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Hillside, IL 60162

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Recent Blog Posts

Four Tips for Protecting Yourself During Divorce When Your Spouse Has a Personality Disorder 

 Posted on June 10, 2022 in Divorce

Oak Park Divorce LawyerMost Illinois couples start their marriage with high hopes for a lifetime of love and happiness. Unfortunately, certain characteristics and behaviors often do not come out until spouses are married and comfortable letting their guard down. This makes certain personality disorders very hard to detect before marriage and devastating to endure once they begin. 

Borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and psychopathy affect a relatively small percentage of the population yet are common enough that extensive research has been done about how these personality disorders affect the ability to form and sustain healthy relationships. If you are in a relationship with someone who suffers from a personality disorder, you likely already have experience with how unpredictable and contentious conflict with your spouse can become; unfortunately, getting divorced is likely to be even more challenging. The good news is that you are not the first person to go through this experience and there are things you can do to protect yourself. 

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Do Fathers Face Bias in Illinois Divorce Courts? 

 Posted on May 24, 2022 in Divorce

Oak Park Parenting Time LawyerFor most of American legal history, mothers held a decided upper hand in a divorce regarding child custody arrangements. According to the “tender years” legal theory, young children needed their mothers more than their fathers. Millions of fathers lost out on crucial years with their children, making it hard to ever recover a fully developed relationship when the children became older.

Today, Illinois family law takes care not to favor one parent over the other–in theory, at least. Although judges are charged with applying the law regardless of their personal beliefs, personal values and biases can still impact a judge’s perception of whether a father is fit to share equal parenting rights with a mother. A father may have to enlist the help of a skilled divorce attorney to help him fight to protect his relationship with his children in a parenting agreement. 

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What Should I Do if I Believe My Ex is Abusing Our Children After Our Illinois Divorce? 

 Posted on May 12, 2022 in Family Law

Oak Park Parenting Time LawyerSpouses in Illinois often get divorced because abuse or neglect exists in the marriage. Sometimes, such behavior is directed towards a couple’s children even before the couple decides to separate. Other times, fears of child abuse may suddenly arise after a child comes back from spending parenting time with their other parent and something seems terribly wrong. Regardless of how the issue arose, it is essential to take your hunches about child abuse or neglect seriously. If you are in this situation and wondering whether the situation may justify a parenting agreement modification, read on. 

Do I Need to Show Evidence of Abuse? 

Illinois courts take allegations of child abuse very seriously. However, family court judges are also aware that spouses will sometimes make false or exaggerated claims about abuse to try to get revenge on each other, or to try to keep children away from their other parent. For these reasons, it is essential to have some tangible evidence that child abuse is taking place so something can be done. 

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Can a Prenuptial Agreement Protect My Business in Illinois?

 Posted on April 26, 2022 in Divorce

Oak Park Divorce LawyerIf you or your future spouse own a business, you know the hard work and dedication it takes to be an owner. As you are approaching your marriage, you may have questions about the impact that getting married  may have on your business. To protect your business’ assets and clearly and legally establish what is and is not marital property, you and your spouse may choose to sign a prenuptial agreement. No one wants to think about divorce before they are even married, but having a prenuptial agreement in place, especially when a business is involved, can provide peace of mind and establish a clear understanding of your finances. 

Signing a prenuptial agreement is not a predictor of divorce. As the average age of wedded couples grows older, and more assets are often brought into the marriage, it can be a good way of knowing each other's assets and debts. This can help avoid arguments about finances later, which are a leading cause of divorce. Both parties should be as upfront as they can during the preparation of a prenuptial agreement. During the divorce process, the agreement can be thrown out by a judge if, for example, one of the parties hid assets from the other, or if one spouse felt coerced into signing the agreement. 

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What Happens Regarding Child Support Payments If One Parent Loses Their Job?

 Posted on April 12, 2022 in Family Law

Oak Park Family Law AttorneyIf you have been through a divorce and have children, you may be the recipient of child support payments, or you may be the one making the payments. The initial payment arrangement is either agreed to during the divorce process or through a court order by a judge ruling on the issue. It is based on certain factors, including the combined income of the two parents, how many children are being supported, and local cost of living charts. However, the courts recognize that living situations can change post-divorce. Child support modifications are available for many changes in post-divorce circumstances, and employment status is one such circumstance.

If the parent making the payments loses their job, they can request a temporary reduction through the court in the amount they have to pay. Either parent can petition the court for a child support modification to change the original order. If the job loss was due to being laid off, being fired, or if they are unable to work due to factors outside of their control, the court is more likely to grant a modification request. However,  if the child support payor voluntarily left their job and has not been making a concerted effort to regain employment, or willingly took a substantial pay cut, the court may deny the request. It is important to attempt to keep making the payments previously ordered by the court in the divorce case until the modification has been approved by a new court order.

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How Establishing Paternity Can Protect a Father’s Rights

 Posted on March 24, 2022 in Family Law

Oak Park Family Law AttorneyFathers who are involved in family law court cases usually want to make sure their parental rights will be protected. When a married couple with children gets divorced, both parents will usually have the right to share custody (now known as “parental responsibilities” in Illinois) of their children. However, if a child’s parents are unmarried, the father likely may first need to establish paternity before he will have any legal child custody rights. By understanding when it may be necessary to establish paternity and the rights that will apply to parents and children in paternity cases, fathers can make sure they take the correct legal steps that will allow them to maintain close, ongoing relationships with their children.

Establishing Legal Paternity in Illinois

If a mother is married when her child is born, by law her spouse is presumed to be the  parent of the child. However, if the mother is not married, she and the father may need to take steps to ensure that the father will be recognized as the child’s parent. Even if both parents agree that a man is the child’s father, a failure to legally establish paternity may result in disputes in the future if the parents disagree about how they will share custody, or about other subjects. Without legal rights toward the child, the father may be unable to participate in raising the child or spend regular time with them.

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Can a Spousal Maintenance Order Be Modified Following a Divorce?

 Posted on March 10, 2022 in Divorce

Hillside Divorce LawyerWhile a spousal maintenance award will not be made in every divorce case, such an award may be appropriate in cases where one party will require financial support in order to maintain their standard of living. For example, if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent, they may ask for their ex-spouse to provide them with ongoing support payments to ensure that they will be able to meet their financial needs as well as maintain a residence where they can continue to provide care for their children at home during the day. While arrangements for spousal support may address a person’s needs as they move forward following their divorce, the circumstances of both parties may change in the future. If these changes would affect a person’s ability to continue making maintenance payments, or if the recipient of support will no longer need financial assistance, post-divorce modification of a spousal maintenance order may be necessary.

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Can Cryptocurrency Be Used to Hide Assets During a Divorce?

 Posted on February 25, 2022 in Divorce

Hillside Divorce LawyerOver the past several years, more and more people have begun to invest in virtual currencies, which are also commonly known as cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a multitude of other cryptocurrencies may be bought, sold, and transferred, and since these transactions take place online, they can sometimes be hard to track. Since virtual currencies can be valuable, they may need to be considered in a divorce case. In some cases, spouses have attempted to use cryptocurrency to hide money from their partners and avoid dividing these assets during the divorce process. 

Addressing Cryptocurrency When Dividing Marital Property

When a couple gets divorced, they will need to divide all of their marital property. This includes any assets that either spouse acquired during the couple’s marriage. Cryptocurrency purchased by one spouse during the marriage will usually be considered marital property, unless that spouse used only their separately-owned assets to make these types of purchases. Any increase in value of virtual currencies will also be considered marital property, and in some cases, these assets may be worth tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Can Child Support Be Modified Because of Changes to a Parent’s Income?

 Posted on February 18, 2022 in Family Law

Oak Park Family Law AttorneyWhen a child’s parents split up, family law courts which address issues related to child custody will be looking to protect the child’s best interests. In addition to making decisions about where a child will primarily live, how involved each parent will be in raising the child, and when the child will spend time with each parent, the court will also ensure that the child’s financial needs will be properly addressed. Child support obligations will apply to both parents, and these obligations will be determined based on the amounts of income the parents earn. The parents may also be required to divide certain child-related expenses, such as the costs of daycare, medical treatment and extracurricular activities. However, the parents’ income may change in the years after the court makes its decision, and in such situations, it is important to understand when and how child support may be modified according to Illinois law.

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How Are Retirement Accounts Handled During an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on January 24, 2022 in Divorce

Oak Park Divorce LawyerA divorce case will involve a number of different types of financial issues. Depending on the complexity of a couple’s finances and the marital and separate assets they own, determining how to divide marital property can be a complicated process. Retirement accounts are one type of property that may need to be addressed during the divorce process, and couples will need to make sure they understand the issues that may affect how these accounts will be divided. 

Division of 401(k) Accounts, IRAs, and Pensions

Retirement savings accounts may be valuable assets that a person will rely on to provide for their financial needs in the future. When an account in one spouse’s name was created or contributed to during a couple’s marriage, it will usually be considered a marital asset that will need to be addressed during the divorce process. Couples may take a few different approaches when dividing these accounts, such as splitting the funds in an account equally, or allocating a certain percentage of an account to each spouse, or having each spouse keep accounts in their names while ensuring that other assets are divided in a manner that is fair and equitable.

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