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Domestic violence is committed anytime an individual hits, kicks, chokes, harasses, threatens, or interferes with the personal liberty of a family member or a person in their household. Unfortunately, many people are affected by domestic abuse every day. In May 2019, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) answered their 5 millionth call from a victim seeking help.  Trying to get out of an abusive marriage can be difficult. You might be afraid to leave your relationship if your spouse has threatened retaliation. Ending a dangerous marriage requires preparation and special considerations, especially if a child is involved. In some cases,…
With a divorce comes many difficult emotions and questions about the future. Whether it be concern over child-related issues, where to live, or finding a job, a lot of people fear the unknown. This can be an uneasy time, and especially for a spouse who was a stay-at-home parent or who relied on his or her partner’s income. There are laws that govern the financial support an ex-spouse may be able to receive after the end of the marriage. One spouse may be entitled to receive spousal maintenance payments, but it is important to understand how eligibility for spousal support…
Nowadays, it’s common for two people who are planning to marry to create and sign a prenuptial agreement. While it was once considered a document that was only necessary for the rich and famous, a prenup can actually provide benefits for couples at all income levels. This type of agreement can help a couple determine ahead of time how their marital property will be divided in the event they decide to part ways and get a divorce. It may also spell out how assets or property will be handled during the marriage, such as whose name will be…
In some divorce cases, a couple may change their minds or disagree about certain issues even after the divorce is final. For example, if a person believes his or her ex-spouse violated the divorce decree, he or she can file a “post-decree motion” to enforce the terms of the divorce decree. Similarly, a change in one or both of the former spouses’ circumstances, such as a job loss or relocation, may require amendment or modification of the divorce decree, especially if a child is involved. These modifications or post-decree matters must be approved by a judge and should be fair…
According to Illinois law, a “guardian” is defined as a person, institution, or agency appointed by a court to manage the affairs of another person, who is referred to as their “ward.” When a child turns 18, his or her parents do not have legal guardianship at that point, since the child is now considered an adult. However, a guardian may be appointed on behalf of an adult who is disabled due to a mental illness, physical incapacity, or developmental disability. Illinois is one of the most progressive states when it comes to guardianship laws. The Illinois Probate Act was…
When parents choose to get a divorce, they will need to determine when children will spend time with each parent. While it is important to create and follow a regular parenting time schedule, parents can still choose to be flexible, and they may be able to agree to make changes to the schedule as needed. One common situation in which changes may be necessary occurs when the kids are out of school for holidays or summer breaks. During vacations, children have more free time to spend with each parent, and so parents should work together to determine a schedule…
Many people who get divorced often find love and happiness again in second marriages. A step-family, sometimes called a “blended” or “bonus” family, is a family in which at least one parent has children from a previous marriage or relationship. Blended families can be wonderful, especially when step-parents wish to adopt the children of their spouse as a way of making their family more “complete.” This is referred to as a related adoption, since one of the adoptive parents is related to the child who is being adopted. In fact, this is the most common form of adoption in North…
When a couple makes the decision to end their marriage, they may expect the divorce process to be hostile and contested. However, many aspects of a divorce can be settled between spouses in an amicable and respectful manner. One of the most effective ways to resolve the issues involved in a divorce case is through mediation.  What Is Divorce Mediation?  Here in the United States, mediation is one of the most common methods of dispute resolution used by divorcing couples. Mediation is a process in which the two spouses work together with a third-party mediator to reach a divorce settlement…
Every year, thousands of American couples make the difficult decision to pursue a divorce. A divorce can represent an opportunity to start a new and independent life. However, when children are involved, the divorce process can be incredibly tense. For fathers, a divorce can be frightening, considering the overwhelming statistical evidence that the majority of sole-custody parents are mothers. If you are looking to secure significant parental responsibilities as a father, you need quality legal assistance.  Securing Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities  Due to recent changes in Illinois’ state law, child custody is now referred to as the “allocation…
Every year, thousands of American couples file for divorce. Ending your marriage can be one of the most emotionally trying times in your life, but sometimes a divorce can come with more than just emotional challenges. In the aftermath of a divorce, many people are left with a complete lack of financial security. In order to avoid this, you may wish to enter into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that will ensure that your financial future will be intact, no matter what happens in your marriage. When preparing to secure the financial well-being of you and your family, it would…
When a couple begins the divorce process, it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions. On one hand, a divorce can represent a new opportunity at happiness. On the other, a divorce is a separation from someone you once thought you would spend the rest of your life with. When children are involved, a divorce can be especially emotional.  Child custody is one of the most important and contentious elements in a divorce. Custody (now called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois) may be only part of the battle, as many spouses will attempt to avoid…