deciding what type of arrangement is best, such as how far apart the parents live and whether they both practice the same religion. A qualified Wheaton, IL, child custody lawyer can give you some ideas to consider and help negotiate with the other parent on your behalf. 

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Protecting Your Child During a Custody Dispute

 Posted on December 04, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

IL divorce lawyerContested child custody cases can be difficult for parents and children alike. Things like having a guardian ad litem come in and interview your children or having a judge evaluate how involved in your child’s life you are can be immensely stressful. However, some of the difficult processes your family will go through are essential to helping the court make the best decisions. Remember that every decision the judge makes must be based on what is in the best interests of the child in question. While the judge strives to determine what type of parenting time calendar and allocation of parental responsibilities would be best for your child, there are steps you as a parent can take to protect your child’s well-being during the process. It is important to follow your Illinois family law attorney’s advice and keep them advised of your co-parenting strategy during an active custody dispute. 

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How Do I Know if My Spouse Is Hiding Assets?

 Posted on November 29, 2023 in Division of Assets

IL divorce lawyerIllinois divorce attorneys have a number of ways of finding hidden marital assets. This is because it is fairly common for one spouse to try to conceal funds from the other in the hopes of not having to share. Illinois law clearly states that nearly all property a married couple obtains during the marriage is marital property, regardless of whose income was involved. Placing money or property in a separate account is not enough to make it not marital property. If you suspect that your spouse is keeping assets hidden from you, it is important to tell your divorce lawyer immediately so that they can begin conducting a search. Your divorce may be paused while your lawyer works to uncover secret assets using strategies like hiring a forensic accountant or using internet-based investment tracking resources. 

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When Can I Stop Paying Spousal Support?

 Posted on November 27, 2023 in spousal maintenance

IL divorce lawyerVery few people are pleased about being ordered to keep financially supporting the person they just divorced. The good news is that in most cases, spousal support does not last forever. Unless you and your spouse are senior citizens who have been married for 20+ years, the chances that you will be able to stop paying spousal support eventually are very high. Generally, Illinois courts do not like the idea of alimony. It is often seen as an outdated concept, a relic from a time when one spouse worked and the other was a homemaker in nearly every marriage. Spousal support is only ordered in cases where the court, having considered all the relevant factors, deems it fair to both parties. There are several reasons that spousal support payments may terminate in Illinois. An Illinois divorce attorney can assess your case and help determine when you might be able to stop supporting your former spouse. 

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Can I Modify My Final Divorce Decree?

 Posted on November 25, 2023 in Divorce Procedure

IL divorce lawyerIf you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances since your divorce decree was issued, you might be able to have your divorce decree modified. Illinois law recognizes that the terms of a divorce decree can become impractical or impossible to follow when one party has gone through a significant life change. A simple example is that a divorced person who has lost their job might no longer have the ability to pay spousal support. In this example, the court would likely be willing to modify the divorce decree to cancel spousal support payments.  Parenting plans established during a divorce may also be altered if a significant change suggests that a modification is in the child’s best interest, such as if the child or a parent becomes disabled. If you feel that your divorce decree is no longer working because your circumstances have changed, you should contact an attorney to discuss pursuing a modification. 

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