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Recent Blog Posts

How Does an Emotionally Abusive Spouse Affect the Divorce Process? 

 Posted on September 07, 2023 in Divorce

Wheaton, IL family lawyerLike any form of mistreatment, emotional abuse is devastating. As with physical abuse, this behavior should be taken seriously by those who encounter it and a victim of abuse should seek help when necessary.

If you are going through a divorce, you might be wondering how your emotionally abusive partner will affect your case. The answer to this question is not simple. But, this is not a reason for despair. An Illinois family lawyer can assist you. Here at Fawell & Fawell, we are here to help you navigate your journey and will do the best we can to help.

What is Considered Emotional Abuse? 

It is important to define what exactly constitutes emotional abuse. In general, when people speak of an emotionally abusive spouse, they are describing a person who is attempting to control them in many areas of life. Here are a few examples:

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How Can I  Divorce My Partner as a Domestic Violence Survivor? 

 Posted on August 30, 2023 in Divorce

Wheaton, IL divorce lawyerDomestic violence is a very serious crime but can be especially hurtful when it comes from a partner. Often, the abused partners turn to divorce to secure their safety or the well-being of their children. No matter what, the safety of you and your children comes first. 

If you are in immediate danger, seek the aid of law enforcement or a domestic violence shelter. Once you are in a safe location, you can start with the divorce process. There are several measures you can take to protect yourself. Having the professional guidance of a divorce attorney is always ideal and can help you reduce all risks and concerns involved.

Can I File a Restraining Order Against My Partner?

The laws of Illinois protect domestic violence survivors. You can always file an Order of Protection while filing for divorce. The protection order limits your partner's contact with you and your children. The order also allows you to maintain everyone’s safety and privacy. Once you relocate to a safe area, change your contact information for added security. A divorce attorney who has experience working with victims of domestic violence can help you apply for an Order of Protection and start the divorce process. 

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Untying the Knot: The Key Differences Between Legal Separation and Divorce

 Posted on August 10, 2023 in Divorce

Naperville, IL divorce lawyerMarital problems are never simple to deal with. When they reach a breaking point, couples may consider legal options to move on. The two most common options are legal separation or divorce. Understanding the differences is important for making an informed decision.

What Is a Legal Separation? 

A legal separation is when both spouses decide to live apart. It is a court-approved agreement for separation, but a divorce is the only way to dissolve a marriage completely. So if you want to get remarried to some else, then a divorce may be best for you. 

Legal separation allows couples to step back, test a separation, and possibly reconnect in the future. When divorce appears too final, legal separation is a viable option. For many it could be due to religion or personal views. Divorce marks the end of a marriage and can be exhausting for both parties. It represents the end of the partnership. It can be a painful experience, so some view legal separation as a safer choice. 

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How to Make Long Distance Co-Parenting Work

 Posted on July 27, 2023 in Child Support

DuPage County Family LawyerThere are times when one parent must relocate with their children. Whether due to a job change, to be closer to family, or to begin a new committed relationship, when adults move, minor children need to be considered carefully. 

While this can be difficult, ideally the parent who is not moving will still maintain their role in the children’s lives to the fullest extent possible. Even when a judge gives a parent permission to relocate, the other parent does not automatically lose parental responsibilities or parenting time; therefore, the parents need to work together to make co-parenting work. Here are some tips for successful long-distance co-parenting.

Schedule Times to Check In

A parent who does not live close to their children may not be involved in managing the children’s day-to-day lives, but the parent still needs to stay informed of what is going on so they can work to help make the right decisions. Since life can get busy, co-parents should schedule a time to communicate so each can learn what they need to know.

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Do I Need to Pay More Child Support if I Get a Raise?

 Posted on July 06, 2023 in Child Support

Wheaton, IL child support lawyerThe amount of child support that you pay in Illinois is tied to your income. Many people ask whether their child support will automatically go up as their income rises. The answer to that question is that a raise does not always mean that you will pay more, but it could potentially lead to higher child support payments. Everything depends on the circumstances of your own situation and a DuPage County child support attorney can help.

A Non-Paying Parent Must Seek a Modification

Generally, the paying parent is not required to notify the other parent of a raise in income unless a divorce or child support agreement requires it. In order for payments to increase, the parent who is not paying child support must ask the court to raise child support by filing a motion to modify the child support order. 

Alternatively, the non-paying parent is allowed to have a review for a modification every three years. There is never a guarantee that a petition for modification will be approved; the law requires there to be a “significant change” in the non-custodial parent’s income, or a significant change in the child’s needs. Not every single raise will be considered significant. The parent paying child support does not have to do anything until and unless the child support order is modified by a judge. 

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Do you have a valid prenup?

 Posted on June 14, 2023 in Prenuptial Agreement


When you meet the person you truly love and decide to settle down with forever, you basically look forward to spending the rest of your lives together. Unfortunately, some marriages aren’t meant to last. This explains why couples sign prenuptial agreements before tying the knot.

Should the marriage end in divorce, the prenup would separate marital property from personal property. To achieve its intended purpose, however, your prenup must be valid. So, what can invalidate a seemingly authentic prenup?

Here are common reasons why your prenup may not survive a legal challenge:

When there was a fraud

The court will invalidate a prenup if it is established that it is fraudulent. If your fiancée hid their assets or debts at the time of signing the prenup, and you learn about this down the road, you may petition the court to invalidate the document on grounds that it is fraudulent.

When there was duress

For a prenup to hold, both parties must sign it freely. If there is evidence that your fiancé coerced or tricked you into signing the prenup, then the entire document might be voided. For example, if you were handed the prenup an hour before you walked down the aisle, it may have felt like you didn’t have a choice because the embarrassment of canceling the wedding would have been overwhelming.

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Where do divorcing spouses hide assets?

 Posted on June 12, 2023 in Divorce


The majority of divorcing spouses are going to be honest when declaring their assets. Both spouses have an obligation to do this completely and truthfully.

If you suspect your spouse might not be, it’s worth understanding where people tend to hide assets. Let’s look at some of the most common places.

Around the house

Yes, people do still hide money under the floorboards or in a hole in the garden. Others prefer a safe in the garage. They may even do it in full visibility by buying things and lying about their value to you – for instance, a painting or an antique.

With friends or family

Maybe your spouse just passed someone a lump of cash to hold, or perhaps they invested in property but put the title in someone else’s name. The idea is their friend or family member will pass it back to them once the divorce is done, cutting you out of the picture.

Offshore or in another state

Some countries and even some states want your money and will offer significant incentives to get it. That can include secrecy and a stubborn refusal to let anyone else touch it. Unsurprisingly, some spouses take advantage of this to keep money from their partners.

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What happens to the family business in the event of a divorce?

 Posted on June 08, 2023 in High Asset Divorce


From small, home-based businesses to multi-million-dollar enterprises, family-owned businesses play a huge part in growing the U.S. economy. In fact, it is estimated that there are well over 24 million family-owned businesses in the United States. If your marriage is over and you are considering a divorce, however, one of the questions you will certainly grapple with is what will become of the family business once you go your separate ways.

One of the factors that determine the fate of the family business during divorce is each spouse’s contribution and role in the business. Here are a couple of possible outcomes:

Buying out your ex

Just like with the family home, you may buy out your spouse and retain 100 percent ownership of the business. For instance, say you are running a dental clinic where you are a trained dentist while your spouse is the administrator. In this case, you may buy out your spouse (now ex) so you can retain full ownership of the business and outsource the administrative role.

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Should you postpone divorce until your kids are adults?

 Posted on May 24, 2023 in Divorce


Divorce is a complex and emotional decision that can significantly impact the lives of everyone involved, especially children. As a parent, you may ponder whether to postpone your divorce until the kids are adults.

It’s a valid inquiry that requires careful consideration. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, understanding the potential consequences and considering individual circumstances can help you make an informed decision that prioritizes the best interests of your children.

Consider offering the kids a stable childhood

Postponing divorce until your children reach adulthood can give them stability and continuity during their formative years. Maintaining a united front helps create an environment where children can grow and develop without the added stressors of divorce. Stability can play a crucial role in their overall well-being and academic success.

Think about your co-parenting efforts

On one hand, you could argue that continuing the marriage for the sake of your children allows you and your spouse to focus on effective co-parenting. But on the other hand, staying in an unhappy and dysfunctional marriage can create a toxic environment for the children.

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How apps can help adults co-parent more effectively

 Posted on May 23, 2023 in Child Custody


Co-parenting in the Digital Age does have its advantages. It is easier than ever to keep kids and parents in touch and apps designed just for co-parents can help them to improve communication, coordinate schedules and enhance their ability to co-parent effectively.

If you’re having issues co-parenting in the ways that you had hoped to when you first split from your child’s other parent, know that using various apps could genuinely help to put you back on track.

What can apps help co-parents to accomplish?

Here are just a few of the ways that apps can assist you in your co-parenting situation:

  • Shared calendars and scheduling: Co-parenting apps often include shared calendars that allow both parents to input and view important dates, such as parenting time schedules, extracurricular activities, medical appointments and school events.
  • Messaging and documentation: Co-parenting apps typically offer messaging features specifically designed for co-parents. This provides a dedicated platform for communication, allowing parents to discuss parenting-related matters, share updates and exchange information without the need for personal phone numbers or email accounts. It also enables documentation of conversations, which can be useful for legal purposes or resolving disputes.

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