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Recent Blog Posts

Is Getting a Protection Order Worth It?

 Posted on April 10, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttorneyIf you are in an abusive relationship, you may wonder what getting a protection order can do for you. Many people are unsure of whether court intervention is the right choice for their situation. They worry that securing an order of protection will make the abuser even more angry or otherwise escalate the situation. They do not understand what an order of protection can do for them.

In this blog, we will discuss the legal and practical benefits of securing an order of protection against an abusive partner. For personalized guidance regarding your specific situation, reach out to a Kane County family law attorney.

Emergency Order of Protection

In Illinois, an Emergency Protection Order (EOP) is a court order that is often used to protect somebody from abuse, harassment, or threats of violence. Once an EOP is filed, it goes into effect immediately. Each protection order is tailored to the petitioner’s unique situation. However, EOPs commonly restrict where a person can go and who they can contact. For example, the protection order may prohibit your spouse or partner from visiting your workplace or school. An EOP may even be used to temporarily evict somebody from a shared residence. You may be able to use an EOP to force your spouse or partner to move out of your shared home - even if the home is in his or her name. This can be a very valuable tool for abuse victims that gives them time to gather their belongings and relocate to a safe place.

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What Does “First Refusal for Childcare” Mean in an Illinois Parenting Plan?

 Posted on March 27, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttornyIf you are getting divorced and you share children with your soon-to-be ex, you will be expected to fill out a parenting plan and submit it to the court for approval. The parenting plan is the document that describes how you and the other parent will raise your child as divorced co-parents.

The parenting plan is extensive, and parents will need to answer questions about how significant decisions will be made, who will take care of the children on what days, how children will be transported between the two homes, and much more. One parenting plan element that many people have questions about is the right of first refusal. In this blog, we will discuss the right of first refusal and how you can use this important right to benefit your co-parenting relationship as well as your relationship with your child.

The Right of First Refusal

When parents fill out their parenting plan, they will need to determine a parenting time schedule. Parenting time is when a parent supervises a child and provides for the child's needs. You may decide that one parent will have the child during the week while the other parent has the child during the weekend. Or, you may alternate weeks. Every parenting time schedule is slightly different because the parents and the child's needs are different.

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Financial Fraud in Your Illinois Divorce Case

 Posted on March 09, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce AttorneyFinances affect nearly every aspect of a divorce case, including property and debt division, child support, and spousal maintenance. To properly address these issues and end their marriage, divorcing spouses must provide a full accounting of their wages, property, debts, and expenses. Financial transparency during divorce is not only ethical, but it is also required by law. Spouses who hide money or property, lie about their earnings, or fabricate financial data can face serious penalties and may even be held in contempt of court.

How Do Spouses Misrepresent Finances in a Divorce?

Divorcing spouses who want to gain an advantage in a divorce case may lie about their financial circumstances. For example, a parent who is required to pay child support may report income from one job, but not the “under the table” cash earnings he or she gets from a second job.

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What is Most Important to Know Regarding Mediation in Illinois Divorces?

 Posted on February 28, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce Mediation LawyerMediation is a dispute resolution process that has become increasingly popular and effective as a method for resolving conflicts during divorce proceedings. If you are interested in divorce mediation, consider contacting a divorce attorney who has experience in mediation. Today, we will review what is most important to know about divorce mediation in Illinois.

The Many Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution involving the strategic use of a third party to help reach an agreement. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties, helps them explore and understand their differences, and works to find a mutually acceptable solution for all parties. Mediation in divorce cases can have several advantages, including the following: 

  • Cost – Mediation is much less expensive than going to court. Avoiding costly court appearances in divorce mediation can help keep costs down overall.

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Understanding the Differences Between Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders in Illinois

 Posted on February 10, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttorneyIf you have ever watched a television program or a movie that dealt with issues of domestic violence or abuse, you have probably heard the term “restraining order.” The phrase is often used colloquially to describe a directive issued by the court to protect a victim or potential victim from an alleged abuser. This is a source of confusion, however, for many Illinois residents. What most people know as a “restraining order” is actually called an “order of protection” in Illinois. Restraining orders, by comparison, are used by Illinois courts as a form of equitable relief in civil matters.

Temporary Restraining Orders

A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a type of injunction that can be requested by a party in any civil court case. An injunction, at its most basic, is a court order that requires the opposing party to stop doing or to avoid doing a particular thing. A temporary restraining order is often the first step in seeking a permanent injunction. If the situation is serious enough, a TRO can be issued for up to 10 days until a judge can make a ruling on a preliminary or permanent injunction. Violations of TROs are dealt with in civil court and typically incur monetary sanctions and penalties.

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How to Modify Your Child Support Order in Illinois

 Posted on January 24, 2023 in Family Law

Geneva Family Law AttorneyIf you are a divorced parent, the state of Illinois requires both you and your former spouse to contribute to your children’s financial needs. Every three years, the state will invite you to review and possibly modify your existing order for child support. But what if a child’s needs or your financial situation change substantially before then? In that case, you can petition the court to have the child support order modified. 

What Qualifies as a Substantial Change in Circumstances?

You may be a good candidate for a child support modification in a variety of situations. Some of the most common include:

  • Your child’s needs have changed considerably since the last order—a new health condition, for example—and you want your ex to help pay those added costs. 

  • The paying parent’s income has increased or decreased substantially. 

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How to Handle a Surprise Divorce Filing

 Posted on January 19, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerMost of the time, a divorce is something that both you and your spouse can see coming and make plans regarding how to handle it. On occasion, however, it comes as a surprise. The pop culture scene of the husband or wife being served at their door with divorce papers does still happen in this day and age. If this does happen to you, it is important that you react quickly. If you do not, and your spouse has malicious intentions, you may be put in a very difficult position.

Information Is Key

According to current estimates, as many as two of every three marriages experience issues with hidden assets. If your spouse decides to file for divorce first, it gives him or her the advantage of time in which they may attempt to conceal property or revenue streams. Though there is very little legal advantage to filing first, some spouses do use the element of surprise in an effort to manipulate the proceedings. In addition to possibly hiding assets, some may try “conflict out”—which means meeting with the top-rated divorce attorneys in a certain area, so as to establish an attorney-client relationship, thus leaving the other spouse with no available attorney without a potential conflict of interest.

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Four Tips for Working Through Parenting Time Restrictions in Illinois

 Posted on December 27, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Child Custody LawyerAs anyone who has children can attest, it is not easy to be a parent. Parenting is infinitely more challenging after a divorce or breakup, especially if the other parent has been granted substantially more parental responsibilities and parenting time than you have. Under the law in Illinois, you have the right to reasonable parenting time with your child, but exercising that right can be difficult. Additionally, you might have personal issues of your own that have led the court to restrict your parenting time rights. A situation such as this can be extremely challenging, but it is not necessarily a permanent state of affairs, and there are some steps you can take toward getting your full parenting time rights restored.  

#1. Understand the Reasons

According to Illinois law, your parenting time rights cannot be restricted simply because a judge does not like you or the way you are living your life. The court must issue a finding that you or your lifestyle poses serious physical, mental, moral, or emotional dangers to your child, and the finding must be specific enough for you to address the court’s concerns. Common grounds for parenting time restrictions include alcohol or drug abuse issues, concerns regarding instances of physical or emotional abuse, and association with dangerous individuals. Only after you understand why the court has restricted your parenting time can you start taking steps to improve your situation.

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How Social Media Could Affect Your Illinois Divorce

 Posted on December 14, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce AttorneyIt is hard to imagine a world without social media, yet these sites have only been around for about 20 years or so. There is no debate over how quickly sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have become a crucial part of society, with many users posting much information about their lives on a daily basis. Scroll down any site’s news feed, and you will likely find an abundance of information regarding your family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances—the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, can posting all this personal information have an effect on the outcome of a couple’s divorce or child custody dispute?

Many family law attorneys will instruct their clients to carefully limit what they post to their social media sites and may instruct them to stay away from these sites completely until their divorce case is settled. On the other side of the coin, attorneys also use these sites to gather evidence against the other spouse, and even innocent postings can be spun to cause serious damage to the other side’s case.

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Planning to Get Engaged this Holiday Season? 

 Posted on November 21, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Divorce AttorneyThe winter holiday season is a special time of year for many of us. Families that celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or other winter holidays will gather for special meals, the exchanging of presents, and reunions with old friends. As the holiday season continues, many hopeful romantics are making one the biggest decisions of their lives: getting engaged to be married. In fact, Christmas Day is one of the most popular days of the year for popping the big question. If you are planning to get engaged this holiday season, firstly – congratulations! As you plan for your wedding, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Prenuptial Agreements

As you plan for the big day, one decision you and your partner will need to make is if you will sign a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are also called premarital agreements or "prenups.” The purpose of this legal document is to ensure the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. Obviously, planning for a possible divorce before a couple has even gotten married is not exactly romantic. The topic may be uncomfortable to talk about, but prenuptial agreements can be vital in protecting your financial interests and rights.

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