emergency, Arlington Heights domestic violence lawyerDomestic violence is sadly a common reality for many families in Illinois and across the country. Domestic violence refers to violence, both emotional and physical, against a family member, housemate, or romantic partner. If you are in an abusive relationship, you should know that you are not alone. There are many resources which can help you bring your abuser to justice and move on to a better life. One of these resources is an emergency order of protection.

How Can a Protective Order Benefit Me and My Family?

There are several ways that getting a protective order can help you and your children. A protection order, called a restraining order in other states, is a legally-binding document which prohibits a dangerous or abusive individual from being in contact with you and/or your children. The order can be customized for your particular situation. A protection order may:

  • Prevent the abusive person from calling, texting, or otherwise contacting you or your children;
  • Prohibit the abuser from entering your home, even if he or she lives there;
  • Require the abuser to surrender his or her firearms;
  • Make temporary modifications to your shared parenting time arrangement;
  • Prohibit the abuser from taking your property or property that you own together; and
  • Include other provisions which will help keep you or your children safe from harm.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of a protective order is that you can call the police and have the abusive person immediately arrested if he or she violates any provision stated in the order. Furthermore, an order of protection is an important piece of evidence for getting further protection from an abusive partner or for child custody purposes.

How Can I Get an Emergency Protective Order?

There are several types of protective orders that Illinois residents can acquire. An emergency order of protection (EOP) can be initiated at your local county courthouse and takes affect immediately upon a judge’s approval. You will not need to have proof of the abuse in order to get an EOP, but you will need to show that you believe you are in danger. Your abuser will not be notified that you are seeking this order until it has been granted. An EOP lasts for 14 to 21 days. If you require further protection, you will need to attend a hearing to get a plenary protection order.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Domestic Violence Attorney

Nobody deserves to be afraid for his or her safety. If you need help filing for an emergency order of protection, contact a knowledgeable Illinois domestic violence lawyer at Cosley Law Office. Call 847-253-3100 for a free consultation.





Posted in Domestic Abuse, Orders of Protection | Tagged , , , , ,

social media, Rolling Meadows divorce attorneysThe majority of Americans have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or another social media account. These websites and apps are increasingly a major part of many peoples’ lives. Social media is the main way many people share information, pictures, and plans with friends and family. Social media is also becoming increasingly relevant to divorce proceedings.

It may surprise you to learn that over 80 percent of family law attorneys present evidence from social media in court and that 66 percent of divorce cases involve information taken directly from Facebook. If you are getting divorced, it is critical that you properly manage your social media accounts so that evidence from these accounts cannot be used against you.

Avoid Disclosing Financial Information on Facebook

Although few of us would share our literal net worth online, there are many ways that people getting divorced accidently share financial information on social media. For example, a divorcing husband may share online that he got a promotion at work. His wife could then use this information to try and increase the amount of child support or spousal maintenance (alimony) he is required to pay. There have also been instances when a person posts pictures of new purchases or expensive vacations online which end up being used as evidence during their divorce. Even if you have blocked your soon-to-be-ex-spouse from viewing your social media accounts, there are many ways that they can access this information anyway. It is important to practice discretion when making social media posts during divorce.

Social Media Can Affect Child Custody and Other Considerations

In Illinois, child custody is called “allocation of parental responsibility” and visitation is called “parenting time.” When divorcing parents or unmarried parents cannot come to an agreement about issues of parenting time and parental responsibility, the court must step in to make these decisions. If a divorcing parent posts something online that brings into question their ability to be a suitable parent, it could be used against them in court. For example, posting pictures involving drug or alcohol use can create the impression that you are more interested in partying than caring for your children.

Another social media mistake people make during divorce is posting on dating websites before the divorce is finalized. This can create an unflattering image of the individual which may influence the court’s opinion of them. It may be best to simply take a break from updating online profiles or posting to social media until your divorce is settled and all issues of property division, child support, child custody, and spousal maintenance are decided.

Contact a Schaumburg Divorce Lawyer

For help with your Illinois divorce, reach out to the experienced Rolling Meadows family law attorneys at the Cosley Law Office. Call us today at 847-253-3100 for a free consultation.





Posted in Divorce, Social Media and Divorce | Tagged , , , , ,

pet, Rolling Meadows divorce lawyerA beloved pet can become just like a family member. When a couple with pets gets divorced, there is often conflict and confusion as to who will get the pet. Until 2018, pets were treated just like any other piece of property under Illinois law. Fortunately, changes in Illinois divorce law have now taken into account the value of pets in peoples’ lives and the wellbeing of the pet in question. Read on to learn how “pet custody” is handled under Illinois law.

Pets Are Subject to Equitable Distribution Laws

Although you may consider your pet to be more like a family member, the law treats pets similarly to property like a car or house. Illinois distributes property according to a methodology called equitable distribution. Unlike states in which property is simply split in half with each party receiving 50 percent of the assets, Illinois distributes property according to what is equitable or fair. Depending on the financial and life circumstances of the divorcing parties, one spouse may receive a greater share of the marital estate than the other does. It is important to note, however, that only property which was acquired during the marriage, or marital property, is divided during divorce. Property which was obtained by a spouse before they got married is separate property and not subject to division.

Before the recent changes to Illinois law, pets acquired by a party before the marriage started were considered that party’s property. Pets acquired during the marriage would often be awarded to one spouse or the other. Now, it is much easier for divorcing couples to share responsibility and ownership of a pet.

Divorcing Couples Have an Option to Share Responsibility of Pets

Illinois law now states that if a pet is determined to be a marital asset, the court will “allocate the sole or joint ownership of and responsibility for a companion animal of the parties… the court shall take into consideration the well-being of the companion animal.” This means that special consideration is given in situations in which one party is better equipped to care for the animal than the other is. Furthermore, divorcing couples with pets can now enter into a “pet custody” arrangement similar to a parenting time arrangement. It is important to note, however, that the new law only applies to pets part of the marital estate. Pets acquired by a party before the marriage will still remain with that party.

Contact a Rolling Meadows, Illinois Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting divorced, contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley to speak with an experienced Schaumburg family law attorney. Call 847-253-3100 today to schedule your free consultation.





Posted in Divorce, Family Law | Tagged , , , , , ,