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Judges can award joint ownership of pets in IL divorce cases

Emotions are probably already running high in a typical Illinois divorce before a couple starts to discuss the family's pets. In some situations, the animal may have already expressed a preference for one spouse over the other. However, in the past, a pet's wishes have not been considered in divorce court unless the spouses themselves have thought about it and come to an agreement on their own. Sadly, the result of a judge's decision could mean emotional difficulties for the animal as well as the humans who love it.

Illinois legislators have recently acknowledged that treating pets as marital property in a divorce can have a poor outcome on animals' well-being. Since Jan. 1, a new law has made it possible for judges to consider the best interest of a pet instead of assigning its ownership to one spouse or the other based on its perceived monetary value.

Should your child be involved in developing the parenting plan?

You and your spouse have agreed that divorcing is the best thing for everyone in the family. Even your children seem relieved when the two of you sit down to talk to them about it. Naturally, they want to know which of you they will spend more time with, and if they will have to move, and they may have some very definite ideas about how things should go. Should you accept their input when you draw up a parenting plan schedule?

According to Psychology Today, it is common for children to want their parents to listen to what they want in the divorce. However, that does not mean they want to make the decisions. This much responsibility could be too much for your children, particularly if they are younger. It may relieve some of that tension if you let them know that you value their input, but that there are many other factors that also have to be weighed before the decision is final.

Approaching a job interview with a misdemeanor on your record

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor in the state of Illinois, you may be well aware that fixing your mistake and recovering your reputation will take time and effort. One of the most challenging endeavors you may encounter is looking for a job. While you may have a plethora of desirable qualities and skills, you may find that potential employers are unable to look past your conviction. At Fawell & Fawell, we understand the challenges people face in recovering their lives following a criminal conviction. 

If you are able to get an interview, you face a challenging conversation where you will need to discuss your misdemeanor with hiring managers. Your approach to this oftentimes uncomfortable conversation is a critical moment where you get to market your core competencies and provide honest insight into your past. According to Chron, some of the positive things you can do during this conversation include the following:

  • Leave the excuses behind: While you may be tempted to come up with an excuse to explain your past behavior, the more honest you are, the more confidence you will exude. Other qualities this kind of integrity will demonstrate include humility, remorse and responsibility.
  • Be concise in your explanation: If you are asked to discuss your prior conviction, do so in a simple manner. Do not overshare details that could easily be left out. Answer questions honestly, but with concise language that will not further incriminate you or make you appear incompetent.
  • Use it as a learning experience: While your misdemeanor certainly is not helping your chances of getting a job easily, you can demonstrate that you have learned from your mistake and are actively working to change your life's course. You may choose to provide a simple statement sharing how your past mistake has altered your life and allowed you to become someone better.

Can you control your partner's abusive behavior?

If you are in a committed relationship, you will be well aware that there are times when turmoil and disagreements are inevitable. You and your spouse or partner both have differing opinions, preferred ways of doing things and varying habits. However, it is imperative that you recognize the difference between regular tensions in a relationship and potentially threatening or harmful behaviors that qualify as abuse in the state of Illinois. It is also critical that you understand that while you cannot control your partner's behavior, you can be educated about warning signs of abuse so you can make an escape before your life is endangered. 

According to WebMD, your partner may be much more likely to react aggressively or be engaged in abusive behaviors if he or she has a history of any of the following:

  • Time served in jail.
  • Impulsive or risky behavior.
  • Addictions to drugs, alcohol or sex.
  • Experienced abuse when he or she was a child.
  • Inconsistent jobs or significant career changes.
  • Depression and other mental health problems.

Understanding the real purpose of child support

While many Illinois couples would like to believe that their divorce is only impacting their own personal lives, divorce has a bit of a rattling domino effect and can create tension, stress and instability in the lives of everyone closest to them. Unfortunately, this is especially the case for divorcing couples who have had children together. Often, children are left grappling for answers and trying to relearn how to function in a new life that has been turned upside-down. 

Child support is allocated in many cases to help provide relief to the custodial parent so he or she is not fully responsible for covering the financial costs of raising the couple's shared children. According to Live About, the amount awarded for child support is decided based off of several factors. Some of these include the following:

  • The income of both of the parents.
  • The unique needs of each child.
  • Special health care needs and concerns for each child.
  • The child's standard of living before his or her parents got divorced.
  • Whether or not the non-custodial parent is capable of providing for him or herself and the children.

Your personal reasons for divorce are likely pretty common

If you have reached the point where you feel like you can't stay another day in your marriage, you likely did not arrive at this decision overnight. Like many Illinois couples, the feeling may have built from a series of disappointments and misunderstandings, or your marriage may have broken down as a result of one pivotal event.

Marriage isn't easy for most people, and the divorce rate may attest to that. However, psychologists say that the struggles in one marriage are often similar to the struggles in most marriages. The difference between staying married and getting divorce is often how the couples react to those struggles.

Judge to decide fate of Cowboys star accused of domestic violence

Domestic violence is a problem that is often not recognized immediately. Rather, it usually happens behind closed doors in environments where victims are highly vulnerable and unable to get help. In many cases, domestic violence can have a lasting and damaging effect on victims and their families, and in serious cases it can have fatal results. For perpetrators, the consequences can significantly affect their reputation, career and ability to create healthy relationships altogether. 

Such is the case for a current Dallas Cowboys player who has allegedly been charged with domestic violence against a former girlfriend. The star running back was issued a six-game suspension when allegations were initially addressed in August. However, a series of complications and disagreements between the player and the National Football League have hampered efforts to reach an agreement. Interestingly, the Cowboys star was never actually charged with a crime in the state of Ohio where the alleged incidents took place. Details about what happened between the player and his then-girlfriend are currently unknown. If he is charged in the case, he will be facing an immediate suspension that could negatively affect both his personal career and the success of the Cowboys team this season. Following the hearing, an outcome is expected to be announced in the coming week and the star's fate for the remainder of the season will be announced.

Retirement and child support payments

With regard to child support, our law firm knows that there are a multitude of issues to take into consideration. For parents who are having a hard time paying child support, daily life can be overwhelming and there are various penalties they may face if they fall behind. Across Illinois, there are other circumstances in which a parent's child support order could be affected. For example, if you have recently retired or plan to retire soon, this significant change could also affect your child support payments.

Retiring can be overwhelming for some people, while others look forward to having more free time. Along with this major milestone comes other changes, which could be particularly important if you are required to pay child support. Once you no longer work, your ability to pay the current amount of child support you owe may change. However, you could be able to modify your child support order, depending on how your income has changed. As with all family law matters, it is crucial to carefully go over any details that could be relevant to your case and make sure that you are prepared for some of the issues that could lie ahead.

What is sole custody?

If you are involved in a custody case in Illinois, you should know the different options you have in the type of custody you can request. One of those is sole custody. According to The Spruce, sole custody is when one parent has the sole responsibility and control over the children. If you are granted sole custody, you do not need to confer with your children's other parent when making major decisions if you do not want to. You have the authority to make any and all decisions about your children.

Sole custody has some downsides, which the court will take into consideration. If you and your children's other parent are both involved in their lives, then the court will likely seek to continue that involvement and will not remove the other parent's rights by granting you sole custody. However, if the children's other parent is not involved in their lives, sole custody may be seen as the best decision because it gives you complete legal control over the children. You will be able to make decisions without worrying about whether the other parent will try to step in. It can also be the best decision in situations where you and the children's other parent cannot come to an agreement on anything because it may provide more stability for children in this type of situation.

Is it possible to co-parent peacefully during the school year?

Now that the kids are back in school, you may find yourself wondering how you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can create a co-parenting plan that works for everyone. With all the changes and confusion that your separation is creating, you may be struggling with the concept of co-parenting. While you are working on making the proper arrangements, your kids must deal with the stress and uncertainty that your divorce and school brings. 

Many parents get divorced in the Wheaton area. Some of them embrace the opportunity to work together and raise their kids. Others may approach their situations cautiously and less amicably. Put aside your feelings and stay positive. Before making any arrangements, consider the following suggestions for a peaceful co-parenting plan. 

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