In 1997, David Weigand filed for full custody of his young son after the boy witnessed his mother being beaten time and time again by his stepfather, who was his mother’s third husband. It got so bad that he called 911 when the stepfather threatened to kill both the boy and his mother. But despite the fact that the boy was living in a volatile environment ruthlessly ruled by a man who was a convicted felon, drug-user, alcoholic, and domestic abuser, and despite the fact that Mr. Weigand had a solid job and did all he could to care for his son, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled against Mr. Weigand when it came to the custody of his son.
David Weigand was a 41-year-old gay man. Read the rest »
Who can forget the powerful images of celebration on North Halstead Street, right here in Chicago, on June 26, 2015? That was the day when the United States Supreme Court ruled that bans on same-sex marriage at a state level were unconstitutional. That ruling was the most significant legal victory for advocates of gay marriage in U.S. history.
But sadly, as with different-sex marriages, some of those relationships won’t last. According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, on average, 1.1% of same-sex couples dissolve their legal relationships each year. This rate is lower than the annual divorce rate for married different-sex couples (2%). Read the rest »
One of the key stages of an Illinois state divorce is the process known as disclosure. In Cook County (Chicago), a financial affidavit must be filed at the beginning of a divorce case by both spouses. The affidavit acts as the initial disclosure of your basic financial information, which will then become the basis of the division of property during your divorce proceedings. It can even be used by the judge when making a determination with regard to temporary support and the payment of attorney’s fees before the case has finished. Read the rest »
Going through a divorce is almost always stressful and traumatic. But few people are aware how modern technology and the rise of social media platforms have complicated what was already a difficult ordeal. It is important to realize that your online footprint can adversely impact your divorce proceedings.
Nearly everyone has embraced the smartphone culture, with its ability to share a photo or thought just a click away. Whether photos of your child or dog, a status report on your recent activity, or even a venting of frustrations, our society has become used to real-time updates from family and friends. Unfortunately, when you are involved in a divorce, over-sharing on social media can come back to haunt you. Such posts can be used as evidence against one or both parties, and have a material impact on decisions regarding maintenance, child support, and allocation of parental responsibilities. Read the rest »
I was in the break room during lunch, taking a moment to silently grapple with an issue that would affect my family and me for the rest of our lives. I’ve known all my life that I don’t conceal my thoughts and feelings very well, particularly when I’m carrying the weight of a crucial and deeply emotional issue on my shoulders. I was practically weeping into my cup of soup and I had no idea. Read the rest »
Divorce, even under the best of circumstances, can be a traumatic experience. You will face emotional stress and fears regarding your future security. If you have children, you will rightfully worry about the impact a divorce will have on them.
But if your spouse is suffering from mental illness of any kind, then the complications can be even more damaging—and might even prove dangerous. Read the rest »
If you are getting married, one of the last things you want to do is bring up a prenuptial agreement (prenup for short) because it’s usually something connected with divorce. And clearly, that is not a possibility you’ll want mentioned before the marriage has even started.
A prenup is a document drafted prior to getting married that determines certain financial arrangements between the spouses. Although people commonly associate prenuptial agreements with those who are wealthy, anyone can execute a prenup before marriage. It is important to understand not only what constitutes a prenup, but what factors can declare a prenup invalid. Read the rest »
The holidays are for families to enjoy together, but if you and you partner have divorced and you do not have sole allocation, then parenting time may have been allotted by the court.
If you live in Illinois and have joint allocation of parenting time, you will both have information about your parenting time schedule in your Allocation Judgment of Parental Responsibilities. This document will include the following details: Read the rest »
In 2016, the state of Illinois changed the term “custody” into “allocation of parenting responsibilities” in order to separate parenting responsibility issues such as education, religion, living arrangements etc. from parenting time. When a divorce occurs, it can be especially traumatizing for the children involved. Parents should always consider how their actions and the decisions they make both during and after the divorce will affect their children. Parents can sometimes come to an agreement over these custody issues on their own if the divorce was amicable, but other times when a decision cannot be reached or disputes arise, the courts need to step in and evaluate the possible solutions. Courts always try and do what is in the best interest of the child when it comes to determining custody related issues, so they will first examine the specific facts of each individual case before rendering their decision.
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Divorce: It’s that dreaded word that no one wants to hear, yet half of marriages today will experience it. Not only does divorce bring with it the emotional heartache and stress, but it comes with the overwhelming job of dividing up all assets between you and your spouse. This division of property can become especially complicated when you and your spouse shared investments. These can include your home, vacation properties, real estate, businesses or corporations, stocks, bonds, retirement plans, and any other financial investments you and your spouse made during the course of the marriage. Read the rest »