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Recent Blog Posts

How Illinois Property Division is Handled

 Posted on February 18, 2024 in Divorce

Blog ImageIllinois is an equitable distribution state and divides marital assets accordingly during the divorce process. To further understand how Illinois handles property division after a divorce, an experienced attorney will have the insight and knowledge you will need.

Equitable Distribution

Equitable distribution is the method used to decide how marital assets are divided in the state of Illinois. Instead of dividing everything in a 50/50 split between spouses, Illinois chooses to divide things equitably and fairly. Many things can factor into how assets are divided including:

  • Any businesses owned between the parties

  • How much each spouse contributed to the ownership of assets 

  • Whether either spouse is responsible for an outsized accumulation of debt unrelated to the marriage 

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The Effect of Adultery on Illinois Divorce

 Posted on January 24, 2024 in Divorce

Will County divorce lawyerAdultery. Infidelity. Cheating. No matter how you choose to say it, the result never feels good when you are on the receiving end of it. When one partner cheats on another, it can seriously affect them both mentally and emotionally. It can also cripple a marriage leading to divorce as the outcome. But does your partner’s adultery have any effect on Illinois divorce proceedings? Understanding what, if anything, the act of adultery has on a divorce will help you determine your next steps during the process. For a more in-depth look into everything you will want to know about the divorce process, you should seek out the advice of a reputable divorce attorney.

How Adultery Affects Illinois Divorce

Emotions tend to run high after learning that your spouse engaged in extramarital affairs with someone else. It is not uncommon to look for retribution in any way you can for this betrayal. You could benefit from therapy or a legal discussion with an attorney to determine what you want to do next. The likelihood of divorce following an act of infidelity is quite high.

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Does a Non-Biological Father Need to Pay Child Support?

 Posted on December 19, 2023 in Paternity

Will County family lawyerWhether or not a father is legally obligated to pay child support for his non-biological child will depend on a few factors:

  • He signed a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP)
  • The father legally adopted the child as his own
  • He was the presumed father at the time of conception or birth

These factors do not determine who will pay child support but that the father can now be legally obligated to do so if the court deems it necessary following a divorce or legal separation. The laws of paternity and child support can get complex, and it is often best to seek the help of an experienced attorney when you need your questions answered.

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP)

Primarily used to determine paternity in unwed couples, a VAP is a legal document filed with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to be able to add the father’s name to the birth certificate. A VAP requires both parents to sign and date the form and have it witnessed by an individual who is 18 years of age or older and is not listed on the form. The signing of a VAP can take place at any time, and parents can obtain one at:

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Everything You Need in a Parenting Plan

 Posted on November 20, 2023 in Family Law

Will County lawyerParenting plans are a great way for divorcing parents to decide how to co-parent their children once the proceedings are finalized. It can help keep the courts out of the decision-making and allow the parents to create a cooperative and flexible way to care for their children. For help with a parenting plan or other issues concerning divorce and family law, it is best to consult an attorney with experience in these matters.

Mandatory Inclusions in Your Parenting Plan

To better determine the allocation of parental responsibilities following a divorce, a parenting plan must include certain things concerning the child's future well-being. The mandatory inclusions in a parenting plan are:

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Are Civil Union Couples Still Eligible for Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on October 18, 2023 in Divorce

Will County divorce lawyerCivil unions are very similar to marriages, and, as such, are eligible for dissolution in Illinois. Couples wishing to end their union must seek dissolution in an Illinois court just as they would a traditional marriage. Since 2011, Illinois law has decreed that civil unions share the same benefits as a marriage and divorce. A skilled divorce attorney can help navigate the complexities of civil unions and determine your best course of action in the event of divorce.

What Are the Requirements for a Civil Union?

For a legally recognized civil union to take place in Illinois, it requires a couple obtain a civil union license. The couple must appear together at a County Clerk’s office to fill out and sign an application in person. The couple must have valid IDs and pay the $60 license fee. After processing, the civil union license goes into effect the day after it is issued and remains valid for up to 60 days.

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How Do I Prove Paternity in Illinois?

 Posted on September 08, 2023 in Family Law

Joliet, IL paternity lawyerPaternity is the legal relationship between a father and his child. It is important to establish paternity for several reasons, including:

  • To determine a child's legal rights and responsibilities, such as the right to inherit property, receive child support, and have visitation rights

  • To obtain a birth certificate for a child that lists the father's name

  • To ensure that the father is held accountable for his financial obligations to his child

There are a few ways to prove paternity in Illinois. The best way will depend on the individual circumstances. If you are unsure about how you should establish paternity, your best course of action is to consult with an attorney.

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP)

The most common way to establish paternity in Illinois is through a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP). The VAP is a form that is signed by the mother and the alleged father. It is notarized and filed with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS).

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What Is the Difference Between a Diversion and a Conviction?

 Posted on August 29, 2023 in Criminal Law

Will County Juvenile Law AttorneyIf your child is facing legal charges, it can be a terrifying thing to deal with. As a parent or guardian, we understand that a child's future hangs in the balance when such situations arise. Knowing the difference between a diversion and a conviction for an effective juvenile defense is helpful. Consult a knowledgeable juvenile law attorney who can help your child throughout the process. 

What Is a Diversion?

A diversion is also known as deferred adjudication. It allows those accused of a crime a second chance, especially those with non-violent offenses. Diversion usually requires joining a specific program or meeting certain requirements. The choice is determined by a judge who analyzes the individual and the crime itself. 

Diversion programs can include:

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What Are the Most Common Obstacles and Reasonings in Contested Divorces?

 Posted on August 24, 2023 in Divorce

Joliet Divorce AttorneyDivorcing couples often face the possibility of having a contested divorce. While divorce is exhausting, a contested divorce is even more so. These types of divorces come with unique challenges. A skilled divorce attorney can provide professional legal advice and guidance towards your desired outcome whether your divorce is contested or not. 

What Happens in a Contested Divorce?

In a nutshell, a contested divorce happens when both divorcing spouses disagree on the separation of assets or marital property, child arrangements, and/or alimony. If you are dealing with a divorce in Illinois, knowing the typical obstacles and reasonings behind a contested divorce is helpful.

When both parties in a divorce disagree on major issues involving their separation, a judge must decide for them. Both divorcing spouses will attend court, where they both share their stance, and the judge will have the final say. When compared to an uncontested divorce, a contested divorce is more expensive and takes longer to resolve. Due to this, many couples avoid contested divorce as best as they can, but that is only doable for some. 

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How Can I Expunge My Child's Juvenile Records in Illinois?

 Posted on August 18, 2023 in Criminal Law

Joliet Criminal LawyerParents want the best for their children. So if your child runs into legal trouble, your first instinct is to protect them. In truth, no child deserves lasting consequences for a simple mistake in their youth. If your child has a juvenile record, there are steps you can take toward expungement, especially with the help of a credible juvenile law attorney. 

What Offenses Are Expungeable?

Expungement is a legal procedure that conceals certain criminal records from the public eye. This process offers young people a fresh start in life. It is no secret that a criminal record can cut you off from various opportunities. 

In some cases, expungement is automatically applied. But not everyone has that benefit, and not all juvenile records in Illinois are eligible for expungement. If your child satisfies the requirements listed below, they may qualify: 

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Why Should Teens Worry About Juvenile Charges if the Record Automatically Seals in Adulthood?

 Posted on August 11, 2023 in Criminal Law

Plainfield Criminal LawyerIf you are a juvenile who has recently been arrested and charged with an offense, you may not know what to expect. If you have heard that your juvenile criminal record is automatically sealed when you reach adulthood, you may feel as if there is nothing to worry about. Your future employers and landlords will likely be unable to see your juvenile record. In fact, publicly, it will appear as if the adjudication of delinquency never happened. However, there are still problems a juvenile criminal record can cause both right away and later in life. You may face issues like getting in trouble at school or not being accepted to your college of choice. Additionally, the judicial penalties can last years, even continuing up until you are 21 years old or older. If you have been charged with a juvenile crime, it is important to take the situation very seriously. An attorney can take steps to begin protecting your future prospects as soon as they are involved on your case. 

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