Family Law

  • What is the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity? November 28, 2017

    A Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage (VAP) (or paternity) in Illinois is a document used when a child is born to unmarried parents. It establishes paternity for the child without going to court. It’s best to consult with one of the …

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  • The Rights of Father’s in Chicago

    Fatherhood is an essential part of child upbringing. In the United States, 34 percent, equivalent to 24 million children, live without the biological fathers. The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), while advocating for the father’s visitation rights, reports that a child who grows …

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  • Who Pays the Attorney’s Fees? July 26, 2017

    Who pays the attorney’s fees? Often times a person will wait for months, and sometimes years before filing for divorce for one simple reason… he or she cannot afford the attorney’s fees to be incurred during divorce proceedings. The Illinois …

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  • Who Pays for College When Mom Remarries?

    Who pays for college when mom remarries? Many divorces are settled with the understanding that each parent’s contribution to the payment of the minor children’s college education expenses will be determined at the time each child is ready to attend …

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  • Who Outsmarts Who?

    Who outsmarts who? Leave it to parties going through a divorce to come up with an underhanded scheme to attempt to gain leverage in a divorce battle. In a recent Illinois case between two spouses getting divorced, the husband, David, …

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  • The Dangers of Rolling the Dice

    The dangers of rolling the dice It has long been my belief that going to trial in a divorce case is the equivalent to rolling the dice in Las Vegas. You never know what you are going to get. In …

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  • So You Think You Can Be a Judge?

    So you think you can be a judge? Being a Family Law judge in the Circuit Court of the State of Illinois not only requires vast amounts of patience, compassion and intellect, but also requires many judgment calls in divorce …

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  • Shall I Move In with My Boyfriend?

    Shall I move in with my boyfriend? Now that the divorce rate in Illinois has been hovering around 50% for several years, many divorced individuals who are recipients of monthly alimony payments (today referred to as ‘maintenance payments’) are confronted …

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  • Sexually Active Teenagers Lose Freedom

    Sexually active teenagers lose freedom As an unmarried young woman, have you ever given thought to having a child and then losing your freedom to leave Illinois? This family law topic comes to mind after I reviewed the recent Illinois …

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  • Religious Freedom After Divorce

    Religious freedom after divorce In Illinois there is a law found in Section 608 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act which provides that, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the custodial parent shall determine the child’s upbringing …

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  • Let’s Make a Deal

    Let’s make a deal Do you remember the popular game show, “Let’s Make a Deal?” I thought of that show when I recently read an Illinois Appellate Court case decided March 25, 2004 in which parents who were divorced twenty-one …

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  • How Much is Enough?

    How much is enough ? Once upon a time there was a very good basketball player whose girlfriend gave birth to a baby boy on February 29, 2000. This basketball player (who plays in the N.B.A.) moved in with his …

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  • How Does a Divorce Court Define “Fair”?

    How does a divorce court define “fair?” On January 29, 2003, the Illinois Appellate issued a decision in a divorce case upholding a trial court decision to award 84% of the assets to the wife, and 16% of the assets …

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  • How Can Dad Change Custody?

    How can dad change custody? When Fred and Wilma first got married in the town of Bedrock, they thought they would live happily ever after. They bought a house, a car, and then along came their daughter, Pebbles. Five years …

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  • Exclusive Possession: I want my husband out!

    Exclusive possession: I want my husband out There is a rarely used section in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act which gives a trial court authority to remove a spouse from the marital residence during the pendency of …

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  • Child’s representative statute declared unconstitutional July 25, 2017

    Child’s representative statute declared unconstitutional On October 28, 2004 the Illinois Supreme Court issued an important decision which affects the procedure in which Illinois trial courts must handle allocation of parental responsibilities disputes. There is an often used section in …

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  • Can you be your own attorney in a divorce?

    Can you be your own attorney in a divorce? Judge Grace Dickler is arguably one of the most knowledgeable, experienced and respected Judges in the Cook County Divorce Division; however, even Judge Dickler had her “hands full” in overseeing a …

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  • Can Mom Move with Dad’s Child to Another State?

    Can mom move with dad’s child to another state? Approximately three years ago, this column wrote on the issue of whether, after a divorce, a custodial parent could move out of state with her child or children over the father’s …

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  • Are grandparents entitled to parenting time rights?

    On August 19, 1999, the Illinois Legislature amended the provision in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act pertaining to grandparent parenting time rights. If you are a grandparent that has divorced children, you may have experienced difficulty in …

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  • Are Grandparents Entitled to Parenting Time Privileges?

    Are grandparents entitled to parenting time privileges? On August 13, 2001, the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the constitutionality of the Illinois Grandparent Visitation statute in the divorce case, Michael Mehring vs. Julie Mehring. This decision was significant for all grandparents …

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  • A Million Dollar Chicago child support penalty?

    A million dollar Chicago child support penalty ? On November 29, 2007, the Supreme Court of Illinois upheld a failure to pay child support penalty in the amount of $1,172,100.00. If you think this was an outrageous penalty which had …

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  • For your Protection! September 12, 2016

    Almost everyone marries out of love. You have certain expectations and beliefs in how your wedding is going to play out. However, that isn’t always the case and sometimes you will need to look towards a divorce in Chicago. Even …

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  • Divorce: What Not to Do July 8, 2016

    When you’re starting divorce proceedings, you’ll be buffeted on every side by advice. Some is warranted: legal advice, advice from trusted friends, and the like. But much of it comes from well-meaning acquaintances. Constantly being told what to do can …

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  • Adopting Your Spouse’s Child May 20, 2016

    In many TV re-marriages, there is a touching moment when the new parent offers to adopt the spouse’s child, and the child accepts. Often this is the end of that particular plot line. But is adopting your spouse’s child from …

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  • Establishing Paternity: It’s Not as Easy as D-N-A April 1, 2016

    Work with experienced Chicago Family Law Attorneys Today! We’ve all seen the shows. The envelope comes in. The man and woman are nervous. The audience leans forward. The host unfolds the piece of paper, and out comes those words: “You …

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  • Four Misconceptions Regarding Spousal Abuse February 5, 2016

    Work with a experienced Chicago Divorce Lawyer to leave an abusive relationship behind Despite statistics bordering on epidemic proportions (with up to 10 million victims a year being affected by domestic violence), abuse remains a subject that is widely misunderstood. …

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  • Suspected Child Abuse- Modify Chicago Custody Orders October 16, 2015

    You made it through the divorce, but you feel like your troubles have only started. You send your children to your ex for their court ordered parenting time, but you’re disturbed by how they return. Perhaps they are emotionally withdrawn …

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  • How to Change a Child Support Order in Chicago September 14, 2015

    You’ve been taking care of the children since the divorce and making due with the child support that comes in, but you just found out your ex has a new job and makes much more than ever before. You want …

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  • I need my spouse OUT- what are my options? July 10, 2015

    Divorce is an emotionally complicated time, and continuing to live with your soon-to-be ex doesn’t make it any easier. However, as much as you may feel like your spouse should vacate, the courts will only intervene if there is a …

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  • Chicago Divorce: 10 Things You Need To Know April 16, 2015

    Chicago Divorce: 10 Things You Need To Know Divorce brings about a wide range of emotions for all parties involved- spouses and children especially. With so many things changing, deciding what to have for lunch can be difficult, let alone …

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