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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Recent Blog Posts

Tips for Helping Family Members Adjust After a Remarriage in Illinois

 Posted on October 23, 2019 in Family Law

Cook County child custody lawyer remarriageThe decision to divorce does not come easily to many couples, especially after a long marriage or if children are involved. However, in many cases, divorce can be for the best if the relationship is dysfunctional or abusive. After a period of time, some people may fall in love again and wish to get remarried. This can mean a second chance at happiness for a parent, but their children may harbor negative feelings toward their new stepparent. A remarriage may also mean a new house and step-siblings, as well as changes to parenting time schedules and child support orders. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to keep the lines of communication open between co-parents. In addition, there are some practical ways to help you and your kids adjust to the transition of a new blended family.

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Tips for Divorcing a Spouse With a History of Domestic Violence

 Posted on October 15, 2019 in Divorce

Oak Park divorce attorney for domestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Unfortunately, this type of violence is prevalent for a variety of reasons, including mental illness or drug/alcohol addiction. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, every minute, an average of 24 people are victims of physical violence, sexual assault, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Abuse can destroy the trust in a marriage, ultimately leading to one of the partners filing for a divorce. However, it can be very intimidating to take that first step if a person is afraid of their spouse’s reaction to ending their marriage. If someone is a victim of abuse, it is imperative to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney throughout the divorce process.      

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Are “Empty Nesters” More Likely to Get a Divorce? 

 Posted on October 08, 2019 in Divorce

Cook County divorce lawyer for empty nestersThe term “empty nesters” refers to a couple whose children have left home (or the “nest”) to attend college or move into their own house after starting a career. Although many spouses relish their newfound freedom from parental responsibility, other partners may dread it for various reasons. Two people who were madly in love in their 20s may realize after decades of being married that they have nothing in common now that they are in their 50s. Their feelings toward each other might have gradually changed over the years, so much so that they now are considering a divorce. Statistics show an increase in divorce for couples age 50 and over, and the trigger is often when their children leave home.

Reasons For Empty Nest Syndrome

Raising kids is not easy, but before you know it, they are 18 and headed off to college. After focusing so much attention on the children, problems between the spouses may become more apparent. In some cases, parents decide to stay together for the sake of the children, even though they are unhappy. Many people think divorcing will cause irreparable emotional damage to their kids, so they put off a potential split until the children have reached adulthood. 

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How Can Addiction Impact a Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on October 01, 2019 in Divorce

Oak Park family law attorney for addiction issues

The reasons for a divorce can vary, but in many cases, addiction can play a role in the deterioration of a marriage. If one partner is addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or pornography, it can tear a family apart. Regardless of the vice, it can change someone’s personality and his or her ability to take care of children or hold down a job. The family of an addict may also be negatively affected, which is one of the reasons why so many addicts get divorced. When divorcing an addict, it is important to understand your rights, especially if children are involved. 

Child-Related Issues 

In divorces that include children, the court will base its decisions regarding child issues on what is in the best interests of the child. If one parent has a drink socially once in a while, that will likely not affect the allocation of parental responsibility (custody). However, when drugs or alcohol are being abused by one parent, that can inhibit his or her ability to care for the child appropriately. Therefore, the parent who does not have an addiction problem has a better chance of receiving the majority of the parental responsibility, ensuring that the child will be in a safe environment. 

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When Is an Order of Protection Needed in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on September 27, 2019 in Divorce

Oak Park divorce attorney for emergency orders of protectionIn many divorce cases, the partners may simply grow apart and decide that they no longer wish to remain married. However, other spouses choose to end their marriage because domestic violence or child abuse has taken place. When going through high-conflict divorce proceedings, it can be necessary to obtain an order of protection for a variety of reasons, especially if one party feels like he or she is in immediate danger. It is important to understand the situations that warrant an order of protection in an Illinois divorce to ensure your and your children’s safety and well-being.   

What Can an Emergency Order of Protection Do?

When a couple begins the divorce process in Illinois, some orders will automatically go into effect placing restrictions on the spouses. For instance, both spouses are ordered to not intimidate, harass, or injure each other or any children who are minors. An emergency order is generally used if an individual is in immediate danger, but it can also include remedies for the physical care of a minor child or the possession of personal property.

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When Is Litigation Necessary in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on September 20, 2019 in Divorce

Hinsdale divorce attorney for litigation or settlementsDivorce is stressful -- there is no doubt about that. There are so many things that you and your soon-to-be-ex have to decide on. How will your assets be split? Are you going to keep the house? If you do keep the house, who will live there? How will you share your parenting time? Will one of you receive spousal support? The list is extensive, and chances are, you and your ex will not see eye-to-eye on all of these issues. Many attorneys and the court system are of the opinion that spouses working together to reach a divorce settlement without court involvement is the more favorable option, but sometimes that just is not possible. If you are planning on getting a divorce, here are a few situations in which you may need to opt for litigation, rather than negotiation or mediation:

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What Can I Do About Parental Alienation in My Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on September 17, 2019 in Divorce

Oak Park, IL family law attorney for parental alienationThere is no doubt that a divorce can be a volatile process. In many cases, one of the partners does not want to end the marriage. He or she may feel anger or bitterness toward the other spouse. This can lead to the rejected spouse acting out and behaving irrationally. If children are involved, this kind of behavior can be detrimental to everyone. One parent may attempt to turn the kids against the other parent by talking negatively about him or her. This is common in divorces where one parent has the majority of parental responsibility, and the other parent harbors resentment against his or her ex. When one parent engages in parental alienation, the other parent should seek legal advice to protect his or her rights. 

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Tips for Relocating With Your Child After an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on September 10, 2019 in Divorce

Cook County parenting plan modification lawyerDivorce often means many changes for both the couple that is ending their marriage and any children they have. In some cases, one of the parents may decide a change of scenery will be good for him or her as a way of moving on. In addition, a parent may want to move to be closer to family for support, or a job transfer may take him or her to another city or state. Regardless of the reasons, relocating with a child after a divorce can prove to be a difficult adjustment for all involved. Under Illinois law, in order for the custodial parent to move out of the state, he or she may require permission from his or her child’s other parent or from the court. 

Coming to an Agreement

In Illinois, the parent who wishes to relocate with the child must provide a minimum of 60 days’ notice (in writing) to the other parent. A copy of the notice will also need to be submitted in family court and include the date of the move, the location of the new residence, and approximately how long the relocation will last.

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What Happens if Parenting Time Rights Are Violated in Illinois?

 Posted on August 30, 2019 in Family Law

Oak Park parenting plan enforcement attorneyManaging a divorce can be a stressful and difficult situation for all parties involved, but it is critical to remember that the child’s needs are what is most important. Adolescents who have the opportunity to spend time and receive love and affection from both parents have been shown to have more mental and emotional stability. Visitation, which is now referred to as parenting time in the state of Illinois, is the regular time that a parent is granted with his or her child in the divorce decree. However, in some cases, one parent might not follow the legally binding court orders that were set in place. When this occurs, it is crucial to work with a family law attorney to determine what legal steps should be taken. 

How Is Parenting Time Established?

According to 750 ILCS 5/602.7, parenting time rights can first be decided upon by the child's parents if they present a written parenting plan that the court can approve. When an arrangement cannot be agreed upon by both parties, however, a judge will make the decision based on multiple relevant factors. Parents are presumed to be fit, and both parents have a right to reasonable parenting time. Unless it is demonstrated through compelling evidence that the child's physical, mental, or emotional health is put at risk by being with one parent, there typically will not be any restrictions put in place on either parent’s parenting time.

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Who Gets the Vacation or Rental Property in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on August 26, 2019 in Divorce

Cook County property division attorney for vacation homesA divorce can be overwhelming and complex due to the numerous issues that must be resolved. The division of real estate, including the marital home, must be figured out. However, if a couple also owns a vacation home, or other rental/investment properties, that can further complicate matters. These types of residences are common in high-asset divorces, and determining which spouse retains ownership of this valuable real estate can often be a complex matter. If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and have multiple dwellings, legal representation from a skilled attorney can help make sure you get what you deserve. 

Illinois Dissolution of Marriage Laws

Marital property includes any assets obtained by either spouse during the marriage. According to Illinois divorce law, all marital assets are subject to “equitable distribution.” This means property is divided between each party in a fair way, but not necessarily split in half, or 50/50.  

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