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Recent Blog Posts

Options for Resolving a Divorce Without Litigation

 Posted on May 13, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce Mediation LawyerGoing through a divorce can be extremely difficult even under the best circumstances. Divorce litigation–that is, contested divorce–can be particularly stressful. It is also time-consuming and often expensive. If you and your spouse share children, a Guardian ad Litem is likely to be appointed. You should know that you have other options for getting divorced. In fact, various forms of out-of-court divorce are rapidly replacing litigation as the main way that people in Illinois get divorced. 

Even if your divorce is less than amicable, you and your spouse may still be able to use means other than litigation to settle your divorce. Divorce attorneys often encourage clients to use these simpler means in order to divide their property and create a new parenting plan. Your divorce lawyer will assess your situation to help determine whether one of these low-conflict methods may work for you. 

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4 Things to Expect When You Adopt in Kane County

 Posted on April 19, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Adoption LawyerAdopting a child can be a joyous occasion for many. When you choose to adopt a child in Kane County, there are a few things you should know and prepare for. The process of adoption can vary depending on the circumstances–a family adoption may look quite a bit different than an adoption through an agency or a foster child adoption. At times, the process may seem frustrating, redundant, or confusing. Having an attorney who is experienced with adoption can help simplify the process for you. 

What Should I Expect When I am Planning to Adopt?

The more you know about the Illinois adoption process in advance, the better you can prepare. While some parts of the screening or court proceedings might seem intimidating, keep in mind that you are not expected to be perfect. The state is mainly interested in making sure that you will be able to provide a safe environment for the child. Some things you should be aware of going in include: 

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Fast Facts About Guardians Ad Litem in Illinois

 Posted on April 11, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Parenting Time LawyerLegal matters involving children are of special importance in the eyes of the court. Children are often in a very vulnerable position during a divorce, child custody dispute, adoption, or other legal matter. The court cannot call a small child to the stand and examine him or her the way the court may examine an adult. Furthermore, children may be manipulated by the adults in the case or afraid to tell the truth. Guardians Ad Litem are specially qualified professionals, often attorneys, who advocate on behalf of children during legal proceedings.

The Guardian Ad Litem Advocates for the Child’s Best Interests

Some people think that a Guardian Ad Litem works for one of the parties in a divorce or other legal matter. Others assume that the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is the child’s own attorney. In reality, a GAL does not represent any one person. The GAL’s job is to evaluate the facts of the case and determine what he or she thinks is in the child’s best interests.

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Which Assets Are My Property but Not My Spouse’s?

 Posted on March 25, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerIn general, just about everything you and your spouse have acquired during the course of your marriage is considered marital property. Marital property is to be equitably (fairly) divided during a divorce. However, it is possible for a married person to own separate property, that belongs only to them and not to their spouse. Separate property is not subject to any kind of equitable division during divorce. The spouse who owns it keeps it. One of the first steps towards dividing property in a divorce involves identifying what is marital property and separate property. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine what is or is not your separate property. 

What is Considered One Spouse’s Sole Property?

Even when you are married, you can have property or money that only belongs to you. This type of property include: 

  • Premarital Property - Getting married does not mean that all of your property abruptly becomes your spouse’s property too. If you came into the marriage with it, you can leave the marriage with it as well in most instances. For example, if you are still driving the car that belonged to you before you got married, your spouse is not likely able to claim any ownership interest in your vehicle. This does also includes any debts you had before you got married, like student loans or old credit card debt.

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Kane County Child Custody Terms Explained

 Posted on March 04, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Parenting Time LawyerYou are probably familiar with terms like “custody” and “visitation.” Terms like these have been used across the country for a long time. You do not need to have a legal background to know that “physical custody” has to do with who the child is physically with. Illinois uses updated terminology for a number of reasons. Some of the old terms no longer reflect the current reality of Illinois families. Others were changed because they carried unintended implications. This changing terminology came as part of a broader overhaul in divorce law and other types of family law related to children. While you may still hear the old terms used in less formal settings, it is helpful to understand the terms you will hear in the courtroom. 

What Child-Related Family Law Terms Should I Know?

It can be easy to get a little confused in court or during mediation if you have not been made aware of the updated terminology. Here are a few terms specific to Illinois that you should know:

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A Guide to Marital Property in Illinois

 Posted on February 18, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerIf you are going through a divorce in Illinois, you are likely concerned about what will or will not be considered marital property for the purposes of asset division. Division of marital assets works a little differently in Illinois than it would in a community property state. Rather than dividing marital assets equally (50/50), assets are divided equitably, or in a manner that is fair to both parties. The first step is usually determining what is and is not a marital asset for purposes of equitable division. If you are going through a divorce, it is important to be represented by your own legal counsel. 

What is Marital Property in Illinois?

Most property purchased, earned, or acquired during the marriage would be considered marital property, even if the title is in only one spouse’s name. Common examples of marital property include: 

  • Accounts - This includes bank accounts, retirement savings accounts, and investment accounts. 

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What To Do If You Are Served With an Order of Protection During Your Divorce

 Posted on February 07, 2022 in Family Law

Geneva Family Law AttorneyOrders of protection can be excellent tools to help victims of domestic abuse stay safe. Unfortunately, they can also be used abusively in high-conflict divorce cases. These orders typically prevent the alleged abuser from contacting the alleged victim and returning to the marital home. The requisite abuse need not be physical or violent in nature. Courts will grant restraining orders if they believe that harassment, restrictions of personal liberty, or other forms of abusive behaviors are taking place. In some cases, children may also be named as protected parties. If you are served with one, it can put you in a very difficult position. Your best bet is to immediately contact a qualified attorney and follow their instructions. 

My Spouse Obtained an Order of Protection Against Me. Now What?

The first and most important thing you must do is to obey the order exactly as it is written. Should you violate it, you could be arrested and charged with a crime. Even if the protection order came from the divorce court rather than any criminal court, it is illegal to violate it. You do not want to be battling a criminal case and your divorce case at the same time, and a protection order violation will do you no favors in divorce court. Here are some steps you can take if your spouse has you served with an order of protection during your high-conflict divorce: 

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What if We Change Our Minds About a Divorce?

 Posted on January 21, 2022 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIt happens to many Illinois couples - they feel that their marriage has reached an insurmountable hurdle and initiate a divorce, only to later reconcile. Sometimes this happens because one party acted too hastily during a fight. Other times, a couple has slowly drifted apart only to rediscover a spark when they attempt to finally split. Luckily, there are ways that a couple who is thinking about staying married after all can call off their divorce, or even just delay the process while they make a decision. If your divorce has already begun and you are hoping to reconcile, a qualified divorce attorney can help you understand what options you and your spouse may have.

What Is the Reconciliation Calendar?

Putting your divorce on the court’s reconciliation calendar immediately suspends all divorce proceedings for couples who may not want to get divorced after all. Cases on the reconciliation calendar are not dismissed outright, only paused. If you decide that you do in fact want to go through with the divorce after failing to reconcile, you can more or less pick up where you left off.

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Who Can Adopt in Illinois?

 Posted on January 07, 2022 in Family Law

IL family lawyerAdoption can be a beautiful way to grow your family. However, the adoption process can be complicated, and sometimes take years depending on the circumstances. Not everyone is qualified to adopt a child in Illinois. There are certain requirements that the state sets out limiting who will be permitted to become an adoptive parent. These rules are in place to protect the safety of children who are eligible for adoption. The state has a strong interest in making sure that adopted children are placed in safe homes with capable and caring parents. While many adults will have no trouble qualifying, others may have difficulties for any number of reasons. An attorney can offer assistance if you anticipate any trouble.

What Are the Requirements to Adopt in Illinois?

The requirements to adopt a child may vary depending on the circumstances. If the child to be adopted is already related to the prospective adoptive parents, some requirements can be waivable. Many adoption petitions are very much decided on a case-by-case basis. However, typical requirements to become an adoptive parent include:

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4 Factors That Can Make Kane County Divorces More Complex

 Posted on December 23, 2021 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerMost people going through a divorce want the process completed as quickly and easily as possible. Unfortunately, for many, there will be nothing quick or easy about the process. Certain issues, such as child custody or a demand for spousal maintenance are more likely to be contested than others. In other cases, one spouse’s wrongful conduct, like theft of marital funds, can drag out the proceedings. When you are faced with a complex divorce situation, it is important that you work with a qualified attorney who will advocate for your best interests. 

What Circumstances Can Make Getting a Divorce More Complicated? 

Simplified paths to divorce, like mediation, can be wonderful in some situations. Even some complex divorce issues can be resolved through mediation. However, some problems are likely to lead to litigation or other need for judicial intervention. Your divorce may be more complex than most in these circumstances: 

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