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Recent Blog Posts

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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Start Making Your Parenting Plan for the Winter Holiday Season Now

 Posted on November 07, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Child Custody LawyerHalloween has come and gone, which means that the winter holiday season is almost upon us. Over the next few weeks, there will be a number of holidays that you and your family may choose to celebrate.

If this is your first holiday season as a recently separated or divorced parent, you may understandably feel upset and disappointed. Holidays are simply not the same without the familiar sounds of children laughing and having fun. Parents may argue about which parent will spend which holiday with the children because they simply do not want to miss the experience. While there is no way to eliminate the pain of missing your children, there may be a way for you and your child’s other parent to work out a holiday parenting time schedule that works for both of you.

Put Holiday Arrangements in Your Parenting Plan

As a parent getting divorced in Illinois, you will be asked to create a parenting plan or parenting agreement. The agreement must include several provisions that detail how parental responsibilities and parenting time are divided between the parents. You will also want to include information about where the children will spend the major holidays. Some parents choose to split the holidays between them. For example, one parent may have the children on Thanksgiving and the other has the children on Christmas. Other parents decide to make a rotation schedule so that parents spend certain holidays with the children every other year. The most important thing is to decide on an arrangement as soon as possible so that you can avoid having the same argument about where the kids will spend holidays every year.

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Tips for Divorced Parents Celebrating Halloween

 Posted on October 25, 2022 in Divorce

geneva divorce lawyerFor parents with young children, celebrating Halloween can be quite a joy. Many parents enjoy dressing up their children in cute costumes and taking them trick-or-treating. Divorced parents generally want to join in the fun, too - Halloween only comes once per year. It can be difficult for divorced parents to plan out how they will celebrate the holiday with their child. Generally, neither parent wants to be left out, but the child cannot be in two places at once. Many parents solve this problem by deciding who will participate in which tradition with their child or by planning separate events at separate times. When this planning is done well, both parents can experience the joys of celebrating Halloween with an excited child. Having an enjoyable Halloween can take a bit of planning. You may need to communicate with your child’s other parent quite a bit while making a plan, and you may both need to compromise. When both parents are willing to participate, everyone - including the child - can have a wonderful Halloween. 

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Should I Be Worried if a Guardian ad Litem is Involved in My Child Custody Case?

 Posted on October 07, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County child custody lawyerAs a parent, it can be worrying to learn that a guardian ad litem has been appointed for your children during custody proceedings, incident to a divorce or otherwise. The term “guardian” carries connotations that can be concerning for parents, but rest assured that guardians ad litem are a perfectly normal part of a custody case. When it begins to appear that a dispute regarding the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities is likely to be litigated, courts frequently bring in a guardian ad litem to help the court understand what type of arrangement is likely to be best for the children. 

In Illinois, all concerns regarding child custody are to be resolved in the best interests of the children. It can be difficult for a court to discern the children’s needs and wishes without an investigation by a guardian ad litem, as children, particularly young ones, are not able to speak for themselves in court as an adult could. If you expect that your child custody dispute will need to be resolved judicially and a guardian ad litem is involved, it is critical that you are represented by an experienced attorney. 

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How do Illinois Courts Divide Marital Property?

 Posted on September 20, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Marital Asset Division LawyerDividing marital property during divorce can be a difficult process. When one household splits into two households, both need things like furniture - then of course, there is the house itself. Courts in Illinois aim to divide marital property in a fair and equitable way. Of course, you and your spouse are likely to disagree about what type of division is fair and equitable. It can be very challenging for a judge who does not know much about your and your spouse to arrive at a decision that is fair to both of you. There are a number of factors that courts can consider when trying to divide the money, debts, and property that married couples have acquired. Keep in mind that if you are not happy with the idea of letting a court make these important decisions, you have the option of using mediation or negotiation to work out a fair division with your spouse. You should be represented by an attorney throughout either process. 

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Using Social Media Wisely During Divorce

 Posted on September 06, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerSocial media can be a great way to stay in touch with loved ones near and far at a time when you may feel very isolated and alone. You may, very understandably, want to vent to your followers on Twitter or update your relatives as a group via Facebook. However, this can backfire in sometimes unforeseeable ways. Especially during a divorce, you do not want to accidentally post something that your spouse could later use against you in some way. Even if you post privately, there is a strong chance that the post will be leaked to your spouse in some way. It is best to avoid talking much about your divorce, your spouse, and your marriage on social media and to keep your posts focused on yourself. If you are ever unsure about whether a post might cause trouble, you can always check with your lawyer before you click “post.” 

Strategies for Careful Social Media Use With a Pending Divorce

Even if you are positive that your divorce will not go to litigation, it is still best to avoid potentially troublesome posts. In fact, if you are actively negotiating with your spouse in an effort to resolve your divorce, then it may be of particular importance that you avoid antagonistic posts. Some helpful tips for using social media during divorce include: 

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Do Illinois Children Have a Say in Their Custody Cases?

 Posted on August 31, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttorneyIf you are a parent involved in an ongoing legal battle over parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities, you may be wondering whether your child will have any say in the matter. Since Illinois courts are required to decide all child custody issues in favor of the child’s best interests, it would only seem natural that the wants and needs a child expresses would be important. However, children are not always the best at recognizing their own self-interest. This is what parents are for–deciding what is best for the child and doing it. While a child’s expressed wishes are relevant to a court’s custody decision, parenting time arrangements are never left up to the child. If you are fighting for custody of your child, it is important to have an attorney who understands the court’s decision-making process. 

How Are a Child’s Wishes Factored into the Court’s Decision?

Illinois courts use a list of factors to help them determine what course of action is in the best interests of the child. Other factors include things like the mental and physical health of all parties, and how well the child is adjusted to their current school and community. One of those factors is the expressed wishes of the child. However, the court will also consider the age, maturity, and capacity to make responsible decisions. 

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Helping an Adopted Child Adjust to a New Home

 Posted on August 12, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttorneyAdopting a child can be an amazing way to grow your family. People adopt for all kinds of different reasons. Some do it out of necessity because the child of a family member or friend needs a new loving home. Other couples adopt because they are unable to have children of their own - gay and lesbian couples often fall into this category. There are also people who choose adoption for moral reasons, preferring to give a home to existing children in need rather than trying for a biological child. No matter the situation, adoption can be a long and costly process. Only the truly committed prospective parents make it through the process and are finally able to bring home their new legal child. However, children older than babies may have some trouble adjusting. A little patience and understanding can go a long way. 

Tips for Helping Your Adopted Child Adjust to Your Home

Toddlers and older children alike may experience emotional distress when they are moved into a new permanent home with their adoptive parents. Adopted children may have spent some time in foster care or a group home, or they may have had a difficult home life with their biological parents for some time. Some tips that may help you help them include: 

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What to do if Your Spouse Violates a Protection Order

 Posted on July 22, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Protection Order LawyerIf you have an Order of Protection against your spouse, there is probably a very good reason behind it. While there are certainly a few people who use protection orders abusively, the vast majority of people who hold one truly need it to stay safe. Most protection orders force the dangerous spouse to immediately leave the marital home and not return, except with police escort to pick up a few personal items. You probably felt much safer knowing that your spouse cannot legally contact you or come to your home or workplace. Unfortunately, a protection order is a piece of paper, not a comprehensive security system. There is always a chance that your ex may choose to ignore it and contact you or show up anyway. It is important that you know how to handle this situation should it arise. An attorney can give you more specific advice that pertains to your own individual situation. 

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5 Tips for Smooth Co-Parenting During a Divorce

 Posted on July 14, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Parenting Time LawyerDivorce can be difficult for children of any age, from infants to teenagers. Even adult children may struggle with seeing their parents get divorced. When you and your spouse have minor children at home, then working together to provide consistent and loving parenting during this time of transition can make all the difference. Custody battles in particular can be difficult for kids to cope with. Children need a sense of stability, so it is especially important to care for their emotional needs if their primary residence will change, or if they will enter a new school. While working with your spouse may not be easy, it may be necessary to protect the children’s well-being. It is also important to ensure that you are represented by an experienced divorce and child custody attorney. 

Meeting Your Children’s Needs During a Divorce

Children - in most cases - need love and guidance from both of their parents. Note that there are exceptions if your spouse has been abusive towards the children. If that is the case, then keeping your children safe from your spouse is the top priority. Otherwise, successful co-parenting can go a long way toward helping your children adjust to a new way of life. Tips include: 

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