Recent Blog Posts

What Is a Parenting Coordinator in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on August 02, 2023 in Family Law

Wheaton Divorce LawyersParents are not always able to agree on key matters that relate to the children. There is a potentially helpful way to break a deadlock. A parenting coordinator can provide a means of resolving disputes that allow you to stay out of the court system. There is a new Supreme Court rule in Illinois that governs the appointment of a parenting coordinator in a family law case.

Parenting Coordinators Are Appointed When There Is a History of Disputes

Courts appoint parenting coordinators in high-conflict cases where one or both parents simply cannot work together. These parents may frequently end up in court, litigating about many matters involving the children. The court aims to take the matter out of the court system to the fullest extent possible. 

Parenting Coordinators Are Very Important in Your Case

When a court appoints a parenting coordinator, they give broad powers. The parenting coordinator can become involved in a number of disputes involving the children. They do not have power to decide disputes, but they can mediate between the parents upon request of the judge. In addition, the parenting coordinator can also document when a parent is not complying with the agreement, which can be the basis for a contempt of court charge. The parenting coordinator handles disputes within the confines of the existing custody agreement, but modifying the agreement is within the purview of the judge, 

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What Topics Should be Covered in an Illinois Parenting Plan?

 Posted on July 31, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

Wheaton, IL divorce lawyerNot many spouses who are going through a divorce look forward to co-parenting with their ex-spouse. Odds are, you wanted to get divorced because you did not see eye to eye on many topics, parenting included. There is a reason it is so common for parents who are separating or getting divorced to want sole custody, known as sole parental responsibilities in Illinois. 

It can be challenging to collaborate with your former spouse. However, in most cases, children benefit from a relationship with both of their parents. This more than likely means that you and your former spouse will need to work together for the good of your children. One way to set yourself up for success as co-parents is to develop a strong parenting plan

A parenting plan can address a wide variety of topics related to your child’s upbringing, from which parent they will spend time with and when, to who should be in charge of making important healthcare decisions for the child. An attorney can help you develop a more complete understanding of what type of agreements should be included in your parenting plan. 

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Can I Date During a Divorce?

 Posted on July 27, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

Wheaton, IL divorce attorneyIn many ways, divorce is your opportunity to begin anew. You may not want to wait until your divorce is completely final before you jump back into the dating world. Many people wonder whether dating during a divorce will complicate their legal process. Dating during the divorce may not have legal consequences, but it could have practical implications.

Illinois Law Does Not Punish a Spouse for Marital Misconduct

Dating during a divorce could be considered “marital misconduct,” even though you may think that it is innocuous. Technically, you are still legally married until the divorce is final. Even if a court were to view dating during a divorce as if it were infidelity, however, it would not affect the key issues of the marriage. Marital misconduct does not impact how property is divided, nor does it affect child support. From a legal standpoint, there would be no consequences for dating before your divorce is finalized unless you were spending large sums of marital assets on the person who you were dating. 

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Do I Have to Pay for My Child’s College Tuition After a Divorce?

 Posted on July 21, 2023 in Division of Assets

Wheaton, IL divorce attorneyWhen you sign a divorce agreement, you are determining now how future child-related expenses will be allocated between the parents. One large future expense that can be an issue in divorce proceedings is college tuition. Divorced parents may be required to pay for college tuition, even if that child does not live at home and even if the parent does not agree that the child should attend college. This may seem unfair, but you should account for this during the divorce negotiations in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Illinois Law on Educational Expenses

If you do not agree to pay your share of college expenses (or professional education) now, the court may consider it as a factor in the equitable distribution of the marital property. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a court may award money from the assets or income of a parent to pay for educational expenses for the child through the age of 23 (and, in some unusual cases, through age 25). This would obviously include college tuition expenses. 

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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in Illinois?

 Posted on July 20, 2023 in Child Custody

Wheaton, IL grandparents custody attorneyGrandparents’ visitation rights have been an issue since the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Troxel v. Granville in 2000. Since then, grandparents have had to petition the court for visitation rights. Courts will only grant them these rights if very specific conditions are met. In short, unless there are extreme mitigating circumstances like abuse or neglect, the parents always are the ones who can determine the best interests of the children. Sometimes, however, grandparents can successfully fight for visitation rights

The Supreme Court’s Holding in Troxel 

In Troxel, the Court overturned a Washington statute that granted “any person” the right to petition for visitation at any time. Under the Washington law, grandparents could petition the court for visitation, and a judge would determine whether it was in the best interests of the children. The Court held that the state law violated a parent’s due process rights to determine what was in the best interests of their children. The end result was that the case reaffirmed parental rights at the potential expense of grandparents’ rights. 

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Can a Spouse Be Punished for Hiding Assets in a Divorce?

 Posted on July 13, 2023 in High Asset Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_Shutterstock_757083730-1.jpgA spouse may try to avoid disclosing assets during a divorce when it comes time to exchange financial information, thinking that it will help them retain more of the marital estate. There are consequences for trying to hide assets, however. A spouse may face punishment from the court and end up with fewer assets than they otherwise would have if they had been straightforward from the beginning. If you are concerned your spouse may try to hide assets, a divorce lawyer can help you trace your spouse’s hidden assets.

A Spouse Hiding Assets May Face Sanctions

When one spouse hides assets, the other spouse may need to hire a forensic accountant and go to great lengths to track down the hidden assets. In doing so, they may incur considerable expenses. If the court discovers that one spouse has indeed concealed assets, a judge may order that spouse to not only split the assets fairly, but pay for the costs incurred in finding them.  

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What if I Cannot Serve My Spouse with Divorce Papers?

 Posted on July 10, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

Wheaton, IL divorce lawyerIn order to begin the divorce process, you need to serve your spouse with court papers. Some spouses may not want to face the realities of the divorce process, such as child support and alimony. Even when you hire a third party to personally serve your spouse, they may struggle to track down your spouse. A divorce lawyer can help you when you are having difficulty making personal service.

Service Requirements in a Divorce

In order to meet your requirements for personal service in a divorce, you must have a third party, such as a sheriff or private service agency, serve your spouse. You are not allowed to do it on your own, even if the divorce is uncontested (if the divorce is uncontested, you do not have to serve your spouse papers at all). You can meet the requirements by:

Can I Seal the Records of My Divorce?

 Posted on June 29, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

Wheaton Alimony LawyerYour divorce case will mean that there are court records. Some of these records may contain sensitive and potentially damaging information that you do not want exposed to the general public. It is possible to have your divorce records sealed under certain circumstances. However, there are reasons why a judge may not grant any motion to seal your divorce records or allow certain information to remain public.

The Presumption Is that Documents Are Available to the Public

Under the Illinois Clerk of Courts Act, documents that are required to be kept by the court’s clerk are public records. Public means that anyone can show up at the courthouse and inspect these records. If your divorce is messy, or if there is information that you want kept confidential, anyone can learn about it. The only way that your divorce records can be sealed is when you file a motion with the trial court. The judge must grant the motion to seal the records.

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Can I Go on Vacation with My Kids During a Divorce?

 Posted on June 27, 2023 in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce LawyerIt is essential for you to try to maintain a sense of normalcy during a divorce, especially for the sake of your children. One way to tend to yours and your children’s well-being is to take a vacation during this difficult time. However, you may not be able to simply go away without either consent from the other parent or a court order. Your family law attorney can advise you about what you need to do before you can take the children on a trip.

International Travel Will Usually Be Off Limits

Typically, you would not be able to take the children outside of the country while the divorce is pending. The courts would be afraid that the children may not be brought back. If the children do not have a passport, both parents would need to sign a consent form for the children to apply. It is unlikely that a court would allow you to leave the United States with the children before there is a final order. 

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4 Tips for Dealing with a High-Conflict Spouse

 Posted on June 23, 2023 in Divorce

Wheaton Family Law AttorneyHigh-conflict people seem to enjoy the argument and the fight. They want nothing more than to be in a war with you at all times. Then, they believe that they must win at all costs. They can make both your divorce and the period afterward a nonstop nightmare. An Illinois divorce lawyer may be able to assist in resolving issues related to divorcing a high-conflict ex-spouse

Do Not Give Them the Fight

Once you have entered into a dispute with this type of person, there is usually no way out of it. The conflict will keep spiraling out of control. In many cases, your ex-spouse will not be satisfied until you have a climactic battle in court. You are better off doing the best that you can to not get dragged into the fight in the first place, as difficult as it may seem.

You Do Not Have to Answer Everything

There are times when you may have to answer a communication. For example, you may be co-parenting, and the communication involves the children’s welfare. However, you are not under an obligation to answer every single text or e-mail. There are some communications that are better left unaddressed. Otherwise, you could be thrust into a continuous back-and-forth with your ex-spouse. If you do not share children, there is less of a reason to answer. 

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