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  • Lottery Winnings: Alimony May 7, 2020

    Are lottery winnings to be considered income for purposes of modification of maintenance subsequent to the entry of a divorce decree? This is the exact question that was brought before the Illinois Appellate Court in the case entitled, “In re …

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  • Interim Attorneys Fees April 26, 2020

    One of the most common questions raised by a party contemplating or going through the divorce is who is responsible for the payment of attorney fees? Although generally, attorneys fees are the responsibility of the party that incurs such fees, …

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  • Restraining Orders in Illinois April 22, 2020

    When going through a divorce, at times it may become necessary to request immediate relief from the Court in the form of a Temporary Restraining Order and a Preliminary Injunction. In Illinois, a Petitioner must establish the following five elements …

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  • Custody Insights April 15, 2020

    When getting divorced today in Illinois, did you know that courts are no longer allowed to award Sole Custody to one parent?  Did you also know that courts are no longer allowed to enter Joint Custody awards either? Today, all …

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  • Common Questions

    In the unfortunate event of having to file for divorce, did you ever wonder whether there is an advantage to filing in the City of Chicago, or filing close to your suburban home?  Does it matter if you and your …

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  • Changes in Law

    In Illinois, the law governing payment of Maintenance (formerly called “Alimony”) has changed on five separate occasions in the past five years; once on January 1, 2015, on January 1, 2016, on January 1, 2017, on June 1, 2018, and …

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  • Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Annulled? January 28, 2019

    Sometime a marriage doesn’t always work out the way you hope it would and you have to file for divorce. If you signed a prenuptial agreement before you were married, that doesn’t necessarily mean you signed away your rights, but …

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  • Tips to Reduce Stress as a Single Parent December 10, 2018

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 4 children are living in a household that has only one parent. While it can be overwhelming to raise a family in a single parent household, finding ways to manage stress is …

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  • Dealing with an Abusive Spouse During a Divorce November 15, 2018

    If you are in the process of going through a divorce, it’s safe to assume that emotions are already in a heightened state. When you are dealing with an abusive spouse during the process it is very likely that the …

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  • Important Things to Do When Filing for Divorce October 15, 2018

    Have you and your spouse recently decided to file for divorce? Even when the divorce is uncontested (both parties have agreed to the divorce), the process can still be overwhelming and stressful. Divorce is a decision that will impact your …

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  • Our Prenup Doesn’t Cover Our New Assets. What Now? April 20, 2018

    Prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular as much of the negative stigma regarding these agreements is being replaced by the more rational perception that these agreements are a great way for individuals to protect important assets when going into a …

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  • Consequences of Not Paying Child Support April 13, 2018

    The State of Illinois takes child support obligations seriously. If you’re unable to pay child support, there are a number of problems that may result. Here are some of the consequences of not paying child support from the Chicago family …

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  • How to Help a Friend Who is Going Through a Divorce January 24, 2018

    A divorce is perhaps one of the most difficult ordeals that a person can go through during their lifetime. People who are going through a divorce need the support of their close friends. A trusted divorce lawyer in Chicago Ill …

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  • 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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  • What is Unlawful Parenting Time Interference?

    What is unlawful parenting time interference? In a decision made in September 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court took another step in defining what constitutes Unlawful parenting time Interference. David and Jodi had been married for 19 years at the time …

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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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  • Premarital Agreements in Illinois; Do They Work?

    Premarital agreements in Illinois; do they work? I recently read with interest that a premarital agreement drafted on behalf of Major League Baseball superstar, Barry Bonds, was ruled invalid by an Appellate Court in the State of California. This was …

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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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  • Dissipation in Divorce Proceedings July 25, 2017

    Dissipation in divorce proceedings The issue of whether or not dissipation has occurred in a divorce case continues to remain at the forefront of many property disputes. As recently as December, 2000, the very well respected Fourth District Illinois Appellate …

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  • Child’s representative statute declared unconstitutional

    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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  • Children out of Wedlock

    Children out of wedlock It has become increasingly common in today’s society for parents to give birth to children out of wedlock. Prior to July 10, 2003, the law in Illinois treated married parents differently than parents who had children …

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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 you receiving child support on time?

    Are you receiving child support on time? There is a little known law in Illinois (750 ILCS 5/706.1 (E)) which allows a court to assess a penalty against employers who do not remit payments of child support on time. In …

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  • Are single parents chained to Illinois?

    Are single parents chained to Illinois? Have you ever seen the commercial for Southwest Airlines where the ending words are, “You are now free to move about the country?” A wonderful thought for vacationers! After listening to this advertisement four …

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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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  • Allocation of Parental Responsibilities: Do I Have a Say? April 14, 2017

    Laws regarding parenting between divorced spouses have changed dramatically in Illinois. Once called child custody, these new laws went into effect at the beginning of 2016 and are now referred to as allocation of parental responsibilities. Ultimately, the court will …

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  • Surviving a Divorce with a Strong Support System December 27, 2016

      Divorce elicits different feelings and reactions in different people. Some people don’t want to be asked questions or to have to talk about what led to the divorce, sometimes because they don’t want to face the truth themselves. Others …

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  • Who gets the Children during the Holiday Season? November 11, 2016

    For a lot of parents getting a divorce, the matter of child custody is the most important and stressful part of it. In Illinois, Chicago, custody has two components. One is legal custody, which is the right to make decisions …

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  • How Long does a Divorce take in Chicago? October 24, 2016

    Divorce is one of the worst things that can happen to lovers who have lived together happily, fighting and conquering the upheavals of life together. Yet it is an unnecessary evil that sometimes is inevitable to happen. However, should it …

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  • Divorce: Grey Years October 7, 2016

    You could be young and in a blossoming marriage in which divorce is foreign language. Or you could have spent years enjoying your marriage and imagining losing it after investing all your marital years in it is unimaginable. Yet grey …

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  • Child Support! Who Pays Who? September 23, 2016

    When going through a divorce with a child involved, child support almost always comes up. If you and your former spouse can agree upon no child support, it is far easier, keeps the divorce cost down and helps both of …

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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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  • Before you say ” I Do” say “I Won’t” August 19, 2016

    Some people scoff at the idea of a prenup. After all, it is basically looking past the marriage in the event of it not working out. Most of the time, people marry for love and they expect this to last. …

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  • Social Media, Cheating, and Its Effects on Your Divorce August 8, 2016

    With the rise of social media and networking sites constantly tout “getting back in touch” or “expanding your network,” it can be hard to recognize the situations you are putting yourself in. In terms of relationships, both old flames and …

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  • Love Hurts! The Cost of Divorce July 22, 2016

    If you are looking at going through with a divorce in Chicago, one of the first questions you may have is “how much will this cost?” This is a very difficult question to answer as there is nothing set in …

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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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  • Prenuptial Agreement: Is it valid? June 30, 2016

    There was a time when prenuptial agreements were considered pretty tacky, a breach of trust before the marriage even got off the runway. Today they are very common among couples with high financial holdings or investments. Most often, the prenuptial agreement …

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  • Domestic Violence in Child Custody Cases June 10, 2016

    A child’s exposure to domestic violence has only recently come up for consideration in child custody cases, as, in the past, it was assumed that a child’s formative years were best spent with the mother. The Family Violence Project, 1995, …

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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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  • Receiving Social Security Benefits after a Divorce May 6, 2016

    Most retirement plans revolve around social security benefits in some form or another once the person is old enough to qualify. In some cases, people don’t qualify on their own and instead benefit from spousal benefits. But after a divorce, …

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  • Ruffled Feathers: Who Gets the Pets? April 15, 2016

    Let an experienced Chicago Divorce lawyer help you! When around 50% of all households in Illinois have at least one pet, a good portion of divorces every day require thought about this issue. To some, pets are every bit a …

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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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  • Equally vs. Equitably in a Chicago Divorce March 16, 2016

    After twenty years of marriage, Sue and Sam have decided, amicably, to divorce. Their twenty years of marriage have occurred with joint bank accounts, and finances have always been thought of under a “what’s mine is yours” criteria. Add in …

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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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  • The Disappearance of At-Fault Divorce in Illinois November 11, 2015

    As of January 1, 2016, the rewritten version of the Illinois Marriage & Dissolution of Marriage Act (Public Act 99-90) will come into effect. This will come with several major changes, not the least of which is the transformation of …

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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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  • Length of Chicago Divorce Proceedings: What to Expect September 25, 2015

    Chicago divorce lengths can vary based on whether they are contested and fought in court, or whether they are resolved through mediation and arbitration. Filing the paperwork alone will take about one month, but if the participants are unable to …

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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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  • Same-Sex Divorce and Custody: Divorce In Chicago August 20, 2015

    “I should have custody of the kids, I’m their mother.” While this has historically been a convincing argument in the eyes of the court, what happens when both parents can make that claim? Or what if neither can, because they …

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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- How do I start? June 4, 2015

    When you fall in love and get married, divorce will be the last thing on your mind. The decision to end your marriage is not one you have come to lightly, but now that you know it is your next …

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