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Family Law | Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog - Part 2

Subject of “Crazy Love” Documentary Dies

By Nottage and Ward on January 9, 2013

Linda Pugach, who was blinded when her lover allegedly arranged for lye to be thrown in her face, died on Tuesday, January 22nd, her husband told the Associated Press on Thursday, January 24th. The cause of death was heart failure. Linda’s story did not end with the vicious attack, however. She later made headlines for eventually marrying the man, Burton Pugach, who spent 14 years behind bars for hiring the men who attacked her when she was his girlfriend.

Burton Pugach was married at the time the crime was imprisoned. The attack became the sensational tabloid story of its day. Pugach was released from prison and convinced Linda to marry him in 1974 on live television. He referred to their story as a “fairy tale romance.” Filmmaker Dan Klores told the story in a 2007 documentary titled “Crazy Love.” Pugach had high praise for the documentary.

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Family Law Attorney Leslie Fineberg Discusses Tips on Preparing for Separation during the Holidays

By Nottage and Ward on December 17, 2012

Knowing that you are heading towards separation or divorce after the holidays can make getting through the holidays more difficult, but the answer is not pretending it’s not going to happen or ignoring the holidays in order to prepare, especially when you have children. As an experienced Illinois family law attorney at Nottage and Ward, Leslie Fineberg encourages families to prepare for what lies ahead but to also remember that the holidays don’t have to be sacrificed, and shouldn’t be if you have children.

The Huffington Post offers some helpful tips for how you and your spouse can prepare for divorce or separation during the holidays:

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How Technology Can Help You During and After Your Divorce

By Nottage and Ward on October 29, 2012

Technology is having an increasingly significant role in people’s lives; there are apps for just about everything now. You can keep a list of every item in your pantry on your phone, create a shopping list, navigate to and from destinations, find movie times, and even do your banking through apps on your cell phone, tablet, or other device. But did you know that there are also apps to help families through their divorce?

According to The Huffington Post, the following apps can be the extra help a divorcing or divorced family needs to cope with the changes in their lives:

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Who Gets Custody of the Dog after Divorce?

By Nottage and Ward on June 15, 2012

Pets have become a large part of people’s lives, much more so than in the past; they are considered part of the family, whether it is a dog, cat, rabbit, snake, or even guinea pig. So what happens when a marriage ends? Divorcing couples regularly fight over property division and who gets the kids, but where does pet custody come in?

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, pet custody issues in divorce have become more and more common, thanks to the evolution of societal views on animal companions. But the courts do not consider pets like children who must have a custody arrangement. Pets are considered property that will be awarded to one spouse or the other unless they come up with their own shared custody agreement.

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Survey Shows More Women Paying Alimony and Child Support after Divorce

By Nottage and Ward on May 18, 2012

A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) revealed some interesting changes in divorce dynamics. In the past, the husband was the higher-earning spouse and ended up being the one to pay child support and alimony, or maintenance, to their ex-wife. The role as the family’s financial support has since shifted, however. According to the AAML survey, an increasing number of women are paying child support and maintenance.

Results from the survey reveal that 56 percent of the country’s top divorce lawyers have seen an increase, in the past three years, in the number of mothers responsible for paying child support. Additionally, in the same three years, 47 percent of the country’s top divorce lawyers have seen an increase in the number of women responsible for paying maintenance to their spouse. According to the president of AAML, the court system ultimately reflects changes in society, as is demonstrated by these figures.

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Tips for Building a Relationship with Your Grandchildren as Step-Grandparents

By Nottage and Ward on April 26, 2012

Remarrying can have a substantial impact on children after a divorce, but it is not just the step-parent and step-child dynamic that creates challenges for a new family. The step-grandparents also have obstacles to overcome while trying to build a strong relationship with their new step-grandchild or grandchildren. The grandparent-grandchild relationship is very special, but fitting into that role can be very difficult for a step-grandparent, according to The Huffington Post. The following tips can help a step-grandparent navigate the complicated waters of the step-grandparent – grandchild dynamic:

    1. Recognize that establishing trust with a preteen or teenage step-grandchild may take longer, but that does not mean that you can’t achieve it;
    2. Send a card on birthdays and special occasions to show you care. Emailing or calling to say hello occasionally is also good, but don’t overdo it, especially with older step-grandchildren;
    3. Avoid overcompensating, as it can affect your relationship with biological grandchildren. Keep your treatment of each fair, but distinctive;

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Your Facebook Profile May Be Used Against You in Family Court

By Nottage and Ward on February 27, 2012

Social networking has become part of our day-to-day lives, and although some people infrequently engage in online social networking, others religiously share their thoughts, emotions, frustrations, joys, and, not to mention, pictures for every occasion. The most popular social media site to do all this is Facebook. The problem? What happens on Facebook does not necessarily stay on Facebook. If you are currently in the divorce process or in a child custody battle, what you have on your Facebook profile may be used against you, according to an article in The Legal Intelligencer.

Though the law journal article discusses how Facebook is used in Pennsylvania family law cases, the fact is that Facebook has become a relevant factor in family law cases in courts nationwide. The decisions a court makes concerning divorce, maintenance, child support, and child custody may all be impacted by what is on a party’s Facebook profile, although, if the separating couple files for a no-fault divorce in Illinois, proving that one spouse cheated on the other using Facebook pictures and posts will have little to no impact. Child custody cases may be a different story, however.

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Illinois Court Dismisses “Bad Mothering” Case

By Nottage and Ward on September 13, 2011

For the past two years, until the end of August, two children, raised in a $1.5 million home in Barrington Hills by their lawyer father, had been pursuing a lawsuit against their mother for “bad mothering,” seeking more than $50,000 in damages for emotional distress, according to The Chicago Tribune.

In their claim, the children included alleged offenses committed by their mother, such as telling her 7-year-old son to fasten his seat belt or she would call the police, failing to take her daughter to an auto show and requiring that her daughter leave early from homecoming. Also included in the offenses were sending birthday cards that were “inappropriate” or did not include a check or cash, or not sending birthday cards at all. The mother’s attorney cited the lawsuit as a “litany of childish complaints and ingratitude” as well as a vengeful attempt by the children’s father, whom the mother divorced in 1995, to label her as an inadequate mother.

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Increasing Number of U.S. Children Raised by Grandparents

By Nottage and Ward on August 17, 2011

Approximately one in 10 children in the U.S. resides with a grandparent, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2010. That figure has increased progressively over the last 10 years, with a sharp increase during 2007 and 2008, when the economic downturn first began.

The study analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and discovered that around 41 percent of those children residing with a grandparent are also being primarily raised by that grandparent. Altogether, it is believed that about 2.9 million children in the U.S. are being raised by one or both grandparents. About half of these children also reside with a single parent, while no parent is in the household for around 43 percent of these children. Approximately eight percent reside with both parents in the household, as well as with the grandparent acting as caregiver.

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Survey Finds Cohabitation Agreements on the Rise

By Nottage and Ward on March 14, 2011

The Detroit Free Press reports a recent survey discovered that many couples who live together, but are not married, are increasingly choosing to sign a cohabitation agreement to protect themselves in case of a split.

The survey was conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), a group of about 1,600 divorce attorneys. According to the survey, approximately 48 percent of the lawyers have seen an increase over the past five years in the number of couples that are “duking it out in court.” However, 39 percent of those lawyers report a rise in the number of cohabitation agreements for couples who live outside of legally recognized marriages.

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