IL divorce lawyerOn March 20, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide shelter-in-place order. The order was intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe in their own homes. Although the order may have saved lives and helped Illinois flatten the curve, for others, the news was not good. These are the individuals that are victims of domestic violence. For many of these victims, the only relief they had from the threat of abuse prior to the pandemic was when they went to work, or when their abuser did. It was not long before Chicago, and many other areas, saw an increase in domestic violence. Below are a few of the factors that place victims at greater risk during the pandemic.

The Feeling of Isolation

Abusers typically want to isolate their victim from their workplace, friends, and family members. Through this isolation, the abuser can use gaslighting techniques on their victims and are more easily able to control them. With social isolation mandated by the government, it became easier to isolate victims of domestic violence, which can trigger future incidents.

Stress

The novel coronavirus brought an unknown threat to Illinois and the rest of the United States. The unknown is extremely stressful, particularly when people are unsure of how the virus spreads, how to contain it, and how to protect loved ones. When abusers become stressed, they commonly take it out on their victims, particularly when each person is forced to remain in the same household.

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IL divorce lawyerParenting plans are documents that outline the role each parent will have in their child’s life after divorce, and the responsibilities they carry. When parents cannot come to an agreement, a judge will issue a parenting plan. In either case, an agreement is legally binding once it is issued or approved by a judge. It is common to have questions about parenting plans, as they are not something many people have dealt with prior to divorce. Below are the answers to some of the most common questions people have about these plans.

What Should You Include in a Parenting Plan?

Even when you can agree with your spouse about a parenting plan, there are still certain factors you should include within it. Many people think parenting plans only outline child custody situations, but there is much more to them than that. A parenting plan should always include:

  • The amount of time the child will spend at each parent’s home
  • The manner in which you will communicate with a matter relating to your child
  • How holidays, vacations, and special occasions will be spent
  • Cultural and religious practices important to the parent and/or child
  • The child’s medical needs, and the responsibilities each parent holds for meeting them
  • Where the child will attend schooling
  • The type of lifestyle the child will enjoy
  • Discipline expectations
  • Any special needs of the child
  • The process of modifying the parenting plan, if necessary

When addressing each of these factors, parenting plans must always work in the child’s best interests.

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IL divorce lawyerMore and more people write prenuptial agreements every year, realizing that these documents will protect them in the event that the marriage ends. However, there is a lot that goes into a premarital agreement and if you make a mistake, it may not offer the protection you were counting on. Below are the most common mistakes people make when drafting a prenup, and how to avoid them.

Failing to Broach the Subject

You may feel as though talking about a prenuptial agreement is not romantic, but the truth is that a conversation can make both you and your partner feel more secure in the marriage. People fail to talk about their financial situation prior to their wedding far too often. When creating a prenuptial agreement, you must be fully open and honest with each other, which can eliminate arguments about finances that lead to divorce in the future.

Bringing up the subject of a prenuptial agreement does not have to be uncomfortable. Have the discussion as early as possible and emphasize that the agreement will protect both of you in the future, and prevent a lot of headaches, if necessary.

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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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