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DuPage County family lawyer, divorce cases, attorney feesA recent Illinois Supreme Court opinion shed light on how attorney’s fees are handled in divorce cases, ending a battle that had both spouses in and out of court for 10 years. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the ruling means that a wealthy bankruptcy lawyer must pay his ex-wife $160,000 in attorney’s fees plus $27,500 in monthly spousal support.

In the original 2016 divorce settlement, the court ordered the man to pay a staggering $35,000 per month in alimony; he appealed that amount over the next few years. As the case dragged on, the ex-wife poured thousands of dollars into legal representation to protect her interests. The matter stands for the proposition that the parties’ respective finances are one factor involved with determining who pays attorney’s costs in an Illinois divorce case.

Petition for Attorney’s Fees

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DuPage County family lawyer, jurisdiction of Illinois courts, unborn childrenIllinois law allows parents to seek a determination on parental responsibility before the child is born, whether or not the individuals are married. If the issue of parental responsibility arises out of a divorce case, the court would first apply the legal presumption that the child is a product of the marriage. Where the issue is presented in the case of unmarried parents, a court must first determine parentage.

Either situation introduces interesting questions about jurisdiction over an unborn child under state law, as courts must have the authority to hear the case before making any determination on parental responsibility in Illinois.

General Jurisdiction Rules

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Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County family lawyer, cohabitation agreementMany couples decide to live together without getting married—one partner may have already divorced and does not want to remarry. When couples decide to cohabitate, there are several legal and financial decisions that the couple needs to decide.

Illinois marriage law gives spouses certain rights, and if a cohabiting couple wants similar rights, they must establish these rights through a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement can help you and your partner decide what happens during your relationship and if it ends.

Why Would We Need a Cohabitation Agreement?

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The Impact of Infidelity on Alimony in Illinois

One of the most hotly contested aspects of divorce proceedings is alimony, also known as spousal support. The process of coming to an agreement on how much, if anything, one spouse must pay the other spouse following divorce forces spouses to examine their respective contributions to the marriage.

With two-earner households as the norm, the process of teasing out how much each spouse contributed, both financially and through their responsibilities in the home, can be intensely complicated. Throw in sacrifices made by one spouse to support the wellbeing of the whole family, such as working two jobs to put the other spouse through school or training, and the balance required by alimony becomes even harder to strike.

Alimony is a device used under Illinois law to ensure that when spouses part ways, they are on relatively equal ground financially. Because marriage is a joint venture, in which couples share the burden of financial hardship and the benefit of economic success, the end of a marriage is viewed by judges as an opportunity to ensure that fairness is achieved through the process.

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visitation rights, DuPage County family lawyerUnder Illinois’ visitation law, if you have a child, but do not have custody, you may consider obtaining visitation rights. Visitation rights are not limited to parents, but can also be extended to grandparents or siblings.

If you were married to the parent who currently has custody, you will automatically be entitled to visitation rights. However, if you were not legally married, you would have to show that visitation with you would be in the best interests of your child.

A judge will consider several different factors when determining the best interests of your child. These factors can include your wishes, the wishes of the custodial parent, your child’s wishes, your child’s relationship with both parents, the financial and physical health of all parties, and the potential for abuse or violence. An experienced local family lawyer can help you prepare for your day in court seeking visitation rights.

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Illinois alimony lawVirtually all areas of law at least have the potential to change over time. Sometimes, the change comes in the form of court decisions, and other times it is through legislative action. Attorneys are responsible for keeping informed of changes in the law and any related procedure in order to provide their clients with competent representation.

Such a change has recently occurred within this state. In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law into effect that will change the alimony law in the state beginning in January of 2015. This law is expected to affect the maintenance and spousal support awarded to ex-spouses in divorce cases in the new year, and its exact effects will vary depending on the circumstances of each case.

New Law

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aging parents, caregivers, Illinois divorce lawyer, reasons for divorce, baby boomersMany individuals of the baby boomer generation may suddenly find themselves continuing in or resuming their role as caregivers. Only this time, instead of providing care to their children, they are caring for their elderly parents. Many are happy to do what they can for their parents while they can, fully realizing that older generations will not be around forever. Further, many adult children feel that they owe their parents a certain bet of gratitude for all they did for their families and the world around them.

Strengthening Marriage while Providing Care

Despite the privilege of having elderly parents, caring for them can bring its own set of challenges. Specifically, as discussed in a recent article, many baby boomers may experience challenges to their marriages as they struggle to care for their aging parents. This is due, in part, to the increased stress many people feel as they take on the responsibility of caregiver.

Here are some tips to deal with the stressful situation of being an elderly parent’s primary caregiver while keeping your marriage strong at the same time:

  • Talk openly with your spouse about the feelings, emotions, and stresses you may be feeling as you care for your aging parents. Successful marriages are made of happy couples who know how to communicate well with each other. This not only reflects a trust in one another, but a reliance on one another’s good judgment and dependance on the other for truth and honest talk.
  • Make an effort to keep love alive everyday. Carve out time for romance and dating. This includes small gestures, spending more time together, and making it a point to have fun as a couple.
  • Approach financial challenges with teamwork and open communication. Once parents are added to the mix, family budgeting may be even more important. This requires common goals and family support. Spouses should work together as a team in addressing economic challenges.
  • Avoid placing blame on one another when things get rough. Blaming each other is destructive to your marriage, and usually no one is to blame for an unfortunate situation.
  • Do not indulge in self-pity. Doing so does not solve any problems. Rather, work with your spouse toward a solution. Making a family work is often difficult, and can be even more so when caring for an elderly parent.
  • Enhance your marital relationship by carving out time for privacy and being alone. This is crucial to a successful marriage. Being able to refresh and recharge by being alone will go a long way in improving the quality of your relationship and communications with your spouse.
  • Remember that the little things matter in marriage and should be practiced daily. Doing these little things, such as performing small tasks or making small gestures of love, every day for the one you love matters in a relationship, and the more they accumulate, the more of a positive effect they have. Mastering this improves your chances of making it through the difficult times.

Family Law Attorney

If you need assistance with any family law matter, do not hesitate to contact a DuPage County family lawyer to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and the greater surrounding areas.

Posted on in Child Custody

adoption, Illinois family lawyer, DuPage County adoption attorney, childrenThere are many people who dream their entire lives of becoming parents. For those who are not able to have their own biological children, this dream might never become a reality if it was not for the option to adopt. Others may choose to adopt outright and provide a loving home to a child in need. Whatever the motivation, adoption is a noble cause that can prove to be a fulfilling life decision for all of those involved.

Questions About Adoption

Many who consider adoption likely have a variety of questions and concerns about the adoption process. While it is advisable to discuss specific situations with a licensed attorney, here are some common questions asked by many prospective adoptive parents, taken from the National Adoption Center website:

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marriage finance, debt, retirement, financial planning, Illinois family law attorneyThe time a couple spends engaged before their wedding ceremony is a special period of their relationship. Many discussions center around wedding planning, their love for one another, and their future plans. One conversation topic though that may be less popular is the sobering reality of finances. Even though a discussion about financial matters may not be as appealing as others during an engagement, it is an important one to have. A recent article gave engaged persons some advice on what questions to ask their future spouse when it comes to money matters.

10 Questions to Ask while Engaged

What is your credit score? This is an important piece of financial information since both of your credit scores may affect your ability to start a family, purchase a home, or buy a car. It is best to know what to expect going into your marriage and not after you have applied for a loan.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, life after divorce, stress, DuPage County family law attorneys, Illinois divorce lawyerThe breakdown of a couple’s marriage is usually a difficult experience to endure. Divorce can involve a total lifestyle change for those involved, not to mention the many feelings and emotions that it can bring up. A recent article suggests ways to cope with the unsettling and painful feelings that often accompany divorce.

Moving on After Divorce

One thing that most people probably agree on is that divorce is often hurtful, no matter the reasons or circumstances surrounding it. Divorce not only causes feelings of loss and disappointment, but also brings with it a disruption of routine and other relationships, as well as uncertainty about the future.

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children of divorce, child of divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyIn Part 1 of this article, we discussed research that showed children, on average, are likely to bounce back in the long term after their parents’ divorce, as well as some factors that may inhibit this adjustment. This seems to suggest that perhaps parents may not need to worry as much about the effects their divorce may have on their children, as long as they are able to maintain some stability and appropriate parenting levels throughout the process. Read on for the rest of the research related to this topic, regarding concerns relating to adulthood and improving the chances that children will bounce back.

Later Problems

The concern with children of divorced parents is not limited to immediate problems, but also with problems that the child may experience later in life as an adult. Some previous research suggests that children of divorce experience significant problems with depression and relationship issues as adults. However, other researchers argue against this finding, saying scientific research supports the idea that most children of divorce grow into well-adjusted adults.

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Posted on in Divorce

family time, divorce, child custody, lawyer, attorney, family tips, Illinois family lawyerEvery parent is probably aware of the constant struggle between home life and career. Each aspect of a parent’s life demands time, effort, and attention. With so much energy required, many parents may feel they are not spending an adequate amount of time on a specific area of their life. This situation likely affects many married parents, but may be felt even more acutely by those single or divorced parents who are attempting to maintain a home and a relationship with their children without support from a partner.

Work-Life Balance

A recent article offered several suggestions for ways to increase the amount of time mothers can spend with their children, but surely parents of both genders can heed the advice.

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domestic violence, domestic abuse, Illinois domestic violence lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyDomestic violence includes acts of violence that occur between current and former romantic partners. Many different types of acts may be considered domestic violence, as a wide range of actions may cause physical or psychological harm to the victim. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the United States, with the statistic that a woman is beaten every 15 seconds. While its direct effects on the victim are often far too obvious, it affects all family members, especially where children are involved.

The Extent of the Problem

Many incidents of domestic violence are never reported, which makes particularly accurate information hard to come by. Still, many aspects of the problem are known. Domestic violence is something that can affect anyone, from any social, economic, ethnic, cultural, or age group. It does not discriminate based on type or nature of the relationship.

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Posted on in Divorce

sick, flu, contagious, divorce, is divorce contagious, family law, DuPage County family lawyerThe decision to end a marriage is usually not an easy one to make. Often, couples must face a number of difficult decisions when deciding to divorce, especially when children are involved. Outsiders may wonder what happened within a marriage to cause divorce. While any number of factors can and usually do play a part in a couple’s decision to call it quits, a new study is suggesting a surprising factor that may play a larger role in an impending divorce than one may realize. According to a news article recently published by CBS 2, the divorce of a friend or loved one may increase a couple’s chances of getting divorced as well.

Divorce is Contagious... Just like the flu, a new study from Brown University is suggesting that divorce may also be contagious, and could put anyone’s marriage in danger. According to the study, which was comprised of data from thousands of people over three decades, the divorce of a friend or loved one may increase that person’s odds of also getting divorced. The findings included that one was 75 percent more likely to get divorced if one of their friends were divorced. Further, an individual was 33 percent more likely to divorce if a friend of a friend obtained a divorce. The trend seemed to end when considering the divorce of a couple three degrees removed. Researchers involved in the study called the findings a social contagion, which indicated the spread of information, attitudes, and behaviors through friends, family, and other social circles. …Or is It? Some are saying that it is not divorce itself that is contagious in such situations, but rather it is the emotions that are tied to the divorce that can be contagious. In other words, those who are constantly around other people who are in unhappy relationships may tend to look at their own relationship more critically. Others were not so sure of the theory, saying the tendency to let other’s emotions have such a significant impact on one’s own shows a lack of maturity and that a friend or acquaintance’s unhappiness should not influence another individual’s marriage. There are ways to avoid letting the divorce bug infect another couple. It is advisable not to compare the situation and circumstances of a friend to one’s own, since usually, the connections are not found in reality but are rather imagined or created. Often, such comparisons and associations are simply not realistic. Divorce Attorney If you find yourself in a situation in which divorce seems like a likely option, it is best to discuss your case with an experienced divorce attorney. The attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can advise you after listening to the facts of your particular case. Please contact us today for a consultation. We have successful experience representing clients in Cook and DuPage Counties, as well as surrounding areas.

parenting time, Illinois child custody, Illinois law, family lawyer, DuPage County family law attorneyAccording to a recent news article, lawmakers in Illinois will soon decide between a proposed overhaul of the state’s divorce law or a bill aimed at securing a minimum amount of parenting time for non-custodial parents in child custody cases. The divorce law overhaul purportedly came as the result of recommendations made by the Family Law Study Committee, which felt Illinois divorce law needed significant revamping. The Committee also agreed that the way in which judges made custody decisions was an area in family law that also deserved their attention.

Minimum Custody Time The Committee said the current typical custody arrangement allowing non-custodial parents to have their children one day per week and every other weekend should be abandoned in favor of equal parenting time, which is in the child’s best interests. A minimum amount of guaranteed parenting time was included in the original proposed legislation as a presumption that could be overcome if certain circumstances called for it. That presumption included allowing non-custodial parents 35 percent of parenting time per week, which equates to about 60 hours. Now, an amendment has changed the language from presumptive to aspirational, or something a judge should desire to implement in custody cases. Taking it a Step Further Many parents’ rights groups who fought for the original bill were not pleased with the amendment. As a result, a new house bill was sponsored by State Representative John Cabello, who took the original draft one step further by making the 60 hours of parenting time a mandate. Those who support this bill say the mandate will deter parties to custody actions from employing whatever means necessary, including lying to a judge, to ensure they will be awarded custody of their child. Opponents say judges should be allowed to view each individual case and use their discretion in determining an appropriate parenting plan under the circumstances. The bill’s mandate would force judges to use one approach for every case they heard. Child Custody Attorney Both bills remain in the amendment stage in the House, and action on either remains to be seen. Some are expressing frustration that the amended bill would not address the primary concern or purpose of the original bill, especially since the original bill was drafted in light of the Committee’s recommendations from highly experienced and seasoned professionals in the legal field, as well as years of research. If you are or will soon be party to a child custody action, do not hesitate to consult with a skilled family law attorney who can immediately begin working diligently to protect your rights as a parent. Contact the attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC  today to schedule a consultation. We have successful experience representing clients in child custody and support matters. Our offices are located in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville, Illinois.

Posted on in Divorce

twitter, divorce, social media, Illinois family lawyer, DuPage County divorce lawyerThis is an age in which the daily use of Facebook, InstaGram, and Twitter, just to name a few, is rampant among much of the population, from tweens to grandparents. Perhaps it is not surprising that such incessant use of social media is playing a part in our daily lives and having a more negative effect than we likely realize. According to an article recently published in Time, a new study revealed that active Twitter use led to divorce and infidelity in many cases.

Twitter Use Leads to Divorce

The study found that those who were active on the social media site Twitter were more likely to be a part of confrontations that had the potential to lead to infidelity and divorce, regardless of how long the relationship has lasted.

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infidelityIt often seems as though it is only a matter of time before we hear of a new political scandal in the media regarding infidelity or other transgressions by our elected officials. Oftentimes, their actions have consequences, not only in the form of public opinion affecting their professional lives, but also in their personal lives as well. The latest such incident involves a married Republican congressman from Louisiana, Representative Vance McAllister.

McAllister’s Transgression

McAllister was captured on video participating in less than savory behavior. In the dark, with his shirt untucked, he is seen approaching a woman and then embracing her with a kiss. It was revealed that the woman in the recording was an aide who worked with the congressman, and was also married.

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DuPage County divorce attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce lawyer, attorneyIf you are considering divorce, you may have several concerns regarding the process, including the prospect of hiring a divorce attorney. Some may be tempted to attempt the process without representation. However, doing so may prove to have several drawbacks and will likely affect the outcome of your case.

Drawbacks and Dangers

Divorce usually involves a large amount of legal documents and complicated paperwork that needs to be read and sorted through. The task can not only be an unpleasant one, but also one that not everyone is qualified to handle. At the outset, a divorce case may seem straightforward, but things can very easily take a wrong turn and become much more involved, leaving the unrepresented in way over their heads. Those parties who choose not to hire an attorney can also cause the whole process of divorce to move much slower than it otherwise would, frustrating the judge and other parties involved.

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conscious uncoupling, divorce of the future, divorce, family law, illinois divorce attorney, parentingGwyneth Paltrow has been making headlines lately, and the stories do not necessarily cast the movie star in a positive light. She’s been known to make out-of-touch comments in the past, and recent events have been no exception. One remark alluded to the fact that “regular” moms who work 9-to-5 jobs have a more manageable schedule than film stars, who often have to work 14-hour days for a few weeks in a row. The backlash from women across the country was palpable immediately following the interview. The other communication that earned Paltrow notoriety in the press was her announcement recently that she and her husband have decided to part ways by what she described as a “conscious uncoupling.”

Changing the Concept of Divorce

In the announcement, Paltrow made her intentions clear to remain separate from her husband and move on from their marriage, although she refrained from using the word “divorce.” It is not that Paltrow does not intend to go through the legal proceeding, but the information she published along with her announcement indicates that modern times call for a new view of divorce. It suggests that the idea of a lifetime partner is not realistic in modern times for many reasons, among them being our increased life expectancy, idealizing our partner to our own detriment in the early stages of marriage, and our lack of flexibility when adapting to changes in relationships.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce stress, divorce tips, DuPage County, family law, family lawyer, family law attorney, divorce lawyerDivorce is a painful process--legally, financially, and emotionally. Considering the immense strain placed on involved partners, it is important to consider some tips for coping with the pressures of divorce.

Dealing with Stress When dealing with a divorce, it is helpful to keep in mind the following:
  • Take Time to Mourn - Divorce is a type of loss. The family and living situation you once had is no more. Recognize that it is perfectly normal to feel a mixture of emotions, such as anger, confusion, regret, and loneliness. Give yourself some time to heal.
  • Keep Physically Fit - Divorce can lead to stress, anger, tension, anxiety, and a host of other toxic feelings. A physical fitness routine can be the best medicine for such ailments. Exercise regularly. Plan regular trips to the gym. Even going on a 20-minute walk can do wonders for your well-being. Do anything that gets your body moving. In addition to exercise, be sure to eat healthy and nutritious meals, and make sure to get an adequate amount of rest.
  • Use Your Social Network - Divorce can take a serious toll on your emotions, and spending time with your friends and family can be a healing balm. Do not be afraid to reach out to your loved ones to discuss your feelings and struggles. Surround yourself with positive people. It is not unusual for friends that you and your spouse shared to take sides in a divorce. Understand that you may lose some friends through the ordeal, but you can start now to build a support system of people who care for you and who can help.
  • Find Helpful Hobbies - Many individuals going through a divorce find relief in picking up old hobbies that they used to enjoy, or venturing out to discover new interests. Finding things that you enjoy can be a great source of happiness and healing.
  • Do Not Make Decisions Under Duress - One of the challenges in going through a divorce is the need to make decisions that will have long-term effects, even for the rest of your life. The decisions include matters dealing with finances, family homes, custody arrangements, and the like. It can be challenging to think clearly when handling the emotional strain of a dissolving marriage. Try not to make such important decisions when in the throes of distress.
  • Seek the Help of Skilled Professionals - Understand that there are trained professionals with the skills to help you through a divorce. A skilled attorney can be a trusted advisor who will not only help you understand your legal rights, but also aid you in making the difficult decisions mentioned above. In addition to legal advisors, many divorcing individuals find it helpful to talk to a therapist. Some therapists even specialize in helping people that are facing divorce.
Illinois Family Law Attorneys If you are considering divorce and have questions about how an Illinois court will deal with your property and children, it is vital that you contact a skilled lawyer. The attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC are dedicated to helping individuals involved in divorce proceedings understand their rights in Chicago, Wheaton, Warrenville, and many other nearby communities. Contact us today to learn more.
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