Family & Divorce

Can you just walk into a court in Illinois and ask for a divorce?  It doesn’t seem like it should be that easy to get a divorce. It feels like there should be some kind of waiting period so that unhappy couples can work on things before they actually get divorced.  Well, in Illinois there is very little waiting time before you can get a divorce.  So, how long do you have to wait for a divorce in Illinois? Illinois Jurisdiction For Divorce The biggest roadblock to getting divorced in Illinois is the requirement that you or your spouse actually…
Married couples choose to divorce for countless reasons. Sometimes, spouses simply grow apart or realize that it was a mistake to get married in the first place. In these cases, spouses may not want to be married any longer, but they still have a high level of respect and concern for each other. On the other hand, some divorcing spouses are vengeful and combative. Divorces involving infidelity, deceit, domestic violence, or vindictiveness may require a very different approach than more amicable divorces. If you have reason to believe that your divorce might be hostile, you may wonder if there…
Divorce is expensive.  Divorce with children is even more expensive.  Divorce lawyers in Chicago, Illinois can charge over $400 an hour and ask for $ 5000 retainers.  This is far outside the means of many Chicago residents.  Yet, lower income Chicago residents still need to get a divorce and resolve their family law issues.  There are many reduced-fee and no-fee divorce attorneys in Chicago, Illinois who describe this billing system by the latin term “pro bono” which means “for good.”  So, who are the Pro Bono Divorce Lawyers in Chicago? Many of the pro bono divorce lawyers in Chicago…
For those going through a divorce, the process of ending a marriage can all too often create a sense of tunnel vision. Due to the mental strain and the waves of emotion that come with this major life change, people tend to focus only on the immediate needs in front of them during such a time, like making it through the legal paperwork or court proceedings. Other priorities may also capture a person’s attention in the midst of handling the technical details, from creating parenting plans and making new living arrangements to possibly relocating. The Decision to Get a…
When most people think about workplace sexual harassment, they assume that the victim is a woman and the perpetrator is a male in a higher-ranking position. Although this situation does describe a great number of sexual harassment cases, this is not the only type of sexual harassment that exists. Men can also be victims of sexual harassment at the hands of both women and other men. In one survey, 10 percent of male respondents reported having been sexually harassed at work. Furthermore, almost one out of every five sexual harassment complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)…
At the Law Office of Russell D. Knight we love languages!  Russell D. Knight speaks Spanish and French. Rahul Iyer speaks Hindi and Tamil.  After years or representing Chicago’s Chinese-American community in divorce and family law matters while relying on translators and other Chinese speaking lawyers, we now have a team member who speaks Chinese: Lucy Wang. Lucy Wang is a graduate of Yale University and plans on attending law school after her time with working with our law office.  Lucy Wang is incredibly bright, thorough and thoughtful.  Lucy Wang shares with us here today her observations as a…
At the Law Office of Russell D. Knight we love languages!  Russell D. Knight speaks Spanish and French. Rahul Iyer speaks Hindi and Tamil.  After years or representing Chicago’s Chinese-American community in divorce and family law matters while relying on translators and other Chinese speaking lawyers, we now have a team member who speaks Chinese: Lucy Wang. Lucy Wang is a graduate of Yale University and plans on attending law school after her time with working with our law office.  Lucy Wang is incredibly bright, thorough and thoughtful.  Lucy Wang shares with us here today her observations as a…
If you are a single parent, you know just how hard it can be to manage child-rearing expenses on your own. In Illinois, both parents are responsible for the costs associated with raising a child – even if those parents who are divorced or never married. Child support is typically paid by the parent with less parenting time to the parent with more parenting time in order to share child-related costs between parents. Unfortunately, some parents do not take their child support obligation seriously. They skip payments, do not pay in full, or they use excuse after excuse to avoid…
Unmarried couples who have a child together face a significantly different set of challenges than married couples with children. When a mother who is married gives birth, her husband is automatically presumed to be the child’s father. However, when an unmarried mother gives birth, this presumption does not exist. The father will need to take steps to establish his legal relationship to the child, called establishing paternity. There are numerous benefits to establishing paternity for both the parents and the child. Read on to learn about these advantages and the steps that must be followed to establish paternity in…
Spousal support may not be awarded as often as it once was, it is still a factor in some cases. Think you might be entitled? Check out these 14 factors the courts use to decide whether or not to award alimony to a disadvantaged party and learn more about what our divorce lawyers can do to improve the outcome in your Illinois divorce case.  1. Income and Assets of Each Party
 Each party’s income and assets are one of the first and biggest factors used to determine whether spousal support should be awarded in a divorce case. The courts will consider…
After deciding to cut ties with your spouse, it can be difficult to imagine a life without them. You may know that divorce is the best decision for you both; however, that does not always mean that the transition is seamless. You experience being truly on your own for the first time since getting married, both emotionally and financially. While the emotional transition can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows, adjusting to a single income can be the most difficult change of all. Maybe you were a one-income household with one parent staying home, or perhaps you both had…
The coronavirus epidemic has created shockwaves throughout society, and some marriages may be part of the collateral damage. Millions of residents in the U.S. – including those in Illinois – have been ordered to stay at home as much as possible. Some of those residents have lost their jobs, leaving their financial future in doubt. With couples feeling immense stress and unable to escape each other, they are more likely to argue and feel resentful towards each other. Increased time together can also make it more obvious if they no longer love each other or feel unhappy in their marriage. Some…
As a parent going through divorce, you no doubt have concerns about how the process will affect your children. In some cases, you may even lose trust in your child’s other parent, or harbor fears about exposure to bad influences. Or you might be on the other side of the equation and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse accuses you of engaging in behavior that has adverse implications for raising your child. With either of these scenarios, the topic of a morality clause may come up as you’re addressing a parenting plan under Illinois’ divorce statute. Whether you’re seeking to prepare a morality…
Divorcing parents who are living in separate homes will likely feel the strain of the coronavirus pandemic much stronger than those families who are all living under one roof. Disagreements over parenting choices and decisions, concerns over how — or if — social interactions should take place, and fears regarding bills and income may be some of the primary issues on parents’ minds when they are going through a divorce during this time. However, if you are able to work together with your former partner to address matters related to your children, you can be prepared for success once things…
Shelter-in-Place, Quarantine and Parenting Time What is Shelter-in-Place? The State of Illinois is taking progressive measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Most recently, all state residents have been ordered to stay at home starting 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020 through April 7, 2020.  There are a few exceptions to the Order.  These are limited to individuals working for essential businesses or participating in essential activities. A comprehensive list of the essential activities can be accessed from the State of Illinois COVID Response Site at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/coronavirus/Pages/default.aspx. What about parenting time? The recent stay at home…
A parent need not be a psychologist to understand that the stress of pre-divorce or the divorce process can take its toll on kids emotionally and physically. Because many of my cases involve High Conflict divorces, there is often seen in the kids of these families both emotional and somatic complaints. It is very important for parents to be mindful of these complaints and conditions with their children and seek out appropriate resources.  In my practice, I have tried to integrate both the legal aspects of divorce practice with the clinical supports that are available from clinicians that I know…