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Posted on in Child Support

child visitation lawWhen the parents of a child are no longer a couple or when their relationship fails, they often have a difficult time reaching an agreement when it comes to custody of any children they have together. Of course, many factors can contribute to the breakdown of a family unit, whether marriage was involved or not. When a couple no longer has romantic feelings in common, but still have a child in common, conflicting opinions may cause issues to quickly arise. When these parents cannot come to an agreement about child custody, the law in Illinois steps in to set a schedule for child visitation.

Visitation Rights

Absent extreme circumstances where a parent may have his or her rights terminated by a judge, every parent has reasonable rights of visitation with regards to their children. If a parent is being denied visitation with their children, he or she has the right to take the matter to court in Illinois and have the case heard before a judge. It is important to note that other family members, including grandparents, do not have the same rights to visitation according to Illinois law, although they, too, may be granted visitation by a judge under certain circumstances.

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relationship coin flipMany couples struggle with the decision to end their relationship. They consider if it is the right choice to make, weighing the consequences of the action and hurt feelings and sadness that will likely arise in the process. While many people may make the decision to end their relationship after much thought and reflection, a recent article suggests that others may leave the final choice about the fate of their relationship up to the random act of flipping a coin.

Approaching Problems

Two authors, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, recently wrote a book urging readers to approach their problems in unique ways. The book, titled ‘Think Like a Freak,’ focuses on encouraging people to start thinking about the world differently. The final chapter of the book is about the positive aspects of quitting. As opposed to the common advice regarding sticking it out through tough times, the authors instead suggest that sticking with something is not always beneficial. Instead, they say, people should quit sooner rather than later.

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illinois order of protectionDomestic violence is a significant problem for many individuals, and a serious crime for offenders. It is defined as the hitting, choking, kicking, threatening, harassing, or interfering with the personal liberty of another by a family or household member. Victims of domestic violence can often secure an order of protection against the abuser as long as he or she fits into the class of persons defined as family or household members.

Order of Protection

Information on the Illinois Attorney General’s website provides that an order of protection is an order from the court that restricts an abuser from engaging in harmful acts towards their victim and is only available to household or family members. An order of protection can act in the following ways, including others:

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Posted on in Child Custody

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

Questions About Adoption

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

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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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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.

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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.

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

Later Problems

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

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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.

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

McAllister’s Transgression

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

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estate planning, estate plan, lawyer, attorney, family lawyer, family law attorneyWhether you are a parent or an adult child interested in beginning a conversation about getting affairs in order, the prospect of discussing your loved one’s death can be intimidating. However, once the participants get over the initial discomfort, having an open discussion about estate planning matters can prove highly beneficial. Here are some tips to open the lines of communication.

Having a Conversation

It is important to have honest yet sensitive communication among close family regarding estate planning. Doing so will help make sure that expectations and feelings about certain responsibilities or obligations designated by the documents are shared with one another.

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

Changing the Concept of Divorce

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

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Posted on in Divorce

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

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

guardianship, limited guardianship, plenary guardianship, disabled teen, disabled adult, testamentary guardianshipRaising a disabled child, particularly one who has psychological or intellectual disabilities can be a difficult and trying experience. As your child approaches his/her 18th birthday, there are a number of things to consider. In most states, the responsibilities of a young adult are assigned when a youth turns 18. Assuming guardianship of your child may be the best option to help you protect your child as they enter adulthood.

Under Illinois state law, there are two types of guardianship that you may consider. The first of these is limited guardianship. This type of guardianship is used when the disabled person can make some, but not all, decisions pertaining to themselves and their finances or estate. When assuming limited guardianship, the powers granted to you must be specifically listed within the court order. This type of guardianship can grant you limited guardianship of the person, finances/estate, or both. The second type of guardianship is plenary guardianship. This type of guardianship is more restrictive than the first, and is used when the “individual’s mental, physical, and adaptive limitations” make it necessary for the guardian to make all important decisions regarding personal care and finances. There is one other option that you need to consider: testamentary guardianship. This is used by parents of a disabled child to designate a guardian upon the death of both parents in your will. While the final guardian will still need to be appointed and approved by the court, this ensures that the courts will take your wishes for guardianship into account before making their decision. It is important to remember that should your proposed guardian be found inappropriate, the court will still have the power to appoint someone else. Knowing which type of guardianship to consider and what steps are necessary to assume guardianship can be difficult. Having a qualified family law attorney can help make the process smoother for your family. Contact the experienced family law attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC today for a consultation on your case.

divorce, DuPage County divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce, divorce rate, divorce trend, reason for divorceA new theory is being tested to curb the divorce rate among newly married couples. In light of the statistic saying almost half of married couples divorce in the first four to five years, many professionals are asking what can be done to improve that number. A recent article suggests that the answer may be easier than one may think.

Watching Movies

One researcher is exploring the possibility that a task as simple as watching a movie with your spouse may curb your chances of divorcing. He has been asking couples to watch five movies per month that have a theme of exploring relationships and then discuss the movies with each other. The idea is to strengthen marriages while couples are happy with the relationship, which, ideally, would improve the odds against getting a divorce. The model suggested offers couples the opportunity to essentially participate in a form of therapy on their own, while also taking part in an activity they would otherwise find enjoyable.

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child custody, parenting, lawyer, attorney, DuPage County, child of divorce, Illinois divorce lawyerThe end of a marriage is an emotionally tumultuous time. This is especially true when children are involved. The prospect of fighting an ex-spouse in court over the legal and physical custody of shared children is overwhelming for most individuals. It usually represents a dramatic life change, affecting parents and children equally. While a court decision regarding child custody may solidify one parent’s relationship with their child, it could irreversibly damage the other’s. A recent article discussed the damage that this system could have on a family, and why courts should favor a shared parenting approach.

The Reality for Non-Custodial Parents Child custody and visitation schedules often result in one parent missing out on a significant portion of their child’s life. This affects not only the parent, but that entire side of the child’s family. Many times, a non-custodial parent is relegated to just a few hours per week and every other weekend to spend with their child. This is sometimes true even in cases where the non-custodial parent has provided care and been involved in the child’s life from the beginning. This schedule allows for very little quality time, and does not allow for the non-custodial parent’s meaningful contribution to their child’s life, which can prove damaging to both the parent and the child and negatively impact the child’s future relationships. Illinois’ Shared Parenting Bill Illinois House Bill 5425 is a proposal aimed at avoiding the damaging effects of a skewed custody arrangement. Under the bill, parents would have 90 days to reach an agreement regarding shared parenting. If they cannot do so, but are deemed to both be good and fit parents, the bill would guarantee the non-custodial parent be awarded at least 35 percent, and as much as 50 percent, of parenting time per week. The purpose of the bill is to promote equal bonding time between the children and both parents. The exact amount of time awarded depends on the best interest of the child or children involved. Although the bill has not yet been passed, it has gotten strong bipartisan support. Opponents of Shared Parenting While the bill may seem like a good idea, not everyone is behind it. Some say that divorce is a complicated issue and each situation must be determined on a case by case basis. While many child custody cases may support a more even split among parents regarding custodial time, not every case would benefit from the same. Opponents say it is best to leave the matter of ordering custody up to the discretion of the judge, who is in the best position to view the evidence presented and make an appropriate determination. Child Custody Attorney It is imperative to consult with an attorney experienced with child custody and support matters if you are a parent fighting for your children. At Davi Law Group, LLC, our attorneys have had successful results in representing clients in such matters. Please contact us for a consultation. We serve clients in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville.

marital homeUsually, when a couple decides to divorce, one of them leaves the marital home they previously shared. However, there are times when one spouse will refuse to leave the home despite the other’s demands. In that case, the spouse requesting that the other party leave may be forced to employ Illinois law in order to have their wishes granted.

 Illinois Law

Under certain circumstances, one spouse can force another to leave the marital home. Whether one spouse can force the other out of the marital home will depend on the specific facts of the situation, and if they can prove the necessary elements before the court. Under Illinois law, one spouse can secure exclusive possession of the marital home in two different ways.

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grandparent rights, Illinois custody laws, Illinois visitation laws, grandparent visitation, Illinois child custody law, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois family lawIn child custody matters, the child’s parents are not the only members of the family whose relationship with the child will be affected. Often times, there are extended family members on both sides who may be interested in securing time and solidifying their relationship with the child. However, under the law, only certain family members are able to petition the court to do so. Additionally, those who are eligible to petition the court will likely only get their requests granted under certain situations.

Illinois Law for Grandparent Visitation

In Illinois, grandparents have the right to seek visitation of a minor grandchild, provided that certain circumstances exist. Not only is the burden of proof for the petitioner to fulfill greater in a grandparent visitation case than in a parent visitation case, but there are also specific factors that the grandparent petitioner must meet in order for the court to award visitation with the minor grandchild.

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spousal support, alimony, spousal maintenance, divorceSpousal maintenance, also referred to as spousal support or alimony, refers to the transfer of money or assets from one spouse to another after a divorce. Spousal support exists in order to prevent a divorced spouse from suffering from a decrease in his or her standard of living due to a divorce.

It is not uncommon in marriages for one spouse to be employed and the other to be untrained or out of the workforce. After a divorce, it is very difficult for those who were not employed outside of the home during the marriage to obtain jobs that allow them to keep up with the standard of living they were used to while married.

 Depending on the circumstances, a couple may choose one of three different types of spousal maintenance. The first type of spousal support is called rehabilitative maintenance. This type of support generally has a set time frame and ends when the receiving spouse is back up on his or her feet. During the set time period, the receiving spouse has a chance to adjust, return to to the job market, and establish their own financial independence. Next, we have permanent maintenance. This type of agreement, hence the name, is permanent and will only end in the event of the death of one of the previous spouses or after a certain condition arises, such as remarriage. Permanent maintenance is sometimes awarded after an exceptionally lengthy marriage or if something is stopping the receiving spouse from entering the workforce, such as a physical disability. Although maintenance is permanent, payments are not set at one sum forever and may be negotiated upward or downward over the years based on changing circumstances. The third and final form of spousal maintenance is called temporary maintenance. Traditionally, this type of support is awarded to a spouse while the divorce is pending, as a divorce can sometimes take up to a year or more to be finalized.  Maintenance will end when the divorce becomes final. Spousal maintenance is not for all divorcing couples, but it is helpful to be familiar with the different options that exist. If you and your soon-to-be-ex are considering setting up a spousal support agreement, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney to assist you.

The “mother-in-law” has historically been the brunt of many comedic one liners. How many mothers-in-law does it take to screw in a light bulb? None – she always gets the son-in-law to do it! How many mothers-in-law does it take to ruin a marriage? - Just one, mine!

If you and your spouse are entering into divorce proceedings there is probably more involved in your decision to divorce than either of your respective mother-in-laws. It is not about light bulbs or your mother-in-law is responsible for the deterioration of your marriage. Although you may chuckle at the mother-in-law zingers, you may actually enjoy spending time with your spouse’s mother. You both just recently broke the news to your families. The silence was deafening. The wall went up. Blood is thicker than water. You have been worried and apprehensive about the upcoming divorce proceedings. Trying to keep a teary eye on the kids, meeting with your divorce attorney and struggling to maintain composure. Staying in touch with your spouse’s family members on the same level of pre-divorce kinship crosses your mind occasionally. Will the divorce automatically extinguish your relationship with your in-laws? With children involved there will likely be some type of civil exchange, but what can you do to salvage the bond you created? Time heals all wounds. Your in-laws are no different. Will the relationship weather the storm? It can.  When you feel you are navigating calmer waters, take a moment and put pen to paper. This maybe the best way to reach out to begin the healing process.

Wait for the Right Time

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