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Wheaton family law attorneysWhen parents get a divorce or were never married, they often wish to share custody of their children. Laws regarding child custody and visitation, officially called the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, are outlined in Section 750 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. A parent who wishes to share custody of a child must do so within the bounds of the court-ordered parental allocation judgment/agreement. Withholding parenting time from the other parent can potentially have severe consequences.

Custody Agreements Are Legally-Binding

Generally, divorced or unmarried parents have a allocation of Parental Allocation and Parenting Time Agreement that is submitted to a judge. After this agreement is approved, it becomes a legally-binding document. Parents who fail to follow the rules in the document can be considered to be in violation of the court order. Typically, one parent is designated as the parent with the majority of parenting time. Withholding parenting time from the other parent or not returning the child on schedule can result in legal consequences including contempt charges. When a parent refuses to comply with a Parental Allocation Judgment, there can be even more serious consequences. A parent who consistently does comply with the order or moves a child without notifying the other parent can have their parenting time restricted and even lose it.  

How to Address Problems with Parenting Time or Parental Responsibility

Never take family law matters into your own hands. Failure to comply with Parental Allocation Judgments can endanger your own parental rights. If major problems with a parenting plan or schedule arise, they must be addressed through the Illinois family court system.  The parent who feels the parenting time schedule has been compromised should always petition the court, preferably with the help of a family law attorney, to have the schedule enforced as it stands or petition the court to make changes to the parenting plan to better address their needs.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_surgeon-female-concerned-scrubs.jpgA recent study presented at this year’s Academic Surgical Congress analyzed the work environments of surgeons. A little over 1000 individuals working as surgeons in private practice, medical centers, or academic institutions, voiced their opinions about their work environment as part of the study. The results were quite distressing, but unfortunately, not surprising. Nearly 60 percent of the women surgeons had been victims of sexual harassment in the previous year alone. Women in medicine, like those in other professions, often face discrimination and sexual harassment because of their gender. If you or a loved one has experienced sexual harassment at work, you should know that there are laws designed to protect you.

Sexual Harassment Is Not Always Obvious

Unfortunately, many harassers become well practiced at hiding their inappropriate behavior from those other than their targets. Sexual harassment can include obvious behaviors as well as subtle or nonverbal behaviors. Survey responses showed that the most common harassing behaviors directed at surgeons included inappropriate verbal and physical conduct. This can include demeaning or sexually-explicit remarks and body language.

Unsolicited sexual advances and forced physical contact had occurred in just under a quarter of cases reported in the survey. Remarks about sexual orientation occurred in about 10 percent of cases. Blatant sexual harassment may sometimes be easier to prove and stop than subtle harassment. However, even subtle harassment is against the law when it is persistent and affects employees’ ability to do their jobs.

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Wheaton family law attorneysIf you plan to divorce your spouse, you have probably wondered how you will divide your accumulated assets. In Illinois, divorcing individuals are encouraged to work out how their property should be divided by agreement. However, this is not always possible. Couples getting divorced may be unable to come to a decision about who should own the house, cars, art, or other valuable items. If a couple cannot reach a decision about property on their own, a qualified mediator can help. As a last resort, courts have the authority to make property division decisions for a divorcing couple.

How Do Illinois Courts Divide Assets?

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement about assets, the court will. Some states simply split martial property exactly in half and assign 50 percent of the wealth to one party and 50 percent to the other party. Illinois courts, on the other hand, make property division decisions using a method called “equitable distribution.” This method divides property fairly but not necessarily equally. Only marital property is divided. Marital property generally includes any assets accumulated during the marriage as well as comingled funds.

Factors Illinois Courts Consider When Making Property Decisions

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act includes a list of factors that the court will take into consideration when dividing marital property. Courts generally consider the following items when making property division decisions:

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysIt is an unfortunate reality that sexual harassment allegations are prevalent in the restaurant industry. In fact, over 14 percent of the 41,250 sexual harassment claims filed between 2005 and 2015 in the U.S were in the food service and hospitality sectors. One study found that 40% of women have experienced unwelcome sexual behaviors while at work. Fortunately, public perception of sexual harassment is changing, and many behaviors which were once tolerated are no longer socially acceptable.

Close Proximity and Availability of Alcohol May Contribute to Harassment Risk

There are several reasons that sexual harassment is such an issue in the food service industry. In some circumstances, restaurant owners or chefs have absolute power. If a chef who brings in massive revenue for the restaurant sexually harasses a server, the restaurant may simply fire the server. Employees who are unaware of their legal rights may assume they must tolerate unwanted attention because their immediate boss will not stop it. This is worsened by the fact that many young people work in restaurants. A young teenager at their first job may assume that all work places involve inappropriate behavior since they have no other work experience to use as a comparison. The close quarters of many restaurants can also increase the prevalence of sexual harassment. Employees who work at bars and restaurants with alcohol may have the greatest risk of being sexually harassed because of the inhibition-lowering effects of drinking.

Employers Can Be Held Liable if They Allow Employees to be Sexual Harassed

Many servers, bussers, cashiers, and other restaurant workers have experienced instances when a customer did or said something that made them feel very uncomfortable, but they did not say anything for fear of losing tip money. While customers acting inappropriately toward an employee itself is not considered unlawful sexual harassment, if it is reported and the employer does nothing to stop it, the employee can bring a claim of hostile work environment sexual harassment against the employer.

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Wheaton family law attorneysDeciding to end a marriage is already a tremendously difficult decision to make. Financial stressors like an overspending spouse only add to the complications associated with divorce. Unfortunately, divorce can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Some divorcing individuals make extravagant purchases before a divorce is finalized in order to get back at their soon-to-be-ex. Bitter spouses may frivolously spend money simply to keep it out of the final divorce settlement. Others use overspending as a way to cope with the emotional pain of the separation. Whatever the reason, when a spouse makes reckless financial decisions during the breakdown of a marriage, the other spouse deserves to be pardoned from those debts.

Recovering Dissipated or Wasted Assets

If you have recently learned that your soon-to-be-ex-spouse sold a valuable shared asset or spent thousands on a secret paramour, you may still be able to recover these funds. “Dissipation of assets” refers to the wasting of marital property or wealth through excessive spending, gambling, unwarranted borrowing, or fraudulent transference to a third party. A spouse who wastes funds in this way may be required to pay the marital estate back. In extreme cases of dissipation, the non-offending spouse may be given a disproportionately larger share of the remaining assets. Courts also have the authority to rescind transmissions of assets like real estate and stock if the transfer happened with fraudulent intent.

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney for Help

If you are considering divorce while in a challenging financial situation, talking to a qualified divorce attorney can help you understand how to best protect your financial interests. Contact the experienced DuPage County divorce lawyers at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC today by calling 630-665-7300.

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250 W. River Drive, Unit 2A
St. Charles, IL 60174
630-665-7300
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.

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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