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Recent Blog Posts

Establishing Paternity in Illinois When a Man Denies He Is the Father

 Posted on January 10, 2023 in Family Law

Joliet paternity lawyerPaternity is the legal recognition of a father-and-child relationship. In the case of a married couple, paternity is assumed, and no further action is needed to establish paternity. The husband of the child's mother is automatically considered the child's father. 

However, life can be complicated. Sometimes, a situation arises in which an alleged father denies that he is the child's father. If you are involved in a situation like this, it is important to understand your rights.

Paternity May Be Established Through Judicial or Administrative Action 

In Illinois, paternity may be established by a court action or an administrative process initiated either by the mother or the father. 

If the presumed father denies that he is the biological parent of a child, then genetic testing will be required to ascertain paternity. DNA paternity testing is a non-invasive procedure during which cheek swabs are taken from both the presumed father and the child. The samples are examined at an accredited laboratory to determine genetic markers, and from those markers, the probability of paternity is calculated. Paternity tests are extremely accurate. 

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What Is Asset Tracing and How Is It Useful During High-Net-Worth Divorce?

 Posted on December 28, 2022 in Divorce

Will County divorce lawyersClassifying, valuing, and dividing assets is often one of the most complex components of a divorce. When spouses marry, their property is mixed. Determining who is entitled to what in a divorce can become a lengthy and complicated process - especially in a high-net-worth divorce.

Asset tracing is the process of tracing the origin of each asset. This is especially important in a high-net-worth divorce case, as the spouses may have complicated financial portfolios with multiple investments, complex tax returns, and global assets. Asset tracing can be used to determine what assets were acquired during the marriage versus those that existed prior to it. Asset tracing may also be used to reveal hidden assets, undervalued assets, or undisclosed sources of income.

What Does Asset Tracing Entail?

Asset tracing is a process of tracking the origin, movement, and ownership of each asset. The process may include:

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5 Tips for Surviving Your First Christmas After a Separation

 Posted on December 06, 2022 in Divorce

Will County family law attorneySplitting up with your spouse is challenging under the best of circumstances. However, separation or a divorce during the holidays is especially stressful and upsetting. If you are beginning the divorce process this holiday season, you know this firsthand. There is no way to completely eliminate the emotional, financial, and practical challenges associated with this major life change. However, you may be able to mitigate the stress and reduce your anxiety to some degree. Here are a few tips to help you get through your first Christmas after separation.

Getting Through the Holidays When Divorce Is on the Horizon

Christmas is supposed to be the "most wonderful time of the year." However, for people going through divorce, it can seem more like a nightmare. Many people struggle with feelings of loneliness, anger, regret, and confusion during the divorce process. 

If you are getting divorced soon, consider the following coping strategies:

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Supervised Visitation and Other Parenting Time Restrictions

 Posted on November 28, 2022 in Divorce

Joliet family law attorneyIllinois courts want to preserve the relationship between a child and both of his or her parents whenever possible. However, in cases where there is a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health issues, or other concerns that place the child’s safety at risk, courts may order supervised visitation or other restrictions on parenting time. Supervised visitation is when a third-party monitor is present at all times during exchanges and visits between the child and parent. The monitor can be a family member, friend, or professional hired for the role. Courts may also order restrictions on parenting time such as limiting the parent’s visits to certain times or places, prohibiting certain activities, requiring testing for substance use or other restrictions. 

Why is Supervised Parenting Time Ordered by the Court? 

The child's best interests are the top priority for the court when deciding parenting time restrictions or any other child-related matter. Supervised visitation may be ordered if it is believed that this arrangement will ensure that the child is provided with a safe, stable and nurturing environment. Domestic violence, abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse, severe mental health issues, or other concerns are some of the issues that may result in a court ordering supervised parenting time. 

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What is the Role of a QDRO in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on November 08, 2022 in Division of Property in Illinois

Joliet retirement asset division lawyerA qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, is a legal document that is typically used in conjunction with a divorce decree in order to divide retirement assets between spouses. In the state of Illinois, there are specific rules that must be followed in order for a QDRO to be valid.

If you are going through a divorce and you have retirement assets, it is important to understand the role of a QDRO in dividing those assets. An experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help you ensure that your QDRO is properly drafted and filed so that your interests are protected.

Retirement Assets in a Divorce

When most people think about dividing property in a divorce, they think about vehicles, real estate, and household items such as furniture. However, retirement accounts must also be dealt with during divorce. In Illinois, retirement assets acquired during the marriage are considered to be marital property and are subject to equitable distribution. Retirement funds that a spouse already acquired before getting married are usually considered non-marital assets. Consequently, retirement assets may be considered partly marital and partly non-marital during a divorce.

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10 Tips for Divorcing a Narcissist Spouse 

 Posted on October 19, 2022 in Divorce

Joliet Divorce Lawyers

The term "narcissist" refers to a person who is excessively self-absorbed and lacking in empathy. Narcissism often manifests itself as a need for admiration and attention. Someone with narcissistic tendencies may try to control or manipulate other people, intentionally start drama, or be excessively aggressive. 

If you are divorcing a narcissistic spouse, then you know that the process is likely to be long, draining, and frustrating. There is no way to eliminate hardship and challenges during your divorce completely, but the following tips may help. 

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How Much Alimony Can You Get In Illinois?

 Posted on October 07, 2022 in Alimony

Plainfield Divorce Lawyer

Divorce cases sometimes include an order requiring one spouse to provide continued financial support to the other spouse. These payments are referred to as “spousal maintenance” in Illinois law, but the terms “alimony” and “spousal support” are sometimes used colloquially.  If you are getting divorced, you may have questions about the role spousal maintenance will play in your case. Read on to learn more.

Circumstances Under Which Spousal Maintenance May be Ordered

Spousal maintenance is only ordered in a small percentage of Illinois divorce cases. There are three main circumstances under which a spouse may receive maintenance payments in a divorce:

  • Mutual agreement between the parties – Divorcing spouses may negotiate the terms of maintenance during the divorce process. For example, consider a divorcing couple who owns a family business. The spouses may work out an agreement in which one spouse keeps the business but the other spouse receives spousal maintenance payments.

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Sharing Custody? Make Sure to Discuss These Child-Related Technology Concerns With The Other Parent

 Posted on September 27, 2022 in Child Custody in Illinois

Joliet Child Custody Lawyer

Children are growing up in a world that bears almost no resemblance to the world in which their parents grew up. From smartphones to remote learning, it can seem as if everything is different. If you are a parent and you plan to share custody with your ex, you may worry about how you and the other parent will manage child-related matters as divorced or separated co-parents. There is no way to completely eliminate parenting disagreements. However, many co-parents find that they can avoid future conflict by discussing child-related matters and making a parenting plan before these issues arise. As you and your child's other parent start building your parenting plan, make sure to consider the following technology-related matters.

Screen Time Limits

Many parents worry about the effects of too much "screen time," or time in front of a television or computer screen, on their children. Excessive screen time is associated with obesity, reduced social skills, sleep problems, and even developmental delays. It will be easier to enforce screen time limits if you and your child's other parent are on the same page about the amount of time your children should spend on computers, tablets, and other electronic devices.

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How is Real Estate Handled in an Illinois Divorce Case? 

 Posted on September 19, 2022 in Divorce

Joliet Property Division Lawyer

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you may have hundreds of questions running through your mind. Who will get the house? What about our vacation properties? Should we sell our house and split the proceeds?

The marital home and other real estate properties are often considered marital property in a divorce. This means that both spouses have a lawful right to a portion of the property's value. It is important for anyone getting divorced to understand how Illinois property division laws can influence the outcome of the divorce so they can better prepare.

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Property Division Concerns for Older Couples Getting Divorced

 Posted on August 25, 2022 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIf you are over the age of 50 and considering divorce, you may be wondering how the property division process will work. Unlike younger couples, you and your spouse likely have decades of accumulated assets and liabilities. Addressing these issues during divorce can be complex and challenging. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you evaluate your options and choose the best course of action for your unique situation.

Negotiating a Property Division Settlement

Television shows and movies often depict divorce as a drama-filled courtroom trial in which both parties fight tooth and nail to "win" the case. Of course, divorce does not have to be this dramatic. In fact, only a small percentage of divorce cases actually go to trial. Most are resolved through a settlement agreement between the two spouses.

Settling a property division issue does not mean that you have to agree to everything your spouse wants. It simply means that you are willing to negotiate and compromise in order to reach an agreement. Spouses with complex property division issues are encouraged to work with an attorney who can protect their interests and advocate on their behalf. An attorney experienced in complicated property division can help couples negotiate a fair division of marital assets such as:

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