Category Archives: Family Law

IL divorce lawyerWhen people think of domestic violence, they often imagine a person living with a spouse or partner that is physically abusive. Unfortunately, that is only one form of domestic violence. While many people also recognize emotional abuse as another form of domestic violence, individuals often are often not aware of financial abuse, even when they are victims of it. For this reason, it is important that everyone understands what financial abuse is, how to recognize the signs and to have hope that even when it is occurring, there is a way to put an end to it.

Understanding Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when one person limits their spouse’s or partner’s access to money and other financial resources. They do this because it places them in a position of power over the other person. Without access to their own finances, a person becomes much more dependent on their spouse or partner, which provides the abuser with the security of knowing that the other person will not leave them. Many studies have shown that it is usually women that are the victims of financial abuse, although of course it can happen to anyone.

Recognizing the Signs of Financial Abuse

Sometimes, people do not realize that they are a victim of financial abuse. This is often because financial abuse is typically accompanied by physical and emotional abuse, which is much more obvious than financial abuse. Some of the most common warning signs of financial abuse include:

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IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, all parents are financially responsible for their minor children. When two parents are married, it is assumed that both parents will contribute to the financial needs of their child. When those parents are not married, or they get a divorce, typically one parent must make child support payments. In most situations, the parent that pays child support only must do so until the child reaches the age of 18. It is then assumed that the child can make their own living and financially support themselves.

When a child suffers from a disability, they are sometimes unable to work and earn that income to support themselves. Illinois law recognizes this and outlines certain times when child support can be extended to support a child with a disability.

What Qualifies for Extended Child Support in Illinois?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a disability is considered an impairment that prohibits a person from performing a major life activity. An impairment can be physical or mental and can include developmental disorders, physical handicaps, intellectual disabilities, and more. As long as the impairment is severe enough that it limits a child’s ability to perform daily tasks, support for the child may be extended.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen getting a divorce, many couples think it is going to involve a lengthy and bitter courtroom battle. However, this is often not the case. Many couples choose to settle their divorce through mediation. Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution in which the two spouses meet with a neutral third-party, the mediator. During these meetings, the mediator attempts to bring the couple to a mutual agreement on all terms of the divorce. The process requires compromise on the part of each spouse, but there are many advantages to the process, which are listed below.

Mediation Is Faster

When going through litigation to get a divorce, the couple is at the mercy of the court’s schedule. That, along with the fact that trials are often lengthy, makes litigated divorces take much longer than those that are settled during mediation. While a litigated divorce may take several months to a year to settle, mediation can involve just a few sessions that take place over the course of several weeks.

Mediation Is Less Expensive

Generally speaking, mediation is cheaper than going through litigation for divorce. Mediation does not involve fees such as court costs and the fact that it is a faster process than going to trial typically means that mediation is cheaper than going to court.

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IL divorce lawyerThere are many complicated legal issues in any divorce that involves children. While parents may typically first think of child custody, there is also the issue of child support. Divorce is often expensive enough, but when one spouse learns that they will keep paying for the divorce through child support for years after, sometimes they take drastic steps to avoid the expense. Some may even quit their job. So, what can you do when a spouse stops working in an effort to avoid paying child support?

Obtaining a Child Support Order from the Courts

Under Illinois law, all parents are required to financially support their children while they are still minors. The only exception to this is that parents must also support a child 19 years of age if they are still in high school. Parents are obligated to provide this financial support regardless of whether they are married to the other parent or not.

When parents are divorced, this financial responsibility is typically met through child support. The non-custodial parent will make payments to the custodial parent to help with the daily expenses for the child, as well as their medical and educational costs.

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IL divorce lawyerThere are many different reasons people file for divorce. Whatever the reasoning is for yours, it is important to avoid certain mistakes that could jeopardize your emotional well-being or even your legal rights. Although the divorce process is often harrowing for those involved, below are the five biggest mistakes you want to avoid when going through yours.

Using Children as Bargaining Chips

You and your spouse may wish to come to an agreement about the terms of the divorce, whether you do it on your own or with the help of an attorney or mediator. No matter how this agreement is reached, it is important that you never use the kids as bargaining chips. For example, promising your spouse more parenting time with the children in exchange for additional property or alimony should never be done. It will only make the children feel devalued and will make the process so much more difficult for them. Although there will likely be negotiating in your divorce, your kids should never be in the middle of it.

Not Getting Agreements in Writing

It is always better for the entire family if the two spouses can come to an amicable agreement on the terms of their divorce. However, do not settle for simply orally agreeing to the terms. There is a chance that could backfire and that your spouse will one day go back on their word. Always get agreements in writing and create a legal contract that can be taken to a judge in case your spouse decides one day to no longer play by the rules you both set out.

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