1953 Ridge Road, Homewood, IL 60432

Call Us312-702-1293

The Foray Firm
Recent blog posts

What Can I Do If I Suspect My Child is Being Abused By Their Other Parent?A parent’s main priority is to protect their child, even if that means taking them away from their other parent. According to Childhelp, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds, and most abusers are family members or others close to your child. Whether you were never married, are filing for divorced, or are recently divorced, it is crucial to alert authorities if you suspect your co-parent of abuse. It can be uncomfortable and difficult to present your fears to the court, but this is the only way for you to take action for your child and protect them from their own parent. Courts typically lean towards keeping both parents in children’s lives, and it is a rare occurrence for a judge to give sole custody to one parent. However, accusations of violence and abuse make courts think twice about their parental responsibilities determinations to protect the child from harm.

Warning Signs of Abuse

The fear of making a false accusation of abuse is often enough to keep parents silent about their suspicions. If parents are not married and do not live under the same roof, it can be difficult for them to identify abuse with certainty. Look for the following signs in your child if you suspect that they are being subjected to abuse:

  • Extremely withdrawn, anxious, or fearful about making a mistake or doing something wrong
  • Frequent, unexplained injuries, welts, bruises, or cuts
  • Shying away from touch or flinching at sudden movements
  • Difficulties sitting or walking
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing for the type of weather (long sleeves on a hot day)

Possible Outcomes

There are a few ways that the court may address the accusations in order to protect your child. Depending on the evidence at hand, the court may be able to provide an immediate response and change to your parenting agreement. If you are divorced, this is known as post-divorce modifications. What the judge will likely decide as their initial response is to require supervised visitation for your child’s other parent. This means that they will continue to see your child but always have a designated supervisor present. This will allow the court to monitor their activity together and protect the child from any abuse that may occur behind closed doors. Depending on the extent of the abuse and the parent’s ability to keep a relationship with the child, the court will try to keep both parents in their lives to some extent.

...

Should I Hire a Private Investigator for My Divorce?Some couples are lucky enough to experience an amicable divorce — the asset division may be mutually agreed upon, spousal maintenance costs may not bring up arguments, and determining how to share parental responsibilities may be a breeze. However, this is not the common divorce experience shared by most couples. Some couples may disagree on certain areas of the divorce while others may not be able to agree on a single portion throughout the process. For those who are on bad terms with their former spouse, they may seek out assistance from a third-party: a private investigator.

What Can a PI Do For Me?

Private investigators are professionals whose job involves researching and verifying information on any subject that their client needs them to. In the case of divorce, PIs will place their focus on their client’s spouse to help garner any information that may be useful throughout the divorce proceedings. Divorce investigations will typically focus on infidelity, hidden assets, and domestic violence.

  1. Infidelity: The state of Illinois does not require couples to provide grounds for their divorce aside from showing irreconcilable differences. Having a private investigator prove that your spouse is cheating on you may not be required to file for divorce, but it may help you in the asset division process. It is common for those having an affair to spend money on their new significant other. With proof that your spouse has been dissipating marital assets, you may be able to receive a higher amount as compensation when dividing your assets.
  2. Hidden Assets: In highly contentious divorces, it is not uncommon for someone to attempt to conceal their assets and keep them from their spouse. This may include keeping a secret bank account or giving friends a large sum of money in the form of a “gift” to be given back upon the finalization of your divorce. A PI can research into the financial history of your spouse to see if any asset concealment is occurring. Not only will this keep you from losing out on your own money, but it may also warrant you a larger division to make up for the unethical actions of your spouse.
  3. Domestic Violence: Unfortunately, domestic violence is all too common in homes across the U.S. Because most of this abuse occurs behind closed doors, it can be difficult to prove in a court of law. Many victims keep the abuse a secret out of fear of backlash or misbelief by the court. Hiring a private investigator to collect proof of the abuse is a constructive way of providing the court with proof while also avoiding possible violent backlash. This proof can help you obtain an order of protection and assist you in any conversations about parenting plans.

Call a Joliet Divorce Lawyer for Help

In order to be prepared for your divorce, it is important to go into the proceedings with support from an experienced legal team. Not all divorces can be as clean-cut as we wish them to be, and oftentimes you may need a private investigator’s help in addition to your attorney. The Foray Firm has worked with couples throughout Illinois for the past 10 years and has provided its clients with information about private investigators if their situation warrants additional help. We work tirelessly to help all of our clients move forward with their lives by putting their best foot forward. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact our Will County divorce attorneys at 312-702-1293 for a free consultation.

...

Open vs. Closed Adoptions: the Pros and Cons for Adoptive and Biological ParentsWhen prospective parents consider adopting a child, they often think that the biggest question that they will need to answer is where they would like to adopt their child from. They may be considering the benefits and drawbacks of adopting internationally or staying more local to find their child. While this is an important question to consider before making your adoption decision, one of the most life-changing choices that will need to be made is how involved you would like your child’s biological parents to be in their life. This is usually not fully up to the adoptive parents — the biological parents may wish to discuss this before committing to giving you their child. Some biological parents may not wish to be involved in their child’s life, while others may not be able to give you their child without the promise of a relationship moving forward. Whether you are the biological parents or the adoptive parents, you should consider the pros and cons of each type of adoption.

Open Adoptions

The level of openness with your adoption can vary from family to family. Some wish to simply exchange information so that the child can reach out to their biological parents if they would like, while others may create an agreement with the child’s biological parents to determine what their relationship will look like and how frequently they will communicate. For adoptive parents, this line of communication can be helpful whenever they have questions for their child’s biological parents. This could be about medical history, family connections, or anything else about the child that they could not know without the biological parents’ help. Having an open relationship can be difficult but important for biological parents. They may spend their lives wondering whether or not they chose the right family or hoping that their child would reach out later in life. Deciding on an open adoption eliminates these questions and can help the biological parents know that their child is safe and healthy.

Closed Adoptions

In closed adoptions, the adoptive parents will receive little to no information about their child’s biological parents or their background. This will protect both sides’ privacy and will not allow contact with the biological parents after the child’s birth and adoption. Many adoptive and biological parents believe this is the best arrangement for their child. It will eliminate any contentious or forced relationships that may be expected in an open relationship. It can also be difficult for the biological parents to see their child grow up in a home that is not their own. While they may have made the decision to give their child to another family, they may not want to see them live a different life. Closed adoptions are also a good option if the child’s biological parents are abusive or unfit to foster a healthy relationship with their child.

...

Should I Get a Home Appraisal Before Filing for Divorce?Deciding what to do with your family’s home after your divorce can be an emotional decision to make. You likely have a number of happy memories over the past years that are tied to your home. Oftentimes, one party will keep the home while the other will move out and find a new place to live. Deciding who will remain in the home may not be a hard choice, but divvying up your other assets and properties in a fair manner may prove difficult. A couple’s house is likely the most valuable asset that they have, both personally and financially, so the person who remains in the home is receiving the largest asset in the divorce. Since Illinois is an equitable division state when it comes to asset and property division, the other spouse must receive assets of similar value in return.

What is a Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is a financial estimate of your home from a licensed professional. Appraisers will determine the fair market value of your home by looking at sales of similar properties in your area over the past few months. Typically, they will look at the selling price of three recently sold properties and the asking price of three properties currently on the market. The appraiser will average the costs, make adjustments based on characteristics of your home, and determine a fair market value for your property. 

Why Do I Need One?

Appraisals can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several hundred dollars, and the price tag can often stray people away from getting their home financially evaluated. What many do not realize is that a home appraisal can save them thousands of dollars at the end of the day. It is important to know the true value of your home for equitable distribution during the property division process. Some couples may do their own property estimate by looking at the prices of properties nearby, but they fail to take into account the various other factors that can affect their home’s value. In contentious divorces, both spouses may consider getting their own appraisal done to ensure the accuracy of the presented value. If two appraisals are done, a judge will typically look at both numbers, see if they are different, and average the two.

...

How to Conduct Yourself in Court During Your Parenting CaseFor many, a divorce may be their first experience in a courtroom with a judge making decisions for them. While you have probably seen television shows that depict court proceedings, this is not an accurate representation of court and the characters’ actions are likely something that you should avoid following. No matter the reason you are in court, your conduct can greatly affect the outcome of the case. This is especially crucial for those discussing parenting arrangements for their children. In these parenting cases, the way you hold yourself is your first impression on the judge and likely the most important. Courtrooms and legal proceedings often make those who are unfamiliar with the process nervous and uncomfortable, causing them to act differently than they do in normal life. While you may not be able to keep yourself from being on edge, keep in mind the following tips that can help you present yourself in a good light:

  1. Clothes Matter: In a similar fashion to a job interview, your outfit can be used to gauge your personality, commitment to the case, and overall capacity to appear professional when necessary. It is important to wear business attire to court — no jeans, t-shirts, or sweatpants. By dressing for the occasion, you are showing the judge that you take this court proceeding seriously and are able to put yourself together when necessary: an important parenting quality. It may be a good idea to show another person your chosen outfit before showing up in court.
  2. Timeliness Is Key: Being on time to your court hearing and being present shows your respect for the legal team working on your case and that you take the matters of parenting seriously. This is also reflective of your ability to make time for your children, even if it means showing up to court. The judge will be analyzing all of your words and movements, and being on time says “I care and I will be there for my child.”
  3. Respect the Judge: There are a few things that those involved in a court case should know before the hearing starts. Everyone in the courtroom should stand when the judge enters or leaves the courtroom. This is age-old etiquette that is still followed today. Anytime the judge speaks to you, stand and respond, calling them “Your Honor.” They will let you know when it is your time to speak, and you should avoid speaking out of turn. Showing disrespect to the judge will only work against you in the decision making process.

Call a Naperville Parenting Attorney Today

The best way to prepare for your courtroom hearings is to speak with an experienced attorney. They will be able to provide you with the basic etiquette information as well as any additional tips for the particular judge working on your case. Because they are familiar with the judges in the area, they will likely have some hidden tips that they can provide you with that cannot be found elsewhere. The Foray Firm has extensive experience working in the family courts throughout the south suburbs of Chicago and we assist our clients before every courtroom appearance. If you are fighting for your rights as a parent, contact our Joliet divorce lawyers at 312-702-1293 to schedule a free consultation.

Source:

...
BBA Of Will County Illinois State Bar Association Cook County Bar Association The National Bar Association BWLA
Back to Top