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 Cook County Courts during COVID-19Courts in Cook County and the surrounding collar counties in Illinois have taken measures in response to Governor Pritzker’s shelter-in-place order in an attempt to enforce social distancing guidelines and help combat the spread of the coronavirus. At this time courts have ceased conducting most regularly scheduled day-to-day activities until at least the end of April. Cook County courts will not resume regular activity through May 15, 2020.

Notwithstanding the above, courts are still accepting new cases as well as filings into pre-existing cases during this time. Some courts, such as Cook County, also have processes in place to take care of routine matters dealing with issues such as Temporary Parenting Time, Temporary Spousal and/or Child Support and Agreed Orders, which can take care of important preliminary issues that move the case towards a final resolution. Additionally, if you have an uncontested matter, meaning that there is a complete agreement between the parties, there is a possibility to have a final judgment entered during this time to resolve the case.

However, with new filings continuing to be made on a daily basis there is a chance for a significant backlog and delay once normal operations resume. It is important if you are considering filing for divorce, parental rights or to open the estate of a recently deceased love one that you act quickly in order to ensure avoiding possible delays.


Arlington Heights COVID-19 Child Support AttorneyThe Coronavirus Pandemic has created a financial crisis for many families throughout Illinois. Workers have already been laid off or faced severe reductions in hours.  New unemployment claims in Illinois increased by 178,000, or 1,833% for the week ending March 28, 2020, from the same week one year earlier. Many families in Illinois will struggle to pay their ordinary and necessary living expenses including rent, mortgage, and other bills.  This financial hardship will be especially difficult for divorced or divorcing parents in Illinois to pay their court ordered child support. 

In Illinois, child support and the modification of child support are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.  Under the Act, once entered by a court, child support orders continue and remain in effect even though you may not be financially able to pay your child support.  To mitigate economic harm as much as possible, payors of child support must take immediate action to file a motion for the modification of child support upon the occurrence of substantial change of circumstance including, unemployment, reduction of income or other substantial change in ability to pay child support.  In Illinois, modifications of child support are retroactive to the date the moving party filed and served notice of the motion to modify child support to the other parent.

If you have experienced a substantial change of circumstance including, unemployment, reduction of income or other substantial change in ability to pay child support,  please call the law offices of Anderson & Associates, P.C. today to speak with an experienced family law attorney to discuss the modification of child support.

Arlington Heights grandparents' rights and visitation attorney

A marriage often turns two families into one. This is especially true when a couple has children. New babies gather people together, and children may develop close bonds with aunts, uncles, or grandparents as they get older. When a divorce happens, relationships between extended family members can become awkward. However, children and relatives may want to maintain their relationships, and grandparents and other family members will want to be sure to understand their rights after a divorce. For parents, time spent with children is outlined in a parenting plan. Instead of “custody” and “visitation,” Illinois law refers to these as “parental responsibility” and “parenting time” respectfully. In Illinois, although the rights of parents come first, a grandparent may have the right to non-parental visitation with a child depending on the circumstances. This extends to great-grandparents, siblings, and stepparents as well. 

When Will a Judge Approve Non-Parental Visitation?

Non-parent family members may file for a petition for visitation after a child turns 12 months old. In cases involving divorced parents, at least one parent must typically approve of the request for visitation. A judge may grant visitation if one of the parents has died or if a parent is absent due to circumstances such as serving time in prison. Like all other family law decisions, the best interests of the child is the most important factor considered by a judge. 


Palatine divorce parenting plan attorney

Many people celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with different festivities. Children especially look forward to the holiday season for many reasons. After a divorce, there can be uncertainty about how winter holidays will be orchestrated for both children and parents. This can be resolved with a set schedule for parenting time. It is important to remember that every family is different, and it is still possible to enjoy whatever holidays you celebrate after a divorce. How and when you observe them might change, but the sentiment of togetherness can remain the same. 

How Many Families Go Through Divorce?

Statistics show that half of all children in the United States will experience their parents getting a divorce. Half of those children will experience a second divorce, and 10 percent of all children who have seen one divorce will go through three or more. A divorce can have a significant impact on children, regardless of their age. These feelings may be exacerbated during important times in their lives like family holidays and birthdays. Although a parenting plan will create the logistics of how holidays will be spent as a divorced family, there are emotional aspects that may take years to figure out. The following tips will help you, your ex, and your kids spend a pleasant holiday as a divorced family. 


Palatine divorce business valuation attorney

During a couple's marriage, they may start a business, either together or separately. If the couple chooses to get a divorce, they must address how ownership of this business will be handled. As with other assets, interests in a family business must be addressed as part of the equitable distribution of marital property. To ensure that business interests are divided fairly, a business valuation may need to be performed to determine the actual value of business assets. There are various approaches to this process, so it is important to understand the differences to determine which one is appropriate for your company. 

Business Valuation Methods

Multiple methods can be used to estimate how much a business is worth. One way of determining a business's value is by looking at the assets owned by the business. An asset-based approach is often better for larger companies that have business assets separate from the owners' personal assets. In smaller companies, a person's personal and business funds often overlap, which can make this approach more difficult. There are two asset-based valuation approaches that are typically used by business valuators: going concern, in which a business's liabilities are subtracted from the net balance of its assets, and liquidation, which looks at the potential profits earned by selling off all of the business's assets. 


Barrington divorce and parental relocation attorney

Whether for personal or professional reasons, people can move down the block or across the world. Many individuals have the freedom to do this at any time, but after a divorce when two parents share the responsibility for a child, this privilege may be restricted. Studies show that up to a quarter of custodial parents move away from the area where they lived as a married couple within two years of their divorce. When a parent considers moving after a divorce, some stipulations must be met to protect the rights of their child and the other parent. 

Parental Relocation Rights in Illinois

In Illinois, the term “child custody” is now referred to as the “allocation of parental responsibilities,” and parents will both have "parenting time" with their children. While the law no longer refers to a "custodial parent," a parent who has the majority of the parenting time or shares equal parenting time may be required to obtain approval before moving to a new home with their child. For a parent living in Cook County, he or she can move with the child up to 25 miles without needing approval from the court. This distance limit applies across state boundaries. DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties follow the 25-mile rule as well, but for all other counties in Illinois, a custodial parent may move up to 50 miles from his or her original home. 


Arlington Heights division of marital property attorney

According to research by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68 percent of U.S. households include at least one pet. Pets are often considered members of the family. Owning a dog, cat, or another animal has social and emotional benefits for adults and children alike. Pets are technically considered property, but under Illinois law, they are treated differently than a house, car, or other physical assets during a divorce. Therefore, it is important for pet owners who are divorcing to understand their rights regarding who gets to keep the family pet. 

Marital Property and Equitable Distribution

Under Illinois divorce law, marital property is divided based on what is fair. This is called “equitable division.” Instead of a 50/50 split of assets, property and assets are split dependent on factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse's contributions to the marriage, and the decisions made regarding the custody of children. Every divorce is unique, and an arrangement that may work for one couple may not work for another family. 


Schaumburg child support lawyer

When parents get a divorce, they are still responsible for taking care of their children. How this is orchestrated may change, but every child has the right to receive support from both of their parents, emotionally and financially. This is why when parenting plans are created, a judge will likely keep both parents involved in the child’s life unless there are extreme circumstances, such as abuse. Child support is how the noncustodial parent will financially contribute to the child’s well-being. 

Determining Child Support

When child support is calculated in Illinois, both parents’ net incomes are considered using an "income shares" model. The numerical amount of support that parents are responsible for is based on their percentage of combined net income. The paying parent is usually the person who has the least amount of parenting time. Child support for the main custodial parent is implied. Money paid for child support goes toward basic needs, medical costs, and school expenses for the child only. 


Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer

We are all familiar with common reasons for why people choose to end their marriage. A divorce can be brought on for many reasons, such as infidelity, lifestyle conflicts, financial disputes, or simply two spouses growing apart. No matter the reason, getting a divorce is a long process with challenges along the way. Given that some people have unusual reasons for getting divorced, legally terminating your marriage can be a complicated process. That is why it is important to understand Illinois laws regarding divorce. In addition, you should have professional legal assistance to make sure your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.   

Illinois Divorce Law

In an Illinois divorce, one party will have to start the process by filing for a petition for dissolution of marriage. The person who filed is known as the petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent. For an Illinois divorce to be granted, the marriage must be filed in the state, and both the respondent and the petitioner must be living in the state for 90 days. The divorce papers are served to the other spouse, and he or she has a certain amount of time to respond. 


Arlington Heights allocation of parental responsibilities attorneyWhen people get divorced, they are forced to make decisions about splitting the life they built together. In most situations, this will include assets and finances. When a couple has children, this affects the above variables, but also creates new challenges during the proceedings. In most cases, an Illinois judge will keep both divorcing parents in a child’s life, but the care of that child is referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities and will be organized through a parenting plan.

A parenting plan is an organizational system used by divorced adults with children. The plan allocates parental responsibility and parenting time, which have replaced the terms custody and visitation in Illinois law. These terms mean different things, but they do have overlap. Parenting time is quality time spent with a child. It may be playing their favorite game, providing basic necessities, and disciplining them. Having parental responsibility has more to do with decisions that affect a child's future or well-being. A parent who has parental responsibility will have parenting time. However, there may be cases in which a parent is allocated parenting time but does not have any decision-making responsibility for children. 

Parental responsibility involves making decisions about the following areas, and each of these areas may be shared by parents or allocated solely to one parent:


Schaumburg parenting time attorney

Being a teenager can be tough. The wrong haircut or a break-up can feel like the end of the world, so the major life changes that teens will experience when their parents go through a divorce can be especially traumatizing. Studies show that slightly less than half of all marriages end in divorce in the United States, and a quarter of teens whose parents divorce will experience emotional issues. Generally speaking, getting a divorce with children makes the split more complicated. Although a teenager will likely be able to conceptualize what a divorce means better than a younger child, the teen’s emotions may be more dramatic.

A divorce can be a turning point in any child’s life, and family changes can cause stress. A teen may develop anxiety and depression, or he or she may go through a phase involving substance abuse or poor grades. Every teen will react to divorce differently depending on their emotional maturity and family relationships. Recognizing signs that your teen is struggling during your divorce is important in order to help him or her cope with the transition. 


Palatine high asset divorce lawyer

When celebrities go through a divorce, everyone talks about the settlements. These high asset divorces are interesting because of the extraordinary dollar amounts in the millions and billions. For example, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, gave up a quarter of his shares in the company to his ex-wife, and he is still the most wealthy man in America. Celebrity divorces are in the news a lot, but it does not take a famous person to have a high asset divorce.

Division of Marital Assets

In traditional gender roles, a man may have taken control of the finances. However, in modern times, there are more households with dual incomes where spouses share equal financial responsibility. Financial matters between a couple can be a breaking point in a marriage. Money is a major stressor in a relationship and is one of the leading reasons people choose to get a divorce. Studies show that the larger the difference between a couple’s credit scores, the more likely their marriage will end in divorce within five years. 


Arlington Heights family law attorney

It is no secret that divorce is tough on a family. Although a husband and wife no longer want to be married, they both will continue to share a relationship with their children. After a divorce, one parent often moves from the family home, which can be difficult for children to begin with, but it can also change their daily routines or schedules. When addressing issues such as when children will have quality time with either parent, Illinois law allows families to complete a parenting plan, which must be in writing and signed by both parents to be considered legally binding.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

Since 2016, Illinois has removed terms such as “custody” and “visitation” from state family laws in an attempt to better address the roles that parents play following divorce. Now, such matters are referred to as “parental responsibility” and “parenting time,” respectively. A parenting plan is what puts decisions about these issues into action after a divorce by dictating how parental responsibilities will be allocated or shared between parents and when each parent will spend time with the child. 


Barrington dissolution of marriage attorney

divorce is a difficult time for many couples. Whether you have been married for one year or 20 years, the divorce process can be long and stressful. Once the complicated steps such as property division and creating a parenting plan are over, it is time to begin moving on with your life. Although a divorce may be finalized, you may still have lingering feelings about the marriage or your ex-partner. Divorce can be a big lifestyle change, and this transition can prove challenging. 

Grieving the Loss of Your Marriage

Getting a divorce means losing an important person in your life. It is normal to grieve this loss. Mourning the relationship with your ex-spouse can be cathartic. However, while contemplation is good, dwelling on the past can hinder you from moving on. A person getting a divorce may go through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 


Posted on in Family Law

Schaumburg paternity and parentage attorney

When a baby is born to a married couple, the mother’s husband is assumed to be the father of the child. Paternity is the legal definition of a father’s relationship with the child. When a father establishes that he is legally the father, he has rights to the child, such as parenting time. This is what legally differentiates him from anyone else, such as a family friend or other father figure. Establishing paternity not only strengthens the relationship between father and child, but the child will also benefit.

Ways to Confirm Parentage

The only way paternity is automatically established is through marriage. Even if the parents of a child live together, or are engaged to be married, paternity will need to be established another way. The only exception is if the mother was married, or in a civil union, at least 300 days before the birth. In these cases, her partner or former partner will be assumed to be the child’s father. 


Palatine divorce lawyer

The divorce rate is currently at its lowest in 40 years, and this decrease in divorces is widely attributed to younger generations delaying marriage. In fact, 15- to 24-year-olds have contributed the most to this average decrease, with a 43 percent drop in divorce rates for this age group. As societal norms change, younger people are waiting longer to get married. A lot of couples choose to live together for a number of years before entering into a legal union. Although the overall percentage of divorces has decreased recently, many couples still choose to end their marriage after careful consideration. 

Issues That Can Destroy a Marriage

Most couples do not enter into marriage expecting to get divorced. However, it can happen due to various factors that cause the breakdown of the relationship, such as:  


Schaumburg family law and divorce attorney

A person will likely experience many changes after getting a divorce. One spouse may move to a different city or state to get a fresh start. If children are involved, a parenting plan will be created to allocate parental responsibility and scheduled parenting time, among other things. Also, finances will be affected, since the spouses will no longer be sharing incomes. Another adjustment for a newly single person will be how he or she files taxes at the end of the year. An individual’s tax filing status will be different after a divorce, especially if children are involved. 

Filing Status

Depending on when the divorce is finalized will determine how a couple can file. If the divorce is final before December 31 at 11:59 p.m., each party must file their own individual tax return for that year. However, if the couple remains married at this time, they may choose whether to file taxes jointly or individually. A single person often can only claim one allowance, but a married couple has access to several. 


Posted on in Divorce

Palatine parenting plan lawyer

Any person who grew up with divorced parents will tell you it is not easy. Although the divorce rate in the United States has decreased, slightly less than half of all marriages still end in divorce. Traditionally, two people get married and then start a family, so children are often caught in the crossfire of a divorce. Studies have shown that children of divorce are more likely to marry another person with divorced parents, and those couples are more likely to get a divorce themselves. If the cycle of divorce continues, it is important for parents to learn how to communicate with their children about the end of their marriage. 

Open Communication

How the discussion of divorce should be handled will depend on the age and emotional maturity of a child. If there are multiple children with significant gaps in age, it may be best to individualize these discussions. Some of the most important aspects of these conversations include being open and honest while talking to children about divorce. Expect a wide range of reactions and emotions, which could go on for a period of time, even after the divorce is final. Some tips for discussing divorce with children of different ages include:


Palatine parenting plan attorney

Before a divorce, most parents care for their children together under one roof. Once a divorce is finalized, parents will need to continue providing the same level of care for children while living in separate households. This can be a difficult adjustment for parents, especially if there is bad blood between them. The goal for successful co-parenting is for a child to be minimally affected by a divorce, and a parenting plan can help achieve that. 

What Is a Parenting Plan?

In Illinois, when adults with children get divorced, how the child is taken care of after the split is determined by a parenting plan. This plan is a court order signed by a judge, to which both parents agree. The parenting plan dictates who has parental responsibilities for the child (custody), as well as parenting time with the child (visitation). For example, a parenting plan may state that the child will spend the weekdays with one parent, and the weekends with the other. No matter how it is organized, a judge will only sign off on the plan if it is believed to be in the best interests of the child. 


Barrington divorce attorney

Planning a wedding requires a lot of work, but getting a divorce has just as many challenges. After being served with divorce papers, it may be difficult to know what to do next. If you and your spouse were married for a long time, going through a divorce means figuring out how to split the life you two created together. Although it is possible to go through a divorce without legal representation, it is recommended to speak with a lawyer to leave the marriage confidently. There are many variables to a divorce, and if your spouse has an attorney, you will be at a significant disadvantage if you do not. An experienced divorce lawyer will know which questions to ask and the necessary actions to take to ensure you get the most out of your divorce settlement. 

Marital Issues That Need to Be Addressed

When sitting down with a lawyer, be sure to discuss the following topics regarding your divorce:

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