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Posted on in Divorce

venue, Kane County divorce lawyersDid your spouse recently file for divorce? If so, he or she had the opportunity to choose where to file the petition and the county where your case will be heard. You may be surprised to learn that if your spouse has filed first, you are not necessarily forced to go along with his or choice. Under Illinois law, you have the right to file an objection regarding the chosen venue but you must act quickly or you could miss your chance.

Understanding Venue

Throughout the legal system, the term “venue” refers to the county or district court in a which a given case will be handled. Divorce cases in Illinois are typically heard in the court circuit court system. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act presumes that divorce proceedings will be held in the county where at least one of the spouses currently lives. For example, if a couple has separated and filed for divorce, and the husband maintains an apartment in Kane County while the wife remains in the marital home in DuPage County, the law expects that the couple will file their divorce petition in either of those counties. A county in which neither spouse lives may be selected if the petitioning spouse presents a valid reason for choosing that county.

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Posted on in Child Support

disabled, Kane County family law attorneyParents of a child who has a disability or special needs frequently face a number of challenges in providing for their child’s needs. Raising a special needs or disabled child can cause serious psychological and emotional strain on the parents’ relationship with one another, and divorce is not uncommon for couples in such a situation. Identifying and protecting the child’s best interests can be very complex, and it can be difficult to develop an appropriate parenting arrangement. Depending on your situation, however, and the level of your child’s disability, your legal responsibilities regarding your child could continue even after his or her 18th birthday. You may be even be required to make support payments, despite the child reaching adulthood.

Definition of “Disabled”

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a disabled person is one “who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits or major life activity, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.” In order for your child to qualify for non-minor support payments, he or she must have been diagnosed or found to have the disability while he or she was eligible for regular child support or support for college expenses. This means that if your child acquires a disability after he or she graduated from college, turned 25, and moved out of your house, non-minor support will not be available for him or her.

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Posted on in Divorce

separation, St. Charles divorce lawyersIf you are in the midst of a tumultuous marriage—or a marriage that lacks the warmth and contentment for which you were hoping—you may have given some thought to a trial separation. In fact, you may have already spent several weeks staying with a friend or family member as you considered whether to file for divorce.

These situations occur frequently enough that they are practically formulaic in today’s culture. A married couple grows apart, one spouse moves out, and, in many cases, a divorce eventually ensues. Common practices, however, are not equivalent to statutory requirements. The fact that most people do something a certain way does not mean that you must do the same in a similar situation. Such is the case with a period of separation prior to divorce, at least according to Illinois law.

The Difference Between Legal Separation and Living Separate and Apart

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pets, Kane County divorce lawyerMillions of American families own dogs, cats, and other companion animals. In many situations, pets are as much a part of the family as any person. We share our homes, our lives, and, often, our own beds with the animals we love. With pets as common as they are in households around the country, it should hardly come as a surprise that many beloved dogs and cats get caught in the middle of difficult divorces. If you are a pet owner considering a divorce, it is important to know what your options may be regarding your furry friends.

Knowing the Law

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) contains most of the provisions governing the process of divorce in the state. The IMDMA, however, does not include any references to companion animals of any kind, meaning that, as far as the statute is concerned, animals are considered property. As such, what happens to dogs and cats in a divorce—when left to the court to decide—may be dependent upon the rest of the marital estate and how it is allocated between the spouses.

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Posted on in Alimony

alimony, St. Charles divorce attorneysAlimony, known as spousal maintenance in Illinois law, is used to help offset the financial effects of a divorce for a disadvantaged spouse. Depending upon the circumstances of your marriage, you, as the higher-earning spouse, may be required to make substantial payments to your ex-spouse which could potentially affect your own lifestyle and economic decisions. Understanding the law regarding maintenance obligations is an important part of planning for your post-divorce situation.

Is It Needed?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), spousal maintenance is not presumed to be necessary in every case. You and your spouse, of course, may reach an agreement regarding such payments, which will be honored by the court if the agreement is reasonable. In the absence of such an accord, however, the court will look at a number of factors to decide if alimony is appropriate. By law, these considerations include each spouse’s resources, earning potential, and needs, the length of the marriage, standard of living, contributions to one another’s career, and many others.

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