Recent blog posts

Posted on in Family Law

guardianship laws, Palatine Family Law AttorneyIn Illinois, the Probate Act regulates the guardianship of minors and disabled adults. The statute creates three types of guardianship under the Act: guardian of the estate, guardian of the person and guardian of both the estate and the person. The type of guardianship sought will largely dictate what is required in the process of petitioning for guardianship.

Establishing Guardianship of a Minor

The amendments to the Probate Act create a rebuttable presumption in favor of short-term guardians who are initially appointed by a minor’s parent or guardian. The petitioner seeking guardianship then has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that remaining with the appointed short-term guardian is not in the child’s best interest. While this presumption cannot be rebutted, the appointment of a short-term guardian does not represent the Court’s consent for a Court appointment of a guardian.

...

equitable adoption, Palatine Family Law AttorneyThe Illinois Supreme Court's recent decision in In re Parentage of Scarlett Z.-D addressed the sensitive issue of a non-parent’s rights during a custody proceeding. The plaintiff in the case presented a unique argument, claiming that the doctrine of equitable adoption, which had previously only been applied to probate proceedings, also governed custody cases. Ultimately, the Court disagreed, holding that the doctrine could not be extended to custody disputes.

Facts

In 2003, a Slovakian national and American immigrant, Maria, returned home on a trip to visit her extended family. During the visit, Maria and her fiancé Jim decided to adopt a young orphaned girl, Scarlett, whom they had encountered on the trip, despite the fact that under Slovakian law, Jim was not permitted to legally adopt the child.

...

Posted on in Child Custody

joint and sole custody, Palatine Family Law AttorneyIn any divorce involving minor children, one important issue that must be resolved regards each parent’s legal ability to make life decisions concerning his or her child. Under current Illinois law, this is referred to as joint or sole custody.

Joint and Sole Custody

Currently, Illinois Courts can issue joint or sole custody to a child's parents. Joint custody requires cooperation and communication between the parents. Additionally, a child's parents must work together to make major life decisions regarding their child’s health, safety and well-being.

...

​calculating Illinois child support, Palatine Family Law AttorneyIllinois requires parents to financially support their children. Therefore, when a child's parents are divorced, separated or single, state law governs child support payments and how the support payments will be made. A child’s parents may come to an agreement regarding how to pay child support; however, the agreement must meet minimum standards as required by state law.

Calculation Guidelines

Basic Illinois child support is calculated as a percentage of the payor parent’s net income after certain deductions are made. The percentage increases with the number of children:

...

parental abduction, Palatine Family Law AttorneyCustody disputes can create severe stress and a contentious environment — a situation that can damage a child’s well-being. However, the consequences can be far worse when parental kidnapping is introduced.

Parental kidnapping occurs when a parent wrongfully removes a child from his or her home, or even from the state or country. Moreover, parental kidnapping often occurs during custody disputes. When a parent kidnaps his or her child, the effects can be detrimental on a child’s relationship with the parent.

Kidnapping

...

Posted on in Divorce

adultery and divorce, Palatine Family Law AttorneyAshley Madison, a dating website designed for people who want to cheat on their spouses, was hacked in late August. Various account information, including the names and personal information of more than 30 million users, was revealed. The leak of such sensitive information is expected to result in many couples divorcing.

Adultery occurs when a married person carries on a sexual relationship with a person who is not his or her legal spouse. However, under Illinois law, there is little effect on the process or result of a divorce when one spouse commits adultery.

Grounds for Divorce

...

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois family law, Palatine Family Law AttorneyWith the recent passage of the “modern family” bill, Illinois family law will soon undergo drastic changes. The Bill amends the law in areas including child custody, the grounds for divorce and parental relocation. Senate Bill 57, signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, goes into effect January 1, 2016.

Child Custody

One major alteration to Illinois law is the abolishment of the concept of child custody. Instead, Judges will allocate parenting time and parental responsibilities between the parents. Each parent will be assigned specific childcare tasks that deal with different areas of upbringing. These tasks may include decision-making responsibility in areas, such as education, religion, nutrition, health care, the child’s daily schedule, discipline, relationships with others and childcare.

...

Posted on in Division of Property

marital waste, Palatine Family Law AttorneyIn Illinois divorces, Courts divide spousal property, according to the principles of equitable distribution. Therefore, marital property is divided fairly between spouses. Equitable distribution, however, does not necessarily mean equal property division.

Waste

One instance in which marital property will not be equally divided is in the event of marital waste. Marital waste, or the dissipation of property, occurs when one spouse dissipates assets prior to the divorce. Dissipation of both marital and separate property is taken into account. If the Court finds that one spouse has committed waste, the Court will take the waste into account when determining a fair division of property.

...

Posted on in Child Support

child support bill, Palatine Family Law AttorneyFor children whose parents are separated, and for the parents who have custody over them, child support is key to financial stability. However, if parents fall behind in their child support payments, they can cause their children and co-parents economic distress.

However, a new Bill, recently signed into law, addresses these issues. The Bill is aimed at ensuring that children and their parents receive timely child support payments by studying the root causes of the failure to pay child support. Additionally, the Bill calls for policy recommendations on how to address these root causes and how to streamline the child support system.

The Bill

...

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.

...

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

...

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:

...

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.

...

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

...

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:

...

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

...

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.

...

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.

...

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.

...

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.

...
 

Call Today at 847.873.6741 for Your FREE Initial Consultation

We Accept:Credit Cards

Address800 E. Northwest Highway, Suite 321, Palatine, IL 60074

Phone847.873.6741     Fax847.221.3626

Facebook LinkedIn

Resources Privacy Policy Disclaimer Sitemap

© 2019 The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C.
800 E. Northwest Highway, Suite 321, Palatine, IL 60074 | 847.873.6741

OVC Logo