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Posted on in Divorce

cohabitation, divorce, Kane County divorce attorneysFor many years, relationship experts have been looking at the many elements that could make a couple more likely to divorce. Demographics, of course, have always been high on the list, as researchers examined marriage age, race, socioeconomic backgrounds, and religion in an effort to understand divorce trends. Other social factors as well have been in focus, often including generational and cultural influences, family history of divorce, and, lately, unmarried cohabitation. Obviously, no single factor is, on its own, a true predictor of marital success or failure; divorce is nearly always the result of a combination of interdependent factors, which are even more complex to analyze.

One such analysis looked at the possible impact of cohabitation on the likelihood of divorce, but with a twist. It also took into account the age at which participants first entered a committed relationship, including cohabitation or marriage. The results suggest that when looked at together, the age at first commitment may be more of a factor than living together prior to getting married.

Putting It All Together

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Posted on in Divorce

appeals, Kane County family law attorneysIn most cases involving divorce or family law matters, the parties are able to negotiate an agreement outside of the courtroom. They only require the court to approve and formalize terms already drafted, with very little actual decision-making required. Sometimes, though, the parties cannot reach an agreement and the matter is left to the court to decide. Such a ruling by the court typically carries an air of finality, especially if it feels like you were on the “losing” end. A less than favorable judgment is not necessarily the end, however, and filing an appeal could potentially allow you to work toward setting things right.

Act Quickly

Following the entry of the initial court’s judgment, you have 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal. The notice must be filed with the circuit court and announces your intention to challenge all or part of the judgment and the relief that you intend to seek. The reviewing or appellate court may grant an extension for up to an additional 30 days, but only if you have a justified reason for missing the original deadline.

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child custody, new law, St. Charles child custody attorneysIf you have been divorced or separated from your child’s other parent for any real length of time, you are more than likely subject to a child custody agreement. You may share legal custody of your child through a joint custody arrangement, the details of which may be outlined in your joint parenting agreement. Alternatively, you may be the custodial or non-custodial parent in a sole custody situation, in which only one parent is granted primary legal authority over the child’s upbringing.

As time goes on and your family’s resources and needs change, the law permits you to seek a modification of your custody order so that you and the other parent can continue to provide for your child’s best interests. In the past, many such modifications were relatively minor, addressing concerns such as schooling, medical care or insurance, and each parent’s time with the child. Transforming an order from sole to joint custody or vice versa was a major undertaking, and one typically reserved for cases with the most significant changes in circumstances.

Changes for 2016

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Posted on in Visitation

parenting time, visitation, Illinois family law attorneysA number of posts on this blog over the last few months have discussed some of the family law changes that took effect in Illinois this week. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was recently amended to update the state’s approach to divorce, child custody, and parental relocation. Included in the changes to the child custody statutes is a new way of thinking about parental visitation and the rights of a parent to have access to his or her child.

Change in Language

Many of the statutory changes are based on the power of the words being used and the often intangible effect of language. For many years, a parent who was not granted legal custody was known under the law as a non-custodial parent, a phrase that resonates a negative connotation. To make matters worse, a non-custodial parent was presumed to have only "reasonable rights of visitation" with their child. In effect, the law considered a parent’s time with his or her child to be a temporary visit, not terribly different from spending a day with an uncle or grandparent.

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separation, divorce, Illinois divorce attorneysBy now, you may be aware that significant changes to Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act are set to take effect on January 1, 2016. For the first time in several decades, many of the statutes related to divorce, child concerns, and parenting rights are being revamped in an attempt to bring the law more in line with the needs of today’s families. The one update that is likely to have the most widely-felt impact is the elimination of at-fault divorce in the state and the corresponding removal of separation requirements for no-fault divorce.

No-Fault Divorce and Periods of Separation

For many years, a divorce would only be granted if one spouse committed certain acts or consistently demonstrated specific types of behavior. These included adultery, repeated mental or physical cruelty, abandonment, habitual drunkenness, extended issues with substance abuse, and other destructive conduct. In order to be granted a divorce, though, the petitioning spouse would be required to prove that such things were occurring, a process that could be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.

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