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Recent Blog Posts

Why Are Gray Divorce Rates Increasing?

 Posted on July 14, 2024 in Divorce

Kane County, IL divorce lawyerAlthough the divorce rate in general is on a downward trend, gray divorces, or those for couples over 50, are increasing. Couples who have been married for decades often decide to go their separate ways, leaving their children and grandchildren confused.

Regardless of your age, divorce is rarely easy. Gray divorces often include significant issues that you may not know how to handle. A compassionate, experienced divorce attorney who understands the challenges you face can help make the process easier.

Why Are More Couples Over 50 Getting Divorced?

There are many reasons behind divorce. For couples over 50, some of the most common reasons are:

  • Growing apart or bored: People’s values, interests, and goals change over time, sometimes leaving couples bored with each other or feeling disconnected.

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Who Takes Custody of My Child If My Ex Goes Away?

 Posted on June 26, 2024 in Divorce

Kane County, IL child custody lawyerBy law, parents who get divorced in Illinois must submit a parenting plan to the court. This is a document that shows the judge how the parents plan to raise their child together after the divorce. It includes such details as:

  • Schedules for parenting time, or physical custody

  • Transportation arrangements

  • Provisions for communication with the child during the other parent’s parenting time

  • Parental rights and responsibilities

  • Allocation of decision-making responsibilities

Parenting schedules are set out in the parenting plan, which is legally binding and should be drafted by an Illinois parenting plan attorney. However, sometimes unexpected things happen. Your co-parent may have to leave for an emergency during his or her parenting time. In that case, you may want to take physical custody of your child instead of a third party, such as a grandparent or babysitter. That is called the right of first refusal and should be included in your parenting plan.

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3 Scenarios Where Divorce Mediation May Not Be Ideal

 Posted on June 16, 2024 in Divorce

Geneva, IL divorce mediation lawyerMediation can be a great way to resolve your differences outside of court. Most couples who go through mediation during a divorce are able to agree on a settlement without having to litigate their divorce in court, which can be more time-consuming and costly. Because it is so effective, judges often order couples to attend mediation after they file for divorce.

But is mediation always ideal? There are certain situations where mediation may not be the best course of action, as this article will discuss. If you are about to go through a divorce, ask your Illinois divorce attorney whether mediation is right for you.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a process where two parties try to resolve their dispute through negotiation. The negotiations are coordinated by a mediator, who is a neutral third party trained in negotiation and chosen by the court. Mediators are often former judges who use the knowledge and experience they have from the bench to help people resolve their disagreements.

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4 Signs It Might Be Time to Modify Your Parenting Plan

 Posted on May 21, 2024 in Family Law

Kane County, IL parenting plan lawyerParents who get divorced in Illinois are required to submit a parenting plan to the court. A parenting plan is a detailed plan of action for how the parents will co-parent their child together. It includes such details as:

  • Who has the majority of parenting time, or physical custody

  • Parenting time schedules

  • Transportation arrangements for the child

  • How the parents will divide decision-making responsibilities

  • How the parents will communicate with the child

Once a parenting plan is approved by a court, it becomes legally binding. If either parent wants to make any changes to the plan, he or she can ask the court to modify the parenting plan. A court will want to hear a good reason why the plan should be modified, however, which is why it is important to use an attorney when requesting post-decree modifications.

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Who Pays for Unforeseen Child Expenses in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on May 06, 2024 in Family Law

Geneva, IL child support lawyerWhen parents file for divorce in Illinois, the court wants to make sure that their children receive proper care. A judge will often order a parent to pay child support to cover the child’s basic needs, such as:

  • Basic healthcare

  • Education

  • Food and other living expenses

It is common, however, for other needs to arise that are not covered by child support. As children grow, their physical and developmental needs evolve. But since the law is not clear on who must pay for unforeseen child expenses, it is best to consult a child support attorney who knows how a court might view your case.

What Child Expenses Are Not Covered by Child Support?

A common example of unforeseen child expenses is when a child develops a disability or medical condition that requires extra care. Illinois law refers to this as a child care expense. A judge may order either parent or both parents to contribute towards child care, including:

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Should I Get a Financial Restraining Order in My Divorce?

 Posted on April 25, 2024 in Divorce

Geneva, IL divorce lawyerIt is common to hear “restraining order” in a divorce and think of domestic abuse. But sometimes a spouse wants to get a restraining order that prevents the other spouse from using certain money or assets. This is called a financial restraining order.

This article will discuss what a financial restraining order is and why a person getting divorced might want to request one. If you have any concerns about your assets or finances in your divorce, consult with a qualified Illinois divorce lawyer who can explain your options.

What is a Financial Restraining Order?

When a judge issues a financial restraining order, the order forbids both sides from touching certain assets or properties before they have a chance to be divided. It does not bar either side from being able to use personal money to pay bills. Both spouses must still be able to pay for what Illinois law calls the “usual course of business” and “necessities of life.” To pay for any expenditures other than this, however, a spouse will need to serve notice to the other party.

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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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