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Tag Archives: Kane County family law attorneys

Kane County family law attorneysIf you are a parent residing in Illinois and you are planning to divorce, you and your child’s other parent will need to make decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. You will have 120 days after you file for divorce to file a proposed parenting plan. If you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of the plan, the court may need to intervene. There are a number of considerations the parenting plan must contain including decisions about when the child will spend time with each parent, each parent’s decision-making authority, and more.

Required Parenting Plan Elements

Parents are encouraged to make as many parenting decisions in advance as possible. The more issues parents work out during the creation of the parenting plan, the less likely they will experience conflict during their post-divorce co-parenting relationship.

Although you may choose to add additional items in your parenting plan, the required elements include:

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St. Charles family law attorneys“The best interests of the child” is one of the most common phrases in the realm of family law. A child’s well-being, of course, should remain among the top priorities in proceedings for divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, non-parent visitation, and adoption. The challenge, however, is that determining what exactly constitutes a child’s best interests is open to interpretation. As such, each parent may fully believe that they are acting in their child’s best interests yet hold vastly different objectives regarding the outcome of the case.

Helping the Process

When you and your child’s other parent cannot agree on a parenting plan or other arrangements regarding your child, the court is likely to offer several options. To start with, you may be required to participate in court-ordered mediation designed to help you and the other parent reach an agreement with the help of a third-party mediator. Mediation, however, is only possible in situations where both parties are willing and able to work constructively with one another.

Alternatively, the court may appoint a specially-trained and certified attorney—not one who is representing either you or the other party—to serve as a guardian ad litem (GAL). The guardian ad litem will be expected to investigate your family’s circumstances to develop an outside, objective opinion of what the child’s best interests are. Based on the GAL’s findings, the GAL will make a recommendation to the court regarding the most appropriate outcome for the case.

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Kane County family law attorneysThere is absolutely no question that domestic violence continues to be a major problem in today’s society. In fact, there are a number of studies that suggest that the issue may be even more serious than previously acknowledged, including many under-reported cases involving male domestic abuse victims. The physical, psychological, and emotional damage caused by violence against an intimate partner or family member can rise to tragic levels, often requiring years of recovery if and when a victim can escape an abusive situation. It is for exactly these reasons that intentionally false allegations of domestic violence are so disturbing, and such allegations can substantially affect the outcome of family-related legal concerns.

Impact to the Falsely Accused

Under Illinois law, an emergency order of protection can be issued by a judge based solely on the testimony of a victim. In a situation where there is actual violence or the threat of violence, this is entirely necessary. However, when a parent or spouse brings false allegations of violence before the court, an emergency order of protection can affect a completely innocent person. Depending upon the details included in the claim, the order can potentially prevent the accused from remaining in his or her home, seeing his or her children, or even going about the normal business of daily living. An emergency order of protection can remain in effect for up to 21 days, or until a re-hearing on the matter can be scheduled, whichever comes first.

Potentially Long-Lasting Effects

Sadly, many individuals who file false reports of domestic violence do so to gain a perceived advantage in a divorce or parental responsibilities proceeding. Virtually all child-related legal matters require the court to take into account the existence of violence or the threat of violence in the household and toward the children. An unscrupulous party may be tempted to create false allegations as “proof” that the other parent should not be granted specific rights or responsibilities related to the child. While the court should be able to determine the actual truth, the allegations can still create an unhealthy level of contentiousness that could negatively affect the child, regardless of the court’s decision.

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Kane County family law attorneysPrenuptial agreements, also called premarital agreements or “prenups,” have an undeserved reputation as only being necessary for celebrities or the ultra-rich. However, more and more people are realizing how beneficial a prenuptial agreement can actually be. Prenuptial agreements allow couples to decide in advance how their property should be divided if the marriage ends in divorce, clarify their financial responsibilities and rights during marriage, make sure property is passed down to selected heirs when a spouse passes away, and more.

Survey Shows That More Millennials Are Using Prenups

A study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers shows that more than half of attorneys surveyed have seen an increase in the number of young couples signing premarital agreements. Many attribute the increase in prenuptial agreements to the fact that, on average, Americans are getting married later in life than they have previously. The average U.S. male gets married at age 29.9 and the average female gets married at age 28.1. Tying the knot at almost 30 years old gives couples more time to accumulate property and debts that require protection through a prenuptial agreement. Many millennials also have a 401(k), stock options, a start-up business, intellectual property or other complex assets which can be protected by a prenuptial agreement.

The Negative Stigma Surrounding Prenups is Decreasing

Another major reason millennials are signing prenuptial agreements at a higher rate than previous generations is because they have realistic ideas about divorce. While it can be a bleak reality to consider, the fact is that between 30 to 40 percent of U.S. marriages do not last. Because many of them are children of divorce themselves, more and more millennials are taking a pragmatic approach to the way they think about marriage and divorce. Just as they purchase car insurance in the event of a car crash, they sign a prenuptial agreement in the event their marriage does not last. People are starting to realize that signing a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you think your marriage will fail. It simply means that you take financial decisions seriously and want to be as responsible as possible when it comes to property and debt.

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Kane County family law attorneyThe decision to award spousal maintenance following a divorce is one that must be considered very carefully by the court. Sometimes called alimony or spousal support, maintenance is used to lessen the financial impact of the dissolution, and to provide a measure of security for the future. The law in Illinois—and therefore the courts—presume that, if you are awarded maintenance, it should only continue as long as the need for it still exists.

Terminating Factors

When you are receiving spousal support, you probably have some idea of how long the order is scheduled to remain in effect. It may be intended to last a number of years, or indefinitely if you were married for a long time. However, what you may not realize is that the applicable law in Illinois includes provisions that allow maintenance to be terminated early. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, an order for maintenance may be terminated upon the death of either party, which, of course, is reasonable enough. It also specifies that your support may be ended if you get remarried. Finally, it permits the termination of your maintenance if you cohabit “with another person on a resident, continuing conjugal basis.”

Not Just Roommates

So the real issue then becomes what exactly “resident, continuing conjugal basis means.” Does is simply mean you spend several nights a week with a new romantic partner? What about moving in with a roommate? While the actual law itself does not provide a great deal of clarification, case law around the state has set a precedent for terminating maintenance because of cohabitation.

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1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100
Wheaton, IL 60189
630-549-0960
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We serve clients throughout Kane County, Illinois including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elgin, Algonquin, Aurora, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Big Rock, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Hampshire, Huntley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sleepy Hollow, Wayne, West Dundee as well as throughout DuPage County.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree