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wheaton child custody lawyerFor divorcing or unmarried parents, the issue of child custody is often a top concern. Even if parents initially agreed on how to divide parental responsibilities and parenting time, things change. Sometimes, a child custody arrangement becomes impractical or inappropriate. If you are a parent who wishes to modify your current child custody order, it is important to understand how and when child custody modifications are permitted in Illinois. Illinois courts want to promote stability and consistency in children’s lives. Consequently, child custody modifications are only granted under certain circumstances.

Modifying Parenting Time or Parental Responsibilities

In Illinois, “child custody” consists of two main components: parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parental responsibilities refer to how parents make decisions about their child’s upbringing, including the child’s education and religious training. Parenting time, which used to be called visitation, is each parent’s time caring for the child. If you wish to modify the allocation of parenting time and responsibilities, you can file a Petition to Modify Parenting Time and Responsibility with the court. However, the steps you will take to receive a parental responsibilities modification depend on how recently the order was entered or last modified.

Changing Your Child Custody Order in Illinois

Parenting time may be changed at any time as long as the parents agree or there is a change in circumstances necessitating the change. For example, if your work schedule changes and you need to change your parenting time schedule to reflect this, you can do so relatively easily.

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wheaton sexual harassmentImage a sexual harassment victim. If you are like many people, the first person that comes to mind is a young woman in a traditionally “feminine” outfit such as a skirt or dress. Sexual harassment happens to women and men of all ages, ethnicities, and lifestyles. By no means is the problem limited to what we think of as “feminine” women.

However, a recent study suggests that sexual harassment claims are perceived as less credible or less severe when the victim is a woman who does not fit traditional female stereotypes. The study has significant implications and reminds each of us that workplace sexual harassment is still a serious, ongoing problem in Illinois and across the U.S.

Victims’ Appearances May Influence Sexual Harassment Claims

One of the most important components of the #MeToo movement was the assertion that not all sexual harassment and sexual assault victims are the type of people you would expect. Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment. Anyone can be a perpetrator of sexual harassment. In fact, an estimated one in five workplace sexual harassment complaints are filed by men.

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wheaton divorce lawyerDivorce is never easy. However, some divorcing spouses face obstacles and challenges that the average person does not. If you or your spouse are a local celebrity, well-known business leader, or otherwise in the public eye, you will undoubtedly face additional challenges.

Understandably, people in this situation are extremely concerned about confidentiality. Divorce cases involve discussions about deeply personal matters and detailed financial information. If this information becomes public, it could potentially harm your reputation or even ruin your career.

Avoid Public Litigation by Using Alternative Resolution Methods

If you are concerned about keeping confidential information private during your divorce, it is best to avoid court litigation if possible. Court hearings are open to the public. Alternative resolution methods like mediation and collaborative law can help you and your spouse negotiate divorce issues under the umbrella of confidentiality. Collaborative divorce is an especially popular method for couples with significant assets or disagreements about divorce issues. During a collaborative divorce, you, your spouse, your respective attorneys, accountants, and other participants all sign an agreement pledging to keep the discussion confidential. You also promise to resolve the issues during the collaborative process and avoid litigation.

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wheaton sexual harassment lawyerRetail stores account for a massive portion of the U.S. economy. Approximately two-thirds of the U.S. gross domestic product comes from retail sales. Retail employees are a crucial component of our modern lives, however, working conditions in the retail industry are often unsatisfactory and sometimes intolerable. Sexual harassment is prevalent throughout the retail industry. Sadly, some retail workers tolerate demeaning conduct at work because they are financially dependent on the job and do not know their legal options.  

Sexual Harassment in the Retail Industry

Just over 13 percent of sexual harassment claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) between 2005 and 2010 involved retail workers. Grocery stores, clothing stores, shops, appliance stores, gas stations, and other retail stores are rife with sexual harassment. Sometimes, sexual harassment takes place in the form of co-worker misconduct. A hostile workplace is created when offensive, sexually explicit, or demeaning statements or behavior become so frequent or severe that they prevent workers from completing job duties. Hostile work environment sexual harassment may involve:

  • Displaying pornographic pictures or videos at work
  • Making comments about another worker’s body
  • Joking about sexually explicit topics
  • Rude comments or offensive generalizations about a gender
  • Slurs and hateful language
  • Unwanted sexual contact
  • Constantly asking a co-worker out on dates

Sexual harassment in retail stores may also involve superiors trying to exploit positions of authority to gain sexual favors. For example, a manager may imply or outright state that a worker will gain a favorable work schedule if he or she consents to romantic or sexual conduct. This is called “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. Both hostile work environment sexual harassment and quid pro quo harassment are prohibited by federal and state laws.

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dupage county divorce lawyerMany people underestimate just how involved the divorce process can be. Ending a marriage is not only deciding to divorce and filing the petition for dissolution. To divorce, the couple must also address divorce issues like the division of marital property and debts, allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, and spousal maintenance. Reaching an out-of-court agreement on these issues instead of letting the court determine the unresolved issues can save a tremendous amount of time, money, and stress. If you are getting divorced, consider the following alternatives to litigation.

Reaching an Agreement Through Your Attorneys

Understandably, many divorcing spouses struggle to see eye to eye regarding the terms of their divorce. If you and your spouse disagree about divorce issues like who should keep the family home or which parent should have the majority of parenting time, consider reaching out to an attorney for help. Your lawyer can act as an intermediary between you and your spouse and represent you during negotiations. This ensures that you have a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side, helping you reach the best divorce outcome possible.

Resolving Your Disagreements Through Mediation

During family law mediation, a divorcing couple meets with a mediator to discuss the unresolved issues in hopes of coming to a mutually agreeable solution. The mediator’s job is to facilitate productive conversations and steer the discussions away from accusations, blame, or irrelevant concerns. The mediator does not make a decision for you or tell you how to resolve the divorce but instead helps you reach your own decisions. Mediation can be a useful tool, but mediation alone may be insufficient for cases involving complex financial concerns or significant contentiousness.

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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