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Peoria Family Law Blog

Is recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling a setback for gay rights?

A recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling may diminish the rights of unmarried domestic partners. The ruling is being considered a setback for same-sex couples in our state. Primarily, it affects domestic partners who need to go to court in order to resolve a property dispute following a breakup.

The court ruling was issued last Thursday regarding two domestic partners who had been together for almost 30 years and raised children together. The two women broke up in 2008 -- long before the state of Illinois chose to legalize same-sex marriages. In the lawsuit, one of the women -- a Cook County Judge -- wanted a share in her ex-partner's medical practice. In order to do so, however, the woman's attorneys needed to request the Illinois Supreme Court overturn a previous high court ruling in 1979 that barred these kinds of claims by unmarried partners.

Love and Marriage Remain Elusive During August And March

March may be the month for lucky four-leaf clovers and pots of gold; however, it also seems to be a time for the mischievous leprechauns to wreak havoc. That is, if divorce filings are any indication. But what about during other times of the year? Are there seasonal variations in the divorce rate?

University of Washington associate sociology professor Julie Brines and doctoral candidate Brian Serafini unveiled a distinct seasonal pattern to the timing that people file for divorce -- with March and August being peak times. Though initially set to research the effects of the recession on marital stability, after examining divorces throughout Washington state from 2001 to 2015, researchers discovered a surprising trend: huge leaps in the number of filings during those two months. With the first quantitative evidence of a pattern in hand, numerous professionals and armchair therapists are scrambling to explain the discrepancy. 

Challenges for same-sex couples still persist

Until the momentous Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage across the United States, getting a divorce was not always very easy for a same-sex couple. Prior to Obergfell v. Hodges, same-sex couples married in states where gay unions were legal, who later moved to states were they where not legal, were unable to dissolve their marriages.

This resulted in a complicated legal bird's nest. Although the same-sex couples could have received a divorce in the state where they were originally married, most of those states had a residency requirement in order for a divorce to be granted. This was particularly problematic for gay couples who did destination weddings in states that allowed for gay unions, and also for couples who moved to new states that had yet to recognize the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

New stats on jobless husbands and divorce rates

Approximately one-third of American marriages will end in a divorce. However, for Americans who were married after the year 2000, the statistics are even better. Among these marriages, only 15 percent have gotten a divorce inside the first eight years of marriage.

Statisticians and psychologists have long been interested in trying to determine definite markers that would allow them to predict the chances of divorce. Recently, one study released by Harvard University offered some illumination about this topic. The study found that women who are married to men who do not work -- i.e., they are probably house-husbands or stay-at-home-dads -- have a higher chance of filing for divorce.

How is gray divorce affecting older women?

The so-called "gray" divorce epidemic could be worse for women than it is for men -- especially in the financial department. This article will discuss some of the more difficult financial aspects of a separation after 50 for the female side of the divorce equation.

First, it's important to realize that divorce hits women with a heavier financial blow. Younger adults have the time it takes to reassert their financial footing following a divorce. However, when one divorces after the age of 50, it can be difficult to recover from these losses. Women especially are vulnerable to having financial problems -- especially if they "worked" as stay-at-home mothers during their marriage. Their resume might not look that professional or impressive after many years of domestic life.

Lisa Marie Presley to be divorced from Michael Lockwood

Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from longtime husband of 10 years, Michael Lockwood. The 48-year-old daughter of Elvis Presley listed the date of separation as June 13, listing irreconcilable differences as the cause of the breakup.

Presley and Lockwood were married in a traditional Japanese ceremony in Japan in January 2006. Lockwood, now 55, is a successful musician, but reports indicate that the famed heiress of Elvis' fortune says that she is not seeking spousal or child support. Furthermore, TMZ claims that the couple set in place a postnuptial agreement that lays out a plan for dividing their assets should they choose to divorce.

If you are divorcing, make sure you get the right lawyer

If there is ever a time in life to be selective, it is when you are getting a divorce and you need an attorney. Like all professionals, lawyers have their own individual style and assortment of techniques. While attorneys do want your business, a professional lawyer understands the importance of a good match over adding a name to his or her client list. A valuable legal attribute for one client may be a liability for another client. In the end, you want a mutually comfortable relationship in which your lawyer is also your greatest advocate.

Getting a divorce is a life-changing event; does it not make good sense to place the beginning of your future into the hands of someone who will take care of it? The question for many Illinois residents is how do I find the right lawyer? Admittedly, it takes a little legwork but in the end both you and your chosen attorney will appreciate your efforts. The following points may help you get started in your quest for good legal representation.

An overview of nonmarital property in Illinois

Property division can be one of the most difficult parts of getting divorced. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which essentially means property division should be fair but does not necessarily have to be equal. To break it down even more, equitable distribution does not mean all property is subject to division. In a marriage, both spouses can have their own individual nonmartial property that is safe from the division process. As one might expect, the couple can also have jointly-owned marital property.

Under state statutes, nonmarital properties are deemed to belong to one spouse only. These properties may have been owned by a person before the marriage or specially acquired after the marriage. Examples of these special acquisitions include inheritances, gifts and legacies. For instance, if someone inherits a home or land from a parent, it will not be included in the property division process during divorce. Further, any property protected by a valid premarital agreement is also excluded from division.

How do Illinois courts calculate child support payments?

Most parents divorcing in Illinois have a good understanding of what child support is, but many, like you, have no idea how the precise payments are determined. Adding to the confusion is how one noncustodial parent with two children pays one amount while another noncustodial parent with two children pays a completely different amount. This happens because Illinois courts take several factors into account when calculating child support payments.

First and foremost, child support is intended to cover a child's basic needs such as food, housing, clothing and other necessary items. The support usually ends when the child becomes an adult at age 18. When courts begin to calculate child support, they use the guidelines set forth in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. However, as most people know, each case is unique and that is the reason child support payment amounts vary from family to family.

Co-parenting your child after your divorce

Parenting a child in ordinary circumstances is not without challenges. After divorcing and establishing a child custody agreement, it can become even more difficult. Most parents are more than willing to undertake these challenges in order to raise healthy and productive children. However, it probably goes without saying that all parents appreciate any useful advice they can find about parenting. This is especially the case for those raising children together after divorcing.

Sharing parenting duties after calling it quits with an ex requires amount of cooperation. Even though it sometimes feels impossible, you and your former spouse can find equal ground. It may take work and more patience than you ever thought you had, but the rewards of raising a happy and well-adjusted child is worth the effort. Dr. Edward Kruk suggests following several key principles to help achieve your co-parenting goals. Here are a few examples to help you and your co-parent get started.

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