Most parents envision having an active relationship with their children – full of good times, laughs and fond memories. Rarely do people plan on being single parents or imagine going through the process of splitting time with their children with their former spouse. Many individuals whose marriage ends in a divorce or have a child out of wedlock never expected it. Whether you are in the process of a divorce or a parentage case for child custody in Illinois, a very important task may be establishing a child visitation schedule.
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 major issues often arising during divorce is determining what to do with the marital home. In many cases, parties to a divorce are faced with the dilemma of deciding how to address the home where they resided during the marriage. In most cases, there are two options:
1. Sell the house – In many instances, the parties want a fresh start upon their divorce and will simply decide to sell the marital home and divide the sale proceeds as they agree or as the court decides. This solution is typically the simplest way to address the martial home as the parties will not be required to value or appraise the property (for purposes of the divorce), as the value (and proceeds resulting therefrom) will be determined by the sale price. The decision to sell the marital home can become complicated if the house is “under water” (i.e. the debt or mortgage on the property exceeds the value of the property). In situations such as this, the parties may want to consider a short sale of the property to free them from the debt associated with the property, but a short sale can become a complicated and long process.
Cook County Circuit Court classifies an order of protection in three various capacities based upon the imminent threat the petitioner is experiencing at the time of filing. Because of the fact domestic violence encumbers a broad range of offensives, it is impossible to unilaterally categorize everything on the same scale. When judges review a petition requesting an order of protection, many factors are involved in determining whether or not an order shall be granted, and if one is indeed granted, what type shall the petitioner receive.
In any divorce proceeding, the issue of which party will have the right to claim the child or children for tax purposes must be determined either by agreement or by a judge. As any parent knows, receiving a child tax exemption can often be an opportunity to save a substantial amount of money come tax time. The Internal Revenue Code 152(e) clearly states that the custodial parent is entitled to the dependency exemption for their child. However, with many modern child visitation schedules providing increased parenting time for the non-residential parent, it is not always clear who should have the right to the tax benefits associated with the child.
Every couple has their ups and downs; even the seemingly “happiest” couples fight. It’s a part of life. Sometimes the fighting is manageable and sometimes it gets to a point where enough is enough! As a result, the rate of divorce in American society has increased over the past several decades. Although there are many different factors that may lead a couple to get divorce, the most common ground used when they need to establish grounds for divorce in Illinois is irreconcilable differences.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEDIATORS AND ATTORNEYS?
A mediator is a neutral third party who assists parties in navigating their legal differences by creating a forum for open dialogue. Mediators can also draft legal documents detailing agreements reached by the parties but do not represent either party. Mediators are utilized out of court for the purposes of negotiation and for facilitating a dialogue that will hopefully be productive. While they may be attorneys by trade, mediators cannot later be retained by a party to represent them in court proceedings if the mediator previously attempted to mediate the dispute at hand. A mediator will not go to court and argue for or against any party. Conversely, an attorney represents one party, and will zealously advocate for the party they are representing. While an attorney’s job is to advocate on behalf of their clients, an attorney can take a meditative or cooperative negotiating approach to working with the opposing party.
While every divorce is different based on the parties, in general divorce law can be boiled down to 5 main areas:
Visitation or Parenting Time
Maintenance or Alimony
What many people tend to misunderstanding about child custody is that it actually is NOT the time spent with your children. Rather custody involves having the decision making authority to be able to decide the so-called “big decisions” that involve the upbringing of your children. The three decision-making areas that the law focuses on are religion, medical care, and education. Parents must be able to agree on these three areas in order to be eligible for joint custody. Elsewise sole custody is generally sought and a custody battle ensues.
If there is one question that those embarking on a divorce are sure to ask their lawyer, you can bet the question is: How long does it take to get a divorce? Understandably, parties going through a divorce are always concerned about how long their case will last for many reasons, whether it be because of the impact on their children, the cost of the process, or planning the potential move from a residence.
When asked how long does it take to get a divorce, I always explain that unfortunately there is not a clear and concise answer I can give. Divorce can be over and done in a week and divorces can go on for many years. It all depends on the situation at hand and every case is different. What I can tell my clients is that there are numerous factors that will impact the time your divorce will take.
It’s a familiar scene: a man gets down on one knee, opens a small box containing a very expensive piece of jewelry, and proposes to the woman of his dreams. She graciously accepts, he puts the ring on her finger; they kiss and live happily ever after…well, at least that’s how it happens in the movies. Unfortunately, in the real world, not everyone lives this “fairy tale.” When things go awry, especially after a short term marriage, people often wonder, “who gets the wedding ring in a divorce?”