Law Office of Russell D Knight Blog

Blog Authors

Latest from Law Office of Russell D Knight Blog

There are lots of kinds of custody in Illinois.  Sole custody implies that the child or children spend all of their time with one parent and the other parent has no say in how the child or children are raised.  Maybe this is a good idea for your children, maybe it’s not.  Either way, sole custody is an extremely loaded term that needs to be properly understood as it relates to Illinois custody law.  So, what is sole custody in an Illinois divorce or parentage action? There Really Isn’t Any Child Custody In Illinois Anymore In 2016, the Illinois…
After months of status dates in court, exchanging documents and wondering when something will actually happen in your divorce, the divorce judge’s voice will boom, “Pretrial is scheduled for next month.  Have your memos delivered to my clerk 7 days in advance!”  What does this mean?  What is a pretrial in an Illinois divorce and what do I need to do to prepare? What Is A Pretrial In An Illinois Divorce? Everything about a divorce in Illinois is geared towards settlement.  You’re supposed to exchange financial document within 30 days. Cook County Court Rule 13.3.1(a)(i).  You must propose a parenting…
People are getting married later and later.  The scientific evidence is showing that it becomes increasingly difficult and even dangerous for a married couple to postpone conception.  So, some married couples fertilize and egg via invitro fertilization and then subsequently freeze the embryo until the couple is ready to implant the embryo in the mother or a surrogate when the parties are ready to have the baby. What happens to frozen embryos in an Illinois divorce? Is A Frozen Embryo A Child Or Property In Illinois? Whether an embryo is a child or just a clump of cells is…
A divorce in Illinois can be a cause for a lot of changes.  It’s not surprising to see my divorce clients undergo physical changes.  My male clients will often see their hair go grey under the stress.  All of my clients either lose or gain a lot of weight.  Some of my clients take the crisis of divorce and turn it into an opportunity to improve their health as they work out to deal with the stress. Some clients take self-improvement to the point where they undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery to improve their self, and outward image during their…
Before a child is in kindergarten, they love you completely no matter what you’ve done. The child will barely even know you’re divorced or separated from the other parent.  It’s a very special time to be a parent but most of us have to work and miss a lot of that of that time.  While we’re working, the child will usually be in a daycare.  How do you determine which daycare your child will attend and who will pay for that daycare during and after an Illinois divorce or custody matter? What Daycare Will My Child Attend During And After…
A family is not just a mom, a dad and a kid.  There are usually other kids. A child’s relationship to his or her siblings is a close bond that’s worth preserving. But, sometimes those siblings don’t live with mom or dad anymore. Sometimes siblings don’t even have the same mom and dad. This can create a conundrum where an Illinois divorce or parentage court must determine the time the child spends with his or her parents and the time the child should spend with his or her siblings.  What are sibling visitation rights in Illinois? Siblings As A Factor…
When you go to divorce court in Illinois to finalize your divorce at the “prove up” hearing, you’ll find yourself in a big wood paneled courtroom where everyone is wearing suits and a robed judge sits above everyone behind a big podium.  In addition to all these characters, there will usually be a person with a little typewriter recording what the people in front of the judge are saying.  Not only is divorce court intimidating in every way…but someone is writing down everything you say. An Illinois divorce prove up hearing may be intimidating environment but it’s actually a very…
Divorce and/or a custody battle is stressful enough.  Illinois family law and family courts think you should be assigned some homework in the middle of it all…parenting classes. In Illinois, you can’t finalize your divorce or your custody litigation until both parents have completed the court ordered parenting class. Why Do I Have To Take A Parenting Class In An Illinois Divorce? If you have kids, you have to take a parenting class before getting divorced in Illinois because the Illinois Supreme Court mandates parenting classes. “Each circuit or county shall create or approve a parenting education program…
Earnest Hemingway was once asked, “How’d you go bankrupt?” Earnest replied, “Two ways, slowly and then all at once.”  That’s a lot like how a divorce works. Years of resentment and planning becomes tactics and strategy once the divorce is finally filed.  Often, one spouse is left without support yet the discovery deadlines necessary to determine both spouse’s incomes are months away.  In Illinois divorce cases, that spouse needs temporary maintenance (formerly known as alimony) in their Illinois divorce. Temporary Motions In Illinois Divorces I tell my clients that the Illinois divorce system is fair but it takes a
A cultural tradition in the United States and in most of the Western world is for the wife of a marriage to adopt her husband’s last name.  Alternatively, the wife can hyphenate her name and add husband’s last name (this is the cultural tradition in much of Latin America). After a divorce, however, a wife or spouse may want to shed the last name of their husband or spouse.  How do you change your name after a divorce in Illinois? How Your Last Name Got Changed In The First Place When you initially got married you applied for…
In Illinois, 39% of all children are born to unmarried parents.  Unmarried parents usually are in a relationship and can rely on each other to raise and support their children…until they can’t. When an unmarried parent needs financial support from the other parent in Illinois, that unmarried parent must turn to the legal system.  So, how does child support for unmarried parents work in Illinois?  Filing For Child Support In Illinois “A civil proceeding may be maintained to adjudicate the parentage of a child.” 750 ILCS 46/601 You can bring a child support petition in the county in Illinois…
At the end of your divorce you’ll receive a final document that says your spouse must pay you X dollars in maintenance (formerly knowns as alimony) every month.  That final divorce decree will be emblazoned with an Illinois divorce judge’s signature and be as good as law.  But, what if your spouse stops paying your maintenance…or never even starts?  What is the recourse for non-payment of alimony in Illinois?  How do you enforce alimony in Illinois? What Does An Order For Maintenance (Formerly Known As Alimony) Look Like In Illinois? At the end of your divorce you will enter…
Yes. You can get divorced in Illinois if you had a valid marriage in another state and either you or your spouse meet the residency requirements for an Illinois divorce to be filed and completed. Marriage In A State Other Than Illinois. There is not a federal, nation-wide rule across the United States that a marriage in one state is good in another state. The federal government won’t even get involved in a divorce. Ankenbrandt v. Richards, 504 U. S. 689, 714 (1992) So, each state has their own rules about what counts as a valid marriage. In Illinois, if…
When you are considering leaving your spouse in Illinois, you have options.  You can get a divorce or you can get a legal separation from your spouse in Illinois.  Is it better to be legally separated or divorced in Illinois? What Is A Legal Separation In Illinois? A legal separation in Illinois is described by its purpose in the Illinois statute. “Any person living separate and apart from his or her spouse without fault may have a remedy for reasonable support and maintenance while they so live apart.” 750 ILCS 5/402(a) You can get all of the temporary relief
A custody dispute can be scary.  One parent is literally trying to keep the child away from the other parent.  There is a whole system for deciding which parent will have the child at what time but what happens when one parents opts out that system and simply takes the child when they want, without permission?  Where does a custody dispute end and a kidnapping begin in Illinois?  Can you kidnap your own child in Illinois? Kidnapping Is A Crime In Illinois Kidnapping is a crime in Illinois but we need to look exactly at what the statute says.…
Divorce is a tumultuous time. Your family is no longer the same. Your finances are completely reshuffled causing you to turn to credit cards and other debt. Debt can become a lifeline during a divorce’s uncertainty. Therefore it’s natural to wonder how a divorce can affect your credit score and how you can protect your credit score during an Illinois divorce? There are several bodies of law that govern a divorce in Illinois. Neither the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, The Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, The Illinois Supreme Court Rules, The Illinois Rules of Evidence not the…