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DuPage County family law attorneysAnyone who has been married or in a serious relationship knows that things are not always as simple as they appear to be. Sometimes, a couple knows that their relationship is not working as it currently exists, but are not sure they are ready for a divorce. Legal separation offers an alternative to divorce or can be used as a step between living as a married couple and divorce. There are only a few reasons a couple may choose to legally separate as opposed to a divorce. Read on to learn about the benefits of legal separation in Illinois.

Separated Couples Are Still Legally Married

Legal separation can be advantageous in some situations. When a couple is not sure that they want to end the marriage, but want to live apart, separation can provide legally-binding constraints for co-parenting, child support, and spousal maintenance (alimony). Legal separation does not end the marriage so it may be an option for couples who choose not to divorce for religious reasons as well.

Legal separation is a contractually defined agreement between married individuals who choose to live apart while remaining legally married. Separation may be appropriate for couples who wish to maintain insurance coverage. Because legal separation does not change a couple’s marital status, separated couples can still file tax returns jointly. For couples who gain greater financial benefit from filing their taxes under the married filing jointly status, a legal separation may be a smart move.

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Illinois workplace discrimination attorneysWorkplace sexual harassment can be a tremendously stressful ordeal to endure. Not only do victims have to deal with the humiliation and tension caused by the actual harassment, they must also face the nerve-racking decision of whether or not to report the harassment. Some may wonder why a victim of sexual harassment would tolerate this unlawful mistreatment in lieu of filing a sexual harassment report. However, there are many reasons that victims of sexual harassment remain silent or refuse to come forward.

If you are being sexually harassed at work, you should know that you do not have to face the issue alone. An experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help you with everything from filing a report to seeking financial compensation for a wrongful termination.

Victims May Not Know What Constitutes Sexual Harassment

There are many misconceptions about what the term “sexual harassment” means. Some people mistakenly assume that only physical interactions constitute sexual harassment or that digital harassment “does not count” as harassment. In reality, any inappropriate behavior or language that is related to a person’s sex, gender, or physicality may be considered sexual harassment.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersGetting a divorce can be one of the most stressful life events a person may experience. Not only does a person getting divorced have to deal with the financial and legal implications of ending their marriage, they also must deal with the emotional and mental implications. If you are considering getting divorced or have already decided to end your marriage, you may feel totally overwhelmed and lost. These types of feelings, while distressing, are completely normal. Fortunately, there are many things which mental health experts say can help ease the pain of divorce.

Take Care of Your Health First and Foremost

A lot of people take care of everyone else around them before taking care of themselves. While this type of generosity is often seen as a good thing, being too generous with your time and emotional energy can result in burnout. While going through a divorce, it is advised that you be a little more selfish than you normally would be. Take time to relax and unwind in the ways that are meaningful to you. Medical professionals also encourage anyone going through a stressful life event to make sure they are staying hydrated, eating healthy foods, getting at least some exercise, and sleeping at least 7-8 hours a night.

Do Not Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you are an especially independent or private person, it can be challenging to reach out to others for help during a demanding time in life. However, experts say that reaching out to others during a break-up or divorce is one of the best things you can do for your mental wellbeing. Even if you do not feel like divulging all of the details of the divorce to others, simply spending time with friends and family can help you gain a sense of normality and calm. Some people find that a divorce support group or spiritual organization can be a great help as well.

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Illinois sexual harassment lawyersIn previous posts, we have discussed the pervasive trend of sexual harassment in restaurants and bars. Often, employees in restaurants are younger and may have less work experience than employees in other industries. Employees may not know that they have a legal right to be free from harassment and discrimination in the workplace or they may not recognize that certain behaviors are discriminatory. Even if employees do realize that their employer’s or co-worker’s behavior is unacceptable, they may be afraid to report the harassment for fear of retaliation. If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, contact a sexual harassment lawyer who can help protect your rights.

Lawsuit Alleges Chili’s Failed to Take Corrective Action Regarding Sexual Harassment

A Colorado Chili's restaurant may have violated federal law by exposing female employees to sexual harassment and retaliation. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that both the restaurant's managing partner and the assistant manager continually made sexual and derogatory comments to female servers and hostesses. When employees reported the harassment, no corrective action was taken to stop the harassment. Even worse, the EEOC reports that management reduced the hours of some employees who had complained about the harassment in revenge. This type of retaliatory action is in direct violation of state and federal law including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC has since filed suit against Brinker Restaurant Corporation, Chili's Grill & Bar, and Brinker International Payroll Company, L.P. after attempts to reach a voluntary settlement failed.

Chili’s May Be Forced to Compensate Former Employees

If the lawsuit is successful, Chili's may be forced to provide the affected employees with financial compensation. This compensation could include back wages for the employees who were forced to resign, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. The EEOC is also asking the court to order Chili’s to establish policies and procedures that prevent further sexual harassment in the establishment. If you have been sexually harassed at work or if your employer retaliated against you for making a sexual harassment complaint, you should know that there are options available to you to receive compensation.

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Wheaton divorce mediation lawyersWhen a married couple decides to end their marriage through divorce, there are many decisions which must be made. If the couple has children, schedules for child custody (technically called the allocation of parental responsibility) and visitation (parenting time) must be arranged. The couple will also need to decide how they will split their marital estate. Often, this involves deciding whether or not to sell the family home or assign it to one of the spouses. Couples must also decide how shared bank accounts, investments, vehicles, and valuables like jewelry or fine art should be divided.

Understandably, many divorcing couples struggle to communicate effectively about these issues. In these circumstances, divorce mediation can help facilitate communication between the spouses so they can arrive at an agreement.

Benefits of Mediation 

Most divorcing couples wish to avoid courtroom litigation. Not only is litigation expensive and time-consuming but it can also be an intimidating environment and lead to escalated hostility between the spouses. Mediation allows couples to meet with a mediator and discuss their concerns about various issues related to the divorce. A mediator does not make decisions for the couple, but instead he or she encourages an open dialogue between the parties which allows them to make decisions for themselves.

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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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