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George Skuros
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Recent blog posts


IL Divorce Lawyer for Hidden AssetsFinances impact a divorce case dramatically. The amount of marital property assigned to each spouse is heavily influenced by the value and types of assets owned by the spouses. Child support payments are calculated using each spouse’s net income. Spousal maintenance is also mainly determined by the spouses’ assets, income, and overall financial circumstances. Consequently, lying about finances can dramatically influence the outcome of a divorce case. Hiding assets, underreporting income, and transferring property to another party are all tactics some divorcing spouses use to manipulate their divorce case.

Ways that Spouses Conceal Assets in a Divorce

There are nearly countless methods for hiding assets in a divorce. Some spouses literally hide cash or property during divorce. They may “sell” assets to friends or family members only to regain the property after the divorce is complete. Other spouses use their business or professional practice to hide income or assets. Unscrupulous spouses may even use the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to shield assets from division during divorce by overpaying taxes and reaping a large return in the future.

Perhaps the easiest and more common form of hiding assets in a divorce is simply not reporting the assets. In many marriages, one spouse takes charge of the finances while the other spouse handles non-financial responsibilities. This makes it easy for the knowledgeable spouse to deceive the uninformed spouse.

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IL Family Law Attorney for Paternity and Child SupportAny parent can tell you that having a child dramatically increases your monthly expenses. Housing costs, childcare expenses, tuition, and extracurricular fees are just some of the child-related expenses many parents contend with. It is even harder to cover these costs when you are a single parent. Consequently, financial assistance in the form of child support payments is a crucial necessity for unmarried and divorced parents. However, getting the child support you need can be difficult when the child’s father denies his biological relationship with the child.

What Happens if the Father Says He is Not the Father

Illinois law presumes that, if a woman gives birth, her husband is the baby’s father. However, there is no legal presumption of paternity if the mother is unmarried. Furthermore, relationships are complicated and marital infidelity does sometimes occur. Therefore, there are cases where a woman’s husband is not her child’s biological father. If you are unsure about who your child’s father is or your child’s father is denying his paternity, it is important to understand how this can impact child support.

You Must Establish Paternity to Receive Child Support

Some parents assume that an informal child support agreement will be adequate. Unfortunately, if you do not get an official child support order from the court, there is nothing that the court can do if the parent stops making child support payments.

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IL Family Law Attorney for Parental RightsIllinois law presumes that parents have the ability to adequately care for their children and provide a safe living environment. Consequently, anyone who has established parentage or paternity of a child is entitled to certain parental rights. Among these rights is the right to be awarded “parenting time” or time with the child. However, some parents will need to take steps to gain parental rights. Furthermore, some circumstances may lead to the restriction or termination of a parent’s parental rights.

When Does a Parent Have a Right to Visitation?

Parenting time, which used to be called “visitation,” is the time that a parent watches his or her child and cares for the child’s everyday needs. Divorced parents allocate parenting time in their parenting plan. However, in order to be entitled to parenting time, unmarried fathers may need to establish paternity. Paternity may be established by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) upon the child’s birth or through a judicial or administrative process.

Parents may be subject to a parenting time restriction if there are concerns that normal parenting time may endanger the child’s health or wellbeing. Parenting time restrictions may include a reduction of parenting time, supervised visits, or, in rare cases, the total elimination of the parent’s parenting time.     

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IL Family Law Attorney for Prenup and PostnupAs a business owner, you may assume that your business assets are completely separate from your marital property, but this is often not the case. According to Illinois law, business assets acquired by a spouse during their marriage are typically considered to belong to the marital estate. Even business assets owned before a marriage can be at risk of becoming commingled with marital assets and losing their separate identity. One way to ensure that your business assets remain your own is to address them specifically in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your spouse.

Prenuptial Agreements for Business Owners

If you are planning to get married and you already own a business or professional practice, that business will still be considered your non-marital property once you get married. However, a prenuptial agreement can provide an additional safeguard to ensure that it stays that way throughout your marriage. Beyond designating your ownership rights to the property, your prenuptial agreement can also include other provisions that may be beneficial to you and your partner.

 

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Chicago Family Law Attorney for Adult GuardianshipWhen we hear the term “guardianship,” we often think of children. However, Illinois law also provides legal avenues for someone to receive guardianship of a disabled adult. If you have a loved one with a disability that renders him or her unable to care for himself or herself, you may be interested in getting guardianship of that person. Although the law uses the word “disability,” when referring to guardianship of an adult, the criteria for what constitutes a disabled person is more inclusive than you may assume.

How Does Illinois Define a Disability for the Purposes of Guardianship?

There are several different types of guardianship in Illinois. When someone acts as a guardian for an adult, they may assume responsibility for that person’s medical, financial, and/or day-to-day decision-making. Illinois courts only grant guardianship of an adult if that person meets the legal definition of disabled. A disabled adult is someone who cannot make and communicate reasonable decisions about his or her personal affairs. This incapacitation may be due to:

  • Cognitive deterioration – Many times, guardianship of a disabled adult is granted when an older adult suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Huntington’s disease, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases may also cause a person to be unable to care for himself or herself.

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IL Divorce Law AttorneyDivorce is never easy, but sometimes a divorce can get hostile and ugly things are said between partners. If the conversations regularly become violent, threatening, or inappropriate, a spouse may want to record phone conversations in order to prove to a court that the other spouse is a danger to themselves or their child. 

Often, a spouse will want to record these conversations secretly, out of fear that the offending spouse will clean up their act if they believe someone may be listening. They may worry that the harassment will continue if they cannot prove that the inappropriate actions are taking place.  

Illinois is a Two-Party State

No matter how serious your concerns are about threatening phone conversations, in Illinois, you cannot secretly record a phone conversation legally. This is because Illinois is a two-party state. In a one-party state, only one party participating in a phone conversation of two or more people has to know the conversation is being recorded in order for it to be legal. But in a two-party state, all the parties to the conversation must know and consent to be recorded in order for the call to be legal. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Chicago, IL Divorce Attorney

Divorce is frequently cited as one of the five most stressful life events. No matter how long you’ve been married, deciding to get divorced is often accompanied by many complex emotions. Although divorce is increasingly common, it is not a decision to be taken lightly, and its potential impact on spouses, children, pets, and assets must all be considered. Fortunately, with the help of a lawyer, you can plan ahead and prepare yourself for the process to make it go as smoothly as possible. 

Have a Long-Term Strategy

Widespread academic research and collective wisdom both attest to the negative effect divorce can have on everyone involved. Speaking dispassionately, most people would tell you that a commitment to reducing conflict in divorce is crucial for minimizing the negative impact, especially on children. However, when spouses are in the midst of difficult or hostile divorce negotiations, it can be hard to have a long-term strategy and remember that the process of divorce doesn’t last forever – even if it seems like it might!

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Chicago divorce attorneyIf you have a dog, cat, horse, bird, or another pet, you most likely do not think of your pet as mere property. You may even consider your pet part of the family. However, under Illinois divorce law, pets are classified as property and subject to the same asset division laws as vehicles, bank accounts, and other types of property. Fortunately, the law was updated in 2018 to reflect the fact that pets are more than mere possessions.

What Happens if Divorcing Spouses Disagree About Pet Ownership?

Understandably, many people have strong feelings about their pets. This can make deciding who should keep the pet after a divorce extremely difficult. Spouses are encouraged to negotiate a property division arrangement that works for them. However, property division concerns are not always able to be resolved out of court. If a divorcing couple cannot reach an agreement on pet ownership, the court may need to make a decision on the spouses’ behalf.

Per Illinois law, property that was obtained by either spouse during the marriage is marital property. Property that a spouse owned before the marriage is non-marital property and belongs solely to that spouse in the event of divorce. If you got your pet during the marriage, both spouses have a right to the pet. If a spouse owned the pet before the marriage, it may be considered non-marital property. However, if both spouses cared for the pet and paid for pet supplies and veterinary care, the pet may be considered marital property regardless of who first acquired the pet.

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Chicago divorce attorneyA lot of people go through life within a perpetually confused or ambivalent state because things aren’t so bad. In this state of confusion, they cannot be asked to make a determination, so they will rationalize remaining with their partner, waiting around for something to occur that will make it clearer as to if they ought to keep the marriage together or not.

For other people, a fear of the unknown is merely too daunting; therefore, they become numb or make themselves busy to make life with their spouse bearable (for instance, by alcohol/drug addiction, workaholism, and excessive spending). In a few instances, this fear of leaving isn’t about unknown circumstances, instead, it’s the known which paralyzes them.

If you are tired of sacrificing your happiness and are ready to move ahead with your divorce, contact our Chicago divorce attorney office at (312) 884-1222 for a free consultation.

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What should occur at the initial meeting?

It’ll depend upon what is happening within the divorce case. In a few cases, divorce papers already have been filed, whereas in additional cases, the partners already have discussed divorce and pledged to utilize a collaborative divorce process, instead of all out ‘litigation’ (which means to fight it out in court). Lastly, a few clients are faced with an emergency - their partner might be draining the bank account, anticipating the divorce, or they might be the victim of domestic abuse and have to have instant protection from the court. The circumstances of the client is going to dictate what’s discussed and which actions are taken as a consequence of the initial meeting.

Though typically, a client walks in with general questions in regard to a recently-filed or an impending divorce, and the majority of attorneys will assess the various processes of divorce which are available (litigation, mediation, and collaborative law) and explain the steps for each.

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Whether you refer to it as a divorce or separation, deciding that you want to split is a decision which never should be taken lightly. There’s always a time in which space is required between your partner and you, and space occasionally can be a healthy decision. It permits both parties to have the ability to rationally consider the ideal method of handling the duty at hand, and to talk about a possible compromise. There’s never a clear indication of when the ideal time is to end your marriage; therefore, taking ‘one final shot at mending your relationship’ is something you might have to attempt many times.

If, after exhausting all these possibilities and you still feel that divorce is inevitable speak with one of our Chicago divorce attorneys at (312) 884-1222 for a free consultation.

Therefore consider this: If you’re considering separation, determine how your partner and you might take time apart, without having to make any spontaneous decisions, and taking the time to consider solutions. Unsure how much time you should take? As long as it takes! There isn’t any reason to dive head first into a separation or a divorce, therefore just play it out, then see how it goes, it can’t get any worse as you already feel you are at the end of the rope.

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As parents determine to divorce, it’s only fair to be truthful with the kids. Depending upon the ages of the children and family dynamics, some already may be well alert to the fact that there are issues, whereas others might not have any clue about what’s going on. If you have further questions about the Chicago child custody process, contact us today at our Illinois child custody lawyer office at (312) 884-1222 for a free consultation.

Ideally it’s best to collect together as a family to inform the kids of an impending separation or divorce. Doing so will present a united front. It will show the kids that although you’re getting divorced, both of you still love them and are united within your responsibility to them. Also, it permits a chance for the kids to get answers and ask questions of both parents.

  • During the family meeting it is vital to remain focused. It is not the time for placing blame, arguing, or belittling your partner. Decide beforehand what you’re going to say to the kids. Be certain that it’s age appropriate.
  • Do not assume that the kids really comprehend what a divorce is. It’s your duty as parents to place it into simple words that divorce occurs as two adults no longer can live together. Be certain the kids comprehend that divorce only is between adults.
  • It is not necessary for kids to overhear the details of your break up. What they need to know is that although parents no longer love one another, both of you still love them. Also, they must know that it isn’t their fault that your marriage is ending.
  • Kids usually are filled up with hope that their parents are going to reunite. Do not give your kids false hope that you’ll reconcile. Help them to understand that divorce is the end of a marriage and while it’s a normal emotion for kids to wish for their parents to reconcile, it’s unlikely that it’ll happen.

As the kids do not need to know about the details of your divorce they must to know how it’ll impact them and their day-to-day lives which include new living arrangements. Allow them to know how to communicate with one parent as they’re with the additional parent.

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Posted on in Uncategorized

In the plainest terms, uncontested divorce will mean that the partners have the ability to agree upon the major factors included in getting divorced, involving:

• How they’ll share parenting responsibilities and parenting time

• The duration and amount of child support

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If you are convinced that the marriage is irretrievably broken and you are headed for divorce, below are 9 measures to take.

Consult a Chicago divorce attorney

Become educated concerning your legal responsibilities and rights.

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A divorce includes the legal end of a marriage. A judge reviews and approves the divorce settlement or, if spouses cannot concur to a settlement, decides how property is divided and how parenting time is shared. Until you get the court order signed by the judge, you aren’t officially divorced and cannot remarry. The rules which are different in every state include how long you have to reside in the state prior to you being able to file for divorce, how long you have to wait prior to your divorce being completed after you file, and how the state will treat alimony and child support.

If you have any questions about the Illinois divorce process, contact us today at our Illinois divorce attorney office at (312) 884-1222.

Here include the basic choices you have to handle the house after and during the divorce.

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Posted on in Uncategorized

If you are in the middle of a divorce, and want to keep your family home, there might be great reasons to fight for it. Because keeping a home or selling it after divorce may be a huge, life-changing event, it is vital that you know your reasons are sound, and that keeping your house is going to be in your best financial interest.

The children: School-aged kids might be traumatized by your divorce, and having to move might add to their emotional distress. If you are concerned about this and are not certain what is best for the family, consider talking to a family therapist or child psychologist who is able to assist you in figuring it out.

Emotional attachment: It is oftentimes an extremely emotional decision whether you should keep your family home; and even though emotional attachment isn’t necessarily a ‘great’ reason, it is an understandable one. Most spouses will become attached to their house because, for instance, they have put a lot of work into constructing their dream home, and it will hold many good memories, or because their house has been within one spouse’s family for generations.

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Here are some tips on how to get along well enough with your ex to make sure your children's emotional and physical needs are met and help your children get through the divorce feeling loved and secure. This is part 2 of a 2-part series.

(13) During time to pick up, don’t honk the car horn in front of the additional parent’s house. But, do not go in the house either – unless you’re invited in. Arrive on time for drop-off and pick-up and have your kids prepared to go.

(14) Transfers may be uncomfortable times. Be patient and kind with one another and the kids.

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Co-parenting with an ex-partner will have its challenges, not the least of which includes communicating with somebody you might’ve been thoroughly unable to speak to, or even be within the same room with. But, your kids deserve the best out of both parents, whether you can stand one another or not.

Below are tips on how you can get along long enough with your ex-spouse to make certain your youngster's physical and emotional needs are met and assist your kids in getting through the divorce feeling secure and loved. This is part 1 of a 2-part series.

(1) Divorced parents may succeed at co-parenting.

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Posted on in Uncategorized

Child custody may be an extremely contentious factor in a divorce—and occasionally, the language which we use to define and discuss child custody arrangements also can be the topic of debate.

Physical and Legal Custody

The basic words are not overly controversial. ‘Legal custody’ can be defined as the right to make decisions concerning your youngster—things such as education (home-schooling, private, or public), medical/dental care (braces), and religious upbringing. The term ‘Physical custody’ will refer to the youngster’s physical presence in the home.

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Every state uses a ‘best interest of child’ standard within custody cases that are disputed. It’s a rather amorphous standard, and a standard which lends itself to judges’ subjective thoughts concerning what is best for kids. Though, there will include some factors you can expect a judge to take into account.

Age of children

Even though the ‘tender years’ doctrine has been out of fashion officially, a few judges still think that younger kids should reside with their mothers, particularly if she has been the main caregiver.

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