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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville family law attorneyDivorce decrees are not set in stone. It would not be logical or rational for them to be that way, given that lives extend far beyond marriages in many cases. However, not every aspect of a judgment of divorce may be altered (for example, property division may only be challenged if allegations of fraud exist), and those that can be modified require proof that life has changed as well. If you have experienced a change in your life, you may be able to modify some of your divorce-related obligations.

Modifying a Support Order

A person, especially if they are a parent, may not simply ask for a change in obligations like spousal or child support. Illinois law holds that a substantial change in circumstances must be shown before a motion to modify a divorce decree will be considered. In other words, it must be shown to the court that you are no longer able to comply with the original terms of the judgment. While courts wish to enforce their orders, it is not ethical or reasonable for them to demand someone put themselves in an untenable position.

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DuPage County family law attorneyAccording to a familiar saying, it takes a village to raise a child, and in many families, this spirit is certainly evident. Any number of family and friends may help to raise a child, especially if the child has a single parent or if the parents work multiple jobs to take care of him or her. However, such family members have no legal rights regarding the child except in certain circumstances.

Trends Favor Parents

Illinois is historically a state which has placed a strong premium on children having one or both parents in his or her life, even if there may be a potential safety issue. For example, it is relatively rare for parents to be declared unfit—even those with substance abuse problems. As such, it is not usually deemed optimal to award visitation to anyone besides the parent or parents. However, some grandparents or other family members like aunts, uncles, and siblings may still be granted visitation privileges, especially if the parents surrender custody of their own volition.

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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville family law attorneyWhen a couple is considering a divorce—which is an extremely difficult decision and, often, a long, arduous process—they may decide that a legal separation is in their best interest. Under Illinois law, a legal separation represents a sort of middle ground between marriage and divorce, but, as a practical matter, such arrangements are not all that common. Many couples who opt for a legal separation do so to leave the possibility of reconciliation open or because of particular religious beliefs. There may also be financial reasons for filing for a legal separation instead of beginning the divorce process.

Why a Legal Separation?

A legal separation is about as close to a divorce as one can get without legally ending the marriage. In some circumstances, the decision to legally separate may be mutual. In others, one spouse may petition the court for approval of a separation. In a separation, just as in a divorce, the parties will agree or the court will determine an appropriate level of spousal maintenance, as well as parenting arrangements and child support where applicable. This helps to ensure that all parties, including children, are properly cared for by the terms of a legally enforceable agreement or court order.

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