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Recent Blog Posts

Does Domestic Violence Against a Parent Affect Child Custody?

 Posted on May 27, 2024 in Child Custody

IL divorce lawyerIf you have a child custody or divorce case open and your child’s other parent has accused you of domestic violence, you could have a problem. Illinois state law directs family law courts to consider any violence or abuse that one parent has committed against not only the child but against any other member of the household, including the other parent. A parent who is violent toward his or her co-parent is not unlikely to become violent toward the children, especially after losing access to the co-parent. If domestic violence allegations will be a factor in your child custody dispute, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows, IL domestic violence and child custody attorney on your side.

Illinois Child Custody Factors and Domestic Violence

Illinois courts make child custody decisions based on a list of factors. Two of these factors have to do with the presence of violence or abuse against the other parent. One factor explicitly refers to physical violence or the threat of physical violence against the child or anyone else in the household. The other factor refers more vaguely to any abuse by one parent against the child or any other member of the household. Most parents who are accused of domestic violence against the other parent are also accused of other types of abuse, such as emotional or financial abuse.

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What Counts as Income for Child Support Purposes?

 Posted on May 21, 2024 in Child Support

IL family lawyerChild support is calculated based on the obligor’s income. The obligor is the parent who pays child support. To find out how much child support your child’s other parent owes, you will need to know how much money he makes. Some sources of income that are not taxable can be counted as income when calculating child support. Your child should not receive less financial support from a parent who has the means to pay more simply because he receives income or other payments that are not counted as income for tax purposes. The law considers your child’s other parent’s ability to pay based on all the money he has coming in each month. An Arlington Heights, IL child support lawyer can help you find out how much your child’s other parent owes.

Sources of Income That Count Toward Child Support 

Your co-parent’s wages earned through employment are likely his main source of income. Income reported on a W-2 certainly counts as income when calculating child support, but there are many other possible sources of income that could count towards his child support obligations. Other sources of income include:

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Protecting Yourself Financially When Divorcing an Abuser

 Posted on May 13, 2024 in Domestic Abuse

IL divorce lawyerPeople who abuse their spouses physically or emotionally are very likely to financially abuse their spouses during the divorce process as well. Many survivors of domestic violence or narcissistic abuse finally build up the courage to file for divorce only to find that their bank accounts have been drained by the abuser, who is now fighting hard to keep every possible marital asset. Abusers may lie, dissipate assets, or hide marital property for the sole purpose of hurting their escaping spouses. If you are divorcing an abusive spouse, you need to speak to an experienced Arlington Heights, IL complex divorce attorney about how to protect yourself financially.

Tips for Protecting Your Property Rights While Divorcing an Abusive Spouse

Do not count on your spouse to be truthful about who acquired which asset or when or to voluntarily leave you access to the marital finances once he finds out you have filed for divorce. Some steps your attorney might recommend taking include:

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How Fathers' Rights Have Progressed

 Posted on April 28, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerMothers used to be fairly heavily favored in child custody cases. This was in no small part because mothers used to be much less likely to work outside the home, meaning that many stayed home to serve as full-time parents. Now that most households rely on the income of two parents, fathers are becoming much more involved in caring for their children. Childcare duties are frequently split evenly between mothers and fathers - as are household expenses. This puts mothers and fathers on a more level playing field in child custody decisions. Illinois child custody factors that traditionally came out in favor of the mother are now just as likely to favor the father. Fathers in need of a parenting plan should always be represented by an experienced Rolling Meadows, IL child custody lawyer.

How Illinois Child Custody Factors Affect Fathers

Illinois judges consider a list of factors when making parenting time decisions. All factors apply equally to both parents, regardless of gender. Some of the factors that traditionally favor mothers, but are now just as likely to favor fathers, include:

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Understanding Dissipation of Marital Assets

 Posted on April 18, 2024 in Division of Property

IL divorce lawyerDissipation of marital assets is the legal term for when one spouse recklessly spends - or, more accurately, wastes - assets that belong to the marriage on something that benefits only himself without the consent of his spouse. Dissipating marital assets is more than being “bad with money” or making a few irresponsible or unnecessary purchases during the marriage. If your spouse dissipated marital assets, you are entitled to recover your fair share of the assets he wasted during the divorce process. Compensating one spouse for dissipated assets is part of the equitable distribution process in Illinois. Your Arlington Heights, IL divorce attorney can conduct a forensic financial analysis to determine whether your spouse’s misuse of marital funds amounts to dissipation.

What Is Not Dissipation of Marital Funds 

It is generally not considered dissipation of marital assets on one spouse’s behalf if:

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5 Ways to Get Divorced in Illinois

 Posted on April 11, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerYou have many options for resolving your divorce. It is important to consult a Rolling Meadows, IL divorce attorney who can help you select the right method. Your options range from sitting down with your spouse and both of your lawyers to taking your case to trial. Which method is right for you depends on factors like how amicable your divorce is, whether your marriage involved any abuse, and how complex dividing your marital property equitably is likely to be. While most spouses who try to achieve an uncontested divorce succeed, proceeding to litigation is an option if you find that collaborative divorce or mediation is not working.

Your Divorce Resolution Options

Methods for getting divorced you can likely choose from include:

  • Traditional mediation - In traditional mediation, both spouses and their respective attorneys sit down together with a mediator. The mediator guides the discussion while the attorneys provide guidance and keep you aware of your rights. This method tends to work well if you and your spouse are civil. 

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Who Keeps the Pets in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on March 27, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerAs much as many “pet parents” would like their dogs, cats, and other animals to be regarded like their children during divorce, pets are considered property in Illinois. This means that they are subject to equitable division. The court will try to do what is fair to both spouses when it comes to determining who keeps the pets during a divorce. Our state’s equitable division laws give courts significant freedom to consider a number of factors in deciding what type of arrangement would be the most fair. Most judges will recognize the emotional attachment pet owners have to their furry family members and take this into consideration. Pet parents also have the option of working collaboratively to decide on a visitation plan or to determine who keeps the pets amongst themselves. A Rolling Meadows, IL divorce attorney can help protect your interest in the family pets.

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Protecting Your Child From an Abusive Parent During Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on March 14, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerIf your spouse has been abusive toward your child, protecting the child is likely your primary goal. Many parents will file for divorce soon after they discover the abuse or realize the extent of it. Leaving a spouse who has abused your child can be frightening, and you may fear that your spouse will engage in a fierce custody battle. Illinois child custody law is designed to protect children from parents who may harm them. The test courts use to determine who should have the child with them and when and under what circumstances based on the best interests of the child. If there is any evidence that this abuse has taken place, including your child’s testimony, the court is highly unlikely to allow the abusive parent time alone with the child. It is critical to be represented by an aggressive Arlington Heights child custody lawyer throughout this process.

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Can I Move with My Children After My Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on March 06, 2024 in Child Custody

IL divorce lawyerDivorce is a new beginning. As your marriage concludes, your new life as a single and free adult begins. Wanting to move away from the place you lived with your spouse is normal and common. However, if you have minor children, bringing them with you when you move might complicate your divorce. If you are already divorced when you decide to relocate, you may need to modify your parenting plan. There are a lot of different factors to consider when you are relocating with children. The court will primarily be concerned with whether the move will be good for the child. You must also consider the logistics of helping your children consider their relationship with the other parent. An Arlington Heights, IL, child relocation attorney can guide your efforts at relocating and help you modify your parenting plan as needed.

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Proving You Need Full Custody in Illinois

 Posted on February 20, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerIllinois courts are generally reluctant to grant either parent full custody of their child unless the circumstances truly show that such an arrangement is in the child’s best interests. Even when one parent is less than perfect, courts are more likely to order supervised visitation than to cut one parent off from their child completely. However, there are cases where one parent is so dangerous to the child’s wellbeing that a court will award one parent sole custody. Suppose your child’s other parent is so dangerous that any child custody arrangement giving them parenting time would be unsafe. In that case, your Arlington Heights, IL, child custody lawyer can begin gathering the evidence you will likely need. In most cases, the other parent will resist this arrangement.

Evidence You May Need to Secure Sole Custody

Cook County, IL, family law courts frequently see high-conflict child custody battles where one or both parents are demanding sole custody not because it is necessary to protect the child but simply to spite the other parent. Your lawyer will need to help you prove that yours is not one of those cases. Types of evidence that can be very helpful when you are pursuing sole custody include: 

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