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What to do if Your Spouse Gets a Protection Order During Divorce

 Posted on August 11, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

kane county divorce lawyerIt is not uncommon at all for one spouse to seek a protection order during a contentious or high-conflict divorce. Even knowing this, you may be taken by surprise when someone from the sheriff’s department shows up and hands you a stack of papers saying that your spouse has been granted an emergency protection order against you. When you get this initial pile of paperwork, you might be shocked and upset. It is important to understand what being served with a protection order means and what to do if this happens to you. Usually, there will be a hearing held about a week to ten days after you are served with the protection order. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to challenge the protection order. At this hearing, it is important that you are represented by an attorney if you are not already.

What Does Getting Served With an Ex Parte Protection Order Mean?

“Ex parte” just means that the court took action while one of the parties involved was not present. If you have been served an ex parte order of protection, it means that your spouse went to court without you and told a judge or magistrate that they are in immediate danger of domestic violence and need emergency protection from you.

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Parenting Plan Disputes and Enforcement in Kane County

 Posted on July 22, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

sugar grove divorce lawyerDivorce can be contentious, emotionally debilitating, and costly, most especially when children are involved.  Under Illinois law, all decisions are determined in the best interest of the child.  A parenting plan includes decision-making responsibilities of the child, and parenting time, formerly visitation, that each parent has with the child. An agreeable parenting plan begets a harmonious home life for the child.  

Achieving and adhering to a parenting plan can sometimes be complicated. A divorce lawyer can negotiate an agreeable parenting plan or facilitate post-decree enforcement of the parenting plan.

Four Disputes in Decision-Making Responsibilities

  1. Education – Where the child attends school is often a source of conflict. A parent may want the child to be enrolled in a private or religious-based school, like a parochial one, while the other parent may wish the child to attend public school. Sometimes tuition costs are the primary factor of this conflict. Academic achievements and a competitive grade point average may also be an issue as one parent may be more lenient while the other is not.  

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Establishing a Trust in Geneva

 Posted on July 11, 2022 in Estate Planning

geneva estate planningEstate plans specify how assets are handled after a person’s death or during a person’s incapacitation. This preparation provides a family with peace of mind and can help eliminate the burden of possible lengthy probate proceedings and costly legal fees. A will not only outlines how an estate is allocated but also assigns the executor. If the dependents are children, estate planning can determine guardianship.

Without a valid will, the person who died is considered to have died intestate, designating the state as the executor. The state then determines the recipients and handles the estate distribution according to state law. A detailed, legitimate will is essential if you wish your assets to be distributed a certain way. A will has ilmitations, so establishing trusts further protects one’s wishes. An estate planning attorney can explain the different types of trusts and help select the ones suitable to a client’s needs.

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Five Qualifying Situations for a Child Support Modification in Illinois

 Posted on June 27, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

geneva child support lawyerIf you are paying or receiving child support, you know that the circumstances of your life and the life of your child may have changed dramatically since the original child support order was approved by the court. In Illinois, your child support order is eligible to be reviewed for a modification every three years. However, there are qualifying events that may allow you to modify the order between the normal review cycle.

Steps in the Modification Review Process

Either parent can ask the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to review the child support order for possible modification. The parent must demonstrate in their modification request that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred or that the other spouse has agreed to the change. Situations that may allow a child support modification include:

  • The parent who is making the cild support payments has had a substantial decrease in income. This could be due to a job loss, an involuntary cut in pay, or a serious injury or disability. They could petition to have the monthly payments decreased.

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Why Do I Need a Power of Attorney for Health Care?

 Posted on June 03, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

geneva estate planning lawyerPlanning ahead for your future medical needs can feel like a daunting proposition and a difficult subject to consider. Nobody wants to think about a time when their own care may be out of their control. However, it is beneficial to ensure that important decisions about your own medical care are in the hands of someone you trust and who knows your wishes. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you establish a power of attorney for health care and remove some of the uncertainty about your future care.

What a Power of Attorney for Health Care Can Cover

A health care power of attorney allows you to choose an agent, who should be a close family member or trusted friend, who will have the authority to make decisions about your care on your behalf. They will also have access to your medical information to allow for informed decision-making. It will typically take effect if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions about your own care.

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What if My Ex-Spouse Will Not Follow the Terms of Our Divorce Decree?

 Posted on May 16, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

kane county divorce lawyerYou finally finished getting your divorce, and you are ready to move on with your life. The terms of your divorce decree were fair and reasonable. Both you and your spouse are legally bound by these terms. That should be the end of it. However, after a few weeks or months you are starting to realize that your ex-spouse has no intention of obeying the terms of your divorce decree. They do not drop off your children when they are supposed to. They have not turned over property that you won in the divorce. You are not getting the spousal support you are entitled to. In this case, you may need to go back to court to ask the judge to enforce the terms of the divorce decree. It is in your best interest to enlist the help of an experienced divorce and family law attorney. Enforcing a divorce decree against an uncooperative ex-spouse can be an uphill battle - but it can be done.

How Can a Court Enforce a Divorce Decree?

Depending on the situation, it may be worth it to try working it out without judicial involvement. Your attorney may suggest that you start by talking to your ex-spouse, or your attorney may want to try sending a letter before going back to court. However, if this type of solution is not going to work, your lawyer may need to file a petition to enforce the divorce decree. The court may use the following means to enforce the original order: 

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What Does a Guardian ad Litem Do?

 Posted on May 09, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

geneva family law attorney Child custody proceedings can be incredibly stressful, even when both parents are fit and amicable with one another. When the case gets a bit more contentious, or certain other circumstances are present, the court may appoint a special attorney or social worker called a Guardian ad Litem. It can feel alarming to learn that a Guardian ad Litem has been appointed for your children during your custody case, but there is generally nothing for you to worry about. When the judge appoints a Guardian ad Litem, it is not because they do not think that you are a good parent. Rather, the role of a Guardian ad Litem is simply to help the court understand what course of action might be best for your children. An attorney can help you better understand what the Guardian ad Litem’s role will be in your particular case.

When do Courts Consider Bringing in a Guardian ad Litem?

Guardian ad Litems are not automatically appointed in every child custody proceeding. It is more likely that the court will bring one in if: 

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4 Tips for Avoiding Estate Contests for Kane County Residents

 Posted on April 29, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

geneva estate planning lawyerEstate contests can be messy. When a will or trust is questioned and challenged, it affects every beneficiary. These conflicts have been known to precipitate rifts between family members that may never heal. You probably want estate administration to be easy for your beneficiaries so that they can accept their gifts and remember you fondly. When someone calls the validity of your estate plan into question, the dispute can take years to resolve in some cases. This type of litigation can also become extremely costly for all involved. Fortunately, there are ways to substantially reduce the odds of an estate contest. If you suspect that there may be any conflict, you should alert your estate planning lawyer so they can take additional steps to prevent a challenge.

Ways to Prevent Potential Future Challenges to Your Estate Plan 

Even if you think that your intended beneficiaries will get along and administer your estate in good faith, you cannot predict what could happen after you have become incapacitated or passed away. Some tips for creating a strong estate plan include: 

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How to Manage the Challenges of Post-Divorce Co-Parenting

 Posted on April 14, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

kane county divorce lawyerIf you and your spouse have children together and you are considering a divorce, there is a good chance you are concerned about how the two of you will raise your children in the wake of your split. Presuming you wish to share parental responsibilities with your spouse—which is the recommendation of the courts in most divorce cases involving children—you and your spouse will need to work together as co-parents.

Successful co-parenting can be more challenging than it initially seems, but it can be done. It will be up to your and your spouse to come up with customized co-parenting arrangements that match your specific circumstances, but here are a few things to consider as you start the process.

Your Parenting Agreement Should Be Specific

Hopefully, your spouse is willing to cooperate with you because it is better for your children if the two of you are making parenting decisions together rather than having the court decide on things for you. As you sit down to figure out what will work best for your co-parenting situation, be sure to make joint decisions that address:

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Should the Family Home Be Sold During a Divorce?

 Posted on March 25, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

Geneva Divorce LawyerWhen a married couple experiences relationship problems, they may encounter multiple different types of issues as they determine whether to attempt to repair their marriage or proceed with a divorce. As spouses begin the process of separating their lives from each other, they will need to make decisions about how to handle ownership of the property they own. During the property division process, a variety of different assets and debts will need to be considered, including the couple’s marital home.

Addressing Ownership of the Marital Home During Divorce

Since the home that a married couple owns is likely to be one of their most valuable assets, it will be important to determine how ownership of the home will be handled going forward and how all types of property can be divided fairly between the spouses. If a couple purchased their home during their marriage, it will be considered marital property, even if it is only titled in the name of one spouse. If one spouse owned a home before the couple was married, it will typically be considered their separate property that will not need to be divided during the divorce process, although the homeowner spouse may be required to reimburse the other spouse for any contributions they made that increased the value of this asset.

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