Tag Archives: family law
The decision to file for divorce is often one of the most difficult decisions in one’s life. Filing for divorce can be time consuming, costly, and complex. For these reasons as well as others, it is crucial that anyone considering ending their marriage be sure a divorce is what they truly want.
Once you are 100% certain you are ready to file for divorce, you will need to evaluate whether you want to hire counsel or attempt to navigate the process on your own. Generally, there are several main steps that will need to taken in order to dissolve a marriage.
One of the biggest topics in family law is the issue of child custody. It’s fair to say that almost all parents unequivocally want the best for their children. Regardless of this fact, parents continue to have difficulties or inabilities to agree on important matters involving the well being of their children. When such instances arise that negatively affect the child, usually one parent will file for sole custody. There are very specific guidelines governing the issue of sole custody in Illinois. This blog post outlines the main parameters a judge takes into consideration when awarding custody. Child custody cases center around how well each parent can work alongside the other to achieve beneficial results for the child[ren]. Some things that are taken into account are: medical decisions, religion, education, extracurricular activities, the extended family and the child’s emotional and financial well being. If the parent’s viewpoints’ collide on the three major areas: medical, education and religion, sole custody is generally sought and awarded.
There are typically two instances in which people attend mediation: voluntarily to settle a dispute outside of court or as a result of court ordered mediation. In family law, mediation is most often utilized as an alternative to litigating issues before a judge. If the parties are unsuccessful in finding a resolution during mediation, returning to court is most often the next step.
If you have been notified of court ordered mediation you must attend. Any child custody or child visitation case filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, whether through a divorce or parentage action, courts mandate parties to attend mediation unless the parties are able to reach an agreement on their own. Nevertheless, in certain instances, such as cases involving domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness or child abuse, a judge has the authority to keep the parties out of mediation. Furthermore, if circumstances are presented that the parties should not be in close proximity, such as one having an order of protection against the other, mediation would not be considered a viable option.
Regardless of whether you will be participating in mediation on a voluntary basis or through a court order, it is important to maximize your time to achieve the most desirable outcome. Even though mediation is a collaborative effort intended to bestow mutual accord, this does not mean it will be smooth sailing, or even that any agreements will be made. Successful mediation requires a lot more than two opposing sides sitting in a room, here’s how to get the most out of it:
Come to mediation with a plan…
Domestic violence, or what is now more appropriately referred to as “intimate partner violence,” is a crime taken seriously under Illinois law. Illinois Law gives victims of domestic violence an avenue of safety through “orders of protection.” Orders of protection, which are often referred to as restraining orders, are orders signed by a judge that either order someone to stop certain behavior or to stay away from someone else.
To obtain an order of protection, a person must first ask the court for one by filing a petition. In the petition, the person being abused is required to explain to a judge why an order of protection against their “family or household member” is necessary. This explanation is provided by way of an “affidavit,” wherein the victim of such abuse gives a detailed description of the events that took place. The Illinois Domestic Violence statute relates specifically to “family or household members,” which are defined under the statute as:
On your quest to find the best divorce lawyers in Chicago, you will probably scour the internet and look for popular reviews, read any and all negative feedback, and research the attorney’s experience to make an informed decision. If you have friends or family who hired a Chicago divorce attorney you will most likely consult them for recommendations, good and bad. If you are doing most of these things, you are on the right track, but caution must be used when navigating the internet, here’s why….
Locating Top Divorce Attorneys in Chicago
If you are reading this, chances are you are experiencing lots of turmoil in your personal life and are desperate to seek answers. Going through a divorce, seeking child custody arrangements or needing a child support attorney is typically not a pleasant experience. Finding the top divorce attorneys in Chicago is perhaps one of the most important decisions you will make in your life and should not be taken lightly.
This blog post is here to advise (but not provide free legal advice, more on that topic later!) people on what steps to take, and make recommendations on how to seamlessly ask the right questions during your quest to find prospective Chicago family law firms. One caveat before we continue, we stress divorce attorneys in CHICAGO, because every state has different jurisdiction. We, The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., are a group of Chicago divorce lawyers, so we can only properly provide facts on Illinois law.
How do Illinois judges determine grandparent visitation?
One area of family law that has seen a lot of change and involvement in the last decade is the area of grandparent visitation. Grandparent visitation in Illinois is governed by Section 607 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Grandparents are permitted to petition for visitation with their grandchildren by filing a case in the circuit court of the county where the children reside. They may also file a petition for grandparent visitation and/or any electronic communication rights within the parents’ divorce case or any other court case involving custody of the children.