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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 divorce attorneysIf you and your spouse are considering divorce, you may have questions about how your living situation will influence the divorce timeline. COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. In fact, for many spouses contemplating divorce, moving to a new home is simply not a possibility right now. You may have wondered, “Can I get divorced if my spouse and I are still living together?” Illinois divorce requirements have changed significantly over the past several years, so it is important to understand these requirements if you plan on ending your marriage.

Mandatory Separation Period for Illinois Divorces

Considerable changes were made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act in 2016. Included in these changes was an overhaul of the “grounds” or reasons for divorce. Prior to the 2016 update, couples could assert “fault-based” grounds such as adultery or mental cruelty or the no-fault grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” To use irreconcilable differences as the reason for the divorce, the couple was required to live separately for up to two years, but not less than six months. If the couple alleged fault-based grounds, the mandatory separation period was six months.

Illinois is now a pure “no-fault” state when it comes to divorce. Divorces are granted when irreconcilable differences lead to the irreparable breakdown of the marriage. The mandatory separation period before divorce has been eliminated. However, if the spouses do not agree on the divorce, living apart for at least six months may be used as “irrebuttable proof” that the marriage has broken down.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysOver 80% percent of Americans use one social media platform or another. In all, an estimated 264 million people in the U.S. are active on social media at any given moment. Most people are well aware of the potential ramifications of irresponsible social media posts from an employment perspective, but few understand how social media could negatively impact a divorce case. Sadly, one of the most common mistakes a person can make during a divorce is posting on social media. If you are contemplating a divorce, it is wise to take a step back from all of your social media platforms, especially when dealing with any of the following Illinois divorce issues. 

Social Media and Child Custody

Social media platforms can be a fantastic opportunity to update old friends on your life and establish new relationships. Yet, it is important to understand how a social media post could impact your child custody case. If you post false information about your marital status or familial situation during your divorce, it could severely impact a child custody case.

Additionally, posting pictures of you and your friends out drinking could be used against you in a custodial case, as your former spouse's attorneys could claim that you have a substance abuse issue. Thinking before you post is a good first step. Avoiding social media altogether is an even better option.

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyersEvery year, thousands of American couples choose to file for divorce. Divorce can be brought on for a multitude of reasons, but it does create complications in family dynamics. For couples with children, the decision to pursue a divorce can be incredibly difficult. Even more difficult is the conversation that parents must have with their children. If you are considering a divorce, involving your children in the divorce process can be critically important to their emotional development as well as their understanding of their new home life.

Why These Conversations Are Important

Approximately half of all American children will witness the separation of their parents. While divorce oftentimes represents a healthier growing environment in comparison to an unhealthy married household, parents contemplating divorce need to help their children understand why they are separating. Studies conducted have found that children who experience a divorce in the household are more likely to experience depression, decline academically, and struggle with substance abuse. Children who experience a divorce are more than twice as likely to drop out of high school. Even later in life, children of divorce are more likely to experience psychological challenges such as anxiety, loneliness, and insecurity. All that said, a divorce can save a child from experiencing an abusive or dysfunctional home life.

How To Talk To Your Child About Divorce

A divorce can be the best thing for a child’s long-term development if the parental unit no longer makes up a solid parenting foundation, yet it is vitally important to communicate with your child about your divorce. When you decide to inform your children on your decision to get a divorce, it is important to have a plan in place, have the conversation with your spouse, and give your child ample time to process the information.

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life after divorce, Wheaton divorce attorneys, sole custody, after divorce, sole-custody parentingAdjusting to life after a divorce can be incredibly difficult for the separating spouses as well as the entire family unit. For children, coming to terms with the separation of their parents can be an emotionally turbulent process. When courts are asked to intervene in issues of custody, sole physical custody is the most commonly pursued form of child custody among divorcing parents. Sole physical custody is defined simply as a custodial arrangement in which one parent has custody of the children for more than 50 percent of the time.

According to the United States Census Bureau, approximately 25 percent of all children nationwide reside with one parent. Adjusting to life as a sole custodial parent can be extremely challenging, especially as one simultaneously copes with the emotions of a divorce from his or her former spouse. If you are preparing for the divorce process and exploring the possibility of sole physical custody, contacting an experienced divorce attorney can make all the difference in ensuring your children live the life they deserve.

Becoming a Sole-Custodial Parent

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