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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 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. 

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