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 lawyer

Posted on in Divorce

divorce, divorce basics, uncontested divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, DuPage County divorce attorneyMany people are probably familiar with divorce terms like “no-fault” and “uncontested,” but may not be sure how these legal phrases interrelate and what they mean for practical purposes. Read on for an overview of Illinois divorce law, and a breakdown of these and other familiar terms.

Grounds or No Grounds?

Initially, when making the decision to divorce and end a marriage, the reason for the divorce must be included in the legal pleadings. Spouses either have grounds for the divorce, or they may wish to divorce based irreconcilable differences (no grounds). Grounds are considered reasons for the divorce, while irreconcilable differences indicate the couple cannot point to any accepted grounds, or reasons, for divorce.

Grounds for divorce include:

...

Posted on in Divorce

co-parenting, divorce, children of divorce, life after divorce, Illinois divorce lawyerWhile a divorce decree may signal the end of the road for you and your ex-spouse as a couple, you will still remain in each other’s lives if there are children involved. Just because the marriage has been dissolved does not relieve either party of their parenting responsibility. Like it or not, there will still be shared parenting responsibilities with an ex-spouse and it is in the children’s best interest for their parents to work together amicably and efficiently.

Tips for Co-Parenting with an Ex-Spouse

It may be a challenge for parents to put personal issues and feelings aside to form a cordial relationship with their ex-spouse for the benefit of their shared children. However, divorced parents should look at this as a new start and always put their children’s need before their own.

...

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:

...

child's emotional health, divorce, routine, children, parenting, raising childrenOften in divorce or child custody cases, the primary concern is, or should be, the well being of any children that are involved in the case. In fact, the standard the court uses to make decisions regarding custody and support is always what is in the best interests of the child. Now, a recent article suggests that establishing routines for children to follow is found to boost their social and emotional health, which would be in their best interests, and may help when adjusting to new lifestyle changes, such as divorced parents and split schedules.

Routines that Focus on Consistency

The article features a number of parents who testify to the fact that routines and providing children with constants in their lives helped them adjust to change while also teaching them to be flexible. The idea is not so much focused on sticking to a tight schedule, but rather valuing consistency that give kids a sense of security and belonging by providing them with structure and a stable environment. Research shows that this leads to kids feeling more competent and confident.

...

cheating, infidelity, divorce, lawyer, attorney, DuPage CountyIt seems cheating is a relatively prevalent topic among couples, especially for those who are experiencing marital trouble. Different circumstances within a relationship can lead to infidelity, and cheating does not necessarily equate to the end of a relationship. Once cheating occurs, the partner that was cheated on may wonder how, or if, the situation could have been prevented entirely. While not every relationship pitfall can always be avoided, a recent article discusses a new trend that many couples are employing in an attempt to curb poor behavior, and to plan for the outcome of such an incident if it does occur.

 Lifestyle Clauses A new trend in the legal world involves adding what is known as a lifestyle clause to pre- or postnuptial agreements. These clauses typically contain guidelines for spouses to follow within their marriage. Beyond the general purpose pre- and postnuptial agreements serve regarding finances, lifestyle clauses address non-financial aspects of marriage and can cover any variety of topics. While the clauses themselves focus on behavior requirements within a marriage and do not deal directly with finances, there are often financial penalties for violating them. One of the most popular topics covered by lifestyle clauses is infidelity. Beyond emotional reasons, there are practicals reasons for including such a clause into an agreement as well. Some states have changed their divorce laws to no longer include fault, such as adultery, as a factor in calculating alimony payments and in dividing assets. Even though adultery can be grounds for a fault-based divorce in these states, the unfaithful spouse will not typically suffer financial consequences for cheating. It is important to note that any lifestyle clauses contained within an agreement must be consistent with state law regarding pre- and postnuptial agreements.  Issues Brought up by Lifestyle Clauses Some issues to consider in enforcing a lifestyle clause include how to define cheating and to what degree such behavior has to be proven. Different people may consider different behavior as infidelity. Sexual intercourse is the most obvious, but what what about sexual behavior that falls short of intercourse? What about suggestive e-mails or texts? These are issues that could potentially be addressed within a lifestyle clause, but not every situation can be anticipated.  Court Rulings on Infidelity Clauses Challenges to infidelity clauses in court have produced mixed results. Some state laws that support no-fault divorce find such clauses contrary to public policy. Other states where infidelity laws are enforceable will uphold the clause as long as the cheating can be proven and the clause does not otherwise violate state law. The problem lies with being able to prove infidelity. In most instances, hard proof of such conduct simply does not exist, or is exceedingly difficult to produce. On the other hand, the effectiveness of infidelity clauses is apparent when a cheating spouse does not want details of an affair discussed in court.  Can the Clause Prevent Cheating? Whether employing the use of such a clause in an agreement actually deters cheating is difficult to say with certainty. However, it is possible. It is more likely that the existence of such a clause will start a discussion about the issue between the parties regarding their feelings, needs, and expectations about the relationship. In short, the clause can be beneficial to the couple even if it would ultimately be unenforceable in court. It is imperative that any agreement contain a severability clause in order to uphold the remainder of an agreement in the event the court rules one provision is invalid.  Divorce Attorney If you are contemplating marriage and are curious how a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may benefit you, an experienced family law attorney in Illinois may be able to assist you. The experienced lawyers at Davi Law Group, LLC are prepared to discuss your case with you. Feel free to contact us today to schedule a consultation.

newly divorced, lawyer, attorney, dating, life after divorce, Illinois DuPage CountyDivorce brings major life changes along with it. Many times, those involved in a divorce must move to a new home, change their lifestyle, and even change jobs. In picking up the pieces and starting over, some may find comfort in forming new relationships. When entering into a new romantic relationship in this situation, many questions arise. You may be tempted to jump back into the dating pool, but beware. Whether you are going through a divorce or are just newly divorced, a recent article suggests that having a member of the opposite sex spend the night is a huge mistake.

 Where Children are Involved Especially in cases where a divorcing or newly divorced spouse has children to consider, having overnight guests is generally frowned upon. Children of divorced parents are likely already dealing with a host of complex issues, and handling a variety of mom or dad’s dates does not need to be one of them. If a divorcing or divorced parent want to pursue a romantic relationship, they should probably do so outside the presence of the children, no matter how old they are. Even if children are older, the example being set by parents engaging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage is not necessarily a good one.  Legal Implications For those parents entertaining overnight guests around their children while in the middle of a custody case, doing so may have serious legal implications in court. The situation may bring up the issue of cohabitation, which is especially relevant in determining child support or alimony payments, particularly if the situation is provided for in the divorce decree. This could result in one parent being financially penalized for having their romantic partner staying in their home. Entertaining multiple overnight guests may have further custodial issues regarding legal or physical custody of the children. The opposing party may try to argue that having overnight guests is evidence of poor judgment and is harming the child. Issues like this that arise between parents may lead a judge to believe that they would be unable to make joint decisions regarding the children, causing one parent to have primary custody when it otherwise could have been joint. Even if the romantic relationship involves just one partner, they may become a part of your custody case as a factor to be evaluated in the court making a custody determination. If one parent is in a relationship with someone who will be around the children consistently, they will need to be evaluated and considered in the judge’s decision.  Even if Children are Not Involved In cases of divorce where the couple does not have children, refraining from having overnight guests is usually a smart move. Specifically in cases involving control or abuse, participating in a romantic relationship while divorce proceedings are still pending or just recently ended may spark jealousy in the ex-spouse and cause a violent reaction. Further, if one spouse is still living in the marital home, the other may still have access to the residence or view it as theirs as well. If the displaced spouse discovers their ex in the marital home, it may lead to an explosive situation or to more controlling behavior down the road, even if those issues did not exist previously.  Divorce Attorney If you or someone you know is considering divorce, it is a good idea to speak to an experienced divorce attorney in the Chicago area about your options. Contact the knowledgeable lawyers at Davi Law Group, LLC today for a consultation.

prenuptial agreement, lawyer, attorney, divorce, marriage, prenupOften times, when two people in love are engaged and planning a wedding, planning for a possible divorce is the last thing on their minds. Even if the possibility of a future divorce has crossed their minds, they will likely avoid taking the step of suggesting a prenuptial agreement as doing so may result in not only hurt feelings, but potentially a broken engagement.

 Many people simply do not want to consider the possibility of a divorce down the road when they should be focused on planning for a lifetime together. However, those in the legal field or people who have gone through a divorce may try to convince them otherwise.  Why Agree to a Prenup? Essentially, a prenup is a contract by which two parties set out the terms of a possible divorce before getting married. And, as a recent article states, doing so makes a future divorce much simpler by clarifying the terms in advance. Prenups can clearly set out property division between the parties to a divorce, the length of spousal support and maintenance, and support for any children that may have been born outside of the marriage. Likewise, if any children born prior to the marriage are named as beneficiaries of retirement accounts, a spouse can later challenge the designation unless they agree in a prenup to sign a waiver after the marriage. Prenups may also be considered as a back-up to a will, or as evidence of your intentions in the event that your will is challenged. If your prenup represents an agreement of terms to which your spouse has consented in advance, it makes the success of any future challenge to your will less likely.  Prime Customers Often, it is not young couples marrying for the first time who are concerned with securing a prenup. Rather, it is typically older couples who may have already gone through a divorce and are remarrying who make sure they have a prenuptial agreement this time around. Not only have many older people experienced the complications of divorce first-hand and lived through the emotional and financial burdens associated with the process, but later in life people usually have more to protect. There are situations in which one party has amassed great wealth over their adult years and the other is not as financially stable. A prenup is essentially for guaranteeing that those assets will be protected in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements can also protect one partner from the debt of the other, or they can protect children from a previous marriage.  Preparing a Prenup There are important requirements for preparing a prenuptial agreement that must be followed in order to avoid the agreement later being challenged by one of the parties in court. The following are some notable requirements that must be followed for a valid prenup:
  • Full disclosure of assets and debts possessed at the time of the agreement;
  • Presentation of the document well in advance of the wedding date, and free of any strict deadlines. The party signing cannot feel pressured into signing the document. Both parties should have ample time to study the terms; and
  • The terms contained within the agreement must not be unconscionable, or too one-sided, in light of the circumstances at the time it is signed.
If you are considering obtaining a prenuptial agreement, an experienced family law attorney in Illinois can help ensure your agreement will be upheld in court. Contact the attorneys at Davi Law Group today for a consultation.

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.

Posted on in Divorce
Rather than get a divorce, some married couple decide to go down the path of annulment. Annulment in Illinois is defined as “a declaration of invalidity of marriage.”  If a marriage is annulled, it is no longer recognized by the state as valid.  Rather than ending a marriage, as divorce does, an annulment essentially erases the fact that there ever was a marriage. annulmentHere in Illinois, there are only four grounds for the annulment of a marriage. They are as follows:
  • A party was under the legal age at the time of the marriage and did not have the consent of a parent or guardian, or judicial approval
  • A party lacks the ability to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse (and the other party was not aware of it)
  • One party lacked the ability to consent to the marriage at the time of the ceremony due to mental incapacity or infirmity or the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • The marriage was not legal
In order to be considered not legal, a marriage would have had to be between people who were still married to someone else or people closely related by blood or adoption. There is a time limit for annulments depending on which ground you are basing it off of. If someone lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage at the time of the ceremony, the time limit to file for an annulment is 90 days after you learn about the problem. If one party was under the legal age at the time of the marriage, you have until that party turns 18. In the event that you discover your spouse cannot consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse, your time limit is one year. In the event that you find out your spouse was already married to another person, there is no time limit when filing for a divorce. Annulment may seem like a good option for some couples, but it is not for everyone. If you and your spouse are considering an annulment or divorce, don’t be afraid to contact an Illinois family law attorney to assist you with the 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.

...

marriageMarriage is a risky proposition, considering that about half end in divorce.  Just as you protect yourself from risks by having insurance, you can do the same for your marriage.  A prenuptial agreement can act like an insurance policy for your union and any assets you would want to keep in the event of a divorce.  Nancy Dunnan, a financial advisor in New York City, states that “marriage is not just an emotional and physical union—it’s also a financial union.  A prenup and the discussions that go with it can help ensure the financial well-being of the marriage.”  These agreements have become more popular in the past couple of years. A survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers shows that 63 percent of divorce lawyers have noticed an increase in the number of couples creating prenups over the last three years.  Forty-six percent of the lawyers surveyed also noted that more women are initiating the prenup discussion.  AAML President Alton L. Abramowitz had this to offer as a possible explanation.  “I think people have become much more conscious of the availability of prenuptial agreements and there’s a greater emphasis on protecting either premarital assets that may increase in value, or assets that may increase in value during the marriage primarily because of the efforts of one spouse because of their career.” Asset protection is not the only issue that can be covered in a prenuptial agreement.  These contracts can also outline how debts and assets are divided in a divorce which is important because of the volatility of the real estate market and economy as a whole.  They can also include how an inheritance or other assets that was acquired before a marriage are divided during a divorce.  Spousal support is another typical topic that can be included in a prenuptial agreement.  If you have additional questions or would like to create a prenup for your marriage, contact an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County today.

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.

Posted on in Divorce

Ask almost anyone who they think of when they hear the word “adultery,” and you will most likely be unanimously greeted with images of a male of any age, breaking the marital bonds he shares with his wife. And while not completely justified, it is true that throughout history men have owned the lion’s share of adultery in committed marriages.

  But now things seem to be changing – according to a study performed earlier this year, women have closed the gap on infidelity, with rates of adultery rising over 40% in just two decades. And while this may not be something to celebrate, it shows a rise in interesting trends that seem to support the equality among individuals of both genders.

 Women Have More Opportunities

...
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.

Posted on in Child Custody

In this modern day and age, having sex out of wedlock is more and more common. Usually, nowadays, when two people get married, they have already had sex either with each other or with other partners. It is also becoming increasingly common to have children out of wedlock and because of that, the father is not always known for sure. If the father of a child is not known, there a few tests that can be taken to determine who it is. You first must determine when the test will be conducted: before or after the child is born. Here are some options for paternity testing from the American Pregnancy Association: Lucy If you choose to perform the test before the child is born, your options include:

  • Amniocentesis:
    • This test is for the second trimester of pregnancy, between week 14-20. Doctors use ultrasound and guide a needle through the uterus to collect a little bit of amniotic fluid. This fluid will be used for the test to determine the father.
    • Risks of this test include:
      • Miscarriage, although it is a very small chance
      • Cramping
      • Vaginal bleeding
      • Leaking of amniotic fluid
  • Chorionic Villis Sampling (CVS)
    • This test is meant to be conducted between week 10-13 of the pregnancy. For this test, the doctor inserts a thin needle or tube through the vagina and cervix to obtain a chorionic villi. This needle is also guided by ultrasound. The chorionic villi are pieces of tissue on the uterus wall, which come from the same fertilized egg as the fetus, therefore they have the same genetic makeup.
  • SNO Macroarray
    • This type of test does not require a needle to be inserted into the mother like the first two options. This is a newer type of test that preserves and analyzes the baby’s DNA that is naturally found in the mother’s bloodstream.
    • This test is 99.9% accurate, but much less invasive that the first two options

If you decide to wait to perform the tests until after the child is born, your options include:

  • Blood collection and testing
  • Cheek swab collection and testing
  • Umbilical cord collection and testing

If you are having a child or you already have a child and you would like to find out who the father is, or you would like to find out if you are the father of a child, contact a family law attorney for assistance. Attorneys at the Davi Law Group in Illinois will help you decide which test to take and what the best way to going about it would be today.  

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.
Back to Top