Recent blog posts

Posted on in Paternity

rescinding paternity, Palatine Family Law Attorney

In Illinois, if parents are not married at the time of a child’s birth, then the child’s paternity must be established by other means. One way to establish paternity in Illinois is to voluntarily acknowledge one's paternity. To do this, both parents must agree that the man is the child’s father.

However, sometimes, a mother or father later regrets the decision to acknowledge paternity. Perhaps one party was pressured into signing, or the father of the child was mistaken. Fortunately, there is a way to rescind the acknowledgment.

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Posted on in Divorce

types of alimony in Illinois, Palatine Family Law AttorneyWhen a couple divorces, one spouse is often left at an economic disadvantage in comparison to the other spouse. When this happens, the Court may award alimony (spousal support), known in Illinois as maintenance.

In Illinois, there are several types of spousal support designed to serve multiple purposes. The duration and the amount of maintenance awarded varies based on several factors and on the circumstances of the marriage.

Temporary Maintenance

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Posted on in Divorce

calculating spousal support, Palatine Family Law AttorneyThe calculation of spousal maintenance, or alimony, has become increasingly inconsistent in recent years due to the large amount of discretion given to individual judges in assigning awards. However, in 2014, the Illinois legislature passed an amendment to the state’s alimony law. The new law works to limit individual judges’ discretion in alimony awards by providing judges with a specific set of spousal maintenance guidelines to follow when making their rulings.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

Prior to the passage of the amendments to the Marriage Act, Judges determined whether a spouse was entitled to alimony based on factors listed in the Illinois statutes. These factors included:

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same-sex Illinois couples, Palatine Divorce LawyerWith the recent historic Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage is now legal everywhere in the United States. While legal in Illinois for over a year, the effect for couples who may want to move or travel out of Illinois is significant.

Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois

In 2013, the state legislature approved same-sex marriage in Illinois. Effective as of June 2014, the law allows for same-sex marriage while protecting religious liberties and provides that religious groups may choose which marriage ceremonies to perform; they may not be sued if they refuse to perform a same-sex marriage.

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Posted on in Divorce

no-fault divorce in Illinois, Palatine Divorce AttorneyIn addition to allowing for fault-based divorce, the state of Illinois allows no-fault divorce, based on a couple’s “irreconcilable differences.” A no-fault divorce may be pursued if neither spouse was at fault — there was no cruelty, infidelity, bigamy, abandonment, drug or alcohol abuse, etc.

If you simply do not want to air your dirty laundry in Court, or do not want to go through the stress of a trial and having to prove fault, then a no-fault divorce may be your best option.

Requirements

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Posted on in Division of Property

fault divorce in Illinois, Palatine Family Law AttorneyAll U.S. states now have no-fault grounds for divorce. However, Illinois is somewhat unusual — in that Illinois also currently provides for fault-based grounds for divorce. Obtaining a no-fault divorce in Illinois generally requires a two-year waiting period. Fault divorces are quicker, however, and require no waiting period. Still, the spouse seeking a divorce does have to prove fault, which can be difficult.

Grounds

Illinois law provides for several different fault-based grounds for divorce and include the following:

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Illinois adoption, stepparent adoption, Palatine Child Custody AttorneyStepparents commonly adopt their stepchildren, and in the vast majority of these cases, the relationship continues for the duration of the parent and child’s life, as it does in any adoption. Yet stepparents, while divorcing their spouse, may attempt to renounce the adopted child as their own in order to get out of paying child support.

Normally, a stepparent does not have a duty to financially support his stepchildren, nor does he have an obligation to pay child support in the event of divorce. However, the act of adoption creates a legal obligation, even though the marriage to the child’s biological parent has ended.

Illinois Adoption Laws

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co-parenting relationship, Palatine Child Custody AttorneyA Florida mother, who violated the terms of a child custody agreement by refusing to turn her four-year-old son over to the father for an agreed upon circumcision, finally consented to having the procedure done at the end of May. During the court proceeding, the judge advised the parents that as they continue to raise their son, disagreements need to be worked out through communication, and not by taking the law into their own hands.

Advice, however, is sometimes easier to give than to take. When a relationship ends because the spouses cannot get along, how are they supposed to work together to raise their children?

While it may not be easy, successful co-parenting is possible after a relationship has ended.

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Palatine divorce process, Palatine Divorce LawyerYour divorce decree is signed; however, the signature does not mean your work is finished. The signed order may end the marriage, but your responsibility is to tie up the loose ends.

Change Your Name

While your divorce decree may have included a provision allowing you to use a former name, there are steps you must take in order to legally change your name. To begin, you will first need to officially change your name with the Social Security Administration. A new Social Security card under your new name will be issued. Only then can you obtain a new driver’s license or state identification card and begin changing your name elsewhere.

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blame for divorce, social media and divorce, Palatine Divorce AttorneyIssues such as adultery, drug use or alcoholism may lead to a couple's divorce. However, a recent study has exposed one more cause — Facebook. According to the study, Facebook, which allows users to “friend” long-lost friends and ex-love interests, is the root cause of one out of every seven divorces.

Facebook and Divorce

One's casual “friend request” to a long-lost love could reignite an old flame. Another's connection with a stranger in a Facebook group might lead a spouse to abandon his or her marriage for a new “love.” Still, such scenarios do not mean that all married couples must give up Facebook or other social media sites entirely. Nor does it mean that you will leave your spouse just because your are in touch with an ex. However, if you are investing too much time on Facebook and not enough in your marriage, the following signs may suggest trouble.

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blame for divorce, social media and divorce, Palatine Divorce AttorneyIssues such as adultery, drug use or alcoholism may lead to a couple's divorce. However, a recent study has exposed one more cause — Facebook. According to the study, Facebook, which allows users to “friend” long-lost friends and ex-love interests, is the root cause of one out of every seven divorces.

Facebook and Divorce

One's casual “friend request” to a long-lost love could reignite an old flame. Another's connection with a stranger in a Facebook group might lead a spouse to abandon his or her marriage for a new “love.” Still, such scenarios do not mean that all married couples must give up Facebook or other social media sites entirely. Nor does it mean that you will leave your spouse just because your are in touch with an ex. However, if you are investing too much time on Facebook and not enough in your marriage, the following signs may suggest trouble.

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dissipation of a marital estate, Palatine Divorce AttorneySomeone contemplating divorce is likely to hear this piece of advice from friends and family: “Before you file, make sure you start putting money away in a separate account for yourself. You do not want to be left with nothing.”

Although well-meaning, this is actually bad advice. Illinois prohibits intentional dissipation of a marital estate, and doing so could result in you receiving less when the marital estate is divided.

Use of Marital Funds during Palatine Divorce

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Illinois child custody cases, Palatine Child Custody AttorneyQuestions regarding jurisdiction in Palatine child custody cases are common. Based on the specific circumstances of each case, the answers to these questions can differ from person to person. However, several general questions have similar answers.

What is jurisdiction?

Jurisdiction gives a Court the authority to decide a case. In Illinois, a Court has jurisdiction to decide a child custody case if Illinois is the child's home state. Therefore, a child must live in Illinois for a six-month period immediately preceding the filing of a petition.

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Posted on in Child Custody

fertility treatment, Palatine Family Law Attorney, frozen embryosA well-known actress is currently at odds with her ex-fiancé regarding frozen embryos the couple created before parting ways. The ex-fiancé wants to implant the embryos in a surrogate. However, the actress, who is currently engaged, wants them frozen indefinitely.

If a petition is granted, what rights and responsibilities would the actress have regarding child custody and child support?

Illinois Law Regarding Embryos

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Palatine child custody cases, Palatine Child Custody AttorneyA Florida mother recently filed suit in Federal Court to prevent her ex-husband from having their four-year-old son circumcised. However, a lower Court has ordered the woman to turn the boy over for surgery — she had previously agreed to allow the circumcision in a child custody agreement.

Illinois Joint Legal Custody

The default under Illinois law is to grant a child’s parents joint legal custody — an arrangement that can be granted even if one parent has primary physical custody. Joint legal custody means both parents have a right to make decisions regarding all aspects of a child’s life, including religious upbringing, education and medical care. Parents who share legal custody are therefore required to talk and come to an agreement on all issues, just as they would if they were still married.

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platonic parenting, Palatine Divorce AttorneyCouples may commonly stay together for the “sake of the kids” rather than get a divorce. In fact, some couples are now choosing to emotionally and financially server a relationship but continue to live together. This type or parenting — platonic parenting — tries to combine what is best for a couple and their children.

Married While Separated

A couple, recognizing that their marital relationship is unsustainable, decide to end their relationship. However, in the interests of the children to be raised by both parents in the same household, the parents continue to live together in the family home. The marital relationship continues in a legal sense, but from an emotional (and often financial) standpoint, the relationship ends. There is no divorce proceeding, no arguing over child custody, and no dealing with child support payments. As far as the children are concerned, life continues as normal.

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moving out of Illinois following divorce, Palatine Divorce Lawyer

Order for Removal of Child in Illinois

After your divorce is final, you may find yourself wanting to move out of state. Perhaps you want to be closer to your family, or you have found a new job that will advance your career. Or, you may have remarried and your new spouse needs to relocate for work. The only problem is, you and your ex-spouse have a child custody agreement.

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equitable adoption, Palatine Adoption AttorneyIn an opinion issued in March of this year, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the theory of equitable adoption does not apply in child custody cases, thus negating a man’s attempt to obtain custody and visitation with the child he helped raise.

Equitable Adoption in Illinois

Equitable adoption is an adoption made valid not by a Court order, but by the actions or promise of one or more parents to either adopt a child or treat a child as his or her natural, biological child.

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property division, Palatine divorce, commingling assetsGetting divorced means negotiating an equitable division of marital assets. Marital assets are any assets a couple acquired together during a marriage; everything else — assets either spouse came in to the marriage with, or assets received during the marriage by gift or inheritance — is separate. However, separate property can become a marital asset and is thus subject to division if the property is commingled with marital assets.

The following scenarios explore the concept of commingling and identify the types of situations in which separate property can become marital property.

Scenario 1: Pete and Rose have been married for 10 years. When married, the couple moved into Pete’s home, which he had purchased eight years prior to the marriage. Pete never put Rose’s name on the home’s title, however, nor was her name ever placed on the mortgage. The couple did open a joint checking account that they both contributed to, and the mortgage was paid from the joint account. If they divorce, will the home be considered separate or marital property?

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hidden assets, Palatine Division of Marital Assets LawyerLocating Hidden Assets in a Palatine Divorce

Illinois law requires that parties in a divorce disclose all financial information to the other spouse in order to facilitate the division of assets. Most of the time this information exchange is done in the spirit of the law, since both parties have full knowledge of both the marital asset and their spouse’s non-marital assets.

However, in certain cases, one spouse purposely hides assets from his or her spouse. This may be done in anticipation of divorce, or a spouse may have secretly stashed money away throughout the marriage in the event of a divorce.

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