Family & Divorce

Working with high conflict personalities, I have always been open to approaches that can manage difficult issues with HCPs (High Conflict Personalities), without necessarily involving the courts every time there is a dispute, or transgression by a HCP.  One way of dealing with difficult personalities in divorce is to have a Parenting Coordinator involved in the case. What is a Parenting Coordinator (PC) ? Essentially, a PC acts as a middleman, referee, and dispute resolver.  The PC can make recommendations to a solution for a disputed issue.  In other words, the PC can act almost as a magistrate for the…
The Illinois Senate has introduced a bill that would lower the compulsory age that children are required to attend school from 6 to 5.[1]  Senate Bill 2075 was introduced last February and, if passed, would require children in the State of Illinois who are 5 years of age or older to be enrolled in school by the 2020-2021 school year.  In addition, it would also require all schools to provide kindergarten classes for 5-year-olds.  The bill passed through the senate by a vote of 39-16 on April 11, 2019 and is currently sitting in the House awaiting further action.…
People are getting married a lot less lately….or at least getting married a lot later. It’s not uncommon for unmarried couples to not only live together but to buy homes together.  What happens when an unmarried couple buys a property and then breaks up? Does either party have a claim to the property they bought together or property they  bought individually while they were not married to each other? Illinois law treats property acquired by people who are married as marital property.  That is, if two people get married and then earn and keep some asset, property or money,…
Legal separation is a good scenario for conflict: not quite married, not quite divorced.  Not surprisingly, people are always getting legally separated on television because it adds conflict to a storyline. This leads the American public to believe that legal separation is common.  Legal separation is not common in Illinois, however. In the Illinois statute, legal separation is quickly described by its purpose. “Any person living separate and apart from his or her spouse may have a remedy for reasonable support and maintenance while they so live apart” 750 ILCS 5/402(a) That’s the whole point of getting a judgment of…
Most people don’t know much about divorce before entering the process.  They hear from friends and relatives’ bits and pieces, almost always scandalous and dispiriting.  Then the rest they pick up from television and movies such as the ability to disqualify a divorce lawyer from talking to your spouse by merely consulting with the divorce lawyer first.  In theory, the mere consultation with a divorce attorney creates a conflict of interest which disqualifies the lawyer from representing the consultor’s spouse. In the famed HBO television series “The Sopranos” the mafia boss’s wife, Carmela Soprano finds that the mafia boss, Tony…
As the days get longer, and the air conditioning units start to continuously flip on, more people and their dogs will get outside to enjoy the sun. This article offers legal points to helpmake sure you and your canine friend are law abiding members of the community. Dog Law 101 Your responsibilities as a pet owner: • Under Illinois law, you are legally the owner of an animal if you have rights of property in an animal, keep or harbor an animal, have it in your car, act as the animal’s custodian,or permit the pet to remain on premises you…
Nowadays, it’s common for two people who are planning to marry to create and sign a prenuptial agreement. While it was once considered a document that was only necessary for the rich and famous, a prenup can actually provide benefits for couples at all income levels. This type of agreement can help a couple determine ahead of time how their marital property will be divided in the event they decide to part ways and get a divorce. It may also spell out how assets or property will be handled during the marriage, such as whose name will be…
Reading up today on divorce planning, the reminder was made that the summer is often the time that many people postpone thoughts of divorce. The reasons for this are many. Business during the summer with activities takes the attention away from difficult subjects like divorce. For many parents, it’s just enough making sure that the kids are having a good summer, and that summer trips or vacations are being taken before the kids go back to school. Even if you are already decided that you wish to file for divorce, there are a number of things that you can do…
Bryan Wilson has been appointed to the Illinois State Bar Association Standing Committee on Legislation, which has the responsibility for the execution of the ISBA legislative program. For nearly 40 years, the Standing Committee on Legislation has been responsible for proposing the rules and regulations that govern the Illinois State Bar. Bryan will serve as one of 16 members who have demonstrated interest in issues affecting the legal profession and the administering of justice in Illinois. He will serve a X- year term. Founded in 1877, the Illinois State Bar Association is the premier legal association in the state. As…
On May 31, 2019, Illinois took a monumental step toward legalizing recreational marijuana use by passing HB 1438.  The bill passed through the Senate by a vote of 38-17 on May 29th  and then through the house on May 31stby a vote of 66-47 . [1]  It was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 25, 2019 and Illinois has officially become the 11thstate in the U.S. to legalize the purchase and possession of small amounts of marijuana. Governor Pritzker has expressed ongoing support for legalization since his campaign. HB 1438, or the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, allows…
When a divorce begin, many are upset. The are emotional. The might even be angry. Events that led up to the divorce can cause a wide-range of emotions. These emotions can cause lots of parties to march into the courtroom to litigate their divorce. Before long, discovery has been issued. Subpoenas are flying. Depositions might be taking place. There can also be court dates from pre-trial conference, settlement conferences and eventually a trial date. For many parties, the emotions might eventually level off. The anger that might have originally been there when the case began might be giving way.…
Most family law attorneys use a well-worn script for their client intake process. But do they ask the right questions? Years of experience have taught Eva Kogut that there is a better way. The Typical Aproach When a client meets with an attorney for guidance on divorce, the discussion often centers on the facts regarding the process and possible outcomes in court. The attorney is trained to immediately present and explain various legal strategies for divorce. While all of this is very useful, the client may need or want to talk about issues in their family structure that are triggering…
In most states, the age of majority (when a person is recognized by law as an adult), is 18 years of age or older. A “minor” is a person who is under the age of 18. When a minor breaks the law or causes damage or injury to another person, an animal or property, the minor’s parents may bear the liability. Many state statutes authorize courts to hold parents financially responsible for the damages caused by their minor children. Some states may even hold parents criminally liable for failing to supervise a child whom they know to be delinquent. Parental…
All the papers are signed, the arguments are over, and a judgment has been entered, what are the next steps you should ensure your attorney is taking? There are a variety of administrative tasks that need to be accomplished once a judgment is entered in order to make sure your future interests are being protected. One such concern is the removal of a spouse from the title of real property owned during the marriage. This can be achieved by filing a quit claim deed, either during the proceedings or after, which removes the other spouse’s name and legal claim to…
In divorce or family law matters, pre-trial conferences, settlement conferences and other preliminary court dates often take places. These court appearances can sometimes take place in open court. In other instances, they can take place in chambers with only the attorneys present. In many of these court appearances, the attorneys in the case tell the judge their client’s versions of the facts of the case. They also might tell the court what it is their clients wants. The hope on the part of the attorneys and the parties is often to have the judge weigh in terms of what…
In some divorce cases, a couple may change their minds or disagree about certain issues even after the divorce is final. For example, if a person believes his or her ex-spouse violated the divorce decree, he or she can file a “post-decree motion” to enforce the terms of the divorce decree. Similarly, a change in one or both of the former spouses’ circumstances, such as a job loss or relocation, may require amendment or modification of the divorce decree, especially if a child is involved. These modifications or post-decree matters must be approved by a judge and should be fair…