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

DuPage County divorce lawyer for stalking and harassmentDivorce can sometimes bring out the worst in people. In some cases, a resentful spouse may resort to stalking or harassing their spouse in an attempt to get their attention or intimidate them into meeting divorce-related demands. Stalking can include repeatedly showing up at the spouse’s home, school, or workplace, or it may involve repeatedly contacting the spouse over the phone or via text messages, email, or social media. Whether you have been a victim of abuse, stalking, or another form of domestic violence, you should know that you have several options under Illinois law that can help keep you and your loved ones safe.  

What Constitutes Stalking?

Stalking is typically defined as knowingly and repeatedly harassing another person with the intent to cause him or her harm or fear of being harmed. This may include following the victim from place to place, remaining outside the victim’s home for long periods of time, or showing up at places that the victim is likely to be with the intent of scaring him or her. Stalking may also include contacting or monitoring someone through a smartphone, computer, GPS system, or another electronic device. This so-called “cyberstalking” can be just as emotionally distressing as physical harassment. Some stalking victims may worry that they are overreacting to their spouse’s behavior. However, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. If your spouse’s actions make you fear for your safety or the safety of your children, family members, or pets, you need to take action right away.

Obtaining an Order of Protection

Orders of protection, which are sometimes called restraining orders, are legally enforceable court orders that prohibit someone from harassing or abusing another person. An Emergency Order of Protection can often be obtained immediately if a person fears for their safety. These orders may include several different provisions, including but not limited to:

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Wheaton, IL marriage annulment attorneyAnnulments are often associated with celebrity marriages gone wrong or last-minute Las Vegas weddings. However, there are many situations that may cause a person to seek an annulment. Unlike divorce, annulling a marriage makes it as if the marriage never took place. Not every marriage is eligible for annulment, however. If you are interested in having your marriage annulled, make sure you understand the criteria for annulment in Illinois. Next, contact an experienced family law attorney for help.

What Is the Difference Between Divorce and Annulment?

When a married couple wants to end their marriage, they typically file for divorce. A divorce, or Dissolution of Marriage as it is called in Illinois, terminates the legal relationship between the spouses. The couple may need to resolve issues such as property division, child custody, or spousal maintenance before the divorce can be finalized. Annulment, on the other hand, is not the termination of a marriage but instead the assertion that a marriage was never lawful to begin with. This is why annulment is referred to as a “Declaration of Invalidity” in Illinois law. In order to be granted an annulment, there must have been some issue with the marriage that made it invalid.

When Is a Marriage Considered Invalid?

There are several issues that may cause a marriage to be invalid. In Illinois, individuals may only marry if they are 18 years old or older, or, if they are 16 years old or older and have parental permission. If a spouse was under the age of 16 at the time of the marriage or was under the age of 18 and did not have the needed parental permission, the marriage is invalid. Marriages between close relatives are also prohibited by Illinois law. 

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DuPage County divorce attorney division of property

When a married couple decides to divorce, one of the most pressing questions is often, “What should we do with the family home?” Some individuals decide to stay in the family home and “buy out” their soon-to-be ex-spouse. Other times, one spouse takes ownership of the home while the other spouse receives property that is roughly equal in value. For some divorcing couples, the choice that makes the most sense is to sell the home and split the profits. Selling your home while going through a separation or divorce can be very complicated both personally and legally. There are several things you should keep in mind when deciding how to handle your family home when it comes to the division of property in your Illinois divorce.

Financial Concerns Regarding the Sale of Your Home

Before proceeds from the sale of your home can be divided, you will need to pay off the mortgage as well as any second mortgage or home equity line of credit. You must also pay the brokers’ fees and any capital gains tax that applies. Tax liability may not be high on your list of concerns, but it can have major financial ramifications during the sale of a house. 

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DuPage County child support attorney special needs disabilitiesChild support payments allow unmarried or divorcing parents to share child-rearing expenses in a way that is fair and reasonable for both parties. Illinois child support payments are determined by the Income Shares model. This model takes into account each parent’s income as well as the amount of parenting time he or she will have with the child. The Income Shares child support calculation method is typically used unless there is a reason that following the Illinois child support guidelines would yield an inappropriate child support payment amount.

Child support payments typically terminate when a child becomes an independent adult, but there are some situations in which child support may be extended. If you are a parent of a disabled child, read on to learn about your options for special needs child support.

What Counts as a Disability?

Children with disabilities may need financial assistance even when they reach the age when child support would typically end. If your child has a disability, you have the option to petition the court for non-minor child support. An intellectual incapacity, mental health disorder, or physical disability may quality an adult child for non-minor support. Illinois law defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activity.” In order for the child to qualify for non-minor support, the disability must have been present before the child reached the age that child support payments would have otherwise terminated. 

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Wheaton divorce and parenting plan lawyerWhen Illinois parents get divorced, or when unmarried parents are separated, they are expected to create a parenting plan that designates when the child will spend time with each parent and how parents will share parenting obligations. However, forming a plan that both parents find acceptable is not always easy. Disagreements about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time can be some of the most emotionally-charged legal disputes in all of family law. If you are a parent, you may understandably have strong feelings about these matters. There are a number of factors that contribute to child custody decisions. Often, these include the child’s preferences.

Illinois Law Regarding Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Parents who cannot reach an agreement about parental responsibilities and parenting time have several options. They may negotiate the terms of their parenting plan through their respective lawyers, work on a resolution through mediation or collaborative law, or litigate the case in court. Illinois courts make all child-related decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. When determining a parenting plan on behalf of parents, the court will consider multiple factors, including each parent’s wishes, the child’s school situation and extracurricular activities, the parents’ work schedule, any past instances of domestic violence or abuse, and the wishes of the child.

Children’s Opinions May Impact Child Custody Cases

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) states that a child’s preferences should be taken into consideration by the court during child custody proceedings. However, the law also states that the child’s maturity and reasons for his or her preferences should be considered. Small children may be unable to express their wishes. Sometimes, children may express a preference for one parent over the other because that parent has less restrictive household rules or is otherwise more “fun.” However, if the child has a good reason to prefer a certain custody arrangement, it is likely that this preference will influence the outcome of the case.

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