Chicago Family Law Blog
Chicago police officers are getting new training on domestic violence and how to better communicate with domestic violence victims. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel recently announced the creation of a task force that will develop a three-part training program for the city's police force. The Chicago Police Department receives nearly 200,000 calls per year for domestic violence incidents and police officers are often the first people to respond to those calls.
The training includes three sections. The first will be a refresher on prior instruction. The second is a joint program with the state attorney's office to train officers on the importance of accurate and informational reporting. The third piece of the training involves work with the city's Department of Family and Support Services and the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network. Those organizations will train officers on the psychological and emotional impact domestic violence can have on the victim.
Tax issues related to divorce might take couples by surprise, especially when they are financially set. Couples in Illinois and elsewhere need to keep several things in mind when dividing their assets at the end of a marriage.
First, state law determines how assets are handled during a divorce. In community property states, both parties own any assets that were gained during the marriage and will need to divide those in half. One the other hand, any property that was brought into the marriage by a spouse or specifically given to them during the union belongs to that person alone. Other states have rules that the couple must divide their assets according to what the court deems is fair. While this may result in a 50/50 split, that is not necessarily the case. Both parties can work out what they feel is fair, and the courts will usually agree to it.
Many Illinois parents have difficulties with former spouses who are unable or unwilling to pay child support. In many cases, it can be difficult to find a way to improve the odds of receiving child support from such a parent. However, some strategies offer a better chance for payment than others.
One important thing to remember is that it's often beneficial to keep the other parent involved. Many parents feel justified in keeping a parent not paying child support from seeing their child. However, keeping the noncustodial parent involved with their children can help improve the odds that they make an attempt to pay child support later, even if they cannot today. In addition, the logic works both ways. A parent who is not able to see their child because the custodial parent won't allow it may feel they have no reason to pay child support later.
Illinois residents may be interested to hear that the divorce of the owner of the New York landmark Carnegie Deli and her husband has become focused on the alleged theft of proprietary recipes. The owner has accused her husband of 22 years of giving away recipes for the deli's famous pastrami and cheesecake to another woman.
The husband is accused of having an affair with a waitress at the Carnegie Deli and giving secret family recipes to her. The waitress's family has opened a deli in Thailand called New York Cheesecake that allegedly offers the same dishes for which the Carnegie Deli is famous for, including large pastrami sandwiches and cheesecake.
Illinois readers may be interested to know that some judges are acknowledging that pets are family members. Rather then treating them as personal property in a divorce, in some cases, the best interests of the animal are being considered. It isn't unusual to see legal motions filed asking for sole custody of the family dog.
Divorcing couples who are able to come to an agreement on this issue should take a few things into consideration when they decide who can best care for a beloved pet. For example, dogs generally like having company, so it might be wise to consider which person has the most flexible work schedule. Pets aren't cheap to care for, so it's also important to consider who has the financial ability to care for them. Consideration should also be given as to who has the most space for the dog to play and exercise.
In different jurisdictions, including Illinois, an ex-spouse can seek legal recourse when his or her former partner continues to incur debt on joint credit cards or accounts. During a href= "http://www.janetboyle.com/Family-Law/Divorce.shtml> divorce, debt is usually split up between partners, and their joint accounts are closed. Divorced individuals whose financial situations and credit scores are impacted by their former partners' debt can take them to court for their failure to comply with the marital settlement agreement of the divorce.
While couples are going through a divorce, both parties still hold responsibility for any debt incurred on joint accounts. They both have to make sure that their joint bills are paid on time, even if they aren't living together in the same residence. Usually, couples close joint accounts when they separate, but the debt they have left legally belongs to both of them.
Illinois fans of actor Clint Eastwood, 83-years-old, may want to know of his recent split with a woman he spent the past 17 years married to. In an odd turn of events, Clint and Dina Eastwood are now said to be dating two former spouses, one of whom was a high school friend of Dina's.
On Oct. 21, Dina filed for divorce from the famous actor in Monterey County Superior Court in California. Unlike Illinois, California is a community property state, meaning that all assets and liabilities acquired during marriage are considered to be the joint property of both spouses and will be split evenly upon a divorce. In a high net worth divorce, one party may stand to benefit from another party who earned a significant income over the course of the marriage.
Illinois residents who are going through a divorce need to ensure that they take into account all of their assets when they are coming up with a valuation of their property. Real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, furniture and artwork usually come to mind, but other less-visible assets are no less valuable but often forgotten.
Collections of coins and memorabilia are something that might not seem valuable at the time, but can later prove to offer big rewards. Therefore, they should be addressed as part of a property division agreement. In general, anything that was separately listed on a homeowner's policy is likely to be worth considering. Trademarks, copyrights and any other intellectual property may not presently be generating any income but may be of value in the future. Pets are considered to be property under the laws of many states, and are usually awarded to the spouse who was the primary caregiver or who has the more flexible schedule.
A recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has found that couples are more frequently requesting prenuptial agreements, with 63 percent of the lawyers in Illinois and around the country who were surveyed reporting having seen an increase in those agreements in the past three years. It has been suggested that the increase may be at least partially attributable to the improving housing and financial markets.
The areas most often covered by these agreements were reported to include protection of separate property, spousal support and division of property. Other common themes included inheritance rights, community property division and protections for any increase in value of separately owned property. The survey showed a 46 percent increase in prenuptial filings that were initiated by women.
Many Illinois divorce attorneys are seeing an increasing number of couples whose marriages have failed getting caught in so-called separation limbo. They are living apart without making anything official and in no apparent hurry to begin divorce proceedings.
A couple can begin living apart on a temporary basis, but in some cases years pass and the situation seems to become permanent. Other couples simply drift apart, making divorce an option both parties are ambivalent about. While these situations seem understandable, long-term separation can be a bad idea in the long run. It can have substantial financial implications, and advisers counsel against it for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the husband or wife is hiding assets or planning to relocate. The alimony laws can also change in the state of residence during the period of separation. One or both parties may meet someone new, making divorce negotiations all the more difficult. A spouse's standard of living may change dramatically, making it more difficult to obtain alimony based upon his or her previous lifestyle.
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