Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog

Your Cheatin’ Heart and Lyin’ Eyes

By Nottage and Ward on January 31, 2018 - Comments off

Shock. Anger. Disgust. Weariness. Sadness. Loathing. So much pain.

Now, let’s go to court.

There are so many emotions that accompany the end of a marriage. But perhaps nothing elicits as many torturous thoughts and feelings as discovering that your spouse is having an extramarital affair. You’ve been cheated on, betrayed, shared your bed and home with an adulterer, and now you want the court to see this treachery and mete out a punishment that your so-called “better half” so richly deserves. Read the rest »

Posted in: Divorce



Why Illinois Switched to “Parenting Time”

By Nottage and Ward on January 26, 2018 - Comments off

Nikki, a woman in her 30s, had been dating her boyfriend, Michael, for a little over a year when they found out that Nikki was pregnant. The two determined that they would not get married, but both wanted to have the child. Healthy little Zoe was born nine months later to the happy parents and grandparents of the baby girl.

But a year or so later, things got complicated. Michael, still a large presence in his daughter’s life, had decided to go back to school to get his graduate degree in the hopes that he could get a better paying job in the near future, and Nikki was working full-time and depending a great deal on her parents and Michael’s parents for help with raising Zoe. Eventually, the financial strain and overall stress of the situation drove Michael and Nikki apart. But Michael and his parents still wished to be a part of Zoe’s life and not just sideline players or occasional acquaintances. They wanted to be responsible financially and emotionally with bringing up little Zoe, and very much wanted her to know that her daddy’s family was her family too. Read the rest »

Posted in: Visitation Rights



We’ve Built a Wonderful Family

By Nottage and Ward on January 22, 2018 - Comments off

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 »

Posted in: Child Custody



It Almost Lasted Forever

By Nottage and Ward on January 14, 2018 - Comments off

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 »

Posted in: Divorce



What Information Is Disclosed in a Financial Affidavit?

By Nottage and Ward on January 7, 2018 - Comments off

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 »

Posted in: Property Division



Can Social Media Posts Affect Your Divorce Case?

By Nottage and Ward on December 29, 2017 - Comments off

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 »

Posted in: Divorce



You Can’t Tell Me That’s Not My Son

By Nottage and Ward on December 20, 2017 - Comments off

The following short fiction explores a common situation many non-biological parents face every day.

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 »

Posted in: Child Custody



The Complexities of Divorce and Mental Illness

By Nottage and Ward on December 16, 2017 - Comments off

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 »

Posted in: Divorce



Illinois Prenup Basics: How Can They Be Invalidated?

By Nottage and Ward on December 13, 2017 - Comments off

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 »

Posted in: Pre-Nuptial Agreement



The Holidays and Child Allocation: Who Gets Parenting Time?

By Nottage and Ward on December 7, 2017 - Comments off

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 »

Posted in: Visitation Rights



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