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Recent blog posts

Il family lawyerIn our last blog post, we discussed Orders of Protection in Illinois and how they can be obtained. Orders of Protection are meant to keep victims and abusers separate when they share or have shared a domestic relationship. But not all victims are in domestic relationships, and in these cases, other help may be necessary.

Fortunately, there are other types of protection that victims can obtain from an Illinois court. “Civil no-contact orders” protect victims of “nonconsensual sexual conduct” who want their abuser to be prohibited from contacting them. If you feel you are in danger of harm, whether psychological or physical, a civil no-contact order may be helpful to you.

Who Can Get a Civil No-Contact Order?

The purpose of a civil no-contact order is to protect victims of sexual assault. According to Illinois law, this includes any nonconsensual sexual conduct or sexual penetration. Civil no-contact orders can protect more than just the victim - her children, parents, current partner, and other household members can also be included in the petition so the abuser cannot contact them or harass the victim through other people. Parents can also obtain civil no-contact orders on behalf of a minor child.

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IL family lawyerVictims of domestic violence in Illinois face a difficult set of choices. Because many victims fear that they may face retaliation if they seek legal help, it can feel as though they are in the impossible dilemma of trying to fix a problem only to risk it getting worse. But if you feel stuck in an abusive situation where you are enduring emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, you likely already know that you do not want to live with it forever. Fortunately, there is help available: you can file for an order of protection in Will County today.

First, Make Sure You Are Safe

Statistics show that victims of domestic violence are most likely to be attacked if they try to leave their abuser or get help. It is important to make sure that you have a plan or a place to go if you are afraid for your safety. You may not be able to control your abuser’s behavior, but you can resolve to put yourself and your children in a safe place. Once you are ready, you can file for an order of protection at any time - even at night or over the weekend when the court is closed.

Complete the Order of Protection Forms

Three important forms are required to apply for an order of protection:

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Your Questions About Prenups, Answered

Posted on in Divorce

IL family lawyerAs a newly engaged person, you may have a million thoughts running through your head. Some of these thoughts may be related to a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are legal documents that protect spouses’ financial interests in the event of death or divorce. However, there are many myths and misunderstandings associated with these essential legal documents. Read on to learn about the basics of signing a prenup in Illinois.

What Is the Purpose of a Prenup?

If your soon-to-be spouse has asked you to consider signing a prenup, your first thought is probably, “Why?” Prenuptial agreements have been increasing in popularity recently for a variety of reasons. One reason is that people are simply more realistic about marriage and divorce. Even the most loving couple may eventually break up. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to prepare for this possibility.

How Does a Prenup Benefit Spouses?

Prenuptial agreements can accomplish many different goals. During divorce, any property or debt acquired by either spouse during the marriage is marital property subject to division. In a prenup, spouses can identify what property or debt is marital and what is non-marital. For example, you can characterize a small business as non-marital property belonging to only one spouse to shield it from division during divorce. Prenups can also address spousal maintenance concerns. For example, a stay-at-home mother may use a prenup to ensure she will still have access to financial support should the marriage end.

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Il divorce lawyerBeing a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Being a divorced parent is often even more challenging. If you are a parent who is separated or divorced, you may be worried about how you and your children will get through the holidays. The first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or other major holiday after a separation or divorce can be difficult to handle. There is no perfect way to handle the holidays as a divorced parent, but the following tips may help.

Make Sure Holidays Are Addressed in Your Parenting Plan

When parents get divorced in Illinois, they create a parenting plan which addresses parental responsibilities, parenting time, and other important child-related matters. If the parents cannot agree on the elements of the parenting plan, the case may eventually be decided by the court. When parents make their own parenting plans, they are required to include approximately 15 individual provisions described in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). However, parents should go above the bare minimum when it comes to drafting their parenting plan. They should include specific information about where children will spend holidays, birthdays, and other special days. Deciding these matters in advance can help the parents avoid conflict.

Acknowledge the Changes and Focus on New Traditions

If your family is like many families, you have certain traditions on the holidays. Perhaps you eat a special meal, play certain games, or listen to special holiday music. Change can be hard for children, and you may find that both you and your children struggle to adapt to the changes. Instead of pretending that everything is the same as it once was, acknowledge the changes your family is going through and make some new traditions.

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IL divorce lawyerThe decision to end a marriage is not one that is reached easily – especially after years or decades living as a married couple. Divorce after age 50 takes courage. It can be frightening to leave the predictability of your marriage and embark on a new life chapter. Ending a marriage near retirement age can also involve several financial complications. Many people in their 50s and 60s hope to retire and spend their time playing with grandchildren, traveling, or otherwise enjoying their golden years. Some divorcing spouses over age 50 worry that the divorce will upset these plans. If you are considering divorce, it is important to know how the split can impact your financial future.

“Gray Divorce” Rates Show More Older People Are Divorcing

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) created the phrase "gray divorce" to describe divorce involving spouses over age 50. Although the overall divorce rate has declined, gray divorce rates are higher than ever. In fact, the number of older people getting divorced has doubled in the last several decades. The reasons for this significant increase are just as varied as the people getting divorced. Some people divorce because they simply reach the conclusion that their marriage no longer works. Others divorce later in life because their children have grown up and moved out of the home. Whatever the reason, getting divorced after age 50 can present unique challenges – legally, financially, and emotionally.

Financial Considerations in a Gray Divorce

If you plan to end your marriage and are close to retirement, your first question may be how the divorce will impact your retirement plans. Like all assets in an Illinois divorce, retirement accounts included in the marital estate must be valued and divided in a divorce. Spouses may reach an out-of-court agreement on how to divide property, or the court may divide the property based on Illinois’s equitable distribution laws. Both spouses have a right to an equitable share of any retirement funds that a spouse earned during the marriage.

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