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Recent blog posts

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorneyOn an annual basis, judges around the country make decisions on thousands of divorce cases. These decisions can have monumental impacts on your life moving forward, from child support and spousal maintenance payments to resource allocation and child custody. While this decision-making process is evidence-based and unbiased, errors can be made. Fortunately, even after a divorce case is finalized, a qualified attorney can help you.

Working for a Brighter Future After Your Divorce

Once your divorce is finalized, many people feel a sense of relief. Yet for those that have decisions go in directions that they do not agree with, the divorce finalization process can bring on a stressful panic. In all reality, divorce finalizations can be challenged, moving forward.

Appeals: If the judge in your divorce case made a mistake, an experienced attorney can guide you through the appeal process. Still, it is important to note that an appeal cannot be made, simply because you are unhappy with the final decisions. If you believe that your family law case was ruled incorrectly, contact a legal team as soon as possible, the vast majority of appeals can only be filed within 30 days of a ruling. Appeals are commonly made regarding issues of marital property valuation, alimony determinations, and parental visitation.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County child support lawyersWhen making the difficult decision to file for divorce, people are faced with new and turbulent challenges. In many cases, couples with children do not feel that the other parent should maintain a parental relationship with their children, so they attempt to win sole-custody of the minors involved. A sole-custody victory should be celebrated, but independent parenting can be incredibly challenging and expensive. If you are awarded sole-custody of your children, speak with your attorney about the development of a child support payment plan.

The Importance of Child Support

Of the 13.4 million sole-custody parents living in the United States, just under half of them have child support plans in place to help them care for their children. Child support can make a massive difference for single-parents trying to work and raise children at the same time. Here in the United States, the average child support payments amount to $5,774 annually. Unfortunately, very few sole-custody parents in need of child support receive their payments in full.

A study conducted through the use of government child support records found that only 48.5% of child support payments were paid in full, throughout 2013. While just under 30% of sole-custody parents who were owed payments received some portion of the money, an incredible 25% received no payments at all. Receiving your child support payments in full can make all the difference in enabling your family to live the life you deserve.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton child custody lawyersThe vast majority of parents yearn to remain a part of their child’s life, even after their divorce has been finalized. While a divorce signifies a monumental change in a person’s life, it should not rob a supportive and responsible parent of a relationship with their child. For fathers, winning custodial rights can be an incredibly difficult proposition. According to the United States Department of Commerce, only 17.5% of sole-custody parents are fathers. If you are attempting to gain custody of your child, find a legal team that you can believe in, and begin taking the necessary steps to convince a judge that you are prepared for independent fatherhood.

Steps Towards Earning Sole-Custody

Fighting for a role in your child’s life after a divorce can be incredibly difficult as a father. Research conducted by the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), found that a staggering 27% of all American fathers have no regular contact with their children. If you want to gain custodial rights as a father, it is important to know what steps you can take throughout the divorce process to convince a judge that you are ready for the parenting responsibilities.

Prepare for Your Child: If you truly believe that you are prepared to take on a permanent custody role, your living situation should reflect that. Make sure that you have prepared a bedroom and comfortable living situation for your child, maintain a level of cleanliness that is suitable for a child, and avoid having an abundance of alcohol or any drug paraphernalia at your house. A judge will want to know that your living situation will be a stable and safe place for your children; doing the little things can make a big difference.

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Illinois restraining order lawyersHere in the state of Illinois, orders of protection are defined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, as a safeguard for a victim of abuse, seeking protection from an offender. Criminal acts that could warrant an order of protection, include acts of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and sexual assault. If you have been served with a protective order, it is important to understand the language of the order and avoid any violations.

Three Types of Orders of Protection

In the state of Illinois, there are three types of protective orders, an emergency order of protection (EOP), a plenary order, and an interim order of protection. An emergency order of protection can be issued without notifying the respondent, due to the risk of harm. While an emergency order of protection represents a sufficient option for the short term, these orders are only valid for a maximum of 21 days. As soon as an emergency order is issued, a hearing for a plenary order is scheduled. A plenary order can only be issued after a hearing with both the petitioner and respondent (the respondent can choose to remain absent for the hearing, but must be notified of the hearing date). A plenary order can last for a maximum of two years. An interim order of protection can be issued if the respondent has been served but the litigation is still in process. Interim orders of protection last for a maximum of 30 days.

Violating an Order of Protection

If you have been served with a protective order, it is critically important to have thorough conversations with your attorney about the language of the order. Violating non-contact rules can potentially result in criminal punishment. Depending on the rules set in court, non-contact rules could include phone calls, emails, social media posts, or contact through a third party. In the state of Illinois, protective order violation can result in a Class A Misdemeanor. If you are convicted of more than one violation under the same order of protection, you will be charged with a Class 4 Felony. A Class 4 Felony can lead to up to 3 years in prison, and fines of up to $25,000.

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b2ap3_DuPage County mediation attorneysDivorces can be uniquely challenging to separating couples. Recognizing the need for a life change, and grappling with the emotion of the change can be two completely different things. Combine the emotional side of a divorce with complicated matters such as issues of child custody, property division, and allocation of finances, make one thing abundantly clear: when going through a divorce, everyone needs a little help. The first step you can take as you prepare for the divorce process is hiring an attorney that you can believe in.

After hiring an attorney, your legal team will begin to discuss your options. If you and your former spouse believe that you can amicably discuss the matters mentioned above, your best option may be to mediation. Here in the state of Illinois, family mediation is an alternative resolution option to divorce litigation.

What is Mediation?

With the assistance of a neutral mediator, couples throughout Illinois can amicably resolve conflicts such as child custody, alimony payments, and asset division, through mediation. The neutral third-party-mediator is present to help offer mutually beneficial resolutions and assist in communication. In some cases, mediation can be mandated by the Illinois Supreme Court. In cases involving minor children, couples in Illinois are required to pursue mediation on issues including custodial responsibilities and child support. Due to the important nature of these conversations, it is crucial to ensure that your legal team fully understands all aspects of your divorce case. Having honest and informative conversations with your attorney can help them secure a vibrant financial future for you and your family.

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