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Illinois domestic violence lawyersVictims of abuse often assume that a documented history of violence will protect them and their children during and after a divorce. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Instead, abusive spouses often use their children as a way to get close to the victim again. The means and methods for doing so vary from one case to the next, but with proper advocacy and protection, victims and their children can reduce the risk of future abuse. Learn more in the following sections, including how the assistance of a seasoned divorce attorney can help to mitigate against the issues that often arise in a divorce from an abusive partner. 

Make Safety Your Primary Focus

Divorce is a complex process, with many pitfalls, but the biggest threat to victims of domestic violence is that of continued abuse. As such, the primary focus should be safety. Create a safety plan and, if necessary, obtain an order of protection. If the children are not covered under the order of protection (which is a possibility), then victims are encouraged to make child exchanges in a safe, public place (i.e. the police station). Do not engage in arguments and never agree to meet your spouse alone - not even to talk about the children. Instead, seek assistance and support from an experienced attorney. 

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County family law attorneys, annulmentsAnnulments are often thought of as a legal process you go through after using bad judgment during a trip to Las Vegas. However, an annulment is a very specific proceeding under Illinois law. The official term according to the statute is “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage,” and it is not as available as you might think.

There are exacting requirements to qualify for the annulment process, and the rules regarding eligibility are quite strict. Therefore, if you are considering an annulment, you should discuss your circumstances with an Illinois divorce lawyer who can advise you on annulments and other available options.

Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage Versus Divorce

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DuPage County divorce lawyers, Illinois divorce lawyerDivorce can be emotionally draining and complex, but having a skilled lawyer on your side can make the experience less taxing. An Illinois divorce attorney will represent your interests in court to ensure protection of your rights under the law. Hence, your relationship with your attorney is important: Finding the right fit with a divorce lawyer is key to making the process as smooth as possible. You would not buy a car or home without conducting some research, and it is just as essential to do your homework when looking for an attorney. Consider the following factors when searching for a legal professional.

Where to Look

You may see ads on TV or online offering divorce services, but there are other resources to consider when looking for a divorce lawyer. If you have friends or family members who have been through the process, ask for a referral if those individuals were pleased with the attorney they used. Plus, you can also consult with state or local bar associations that maintain a lawyer referral service. These databases are typically organized by area of practice, so you know whether an attorney handles divorce cases.

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DuPage County family law attorneys, modifying spousal maintenanceYour circumstances can change considerably in the months and years after your divorce, especially your financial situation. The spousal maintenance arrangement ordered by the court as part of the dissolution of marriage process may not be appropriate anymore, but you do have options for amending the terms. While you should discuss the specifics for modifying spousal support with an Illinois divorce lawyer, an understanding of certain general information may prove helpful.

State Law on Spousal Maintenance Modification

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that an order for spousal maintenance can be modified by showing a “substantial change in circumstances.” Both the ex-spouse receiving support and the one paying it can request a change to increase, decrease, or terminate maintenance payments. The law lists a number of factors indicating a substantial change in circumstances, including:

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valuation of a businessProperty division is often a hotly contested issue of divorce. When a family business is involved, property division becomes even more complex and often much more contested. The parties must establish what the business is actually worth and ultimately, what to do with it.

Remember that under Illinois law, property acquired during the marriage (absent property acquired by gift, inheritance, or other special circumstances) is considered marital property subject to the equitable division of the courts. Any business started by either of the parties during the marriage would therefore qualify as marital property.

Valuation of the Business

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marital propertyDivorce affects everyone differently. Sadly, many of those going through divorce proceedings result to ugly and resentful behavior, primarily aimed towards the soon-to-be ex-spouse. If one spouse has access to the other’s personal property that they know the other cherishes, it is not uncommon for that spouse to threaten or actually sell off or give away those belongings in an attempt to upset the owner. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with this form of attack and ensure that your cherished possessions are protected throughout the divorce process, even while they may be located in the house where your soon-to-be-ex resides.

Protecting Possessions

Think of this real world example: The wife is residing in marital home during divorce. The wife finds her husband’s prized baseball memorabilia collection in the basement and decides to put everything in the collection on eBay to spite her soon-to-be-ex.

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divorce social mediaSocial media currently plays a major role in our society. More and more people of all ages are signing up for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media websites. Many people increasingly turn to social media during their divorce to voice their feelings, meet new people, or in hopes of gaining support from loved ones. As much as you may enjoy using Facebook or another preferred social media platform, it is important to understand that certain actions on social media websites may be used against you during your divorce.

The Reality

As strange as it may seem, there may be people actively searching your social media accounts in an attempt to dig up information to use against you in your divorce case. A study a few years back stated that Facebook was the biggest source of social media evidence to use during divorce cases at the time. Although your spouse’s attorney may not be actively searching the web for your accounts, mutual friends, your ex’s family members, or often times your ex may be doing just that.

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dating during divorce processThere are a multitude of articles and blog posts expressing opinions about the consequences of people dating during the divorce process. The problem is that most of those posts contain conflicting information, and include some facts and a lot of fiction. This post aims to explain a bit about what issues dating during divorce may actually pose.

What You Really Need to Know

  • One very real danger of dating during the divorce process involves the concept of dissipation. Dissipation occurs when one spouse uses marital property for something solely for his or her own benefit and unrelated to the marriage, at a point where the marriage is breaking down. Money spent on new relationships commonly falls within the definition of dissipation. Birthday or anniversary presents for your new boyfriend/girlfriend, inviting them to join you on vacation, or even taking them to a nice event in downtown Chicago, can all become the basis of a dissipation claim your soon to be ex’s attorney may bring against you.

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Posted on in Divorce

equal parenting timeIn Illinois and likely in other states across the country, many court systems are hearing arguments by groups and other organizations advocating for equal parenting time in child custody cases. These groups make their case based on reason, as well as appeals to emotion, to some extent. It is often argued that a child benefits the most from having an ongoing, consistent relationship with each parent. In many cases, this makes sense, and even those who are adamant that equal parenting time is in a child’s best interest acknowledge there are certain exceptions to this general rule. However, a recently published article points out that there are those on the opposite side of this issue, regardless of how prevalent equal parenting schedules are becoming.

Legal Measures

Many states are facing decisions involving legal efforts to change standards for courts in making child custody determinations. To be sure, the country has come a long way in the evolution of child custody decisions and parental rights. In the early history of the United States, fathers generally kept custody of their children and mothers did not enjoy legally enforceable rights.

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same-sex marriageWith the legality of same sex-marriages changing in many states across the country, legal issues involving the status change are sure to arise. Since this is a relatively new social change in society, it may take a while for the law to catch up and apply appropriately to many situations involving same-sex marriages. A recent article discussed the fact that divorce laws in many states have yet to keep up with the changing definition of marriage that is being accepted in many states.

Different Laws in Different States

One common problem that arises for same-sex couples who decide to marry presents itself where the couple has a marriage ceremony in a state that legally recognizes same-sex marriage, but reside in another state, where they may later seek to divorce. An issue comes up if the state in which the couple seeks a divorce does not recognize same-sex marriage to begin with. Cases like this can potentially present many legal obstacles. If the state in which the couple lives does not recognize same-sex marriage, they would most likely lack any jurisdiction to void the marriage, something many judges in such states are reportedly deciding.

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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.

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children of divorce, divorcing parents, Illinois divorce lawyer, DuPage family lawyerCouples who decide to divorce face a difficult decision, particularly when children are involved. Many parents worry about their child’s well being throughout the divorce process, however, many cases suggest that parents themselves are the ones who have the most impact on their child’s ability to bounce back after the marriage has ended. While one may be hard pressed to find someone who would not do anything they could for their child, divorce proceedings may appear to be an exception to that rule. Some parents may let their contempt for the other parent cloud their judgement and use children as a weapon, whether it is intentional or not.

Causing Damage

A recent article suggests that children of divorce can suffer far-reaching and life-changing damage when not treated properly. Children are often victims of divorce, and they are sometimes used by parents as weapons to hurt one another in the breakdown of the marriage. This tactic not only deviates from doing what is in a child’s best interest, but truly hurts the child’s well-being in a very real way. Parents often think that divorce is an adult process, but children’s lives are just as impacted, if not more.

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Posted on in Divorce

children of divorce, life after divorce, children, divorce, DuPage County divorce lawyerMany parents who decide to divorce are primarily concerned with how the breakdown of the family will affect their children. The time after a divorce is finalized will certainly be a period of adjustment, but adjusting is not always as traumatic for children as some divorced parents may fear. In fact, some kids adjust surprisingly well to their parents’ divorce, particularly those whose parents provide them with love and attention and focus on their well being throughout the divorce while keeping them shielded from conflict and anxiety.

Look for Signs

A recent article suggests the following signs show that children are coping well with their parents’ divorce:

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce trends, divorce rate, reasons for divorceIt is no secret that the divorce rate in the U.S. is high; almost half of all marriages will eventually end in divorce. Many couples make the mutual decision to divorce, while others try to save their marriage no matter the cost. However, if at least one person in the couple is thinking about divorce, it may indicate something is wrong with the relationship.

Six Signals Indicating Imminent Divorce

According to a recently published article, there are signals that are usually present to indicate a divorce may be imminent. Although there are likely many more, here are six of the the most common signs that a divorce may be in a couple’s future:

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children of divorce, childhood obesity, life after divorce, parenting, Illinois divorce attorneyParents who divorce often worry about their children’s well being throughout the process and after the family is split up. It is undoubtedly a challenging time for children and their parents. A new article suggests that one of the things parents should add to their list of concerns when they divorce is whether their child will struggle with excessive weight gain.

Children’s Weight Gain after Divorce

New research is suggesting that children of divorced parents often struggle with weight gain when their parents part ways. A study was done of 3,000 kids in Norway in the third grade, which found that boys were especially prone to weight gain in connection with their parents’ divorce. the study found that boys of divorced parents had a 63 percent higher chance of being classified as either obese or overweight than boys whose parents were married. The same group was found to have a 104 percent higher chance of being abdominally obese.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce finances, prepare for divorce, DuPage County divorce attorneyWhether you and your spouse have discussed the possibility of divorce, you know your marriage is in disarray, or you have simply made the decision to end your marriage on your own, there are certain steps you should take prior to filing for divorce. Heeding this advice may not only serve to protect your interests down the road, but may also make the divorce process much smoother and easier to endure. Read on for some important first steps to take before heading to the courthouse.

Things to Do Before You Divorce

  1. Do not discuss your intentions or the facts of your case with anyone, particularly if you believe your spouse will react badly to your request for divorce. This may require you to refrain from speaking to others in the presence of your spouse, and be more careful about sharing information over your phone or computer of he or she also has access to the device. If you are both in agreement about obtaining a divorce, this may be less important for you.
  2. Start your own savings account. This will enable you to afford living expenses and legal fees as they come up. Once your spouse learns of your plans for divorce, or if your divorce is contentious, he or she may begin closing joint accounts and canceling credit cards which will limit your access to funds.
  3. Begin collecting financial documents that will be relevant to your case. This may include tax returns for recent years, retirement and other account statements, bank accounts, and credit card statements. Look over the statements for unexplained or unexpected withdrawals.
  4. Obtain a copy of your latest credit report so you have a good idea of the joint debts and credit cards you hold with your spouse.
  5. Begin compiling information related to any children of the marriage, and how you fulfilled your role as a parent and a spouse. Make a list of all of the ways in which you cared for your child throughout his or her life, and ways in which you continue to do so.
  6. Compile information and documentation as to what your lifestyle was like during the marriage, including regular household expenses. This may be important if one spouse is claiming that the couple enjoyed a certain standard of living during the marriage and wishes to continue with it after divorce.
  7. Begin researching and looking for experienced divorce attorneys in your area who have had successful results for their clients. Schedule a time to meet with a qualified attorney to discuss the facts of your case.

Divorce Attorney

If you are considering divorce, contacting an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney is important. The attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC have successfully represented clients in divorce matters for many years. Contact us today to schedule a consultation regarding your matter. We have offices located in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville.

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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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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chores, household chores, marriage, divorce rate, marriage tips, Illinois family lawyer

Many modern couples seem to have a lot going against them. Everything from career demands to gender stereotypes to a higher-than-ever divorce rate seem to be factors that married couples are aware of and battling these days. Amidst all the negativity, some couples seem to make it work. Couples with successful relationships are probably doing a number of things right that others could learn from. According to a recent news article, one of those things contributing to their success could be something as simple as sharing the household chores.

The Study A study performed by researchers at the University of Illinois that involved examining the beliefs, behaviors, and marital quality of 220 newly married couples, found that newlyweds who share the household chores are more likely to remain happily married. The study further found that the equal division of domestic tasks more critically contributed to the marital satisfactions of women than their male counterparts. The happiest couples were comprised of a husband and wife who both believed in equally sharing household chores. Researchers said that newlywed bliss is unlikely to last long if one spouse is considered not to be doing their fair share. This is especially true after the couple begins having children. One researcher said that the way couples determine the division of household chores during their first two years of marriage was especially important, as a pattern is established then that is likely to continue over time. If an unsatisfactory pattern is established early on, it could lead to increased conflict and decreased happiness in the marriage in future years.  Couples’ Expectations The study found that the most satisfied couples share similar experiences and follow through on them. Couples who divided household tasks in traditional ways did not seem to be impacted as much by similar beliefs and behavior when it came to marital satisfaction. In couples where there was a discrepancy in their respective attitudes about division of household labor, it was more likely that marital satisfaction would be affected. If the woman in a couple thinks that household chores should be divided equally, couples who are the most satisfied agree on that point and follow through on their similar expectations. A man’s satisfaction with his relationship is much less likely to be tied to the division of household chores. Researchers think this is either because men do not perceive a discrepancy in the division of household chores, or think that household chores should mostly be done by women. No matter what a couple or individual’s position is on the division of household chores, the most important thing a couple can do is begin their marriage with a clear understanding of each partner’s position on the issue. If they do so, the couple is more likely to understand the other’s expectations and avoid becoming disillusioned as the marriage progresses. Family Law Attorney If you are considering divorce, contacting an experienced divorce attorney is important. The knowledgeable attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can discuss your case with you. Contact us today for a consultation. We have successful experience representing clients in Cook and DuPage Counties.
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