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An important part of any divorce involving children is a parenting plan. Parenting plans are part of the final divorce decree and, as such, are legally binding. They cannot be modified without court approval and parents who fail to abide by the terms of their parenting plan can find themselves facing court sanctions and loss of parental privileges. Sometimes, however, life changes, and under certain circumstances, parents can successfully petition an Illinois court to change the parenting plan to an arrangement that makes more sense for their family. If you want to petition for a modification of your parenting plan,
Continue Reading Can I Petition to Modify My Illinois Parenting Plan if It Is Unfair?

Divorce can feel like a lose-lose proposition. No matter what you do, it is virtually impossible for both parents to get everything they want – especially when it comes to issues like parenting time and parental responsibilities.
But difficult compromises are an important part of every divorce because children need both parents whenever possible. Creating a parenting plan that meets the best interests of your children and accommodates you and your spouse’s schedules and needs can be very challenging but it is definitely doable. Finding a workable balance is important for a sustainable co-parenting arrangement, and with the help
Continue Reading Five Tips For Creating Your First Parenting Plan in Illinois

Some mothers in Illinois are reluctant to name their child’s father on a birth certificate and for good reason. Their child’s father may be abusive, angry, or an alcoholic and the mother may fear that by establishing paternity, she is exposing her child to a lifetime of a relationship with a poor caregiver. A mother may also be reluctant to try to establish paternity because she is not sure who the child’s father is. Others still may want to legally name their child’s father but feel unable because the father has passed away.
Yet legally establishing paternity is important for
Continue Reading Five Benefits of Establishing Paternity in Illinois

Guns are powerful tools that can be used for many different purposes. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals living in Illinois use firearms to threaten, hurt, or intimidate family members and intimate partners in terrifying acts of domestic violence. People using firearms unsafely may even be a threat to themselves. When misuse of firearms becomes serious enough that gun violence may be an imminent threat, a Firearms Restraining Order (FRO) is a type of order of protection that is available in Illinois.
What Is a Firearms Restraining Order?
Illinois enacted a law beginning January 1st, 2019, called the Firearms Restraining Order Act.
Continue Reading What Is a Firearms Restraining Order, and How Can I Get One in Joliet?

In our last blog post, we discussed Orders of Protection in Illinois and how they can be obtained. Orders of Protection are meant to keep victims and abusers separate when they share or have shared a domestic relationship. But not all victims are in domestic relationships, and in these cases, other help may be necessary.
Fortunately, there are other types of protection that victims can obtain from an Illinois court. “Civil no-contact orders” protect victims of “nonconsensual sexual conduct” who want their abuser to be prohibited from contacting them. If you feel you are in danger of harm, whether
Continue Reading Three Facts About Civil No-Contact Orders in Illinois

Victims of domestic violence in Illinois face a difficult set of choices. Because many victims fear that they may face retaliation if they seek legal help, it can feel as though they are in the impossible dilemma of trying to fix a problem only to risk it getting worse. But if you feel stuck in an abusive situation where you are enduring emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, you likely already know that you do not want to live with it forever. Fortunately, there is help available: you can file for an order of protection in Will County today.
First, Make
Continue Reading You Can File for a Will County Restraining Order Today

As a newly engaged person, you may have a million thoughts running through your head. Some of these thoughts may be related to a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are legal documents that protect spouses’ financial interests in the event of death or divorce. However, there are many myths and misunderstandings associated with these essential legal documents. Read on to learn about the basics of signing a prenup in Illinois.
What Is the Purpose of a Prenup?
If your soon-to-be spouse has asked you to consider signing a prenup, your first though is probably, “Why?” Prenuptial agreements have been
Continue Reading Your Questions About Prenups, Answered

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Being a divorced parent is often even more challenging. If you are a parent who is separated or divorced, you may be worried about how you and your children will get through the holidays. The first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or other major holiday after a separation or divorce can be difficult to handle. There is no perfect way to handle the holidays as a divorced parent, but the following tips may help.
Make Sure Holidays Are Addressed in Your Parenting Plan
When parents get divorced in Illinois, they
Continue Reading 3 Tips for Co-Parenting During the Holidays

The decision to end a marriage is not one that is reached easily – especially after years or decades living as a married couple. Divorce after age 50 takes courage. It can be frightening to leave the predictability of your marriage and embark on a new life chapter. Ending a marriage near retirement age can also involve several financial complications. Many people in their 50s and 60s hope to retire and spend their time playing with grandchildren, traveling, or otherwise enjoying their golden years. Some divorcing spouses over age 50 worry that the divorce will upset these plans. If you
Continue Reading Divorce Involving Older Couples Presents Financial and Personal Challenges

The internet has changed nearly every aspect of our lives – including how we meet potential romantic partners. Over a third of Americans report using dating websites or dating apps to meet people. Social media has also radically changed the way that people meet, date, and marry. Facebook, Instagram, and other social networking sites are also increasingly involved in divorce cases.

One study recently showed that meeting online was associated with a greater chance of divorce. In fact, the research shows that couples that meet online are over six times more likely to divorce.
Online Dating Associated With Higher Divorce
Continue Reading Study Suggests Couples Who Meet Online Are More Likely to Divorce

As the saying goes, money cannot buy happiness. However, there is no denying that finances play a critical role in our lives – especially for divorced individuals. Getting divorced is likely to have a massive impact on your financial situation. Property division, child support, and spousal maintenance are just some of the issues you may deal with during an Illinois divorce. Proper preparation before divorce and careful money management after divorce can help reduce the negative impact divorce has on your finances.
Knowledge is Key During Divorce
Many people are uninvolved in their household finances. If you typically left the
Continue Reading How Can I Protect My Finances During and After Divorce?

Domestic violence and abuse can take many different forms. Abusers often use intimidation and psychological manipulation to control their victims. Sometimes, this takes the form of stalking. If you have been the victim of stalking, you know just how frightening it can be. Stalking is considered a criminal offense in Illinois. If you have been the victim of stalking during a divorce or other family law issue, you should know that there are certain legal protections available to you. A “Stalking No Contact Order” is a legally enforceable court order that prohibits a stalker from contacting or coming near the
Continue Reading What to Do If You Are the Victim of Stalking in Illinois

Whether you are an unmarried parent or one that will soon be divorced, you may have several questions about child support. Illinois law requires both of a child’s parents to contribute to the child’s financial needs. Most commonly, this is accomplished by the parent with less parenting time paying child support to the parent with greater parenting time. Of course, child support is not always as straightforward as it seems.
How Much Child Support Does a Parent Pay?
The amount a parent pays in child support varies from case to case and is typically calculated using a set formula.
Continue Reading Common Questions About Child Support in Illinois

Many are surprised to learn just how common domestic violence is in Illinois. Sadly, violence between spouses, romantic partners, family members, and housemates happens in millions of homes across the Prairie State. It is estimated that over 40 percent of women and 26 percent of men in Illinois have been victims of intimate partner violence or violence between current or former romantic partners.
If you have been abused by a family member or romantic partner, you are not alone. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your children. One of the most important of these steps is
Continue Reading How Can I Get a Plenary Order of Protection in Illinois?

Beginning the divorce process can be a daunting task. After all, most people have little experience dealing with legal issues prior to their divorce case. If you are like many people ending a marriage, you may have never stepped foot in a courthouse before. Understandably, you may feel confused and intimidated by the process. You may be unsure of what to expect. While each divorce case is different, most cases follow the same basic structure and involve similar concerns.
How Do You File for Divorce in Illinois?  
Every divorce begins with the divorce petition, technically called a Petition for Dissolution
Continue Reading Top Questions About Divorce in Illinois

Research shows that fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives is associated with better academic achievement, intellectual functioning, and social skills. Children with absent fathers are more likely to suffer from mental health problems like depression. Unfortunately, some fathers do not see their kids as often as they want because they are unaware of their rights. If you have established the paternity of your child and you are not a danger to your child’s well-being, you may be able to secure visitation or parenting time. However, you may need to take certain steps to assert this right.
You Must Establish
Continue Reading How Can I Get Visitation With My Kids as an Unmarried Father in Illinois?