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paying for college tuition, DuPage County family law lawyersIf you are a divorced parent in Illinois, and your child is nearing adulthood, you may be wondering what your financial obligations will be after he or she turns 18. Under Illinois law, if you are currently ordered to pay child support, you may  also be responsible for covering a portion of your child’s educational expenses. Educational expenses can include post-high school costs, during the period before your child obtains his or her bachelor’s degree.

More often than not, judges entering divorce judgements for couples reserve the decision of college expenses, postponing it until the children grow older. This is because circumstances can change significantly during the time that passes until the children are ready to graduate from high school.

If that time has come, and you need to pin down how much each parent will contribute to the children’s higher education, you may need to return to court with your ex-spouse. First, you will need to file a petition seeking these expenses from your ex in an Illinois court. Until you file this petition, you will not be able to get reimbursed for any educational bills, so the earlier you begin the process, the more likely it is that your ex-spouse will contribute his or her fair share. There are exceptions to this general rule, and if you have incurred expenses already it is certainly worth consulting with an experienced family lawyer to see if an exception may apply to your circumstances.


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.


order of protection, restraining order, domestic abuse, domestic violence, family lawyerDomestic violence is a serious issue that plagues many more people than some realize. When a person thinks about domestic violence, it is usually within the context of a romantic relationship, but the legal definition expands beyond those terms. For those who are the victims of such violence, protection is available and can be legally enforced.

Domestic Violence

Although the majority of domestic violence cases likely occur between two people who are or were romantically involved, there are other situations that also give rise to domestic violence according to law, and they deserve attention as well. In order to have a request for an order of protection granted, the person must demonstrate that they are the victim of domestic violence. For this purpose, the law defines domestic violence as:


juvenile crime, juvenile sex offender, DuPage County family law, family lawyer, IllinoisMany people can undoubtedly relate to a situation in which they have made a poor decision as a juvenile. Though the activities associated with poor judgment as adolescents may vary in degree and seriousness, most individuals involved in such a situation usually see the error of their ways, learn, and move on. Others are not as lucky. In fact, some of those juveniles seem to deal with the consequences of a bad decision for the rest of their lives. One such situation involves juveniles who are required to register as sex offenders.

The Troubling Statistics

A study recently released by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission states that the requirement for juveniles to register as sex offenders interferes with the juvenile’s efforts at rehabilitation and punishes them for a crime that the majority never commit again. The Commission is recommending banning the practice of adding juveniles’ names to sex offender registries who are under the age of 17. Currently, all juveniles convicted of sex crimes are required to register, and 70 percent of them must do so for life.


Posted on in Family Law

marriage license, Illinois, same sex marriage, same-sex marriage, gay marriage, new law, Illinois lawThe issue of same-sex marriage has been a frequent topic in the news in recent years. Both federal courts and state courts have made decisions regarding its legality over the last few years, with several states, including Illinois, deciding to make gay marriage legal and issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Now, it is suggested that Illinois may start issuing marriage licenses sooner than expected.

Counties in Illinois Issuing Same-sex Marriage Licenses

This week, Champaign County in Illinois started to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The decision to do so came after a federal judge in Cook County ruled that same-sex couples in that county did not have to wait until this summer to obtain a marriage license, when the new gay marriage law will take effect in the state of Illinois. Cook County was the first county to issue such licenses, and now McLean County is set to follow suit next week, making it the third county in the state to make the same decision.


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.


Divorce Attorney IMAGEWhen going through a divorce, one of the most important things you can do to ensure that the process goes smoothly is to hire the right divorce attorney. At the Davi Law Group, we provide personalized attention to all our clients so that they can begin to move on with their lives. When going through a divorce there are several things to keep in mind in order to stay on top of the proceeding—choosing the right divorce attorney is paramount. “It is difficult to know where to turn when you are faced with divorce,” the Huffington Post reports. There are several things to keep in mind when initiating proceedings, according to the Huffington Post, that will help your divorce go as smoothly as possible. The first is to be realistic. An attorney from the Davi Law Group will help you to dissolve your assets, resolve custody and visitation issues, and determine maintenance / alimony agreements. A divorce attorney is not a therapist or marriage counselor, however. “You need to realize that divorce is a legal process… while you might want [your divorce attorney] to listen to your anger, frustration, pain and sadness, that is not their job,” reports the Huffington Post. At the Davi Law Group we handle your case with sincerity and tact, but we also do our best to keep your costs low by avoiding tasks for which we are not trained. We always work in the vein of what is best for you. Another thing a person can do during a divorce to make it as smooth as possible, according to the Huffington Post, is to stay focused on the goal and to know what you want. An attorney from the Davi Law Group can help you determine how best to proceed, but only you can know your personal goals and desires. If you have determined your desired outcome, an attorney from the Davi Law Group can help to make it happen. If you or someone you know is looking for a divorce attorney in Naperville, contact the Davi Law Group today.

Grandparents are integral parts of any family. They offer advice and insight to parents who are raising their own children.  grandparent rights IMAGEThey also can overly spoil their grandchildren with affection, attention and love.  And in some cases, the grandparents have a limited legal right to visitation of their grandchildren in Illinois, especially when the parents divorce. There are certain requirements that must be met for an Illinois court will grant visitation to grandparents.  The first is that the children must be at least one year old.  The other requirement is that one of the following circumstances must exist:
  • One of the parents of the child has been confirmed to be unfit or incompetent
  • One of the parents has been incarcerated in jail or prison for at least three months
  • One of the parents is either dead or has been absent for the preceeding three months
  • The parents are divorced and one does not disagree to the visitation by the grandparents
  • The parents are not married and do not live together
Just as in custody and visitation agreements during divorce, the major deciding factor is what is in the best interest of the grandchildren. A child’s best interest can be based on their preference, the health of the child and grandparents, and whether there is any adverse effect of the visitation.  The reliability and trustworthiness of the grandparents can be seen as a major benefit for children who are missing a parent. These same rights are available to siblings of the children in question, as well as the great-grandparents. But these rights can be terminated in some cases even if a visitation schedule has been established by a court of law. For example, if the parents have given up custody to a separate party other than the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services or a foster care provider, grandparent rights may not apply. In other words, if a different family adopts the child, then the maternal or paternal grandparents will not have their right to visitation. If you are interested in petitioning for visitation with your grandchildren, then take the first step today.  Contact an experienced family law attorney in Warrenville who can be your advocate.
uncontested divorce IMAGEAspects of the divorce process often breed disputes.  The division of property can present issues if one spouse feels like they deserve more or because some assets are difficult to divide.  Children are also a sticking point in most divorce cases as it can be difficult to agree on custody and child support.  Other possibly contentious issues include spousal support. An uncontested divorce is when these issues are settled without the help of the divorce court.  Both spouses come together to agree on these issues by themselves. This process can allow a divorce to be settled quickly and for a lot less money than a drawn out court battle.  That is because most of the heavy lifting is done by the husband and wife. The process begins like any other divorce.  One spouse files the petition with the divorce court.  Then the citation is served to the other party in the divorce.  As long as the respondent agrees to the uncontested to the divorce or fails to disagree to the divorce, then the uncontested divorce can proceed.  The proposed divorce agreement will be reviewed and approved by a judge who will make sure the final decree is equitable to each spouse and follows certain guidelines for child support and the division of property. An uncontested divorce can be increasingly tricky when there are children from the marriage.  It may be easy to agree to a custody or visitation agreement.  Yet, there are things that are harder to review and agree to.  One aspect that might be missed is planning for college or other education costs.  It is also important to provide health insurance for your children, but who will pay for it is determined in the divorce. Rather than leaving anything to chance, have a legal professional guide you through your uncontested divorce.  Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Wheaton today who can verify the fairness of your uncontested divorce.

Posted on in Divorce

 life after divorce IMAGEDivorce can be an emotional and heartbreaking experience for a family or individual. However, a new study, published in the Journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, suggests that individuals who have endured hardships, like divorce, are more appreciative of the good things in life. The authors of the study note, “The worst experiences in life may come with an eventual upside, by promoting the ability to appreciate life’s small pleasures.” Conducted by Alyssa Croft, Elizabeth W. Dunn and Jordi Quoidbach, their research reveals how “individuals who had dealt with more adversity in the past reported an elevated capacity for savoring.” However, of the 14,986 adult participants, those who were in the midst of a crisis reported a decrease in tendency to savor positive events. While it is natural to feel down when going through a crisis, this study confirms that an appreciation for life is built through these experiences, and that there is hope for moving on. For those struggling to heal and move on, Terry Gasbard, a licensed clinical social worker and college instructor, offers six suggestions. Gasbard’s analysis begins with assuring divorcees that it is normal to be affected by emotional reactions caused by the ending of a relationship, and that despite the divorce, those individuals are still worthwhile and do not have to allow the end of their love relationship to define their self-worth. She states, “No person can complete you.” She also suggests allowing proper time for healing and staying open to “new experiences, hobbies, or interests” that could not pursued prior to divorce. Finally, she suggests forming supportive relationships. Gasbard says, “Being with people who accept and support you can help ease feeling of rejection. Get energized by the possibilities ahead for you.” If you are struggling with divorce in Illinois, please know you do not have to go through it alone. Contact an experienced DuPage Family Law Attorney who will compassionately guide you through the legal process.

The Washington Post reported that, on November 5, the Illinois House of Representatives passed House Bill 5170 which, if signed by Governor Pat Quinn, will create the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Under this Act, all Illinois state laws that apply to marriage will apply equally to marriages between two people of the same sex as to marriages between two people of different sexes. According to the Post, an aide to Governor Quinn stated that he would sign the bill within the month.

Gay marriage may soon be legal in Illinois. Illinois gay marriage image.Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act

Before June 2011, same-sex couples were not entitled to the same marital rights as different-sex married couples. Under the law, married couples in Illinois received all protections that come to mind when imagining marriage: visitation rights in hospitals, survivor benefits in jointly-held property, and parental rights in children. Same-sex couples, on the other hand, were not merely prevented from obtaining these rights through marriage, they were expressly forbidden. The current Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act prohibits “a marriage between [two] individuals of the same sex.” The current Act even goes so far as to outright declare that “[a] marriage between [two] individuals of the same sex is contrary to the public policy of” Illinois.

It is commonly known that the growth of social media usage in our country has caused many problems for people in relationships, including marriages. However, there is a bright side to the growing popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter. Social media sites can be helpful during divorce proceedings because it provides an easy way to find attorneys and other resources, and it allows parents going through divorce and custody battles to stay in touch with their kids.  If you have recently found yourself facing a divorce, social media can lead you to many resources, including information on attorneys or how to handle custody. If you are beginning the search for a dependable DuPage County divorce attorney, social media can be helpful in verifying professional reputations. It is very likely that, if you perform a search on a prospective attorney, you will be able to find what past clients have to say about any experience working with that attorney. According to Virginia L. Colin, a professional family mediator from Virginia, social media can be used to “find information about matters such as spousal support, how to tell the kids (about the divorce), whether retirement accounts are marital assets in their state,” and so forth. Social media can also be helpful in regards to keeping up with your children. It can be very beneficial for those parents who are separated from their kids for some reason. These reasons can include military deployment, foreign service work abroad, or just working in another part of the country. Social media sites like Facebook can help distant parents keep tabs on everything that is going on with their children. After a divorce, social media can solve a lot of problems in which one parent does not share any information with the other about what’s going on with the kids. Social media lets parents see what their child is up to as well as how they feel about various things, maybe even about the divorce. It can sometimes improve communication between parent and child. If you are facing divorce, be sure to contact an experienced Illinois divorce attorney to assist you in answering any questions you may have and helping you through the process.
In the event that you and your spouse get a divorce, there are still ways for you to financially support one another if need be. This can be done through spousal support, also called spousal maintenance or alimony. All of these terms, which can be used interchangeably, refer to “payments or transfers of money or assets from one spouse to another after a divorce.” Illinois Spousal SupportIllinois spousal support laws were created in order to make sure a divorced spouse does not suffer from a decrease in their standard of living because of the divorce. It is not uncommon for only one spouse to be working actively and financially supporting both parties. In the event of a divorce, it would be very difficult for the unemployed spouse to quickly find a job capable of supporting their normal lifestyle. Spousal support seeks to make sure that the divorced spouse can ease their way back into a suitable standard of living without any detrimental lifestyle changes. Contrary to what many people may think, the husband is not automatically the one who must pay spousal support. Many former wives also pay spousal support, and it is unconstitutional for any state to hold that only a husband can pay and only a woman can receive spousal support. In Illinois, the courts do not consider marital misconduct when settling the amount of alimony. They refer to other factors which include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The financial needs of each spouse
  • Both spouses’ income and property, including marital property, awarded to both spouses and any non-marital property awarded to the spouse requesting alimony
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
If you and your spouse are getting a divorce in Illinois and you feel that one of you may need to request spousal support, do not hesitate to contact an Illinois family law attorney to assist you with the process.
DuPage County family law attorneyAfter many years of continuous deployments for military members, the Department of Defense is seeing the impact of military life on the family at home. A study, conducted by the Rand Corporation, followed the marital status of 500,000 soldiers over a nine year period to explore the likelihood of divorce within the military. Military divorce can be extremely complex, particularly when the spouse is going through periods of deployment and not on U.S. soil. If you’re contemplating getting a divorce, hiring a lawyer is critical for receiving accurate legal guidance for your situation. The study found that couples in the military are 28% more likely to get a divorce if one or both spouses is deployed for one year or more. One of the study authors noted that this could be because the length of time these couples spend apart highlights weaknesses in the relationship and causes communication problems for the couple. The stressful conditions associated with deployment (for all family members) only serves to increase tension. Military divorce can take longer if one or both spouses is on active duty in a remote area or is permanently stationed overseas. Some states have relaxed residency requirements that were making it challenging for servicemen and women to file for divorce. It’s critical for anyone considering a military divorce to do some reading about the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, since this federal statute lays down guidelines for child support, military retirement pay/pension access, and spousal support for military families. The Defense Department may undertake future studies to further explore the impact of deployments on the lives of service members and their families. Deployments and military life can be challenging for any family. If you have been considering learning more about divorce, you should proceed by scheduling an appointment with a qualified Naperville family law attorney.

Statistics show that an excess of one hundred thousand residents of Illinois are directly impacted by domestic violence every year. Illinois is taking big steps to change the way that both the offenders and victims are handled. TheresaGovernor Pat Quinn signed four separate bills that will become effective January 1, 2014. These new laws are designed to not only hand down stiffer punishments to the offender, but to prevent the violence from happening at all. The first bill addresses the issue of repeat offenders of domestic violence. Today, crimes in this category are considered misdemeanors and so there is not much punishment given. When this law becomes effective, repeat offenders will be charged with a felony. The second law deals with the privacy of the victim. In cases where the victim is covered by medical insurance that is carried by the abuser, there will be new procedures put into place so that the abuser will not be able to obtain information such as the address or other contact information given by the victim. This law recognizes the manipulative nature of many abusers when it comes to finding their victim. The third law extends the deadline for reporting for a task force that is currently developing a program for prevention that is aimed at adolescent and teen violence. The final law is aimed toward schools and the trend of teen dating violence. It requires that the schools educate children about the dangers and signs of dating violence and it also puts new procedures in place that dictate the school staff response. These are big changes for Illinois. If you have been the victim of domestic violence in your relationship, an empathetic and experienced Illinois family law attorney can advise you of the divorce law as it applies to your situation.

Posted on in Divorce

RigsIllinois has specific requirements before a judge will declare that a marriage is invalid (or annulled). Those seeking to have a marriage declared invalid must show that one of the following four circumstances is true:

  1. a party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage at the time the marriage was solemnized, because of mental incapacity or infirmity, or because of the influence of intoxicants, or a party was induced to enter into a marriage by force, duress or by fraud;
  2. a party is unable consummate the marriage through sexual intercourse and the other party did not know of the inability;
  3. a party was aged 16 or 17 years old and did not have the consent of parents or guardian, or judicial approval; or
  4. the marriage is prohibited.
Each of these grounds is highly fact-specific and can give rise to litigation because a lot can ride on whether the marriage ever existed. Imagine a scenario where an elderly man decides to divorce his wife of many years with whom he has had several children, and marries a younger spouse. Shortly thereafter, the husband, who has been ill, dies without a will. Under Illinois inheritance laws, his new wife would get half of his property and the children would get the other half. As one may imagine, the children from the prior marriage will attempt to disinherit the new bride as she was with their father only for a brief period. To do so, they have to challenge the validity of the marriage. They could argue that considering the father’s old age and illness, he lacked the mental capacity to acquiesce to the marriage. If the judge agrees with them, the judge would declare the marriage invalid, which means that the new spouse was never a spouse, and she would not have a claim to the estate. Marriage annulments can have serious consequences. If you have questions, consult an experienced Illinois family law attorney.
LucyMost laws related to separation, divorce and child custody are left up to each individual state. The Chicago Bar Association states that visitation after divorce is focused on the children and what is best for them, not what is best for the parents. Although in the past it has often been assumed that it is best for children to stay with their mother, now courts are taking more factors into consideration and fathers have a better chance to get custody. Judges now say that even when children must live with only one parent, it is very important for them to be frequently reminded that they still have two parents. As long as there are no outstanding factors that should affect the well-being of the children, judges do what they can to allow frequent visitation to the non-custodial parent. If a couple splits up and can agree on custody and visitation plans on their own, then the judge will have an easy job of approving it. On the other hand, if a couple cannot agree, the child will most likely suffer because the judge will have to create a visitation schedule that limits the children’s time with the noncustodial parent. The schedule set up by the judge for visitation may vary based on the relationship between each parent and child, the ages of the kids, physical or emotional handicaps that the children may have and the living conditions at each of the parents’ homes. Other important factors that are thought of when a parent is given a visitation schedule for his or her child is whether or not it can be altered. It is important to know that failure to pay child support will not affect visitation. If one or both parents wish to change the visitation rights and schedule, it can be taken back to court to be altered, but it cannot be done without the knowledge of both parents. If you are going through a divorce or already have and are concerned about the visitation of your children, contact a family law attorney in Illinois for help. Attorneys at the Davi Law Group will help you get the best visitation for your child possible.  
Each state has different laws when it comes to distribution of property after death. In most cases, property distribution is straightforward because either there is little left to distribute or the deceased had a will. Alas, life is unpredictable and it is not uncommon for a person to die without a will, in which case the Illinois Probate Act governs distribution. RigersIf there is no will, a person is said to have died intestate, and here is how the Illinois laws distribute any property: First, the estate must pay all the outstanding debts and liabilities (there are some exceptions, but they are beyond the scope of this blog). Second, if there is a surviving spouse and children, half of the estate would go to the spouse and the other half would go to the children equally and per stirpes (see below for the meaning of ‘per stirpes’). As a side note, the surviving spouse only refers to current spouses and does not include ex-spouses; however, surviving children include those from the current and any prior marriages, as well as adopted children. If there is no surviving spouse, the estate goes to the children per stirpes. Per stirpes means that the property is divided equally at the first generation of children and the shares follow down each line until there are no more descendants. For example, let’s suppose the deceased has three children, A, B and C. Assume that upon death, A and B survived the deceased, but C did not. Further, assume that C left behind two children. In a per stirpes system, A and B would each get 1/3 of the estate, and C’s children would divide the 1/3 that would have gone to C. In other words, once the estate is divided at the first level, it flows down the line. Illinois inheritance laws are complicated and some would argue, arcane. If you have questions, consult an experienced Illinois estate planning attorneys.

Charles (Dropbox) adoptionFor an adoption to take place, the person available to be adopted must be placed in the home of a person or persons eligible to adopt. All states have laws that specify the persons who are eligible to be adopting parents and the persons who can be adopted. In addition, there are laws that designate the persons or entities that have the authority to make adoptive placements. Contacting a qualified attorney in your state will ensure that you are aware of what lies ahead of you. Who May Adopt? In general, any single adult or a husband and wife jointly can be eligible to adopt. In addition, a stepparent can adopt the birth child of his or her spouse. But, other eligibility requirements such as age, state residency, and sexual orientation of the adoptive parents can come into play. (In the state of Illinois, the petitioners for adoption must be state residents.) Who May Be Adopted? All states allow the adoption of a child. Some states also allow the adoption of an adult, under certain circumstances. In Illinois, the adopting parent must be in a sustained relationship for a period of at least two years with the adult to be adopted. Who May Place a Child for Adoption? In general, any person or entity who has the right to make decisions about a child’s care and custody may place that child for adoption. Such persons include the birth parents or the child’s legal guardian; legal entities include state departments of social services or child-placing agencies. Non-agency placements. Most states allow non-agency placements of children for adoption, which are often referred to as private or independent adoptions. One type of private adoption allowed in most states is the direct placement of a child by the birth parent with an adoptive family. Many states that allow direct placement have detailed statutory regulations to protect the interests of the parties to the adoption. Since laws vary by state and are always being revised and added to, you should contact an Illinois family law attorney if you are seeking to adopt.

Posted on in Divorce
With a backlog of over three million dollars owed in back child support, Illinois officials are making every effort to get this money collected, even if it means going after a person’s casino winnings. If passed, House Bill 2843 will allow garnishments of monies won gambling. The winnings of parents who have not paid back child support would be turned over to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, who would then distribute the funds to the custodial parents. PamIn addition to garnishing wages,Illinois has the authority to withhold certain services in the attempt to make parents who avoid their responsibility to pay up. For example, he or she may not be allowed to renew a driver’s license or other professional or sportsman licensing until back child support is paid. It is estimated that if House Bill 2843 is passed, $1 million will be distributed to custodial parents. Some say this amount is small in comparison to the $3 million owed, but it is a start, according to child support advocates. In a perfect world, both parents work together in the best interest of the child or children. Unfortunately, measures have to be in place to ensure custodial parents get help from the ex-spouse. Far too often, there is one parent raising the children. When ex spouses do not pay court ordered child support, the custodial parent may have to compensate by working longer hours, which ultimately affects the child. If you are considering divorce or are a custodial parent who is owed back child support, get your questions answered by calling a qualified Illinois Child Support attorney. He or she will work hard to ensure your interests and your children’s interests are protected. The meet and greet consultation is free.

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at Freedigitalphotos.net

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