Free Initial Consultations

Phone630-657-5052
With offices in Naperville, Joliet, Wheaton & Chicago
Livas Law Group
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in family law

DuPage County family law attorneysDivorce rates for the American population have been on the decline for several years now, but until recently, no one really understood why. After an analysis from the University of Maryland, experts believe the decline can be directly attributed to the millennial generation. However, it is not just the divorce rate that this demographic is influencing; they are also doing marriage very differently than their predecessors. Learn more in the following sections, including how a seasoned family law attorney can help you protect your marriage, should a divorce ever occur, or assist you in pursuing a favorable outcome in a pending Illinois divorce case. 

Millennials and Marriage

The institution of marriage was once a way of life, what was expected of younger people when they left home. Sadly, those marriages often ended in divorce, either because the parties faced irreconcilable differences or simply decided that they were no longer happy or compatible. Some of those divorcees eventually remarried again; a fair percentage of those marriages also ended in divorce. Millennials are doing things a little differently. Many are waiting until they have an education and career in place before tying the knot - if they decide to do it at all. As a result, they are inherently less likely to divorce. Millennial couples are also signing prenuptial agreements at an almost unprecedented rate, which is helping to protect parties if a divorce does later occur. 

Millennials and Divorce

Although divorce has risen for some of the population (particularly those aged 55 or older), millennials are divorcing at a much lower rate than previous generations. Experts say that part of this could be attributed to their waiting so long to marry, but there are likely other factors at play as well. Higher education and income levels are common among married millennials; both have long been associated with a lower risk of divorce. Much of the poorer population is deciding to cohabitate, rather than marry, which is making it more of an institution for the “elite.” Some may see this as a negative, but there are some benefits - so long as the cohabitating parties have taken steps to protect themselves, should the couple decide to call it quits (i.e. establishing parentage for any shared children, having a cohabitation agreement that addresses how assets, leases, and other aspects of separating will be handled, etc.). 

...

Illinois parenting time lawyersLife after divorce can be hectic, especially if you share children with your ex-spouse, but a new phone application is trying to make it a little easier. Designed to help divorced parents manage their children’s schedules from two completely different homes and devices, it is revolutionizing divorce. Learn more about the application and how you can incorporate it into your Illinois parenting plan with help from the following information.

How the App Works

Developed by a divorced Florida dad of two, the application is named Fayr, and it can track everything from time sharing to schedule changes, all in real time. It also permits the exporting of court documents, location check-ins, and can keep track of child-related expenses. Families who are using it sing its praises, saying it helps keep everyone organized – even the kids. Currently available on iOS for a monthly subscription fee, and set to release for Android at the end of 2017, it can also easily be incorporated into an Illinois parenting plan.

...

Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County adoption attorneys, benefits of second adoptionA second parent adoption is a way for a non-biological parent to adopt a child while the biological parent’s rights stay intact. There are many reasons why a second parent adoption may make sense for a wide variety of families.

Second Parent Adoptions

When most people think about adoptions they think about a traditional adoption scenario where the biological parent or parents give up all rights to the child and another person or couple are given parental rights. A second parent adoption is a very different scenario. With a second parent adoption, a biological parent keeps his or her parental rights and the “second” parent is also given parental rights through the adoption process. At the end of the process, another person has all the rights and responsibilities that come with being the legal parent of the child.

...

Posted on in Divorce

Under Illinois child custody law, the idea of custody encompasses two sets of rights: physical custody, which is the responsibility for the child’s personal care; and legal custody, which involves making major decisions about the child’s life. Custody can be shared by both parents, or vested only in one parent, depending on what a family law judge decides is best for the child.

For all court decisions relating to children, the central consideration is the best interests of the child. Many factors go into determining the best interests, including the wishes of the child, the wishes of the parents, the quality of the relationship of the child with her parents, siblings, or other close relatives, the child's level of adjustment to her home, community, and school, the mental and physical health of the child and parents, physical violence, threats, or other abuse by the parent, of the child or others, and the willingness of each parent to cooperate to allow for a relationship between the child and the other parent to continue and grow.

The default assumption for courts is that the involvement of both parents is best for the child, but this can be disproven if one parent raises valid concerns about the negative physical, mental, moral, or emotional impact of the other parent on the child. Based on their findings, a court will decide to either grant sole or joint custody over the child.

...

Posted on in Divorce
child divorce reactionPerhaps the only thing more challenging than navigating a divorce is doing so when there are children involved. Cases differ in circumstances, but for the most part, it is generally true that parents are very concerned with the well-being of the children as they go through this process and their family is ultimately changed. There is no shortage of advice for divorcing parents with children, and many parents welcome ways to make the transition easier for their kids. A recent article suggests 10 things that all parents who are going through a divorce should say to their children for encouragement and reinforcement during this difficult time.

Advice for the Children

  1. Assure them that what is happening between you and your spouse is not their fault. It is normal for them to look for reasons their parents are divorcing, and some children may blame themselves.

  2. Validate their emotions by letting them know there is no wrong way for them to feel. Their emotions can fall on a spectrum, just as is possible for the spouses who are divorcing. Whether they feel sad or angry, let them know their feelings are natural and realize they may change over time.

    ...

Posted on in Family Law
LGBT equalityThere are many organizations dedicated to advocating for social equality among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. This plight often includes the voiced need for legal equality on the local, state, and federal levels. While many areas of the law may be relevant to the fight for equality among the LGBT community, the area of family law can be considered especially relevant. One such familiar example of this is the fight for marriage equality for same-sex couples. Although many states in the country have chosen to recognize same-sex marriage, the fight for equality continues among LGBT equality advocates in other areas. Perhaps in light of this, a local media outlet recently published a news article discussing a report that ranks U.S. cities in their laws and policies relating to LGBT equality.

Municipal Equality Index Report

The Human Rights Campaign is responsible for releasing an annual report called the Municipal Equality Index report, which ranks cities across the country based on a number of factors relating to their laws and policies on LGBT equality. It is the only such nationwide rating system in existence. The index included several local communities to the Chicago area. The rankings take different factors into account and base cities’ scores on a 100-point system. These factors fall into six larger categories: non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, employment policies (including insurance coverage related to transgender individuals, having non-discrimination requirements in place when contracting, and other policies geared toward equal treatment of LGBT city employees), inclusiveness of city services, the city’s law enforcement procedures, and municipal leadership on issues of equality.

The national average for cities included in the study was 59 out of 100. Illinois scored 69 out of 100 based on state laws. Local communities scored the following: Chicago scored 100 out of 100, Springfield 76 out of 100, Champaign 70 out of 100, Joliet 63, Aurora 61, Naperville 59, and Rockford 57 out of a possible 100 points.

...

Posted on in Family Law

Cohabitation CoupleToday, it seems more couples than ever are choosing to live together, whether or not they plan to marry. In fact, a committed couple eventually deciding to move in together is not only acceptable, but may even be expected in our current culture. Despite the prevalence of this practice, there are some important considerations and preparations a couple should take before making the decision to share a home, as a recent article points out. Preparing for the Move While making the decision to live together is likely an exciting and even romantic time for most couples, there are also some serious matters that should be addressed. Couples who plan on sharing a home should be prepared to have an honest discussion about their personal affairs, including their finances. Successfully combining both households may require a bit of work, and preparing a joint budget is a good idea to aid in the process. A budget will also help a couple decide how they will pay bills and other household expenses once they are cohabiting. Taking these steps in advance of moving in together will help avoid conflict down the road and make the transition into sharing a home with a partner that much easier. Another topic couples should discuss before moving in together is their future expectations for their relationship. Both partners should have a clear idea of where the relationship is headed, whether that means marriage or not. In addition to the future state of the relationship, a couple should also discuss how they would handle other life situations should they arise, like a pregnancy. Finally, it would be a prudent choice for cohabitating couples to rent rather than purchase real estate if they are not yet married. Buying a home is a serious financial decision that can have significant consequences if a couple breaks up. There are no clear guidelines or laws in place to address such a situation in the event of a breakup, unlike divorce laws that are in place. Down the Road Even after a couple moves in together, there are still some additional considerations to take into account:

  • Couples who share a home but who are not yet married should keep their finances separate and avoid joint accounts or co-signing for loans, since a breakup would be further complicated by such money matters;
  • A couple who resides together should know the law and how their living arrangement could possibly affect their rights in any given situation;
  • Couples may want to consider living together for a predetermined amount of time in order to test the situation and ensure there are no red flags or other issues that should be addressed before taking such a major step;
  • Couples may want to consider executing a cohabitation agreement, which will designate each partner’s rights and responsibilities in the event of a split.

Family Law Attorney Whether you are interested in executing a prenuptial agreement, cohabitation agreement, or simply need advice on a family law matter, the experienced attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC are here to help you. Contact our DuPage family law attorneys today to schedule a consultation at one of our offices, located in Wheaton, Warrenville, or Chicago.

cohabitationWith more and more family units in America cohabiting before or even in lieu of marriage, some are wondering about the effects that choice has on children of cohabiting couples. A Washington Post article criticized the practice, saying that cohabitation has replaced divorce as the biggest source of instability for families in America. Opponents of the practice maintain that the practice is a big issue for American families.

Increase in Popularity

The practice of cohabitation became increasingly popular in America in the 1970s, either before or as an alternative to marriage. In the early 1990s and leading up to now, cohabitation has become a commonplace venue within which to have and raise children. A report published in 2011 found that children were more likely to experience cohabitation than a divorce between their parents.

...

Posted on in Divorce

marriage documentary HBOThe topic of marriage and divorce in everyday life may be more popular than one might think. Filmmaker Doug Block has completed a documentary titled “112 Weddings” set to air on Monday, June 30th on HBO. The film is dedicated to revisiting couples for whom Block shot wedding videos to inquire about the current status of their unions. The subject matter seems relevant to many people, as it is already getting the attention of some who were not even yet aware of the particular film.

The State of Marriage

The article recounts a woman who overheard Block talking about the concept of the film feeling compelled to begin a discussion with him about the state of her own marriage. It may be unsurprising and even expected that the subject of the film would capture many people’s attention, as many couples in marriages struggle to navigate them successfully. The concept of the film of looking backward and reflecting as opposed to hoping for the best in the future is particularly interesting.

...

Posted on in Family Law
healthy marriage adviceSince almost every adult is aware of the frequency with which married couples divorce, many welcome any insight or ideas on how to keep their own marriages from experiencing the same fate. A recent article examined marriage advice from 10 years ago from a religious magazine. While not everyone may relate to the religious beliefs promulgated by the media outlet, these tips may appeal to a broader audience. Ten Tips for a Strong Marriage In the news article, which revisits a previous column from the early 2000s, both marriage experts and married couples offer 10 tips on what they would advise couples to do soon after they get married. Read on for the 10 tips they say will help to lay the foundation for a strong marriage. Be able to tell each other how you feel. Happy couples will let one another express their feelings while knowing that doing so is not meant to hurt them. Avoid fighting while sharing feelings and instead use it as a form of intimacy to help build on your relationship. Intentionally form an “us.” People who are in successful marriages work at being a couple by doing things together and sharing activities that make them feel bonded. Being a couple also means that each person in the couple is balancing their own needs with the other person’s. Deal well with conflict. Every marriage has conflict, and it is how a couple deals with it that matters. Growing in a marriage involves reconciling differences and avoiding behavior that is negative and damaging such as criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling. Pay attention to sexual issues. Married couples who do not engage in sexual relations very often are undermining the emotional life of their marriage. Not only does having a healthy sex life put a married couple’s focus more on the other person, but it fulfills the need for intimacy. Give attention to the spiritual aspect of your marriage. Studies have reportedly shown that couples who share common beliefs have more satisfying marriages. Reinforce your mutual love and admiration for one another. Showing honor and respect to your spouse despite his or her flaws is usually a sign of a happy marriage. Remind one another of all the things you love about the other person regularly. Do small, nice things for one another. This adds to your relationship so that when a conflict arises, you have positive feelings to draw from so no one feels the relationship is empty. Build a foundation for compromising. Show respect by listening to one another’s point of view and take it into account when trying to resolve differences. Marriage takes work and that can include being upset or frustrated with your spouse, but successful couples avoid letting little things come between them. Think and act like a team. Married couples maintain a sense of fairness and justice about their life together, and realize that they are bonded by their role in each other’s lives and their common goals. Seek out a support system. Happily married couples are often part of a larger group of people who encourage and support each other. This may include a group of other married couples that have things in common. Divorce Attorney No matter how hard they try, couples are not always able to make their marriage work. If you are considering divorce, contact the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC today. We serve clients in Chicago and the greater surrounding area.

divorce rate, Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, family lawAccording to the Family Studies website, previous data that suggested the divorce rate has been on a steady decline since the 1980s may be wrong. A new paper denounces those statistics and instead argues that the rate of divorce has not only gone up, but has risen to record highs. Read on for more about their position and the reasons behind it.

Why the Error?

Researchers are blaming poor data collecting as the reason behind the faulty previous numbers, which painted a more optimistic picture of divorce rates in the U.S. Even if individual counties accurately collected data related to divorce statistics, states then had to compile it and turn it over the the Census Bureau to put the data together on the national level. Something was lost in the process. In addition, it is believed that in the mid-1990s the federal government ceased offering financial support for significant state collection. Some states stopped reporting entirely, ultimately muddying the pool of information related to divorce rates.

...

same-sex marriage, Illinois marriage law, Illinois law, family lawyer, Chicago family lawyerAn article recently published by The Windy City Times discussed same-sex couples being legally allowed to marry across the state of Illinois. Beginning on June 1st, the state’s Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act took effect across the state, giving same-sex couples the right to marry and enjoy all of the same rights and privileges as married heterosexual couples. A number of counties had allowed same-sex couples to procure marriage licenses for the past several months in advance of the law taking effect, in light of a federal ruling in February that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Other counties decided to wait until the law went into effect this month to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Couples Seeking Marriage Licenses

Despite the Federal Court’s ruling in February, county clerk’s offices in Illinois who did accept early applications were not overrun with same-sex marriage license requests. Many of them surmised that this was perhaps because couples wanted to wait to plan their ceremonies and weddings for the summer months, since the licenses are only valid for 60 days. Another reason couples may have put off getting their marriage license right away is because a portion of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act allows couples who have already entered into a civil union to backdate their licenses to the date of their union, without the need for a new ceremony or a new fee. This rule did not apply until June 1st.

...

birth record, birth certificate, adoption, adoptee, your rights, illinois adoption lawyer, DuPage County adoptionThe adoption process is different for almost everyone, parents and children included. While some adoptees may never wish to find out more information regarding their birth parents, others are eager to connect on some level with their biological family. As a recent news article reported, the Illinois law giving adoptees the right to view their birth records makes all the difference to the latter group.

Illinois Law

Several years ago, Illinois law changed to give adopted persons the right to view birth records including their birth certificates, documents that were previously unavailable to them, since they were sealed in connection with adoption proceedings. Those adoptees are voicing their appreciation for the law change this week in Springfield. Their appearance also serves another purpose: to encourage states who have not changed their laws in viewing such documents to do so. Many plan on telling their stories at the state capitol.

...

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.

...

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.

...

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.

...

marriage tips, Illinois divorce lawyer, DuPage County Family lawyer, DuPage divorce attorney, happy marriageThe statistics for the rate of divorce across the country are staggering. While different situations lead to divorce, not all couples who initially consider or plan on divorcing actually go through with it. A recent article published by USA Today examines this fact and considers what makes separated couples give marriage another shot.

Research on the Decision to Divorce

The decision to divorce is usually a hard and complicated one. It often begs the question, “Why do people decide to divorce?” and, other times, “Why do couples sometimes change their minds about getting divorced?” According to the article, new research has been done to examine these questions and shows that there is even uncertainty among those couples who have already filed for divorce.

...

child abuse IMAGEChild abuse is a heinous and often hidden crime that is difficult to detect and, even when detected, it can be difficult to punish the perpetrators. Once child abuse is suspected, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (“DCFS”) has in place an extensive plan to investigate the allegations and concrete measures to take to further protect the child from harm.

Child Protection often begins with a simple call to the Child Abuse Hotline. A person speaks with a Child Protective Services (“CPS”) worker, who has special knowledge and training on the child abuse laws of the state. If, at the end of the call, the CPS worker determines a formal report needs to be written, a CPS worker will begin a formal investigation. The mandate requires that the investigation begin within 24 hours of the written report.

 Once a formal investigation commences, a CPS worker will investigate the allegations, and the child’s immediate needs will be assessed to determine if there is imminent harm to the child. If that is the case, emergency services, such as protective custody, may be implemented right away. The CPS worker will also have influence on the overall determination of what long-term care the child will need once the investigation ends. One major impediment to the process is that of detection. Signs of child abuse can be subtle, or the perpetrator may be taking great lengths to hide the abuse. In some cases, a parent may be in denial or turning a blind eye if outright physical signs are not present. Because of this, the number of people calling into a Child Abuse Hotline may only comprise a small portion of child abuse cases occurring at home. Therefore, additional measures must be put in place to help DCFS detect child abuse as early as possible.

Medical Intervention

...
courtThe process of settling a divorce can involve many court appearances.  In most cases, the attorneys representing each spouse will act in the spouse’s best interest.  But, on occasion, a spouse may be asked to appear in court in order to supply evidence about related issues, such as child support, child custody, or the division of property.  The following are some tips that can ensure that you make the best appearance possible. Dress for Success You only have one chance to make a first impression.  Dressing appropriately for divorce court is very important.  The proceedings of a divorce court should be treated with respect and formality. Both genders should be dressed nicely without being flashy.  Also consider covering tattoos, earrings and even leaving behind jewelry. Be Organized Make sure that you are on time for your appearance.  Being punctual is respectful manner towards a divorce court judge.  Being early can also allow you to remain calm and collected.  While the divorce might make your temper flair, be reserved with your attitude.  Your attorney can help you prepare for your emotions by letting you know what to expect as well as running through questions that may set you off. Be Honest and Brief When you are being examined in court, it is important to keep your oath of honesty.  But it is also as important to keep your answers short and sweet.  Avoid the desire to tell everything about an event or feeling that you have.  Focus on the purpose of the question and offer only the shortest answer possible.  Offering up any information that is not asked for can hurt your case and inadvertently help your spouse’s.  It is also important to remember that if you do not know the answer, then say that.  Guessing is just as bad as lying. There other things to remember while in divorce court.  An experienced family law attorney can help alleviate your stress about this appearance.  Contact a knowledgeable divorce attorney in Warrenville today.
property splitOne of the major causes of contention during a divorce is the division of property.  While a judge can control the distribution, it does not make the fighting stop.  Arguing about property division can also add a lot of time to the litigation process and more legal costs.  Since both spouses are responsible for accumulating the property of a marriage, it can be more advantageous to divide this property together as well. The first step is to create a record of what is commonly owned.  It is important to include all assets or risk the penalty of omitting property.  Then it is important to assign a monetary value to each item either together or with the help of a third party.  For items like cars, houses, and other expensive and complex assets, it will be necessary to consult an expert to value them.  Next go through the list together to find if it is more logical for one spouse to continue owning the property.  If it seems necessary for equality, the assigned values of each asset can allow a tally for each spouse. If assigning a logical owner does not work, there are other ways to accomplish a split as a couple.
  • Sell the property in a garage sale and divide the cash equally to each spouse
  • Use sealed bids on each asset where the highest big wins that item.  But then the losing spouse is awarded an equalizing payment.
  • Use an alternating turn system where each spouse can choose regardless of value.  First pick is determined by a coin flip.  Any discrepancy in total value can be equalized later by taking debt.
  • Hold an auction where each spouse bids on each item, with bids increasing by five percent to insure that bids aren’t constantly a dollar more.
If spouses can draft a property division agreement, then the divorce court can uphold it in the final settlement.  Occasionally the judge will question if an agreement seems unfair.  But the direction of a divorce attorney can ensure that the agreement is in your best interest.  Contact an experienced divorce attorney in DuPage County to review your options for dividing marital property.
Back to Top