Family & Divorce

Divorce laws are different all over the world. It can be tempting for a party to an Illinois divorce to say “I don’t like the divorce laws in Illinois. So, I’ll just file for divorce somewhere else.” Filing a divorce in a foreign country may or may not have an impact on any divorce filings in Illinois. Motion To Dismiss An Illinois Divorce Because A Foreign Divorce exists. A foreign divorce can allow a spouse in an Illinois divorce to ask an Illinois court to dismiss the Illinois divorce case because there already is a divorce case pending. “Defendant may,…
Almost everything a litigant does in an Illinois divorce does requires that the other party be notified. There are no surprises in an Illinois divorce. The reason surprises are forbidden in an Illinois divorce is that litigation by surprise is contrary to the fundamental principle of Anglo-American law: due process. “No state shall make or enforce any law…without due process of law” U.S. Const., amend. XIV Due process is “law in its regular course of administration through courts of justice.” Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014) “At a minimum, due process requires that a deprivation of property cannot occur without providing notice and…
In Illinois, the concept of ‘child custody’ is now referred to as the ‘allocation of parental responsibilities.’ Under Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/602.5), state courts are required to “allocate decision-making responsibilities according to the child’s best interests.” As a general rule, Illinois courts presume that it is best for a child to have an active, ongoing relationship with both parents. However, there are exceptions. Unfortunately, some parents are simply not fit to provide care for a child. This raises an important question: How do you prove someone is an unfit parent in Illinois? In this article, our child
The legal and financial aspects of marriage are often overlooked in our romantic conception of relationships. However, finances are an important part of any marriage – and perhaps even more important in a divorce. One particularly difficult aspect of determining how marital property is divided in a divorce is the valuation and division of complex assets, especially when those assets and the individuals who own them have a high net worth.  What is a Complex Asset?  Complex assets include assets made up of multiple components, each of which may contribute to the asset’s value. For example, an investment…
Divorce is a distressing process that can have emotionally devastating consequences. Worse, it often comes on the heels of years of marital conflict. Understandably, divorcing spouses often feel lonely and are eager to begin dating once it becomes clear that their marriage has irreconcilably broken down. However, dating before your divorce is complete can have a negative effect on the outcome of your divorce.  Your Finances Are Under Scrutiny   One of the risks of dating someone during your divorce is that the money you spend on your new partner may be considered “dissipation of assets.” Dissipation occurs when a…
Residents of Illinois may own assets outside of the U.S. for many reasons. Perhaps they are a citizen of another country who lives in Illinois but owns property abroad or are a native Chicagoan with business interests in another part of the world. Regardless of why someone owns international assets, Illinois divorce law requires that these assets be considered as part of the divorce process. Asset division in a divorce is nearly always a complex and disputed process, and this is especially true when international assets are concerned. The allocation of assets located outside of the United States is influenced…
Pursuing an adoption in Illinois is a wonderful way to expand your family, but it can also be  a lengthy and expensive process. Whether you adopt through a private arrangement with a biological parent, an agency adoption, or a related adoption such as a stepparent adopting a stepchild, the adoption process can have many complications and emotional pitfalls. Recognizing this, the Illinois State Legislature recently passed a bill designed to streamline the adoption process. Senate Bill 107 was passed unanimously and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Pritzker. Among other issues, the bill addresses the following:  Eliminates…
  If you are getting a divorce from your spouse, it is important to learn about all of your options. An alternative resolution option many divorcing couples find beneficial is mediation. The mediation process involves working with a trained mediator to negotiate various issues in your divorce, from child custody to division of assets. Mediation may help you and your spouse reach an agreement and avoid the often stressful process of divorce litigation. However, mediation is not right for everyone.  Advantages of Mediation During mediation sessions, you and your spouse will sit down in a quiet room and try to…
The Illinois Domestic Violence law prohibits any person from hitting, choking, threatening, or interfering with the personal liberty of an individual within their family or household. Domestic violence is a very serious crime and it is often very difficult for victims to take action. With the help of a family law attorney, victims can petition for an order of protection that can cease any access that their abuser has to themselves or their loved ones. Why Would Someone Want an Order of Protection? An order of protection is a very effective way to halt abuse committed by a relative, someone…
If you own a business, it is probably one of your most valuable assets. After putting years of time and effort into building your business, you will want to make sure you can continue to own and operate it, no matter what happens. Unfortunately, a business can sometimes be a tricky issue to address when couples get divorced. If your marriage has broken down, or if you want to address what will happen if you choose to get a divorce in the future, you will need to be sure to understand how the ownership of your business will be handled.…
Raising children is an important, difficult, time-consuming endeavor. When a couple gets married and wants to start a family, it is common for them to decide on an arrangement in which one spouse works outside the home and the other spouse stays at home with the children. Although this arrangement may work well for some families, one common concern for homemakers is what will happen to them in the event of a divorce. The homemaking spouse has often given up many years of being in the workforce, and so has not only given up those years’ worth of income…
Technology has enabled us to do amazing things. We can now talk face-to-face with each other, anywhere in the world, at any time. Medical advances are moving forward in leaps and bounds, and if Jeff Bezos can go into space in his own brand new spacecraft, surely you can get divorced online, right? Are There Any Advantages to Online Divorce? “Do-it-yourself” divorce, or online divorce, can seem like a good option for a number of reasons. They advertise low costs, and they seem faster and less complicated than a normal divorce – no trial lawyers, no discovery, no fighting. If…
Whether due to a new job or wanting to be closer to friends or family members, divorced parents may want to move away for a number of reasons. For divorced parents, however, moving with kids may not be simple. They have to get permission from the court and the other parent to move out of state. If your child’s other parent wants to relocate and you disagree with the relocation, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities. A skilled family law attorney can help you contest the relocation and assert your rights.  Factors Courts Consider Before Letting a…
Dogs are thought of as man’s best friend. Unfortunately, not all dogs live up to this adage. Dog bites can lead to severe and lasting injuries. Broken bones, nerve damage, and deep lacerations that can lead to infection, and permanent scarring and are just some of the serious injuries that may result from a dog bite. Dog attacks can also take a significant psychological toll on the victims. Some dog bite victims suffer from debilitating anxiety or post-traumatic stress for months or years. If a dog bit you or a loved one, you may be interested in holding the dog’s…