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If you were in a toxic marriage, you probably know that divorce is perhaps the only way to take your life back fully. Whether your spouse was manipulative, narcissistic, or outright abusive, you are done with it and ready to move on without them. Fortunately, your spouse absolutely does not have the power to prevent you from divorcing them. No matter what they try, you can ultimately get your divorce finalized whether they like it or not. There are, however, a few tactics they might try. Some of these tactics are meant to delay the inevitable. Others are merely an
Continue Reading 4 Wild Divorce Tactics a Toxic Spouse Might Try

Child support is often, but not always, decided during a divorce. When children are born into a marriage, both spouses are presumed to be the child’s parents. In Illinois, this is true even if it is biologically impossible – a child born to a woman who is married to another woman has two legal mothers right off the bat. If this couple were to divorce, one mother would likely be ordered to pay the other child support. However, couples who are not married and their children enjoy no such legal protections. If you were never married to your child’s other
Continue Reading How do I Get Child Support if I Never Married the Other Parent?

If this is your first time being involved in a child custody case, a lot of things might feel very unfamiliar. You are probably not used to needing a court order to tell you which parent should have the child with them and when. You may be paying or receiving child support for the first time. The entire process of deciding issues related to child custody and child support can be complex. Some of the terminology used can also feel unfamiliar and confusing when you are not used to it. Illinois changed the way courts and lawyers talk about child
Continue Reading A Quick Guide to Illinois’ Child Custody Terminology

Getting a divorce is rarely easy. Even if you are relatively amicable with your spouse, the potential for interpersonal conflict is very high during divorce. It can be a very emotionally charged situation. Especially if you are trying for an uncontested divorce and will need to reach an agreement, it is best to minimize the amount of conflict in your divorce. Fighting with the spouse you are already leaving is only going to cause additional stress. There are a number of strategies you can use for avoiding the drama, even if your spouse seems determined to keep arguing. If you
Continue Reading 5 Tips for Minimizing Conflict During Divorce

Most children involved in child custody proceedings have at least one parent who is capable of and interested in caring for them. Custody battles are traditionally between two biological parents, but this is not always the case. In certain situations, an adult sibling may be able to petition the court for custody of a minor sibling. This is more likely to be the case when there is a significant age gap between siblings. Especially when younger siblings are at risk of being taken into state custody and placed into foster care, having an older sibling take care of them instead
Continue Reading Could I Get Custody of My Younger Siblings?

Being married to someone who is dependent on drugs or alcohol can be very difficult. People in active addiction put their substance of choice above everything else, including their spouse and children. Your spouse may have lost their job as a result of substance abuse. They may have been arrested. They could have become involved with criminals you would rather not be associated with. Whatever the situation may be, you need out of your marriage, and you need to get your children out. Getting a divorce from a spouse with substance abuse problems can be very difficult on a number
Continue Reading Protecting Yourself and Your Children When Divorcing an Addict

Illinois courts use supervised visitation orders for a number of reasons. Often, this arrangement is temporary while parents have a divorce pending, or while a guardian ad litem is investigating an accusation made by one spouse. Even so, supervised visitation can potentially be uncomfortable for both you and your children. There are different levels and types of supervised visitation. Some parents are allowed to spend time with their children in the community, but with a designated chaperone present. Others must come to a visitation center to see their children. While it may take a little getting used to, this arrangement
Continue Reading What is Supervised Visitation Like?

Savvy investors often buy one or more real estate properties. They rent the properties to tenants and receive rental income. While rental properties are a great way to earn passive income, addressing real estate property during a divorce is often complex. Many landlords are unsure of how rental properties will be dealt with during their divorce. If you or your spouse own one or more rental homes, speak to a divorce lawyer for help.
Real Estate Property Ownership Rights
There are two main types of assets in an Illinois divorce. Marital assets are those assets acquired during the marriage. Separate
Continue Reading How Are Rental Properties Handled in an Illinois Divorce?

Ending a marriage means addressing several complicated issues, including marital property division and child-related concerns. Divorcing spouses in Illinois may use an alternative resolution method called mediation to discuss divorce issues and reach a resolution. Many people find that mediation allows them to avoid litigation and reach an out-of-court agreement that both spouses are happy with. However, mediation will only be successful if both spouses are committed to resolving disputes and willing to put in the effort needed to do so.
Determine What You Are and Are Not Willing to Compromise On
Divorce mediation almost always requires spouses to compromise
Continue Reading Tips to Make the Most Out of the DuPage County Divorce Mediation Process

Divorcing spouses without children can walk away from the relationship after their divorce is complete. Even if they are subject to spousal support orders or other court orders, they are not forced to interact with each other the way divorcing spouses with children are forced to interact.
In a high-conflict divorce case involving children, parents are often unable to work together to raise children through a cooperative co-parenting relationship. Parallel parenting may offer an opportunity for high-conflict parents to reduce interaction and mitigate conflict while prioritizing their child’s best interests.
Restricting Communication to Reduce Conflict
Research shows that conflict between
Continue Reading Parallel Parenting for High-Conflict Divorce Involving Children

In Illinois, physical custody of a child is called “parenting time.” When a parent has concerns about a child’s safety with the other parent, he or she may ask the court to impose certain parenting time restrictions. For example, a parent may request that the other parent’s parenting time be supervised by a third party. This is sometimes called “supervised visitation.”
If your child’s other parent or another party is seeking to restrict your parenting time, contact a child custody lawyer for legal advice and support specific to your situation.
When Can the Court Limit a Parent’s Parenting
Continue Reading My Ex is Trying to Restrict My Parenting Time, What Can I Do?

In any divorce case, there are important financial issues to be determined. The spouses’ assets and debts will need to be identified, classified, valued, and divided. Spouses may also be subject to child support and spousal support obligations.
If you are getting divorced, you may have questions about how your money and property will be dealt with. Specifically, you may wonder whether assets you received through inheritance are subject to division. Typically, inheritance is not divided between spouses in an Illinois divorce. However, as with many financial concerns during divorce, the answer is not always this straightforward.

Marital Versus Non-Marital
Continue Reading How is Inheritance Handled in a DuPage County Divorce?

Being a stepparent can be challenging. However, it can also be deeply rewarding. Many times, a stepmom or stepdad becomes an essential figure in a child’s life, acting as if he or she was the child’s biological parent. However, stepparents do not have the same rights as biological parents. For example, if a stepparent divorces the child’s biological parent, the stepparent has to no right to parenting time with the child. For this reason and many others, some stepparents choose to legally adopt their stepchildren.
Stepparent Adoption When the other Parent Consents
The law says that children can only have
Continue Reading How Can I Legally Adopt My Stepchild?

If you are engaged to be married, congratulations! Marriage can be a wonderful way to formalize a committed relationship. However, marriage is not without financial risk. One way married individuals can mitigate the financial risks associated with marriage and protect their financial future is by creating a prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more popular, especially among millennials. In a study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, over 60 percent of the lawyers surveyed noticed an increased number of engaged couples seeking prenups. The increase is not surprising given the significant benefits associated with prenuptial
Continue Reading 5 Reasons to Consider a Prenuptial Agreement Before You Get Married

Divorced parents and parents who never married are often subject to child support orders. Child support is a method for splitting the cost of raising a child between parents who are no longer together and ensures that the child will receive financial support from both parents. In 2016, Illinois changed the way child support is calculated. The amount that a parent pays is now based on both parents’ net incomes, not just the paying parent’s net income. Lawmakers changed the child support calculation method in order to ensure that child support obligations are fair and reasonable, given both parents’ financial
Continue Reading Getting a Fair Child Support Order When a Parent Makes Money "Under the Table"

Childcare, medical expenses, afterschool tutoring, clothes, and groceries are just some of the many child-related expenses parents must manage. When a child is disabled, there are often additional expenses including specialized medical care and educational serves. If your child has an intellectual disability such as autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, fragile X syndrome, or down syndrome, you may be able to extend the length of time that you receive child support from your child’s other parent.
Understanding the Cost of Intellectual Disabilities  
Parents of children with disabilities often face a unique set of challenges both personally and financially. Raising
Continue Reading Child Support for a Child with Autism, Down Syndrome, or another Intellectual Disability