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markham-divorce-attorney.jpgLeaving a controlling spouse can be very difficult. If you have been married for a long time, it might feel like you do not know what to do with yourself without your spouse there to dictate your every move. You may be socially isolated or even separated from your family. Getting a divorce in this situation is the best way to protect yourself and your future. It can be challenging, but it can be done. You will want to make sure that you are represented by an aggressive lawyer. Controlling spouses are skilled at bending the will of their spouse in order to get what they want. You and your lawyer will need to take extra care to ensure that you are not being taken advantage of or controlled in any way during the divorce process. 

Tips for Getting Out of a Controlling Marriage

Standing your ground is going to be very important during this time. Some tips that may help you include: 

  • Ask for rehabilitative alimony - Many controlling spouses prevent their partners from working outside the home for pay. You may lack the skills, education, or training you need to start a career. Rehabilitative alimony addresses this exact situation - it is designed so that your spouse will need to continue supporting you while you go to school or seek job training. 


orland-park-child-custody-attorney.jpgAs a parent, your children are probably the most important part of your life. A parent’s greatest fear is losing their children. You probably cannot imagine your life without your children in it. So when you and your children’s other parent split and go to court for child custody, you hold out hope for the most possible time with your children. Nothing is scarier than hearing that the other parent is demanding exclusive custody. The prospect of your former spouse or romantic partner taking your children out of your life is enough to send any parent into full-blown panic. The good news is that demands for full custody very rarely succeed. In most cases, this fear is largely unfounded. However, it is critically important that you work with an experienced child custody lawyer who can fight to stop this from happening. 

When do Illinois Courts Give One Parent Full Custody?

This is a last resort option that is only used when one parent is genuinely harmful to their children. We see this happen almost exclusively in cases where one parent has abused the children or is extremely unstable. Even if your former partner manages to convince the court that you cannot be trusted alone with the children, supervised visitation is often used. Supervised visitation is not often a permanent arrangement. 

Fighting Back When Your Ex Demands Exclusive Custody

The following tips may help you resist your former partner’s demand for full custody: 


markham-divorce-attorney.jpgDivorce can bring out the worst in people. When a divorce is not amicable, each party is trying to prove that they are more responsible, a better parent, and a better spouse. Unfortunately, some people will resort to trying to throw their spouse under the bus in an effort to get a better result for themself. Others will resort to flat-out lying to the court or even falsifying evidence. Some will make ridiculous demands that you know are completely unfair. Being the spouse whose name is getting dragged through the mud by a vindictive spouse can be a humiliating and infuriating experience. However, retaliating in kind is not always the right solution. If your spouse is refusing to play fair during your divorce, it is important that you work with an aggressive and experienced divorce lawyer. The Foray Firm has helped many people who are in this position. 

Tips for Handling Divorce When Your Spouse is Playing Dirty

Maybe your spouse is claiming that you abused them or your children when you absolutely did no such thing. Maybe they have brought up an old misdemeanor on your record that has nothing to do with the marriage or your ability to be a good parent. Or, they could have done something truly unfair like draining your joint bank account on their way out the door. Whatever type of unfair play your spouse is engaging in, know that they are not likely to succeed. Some helpful tips for handling this type of situation include: 

  • Be honest - It may be tempting to stoop to your spouse’s level and try to fight lies with more lies. But this approach is likely to make things worse rather than better. Remember that judges in family courts have seen a lot of divorce cases and can often spot a dishonest party a mile away. It is also extremely important that you are completely open and honest with your attorney, even if it might be a bit embarrassing. Your lawyer cannot do their job if they do not have accurate information.


orland-park-parentage-attorney.jpgAn increasing number of same-sex couples are raising children together. The growing number of same-sex couples with children is one of the reasons that Illinois now uses the term “parentage” instead of “paternity.” A child growing up with two moms or two dads will consider both adults their parents. It is very important to make sure that the law also sees both same-sex partners as the child’s legal parents. While it may not be possible for a same-sex couple to have a biological child in common, it is certainly possible for same-sex couples to have a legal child in common. Illinois offers several routes to legal parenthood for gay and lesbian couples that may not be so easily available in other states. Establishing both of you as your child’s legal parents provides additional security to the child in the event that the parents separate or divorce, or in case one parent passes away. If you are unsure whether you and your partner both have a legal parent-child relationship with your child, our lawyers can help. 

What Options do Same-Sex Parents Have for Establishing Parentage?

Same-sex parents generally have the same options for establishing legal parentage that opposite-sex parents do. It matters little whether the child is biologically related to either of you for the purpose of creating a legal parent-child relationship. In Illinois, gay and lesbian parents can establish parentage by methods including: 

  • Marriage - If you and your spouse were already married or in a civil union when your child was born to one of you, Illinois will simply presume that you are both the child’s parents. In this case, the presumption of parentage is automatic and you probably do not need to take any further action. This typically does not apply if a gay man has a child with a woman outside the marriage unless a surrogacy agreement is in place.


joliet-child-custody-lawyer.jpgSibling relationships can be incredibly important for children. Siblings are often a child’s first and best friends. Even in blended families, step and half siblings may share a bond. When parents are splitting up, siblings may rely on each other for a sense of stability at a time when major changes are occurring. Illinois courts are often reluctant to separate siblings who enjoy a close relationship. However, this type of bonding does not occur for all children with acting parents in common. In some cases, sibling relationships are difficult or even abusive. In that case, the court may find that separating siblings is in the children’s best interest. If you are involved in child custody proceedings and have concerns about helping your children maintain meaningful relationships with their full, half, or even step siblings, an attorney can help you decide how to proceed. 

What do Illinois Courts Consider When it Comes to Sibling Relationships?

During any child custody proceeding, whether it involves a divorce or not, the deciding factor is always the best interest of the children. In determining what kind of custody arrangement would be right, courts will investigate what the children need and want. The court will consider the children’s emotional needs just as it will consider their physical needs. In many cases, a Guardian ad Litem will be appointed to help the judge understand what kind of living situation would be best for the children. Close sibling relationships are certainly something that can be considered. When possible, siblings will be given plenty of time together.

What if My Child Needs Protection from a Step or Half Sibling?

On the flipside, a harmful sibling relationship can also come into play. It is not uncommon for young children to face bullying or abuse from a much older sibling, especially in blended families. Courts will not purposely allow a child to be placed in a dangerous situation. If you are afraid that one of your children will be harmed by a sibling, this is definitely something that your attorney can make sure the court is aware of. Provisions can be made to ensure that your child is safe from a harmful sibling. 

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