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Kane County property division lawyersWhen a couple decides to divorce, the standard procedure is to compile a list of all marital assets and distribute them equitably between the spouses. However, sometimes things do not go according to plan. A spouse may hide assets, sell them, or even engage in dissipation. You must be aware of what constitutes improper conduct so that your divorce proceeds as smoothly as possible.

Hiding Assets

In most states, Illinois included, a temporary restraining order may be placed on both parties at the beginning of a divorce proceeding. This order prevents disposing of any marital assets in any way and is generally recommended if either spouse suspects the other will engage in unethical behavior. The rationale is that marital property is the property of both people in the marriage, and one spouse disposing of assets breaches the covenant both people entered into when they got married. Most of the time, these orders only apply to marital property; items not classified as such (in other words, as personal property) may generally be sold freely.

Posted on in Guardian ad Litem

Geneva family law attorneySometimes, though we hate to admit it, we are not our children’s best advocates. In an environment such as family court, especially, the state tends to be of the opinion that we cannot impartially advocate for our children’s best interests. To protect their interests and their safety, professionals referred to as guardians ad litem are often appointed to act for children in legal proceedings.

Role of a GAL

A guardian ad litem (GAL) is an attorney who may be appointed by a family court judge to ensure that the interests of children are protected. Each county has its own procedure for appointing a GAL and will make such appointments with varying frequency. In Cook County, for example, in Cook County, there is a tendency to use GALs slightly less, as the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian is sometimes used to represent minors in specific cases.

Posted on in Annulments

Kane County divorce attorneysSometimes, marriages do not work out. However, the same dissolution procedure is not always the best for each situation. If you have been married a very short time, you may be able to annul your marriage instead of having it dissolved. Still, it is important to understand when this is appropriate and when you are better off opting for a standard divorce.

Dissolution of Marriage

A divorce is referred to under Illinois law as a dissolution of marriage, and almost any couple can obtain one. Until recently, Illinois offered fault-based grounds for divorce such as bigamy, but the law was amended in 2015 to remove all grounds except for irreconcilable differences—the standard “no-fault” ground for divorce. The law was also changed to eliminate the requirement for a couple to live apart for six months or more before their divorce could be granted.

Posted on in Divorce

Geneva family law attorneysWhen people decide to get divorced, even the most elementary issues must be in proper order, or there could be problems with the legality of the proceedings at a later date. Jurisdiction is usually one of these issues. Most of the time, the parties assume all is well with this aspect, and they are usually correct. However, if a spouse has moved out of state or is in the military, there could be jurisdiction questions that must be answered.

Types of Jurisdiction and Requirements

If you or your spouse decide to move out of Illinois, it is generally not a problem unless it can be proven that you moved deliberately to cause issues or confusion for your spouse, such as frustrating parenting time considerations. Any state where one spouse has been resident for at least 90 days has jurisdiction to oversee a divorce filing under Illinois law. However, it can be markedly more complex: namely, because not every situation in which a state has jurisdiction over a divorce is one where that state also has jurisdiction over issues like property division. This is referred to as the principle of divisible divorce.

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorneysThere are occasions in which a divorce must proceed happen in a way very different from the norm. One of the most common is for a spouse to be missing or deliberately absent, so as to frustrate personal jurisdiction over them. This does not mean that you are stuck in a marriage you wish to dissolve; it just means that divorce must be sought in a different way.

The First Steps: Due Diligence

In a divorce, you must be able to serve your spouse with papers, as he or she has the right to appear on his or her own behalf or contest the action. However, if you cannot locate your spouse, an alternate method has to be found, and you must obtain permission to use it. The first step toward obtaining that permission is to put forth a “good faith effort” toward locating your spouse. You must be able to show the judge that you have exhausted all reasonable options to find your spouse before you will be permitted to pursue alternate service. For example, many judges require you to look in places like indexes from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Social Security’s database of deaths, or even on social media to try to find a trace of your soon-to-be ex.

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