Chicago Family Law and Personal Injury Blog

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When a marriage breaks down, one spouse may decide it is better to hide or spend–or even destroy–certain assets rather than risk the other spouse gaining control of the property in a divorce. Such thinking is not only short-sighted and foolish. It can also place the spouse who misused the asset in a weaker legal position before the divorce court. What we are really talking about here is a legal concept known as “dissipation of marital assets.” The Illinois Supreme Court has defined dissipation as the use of marital property or assets for purposes outside of the marriage when…
When a marriage breaks down, one spouse may decide it is better to hide or spend–or even destroy–certain assets rather than risk the other spouse gaining control of the property in a divorce. Such thinking is not only short-sighted and foolish. It can also place the spouse who misused the asset in a weaker legal position before the divorce court. What we are really talking about here is a legal concept known as “dissipation of marital assets.” The Illinois Supreme Court has defined dissipation as the use of marital property or assets for purposes outside of the marriage when…
An often-overlooked issue in Illinois divorce cases is whether or not a spouse–usually a woman–wants to revert to the use of her maiden or former last name. Many people simply do not think about this until after the divorce is final. Some of you might just assume you can just start using your maiden name … Continue reading “New Illinois Law Simplifies Process for Restoring Maiden Names After Divorce”
An often-overlooked issue in Illinois divorce cases is whether or not a spouse–usually a woman–wants to revert to the use of her maiden or former last name. Many people simply do not think about this until after the divorce is final. Some of you might just assume you can just start using your maiden name after a divorce without any following any formal legal process. The reality is not quite so simple. Historically, if a divorcing spouse wants to change back to a maiden name, she must request a court order as part of the divorce proceedings. The judge…
When it comes to divorce, Illinois courts will generally accept decrees issued by other states or foreign countries under a legal principle known as “comity.” But there are limits to comity. An Illinois court may withhold comity if it believes the foreign state or country’s court deprived the parties of basic due process or otherwise … Continue reading “Is a Divorce Obtained in a Foreign Court Valid in Illinois?”
When it comes to divorce, Illinois courts will generally accept decrees issued by other states or foreign countries under a legal principle known as “comity.” But there are limits to comity. An Illinois court may withhold comity if it believes the foreign state or country’s court deprived the parties of basic due process or otherwise acted in a fundamentally unfair manner. IL Court Refuses to Extend Comity to Indian Divorce, Citing Lack of Due Process and Fundamental Fairness This issue came up in an April 2019 decision from the Illinois Second District Appellate Court. The case involved a…
One of the most sensitive issues in any Illinois divorce is deciding how to best share child custody–or as current state law refers to it, the “allocation of parenting time and responsibility.” In the best-case scenario, the divorcing parents will reach a voluntary, good faith agreement on how to best allocate time and responsibility. The parents can then submit a parenting plan to the court, which upon the court’s approval becomes a legally binding joint parenting order. Federal Court Refuses to Intervene in Illinois State Court Decision As with any legal agreement, it is critical for both parents to obtain…
Like most other states, Illinois follows the theory of equitable distribution when it comes to dividing marital assets in a divorce. This means the property and any marital debts will be divided in a fair and equitable manner. With a community property state, assets are essentially split 50/50 during a divorce. With equitable distribution, it means that the end result should be fair and equitable for both parties, but it does not mean that each spouse will walk away with 50% of each asset. Perhaps you will get one piece of property while your ex gets the yacht, etc. Determining…
Some people are familiar with the court process and expert witnesses from watching legal procedural shows and movies. An expert witness is usually the “hired gun” who testifies on behalf of one side, blowing a hole in the other side’s case. However, in the real world, an expert’s testimony is not typically so dramatic. This does not mean that it is any less effective, though. Experts are not just used in big criminal and civil cases, they can also play an important role in family law matters, especially divorce cases. What are Expert Witnesses? Someone who is an expert…
Illinois follows an “equitable distribution” rule when it comes to divorce. This means that if the divorcing spouses cannot reach a voluntary agreement, the judge will divide any marital property in a manner that is considered fair and just under the circumstances, which does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split. Divided Appeals Court Holds Purchase of Pre-Marital Pension Credits Qualify as Marital Property However, the court still needs to decide what qualifies as “marital property.” Normally this refers to any asset acquired during the marriage itself (with some exceptions). Conversely, assets held by either spouse prior to marriage is…
How many times do you post to Facebook each day? What about Twitter? Or Instagram? Whatever your preferred social media network, the reality is that just about all of us rely on at least one of these outlets to share aspects of our daily lives. Unfortunately, this freedom often comes with a price, especially when it comes to divorce. Using Facebook to Bash Your Ex can Just Make Things Worse There is no doubt that social media plays a significant role in divorce cases. A 2010 survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in Chicago found that…
Amongst the slew of new laws that went into effect on January 1st was a new statute that expands the visitation rights of non-parent family members. Formerly known as Senate Bill 2498, this law could have a significant impact on thousands of families across the state of Illinois, so if you have a question about how this law’s passage could affect your own child custody arrangement, you should consider speaking with an experienced Visitation Rights Attorney Rolling Meadows who can explain your legal options.   When can a Non-Parent Relative Petition the Court for Visitation? Grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings are…