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Category Archives: Family Law

IL divorce lawyerDivorce can make people act in ways they otherwise would have never even considered. In a few cases, one spouse will stalk their partner in order to intimidate them, learn information that could help their case, such as if the spouse is having an affair, or to try and get their partner to meet their demands. Stalking can involve a number of different behaviors. No matter the type of stalking one is engaging in, it is very threatening and there are steps you can take to stop it if it is happening during your divorce.

What Is Stalking?

According to the Stalking No Contact Order Act in Illinois, stalking typically involves surveilling a person, regularly appearing at their home, school, or work, making unwanted phone calls, or sending unwanted emails, texts, or messages over social media. Injuring a pet, leaving items for a person, and vandalizing another person’s property are also all considered forms of stalking.

It is important to note that no matter the type of behavior, stalking is usually done repeatedly and is not a single act. Usually, it also involves placing the victim in fear of being hurt, and sometimes stalkers do physically hurt their victims. No one should ever think that they are overreacting to their spouse stalking them, and everyone should know what to do when in this situation.

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IL divorce lawyerSometimes a person that is married wants out of the relationship, but they do not want to get a divorce. In some cases, a person’s religious beliefs prevent them from getting a divorce, but there are many reasons a person may wish to annul their marriage. Although annulments are granted in Illinois courts, this method of dissolving a marriage has specific requirements and when those are not met, a couple must go through the divorce process to end their marriage. Although the process of annulling a marriage is vastly different from the divorce process, anyone wishing to obtain an annulment should still speak to an Illinois family lawyer.

The Difference Between Divorce and Annulment

Many people think that divorce and annulment both mean the same thing because each of these terms refers to the end of a marriage. However, they do each have their differences.

When a couple gets an annulment, it is as though the marriage never happened because it was not legal in the first place. It is for this reason that an annulment is known as a “Declaration of Invalidity Marriage” under Illinois law.

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IL divorce lawyerNot all divorces end up going through a lengthy courtroom battle. In many cases, a couple may choose to enter mediation for their divorce, as it holds many benefits. During mediation, a neutral third-party mediator meets with both spouses and attempts to foster compromise so the two parties can come to a divorce settlement on their own, outside of the courtroom.

Mediation is typically less expensive and less time-consuming than other types of divorces and each spouse is generally more likely to follow the provisions outlined in the agreement. However, if you are considering mediation, preparation is still important to ensure you get the most out of it.

Remain Willing to Cooperate

Mediation is very effective, but only when the two parties are willing to cooperate with each other. Mediation works best when you can identify your mutual interests with your spouse, and be willing to resolve your differences in a way that is satisfactory to each of you. If you are determined to remain adversarial or are unwilling to bend on every term of the divorce, mediation likely is not for you.

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IL divorce lawyerA recent study has shown that 53 percent of Americans have kept financial secrets from their partner. When two people are going through a divorce and dividing property, keeping these money secrets becomes even more common. People often hide assets when going through the divorce process so they are not divided and they do not lose them during the divorce. So, if you are going through a divorce, how can you tell if your spouse is hiding assets? Below are some of the biggest warning signs to look for that may indicate your spouse is not being honest.

Warning Signs of Financial Fraud

When one spouse tries to hide assets to protect them from being subject to Illinois’ property division laws, it is considered financial fraud, and the courts take it very seriously. Some of the most common signs that your spouse is not providing full disclosure, or that they have undervalued assets include:

  • Insisting that they completely manage the family’s finances and pay all of the bills
  • Refusing to talk about money with you, or they become upset when financial subjects are broached
  • Making large cash withdrawals or money transfers
  • Hiding mail from you, or rerouting mail to a post office box
  • Traveling out of the country frequently and opening offshore bank accounts
  • Reporting a major loss in business, investments, or other marital property
  • Opening a number of different bank accounts
  • Developing a gambling or substance abuse problem

Upon spotting any of these signs of financial fraud, you may think the situation is hopeless and that there is nothing that can be done. Fortunately, that is not true.

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IL divorce lawyerAfter the pandemic hit Illinois in late March, unemployment claims in the state increased by more than 178,000. To put that in perspective, that is an increase of 1,833 percent in just one week. With so many people being furloughed, laid off, or permanently terminated from their job, it is no surprise that many parents are also wondering how they are going to meet their child support obligations. Although it is understandable that this is an expense that you may not be able to afford right now, it is crucial that you do not simply stop paying. In Illinois, there is a procedure for modifying child support and you must follow it.

Reasons for Modifying Child Support

There are several acceptable reasons for modifying child support. A judge may change the amount you pay if you can show:

  • There has been a substantial change in circumstances
  • The modification is necessary for the healthcare needs of the child, or
  • The child support obligation deviates from the guidelines set out in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).

The most common reason for a court to modify a child support order is when there has been a substantial change of circumstances. These changes may include cost of living increases, additional needs of the child, and the financial ability of the parents, such as if one or both of them lost their job due to the pandemic.

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