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DuPage County family law attorneysIn television shows and movies, divorce is often portrayed as a highly-combative legal process involving more accusation and confrontation than actual problem solving. In reality, a successful divorce settlement that both parties can agree to can often be reached without the need for dramatic courtroom litigation – even when the couple disagrees about the terms of their divorce. If you are planning to divorce and you and your spouse do not agree about property distribution, parental responsibilities, or other divorce-related matters, one option that may help you reach an agreement is collaborative divorce.

Finding Creative Solutions to Divorce Disputes

Litigation can be expensive and stressful. Many individuals getting a divorce wish to resolve conflicts without adversarial court proceedings but still want a legal advocate on their side who will look out for their best interests. One way to accomplish this is through collaborative family law. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse and his or her lawyer work together to reach resolutions about family law issues in a professional and cooperative way. The parties and their lawyers will sign a “collaborative agreement” or “participation agreement” that states that all signatories will commit to finding a fair, workable divorce settlement and will abstain from bringing the case to litigation. This agreement may require the spouses and their attorneys to agree to provisions such as:

  • The parties agree to settle disputes in a non-adversarial manner through negotiation and constructive dialogue
  • The parties agree to fully disclose relevant financial information
  • The parties will act in their child’s best interests

In a collaborative divorce, your attorney will protect your rights while simultaneously facilitating productive discussion and negotiation about divorce issues with the other participants. The process may also include collaborating with other professionals such as accountants or child specialists. If an agreement about the disputed divorce issues is reached, the agreement is transcribed into legally enforceable documents which are then filed with the court.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysSexual harassment can make a workplace unbearable. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you know just how demeaning this particular type of harassment can be. Sexual harassment can consist of disparaging or offensive remarks about a person’s gender, unwanted sexual advances, and sexually-oriented behavior. Sexual harassment also occurs when a supervisor attempts to exchange sexual favors for employment benefits with a subordinate. One of the most important steps for anyone who has experienced sexual harassment is to keep a detailed record of each instance of harassment. This sexual harassment log will almost certainly be beneficial for recalling the details of the sexual harassment you have suffered for the purposes of filing a Charge or reporting the sexual harassment to the Illinois Department of Human Rights and/or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Proving that Harassment is Severe or Pervasive

There are two types of sexual harassment that are explicitly prohibited under state and federal law: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a worker attempts to trade continued employment, a wage increase, or other work benefits for sexual favors. According to the law, even one instance of quid pro quo harassment is illegal. On the other hand, hostile work environment harassment must be “severe or pervasive” enough that it creates an abusive working environment. A single joke from a colleague about how your outfit flatters your body might be inappropriate but it would not likely be considered illegal sexual harassment. However, if this colleague makes sexual statements like these again and again, the problem may meet the legal criteria for sexual harassment.

What Should I Include in My Log?

In your sexual harassment log, write down every instance that something was said or done to you that made you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. This can include sexual or derogatory jokes, statements, text messages, emails, and behavior. Even if you are not sure whether or not the remark or behavior was technically an instance of sexual harassment, write it down anyway. Note the time and location of each instance. You should also record who witnessed the harassment and what your reaction to the harassment was.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersRegardless of the circumstances, getting a divorce can have a dramatic impact on your mental wellbeing. Divorce can bring on feelings of failure, despair, and anxiety about the future. Some people end up developing unhealthy coping mechanisms in order to deal with the torrent of emotion following the end of a marriage. Although going through a divorce can be extremely stressful, it is not only possible to get through the rough times most people end up much happier and healthier than they were before the divorce. Mental health experts encourage anyone going through a stressful divorce to avoid these common mistakes.

Mistake 1: Being Too Hard on Yourself

If you are an overachiever, have children to care for, or have a demanding career, you may not take time for yourself very often. Mental health specialists encourage those ending a marriage to give themselves a break. Do not expect yourself to be able to function at 100 percent when you are dealing with the emotional and financial burden of a divorce. Just as your body needs rest after a physical injury, your mind needs time to heal after an emotionally-trying time too.

Mistake 2: Isolating Yourself

Many people feel a great deal of shame and sadness when they end a marriage. They may also worry that people will judge them or be disappointed in them. This can lead people to turn inward and stop spending time with family and friends. However, isolating yourself in this way can make the pain of divorce even worse. The American Psychological Association encourages those getting divorced to find a strong social network and consider joining a divorce support group in order to cope with the difficulties of divorce.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysWorkplace sexual harassment is an illegal form of discrimination prohibited by both federal and state law. It can take the form of offensive sexual or gender-based remarks and behavior, or sexual harassment can involve a person in a position of authority wielding this power for sexual gain. We most often think of sexual harassment victims as being those who are lower on the corporate ladder, but this is not always the case. A recent study suggests that women who have manager or supervisor positions may actually be more likely to experience sexual harassment than other employees.

Women Who Supervise Men May Experience Sexual Harassment More Frequently

Since the #MeToo movement began in earnest a couple years ago, more and more people are talking about sexual harassment in the workplace. For too long, the issue of workplace discrimination was considered taboo. Now, as victims of sexual harassment are speaking up about their mistreatment, an increasing number of employers are taking steps to prevent and address sexual harassment in their businesses. Additionally, more research is being conducted to help understand how and why sexual harassment occurs.

One recent study conducted by the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University analyzed the relationship between leadership roles and sexual harassment in the United States, Sweden, and Japan. Contrary to what one might assume, the study found that women supervisors were actually more likely to suffer from harassment than women employees. Women who held leadership positions over men were the most likely to respond that they had been sexually harassed in the past year.

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DuPage County maintenance attorneysWhen a married couple divorces in Illinois, the court may require the higher-earning spouse to pay spousal support to the other spouse. Spousal support is also called spousal maintenance or alimony. The support is typically intended to be temporary and rehabilitative in nature, but there are exceptions. The higher-earning spouse provides payments to the recipient spouse until he or she can get back on his or her feet financially. The issue of the payment of spousal support may also be agreed upon ahead of time through a prenuptial agreement. Whether you are the payor or recipient of spousal support, you may want to know how long these payments will last. The answer depends on a variety of factors.

Temporary Spousal Support vs. Permanent Spousal Support

If you and your spouse agreed to a spousal support arrangement in a Marital Settlement Agreement, the payments will end according to that agreement. When the court assigns spousal support, it is typically intended to last long enough for the recipient to gain the education, training, skills, and employment needed to become financially independent. Illinois law provides a formula for calculating the duration of a spousal support order that depends upon the length of the marriage. Longer marriages generally lead to proportionately longer orders for spousal support.

In some cases, the court will award permanent spousal support to a spouse. This typically happens when the spouses were married for longer than 20 years and the lesser earning spouse sacrificed education and employment to be a homemaker or care for children.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree