Tag Archives: child custody

IL custody lawyerYour children are the most important thing in a parent’s life, and it is common to lash out at anything that potentially harms their child or prevents a parent from seeing their child or spending time with their child. In this case, that thing is a custody hearing. Below are some common mistakes that parents make during custody battles that can harm their chances of receiving a desirable outcome in court.

Using Social Media to Complain About the Other Parent

As tempting as it may be, using social media to publicly badmouth the other parent, that parent’s lawyer, or a judge handling the case is a recipe for disaster. Not only will it unnecessarily anger all parties target, which may in fact by your short-term goal, but it will harm your reputation, making you seem vindictive, irrational, or a bad role model.

Losing Your Temper in Court

A judge wants to place a child with a responsible parent in a stable home with a calm environment. Outbursts in court prove to the judge that you are not that person and your home is not that place.

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IL divorce lawyerWomen are trapped in bad or abusive marriages for a variety of reasons. Below are the top three reasons that women stay in marriages that are harmful to themselves and their children.

Major Wage Discrepancies Between Men and Women Cause Women More Stress

On average, full-time female Illinois workers make just 78 cents for every dollar that full-time male workers earn. Obviously, women face pay discrimination — being paid less than men for the same occupations — but they also face discrimination in the workplace when it comes to promotions, being hired for good-paying jobs in the first place, for taking time away from work due to pregnancy, and for dozens of other reasons.

Because of this, two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and hundreds of thousands of women are trapped in bad marriages due to the financial stress that getting divorced would cause. It is understandable that studies show that women are more stressed out about money than men.

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IL divorce lawyerDeciding to get divorced is a big decision and one that you have undoubtedly spent countless sleepless nights agonizing over. Now that you have made up your mind that divorce is in your best interest, the prospect of having to go through the divorce process can suddenly seem extra daunting. Divorce is stressful, it takes half a year or more in many cases, and it puts extra strain on your children, your other loved ones, your career, and your finances. Below are four frequently asked questions about divorce that our clients commonly have.

Who Gets the Children?

In many divorces, the spouses are able to reach an agreement about child custody and the parenting plan with assistance from their attorneys. However, when agreement and compromise fail, a court will make the child custody decision for you. Judges always favor the custody arrangement that they believe will be in the child’s best interest. Long gone are the days when mothers were always given sole custody, in Illinois and across the country, fathers are fighting and lobbying to make joint custody the norm.

Are Marital Assets Divided Down the Middle?

Illinois is an equitable division state, which means that marital property is divided “fairly,” though not necessarily an even 50/50. In a contested divorce, courts look at the following information to help them decide which spouse gets what:

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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 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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