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Recent Blog Posts

The Devastating Impact of Parental Alienation Syndrome

 Posted on June 30, 2023 in Family Law

Chicago Family Law AttorneyIt is not uncommon for there to be some acrimonious feelings parents may have towards each other as they are going through a divorce. However, it is critical for the sake of their children that the parents quickly work through these emotions in order to minimize the impact they can have on how well the children adjust. Unfortunately, there are some cases where one of the parents is unable to work through these feelings and they can intensify to the point where they do everything they can to turn the children against the other parent. This is referred to as parental alienation syndrome (PAS).

What Is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

PAS is a complex and distressing phenomenon where one parent manipulates a child's feelings, perceptions, and behaviors toward the targeted parent. It involves a systematic and intentional effort to undermine the child's relationship with the targeted parent, often resulting in emotional estrangement and, in severe cases, complete rejection.

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How and Why to Establish Paternity of Your Child 

 Posted on June 12, 2023 in Family Law

Illinois Family Law AttorneyPaternity is the legal recognition of the father-child relationship. Establishing paternity is essential for determining the rights and responsibilities of both the father and the child. Paternity can have significant implications in various aspects of family law, including the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, and child support.

How to Legally Establish Paternity 

If a married couple has a child, the husband is presumed to be the child's father, and paternity is established automatically. However, for unmarried couples, paternity must be established in one of several ways. Establishing paternity has significant benefits for the father, the mother, and the child.

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity in Illinois

If both parents agree on who the child's father is, establishing paternity is easy. Couples can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form, which is available in hospitals and local health departments. Both parents must sign the form.

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How Do Child Representatives Influence an Illinois Divorce Case?

 Posted on May 31, 2023 in Family Law

Chicago Family Law AttorneyDivorce cases involving children can often become contentious. The parents may have vastly different ideas about what is best for their children and how custody arrangements should be handled. In some divorce cases, parents make allegations of neglect or abuse against each other, further complicating the matter.

Illinois judges want to ensure that parental responsibilities and parenting time arrangements are established based on what is in the child's best interests. In order to do this, a child representative may be assigned to a divorce or family law case.

What is a Child Representative in Illinois?

Child representatives are attorneys appointed to represent a child in a legal case. Just as an attorney would have an attorney-client relationship with an adult, a child representative has an attorney-client relationship with the child and represents the child during the legal proceeding.

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How and When Are Mental Health Evaluations Used in Illinois Child Custody Cases?

 Posted on May 10, 2023 in Family Law

Chicago Family Law AttorneyMental health has never been a more crucial issue than it is now. The rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions have skyrocketed in recent years. If you or your child's other parent struggles with a mental health condition, you may have questions about how mental health evaluations are used during Illinois child custody cases.

Mental health evaluations are sometimes used to help the court make an informed decision in a custody dispute. Either parent can request a mental health evaluation of the other parent, or the judge may require a parent to undergo psychological testing. Read on to learn about how and when these types of tests are ordered and how the results can influence child custody matters.

When is Psychological Testing Required?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over one in five people in the United States currently suffers from a mental illness of some kind. Some of the most common mental illnesses include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Many people with mental health conditions are competent, loving parents. However, there are situations in which a parent’s mental health condition could pose a danger to the child. An Illinois court will only order psychological testing if there is a significant concern about a parent's mental health or behavior.

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My Spouse is Threatening to Divorce Me. What Should I Do?

 Posted on April 24, 2023 in Divorce

cook county divorce lawyerIf your spouse is threatening to divorce you, it can be a stressful and emotional time. While taking the situation seriously is essential, protecting your rights and interests is also vital. Consider consulting with a divorce attorney to understand to get an idea of the divorce process as well as your options during this time.

Do These Things Right Now if Your Spouse is Threatening to Divorce

Here are some essential considerations if your spouse is threatening to divorce you, including:

  • Seek legal advice – One of the first things you should do is seek legal advice. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options, provide guidance and support throughout the divorce process, and work to protect your interests and assets. 

  • Gather financial information – It is essential to gather information about your financial situation, including your income, assets, and debts. This information can be crucial in negotiating a fair and equitable divorce settlement. It is also important to keep track of joint accounts or assets in case your spouse attempts to dissipate them. 

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Considerations for When Substance Abuse is a Factor in a Divorce

 Posted on April 11, 2023 in Divorce

shutterstock_627424586-min.jpg Substance abuse can be a challenging issue in divorce cases. If one spouse struggles with addiction, it can impact the entire family and create significant legal and emotional challenges. For anyone interested in getting a divorce from a partner who suffers from a substance abuse problem, there are essential considerations you must be aware of regarding how your spouse’s substance abuse may affect divorce proceedings. Divorce attorneys are keenly aware of how difficult this situation can be. Consult with an attorney, share your concerns, and create a plan with your attorney for how best to address the problem. 

Divorce Issues That May Be Affected by Your Spouse’s Addiction

Child custody is one of the most significant issues in divorce cases involving substance abuse. If one parent is struggling with addiction, having unsupervised visitation with their children may not be safe. In some cases, limiting or restricting the other parent’s access to the children may be necessary to ensure their safety.

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I Brought Up the Prospect of Getting a Prenuptial Agreement with My Spouse, and They Reacted Badly. What Should I Do? 

 Posted on March 22, 2023 in Family Law

park ridge prenuptial agreement lawyerA prenuptial agreement, sometimes called a prenup, is a legal agreement between two people planning to marry. Essentially, the agreement outlines how the couple's property and assets will be divided in case of divorce. Furthermore, prenuptial agreements are an important consideration for many couples prior to getting married. However, bringing up the topic of a prenuptial agreement can sometimes lead to unexpected reactions from your fiancé. Today, we will discuss what you should do if your spouse gets angry at the idea of getting a prenup.

If you are interested in prenuptial agreements and what they may entail, contact an experienced family law attorney to understand better the process and the potential benefits signing such an agreement may have. 

What to Do if Your Spouse Reacts Negatively to the Idea

It is not uncommon for people to be uncomfortable regarding the topic of prenups. Some people believe prenups to be unromantic and that by signing a prenup, you thereby admit that your marriage will likely end in divorce. Accordingly, if your spouse becomes upset when you mention the possibility of a prenup, here are some steps you can take:

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Telltale Signs that Your Spouse May Be Dissipating Assets 

 Posted on March 08, 2023 in Property Division

des plaines divorce lawyerWhen going through a divorce, it is not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to hide or dissipate assets in order to prevent their spouse from receiving an equitable amount of their assets. This can be a frustrating and stressful experience, but there are several telltale signs that your spouse may be attempting to dissipate assets. Today, we are going to discuss what several of those signs are. If your marriage is heading towards divorce, consider contacting knowledgeable divorce attorneys to lawfully complete the divorce process while ensuring your rights remain protected and advocated for. 

What is the Definition of Dissipating Assets? 

Dissipating assets refers to the intentional or reckless use, depletion, or destruction of marital assets by one spouse for their own benefit or to prevent the other spouse from receiving their fair share of those assets in a divorce settlement. If you can prove that your spouse dissipated assets, the court may distribute the rest of the marital estate in a way that compensates you for this loss. 

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Important Things to Know Regarding Non-Marital Property in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on February 24, 2023 in Divorce

chicago divorce lawyerIn Illinois, non-marital property refers to assets owned by one spouse individually. These assets are not subject to division during divorce proceedings. While marital property is divided equitably between both parties, the non-marital property remains with the spouse who owns it. However, it is essential to note that determining what constitutes non-marital property can be a complex process. 

Today, we are going to discuss what is most important to know regarding non-marital property in Illinois. If you are getting a divorce, contact an experienced divorce attorney who will work to ensure you understand your rights and that a positive outcome can be pursued.

Understanding Non-Marital Property 

Non-marital property refers to assets acquired before the marriage, gifts or inheritances given specifically to one spouse, or any property acquired after a legal separation. In Illinois, any property obtained before the marriage is considered non-marital property. For example, a vehicle that a spouse owned before getting married is his or her sole property. The same is true for other assets like real estate or business assets. Furthermore, debts acquired before a marriage are typically classified as non-marital debt. 

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Understanding the Dissipation of Assets in Illinois Divorce Cases

 Posted on February 10, 2023 in Property Division

chicago divorce lawyerThe dissipation of assets is a term used to describe the improper use of marital assets by one spouse before a divorce. In divorce cases in Chicago and elsewhere, the dissipation of assets can significantly impact the distribution of property and assets between spouses. If one spouse is found to have dissipated assets, a court may consider this when determining the division of assets in a divorce case. For a court to make a finding of dissipation, it must be shown that the assets were used for a purpose unrelated to the marriage and that the use of assets reduced their value. This could include using marital funds for a mistress, buying expensive gifts for friends, or squandering money on gambling or drugs. 

Suppose you are getting divorced and believe your spouse is engaged in behavior that qualifies as dissipating assets, or you have uncovered information during divorce proceedings that give you a reason to believe your spouse has been involved in this behavior in the past. In that case, an experienced attorney can help you make sense of the situation and provide guidance moving forward through the divorce proceedings. 

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