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When Can a Child Custody Order Be Modified?

 Posted on April 26, 2022 in Child Custody

child custody lawyer in skokieThere are a multitude of different issues that will be addressed during a couple’s divorce, and at the end of the legal process, a divorce decree or judgment will be issued. This final order is meant to remain in place indefinitely, and it will address how certain issues will be handled going forward. For couples who have children, their divorce decree will include a child custody order, which is sometimes referred to as a parenting plan. There are some cases where these orders may no longer adequately address a family’s needs, and based on changes that have occurred, either parent may request modifications of their parenting plan. By understanding the requirements they will need to meet for modifications to be granted, parents can make sure they approach these cases correctly.

Post-Divorce Child Custody Modifications

Generally, modifications to the allocation of parental responsibilities (also known as legal custody) may not be made within the first two years after a couple’s divorce, unless there is reason to believe that issues have arisen that may affect a child’s physical or emotional health, such as abuse against a child by a parent or another person in their household. Modifications to parenting time or physical custody may be made at any time if the court determines that they are necessary. Parents may also agree to make modifications to legal or physical custody at any time, and these modifications will generally be allowed, unless the court determines that they are not in the children’s best interests.

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How Is the Value of a Family Business Determined During a Divorce?

 Posted on April 16, 2022 in Divorce

skokie divorce lawyerIssues related to the property a couple owns are often some of the most complex factors that need to be addressed during the divorce process. While multiple types of assets and debts need to be considered during the property division process, determining how to handle ownership of a family business will often be one of the most consequential decisions. Whether a business is considered to be marital property because it was founded after the couple’s marriage or separate property that a spouse owned before getting married, it will be essential to perform a business valuation to determine the value of this asset.

Business Valuation Methods for Divorcing Business Owners

It will be important for both spouses to make sure a business will be handled correctly during their divorce. A family-owned business may be a source of income for one or both spouses, or it may represent a large portion of the couple’s total assets. Even if a business is a separate asset solely owned by one spouse, it will be important to determine the value of this asset to ensure that both spouses have an understanding of their individual financial resources. This can not only ensure that marital property will be divided fairly and equitably, but it may also help determine whether spousal maintenance will be appropriate. 

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How Do Parents’ Previous Actions Affect Child Custody Cases?

 Posted on March 21, 2022 in Child Custody

dupage county divorce lawyerDuring a divorce, matters related to a couple’s children can often be some of the most complex and difficult issues to resolve. Disagreements about raising children can be a significant factor that leads to the breakdown of a marriage, and these arguments may continue throughout the divorce process as parents determine how they will share parental responsibilities going forward. How parents cared for their children, made decisions, and handled family responsibilities during their marriage may be a significant factor in child custody cases. Some parents may believe that the ways they acted while married should determine the role that they will play in their children’s lives following their divorce, while others may feel that it is best to leave the past in the past and find new solutions as they move forward. When parents encounter disputes about issues related to the custody of their children, they will need to understand how the law may address their previous actions and behaviors.

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Benefits of Lump Sum Spousal Maintenance vs. Monthly Support Payments

 Posted on February 25, 2022 in Spousal Support

dupage county divorce lawyerWhile spousal maintenance (which is more commonly known as alimony, but may also be referred to as spousal support) is not a factor in every divorce, it may be an important issue to address in cases where one spouse earns a significantly higher income or where one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent. Spousal maintenance will only be paid if a couple agrees on this form of support in their divorce settlement or if one party demonstrates to a judge that it is necessary based on the factors outlined in Illinois law. Understanding the options for paying spousal maintenance, including making a lump sum payment or monthly support payments, can help spouses determine the best ways they can each succeed financially once their divorce has been finalized.

Options for Paying Spousal Maintenance

The purpose of spousal maintenance is to provide a person who earns a lower income with financial support that will allow them to maintain the same standard of living the couple had during their marriage. The amount that will be paid will be determined using a formula that is defined in Illinois law.

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What Are the Options for a Parent Who Cannot Pay Child Support?

 Posted on January 28, 2022 in Illinois Family Law

shutterstock_1456860602-1.jpgWhen a court issues a child support order as part of a divorce or family law case, a parent will be required to pay support as ordered. This support is meant to ensure that children’s ongoing needs will be provided for. Since failure to pay support may affect children’s ability to receive the necessary nutrition and have a safe place to live, judges will not look kindly on a person who has not met their obligations. 

However, there are many situations where a parent may find it difficult or impossible to pay child support as ordered while also meeting their own needs. This has been a significant concern for many during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who have lost their jobs may have struggled to make child support payments while also paying for their own living expenses. The situation may be even more serious for parents who have contracted Covid, and in addition to being unable to earn an income while recovering, some have experienced ongoing health issues that have affected their ability to work and made it impossible for them to provide financial support for their children.

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What Is Dissipation of Assets in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on January 17, 2022 in Islamic Divorce

shutterstock_30671707.jpgWhen a couple chooses to get a divorce, they will need to address multiple types of issues as they legally dissolve their marriage. Property division is one area that can is often disputed since both spouses may want to keep certain items, and they will both be looking to make sure they will have the necessary financial resources to live on their own. Disagreements in this area can become even more contentious if either spouse believes that the other has depleted the marital estate by wasting money or destroying property. This is known as “dissipation of assets,” and in these cases, spouses will need to be sure to understand how Illinois law addresses this issue.

Understanding Asset Dissipation

Dissipation of assets can take a number of forms, but it generally involves the use of marital property for a person’s sole benefit rather than any purposes related to their marriage. For example, a person may be accused of dissipating assets if they had an affair and took money out of a joint bank account to buy gifts for their lover. Dissipation may also involve the destruction of property as an attempt to harm the other spouse, such as by burning their clothes or defacing a painting that had sentimental value. It may also involve any other actions that reduce the value of the marital estate, such as spending marital funds on gambling or illegal drugs.

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How Will a Guardian Ad Litem Affect an Illinois Child Custody Case?

 Posted on December 21, 2021 in Illinois Family Law

dupage county family law attorneyIn family law cases involving children, parents will often disagree about the best ways to handle child custody. While some divorcing parents may be able to resolve their differences and reach agreements on these issues, this is not always possible. In cases involving contentious disputes between parents or other situations where outside help may be needed to make custody-related decisions, a guardian ad litem may be appointed. By understanding the duties of a guardian ad litem and how they may influence a child custody case, parents can determine the best ways to protect their rights and address their children’s best interests.

What Does a Guardian Ad Litem Do?

When parents cannot reach agreements about how they will share in the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, they may leave the final decisions on these matters up to the judge who oversees their case. However, a judge may be concerned that they do not have enough information to determine what would be in the children’s best interests. To gain a better insight into the case, the judge may appoint a guardian ad litem (also known as a GAL). Either parent may also ask that a GAL be appointed if they believe that it would be necessary.

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What Are the Different Types of Spousal Support in Illinois?

 Posted on December 06, 2021 in Spousal Support

dupage county spousal support lawyerWhen a couple decides to end their marriage and get a divorce, this can sometimes put one spouse in a difficult position as they determine how they will be able to support themselves on their own. In these situations, a spouse may ask to receive spousal support from their former partner. These payments, which are referred to as spousal maintenance in Illinois law, may be available in situations where one spouse earns a higher income or where a stay-at-home parent or a person who has extraordinary needs requires financial support to be able to meet their ongoing needs. By understanding the types of spousal maintenance that may be available, spouses can make sure this issue will be addressed correctly during the divorce process.

Three Types of Spousal Maintenance

In a case where a divorcing spouse is requesting spousal maintenance, a couple may agree that this type of support will be paid, or both parties may present their case to a judge, who will decide whether spousal support will be appropriate. The judge will look at each party’s financial situation to determine whether one spouse needs support and whether the other spouse will have the means to make ongoing payments. They may also consider other factors, such as whether the person who is asking for support made sacrifices to their career during their marriage or helped their spouse pursue career opportunities and increase their level of income.

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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights After a Couple’s Divorce?

 Posted on November 23, 2021 in Child Custody

dupage county divorce lawyerWhen married spouses choose to get a divorce, or when an unmarried couple ends their relationship, this will not only affect the couple themselves, but also their children and other extended family members. In some of these cases, grandparents may be concerned about their ability to maintain close and continuing relationships with their grandchildren. This may be an issue in situations where a person does not get along with their former spouse’s parents, and grandparents may worry that a parent will attempt to limit the amount of time they can spend with their grandchildren or otherwise harm a child’s relationship with extended family members. In some cases, grandparents may be able to secure visitation rights with grandchildren. When addressing these issues, grandparents can work with a family law attorney to determine their rights and options.

Petitioning for Grandparent Visitation Rights

Illinois law presumes that parents who are fit to care for their children are able to make decisions about whether continuing relationships with grandparents will be beneficial for their children. However, if a parent has denied a grandparent access to their grandchildren, a grandparent may petition for visitation rights. In these cases, a grandparent will need to show that a parent’s actions to deny visitation by a grandparent will result in harm to a child’s physical or emotional well-being.

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Is Legal Separation an Option for Muslim Couples?

 Posted on November 10, 2021 in Islamic Divorce

dupage county legal separation lawyerThe decision to get a divorce is difficult for most married couples, but husbands and wives who practice Islam may be especially hesitant to take this step. The prophet Muhammad has said, “Of all the lawful things, divorce is the most hated by Allah." Because of this, many couples may consider other options before proceeding with an Islamic divorce, including legal separation. By understanding when a legal separation may be beneficial, a couple can make choices about the right solutions for their unique situation.

Legal Separation Before or Instead of an Islamic Divorce

Muslim couples can take multiple approaches during the divorce process. A husband may choose to end his marriage through the talaq process without the consent of his wife. In other cases, a couple may mutually agree to end their marriage through the process of khula. Regardless of the method chosen, a couple is required to complete a waiting period of at least three months (known as the iddah) before their divorce can be finalized under Islamic law.

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