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Category Archives: Kane County Blog

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 divorce mediation lawyersDivorce can be very challenging, both emotionally and legally. Most divorcing spouses disagree about at least one divorce issue and may need professional help to reach a resolution. If you and your spouse are planning to divorce and you are struggling to reach an agreement about spousal support, parental responsibilities, parenting time, property division, or any other divorce-related concern, divorce mediation may be right for you. The mediation process offers an opportunity for spouses to negotiate divorce issues without the stress and animosity associated with litigation and offers a host of other benefits.

What Does a Mediator Do?

Divorcing spouses may agree to go to mediation voluntarily or the court may require them to participate in mediation. A divorce mediator is a neutral third party who has been specially trained on how to help resolve conflict. The mediator will not side with either spouse or make decisions of behalf of the spouses. Instead, the mediator helps identify the divorce issues which remain unresolved and facilitate productive negotiation and conversation about those issues. Ending a marriage can cause spouses to experience intense feelings of disappointment or resentment. These emotions can sometimes get in the way of productive conversation and cause divorce-related discussions to turn into arguments. The mediator helps the spouses stay focused on finding solutions rather than giving into negative emotions.

Benefits of Mediation

If you and your spouse can resolve issues during mediation and avoid litigation, you could save considerable expense. Furthermore, the litigation process can make spouses feel like they must “win” the divorce. Mediation is a much more collaborative process. Spouses are much more likely to comply with the final divorce decree when the terms are a result of mediation instead of a judge’s decision. Parents often find mediation especially helpful because it can help reduce the chances of there being major disagreements about child-related issues in the future.

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Kane County family law attorneysWhen most people think of divorce, they think about the end of a romantic relationship. However, a marriage is not only a romantic union, it is also a legal and financial union. Often, separating two spouses’ finances and property is one of the most complex parts of the divorce process. This is especially true if the couple has accumulated significant assets throughout their marriage.

One of the biggest concerns many divorcing couples have is what to do with the family home. Whether or not you choose to sell your home during your divorce is completely up to you and will depend upon your family’s unique circumstances and needs. If you are contemplating what to do with your home after divorce, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Can Either Spouse Afford the Mortgage Payments?

It can be extremely difficult to give up a home that you have come to love. This is often especially true for parents with children. Many divorcing parents worry that subjecting their children to a relocation in the midst of the divorce will be too much change for the children to handle. You may also worry about moving out of your school district and forcing the children to change schools. For some couples, selling the family home simply does not make financial sense. If you or your spouse wish to keep the home, you will need to decide one spouse will manage the mortgage payments on his or her own. The spouse who takes ownership of the home may need to refinance the mortgage or it may make more financial sense to assume the existing mortgage without refinancing.

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St. Charles adoption attorneysBringing a child into your family through adoption is life changing for everyone involved. Your family not only gains a cherished loved one, you also give a child in need the loving home that he or she deserves. The adoption process is very involved - both emotionally and legally. It is important for anyone considering adoption to thoroughly research the available avenues for adopting a child in order to determine what course of action is right for them.

Illinois Adoption Laws

Illinois law states that an individual may adopt a child if he or she:

  • Has lived in the state of Illinois for a minimum of six months or is a member of the Armed Forces and has lived in Illinois for at least 90 days
  • Does not have a legal disability
  • Has a good reputation

Typically, adoptive parents must be over 18 years of age. However, the court may make exceptions to this rule in certain cases. Prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt a non-relative will be subject to a state and federal criminal background check as part of the adoption investigation. If the potential adoptive child is over 13 years old, he or she must consent to the adoption.

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Kane County family law attorneysWhen parents get divorced or are unmarried, one parent may be required to pay the other child support in order to share the costs of raising the child. Child support payments can be a considerable expense and sometimes parents may have trouble paying child support. Children have a legal right to receive financial support from both of their parents. If a parent is ordered to pay child support and he or she fails to make payments in full and on time, he or she can face serious civil and even criminal consequences.

Requesting a Child Support Modification

When the court issues a child support order, it is intended to be fair and reasonable based on the parents’ financial circumstances and the child’s needs. However, sometimes those circumstances change and the parents need to change their child support order. In order to be granted a modification to your child support order, you must file a petition for modification with the court. A modification may be granted if a party can show that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” Examples of a substantial change in circumstances include:

  • A significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income including a parent losing his or her job
  • A significant change in the needs of the child such as increased medical expenses
  • There has been a major change in parenting time or child custody arrangements
  • The payor parent has experienced a significant increase in his or her cost of living
  • One of the parents has remarried

Only future child support payments can be modified through a petition for modification. Payments that are past due must be paid in full based on the previous amount established. 

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1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100
Wheaton, IL 60189
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.

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