Russell D. Knight

While Russell Knight always focused on family law, The Law Offices of Russell D. Knight began exclusively practicing family law in 2013.  Russell prefers to do one thing, Family Law, and do it well. Russell Knight still, however, uses a great deal of his general knowledge of Criminal, Immigration and Bankruptcy Law in his Family Law practice.

Latest Articles

This is number 20 in my series of things to do with your kids during or after a divorce or separation. I always truly believe in putting the kids first during a divorce. Whether it’s recommending a therapist or just suggesting something to do with the kids for the afternoon, a family law lawyer should have be giving his or her clients ALL the information he has available. The winters in Chicago are brutal. More than brutal they are just long. It is incredibly difficult to adequately entertain a child indoors from November through April. It is also unadvisable to…
Whenever money is being transferred there is a possibility of taxes.  Perhaps there is no bigger transfer than the transfer of assets and income during divorce.  Therefore, taxes and divorce must be considered together when negotiating and finalizing a dissolution of marriage. Tax Implications of Transferring Property In Divorce Any transfer of property pursuant to a settlement of a divorce is not considered either a gift or income for tax purposes.  26 U.S.C. Sec. 1041(a)(2).  That transfer has to happen within three years of the divorce however to remain untaxable. 26 U.S.C. Sec. 2516. This means it is usually in…
I am often called on by my fellow lawyers who practice immigration law to enter an order in the family law or domestic relations courts of Cook County.  A family law lawyer can often be the only one to establish the “findings of fact” necessary to grant immigrants certain statuses which allow them remain in the United States legally.  One of those statuses a family law lawyer can help with is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or more commonly referred to as “SIJS”. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a form of relief for some noncitizen minors – specifically those…
Estate planning is making preparations for the transfer of a person’s wealth and assets after his or her death. Typically, this is done by setting up a will or a trust. People set up estate plans to benefit their loved ones especially their husbands and wives. But, what happens to wills and/or trusts during and after a divorce? More than just being the beneficiary of an estate plan, a husband and wife are often co-creators of estate plans. A spouse will often be the executor of the other spouse’s estate. An executor is the person who gathers the deceased’s…
Divorces are difficult wherever they are. An Illinois divorce with a child or with children is even more difficult.  I often tell clients who have no children or have grown children, “your divorce is automatically 75% easier than the average divorce with a child.” Is It My Child? In Illinois, all children born to a woman while a couple are married are presumed to be the children of that couple. Illinois statute 750 ILCS 46/204 states that “A person is presumed to be the parent of a child if: The person and the mother of the child have entered into…
A married couple may be from a foreign country, have a foreign vacation property or habe simply diversified their investment portfolio by buying foreign property.  Property is still property no matter where it is located.  The question is “What happens to foreign property in a divorce?” A property’s location outside of the United States may impact how the property is finally distributed to the parties in a divorce. Foreign Property is still Marital Property In Illinois, “’[M]arital property’ means all property, including debts and other obligations, acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage”750 ILCS 5/503(a). So, if the…
In the old days, folks would just get married in a church, jump a broom, or just start living together. Before 1905, people in Illinois did not have run down to the county clerk to register their marriage. Our forefathers would just say, “Well, we’ve been together for a few years so I guess we’re married”…and the law agreed with them. That was known as “common law marriage in Illinois.” Common law marriage does not exist in Illinois anymore. Illinois law requires two things to be actually married 1) solemnization and 2) registration. Solemnization Now Illinois law requires “solemnization”…
Inheritance money is rarely given to a couple together.  Last wills and testaments almost always read “to my dear my son” not “to my dear son-in-law.”  So, when the deceased wished that a property go to a single person, that property should stay with the single person…even after a divorce.  Illinois law provides for exactly that scenario with inheritance and divorce, with a few exceptions. Is an Inheritance Marital Property in an Illinois Divorce? In Illinois, the property a divorcing couple has is divided into two types: marital and non-marital. ”[M]arital property” means all property, including debts and other obligations,…
For most divorcing couples the marital home is the most valuable asset they have.  If that house was purchased while the couple was married, the house is a marital asset and therefore divisible in a divorce. Even if the house was purchased before the marriage, if the house was put into both couples’ names or if the mortgage was in both parties’ names the house will be presumed to be marital property.  If a house is marital property, we must determine how to value a house in a divorce before distributing all of the marital property between the two parties.…
Child support in Illinois is calculated based on a complicated formula where both parents’ incomes are used to calculate the non-custodial parent’s obligation to the custodial parent. This amount of money is then ordered to be paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent.  This calculated child support is usually deducted from the obligor’s paycheck, paid to the state disbursement unit (who accounts for the payment) and then forwarded to the custodial parent. Child support is not tax deductible to the payor and the child support receiver does not pay tax on the child support they receive. What is…
When a marriage breaks apart, it’s a horrible and painful process.  When adultery is the cause of the break up, it makes things even harder.  Beyond the mere hurt of being rejected for someone else, the betrayal and lack of trust after adultery makes everything about a divorce harder. It is one thing to not know your future. But to not know your past because of the lies and deception of adultery is a devastating experience. In a strictly legal sense, adultery and divorce in Illinois have an usual connection. Adultery is not an official grounds for divorce in Illinois.…