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Chicago Family Law Blog

Why you need a prenup if you plan to go to school during marriage

Many people think of a prenuptial agreement as a tool to clearly lay out how a couple will divide their assets in the event of a divorce. While this is true, a prenuptial agreement can also address debt.

Like assets, a couple will also have to determine how to divide debts if they choose to get divorced, and today, one of the most common types of debt is student loan debt.

After divorce, some family-run businesses thrive

Any Chicago couple that has gone through divorce knows that property division is a major factor. Unraveling your intertwined lives to decide who gets what, however, is rarely easy -- especially when you have a family business at stake.

Millions of married couples in this country operate small businesses, but if their relationship sours, they are all faced with the difficult decision of how to handle it. In some situations, one spouse will give up his or her stake in the business in exchange for different assets. Others may choose to sell the business and split the profits. A small handful, however, decide to continue to work together as business partners. Although this may sounds like a recipe for disaster, some people make it work. 

Arnett, Poehler file for divorce after period of separation

Many an internet user wept a single tear today as Amy Poehler, the beloved star of "Parks and Recreation" and former member of "Saturday Night Live," and Will Arnett, known for his role in "Arrested Development" among other comedic ventures, finally decided to divorce. Poehler and Arnett separated 18 months ago, but recently Arnett decided it was time to file the divorce paperwork.

Poehler and Arnett were a very popular comedic couple, so the news has taken the internet by storm. But there are some serious divorce issues to consider here that could apply to any divorce, may it be in Chicago or anywhere else in the country.

Prenuptial agreements not romantic, but extremely practical

Of all the family law issues a married couple might face throughout their relationship, property division usually isn't the most emotional one -- at least on its surface. When it comes to divorce, child custody and child support tend to dominate the feelings of spouses. But that doesn't mean dividing up the material possessions won't be difficult -- especially when pets, which are still typically seen as property in divorce courts, are involved.

If you're reading this blog as a happily married or engaged person, you might scoff at the suggestion that a potential battle over dining room furniture could be important enough to talk about divorce with your spouse before you need to. Most couples don't see the need to discuss the possibility of a breakup before they even tie the knot. But as we all know, hindsight is 20/20. Considering the oft-quoted fact that roughly half of all marriages end in divorce, wouldn't it benefit you to acknowledge the mere possibility your marriage will end?  

As household revenues increase, so too does the divorce numbers

While we welcome good economic times, a higher divorce rate can also come about when the economic forecast improves.  One couple stayed together in what they considered an unhappy marriage because they did not feel they could afford to divorce.  The couple is now going through the process of divorce as revenues in the company they had run have increased.

The divorce rate for all Americans has risen for the third straight year.  This appears to be increasing the number of new households that are being created.  However, the number of divorces is also motivating more women to enter into the labor force.  This is in part due to economic necessity.

Mother asks for attorney's fees in child support dispute

The former wife of a judge is appealing a denial of her request for legal fees as concerns a child support dispute.  The woman had brought her former spouse to court concerning $1,750 that was allegedly unpaid.  Though the payment of the child support was ordered, the former wife's request for $9,000 in legal fees was denied.

The payment was part of child-support settlement from 2011.  This arrangement finally ended when the father of the two children abandoned his parental rights.

Parents should consider child custody and future relationships

There are a lot of issues for parent to consider when they get divorced. The best interests of the children must be at the heart of making decisions about the issues the parents have to come to an agreement on. One of the things that many parents don't pay much attention to during the divorce process is how future relationships will affect the children, but this is a very real concern that can significantly impact the children. For Chicago parents, considering how each parent will handle future relationships is something that should take place during the child custody phase of the divorce.

After a child's parents divorce and begin to date other people, the children are likely to have a very strong opinion about any perspective stepparents they meet. Some parents choose not to listen to the children, but that might not be wise. The author of "The Complete Single Mother: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging Concerns" claims that children are good at detecting deceitfulness.

Domestic violence incidents seem to increase in cold weather

A person's home should be a place of refuge and a place of safety. For some people, when the weather grows colder, the home can become a place of fear, uncertainty and even violence. The City of Chicago Domestic Violence Help Line/Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network director says that an uptick in violence is expected when families are confined in the home for extended periods.

Law enforcement officials have nicknamed this occurrence "cabin fever" and say they get a lot of domestic violence calls because of people getting on each other's nerves while cooped up. For families with limited resources, cabin fever can be devastating since there usually isn't enough money for one person to go stay at a hotel to diffuse the situation.

Orthodox Jewish women face divorce dilemma

Many Orthodox Jewish women in Chicago are aware of the difficulties of seeking a divorce in that community. Only the husband has the right to issue a "get," the document that dissolves a marriage in the eyes of the synagogue. Below are five tips designed to help Orthodox Jewish women who are seeking a get.

Avoid court intervention at all costs. Hauling a former husband into court often hurts more than helps by aggravating hard feelings with bruised pride and public humiliation. Mediation and negotiation offer less adversarial low-profile dispute resolution platforms.

Parents Seek to Regain Custody in Medical Child Abuse Case

Chicago residents may have heard of a recent media report concerning a parents' rights case in Massachusetts involving a female child age 15 in the custody of the Commonwealth after her parents sought treatment at Boston Children's Hospital for her previously-diagnosed mitochondrial disease that left her barely able to walk or eat. Children's Hospital believed the child was instead suffering from a psychiatric disorder for which her parents were blocking treatment. The medical diagnosis and treatment were initially rendered by a doctor at Tufts Medical Center, also in Massachusetts.

In December 2013, the parents sued to resume custody. The judge denied their request but ordered judicial review, due in January.

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