630-462-9500

After Hour New Client Telephone Number 630-690-6077

1776 S. Naperville Road, Building B, Suite 202,
Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer for discoveryIf you are like the vast majority of adults in Illinois, you probably have a cell phone, computer, tablet, or all three. Most of these devices can record audio and video at the press of a button. It can be very tempting to make use of this ability during divorce – especially if your spouse’s behavior is much different behind closed doors than it is in public. You may wonder, “Can I record my spouse and use this recording as evidence during my divorce?”

Illinois Law Regarding Recording a Conversation

Most states are one-party consent states. This means that it is lawful to record a conversation between two people if at least one of them knows that the conversation is being recorded. For example, you could record yourself speaking on the phone to someone else because you know that you are recording. Illinois, however, is an all-party consent state. This means that both you and the other party need to provide consent for a recording to be legal. Recording someone without their permission may be considered a Class 4 felony offense in Illinois.  However, there are several exceptions to Illinois laws regarding eavesdropping and recording.  

Defining “Surreptitious” in the Context of Eavesdropping

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled that the eavesdropping statute was unconstitutional. The law has since been amended. You may not record conversations if the conversation takes place in public, and the participants have no reasonable expectation of privacy. However, you may record conversations that are open and obvious. Eavesdropping is now defined as overhearing or recording private conversations without consent in a “surreptitious manner.” This means obtaining a recording via “stealth or deception” or recording through “secrecy or concealment.”

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Wheaton, IL divorce attorney for child issuesThe silver lining of a separation or divorce is the possibility of meeting someone new. If you have found love after a failed marriage, you are probably eager to start your new life with this person. If you are a parent, this may include introducing your new partner to your children. The introduction of a new romantic interest after a separation can sometimes be difficult for children to handle, so it is important to be intentional about this event.

Wait Until You Are Divorced

For many people, a marriage is over long before the couple actually finalizes their divorce. If you are separated or soon will be, you and your spouse may have been sleeping in separate bedrooms and living separate lives for months or even years. You may understandably be eager to start dating someone new. However, dating before your divorce is complete can exacerbate the stress, confusion, and uncertainty that your children experience during the divorce process. It can also have potential consequences on the outcome of your divorce. For example, if you spend money on gifts or vacations with your new partner, your spouse may accuse you of dissipating assets, which can affect property division during divorce.

Go Slowly and Do Not Force a Relationship

You are probably excited for your children to develop a relationship with your new partner. However, trying to rush a relationship can backfire. Sometimes, children may resent a new romantic interest in their parent’s life. They may feel threatened or assume that the new partner is trying to replace the other parent. Give your kids time to adjust to the new partner slowly. You may want to introduce the partner at a group gathering so there is less pressure on the children.

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DuPage County amicable divorce attorneyIf you are thinking about divorce, it is important to carefully consider the information and advice that you are getting from others. Even though they have good intentions, many people unknowingly spread rumors and false information about issues like property division, child custody, or spousal support. Television and movies have also perpetuated many of the popular falsehoods regarding divorce. The best place to get legal advice and dependable support is an experienced divorce lawyer.

Myth #1: Infidelity or Marital Misconduct Will Be a Crucial Factor

Cheating and infidelity have ended countless marriages. If you are divorcing because one of you cheated, you may assume that this “marital misconduct” will play a major role in your divorce. On the contrary, the reason that a marriage ends rarely affects the outcome of a divorce in Illinois. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means that there are no fault-based grounds for divorce. You will simply state that “irreconcilable differences” have led to the end of your marriage. In addition, marital misconduct will usually not be considered when addressing the division of marital property, spousal maintenance, or parenting issues. The main way that infidelity can affect a divorce is if the unfaithful spouse spent considerable money or property to finance the affair. In this case, the wronged spouse may have a valid “dissipation of assets” claim, and they may be awarded a greater share of the marital estate.

Myth #2: Everything Will Be Split Equally

Division of assets and debts in a divorce is handled differently depending on the state. In Illinois, property is divided according to “equitable distribution.” This means that property is divided fairly based on the spouses’ financial circumstances and other factors. Spouses may also settle property division issues on their own, outside of court. Mediation is an alternative resolution method that many spouses use to discuss their divorce issues and reach an agreement about how ownership of their property will be handled.

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Elmhurst petition for divorce attorneySometimes, when a couple decides to get a divorce, both spouses are on the same page. In other situations, a spouse may be caught totally off guard when he or she is served with divorce papers. Regardless of what led up to this moment, once you have been served with a divorce petition, you need to take several important actions. You may understandably be very upset about what has happened, and you may be tempted to ignore the petition or even throw it away. However, doing so will only worsen your situation.

Read the Petition Entirely

The first step you should take after receiving a petition for the dissolution of marriage is to actually read the document. This may seem obvious, but many people jump to conclusions without reading the entire petition. The document will explain that your spouse is requesting a divorce. It will likely include statements and requests about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, spousal maintenance, property division, and other divorce-related issues. Once you understand what your spouse is asking for, you can respond appropriately.

Retain an Experienced Attorney

An attorney is not required to get divorced in Illinois. However, your attorney can help you interpret the petition and understand what your spouse is requesting. Your attorney can also provide legal support throughout the duration of your divorce case. Hiring an attorney does not mean that you intend to take your case to trial or make the situation any more contentious than it already is. It simply means that you now have a legal advocate on your side who can explain your legal rights and options and help you take the steps needed to resolve your divorce.

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Wheaton, IL family law attorney DIY divorce disadvantagesIn today’s modern world, we can pay our bills, conduct work meetings, do our taxes, and complete other important tasks all from our home computer or smartphone. If you are thinking about divorce, you may be interested in your options for an “online divorce” or “do-it-yourself divorce.” These options often seem attractive because they have low up-front costs and appear simpler than a traditional divorce. However, many people find that DIY divorces end up being disastrous.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Do-it-Yourself Divorce

A quick search of the term “online divorce” results in thousands of results for allegedly quick and easy ways to end your marriage online. Unfortunately, divorce is rarely a quick and easy process. There are certainly some things you can do to make the divorce process easier, but no divorce is completely painless. The main advantage of DIY divorce or online divorce services is that they often have a low starting fee. However, many people find that the financial harm resulting from a hasty divorce greatly outweighs these savings. When you use an online or DIY divorce service, you miss out on the personalized legal guidance you gain from working with an attorney. You may make mistakes or oversights that result in avoidable stress, financial losses, and legal headaches.  

The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Working with an attorney during divorce has many benefits. Your attorney will get to know you and your unique situation. He or she can develop a personalized divorce plan that takes into account your individual needs and goals. Your attorney’s job is to advocate on your behalf during your divorce and represent your best interests. Working with an attorney also decreases the likelihood of mistakes that can complicate or slow down the divorce process. Your attorney can help you with concerns related to the division of marital property and debt, parenting time and parental responsibilities, spousal maintenance, possession of the marital home, and many other issues. For many, the greatest benefit of working with an attorney during divorce is simply the peace of mind they gain.   

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