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illinois-family-law-attorneyA 9-year-old boy who managed to sneak by airport security and stow away on a plane flying from Minnesota to Las Vegas has been declared a “child in need of protection or services” by a juvenile court judge in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, the child had been demonstrating an escalation of misbehaving that culminated in the stowaway the stowaway event. Somehow, the young child, whose mother works at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, managed to get through TSA and Delta Airline officials and board the plane without a boarding pass.

The boy rode the light rail system that runs from downtown to the airport and then took a bag from a luggage carousel. He ate an airport restaurant, but left the suitcase as well as an unpaid check, and boarded a plane. It was not until the flight was already in the air that the flight crew became suspicious that the boy was traveling alone.

bad marriageA marriage vow is meant to last a lifetime.  It is a commitment that is meant to survive sickness, health, wealth, poverty, better and worse.  The likelihood of most marriages lasting that long is around 50 percent.  But there are also couples who are stuck in bad marriages and will not get a divorce.  Some people can free themselves from bad marriages while others will not because of the following reasons.

1. The Kids

This is probably the most common reason that couples suffer through unhappy relationships.  Staying together for the kids is a noble pursuit that should be a top priority.  Yet if your relationship is toxic, it is not a good idea to subject your kids to your bad marriage.

Posted on in Property Division

Hearing that your spouse has filed for divorce can be devastating.  The life that you have built together is changing and that’s scary.  But do not let the news take you away from dealing with the divorce proactively.  As you have spent time with your spouse amassing assets, make sure to account for everything that needs to be separated.  Having the proper setup for the process of property division can affect your financial future.

The first step is to take an inventory of the marital assets that are subject to property division.  Marital assets includes all property that was acquired during the marriage.  Certain restrictions include gifts to one spouse, property acquired by those gifts, and property excluded from the marital estate.  A good way to take stock of your assets is by collecting financial paperwork like paycheck stubs, tax returns, loan or mortgage paperwork and bank statements that will establish your net worth as a married couple.

Property Division

Posted on in Mediation

LauraIf you are contemplating divorce and weary of the lengthy and costly litigation process, you do have other options. Divorce mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution, is one such alternative that can help you close out your divorce quickly and smoothly. Moving on with your life and managing the emotional consequences of divorce is typically easier when divorce mediation can successfully resolve the situation.

Mediation puts you in control, since parties work together with mediators and other experts to discuss relevant issues. You play a bigger role in determining what life will look like post-divorce, and this appeals to many couples who may agree on some of the issues surrounding the divorce. If you and your spouse are still able to communicate relatively well, and if you have already come to agreements on child custody and other major issues, like division of property, you may be a great candidate for divorce mediation. Even if you and your spouse are able to come to agreement on some issues, but not others, you can make the most of mediation by targeting those challenging topics with the assistance of a mediator.

Likewise, if you do not trust your spouse or feel that there is a serious imbalance of power in the relationship, your case might not be right for divorce mediation. In these scenarios, you should meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your case and the best possible way to proceed. Hiring an experienced mediator is critical. One way to determine an eligible candidate is to see whether that lawyer has obtained mediator certification, which is special training in how to effectively use mediation. This shows a commitment to the field and advanced skills, which is ultimately the ideal situation for your case. Contact a certified Illinois family law mediator today for an initial consultation.

Posted on in Divorce

Each state has its own divorce procedures. The state legislature generally determines the rules governing divorces, but each county may have different procedural rules as well. Following these rules is important because it may avoid emotional conflicts that make divorces so difficult.

RigsIllinois has specific divorce rules that guide parties and their attorneys through the divorce process. The goal of the Illinois legislature in Illinois divorces is generally to facilitate the process while ensuring an equitable outcome. Thus, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act also provides for simplified divorce procedures under certain circumstances. The goal of simplified procedures is to avoid costly and lengthy divorce proceedings that take a heavy emotional toll on the parties. Before one may rely on the simplified divorce process, they must meet the following conditions listed in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act:

  • Neither party is dependent on the other party for support or each party is willing to waive the right to support;
  • Parties have been Illinois residents for at least 90 days;
  • Irreconcilable differences have caused them to be separated for six months;
  • No children were born or adopted during the marriage, and the wife is not pregnant;
  • The duration of the marriage does not exceed eight years;
  • Neither party has any interest in real property and they waive maintenance;
  • The total fair market value of all marital  property is less than $10,000, the combined gross annualized income from all sources is less than $35,000, and neither party has a gross annualized income from all sources in excess of $20,000.;
  • The parties have disclosed to each other all assets and their tax returns for all years of the marriage; and
  • The parties have executed a written agreement dividing all assets in excess of $100 in value and allocating responsibility for debts and liabilities between the parties.

The rules for simplified divorce procedures are technical and failure to follow them may cause couples to incur unnecessary costs. By consulting an experienced Illinois family law attorney, divorcing parties can make sure they do it right the first time.

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