Blog posts tagged in Illinois law
Whether or not to hire an attorney to help you end your marriage is always a complicated question. While many young couples without children or significant debt or assets can successfully file for divorce on their own, the majority of divorcing couples would be taking a major risk not hiring an attorney. Although many people are concerned that hiring an attorney will be too expensive, employing the help of an attorney actually increases the chances you will save money on child support, spousal maintenance, and other costs. Hiring an attorney to represent you during your divorce can benefit you in many ways.
Save Time and Frustration
The American legal system is one of the best in the world, but it can be tedious to navigate. Divorces, especially complicated or high net worth cases, can require seemingly endless amounts of paperwork, signatures, meetings, and legwork. Because divorce is often a deeply emotional process, some people find that they are simply unable to handle the added stress of managing the legal aspects of their divorce alone. An experienced family law attorney can help streamline the divorce process, saving you valuable time and resources.
Prenuptial agreements are legal documents which couples can create and sign before getting married. Provisions in the document include directives regarding how property and assets will be divided in the event that the marriage ends in divorce as well as plans for how finances will be handled during the marriage. Prenuptial agreements are often misunderstood and there is quite a bit of misinformation circulating the internet regarding these helpful legal tools.
Myth 1: Getting a Prenup is Planning for Divorce
The most commonly held false belief when it comes to any premarital agreement is that only couples who plan to divorce create these arrangements. This is simply not true. Although short-lived celebrity weddings have given prenuptial agreements a bad reputation, many couples benefit from prenups and never end up divorced.
Annulments are a legal option for ending a marriage that many are confused about. An annulment is unlike a divorce in that it invalidates the marriage. Marriages which are successfully annulled are treated as though they never happened. There are differences between civil annulments and religious annulments. Many people who choose to end their marriage through an annulment do so because their church or religious organization does not allow divorce. However, in order to qualify for a civil annulment, the spouses must meet many requirements which are not required for religious annulments.
Requirements for Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage
In Illinois, annulments are referred to as “declarations of invalidity of marriage.” In order to qualify for a declaration of invalidity of marriage, the spouses must meet one or more of the following criteria:
When your divorce has been finalized and the divorce decree has been entered by the court, it becomes a binding order, enforceable under the law. However, you should know that even if your divorce is finalized, you are allowed to file a petition to modify, or amend the decree. Before filing a petition to modify your divorce decree, make sure that you are within the bounds of when a divorce can be modified. There are certain circumstances which make a person eligible for a divorce decree modification. One cannot seek a modification just because they did not like the decisions made by the judge presiding over their divorce.
Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time
A person can file for a divorce decree modification if the circumstances of the family, including income or employment, change dramatically. Unless both parties agree to consider a change or there is a serious danger to the child, Illinois residents are not permitted to modify their parental responsibilities arrangements (not including parenting time concerns) until two years after the original decree or most recent approved modification. Illinois courts make their decisions regarding parental responsibilities based on what is in the best interest for the child. Having a two-year waiting period allows the child to settle into their new role as a child of divorce. Parenting time considerations may be modified at any time upon a showing of change in circumstances.
Despite the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, disabled people continue to face discrimination in many, if not all, walks of normal life. One area that often surprises the average person is in the realm of child custody, or the allocation of parental responsibilities as it is now called in Illinois. It is sadly not uncommon for disabled parents to lose their children once their disability is known to the state. The law in Illinois has improved over time, but there are still some potential hurdles in place that a disabled parent may struggle to overcome.
Cultural Bias Is Strong
It has been said that disabled parents are the only group that must commonly fight to retain (or even gain) custody of their own children. Data from the National Council on Disability show approximately 15 percent of parents who are physically disabled report unwanted interference or discriminatory treatment in custody cases, while the removal rate for children of those with developmental disability or mental illness is as high as 80 percent in some states. In approximately two-thirds of U.S. states, the mere existence of a parental disability is grounds for removal of a child from the home.