Law Office of Russell D. Knight

When your family has issues that may lead to litigation, deep-seated emotions can boil over long before you reach a courtroom. Your lawyer can either add to the stress or reduce that existing level of stress. At The Law Office of Russell D. Knight, we provide a personal level of service that will help put you back in control. We will discuss all of your legal options and give you an honest assessment of your case. Contact our office today for a 100% free consultation to find out how we can best help you.

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You used to live somewhere else or maybe you still do but you want to file for divorce in Illinois for various reasons (some Illinois law that you probably read about on this website benefits you over your spouse). How soon can you file in Illinois and take advantage of Illinois’ sometimes generous/sometimes onerous divorce laws?

You are supposed to wait 90 days before filing a divorce in Illinois after moving to Illinois.

Waiting 90 Days To File For Divorce In Illinois

If you our your spouse have lived in Illinois for 90 days, file for a divorce in Illinois
Continue Reading How Soon Can I File For Divorce In Illinois?

After a divorce is filed in Illinois, the parties establish themselves as separate units with separate financial needs and schedules. The parties also collect evidence for eventual trial. After the parties are divorced, either party can file motions to modify and/or enforce the existing judgment. These are legitimate bases for filings in an Illinois divorce.

A filed motion requires a response and a possible hearing on the motion. Every time your ex files something, you will be spending money, time and emotional energy answering their filing.

What if the filings in a divorce case have no legitimate
Continue Reading Frivolous Filings In An Illinois Divorce Case

In an Illinois divorce, a judge is not always going to agree with you and your lawyer’s conclusions. When a judge rules against you during your Illinois divorce, that ruling may or may not be significant enough to bring that ruling before an appeals court for review. What is appealable in an Illinois divorce case?

Errors are appealable in an Illinois divorce. The whole point of an appeal is to identify a specific thing that the trial court did incorrectly. To appeal an Illinois divorce, you must identify the error(s).

There are two kinds of errors in an Illinois
Continue Reading What Can You Appeal In An Illinois Divorce?

The prospect of divorce is frightening. Splitting assets and seeing your children half the time (or less) are harrowing possibilities but the continuing obligation of maintenance (formerly known as alimony) seems the most daunting. Before the divorce, you were supporting one household with two incomes. After the divorce, you may be expected to support two households (your household and your ex-spouse’s) on one income. How do you avoid the additional, ongoing obligation of maintenance during and after your Illinois divorce?

Who Has To Pay Maintenance In Illinois?

Either party may request maintenance in an Illinois divorce.

“[T]he court may
Continue Reading How To Avoid Paying Maintenance In Illinois

After years in a bad marriage, you should be used to getting vague, counter-intuitive and just plain terrible instructions from your spouse. But, what if you get those vague instructions from a judge in your Illinois divorce?

The point of an order is for the parties under the jurisdiction of the Illinois divorce case to follow that order. If the order is not clear, then enforcement of the orders terms becomes problematic.

“Orders must be construed in a reasonable manner so as to give effect to the apparent intention of the trial court.” Kiefer v. Rust-Oleum Corp., 916 NE 2d
Continue Reading Vague And Ambiguous Orders In An Illinois Divorce

Getting a divorce in Illinois is not simply filling out forms. Otherwise, everyone would get divorced by merely checking boxes and submitting a form. Marriage and the dissolution therefrom is a fundamental right. Marriage and divorce are taken seriously by the law and afforded due process in Illinois.

“[M]arriage is a fundamental right.” Boynton v. Kusper, 494 NE 2d 135 – Ill: Supreme Court 1986

For some people, however, a divorce should probably should be as easy as filling out a form.

Short marriages without kids and without any real assets should be allowed to have simple divorces without the
Continue Reading Joint Simplified Divorce In Illinois

Divorce is the unwinding your life from someone who knows you really, really well. Your spouse or ex-spouse may threaten you in order to get your cooperation during or after your Illinois divorce. Sometimes, these threats are illegal and punishable by law. Sometimes these threats are empty bickering.

What constitutes extortion in an Illinois divorce?

“In Illinois, “extortion” and “blackmail” are synonymous terms.” Jordan v. Knafel, 823 NE 2d 1113 – Ill: Appellate Court, 1st Dist., 4th Div. 2005 (yes, it’s THAT Jordan)

Blackmail is “[a] threatening demand made without justification.” Black’s Law Dictionary 163 (7th ed.1999).

Is Extortion A
Continue Reading Extortion And Divorce In Illinois

Illinois courts are happy to grant orders of protection. Orders of protection prevent possible tragedies with little harm to the parties who are under the order of protection. Still, the courts must review sufficient evidence in order to issue an order of protection.

“Although the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 is to be construed liberally to protect victims of domestic violence, help them avoid further abuse, and to expand the remedies for victims of domestic violence including, when necessary, physical separation of the parties there must be some evidence in the record to support the relief requested.” In
Continue Reading What Do I Need To Prove To Get An Order Of Protection In Illinois?

Often in the initial weeks after filing a Petition For Dissolution of Marriage in Illinois, one of the parties to the freshly-filed divorce action will become worried that big changes are on the horizon and will request that the status quo be maintained.

Big changes are on the horizon! A divorce will be happening shortly which will divide all of your assets, establishing support obligations and govern your relationship with your children.

During the pendency of an Illinois divorce, an Illinois divorce court has great powers to provide temporary relief.

An Illinois divorce court may order temporary support, exclusive
Continue Reading Preserving The Status Quo In An Illinois Divorce

When people get older, they ponder their life decisions. Often, they say, “Why did I let him get away with NOT paying child support or maintenance all those years.”

The man who failed to pay (it is almost always a man) is now in his dotage and is collecting checks from the U. S. government via Social Security. He probably knows that his Social Security checks are untouchable by creditors thanks to Federal law.

Social Security Is Not Garnishable…Usually

“The right of any person to any future payment under this [Social Security] subchapter shall not be transferable or assignable,
Continue Reading Garnishing Social Security In An Illinois Divorce

In an Illinois divorce appellate court in Illinois reviews final orders, interlocutory (temporary) orders and custody/parenting time orders.

“Every final judgment of a circuit court in a civil case is appealable as of right.” Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 301

“An appeal may be taken to the Appellate Court from an interlocutory order of court:(1) granting, modifying, refusing, dissolving, or refusing to dissolve or modify an injunction;” Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 307(a)(1)

“The following judgments and orders are appealable without the finding required for appeals…

A custody or allocation of parental responsibilities judgment or modification of such judgment entered pursuant
Continue Reading How Does An Appeals Court Review An Illinois Divorce Order?

You are not always going to get the result you want from an Illinois divorce judge. If the Illinois divorce judge does not rule in your favor, you are entitled to appeal that decision within 30 days of the final order (in most cases).

An appeal is a “complaint to a superior court of an injustice done or error committed by an inferior one, whose judgment or decision the court above is called upon to correct or reverse. The removal of a cause from a court of inferior to one of superior jurisdiction, for the purpose of obtaining a review and
Continue Reading When Can You Appeal An Illinois Divorce?

In an Illinois divorce, the parties’ incomes must be verified. To ensure that a spouse is being paid what they claim they are being paid, ask to see what money they are actually collecting and what money they tell the IRS they are collecting (not often the same thing).

By comparing bank statements to tax returns and the tax return’s supporting documents (W-2s, K1s, 1099s, etc), the income of a spouse in an Illinois divorce can be verified and used to determine child support and/or maintenance.

Even with all of this proof of their income, a divorce litigant
Continue Reading Admitting Bank Statement And Tax Returns Into Evidence In An Illinois Divorce

Cash money has a strange effect on people. Cash seems more real because you can touch and see the money. Cash is not just digital numbers on a spreadsheet somewhere. Cash can be instantly transferred or received. If no one keeps a record (and no one ever does), the parties to a cash transaction are the only parties that know of that cash’s existence.

Because of cash’s inscrutable qualities, people expecting to be divorced immediately start accumulating cash. Whether the divorcing party is withdrawing cash from an ATM or accepting work for cash, the cash still can be traced…if you
Continue Reading Cash In An Illinois Divorce

A divorce is a big change. It is not uncommon for a divorced party to treat that change as an opportunity for self-improvement. If a soon-to-be-divorced person is foreseeing a lifestyle that goes from two incomes to one income, they are going to want to increase their income.

Most people try to increase their incomes by increasing their education and, thus, they will return to school to get additional degrees in their post-divorce lifestyle.

What happens if a former spouse goes back to school after an Illinois divorce? Does the other spouse have to pay for their college or
Continue Reading Going Back To School After An Illinois Divorce

After an adverse ruling in an Illinois divorce trial, the parties to the divorce need not tuck their tail between their legs and say “Well, I guess that’s it.” In an Illinois divorce, it ain’t over until it’s over…and that’s, usually, only when someone gives up.

If either party is willing to go to trial, they are probably willing to continue the divorce process after the trial via post-trial motions and appeals.

A post-trial motion that outlines the contested issues is usually required for a successful appeal (otherwise those issues are deemed waive). But, the rule requiring post-trial motions only
Continue Reading Post-Trial Motions In An Illinois Divorce