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DuPage County family lawyers, spouse wastes assetsCouples do not just wake up one day and decide to divorce. There are indications that spouses are growing apart and that dissolution of the marriage is inevitable, which usually develop in the weeks and months before filing divorce paperwork. During this period of irretrievable breakdown, one spouse may be tempted to destroy or waste marital assets—often out of spite and with the view that destruction of property is preferable to letting the other person have it.

Dissipation of marital assets is a serious matter, so you should discuss your situation with an Illinois divorce lawyer right away if you suspect wrongdoing.

Legal Definition of Dissipation of Assets

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DuPage County family lawyers, parenting timeAs the parent of a minor child who does not live under your roof, you no doubt cherish the time you spend together. While a court may establish your rights to parenting time, whether by agreement or as part of a divorce case, you do not have much guidance to tell you the best ways to exercise your responsibilities to maintain a strong, healthy relationship with your child.

Proper logistics and planning can help ensure a successful parenting time arrangement, and you can also take advantage of the input of an experienced Illinois parental responsibilities lawyer. General advice on making the most of your parenting time includes the following:

  • Make Sure Children Understand the Schedule: Depending on their ages, you should discuss the details of your parenting time schedule—from times and dates to holidays and vacations. A seamless transition between two homes takes some adjustment, but you will want to make sure that your children feel equally comfortable in both spaces. A written schedule provides children with structure and a sense of security.

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DuPage County family lawyers, child support enforcementIf you are a parent who receives financial support for minor children by court order, you may be familiar with certain Illinois laws that allow you to pursue the payor to enforce payment for amounts due. However, the matter may be more complex if the paying parent lives or has moved to another state.

Federal law includes regulations that may provide you with a legal remedy in certain cases when the other parent fails to abide by child support obligations. It is wise to discuss federal law on child support enforcement with an experienced child support lawyer and understand some of the basics.

Failure to Pay Child Support Obligations: A Crime Under Federal Law

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Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County family lawyers, parent is incarceratedGenerally, if a parent is incarcerated after being found guilty, they do not cease to be a parent. Illinois courts tend to abide by the axiom that a child benefits most from having both parents in their life, and will try to practice this whenever possible. As such, unless a parent has committed a violent crime, it is likely that a court will at least consider their position in terms of being a factor in their children’s lives.

Parenting Time

When a parent is incarcerated, he or she will lose his or her ability to visit or take care of their children for the period of the sentence. However, this does not mean that his or her parental rights will be abrogated, or even that they should, depending on the nature of the case and the crime committed.

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Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County family lawyers, marriage invalidThere may be circumstance that lead a couple to request that a court declare their marriage invalid. Invalidity of marriage, commonly known as annulment, is a different process than divorce. A court will only declare a marriage invalid under the specific circumstances; it is important to speak to a skilled attorney if you are interested in pursuing this option.

When is a Marriage Invalid?

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a court may find a marriage invalid if it was entered into under one of the circumstances below:

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DuPage County family lawyers, protective order basicsHuman relationships are complex. Unfortunately, these same relationships can become abusive. Abuse can become more intense if a couple decides to divorce or separate. When this happens, it can be difficult to know what to do in order to protect you and your family. This is particularly true when children are the victims of the abuse. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) specifically forbids a family member or members of the same household from abusing others in their home.

The IDVA defines abuse as:

  • Physical abuse;
  • Harassment;
  • Intimidating a dependent; and/or
  • Willful deprivation.

You Can Take Action

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DuPage County family lawyers, college contribution paymentsWhile it is common for parents to establish college saving funds for their children, the financial strain of a divorce may distract parents from saving for college. It is also possible that the divorcing couple may find they have different expectations about funding their child’s college. One parent may want to fully fund college, while the other parent only wants to cover certain expenses. These sorts of differences may make it difficult for a divorcing couple to agree on funding their child’s expected costs for college.

If a savings plan was not established before a divorce, it can be difficult to set up an account or agree on a strategy for paying for college. A court can order one, or both parents to make college contribution payments. College contribution payments are a form of child support and may make it easier to plan for a child’s future college expenses.

Petition to Request a College Contribution

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child custody, no court order, DuPage County family lawyersUsually, when a couple with children divorces, a custody order is issued by a judge as part of their marriage dissolution process. Yet, if you were never married to the father of your child, and you are now separated, it is very likely that there is no formal custody agreement. However, this does not necessarily mean that both parents have joint custody rights. If your ex is trying to take your child from you, you should seek immediate help from an experienced child custody lawyer.

In most cases, if your child has been living with you, you are automatically considered to have legal custody. You do not need a court order saying that you are the custodial parent. Even if your child’s father has had his paternity legally established, either by voluntarily signing an agreement, or by being proven to be the father in court proceedings, this does not mean that he has custody of your child, even jointly.

Child Abduction by a Father

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