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Wheaton divorce attorneyIn today’s world of online help and how-to videos, some people insist on trying to do everything themselves. They learn how to fix their cars, prepare gourmet meals, and even how to identify and treat minor illnesses. While a do-it-yourself approach can be cost-effective in many situations, and it certainly instills a level of personal confidence, there are some circumstances in which avoiding the expense of professional assistance may actually cost you dearly in the long term. Beyond the finances, however, there a number of other reasons that every divorce should include, at the very least, a consultation with a qualified attorney.

Improved Organization and Control

You may have a pretty good idea of the various considerations inherent to the divorce process: divide the property, make arrangements for the children, decide upon spousal maintenance and child support, file the petition, and wait for the court. But, do you really understand each of the steps involved with every one of the listed elements of divorce, and in what order they should be completed? A lawyer, however, has handled hundreds or more divorce cases and can assist you in preparing an organized approach.

Handling Paperwork and Meeting Deadlines

During your divorce, you will be responsible for filing a large number of documents along the way, including petitions, responses, motions, and requesting records. Keeping track of all of them and their associated deadlines can be a nightmare, especially if you work full-time and have parenting responsibilities. A divorce attorney, on the other hand, will have developed a system for ensuring the proper documents are completed on time, and, in most cases, require just a signature from you before they are filed with the court. Accuracy is also paramount in the process, because if your paperwork includes mistakes, the court could end up basing a decision on inaccurate information. There is no telling exactly how costly a single mistake could be, but is not worth the risk.

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Illinois sexual harassment lawyersIn February of this year, a report in Sports Illustrated alleged “numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct” within the organization of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Now, after a seven-month investigation, it seems that the allegations were true, at least enough to warrant action by the league. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will also be donating $10 million to causes that support leadership and development of women in sports and that battle domestic violence.

Disturbing Allegations

The Sports Illustrated piece recounted stories told by current and former staff employees for the Mavericks organization—some of which went into fairly graphic detail. Many of the allegations were leveled against Terdema Ussery, the team’s president and CEO until 2015. According to the report, Ussery allegedly made inappropriate sexual comments to many workers, repeatedly propositioned others for sex, and even fondled others in public.

Those who tried to report the behavior said that they were ignored and unsupported by their superiors. In some cases, their superiors offered intimidating, almost threatening responses.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersWhile most parents who are considering divorce give a great deal of thought to how their children may be affected, they may not think about the actual health impact such a decision could have. Parents and experts tend to consider the psychological and behavioral effects primarily, but research is beginning to emerge that suggests that physiological health may also be impacted years into the future.

Longitudinal Research

A recent study conducted by researchers from Penn State University and the University of Louisville looked at long-term data of nearly 15,000 men and women born in the United Kingdom in 1958. Published in the journal Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, the study sought to analyze the health impact of parental divorce at different stages in a child’s life.

The research team found that the youngest interval studied—birth to age seven—was the group most at risk for later health concerns when the child’s parents divorced. Those in that interval self-reported worse health at age 50 than those who experienced parental divorce at later ages. Divorce at the youngest interval was also linked, although not statistically significantly, with lower physical functioning and diagnosed health problems.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysThe now-ubiquitous social media hashtag #MeToo was first conceived by activist Tarana Burke several years ago. She came up with the idea of using the phrase “Me Too” to help young women who had been hurt by sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment have a way of signifying that they were survivors of sexual abuse. The phrase also gave advocates a way of offering support to others affected by sexual violence. The hashtag gained viral status after a popular actress and women’s rights advocate encouraged others to “tweet” #MeToo if they had been victimized by sexual harassment or assault on Twitter.

Since then, the phrase has been associated with several shocking allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Long-time NBC news anchor Matt Lauer and media tycoon Harvey Weinstein are just two of the high-profile men accused of sexual harassment by women. However, sexual harassment does not only affect celebrities. More recently, employees working for the fast food company McDonald’s expressed their outrage over alleged company-wide sexual harassment via a strike and picket signs.

Employees Say Supervisors Retaliated Against Those Who Reported Harassment

Hundreds of McDonald’s employees who say they are sick and tired of unaddressed sexual harassment recently protested in cities across the country. Signs with phrases like “Keep your hands off my thighs” and “MeToo” were carried as organizers chanted slogans and demanded that McDonald’s do more to stop the alleged sexual harassment. Advocates for the protest say that fast food companies often hire young employees who may be unaware of their right to being free from sexual harassment. Employees with less work experience or employees who fear losing their job may be hesitant to report sexual harassment from superiors or co-workers.  So far, ten employees from the fast food chain have filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about sexual harassment perpetuated by male supervisors. Some employees even reported that superiors who made unwelcome advances toward subordinates retaliated against anyone who complained about the harassing behavior.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersAs more and more couples wait longer to enter into marriage for the first time, along with the rising prevalence of remarriage, individuals have more time than ever to accumulate wealth and property on their own. Extensive personal assets, of course, can make a subsequent divorce much more complicated, as it becomes difficult to differentiate between marital and non-marital property. For just reason, those who have started a business or obtained ownership of a company prior to marriage are encouraged to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

While the law in Illinois already provides that property or assets acquired prior to a marriage are not considered marital property, complications can still arise. For example, if your spouse owned a company before you got married, the company itself may not be part of the marital estate, but income generated by your spouse’s efforts after the marriage are usually considered to be marital. Similarly, any marital property invested into the company during your marriage may need to be reimbursed to the marital estate in the event of divorce, even as the company ownership remains non-marital.

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Help?

Many of the financial concerns related to your company can be addressed long before they ever become a big problem, through the use of a prenuptial agreement. You and your soon-to-be spouse can negotiate an agreement to keep the business ownership and operation completely separate from the marital estate. You can also plan in advance on how invested marital property is to be handled.

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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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