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Plainfield, IL divorce attorney guardian ad litem

Illinois has comprehensive child representation laws to protect a child’s best interests when their parents are divorcing or separating. In some cases, spouses may contest child support, child custody, parenting time, education, parentage, and their child’s general welfare. Before making a decision, the court may appoint a professional to serve the child either as an attorney, a child representative, or a guardian ad litem (GAL). If he or she functions in the capacity of an attorney, he or she will provide the same independent legal counsel and representation for the child that would be given to an adult client. A child representative tries to ascertain the best interests of the minor and offer evidence-based legal arguments to the court, but it is important to understand that he or she cannot render opinions during the divorce proceedings.

What Is a Guardian Ad Litem?

A guardian ad litem is like an investigator for the court: He or she will interview both parents, examine the child’s home and school life, and provide a written report of his or her recommendations to the court and all other involved parties. The court can call the GAL as a witness for cross-examination purposes. You and your spouse will have to decide how to split the guardian ad litem office’s fees, as the court does not cover them. If a court is assigning a GAL to your divorce case, it is crucial to work with a family law attorney and discuss how you should work with the GAL to receive the parental rights and responsibilities you desire. 

Tips for Working With a Guardian Ad Litem

Think of a guardian ad litem primarily as an interviewer. He or she will want to get to know you and your spouse individually and determine which one of you is more fit to take primary custody responsibilities. Try to make an excellent first impression on a GAL without unnatural or forced behavior. Make sure your home is clean and in order prior to the visit. Remember to pay fees on time or discuss a payment plan with the court. Be positive, and do not disparage your spouse or force your child to say good things about you. Let your child know who the guardian ad litem is and why he or she is visiting, and most importantly, be honest and forthcoming with any requested information. It is crucial that you develop transparency between you and the GAL. 

Contact a Plainfield, IL Divorce Lawyer

Remember, Illinois’ child representation laws exist to defend your child’s best interests, so stay calm and be honest when meeting with a guardian ad litem or child representative. To gain more insight into what a guardian ad litem does and how he or she could affect your divorce case, speak with an experienced Will County family law attorney. Call the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., today at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to schedule a free consultation.




Plainfield, IL family law attorney order modification

The initial process of filing for a divorce and negotiating or litigating the corresponding terms is typically just the first stage of separation. Over time, both individuals’ and their children’s circumstances may change, which could justify a change in the agreement in order to be fair to both parties. There are many reasons why you or your ex-spouse might want to pursue a post-divorce modification. Regardless of the changes in mind, you should seek the assistance of a highly qualified divorce attorney. With his or her legal guidance, you will be able to better negotiate with your ex-spouse to achieve a favorable outcome.

Post-Divorce Modifications

Many circumstances can lead people to seek post-divorce modifications, but the following are a few of the most common. If the party who is paying spousal support loses his or her job, a modification may be necessary to reflect this change in income. Similarly, if a person is receiving rehabilitative spousal maintenance, a modification may be necessary to reflect the change in income once he or she finds a job and is able to properly support himself or herself. 

In many cases, the decisions a couple makes regarding parenting time might have problems from the start. A couple should refine their parenting time allocation to reflect the needs and desires of their children, and one party may seek a modification if he or she feels his or her amount of parenting time is unfair. Much of the decisions made about parenting time have to do with both spouses’ work schedules and lifestyles, so if there is a significant change on that front, an amendment to the agreement may be necessary. 

Child support terms are often altered through post-divorce modifications. If either spouse has a change in income, that can be reflected in a new agreement. It is unusual for a divorced couple to immediately agree on an adjustment to their child support agreement, and the modification can be made through mediation or in court. 

Contact a Will County Divorce Attorney

Divorce and the subsequent negotiations or legal battles can be costly and emotionally challenging, but a skilled Joliet, IL divorce lawyer can help ease the burden and make sure that your needs and rights are being protected to the fullest extent. At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., our accomplished divorce attorneys have years of experience protecting our clients’ best interests in their divorces. To learn how we can help you modify your court orders to reflect the changes in your or your ex-spouse’s circumstances, call our office today at 815-666-1285 to schedule your free consultation. 




Plainfield, IL parenting time attorney

Any aspect of divorce -- especially determining child custody and parenting time -- can be difficult to discuss and navigate. If you are trying to move out of Illinois with your child after a divorce, you might have difficulty justifying the move, but with skilled legal support, it is possible. Below is a guide for obtaining permission to move with your child, but it is also important to work with professional legal counsel. An experienced divorce attorney can help you convey the best argument to a judge if your ex-spouse contests your request to move.

Seeking Permission to Move

In Illinois, a parent who has the majority of the parenting time with their child or who shares equal parenting time cannot proceed with a move that would be considered parental relocation without receiving permission from the applicable family court. It is important to note that a move out of Illinois in which the new address is 25 miles or less from the child's current address is not considered parental relocation. Any out-of-state moves that exceed 25 miles from the original address will be subject to Illinois' parental relocation laws.

If you are planning a move that would be considered parental relocation, you must first provide written notice to your ex-spouse. A copy of this request must be filed with the clerk of the circuit court. Unless impractical, you must provide this written notice 60 days before your intended move. If you cannot give notice this early, you must provide the notice at the earliest possible date and have a valid reason for why this was necessary. Any notice must include the following:

  • The intended date of the relocation

  • The new address (if available)

  • The duration of the stay, if the relocation will be temporary 

If your ex-spouse approves of the relocation request, you may file a revised parenting plan with the court that contains any necessary changes to parental responsibilities or parenting time. If the judge agrees that these changes are in the child's best interests, the relocation request and modified parenting plan will be approved.

If your ex-spouse contests your relocation request, the court must then make a decision about how to protect the child’s best interests. This is where relocation requests can get particularly difficult, since parents may have different opinions on what they think is best for the child’s well-being. The judge will consider a number of factors in these cases, including your reasons for moving, the other parent's reasons for objecting to the move, your child's wishes, the educational opportunities available to our child at the proposed new location, the effect of the move on the child's proximity to extended family members, and how to reach a solution that will allow the child to maintain a positive relationship with both parents.

Contact a Plainfield, IL Parental Relocation Attorney 

After a divorce, a change of scenery may be beneficial. You may wish to move out of state with your child for a fresh start, to be closer to your family members, or to pursue a job. To ensure that you are making a persuasive argument for why your request to relocate should be granted, it is critical that you seek legal counsel. Meet with one of our experienced Will County divorce lawyers at the law firm of Tedone & Morton. Schedule your free consultation by calling us today at 815-666-1285.




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Plainfield divorce mediation lawyer While most divorces come with significant stress and intense disagreement, the divorce process does not have to be an all-out war. Even couples who do not currently get along can make divorce less combative, time-consuming, and expensive by avoiding courtroom litigation. One way to accomplish this is through divorce mediation.

Divorce Mediation Process

In divorce mediation, spouses reach agreements on the provisions contained in their divorce decree by utilizing a third-party mediator. Divorcing couples do not have to be on ideal terms in order for mediation to be successful. They only need to enter the process with a positive mindset and a willingness to find common ground. A skilled divorce mediator will bring extensive knowledge of Illinois divorce law to the table, along with an ability to settle disputes effectively. This means keeping personal conflicts out of the mediation sessions and focusing solely on the business at hand. A mediator’s job is not to be a couple’s counselor. It is to achieve agreements that benefit both parties in their post-divorce life. That said, an adept touch in defusing potential arguments is a beneficial trait for a mediator to have. Divorce mediators address all issues relevant to spouses in crafting a divorce agreement. This includes the division of marital property, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. Spouses can adhere to exact state guidelines when it comes to asset division and future payments, or they can create their own arrangements specific to their situation. In mediation, a couple has complete control over what happens. In divorce litigation, it is the exact opposite, as a judge will base decisions on the information provided, with little room for nuance. For couples who have children together, divorce mediation can be the first step toward successful co-parenting. It reduces the amount of anger and resentment involved in the divorce process. By working together, you set a standard of cooperation, and your children are spared the negativity that often emanates from prolonged courtroom battles.

Choose a Plainfield, IL Family Law Attorney

At Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we are prepared to help you navigate the divorce process, regardless of the level of disagreement between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Our experienced Will County divorce mediation attorneys know how to bridge the gap between couples to create an effective divorce decree. To learn more about how we can help you today, call us at 815-666-1285 for a free consultation. Sources:


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Will County Estate Planning and Divorce LawyerWhen you are going through divorce proceedings, the property and assets that you and your spouse shared will have to be divided. In addition to myriad other legal ties that need to be broken, something you may not have considered is what will happen with your last will and testament. After all, the will you had drawn up during your marriage most likely does not reflect your wishes now.

Illinois law dictates that after a divorce is finalized, neither party will hold legal claim to anything that the former spouse had designated for him or her in their will. However, during the divorce, before the marriage is officially terminated, is a different story. If you were to pass away in the midst of your divorce proceedings, your spouse would still be entitled to whatever your current will states. Therefore, it is important to make needed changes as soon as divorce is filed.

What Revisions Should Be Made?

Experts say a divorcing party should revise his or her will and any other estate planning documents to ensure that any children or other family members are taken care of, along with any charities or organizations that they wish to include. If a spouse was previously named as the executor, that should also be changed. Parents should also name the person or people they would like to take custody of any minor children in the event of their death.

Can a Spouse Contest Will Changes?

It is possible for a spouse to fight against will revisions made during a divorce. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, another option is for the divorcing party to create a trust. While a spouse may be able to renounce a new will if their former partner dies before the divorce is finalized, allowing them to take over one-third of their soon-to-be-ex's estate, spouses are not able to renounce a trust. Putting assets in a trust will ensure that the former spouse would not get any percentage of these assets. However, the trust must not be in the divorcing party's name, and it must be funded prior to that party's death.

Taking Steps to Protect Your Assets During Divorce

Every case is different, and the Joliet, IL family law and estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help you determine what is best for your individual situation. Call 815-666-1285 to arrange a free consultation and discuss your options for protecting your assets during your divorce.


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