Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog
The following is a fictional “what-if” scenario that many couples in Illinois may currently be dealing with.
It’s been almost a year and you couldn’t be happier with Mike. He’s charming, sweet, funny, has a good job, keeps a clean bathroom, actually gets along with your mom, and (let’s face it) he’s pretty easy on the eyes. You’ve sampled the dating pool and have come to the conclusion that Mike could be The One. All your friends agree that he’s definitely got The One material—even your mom thinks so!
New changes to our federal tax laws that just passed Congress have profound implications for divorcing couples. If you are considering a divorce, you should definitely educate yourself on the new law to determine how it might influence your decision.
As family law attorneys, we’ve seen people who go to great lengths to avoid divorce. And while there are good reasons for a couple to work through their problems and stay married, it’s also true that in many cases, divorce is in the best interests of everyone involved.
For many people, spring is about starting over again and getting your life in order, and that includes recommitting to serious relationships. For others, it means the opposite—time to change or end a relationship that only causes discontentment. But, if you don’t want to divorce, it may seem like there’s no way out of this tough situation.
We all know that issues relating to property division and child custody can be contentious in a separation or divorce, but what about pets? In the past, Illinois law has treated pets as property when dividing up assets. However, a new law that went into effect on January 1, 2018, allows a judge to take a pet’s well-being into consideration when allocating joint or sole custody of Spot or Puff.
Shock. Anger. Disgust. Weariness. Sadness. Loathing. So much pain.
Now, let’s go to court.
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.
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.
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%).
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.
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