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Illinois same sex marriage, marriage laws, your rights, Illinois, family lawIn November 2013, the Illinois House of Representatives approved same-sex marriage legislation by a narrow vote of 61 to 54 with the Illinois Senate following suit with a vote of 32 to 51. As Governor Pat Quinn placed pen to paper, Illinois became the 16th state to recognize same sex marriage effective June 1, 2014.

For the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, this has been a welcomed victory, but one Illinois business owner will not join in the celebration.

According to a recent article by the Huffington Post, Jim Walder, owner of the TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast located near Paxton, Illinois strongly stated he will not be advertising  destination wedding packages to the members of the LGBT community.

Posted on in Divorce

The American media and the ease with which current events are disseminated has left everyone with a news outlet capable of hearing stories about their favorite celebrities’ trips to rehab for substance abuse.  With the recent revelations that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoked crack cocaine, comedian Artie Lange’s substance abuse and suicide attempts, Josh Brolin’s recent drunken bar brawl and subsequent swearing off of liquor,  ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas being treated for alcohol dependence, and ‘Glee’ star Cory Monteith’s death from an overdose, it’s clear that substance abuse is a very real and dangerous thing.

 While those are certainly the most visible to the public at large, celebrities are not the only ones susceptible to substance abuse.  Even the average individual is occasionally reported on when their substance abuse leads to a tragic event.  Many people are often afraid to leave a spouse who suffers from substance abuse.  More still are concerned that if they leave, their spouse may spiral further out of control.  Substance abuse is a dangerous thing, it can lead to serious strains on a marriage and it should never be dismissed lightly.

There is no simple answer when it comes to diagnosing and treating substance abuse, but it is often triggered by a more serious underlying problem. You may not have even been aware that your spouse had a problem until after you were married. Perhaps you thought the wild party days would cease after marriage.  Perhaps there was no problem but one has developed.  Whatever the case, substance abuse can lead to more serious economic and often life threatening events.

Posted on in Divorce

 In a recent study conducted in the United Kingdom, almost twice as many men than women admitted to sneaking through their partner’s cell phone to see what they had been up to.

The study was done by the cell phone company Mobile Phone Checker. They asked 2,081 adults, all who are currently in relationships, if they had ever snooped through their significant other’s phone. More than half of the men surveyed – 62 percent – admitted they had. Only 34 percent of the women asked admitted to snooping through call records and text messages.

Almost ninety percent of all those who participated said their reason for snooping was the suspicion their partner was cheating on them or communicating with someone else in an inappropriate way. And almost half of those who did snoop had their suspicions confirmed – the evidence of cheating on their partner’s cell phone. More than fifty percent of respondents had access to their partner’s passcodes.

Posted on in Divorce

According to recent statistics, one in four people who get divorced are 50 years old or older. That’s a sharp increase from 1990 when that figure was only one in ten. As more and more people who are approaching retirement age divorce, one of the financial resources that may now become an issue (compared to younger couples) are retirement plans and any other employer-related accounts.

 Plans such as 401(k)s, employee stocks, profit sharing, and pension plans all become part of the marital estate that needs to be divided between the spouses. If a couple cannot agree on how those items should be split, the courts will decide for them.

Once a decision is made, there are steps that should be taken to protect both parties. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) recognizes that an ex-spouse has a right to part of the retirement benefits of the other. Once approved by the court, the QDRO needs to be submitted to whoever is administrating the retirement account(s).

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois lawmakers take domestic violence very seriously.  They recognize that domestic violence is a crime that causes disharmony in families, emotionally unstable environments, and promotes a cycle of escalating violence in the home.  Therefore, legislators enacted the Illinois Domestic Violence Act to protect victims of domestic abuse and help to stop the pattern of violence in Illinois homes.

  Within the definition of domestic violence, the law includes:

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