Blog posts tagged in family law
It has been said that nothing is certain but death and taxes; this rather sardonic depiction of life is credited to one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. What is also almost as certain is if you find yourself in a legal jam, you need a lawyer. It is important to know that all lawyers are not the same, and this is true even for those who limit their practice to areas such as divorce and family law. Statistics show that over 22 percent of first marriages end up in divorce in less than five years, and 53 percent of them dissolve by the 20-year mark. If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, you need to do some homework and make sure the lawyer you hire is the best to handle your legal situation and offer dependable legal counsel.
Going through a divorce can be difficult and emotionally draining. If there are children involved, then it can be even more painful. In these cases, you need to hire a lawyer who not only has experience handling divorce cases but one who is also empathetic.
After a divorce, a child’s connection to their grandparents and other close relatives can provide a much-needed sense of stability. But what if one parent does not care for their in-laws and does not support the children having visitation time with those grandparents? What rights does a now-divorced step-parent or half-sibling have to spend time with a child that they lived with for years? Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/602.9) provides a mechanism for grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings--including half-siblings and step-siblings--to assert their right to visit and electronically communicate with a minor child who is at least one year old.
Conditions Necessary to Petition for Grandparent Visitation
Four conditions must exist in order for the aforementioned relatives to petition the court for visitation and electronic communication with the child:
- A parent unreasonably denies visitation to a minor child’s grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, or siblings.
- The minor child experiences undue mental, physical, or emotional harm as a result.
- The child’s parents are divorced or in the process of divorce.
- One parent has no objection to the visitation. (If both parents object, the petition will not succeed.)
Factors the Court Considers in Granting Grandparent Visitation
In deciding whether to grant visitation time to one of these relatives, the court may consider factors such as:
A guardian has the same responsibilities to a child as a child’s biological parent. An individual may obtain legal guardianship of a child in Illinois because a child’s biological parents cannot properly care for them, a child’s biological parents passed away in a tragic accident, a minor child is living with a disability, or senior adults do not have the ability to care for themselves.
Types of Guardianships
In Illinois, an individual can become a permanent legal guardian, a guardian ad litem, a standby guardian, or a short-term guardian. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these four types of guardianships are defined.
Hollywood often portrays divorce as simple and clear-cut, but real-life divorce is rarely straightforward. The reasons, though irrelevant in the courtroom, are often complex and multi-faceted, and couples often experience intense emotions. Also, contrary to the myth, some couples divorce but still love one another. How do you navigate such a painful process when you still have feelings for your spouse? The following explains, and it provides you with some valuable information on the Illinois divorce process.
Love and Divorce
Loving a spouse does not mean divorce is off the table. In fact, many marriages end, despite a shared love between the parties. Some begin to recognize that the relationship is toxic. Others may feel as though they are being held back by their spouse’s lack of ambition or adventure. Some have started to realize they would be happier on their own.
Despite your best efforts, your family law case may not have gone your way. Perhaps you received an unfavorable ruling on some key points in your divorce, or maybe you lost because of a default ruling. Alternatively, your case may have been mishandled by a judge that made a mistake or did not fully understand your situation. Whatever the reason behind your unfavorable ruling, you may still have options. The following explains these options, and details how you can ensure you have the protection and representation you need and deserve along the way.
Appealing a Default Judgement
Typically, defendants have only 30 days to respond to a family law petition. Failure to do so can result in a default judgement, which essentially means the plaintiff’s wishes are granted. Your own concerns - including any that you may contest - are not heard. Thankfully, it may be possible to have the default judgement reversed.