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How can a domestic violence/assault charge affect my job?

If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence in Illinois, you should learn about the ways it can affect your job. People who have criminal backgrounds and arrest records are not often treated fairly, nor are they always given a second chance after they have repaid their debts to society. 

Take some time to learn how a domestic violence or assault charge and arrest can affect your employment. Once you understand what is at stake, you can take steps to improve the outcome of your situation and lessen its impact. 

Search your rights before letting police search your car

If you are like most Illinois residents, seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror causes at least a temporary panic. During the traffic stop, the officer may ask to search your vehicle. Should you say yes?

The simple answer is that you do not have to consent to the search. In fact, if an officer requests your consent to the search, it may be because he or she does not have any legal reason for the search. Even so, the law and the highest court in the land provide police with some extra leeway when it comes to searching vehicles.

What is virtual visitation?

There are a variety of situations courts run up against when deciding child custody cases in Illinois. In any situation, though, the court's main concern is creating a parenting plan that is best for the child and considers the child's ability to have a healthy relationship with both parents. A relatively new idea has been introduced in courts called virtual visitation, which according to Divorce Help for Parents, is where technology is used to assist with visitation when the parent cannot physically be with the child.

You may be the custodial parent of your child but his or her other parent also has rights. The court wants to be sure he or she has just as much influence over your child's life and ability to bond with your child as you do. In situations where your child's other parent cannot be with your child physically, such as when a parent moves out of state or is deployed in the military, it becomes more difficult to arrange parenting time. In times like these, courts are starting to turn to technology to bridge the gap and help ensure parents are able to stay in their children's lives, which is where virtual visitation comes into play.

Can you identify warning signs of an abusive relationship?

If you are in a relationship that is suspiciously volatile, you may be wondering if your spouse is abusive. While every case of domestic violence in Illinois is different in terms of severity and circumstance, there are underlying signs you can look for to protect yourself and avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

According to the Huffington Post, there are several indicators that you could look for early on in any relationship that are common traits in abusive situations. These include the following:

  • Overprotection and concern: If your spouse seems to be so concerned about you that it borders overprotection, you may want to look closer. He or she may want to know where you are at all times, who you are spending time with and how you are spending your money. If you neglect to respond right away, he or she may make decisions on your behalf or demand a decision from you.
  • Excessive gifts: While you may enjoy receiving expensive gifts, too much gift giving is certainly a red flag. If your spouse regularly showers you with unexpected, expensive or excessive gifts, he or she could be trying to distract you from other negative or controlling behaviors.
  • Jealousy: One of the primary signs to watch for is jealousy. If your spouse cannot handle the thought of you talking to or being near another person of the opposite gender, it could be an early warning sign to be aware of.

New child support guidelines for 2017

Child support guidelines for figuring how much will be paid are changing this year in Illinois. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, the new support guidelines will go into effect on July 1, 2017. These changes will overhaul how child support payments are calculated to now include both parents income and parenting time.

Prior to the changes, support was figured based on only the income of the parent who would be paying. The new guidelines are referred to as an income shares model, which means it will base support on the average amount of income a two-parent family in the state would spend on raising a child. Also, considered is how much time the child spends with each parent and the total number of children in the family.

Why should I avoid self-representation?

If you are facing prosecution for a criminal charge in Illinois, representing yourself in court may not be in your best interests. The criminal justice system does not favor alleged and convicted offenders. Self-representation may seem like a cost-effective solution to keep your legal expenses down. However, it can cost you more money, heartache and stiffer penalties in the long run.

Take some time to learn about how self-representation can affect your situation’s outcome. 

Busting common misbeliefs about domestic violence

The process of coping with domestic violence and the outcome of each situation varies from family to family depending on the situation, response of each party and surrounding conditions. While many Illinois residents quietly survive familial violence, it is in fact, more serious and debilitating than many people can see or believe.

Psychology Today shared some common misconceptions that are so often associated with domestic violence. These include the following:

  • Victims are seen as victims: In many cases, victims in domestic violence cases face an uphill battle with criticism and blame. In some instances, it can come from family members who fail to understand the situation as it actually is.
  • Escaping is easy: Leaving a volatile relationship riddled with violence is never easy. In fact, for many people, it is a dangerous process accompanied by threat and fear. While there are hotlines and discreet ways of escaping, many victims lack the courage or resources to get away.
  • Only women are victims: On the contrary, men are just as much at risk of being the victims in domestic violence cases as are women. According to one study, men accounted for 40% of all victims.

What does the law say about fake IDs?

Fake IDs are something that you hear a lot about in high schools and even colleges. Most often they are used to obtain alcohol by underage individuals in Illinois. If you are thinking about getting one or helping someone else get one, there are some important things you need to know about the law and what it says about fake IDs.

According to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, any state ID or driver’s license that is not obtained through the correct means from a proper government agency is illegal. Just having a fake ID in your possession is against the law, even if you do not attempt to use it. Making them, of course, is also a serious crime. Punishment can range from losing your driver’s license privileges to prison time. You can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Tips for establishing a parenting plan

If you are in the middle of an Illinois divorce, you may be asking yourself daily what is in the best interests of your children. Establishing a solid, mutually agreeable parenting plan is a great step toward helping your children adjust during the transitional period, and it can also help you and the other parent work to prevent disagreements before they occur. At Fawell & Fawell, we have assisted many clients as they navigate the complexities of divorce and related family law matters, and we have a broad understanding of Illinois laws as they relate to these subjects.

Per Divorce magazine, one of the most important steps you can take in creating your parenting plan is to avoid letting your emotions and personal feelings cloud your judgment. Even if your situation is especially acrimonious, try and keep in mind that your children have their best chance to thrive when they maintain relationships with both parents. There are, of course, some exceptions, such as if you suspect the other parent might be abusing substances while caring for your child. Otherwise, it is probably in the best interest of your child to maintain relationships and open lines of communication with both parents.

How can a prenup help protect what you hold dear?

As a recently engaged person, you may have felt elated that your life has reached this point. Of course, once the euphoria of the moment has passed, you likely know that your future marriage will undoubtedly have its issues, as all relationships do. Though you and your future spouse may work through many of the conflicts that could arise, the possibility of facing divorce may have also crossed your mind.

You certainly do not want to enter your marriage thinking that it will fail, but you also likely do not want to count this possibility out. Therefore, you may want to take the time to consider creating a prenuptial agreement in order to protect yourself, your future spouse and other life aspects that hold importance through pre-arranged terms.

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