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Advice for Those Planning to Divorce an Abusive Spouse

 Posted on July 18, 2018 in Domestic Violence

Kane County divorce lawyersDomestic violence is shockingly common in the United States. Although many experiencing the torture of familial abuse do not show it on the outside, they are secretly suffering. If you have decided to end your marriage due to your spouse’s abusive or intimidating behavior, first take a moment to congratulate yourself. You have started a journey that will certainly be challenging, but will ultimately lead to greater safety for you and your family. Leaving an abusive spouse may feel overwhelming, but keep in mind that you do not have to do it alone.

The Worst Thing You Can Do Is Stay Silent

One of the most difficult things about leaving an abusive partner is actually acknowledging the abuse. Many people feel ashamed to admit that they need help leaving a violent spouse—even though the shame should be felt by the abuser. Those affected by domestic violence sometimes still love and care for their abuser and therefore delay involving authorities because they worry about how it will hurt the abuser or his or her career. Other victims of domestic violence simply do not understand that there are avenues to safety which they can take even with no actual evidence of the abuse.

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Five Tips for Mitigating the Trauma Caused by Divorce

 Posted on July 10, 2018 in Divorce

Geneva divorce lawyerBecause divorce is now quite common, many people incorrectly assume that getting divorced is “no big deal.” They may see friends and family go through divorces with smiling faces and assume that the ordeal was not emotionally traumatic. However, the reality is that many people are experts at hiding their pain, and even the most amiable divorce is an emotional burden to those going through it. If you are considering divorce or have already filed, you should know that there are some proven ways to help ease the subsequent emotional pain.

Tip #1: Resist the Urge to Isolate

The end of a marriage is a deeply personal affair. Some individuals getting divorced may be tempted to isolate themselves from friends and family because they are ashamed or simply do not know what to say about the separation. If you are getting divorced, you should know that spending time with others has been shown to aide in the healing process. Whether it is a trip to the movie theater, a vacation, or simply grabbing a quick coffee, getting out of the house and socializing will dramatically help you cope with the pain caused by divorce.

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Recovering Funds Lost to Dissipation

 Posted on July 02, 2018 in Property Division

Kane County divorce attorneysDissipation of assets refers to instances when a spouse who is either in the process of getting divorced or will soon divorce, purposely wastes marital assets. If you are getting divorced and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has wasted marital assets through reckless spending, gambling, drug use, or through other means, you should know that there is a legal process for recovering these funds. Read on to learn the specific criteria which must be met in order to claim dissipation, as well as learn how you can reclaim the money that was wasted.

Dissipation in Illinois Defined

Not just any type of spending is considered dissipation. The spending must happen during a specific time and meet other criteria in order to be considered dissipative. The Illinois Supreme Court provides the legal definition of dissipation. In Illinois, dissipation is the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time that the marriage is undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown.”

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A Legal Separation Could Protect You During a Drawn Out Divorce

 Posted on June 28, 2018 in Divorce

Geneva divorce lawyersWhen it comes to the idea of a “separated” couple, there are two generally accepted definitions. The first is the one which you are probably most familiar: a couple who is unsure whether they should remain married or who has decided to pursue a divorce may describe themselves as separated because they are not currently living together.

The second definition is more formal and much less common, and it refers to a couple who has gone through the formalities of obtaining a judgment of legal separation. Under Illinois law, neither type of separation is a prerequisite for divorce, but a legal separation could be beneficial in certain situations.

An Important Date

During a divorce, it is possible to obtain temporary orders regarding child support, spousal maintenance, and parental responsibilities, but there is an important consideration that is sometimes not determined until much later in the proceedings. If the spouses cannot agree on the division of marital property, the court has the discretion to choose the date to be used for the purposes of identification and valuation of the property. The court may select the date of the divorce trial or any other date agreed to by the parties or chosen by the court.

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How to Tell Friends and Family About Your Divorce

 Posted on June 19, 2018 in Divorce

Kane County family law attorneyWhen a couple finally decides their marriage is beyond saving, one major concern most people have is how and when they should tell their loved ones. Individuals headed for divorce may feel ashamed that their marriage has failed or worried about how others will react to the news. While there is no perfect way to tell others that your marriage is ending, experts do have some advice to make the conversation go as smoothly as possible.

You Have the Power to Decide How Much Information to Divulge

Divorces can be full of deeply personal issues. If you are considering divorce or have already decided to end your marriage through divorce, you may feel pressured to explain yourself or your decision to others. However, the simple fact is that your divorce is no one’s business except your own. You are not required to tell friends or relatives any more than you feel comfortable telling. If nosey loved ones ask questions you are not ready to answer, politely tell them that you would prefer to keep certain information private.

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Study Finds Parenting Time for Illinois Dads Among Least in the Country

 Posted on June 13, 2018 in Child Custody and Support

Geneva parenting time attorneyFamily and relationship experts have long known that children generally fare best after their parents’ divorce or separation when both parents continue to play an active role in the children’s lives. There are, of course, many ways for parents to maintain a healthy relationship with their children, but most experts believe that time together is a vital part of doing so. In recent years, there has been a greater effort in many parts of the country to include fathers more in parenting arrangements following a divorce or separation, but change, it seems, has been slow in coming to Illinois.

In many situations, mothers are granted a majority of the parenting time with their children while fathers are forced to make do with less. A new study shows how much less, and the results are rather alarming.

Illinois Near the Bottom

The study was conducted by Custody X Change, a company that sells computer and smartphone software for divorced and separated parents. The company reportedly reached out to lawyers in all 50 states, making hundreds of phone calls and involving more than 1,000 emails. The lawyers were asked what the most common parenting arrangements were in their states. Based on the responses, Custody X Change calculated the amount of time the average parent in each state has with his or her children.

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What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on June 11, 2018 in Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyersEveryone “knows” that about half of all marriages end in divorce. While this statistic is not strictly true—the real number is estimated to be between 30 and 40 percent—the reality is that thousands of divorces are granted every year in the United States, including many here in Illinois.

In terms of the law, a divorce is a civil legal action between two parties that seeks to dissolve the marital contract between them. When filing any type of legal action, the person who files the action must have a reason or “grounds” for doing so. In Illinois, there used to be many possible grounds on which a divorce could be sought, but there is only one that is still available.

Irreconcilable Differences

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage (IMDMA), a divorce in Illinois will only be granted on the grounds that “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” The IMDMA further states that the presiding judge must also determine that “efforts at reconciliation have failed” or that trying to save the marriage would be unreasonable and “not in the best interests of the family.” But, what does this all mean?

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Can I Move With My Child If I Have Most of the Parenting Time?

 Posted on June 05, 2018 in Parental Relocation

Geneva parental relocation attorneyFollowing a divorce, very few parents are able to reach an agreement in which their children spend equal time with both parents. In Illinois, however, parenting time is handled separately from significant decision-making responsibilities, which means that even if parenting time is not split equally, both parents could have equal authority regarding major decisions for the child.

Sometimes, the parent that has been given the majority of the parenting may wish to move from his or her current home. Because the child spends more than half of the time with that parent, it is easy for the parent to assume that they can simply move whenever they please. The law in Illinois does allow parents who share parenting time to move to a new home, but it must be done within certain geographical areas unless the non-moving parent grants his or her consent to the move.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Property Division

 Posted on May 18, 2018 in Property Division

Geneva property division lawyersIf you are considering divorce, you may be worried about how you and your spouse’s combined property will be divided. You may have seen television or movies where a spiteful spouse takes their former partner for everything, leaving the other spouse destitute. Luckily, the reality of property division during divorce is much more reasonable. Illinois courts distribute property and assets according to “equitable distribution” laws, which means that although property may not be divided 50/50, it will be divided justly.

What Is Considered Marital Property?

Not every asset that a spouse owns is eligible to be divided during a divorce according to Illinois laws. Only marital property, which is most property acquired during the marriage, will be equitably allocated between the spouses. This is not as simple as it may seem, however. For example, if a person is awarded a cash inheritance from a deceased relative, this money is considered separate property. It cannot be divided up during divorce. However, if the individual adds that money to a joint banking account or uses it to pay family bills, it becomes marital property and therefore is subject to division.

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Will the Divorce Court Punish My Spouse for Cheating?

 Posted on May 17, 2018 in Divorce

Kane County family law attorneyIt is nearly impossible to know for certain what percentage of married individuals have cheated on their spouses. There are several reasons for this. First, many people may be hesitant to admit instances of infidelity, even in an anonymous survey or study. Next, and perhaps more importantly, cheating can be defined differently from one relationship to another. Regardless of large-scale numbers, if your spouse has engaged in actions that you define as cheating, you may be at a loss regarding what to do next. Many couples never fully recovery from infidelity, and cheating is a contributing factor in a large number of divorces.

Not Grounds for Divorce

When you have been cheated on, it is understandable for you to feel betrayed and ready to end your relationship. In Illinois, however, adultery is no longer an available grounds for divorce. Since 2016, every divorce in the state is granted on the basis that irreconcilable differences have caused an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. By definition, all Illinois divorces are considered to be no-fault, which means the court has no interest in assigning blame to one spouse or the other for the breakdown.

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