February 25th, 2013
Divorces are difficult for the spouses who are trying to separate. But it is increasingly more difficult for the kids of divorcing parents. Kids often show a range of emotions like anger, sadness, and confusion. Parents can make a huge difference in the process by being attentive, showing restraint about the other parent and staying honest. Throughout a divorce, it is essential to make and keep kids a top priority.
These types of concerns were what prompted Cook County courts to compel parents, under law, to take parenting classes in order to ease into this huge change. But, It is also helpful to parents when they become divorced. Too often these exes make their children a channel to exchange messages to each other. It is also not unheard of for exes to express bad feelings towards each other in front of their kids. Parenting classes also teach co-parenting skills which are necessary to provide stability for children.
The classes were traditionally only available in a classroom setting. As of November 13th, Cook County is allowing parents to take their courses online. Chief Judge Timothy Evans says that the program tries to eliminate the need for parents to miss work in order to attend the courses. The program is called Children in Between Online. They address typical problems that parents have with interactive scenarios and real-life solutions.
Child custody battles can often focus on the wrong aspects of caring for a child. Take a step in the right direction today by meeting with a family law attorney and working through your expectations during your divorce. Contact a skilled divorce attorney at Esp Kreuzer Cores LLP about your divorce and finding the proper resolution to your particular case.
November 15th, 2012
Since 1986, while Illinois Law allowed a guardian to defend against a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, that same guardian could not seek divorce on behalf of their ward, who suffering from a mental disability. In October, the Illinois Supreme Court opened the door for guardians to seek a divorce on behalf of their wards in the case between Jan and Marcia Karbin.
People who are mentally disabled have guardians who are compelled to act in the best interests of their wards. Yet, for many years, Illinois had prevented guardians from filing for divorce for their charges. This posed a problem for Marcia Karbin, who suffered from brain damage from a car accident back in 1997. Marcia’s daughter, Kara, became her mother’s legal guardian to look after her mother’s best interests. In 2007, Jan after living separate from Marcia for years, filed for divorce. The litigation went on for years and Kara vigorously protected her mother’s best interests. However, after years of the litigation, Jan decided to voluntarily dismiss is Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Kara, concerned about her mother’s financial wellbeing, tried to proceed with the divorce, but the lower courts, handcuffed by an earlier case preventing guardians from filing for divorce, determined that Kara could not proceed. Kara, determined to protect her mother continued to fight and appealed the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court and won.
In overruling the 26 year old law, the Illinois Supreme Court noted that Illinois recognizes “no-fault divorce” and based on such a recognition, the court reasoned that “there is no reason why the guardian should not be allowed to use the substituted-judgment provisions found in section 11a-17(e) of the Probate Act to make all types of uniquely personal decisions that are in the ward’s best interests, including the decision to seek a dissolution of marriage.” In writing the unanimous court decision, Justice Charles Freeman noted that to continue to ban guardians from filing for divorce on behalf of their wards would leave the wards completely at the mercy of their partners without considering the ward’s best interests. “Either the guardian can act in the best interests of the ward for all personal matters, or for none at all,” Justice Freeman declared.
Once the petition is filed, it will be up to the judge to decide if it is in the ward’s best interests for the divorce to proceed. If you are considering filing for a divorce from your spouse, or if you are a guardian who is considering filing for a divorce on behalf of your ward, don’t go through it alone. Contact a skilled divorce attorney in Wheaton who will work with you to meet your goals.
September 29th, 2012
A useful tool in securing a married couple’s future is often agreed to before they get married, a pre-nup. A prenuptial agreement is a contract that is agreed upon which determines property division, spousal support, and other aspects that would be addressed if the marriage were to end. There can also be special provisions in place that allow the forfeiture of any marital assets if adultery was the cause of the divorce.
While it seems weird to start a union with a clear outline of the breakup process, it does help people who enter marriages who have assets that they would like to keep after a divorce or who have children from prior relationships that they wish to ensure receive a portion of their estate. There are rules in place to make sure these contracts are in good faith and enforceable. All pre-nups shall be in writing, shall be voluntary, shall be truthful, shall be fair and reasonable and shall be notarized.
Recently, post-nuptial agreements have become more popular than they have in the past according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. They are similar in idea to a pre-nuptial agreement, except they occur after the wedding is concluded. So, why would anyone want to create and agree to a post-nuptial agreement?
If you have been dealing with financial issues, like setting a household budget or determining asset allocation, then a post-nuptial might be the way to settle it. It is also useful if either spouse receives a promotion, inheritance or other financial advancement. When you decide that a post-nuptial may be a good idea, it is necessary to employ the services of an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County.
September 15th, 2012
Sometimes when people get married, they have different religious beliefs. Varying religious beliefs often lead to a difficult situation if people get divorced. Many religions look down on divorces, yet that is not the only struggle that arises. Parents will argue to great lengths about the role of religion in their children’s lives. On most occasions if the parties can’t agree to compromise, then it is up to the court to examine specifically what would be in the best interest of the children.
The First Amendment gives all people the freedom to follow their own religion, but it isn’t as easy when considering children in a divorce. As parents they also have the right to raise their children as they see fit. A dispute can only be settled by carefully weighing the parent’s First Amendment rights against the child’s benefits. As the child gets older and is more mature, the child’s preference may also assist the court in making its determination.
There is no standard or law in place for these concerns so there are three general legal standards that may be applied in cases like these:
- No harm required. If a parent has sole decision making as to the children’s religious upbringing, then that parent’s right to influence the children’s religious upbringing is considered paramount. If that parent objects to the other parent’s religious activities, those activities must cease.
- Risk of harm. The court may restrict a parent’s First Amendment or parenting rights if that parent’s religious practices might harm the child.
- Actual or substantial harm. The court will restrict a parent’s First Amendment or parenting rights only if that parent’s religious practices cause real or measurable harm to the child.
Religion is not the only aspect of a child’s life that can be decided by a court, if you and your former spouse have not compromised and created a co-parenting agreement. Further aspects which may lead to impasses in post-divorce plans include education, medical decisions, parental dating, and discipline. Be sure to talk to your divorce attorney about all aspects of your divorce which may become issues in the future.
July 25th, 2012
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise have been on the cutting edge of trends from many years. Now in their split they may have started a new trend. Both parties have agreed to settle their breakup without a long and protracted court room battle. Both Cruise and Holmes have always taken a keen interest in the well-being of their daughter. It seems that it is with Suri’s best interests in mind, they elected to divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible.
There are multiple reasons why settling out of court would be beneficial for everyone involved in a divorce. The first benefit would be for any children involved. Watching Mom and Dad fight each other over things like child custody, alimony, and the splitting of property has detrimental effects on children. It is also easier to co-parent with someone who has settled contentious issues amicably in the past.
A second major benefit is the ability to move forward with your life. Too often, people see divorce as the end of the life they know. While it is easier to compare something stressful and time consuming to other bad things, divorce is really opening a new adventure in your life.
The third major benefit will be the amount of stress you have to go through will be lessened by a quick divorce. If on the outset of every drama in your life, you had the chance to pick whether you wanted to experience it for a long or a short time, wouldn’t you pick short? Another thing that adds stress is not having enough money. If you choose to have a quick settlement, then it will certainly lessen the attorney fees and time in court. Starting a new life with the most resources possible will be beneficial to your whole family.
While collaborative law, mediation and out of court settlements may not work for all parties, it can prove to be very advantageous. If you are capable of agreeing with your partner about splitting amicably then that is the best start. Try with the help of experienced mediators such as the family law attorneys at Esp, Kreuzer, & Cores to move into a new phase of your life as easily as possible. Attorneys Andrew Cores, Matthew Grob and Wendy Musielak have the skills necessary to advise you through this difficult time, please contact them today.
July 19th, 2012
Divorce is never easy on children of any age but a particular age range might be the worst. Some children are able to process their feelings of loss or may feel responsible for the rift. Some are less capable of understanding what divorce means to their lives. A co-sponsored research study between the University of Chicago and Georgetown University has shown the ill effects of divorce on children in preschool. They analyzed nearly 3,500 children to find that a disruption like divorce during the three to five years of age had strong negative effects of the children’s behavior.
“Family-structure changes during early childhood at the preschool period seem to matter more than later changes,” said the study’s co-author Rebecca Ryan of Georgetown, an assistant professor of psychology. ”They increase behavior problems particularly if you move from a two-biological-parent family into a single-parent family or experience some other type of change. Change experienced in middle childhood and pre-adolescence had no effect on kids’ outcomes.”
Divorce can be unavoidable for certain parents. It is important to realize that children shouldn’t feel bad about their parents’ situation. Parents can encourage their child to share questions and concerns about the separation or divorce. Parents can also set aside time daily to reassure their child that both parents understand their feelings and love him or her. If divorce is unavoidable, please make sure you have the correct legal representation in Illinois to secure you and your family’s future.
ESP, KREUZER, & CORES handles these and all other divorce and family issues. Attorneys Andrew Cores, Matthew Grob and Wendy Musielak routinely handle matters like these.
June 14th, 2010
In today’s society, people are increasingly mobile. They move from town to town, state to state or even country to country. They travel for work. Their children are involved in more activities, which leaves less time for families to spend together. This time is even more limited when parents get divorced. Recognizing this changing society, the Illinois Legislature has modified the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to incorporate virtual visitation. This virtual visitation allows a parent to spend time with their children when the child is not in that parent’s actual physical presence through communication tools including telephone, electronic mail, instant messaging, or video conferencing. This new development in the law will allow a dad who has to travel for work to still see his son or daughter for their regularly scheduled weeknight visitation even though they are miles away. But perhaps more importantly, with a webcam, a child can see both parents every day. A child can log onto his or her computer and ask mom or dad for help with homework. They can login to just drop in and say hello. Suddenly, regular contact is available for both parents. The question then becomes “Is Virtual Visitation Right for your Family?” This is an option you need to discuss with your attorney when discussing custody and visitation. ESP, KREUZER & CORES handles these and all other divorce and family issues. Attorneys Andrew Cores, Matthew Grob, Wendy Musielak and Julie Hoffman routinely handle matters like these.
June 14th, 2010
ESP, KREUZER &CORES APPELLATE SUCCESS
Appellate Court affirms $9,700 per month Maintenance Award
Recently, Andrew P. Cores and the attorneys at Esp, Kreuzer & Cores LLP were affirmed by the Second District Appellate Court when the Court ruled that the maintenance award of $9,700 was appropriate. Mr. Cores represented the wife, who had been a stay at home mom during the parties’ twenty year marriage, while her husband became a successful executive. During the course of the marriage, the wife had moved from state to state to support her husband. At the time of the trial, the husband’s base pay with annual bonus was $271,949.00, while the wife earned no income. Mr. Cores successfully proved to the Trial Court that based on the parties’ standard of living during the marriage and the husband’s income that a substantial maintenance award was required. The court ordered the husband to pay $4,100 per month in child support and $9,700 per month in maintenance. The Husband appealed. After written and oral arguments, the Appellate Court affirmed the Trial Court’s decision finding that the award was not an abuse of discretion despite the husband’s argument that the support award was 100% of his base pay and 70% of his total base and bonus income.
Contact an attorney at ESP, KREUZER, & CORES to discuss your divorce case. ESP, KREUZER & CORES handles all divorce and family issues. Attorneys Andrew Cores, Matthew Grob, Wendy Musielak and Julie Hoffman routinely handle matters like these.
June 14th, 2010
You may be currently going through a divorce. You may be divorced, but constantly deal with challenges regarding summer parenting time, vacations, school breaks, camps, or other visitation issues. Maybe you have a job that is flexible, and you want to spend more time with your children over the summer but the parenting agreement doesn’t fully address all of the potential scenarios. What are your options? It is almost always best for the entire family if you and your spouse (or ex-spouse) are able to work through visitation and parenting issues on your own. If not, do you have a Joint Parenting Agreement? If so, there will be a mediation clause stating that any issues relating to the children and visitation will first need to be addressed through the mediation process prior to going to court. If legal custody is “sole” not “joint”, then you may not have a mediation clause in your agreement. But, mediation is quite often the best way to address these types of issues. It is the chance for you and your spouse (or ex-spouse) to make these decisions without attorneys, without a judge, and decide what is best for you and your children. Visit our website for more information on mediation, and how our experienced family law team can assist you with your summer schedule, visitation and other parenting issues.
Time IS of the essence
There is such a thing as waiting too long. If you are seeking penalties against an employer for failing to withhold and submit child support payments, seek it earlier rather than later. A recent 2d District Appellate Court decision held that a wife was time-barred by a statute of limitations and could not seek penalties against her ex-husband’s former employer. In Re Marriage of Stockton, No. 2-09-0594. In Stockton, the Wife filed a complaint on January 8, 2007, alleging that her ex-husbands former employer failed to withhold and submit payments in a timely manner, according to a 1998 withholding order. The last payment that was made to her was in April, 2000. The Appellate Court found the appropriate limitations period would be two years under Section 11-202 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Therefore, if you are seeking penalties for unpaid child support, act now, don’t wait. The clock is ticking.
ESP, KREUZER & CORES LLP handles these and all other divorce and family issues. Attorneys Andrew Cores, Matthew Grob and Wendy Musielak routinely handle matters like these.
January 6th, 2010
Real Estate… once our greatest asset… now our biggest liability. In drafting settlement agreements in this real estate market, what the parties do with the marital home is more often the biggest roadblock. If for example, Husband has moved out and is paying rent on an apartment along with contributing to the mortgage, he does not want to be on the hook for mortgage payments for the unforeseeable future. Wife may also want to sell the house, but neither party wants to lose thousands of dollars, which is the place the majority of our clients are in today. Can a loan modification be worked out? Is it possible to do a short sale? Is foreclosure the only real option? If so, why pay the mortgage? What about a Deed in Lieu? Should one spouse and the children stay in the house until the real estate market recovers? These are all options you need to discuss with your attorney when drafting and finalizing a divorce settlement agreement. ESP, KREUZER & CORES LLP handles these and all other divorce and family issues. Attorneys Andrew Cores, Matthew Grob and Wendy Musielak routinely handle matters like these.
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