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Recent Blog Posts

Does My Child Need a Guardian ad Litem?

 Posted on April 10, 2024 in Divorce

Kane County, IL family lawyerA guardian ad litem means a guardian “for the legal action only.” The purpose of a guardian ad litem (GAL) is to represent the best interests of a child in a court proceeding, such as a divorce or child custody case. A court can appoint a GAL whenever it feels it is best for the child, especially if there appears to be a conflict of interest between the child and his or her parents.

In Illinois, a GAL is an attorney who has gone through special court-approved training.

When Does a Court Appoint a GAL?

Illinois law allows a court to appoint a GAL whenever it feels a child needs one. Courts will also appoint a GAL in the following circumstances:

Misconceptions Regarding Domestic Violence Cases in Illinois

 Posted on March 25, 2024 in Divorce

Geneva, IL domestic violence attorneyDomestic violence cases in Illinois are complex and sensitive legal matters that require careful consideration and understanding. Sadly, there are several misconceptions surrounding these disturbing cases that can hinder the pursuit of justice and protection for victims. If you are dealing with an abusive spouse, please understand that you have options. Contact an attorney to find out what these options are and what steps you can take to ensure a safer future for yourself and your children. 

At Serrano Hanson, our knowledgeable and bilingual lawyers are well-informed and understand all family law matters, including domestic violence cases. With us, the safety of our clients is a top priority. Whether obtaining an order of protection for a client or solving custody problems with an abusive spouse, clients can trust that we will protect their rights and privacy.

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What You Need to Know About Rehabilitative Spousal Support in Illinois 

 Posted on March 13, 2024 in Family Law

Geneva, IL spousal support lawyerNavigating the world of divorce can be daunting, especially for those who are financially dependent on their spouses and have a hard time imagining how they will be able to support themselves after divorce. One such form of spousal maintenance, sometimes referred to as rehabilitative maintenance, is especially important to be aware of. 

Rehabilitative spousal support, or alimony, is like a helping hand for a spouse who needs assistance getting on their feet financially post-divorce. If you believe spousal support will be part of your divorce, talk to your attorney for help understanding the ins and outs of spousal support in Illinois and what you need to do to get started.

What is Rehabilitative Alimony?

To determine whether a spouse is eligible for rehabilitative support in Illinois, the court will consider factors such as:

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The 3 Basic Types of Illinois Orders of Protection

 Posted on February 23, 2024 in Family Law

Kane County, IL order of protection lawyerIllinois offers three basic types of Order of Protection that people can request when someone else is intent on harming them, has harmed them, or has threatened to harm or abuse them. Understanding the three Order of Protection types is vital in your process of requesting and being granted one by an Illinois judge. An attorney will likely recommend an Order of Protection for anyone suffering domestic violence or abuse.

Emergency Order of Protection

This particular Order of Protection is meant to protect a petitioner from abuse and domestic violence. There are two people in an Order of Protection - the petitioner and the respondent. The petitioner is the person who requests the order and the respondent is the person named in the order. 

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How Mediation Can Make Your Divorce Less Stressful

 Posted on February 12, 2024 in Family Law

Blog ImageMediation has many advantages for couples looking to resolve issues during divorce proceedings. When couples can work out their differences in an amicable way, it lessens the stress that an otherwise nasty, prolonged divorce would bring. A capable attorney can offer significant advice and guidance before, during, and after your divorce takes place.

What Occurs During Mediation?

Mediation is a meeting for resolving disputes that normally occur in a divorce. The typical issues that may require mediation include:

Why A Judge May Limit or Restrict Parenting Time

 Posted on January 30, 2024 in Family Law

Blog ImageParenting time is one issue that a judge will oversee and make a decision on in the case of divorcing parents. There are many factors a judge will take into consideration when making a final decision. In all final decisions, it is a child’s best interest that determines the allocation of parenting time for both parents. Depending on the circumstances, a judge can choose to limit, restrict, or negate parent time for one or both parents. To get a better idea of all the things a court will look at concerning your children in a parenting time dispute, speak with an experienced divorce and family law attorney.

The Modification of Parenting Time

The Illinois court can choose to modify an existing parenting time agreement at their discretion but will normally only do so at a parent’s request and only if it is in a child’s best interest. The typical requirement for a parenting time modification following the original parenting plan in a divorce or separation agreement is a significant change in circumstances.

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The Effects of Parental Relocation on Children

 Posted on January 08, 2024 in Divorce

Kane County, IL parental relocation lawyerDivorce is already a trying time for children of all ages. One complication many divorced parents face that also has long-term effects on children is during relocation. Whichever parent receives significant decision-making responsibilities will oftentimes be the parent a child lives with the majority of the time. That parent may choose to or be forced to find a new place to live. It is also likely that the other parent may have to find a new place to live should the family home wind up with the ex-partner in the asset division hearing.

Either way, the child may need to adapt to more change, and this can be overwhelming, especially for young children or children with special needs who may not be able to fully understand what is going on. For a better understanding of what your children may be going through, it may help to seek out a child therapist. And because relocation is often complicated and requires court approval, an experienced divorce attorney can offer legal advice in these kinds of situations.

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The Effects Divorce Can Have On Children

 Posted on December 31, 2023 in Divorce

Blog ImageEmotions run high during a divorce for all parties involved. But for your children, especially minor children, they may not be able to understand the situation in order to regulate them. The effects of divorce weigh heavily on children, potentially leading to serious emotional, mental, and even moral complications down the road. As a parent, you will need to do your best to shield your child from the emotional turmoil that divorce can bring while an attorney handles your legal matters.


Younger children may show signs of regression, reverting to old behaviors you had worked so hard to get them to overcome. Such behaviors include:

  • Bedwetting

  • Thumb sucking

  • Clinginess

  • Temper tantrums

When this occurs, the stress may be overwhelming your child. Continue to reassure them and remain consistent to get them back on track.

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Reasons For a Contested Divorce

 Posted on December 13, 2023 in Criminal Law

Kane County, IL contested divorce lawyerA contested divorce is something you will often see portrayed in movies. A couple cannot get along for whatever reason and they decide, instead of cooperating and ending things amicably, to have a drawn-out, expensive battle inside a courtroom. When divorcing couples have disagreements that cannot be handled outside of court, a contested divorce is likely the only path forward. In any divorce, it is especially important to retain an experienced and skillful attorney to represent you at trial.

What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is when a couple cannot agree on certain factors that surround the divorce. These factors can include:

The Benefits of an Illinois Real Estate Attorney

 Posted on November 28, 2023 in Real Estate

Kane County real estate lawyerTypically, buyers will only think of a real estate agent when looking to purchase a new home. However, real estate agents are less qualified to assess legal terms and processes than attorneys accurately. The benefits of having an attorney present when purchasing a home are varied but substantial. From contract negotiations and reviews to dealing with liens and title searches, not having a real estate attorney may be a big mistake.

Contract and Document Reviews

The amount of paperwork that comes with buying and selling new real estate is substantial. Most of what is written in these contracts can come off as legalese or muddled jargon that may be unfamiliar to anyone without a law degree. A real estate lawyer acting on the buyer’s behalf can help sort through the terms and provide a clear and concise contract, removing the complexity for the average layperson. The buyer will fully understand what is in the contract and what they will be endorsing with their signature. In addition to contract reviews, a real estate attorney can help draft the contract and any other necessary documents required for the transaction.

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