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Wheaton family law attorneysSharing parental responsibilities and parenting time of a child with another parent can be full of challenges and disagreements. One issue that many parents struggle with is parental relocation. When one parent wants to move a significant distance away, the other parent may be concerned about how this will affect the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. If you or your child’s other parent are planning to move, make sure to familiarize yourself with the laws regulating parental relocations in shared parenting situations. Depending on the distance between the parent’s current residence and the new residence, the relocating parent will likely be required to petition the court for a modification to their divorce decree.

What Counts as a Parental Relocation?

If a parent is moving only a short distance away, the move may not need to be approved by the court. According to Illinois law, a parental relocation is one in which a parent with a greater or equal share of parenting time moves to a new residence and one of the following is true:

  • The child’s current residence is in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, Kane County, or McHenry County and the new residence is further than 25 miles away.
  • The child’s current residence is in any other Illinois County and the new residence is further than 50 miles away.
  • The child’s current residence is in any Illinois County and the new residence is further than 25 miles away and is outside of the State of Illinois.

Requirements When a Parent Moves a Significant Distance Away

If the move meets the criteria for a parental relocation, the parent who is intending to move must give the other parent written notice of the move at least 60 days in advance. He or she must inform the other parent of the address of the new residence, the intended moving date, and how long the he or she plans to live at the new residence. If the other parent agrees to the move and the court finds that the move is in the child’s best interests, the court will allow the parents to make the necessary modifications to the divorce decree.

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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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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against a person because of their sex, national origin, race, or skin color. Since this essential piece of legislation, many more laws have been enacted to prevent employment discrimination, and most recently, workplace sexual harassment. Beginning in 2020, Illinois employers will be subject to new laws designed to prevent and address sexual harassment. If you have been a victim of discrimination or sexual harassment at work, a qualified sexual harassment attorney can help.

Illinois Employers May No Longer Require Arbitration for Sexual Harassment Claims

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Workplace Transparency Act into law in August 2019 and it will go into effect January 1, 2020. The act prohibits employers from unilaterally requiring arbitration for sexual harassment claims or any other claim concerning laws enforced by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IHRA) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Employers are also prohibited from requiring employees to sign a confidentiality clause that prevents the employees from reporting violations of Equal Employment Opportunity laws including violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act, Illinois Human Rights Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act.

Special Protections for Hotel and Casino Workers

Individuals working in hotels and other businesses within the hospitality industry are sometimes victims of unwanted sexual remarks and conduct by guests. Starting July 1, 2020, many casino and hospitality employers will be required to implement new procedures including:

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Wheaton divorce attorneysWhen you got married, did you and your new spouse move into a home that one of you already owned or did you find a new house? Have you purchased a new home since your marriage?  The answers to those two questions could directly impact the division of property process should you and your spouse ever divorce.

Prior Ownership

According to the law in Illinois, all assets that were owned by either spouse prior to the marriage and which were not subsequently placed into some form of joint ownership, are generally considered an individual’s non-marital property, not subject to division upon divorce. Determining ownership is fairly easy for smaller items. For example, you bought a washing machine before the marriage, it is non-marital. Larger purchases and investments can be a bit more complicated. If you and your spouse moved into a home that you had already paid off at the time of the marriage, the house, in all likelihood, would be considered non-marital property. If, however, you were still paying the house off for the first several years of the marriage and made some major improvements, the funds used to pay off the mortgage and make the improvements were marital funds. Thus, these marital funds used to improve and pay off the mortgage on a non-marital asset should be accounted for during the division of property.

Name on the Deed

Assume that five years into your marriage, you and your spouse purchase a new home. For credit or business reasons, your spouse—with your permission—puts only his or her name on the deed. The mortgage is in his or her name, along with all other legal documentation. Do you stand to lose out in the event of divorce?  No, you do not. Under Illinois law, it makes little difference whose name is on a particular note or title. If the purchase was made with marital funds—as in, you and your spouse’s biweekly paychecks being used to make mortgage payments—the house is part of the marital estate.

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Wheaton family law attorneysIn the state of Illinois, the legal rights of parents are based upon the recognition of their relationship with their children. For a mother, obviously, the presumption of a legal relationship is usually very simple. For a father, however, it may not be so easy, particularly if he is not married to the mother of the child. While paternity tests and court proceedings may sometimes be required in more complicated situations, such avenues can usually be avoided by means of a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, or VAP.

VAP Basics

Under Illinois law, a VAP can be used to establish the legal parent-child relationship between a man and his son or daughter. It does not require genetic testing, court adjudication, or any other outside influences. Instead, the VAP is, as its name implies, a voluntary acceptance of parental rights and responsibilities.

To be considered valid, the VAP must be signed or otherwise authenticated by both the mother and the man seeking to establish paternity. It must also specifically reference the child regarding whom the man wishes to establish parental rights. The signing or authentication of the form must also be witnessed. The law in Illinois also requires the VAP to include language that ensures the signing parents understand that the form is the equivalent of courtroom adjudication and that, once signed, it can only be rescinded or challenged in very limited circumstances.

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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