Dissipation and Alienation of Affections

The Donald Sterling, Rochelle Sterling, V. Stiviano love triangle has been all over the news lately.  There are recordings of Donald Sterling by V. Stiviano, the mistress, and there is a lawsuit filed by Rochelle Sterling against the mistress.

At the heart of Rochelle’s Sterling’s lawsuit against V. Stiviano are gifts given by her husband to his mistress which she contends were purchased with marital money.  While California is a community property state and the laws are not the same as Illinois, an Illinois spouse does have recourse when marital money is being used to fund an extra-marital relationship. Continue reading “Dissipation and Alienation of Affections”

Settling Summer (and Extended) Visitation Disputes

It’s that time of year that many divorced people dread — the time when arrangements must be made for summer visitation.  Your Judgment of Dissolution, Marital Settlement Agreement or Joint Parenting Agreement (or an ancillary order) will contain the terms of summer visitation.  Often times it includes a notice provision that the non-residential parent must provide dates and itinerary by a date certain.  Follow the directives of your paperwork.  This will become important if for some reason you have to move forward with litigation. Continue reading “Settling Summer (and Extended) Visitation Disputes”

Divorce Dirty Tricks

Sometimes a spouse will pretend to be cooperative with the divorce, telling you that they want to work everything out without the involvement of lawyers.  Initially this may seem like a great idea, as you can save money and hopefully move on from the marriage as friends rather than enemies.  What could go wrong in such a scenario?  I will give you several examples that I have encountered in my practice. Continue reading “Divorce Dirty Tricks”

College Expenses and Divorce

As you have probably heard by now, a teenager sued her parents in New Jersey alleging that her parents have an obligation to pay for her private high school tuition and college tuition.  The teen alleged that her parents were cruel and kicked her out of the house when she turned 18, refusing to pay for her private high school and college education.  The parents contend that she left voluntarily because she refused to follow the rules of the house. Continue reading “College Expenses and Divorce”

Other Parent Won’t Return Child. What Should I Do?

The most serious custody emergency occurs when one parent removes the child or children from the state without leave of court.  A common scenario involves an unmarried couple that breaks up.  One party takes the children and leaves the state to start a new life.  The other party may beg for their return to no avail.  What cam be done?

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and

Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)

A parent whose child is taken out  of state has recourse via the UCCJEA.  Under the UCCJEA, a child has a home state for determination of child custody.

What is a Home State Under The UCCJEA?

Under the Illinois UCCJEA, “Home state” means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.

Important to Act Right Away

If your child has been removed from the state how long should you wait to file something in court?  You should not wait.  You should file your case right away.  Why?  Because the longer you wait, the more likely it is that a different court could assume jurisdiction.  Even if Illinois is the home state, Illinois can essentially agree to give jurisdiction to another state for various reasons, the main one being that the children have been in the new state for such a long time that the new state should decide all issues of custody, visitation and support.

Experience Matters

Not many attorneys have experience with the UCCJEA.  In fact, just recently I became involved in two cases where the first attorney botched a number of steps, resulting in unnecessary legal fees for my clients and no results.  In one instant, the first attorney filed an improper emergency petition, which  was denied.  The client retained me, I filed the proper petition, and now he has an order for the return of his child.  In the second case, my client filed a case in California as soon as his ex left with his child.  Six months after moving the child, his ex filed a case in Illinois without telling the California court that a case had already been filed.  He retained an attorney who gave him bad advice, which significantly delayed his case.  Now his case is on the right track, and his jurisdictional issues have been advanced for a hearing.  If you have a UCCJEA case don’t waste your money on an attorney who doesn’t have a proven track record.

If you are currently involved in an interstate custody battle, or believe you might  be headed for one, you should contact me right away.   You can call me now at 708-466-6912 or contact me online. I often meet clients in the evening and on weekends, and all clients get my personal mobile phone number.  Legal problems don’t take weekends off and neither do I.

I represent clients in Chicago, and elsewhere in Illinois including the counties of Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, Kane, Kendall, and McHenry. I represent clients in uncontested and contested divorces, and other family law matters including paternity, visitation and child support.

Interstate Custody Law at Issue in Bode Miller Custody Debate

Bode Miller has garnered a great deal of negative attention for his custody case. Bloggers have argued that the New York court’s initial ruling was a battle against the rights of pregnant, unmarried women. They have also argued that the media should not paing him as doting father or hero because he’s really a jerk who tried to take his child away from the child’s mother.  However, this case shows that the legal system does work, and a also points out a huge loophole in interstate custody laws. Continue reading “Interstate Custody Law at Issue in Bode Miller Custody Debate”

Parent Violating Court Orders? You Have Remedies

One of the most common types of cases that I handle involve one parent failing to follow a court order.  Whether it’s failure to pay child support or failure to allow visitation, failure to follow a court order has consequences.  People come to me angry and frustrated because they have tried to enforce the court order on their own, but the judge won’t give them any relief.  They are angry with the system, but the system is not the problem.  Pro se litigants do not know the proper procedure to enforce a court order, which often leaves the court with no choice but to deny the relief sought. Continue reading “Parent Violating Court Orders? You Have Remedies”

Communicating With Your Divorce Attorney

Even when wealthy people get divorced, one of the primary concerns is how to save money.  It does nott matter who you are – decreasing the costs of litigation is probably a priority. My clients are primarily professionals — doctors, business owners, middle class and above, but they all want the most bang for their buck.

One step in the right direction is using an attorney who effectively leverages technology. Continue reading “Communicating With Your Divorce Attorney”

Is There More Than One Type of Maintenance in Illinois?

Illinois has several types of maintenance: permanent, temporary and rehabilitative.

What is Temporary Maintenance?

While a divorce is pending, a court may award one spouse maintenance on a temporary basis.  The purpose is to assure that the more dependent spouse has his or her financial needs met.  Once the divorce is finalized, all temporary orders void.  However, the marital settlement agreement or judgment may include a separate award of maintenance, or none at all. Continue reading “Is There More Than One Type of Maintenance in Illinois?”

Who Has to Pay Alimony (Maintenance) in Illinois

What is Alimony?

Alimony is a husband’s or wife’s court-ordered provision for a spouse after separation or divorce.  In Illinois, alimony is known as spousal support or maintenance.

Who Gets Maintenance?

Either spouse can get an award of maintenance.  However, there is no set formula.  The court must consider statutory factors and case law. Continue reading “Who Has to Pay Alimony (Maintenance) in Illinois”