Tag Archives: DuPage County divorce lawyers

Illinois divorce laws, DuPage County divorce lawyerIn Illinois, can my estranged spouse, despite our pending divorce, decide when a doctor should stop treating me? In other words, can my soon-t0-be ex decide when to “pull the plug”?

One of the legal documents we should all have is an Illinois power of attorney for health care. This document allows you to designate a person of your choice to make basic life and death decisions during a last illness in regards to how much extraordinary care a doctor or hospital should give you in the final stages of life.

Without the appointment of a health care agent, your spouse, despite going through a divorce, has the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf concerning your health care if you are incapacitated (see the Illinois Health Care Surrogate Act).

Once divorced by an Illinois Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, your ex-spouse's authority to make health care decisions for you ends. This is true even if you had designated your now ex-spouse as your agent under the Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care Act before your divorce. Moreover, your spouse can no longer act as your agent under an Illinois power of attorney for health care. Your ex-spouse is treated as though he or she has predeceased you. The same occurs if you are legally separated from your spouse by a Judgment for Legal Separation. However, if your marriage ends by annulment or a Judgment of Invalidity of Marriage, your Illinois power of attorney for health care is not revoked (see 755 ILCS 45/2-6).

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child custody case, DuPage County divorce lawyers, Illinois divorce, Illinois divorce lawyers, marriage counselor, principles of marriage counselingMy spouse says that our marriage counselor will voluntarily come to court and testify against me in our divorce case on his behalf. Can our marriage counselor really testify against me? Can our marriage counselor repeat what I said in marriage counseling to the court?

The Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, or MHDDCA, provides that a "therapist" cannot reveal confidential statements to anyone—including the court—even in an Illinois divorce or child custody case. This is prohibited as part of the "therapist-patient privilege" in Illinois.

A therapist really has no choice. Choosing to testify is prohibited by the "therapist-patient privilege." The privilege is solely the choice of you, the person receiving counseling, not the therapist. See Renzi v. Morrison, 249 Ill.App.3d 5, 618 N.E.2d 794, 188 Ill.Dec. 244 (1st Dist. 1993).

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Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce law, divorce negotiations, Divorce can be an overwhelming process in every aspect. Feeling overwhelmed emotionally, financially, and even physically is not uncommon during a divorce case. As two spouses end their legal union, many complications can arise. Even the most straightforward divorce matter can become quite complex very quickly, and may require a professional with a significant knowledge of Illinois law. Sometimes, it seems that only a judge at trial can resolve these complications. However, an alternative dispute resolution method, mediation, is often used with great success while saving each spouse significant legal costs. Not every case can be resolved through mediation.

What Is Mediation?

Simply put, mediation is a way to resolve major divorce issues in an efficient and straightforward manner. Usually, both divorcing spouses and their attorneys are present at a mediation session. A neutral third party (often another lawyer or retired judge) serves as the mediator and facilitates the conversation. Unlike an arbitrator, a mediator does not make final decisions for the parties. During a mediation session, the two parties (either directly or through their lawyers) discuss unresolved issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, or property division. The goal of mediation is to quickly and mutually decide issues that otherwise could take weeks, months, or even years to resolve.

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