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In a recent post on this blog, we discussed what people need to know regarding uncontested divorce in Illinois. This time, we will talk about things that are essential to know about contested divorce. Firstly, a contested divorce occurs when the divorcing parties cannot cooperate effectively, to the point where litigation may be required. Contested divorces can begin from many places. For instance, divorce proceedings may begin amicably and become contested, whereas in other cases, the divorce may have been rife with conflict from the very beginning. 
Whatever the case, contested divorces are often quite time-consuming and expensive.
Continue Reading What to Know About a Contested Divorce in Illinois

While getting a divorce is never easy, it is often even more complicated if the divorcing couple has children. When a couple decides to get divorced, it is not entirely uncommon for one of the spouses to move away from where they lived during their marriage. This is often seen as a necessary first step in starting a new beginning and clearing their mind of the heartache they went through during the divorce. While it is true that moving can positively impact someone’s mental health post-divorce, you must tread carefully if you are considering taking your child with you.
In
Continue Reading Essential Things to Consider Before You Relocate with Your Children

It is not uncommon for spouses to get into arguments or disagree over many different issues. In some cases, a spouse may even threaten to pursue a divorce against you. The word divorce can be highly triggering to people simply because of everything that divorce represents. For most people, divorce is a significant life event, similar to a baby being born or someone passing away. Divorce is a big deal, which is why it may be shocking and upsetting to hear your spouse hang the idea of divorce over your head. 
At the outset, it must be stated that threats
Continue Reading What You Should Do If Your Spouse Threatens to Divorce You

Getting a divorce is never easy and can be especially difficult once the holidays come around. If you are coming up on your first Christmas since splitting up from your spouse, you may likely feel heartbroken and at a loss for what to do. These feelings can be amplified if you have children, have recently moved out of the marital home, or if your spouse has moved out of the marital home. In any event, if you have reason to believe divorce may be on the horizon for you and your family, this blog will delve deeper into how you
Continue Reading Navigating Your First Christmas After a Separation

Raising children can be among the most rewarding and fulfilling things anyone ever does in their entire life. Few acts are more loving and sincere than deciding to pursue adoption to start or grow your family. If you are fortunate enough to be considering adoption as your avenue toward growing your family, you are likely filled with excitement and questions about how the process works. If you are considering adoption as an option you are interested in, consider consulting with an experienced adoption attorney who understands the process and will work to ensure your process is as smooth as possible. 
Continue Reading What to Know About Adopting a Child in Illinois

Getting a divorce can be one of the saddest, most contentious, and bitter processes that a person can ever experience. At least, that is the usual assumption when it comes to getting divorced. It is undoubtedly true that many divorces involve lots of anger and unpleasantness, particularly when children are involved. However, what if there was a way to get divorced that was not quite so terrible? 
There is a divorce process that can end things in an amicable way that will leave both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse feeling heard and respected once the divorce is finalized. This process
Continue Reading What is an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?

For many spouses, divorce mediation or other methods of cooperative divorce may be preferable to a prolonged courtroom battle. Divorcing spouses who use mediation may be able to save substantial time, money, and stress. However, alternative dispute resolution tactics may not be effective – or even worth trying – for every set of spouses. The process requires cooperation and a certain level of emotional maturity to succeed. Both spouses must be willing to make compromises with one another. Both spouses must be able to commit to participating in mediation or negotiation efforts.
While you and your spouse need not be
Continue Reading When Divorce Mediation May Not Work

For most parents, their greatest concern in a divorce is not who keeps the living room furniture, but rather, how much time they will get to continue spending with their children. Seeing the other parent obtain sole child custody is often a parent’s worst fear. If your spouse is threatening to pursue sole custody, or to keep the children from seeing you, you should know that this result is highly unlikely unless there is genuine evidence that you are harmful to the children. If no such evidence exists, courts in Illinois immensely favor a parenting time arrangement that allows both
Continue Reading What to Do When Your Spouse Threatens to Seek Sole Custody

Many recently divorced parents find it helpful to leave the area where they resided during the marriage to seek a new beginning elsewhere. Relocating can have a wonderful effect on the mental health of a newly divorced parent, particularly if the divorce was very challenging or the marriage itself was harmful. However, in Illinois, a parent cannot simply pack their children’s belongings and relocate to a faraway area without first obtaining permission from the court. Parental relocations are not automatically granted if the other parent objects. If your former spouse resists the relocation and has been allocated any parenting time,
Continue Reading Important Considerations Before Planning to Relocate With Children

In Illinois, spouses have the option of legally separating rather than divorcing. Legal separations is an option for spouses who feel that they no longer want to live together as a married couple and would like legal recognition of their separation, but also do not want to divorce. Divorce and legal separation have some commonalities, but a few major differences. After a legal separation, you remain legally married, but may largely live as if you are divorced. As in divorce, you and your spouse will be able to formally divide marital property and create a parenting plan if you
Continue Reading Divorce or Legal Separation – Which is Right For You?

Most people are familiar with the term “mediation” but may not know exactly what working with a mediator looks like. In an Illinois divorce case, understanding the mediation process is essential for setting realistic expectations and pursuing successful negotiations over your divorce settlement. If you are considering divorce and want to know more about whether a mediator could help you, read on to learn more about what working with a mediator is like. 
What Does a Divorce Mediator Do? 
Before a divorce can be finalized, spouses must reach an agreement about property and debt division, spousal support
Continue Reading What Does the Divorce Mediation Process Look Like? 

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that spouses cannot give specific reasons for getting divorced other than “irreconcilable differences.” Even ugly or distasteful behaviors such as infidelity and domestic violence will not give one spouse preferential treatment during divorce proceedings. That being said, judges are very sensitive to the physical and emotional danger that domestic violence can cause to spouses and children, and there are protections available to victims of domestic violence. If you are thinking about getting divorced from an abusive spouse, here are some ways you might expect your divorce to be different. 
Getting an Order of
Continue Reading What Can I Expect From a Divorce if My Spouse is Physically Abusive? 

The best interests of the child is the backbone of not only the family law system but, ethically, society as a whole. Notwithstanding abuse or neglect, parents generally have certain rights, including the right to parenting time.  However, the situation becomes much more complicated when paternity of a child is unknown. The complexities and nuances of sensitive issues like paternity can be painful, humiliating, and frustrating to both the mother and the father, and most especially, the child.  A  family law attorney can advocate for parentage rights.
Establishing Paternity
Three ways in which paternity is established include the following:

  • A


Continue Reading Paternity Disputes in Cook County

Negotiating education expenses for a child in a divorce decree can be contentious, especially if the divorce is acrimonious. In Illinois, child support usually ceases once a child is 18 years old and graduates from high school. After child support obligations cease, some divorced parents may still need to pay higher education expenses. Effective January 1, 2016, Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act affirms that divorced parents may be required to contribute to their non-minor child’s post-high-school education and living expenses. 
Contingent to the divorce decree, the college contributions that each parent and child are
Continue Reading Child Support and College Education Expenses in Chicago

The LGBTQ+ community has historically struggled to attain equality. Not so long ago, a spouse of a same-sex couple did not even have the right to visit an ill or dying partner in the hospital.  Unless there was a written agreement, the homemaker or domestic partner of a same-sex couple was not eligible to inherit the estate of a deceased breadwinner.  Instead, the estate would be liquidated and divided among blood relatives, even if the relatives were estranged. Effective June 1, 2014, Illinois recognized same-sex marriage. Same-sex spouses can get married and, if the marriage does not work out, they
Continue Reading Same-Sex Marital Rights and Divorce in Cook County 

In the United States, one in three women and one in seven men are victims of domestic violence. Due to fear, embarrassment, or shame, domestic violence incidents are underreported, so the actual statistics are probably higher. The abused, of course, have nothing to be ashamed of as they hold no culpability for the perpetrator’s behavior. 
Domestic violence does not discriminate and affects all races, creeds, sexual orientations, and educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. A domestic violence attorney can help victims obtain orders of protection to help safeguard them from abusers.
Domestic violence devastates families and is detrimental to society. It comprises
Continue Reading Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection