Category Archives: Family Law

IL divorce lawyerFew things in life are as shocking, upsetting, and heart-wrenching as discovering that your husband has another wife or entire family. In either case, not only do you have grounds for divorce, but you also may be in a position to sue for civil damages, recover a substantially larger portion of the marital property, or even press criminal charges against the bigamist.

What Is Bigamy?

Bigamy, also referred to as polygamy, is the act of marrying another person while already married to someone else. It is illegal in Illinois and is punishable as a Class 4 felony. Unfortunately, 17 percent of Americans now believe that bigamy is morally acceptable—10 percent higher than in 2001 when Gallup began keeping track of this data. While many Americans have warmed to the idea that bigamy is okay for society, the facts show otherwise. Bigamy has negative consequences for children, society at large, and the wives of the bigamist. Bigamy is almost always committed by men.

Is My Marriage Even Valid?

If you found out that your husband has another wife, the first step is to determine which marriage came first, because the second marriage is illegitimate. As such, divorce is not necessary. Issues such as child custody and child support will need to be settled in the courts by a family law attorney, however. Furthermore, division of assets and alimony are not treated the same because the marriage never existed. The victimized spouse, in this case, can pursue compensation in a civil lawsuit.

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IL family lawyerSevere injuries and serious illnesses are an unfortunate reality of life that many families must deal with. After all, the lifetime risk of developing cancer is one in there. The odds of dying in a car crash are one in 114, meaning that the odds of being seriously injured in a traffic collision are much greater than that. Hospitalization or a serious, chronic injury or illness may limit a custodial parent’s ability to care for their child. Or, the injury or illness may simply be used against them by the noncustodial parent as a means to receive custody. Whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent, an attorney can represent your and your child’s best interests.

Difficulties a Sick or Injured Parent May Face While Caring for Their Child

Being a single custodial parent is tough enough as it is. Add to that the complications of being sick or injured, a lengthy hospital stay, and potentially an inability to work, and the outcome can be disastrous. The following are a few examples of hurdles that a hospitalized custodial parent may have to navigate in order to care for their child:

  • Financial Difficulties With Medical Bills: Even parents with insurance are at risk of going bankrupt after a serious illness. A sick or injured parent can petition the court for an alimony or child support modification in the event of a serious injury or illness, however. This added financial boost, if it is awarded, can help cover the gap.
  • Taking Time Off Work: Missing work only adds to the financial stress of the situation.
  • Physical Limitations to Care for The Child: Due to a compromised immune system due to cancer, a broken hip (for example), or general loss of immobility and strength, a custodial parent may not have the physical strength necessary to drive their child to appointments, pick up their toddler, or feed and clothe their child.
  • Medical Appointments: Frequent doctor’s visits, dialysis, radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatments, and other medical appointments may get in the way of the custodial parent’s normal schedule.

Call a Hinsdale Child Custody Attorney Today

As a noncustodial parent, you have the option of filing an emergency transfer of custody if the custodial parent suddenly falls sick or injured. As a custodial parent, you may have to fight to hold onto your current custodial rights. The skilled DuPage County child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Martoccio & Martoccio can help. Call us at 630-920-8855 today to schedule a free consultation.

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IL divorce lawyerMany couples end up dissolving their marriages on relatively good terms. In these cases, the divorce is often uncontested. An amicable divorce is one in which both spouses agree to the terms without contesting such matters as division of marital property, child support, child custody, visitation, and spousal support. There are many positives to an amicable divorce, including significant time savings. Amicable divorces are generally much less stressful than contested divorces. And, amicable divorces are usually much less expensive. After all, 40 percent of Americans do not have enough money in reserve to cover an unexpected $400 bill, and the average cost of divorce, per person, is $15,000. However appealing an amicable divorce sounds, it may not be a good idea to sign divorce papers without first talking to an attorney.

Why an Attorney Is Still Necessary

Shockingly, 40 percent of couples take a very large risk by not using a divorce attorney when they get divorced. Amicable divorces do not require an attorney to argue your case in front of a judge, but there may be reasons to work with an attorney regardless. It is true that you and your spouse can write up an agreement and submit it to the court for the court’s approval and a final divorce decree. Yet, some spouses end up regretting their decision to trust their partner with such openness. After all, the other spouse may have kept some aspects of their lives hidden from you. For example:

  • They may have hidden assets that you do not know about;
  • Some of the assets that ended up getting divided may not actually be marital property, such as inheritance or personal injury settlement money;
  • Their future living situation, work schedule, and lifestyle may not be as ideal as they lead you to think regarding parenting time;
  • The alimony decision that the two of you came up with may not be fair to one of the parties;
  • The child support that the paying parent provides may not be adequate for the new living expenses that the custodial parent is now faced with; and
  • Much more.

A Hinsdale Divorce Attorney Can Answer the Important Questions

Divorce should never be rushed because that is when mistakes are made that can haunt you for years to come. Let the experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Martoccio & Martoccio thoroughly review your case before you take any further actions that could inadvertently harm your child or yourself. Call 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation today.

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Il divorce lawyerIf your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has an employer-sponsored health plan, and the employer has 20 or more employees, you can stay on this group insurance plan for up to 36 months under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). However, you will have to pay for the plan yourself. The cost and benefits remain the same as before, and because it is still a group insurance plan, it will likely be much more affordable than purchasing a private insurance plan for yourself. COBRA is a great option for spouses to pursue during divorce, but it will eventually need to be replaced with something more permanent.

Purchasing a Plan on the Marketplace

The Marketplace can be accessed through Get Covered Illinois, where you can purchase a health insurance plan for yourself at a potentially reduced cost, depending on your level of income. Commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” the Affordable Care Act reduces premium costs and bars health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Even if the Open Enrollment period has closed, you can still apply for coverage if you have gone through a qualifying life change, which divorce is considered to be.

Applying for Medicaid

Individuals between the ages of 19 and 64 can apply for Medicaid if they have incomes under 138 percent of the poverty level—up to $16,392 for an annual income or $1,366 per month, according to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

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IL family lawyerNot long ago, Illinois courts assumed that giving sole child custody to mothers was in the best interest of the child. In fact, it was not until the 1970s that most states began adopting new laws that treated mothers and fathers equally, as well as favoring joint custody over sole custody for one parent. While some believe that fathers are still discriminated against when it comes to equal custody decisions, studies have proven this to be untrue. Fathers’ rights groups have been perpetuating disinformation for over the last decade about how mothers are given preferential treatment by the courts. One Wisconsin study showed that from 1996 and 2007, divorce cases in which the mother was awarded sole custody dropped from 60.4 percent to just 45.7 percent, while shared custody increased from 15.8 percent to 30.8 percent in that same time period. Other studies have had similar findings. Yet, in some cases, fathers do face challenges.

Fathers Who Never Married the Mother of Their Child

While married mothers and fathers are generally treated equally in court when it comes to custody decisions, the same is not always true for fathers who were never married to their child’s mother. Children born out of wedlock are more likely to end up living with their mothers than fathers if it comes to a court decision.

White, College-Educated Fathers Pay Less Child Support Than Non-White, Poor Fathers

Race and income have a lot to do with how much child support a father will have to pay. In addition to wealthy men fighting against reforms that would require them to pay more in child support, white, college-educated men are more likely to get out of paying substantial child support, while poor fathers are more likely to be held accountable, tracked down, and put in jail for skipping on their child support payments.

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