Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

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Sugar Grove, IL 60554

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Recent blog posts

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County family law attorney parenting plan

During divorce proceedings between parents in Illinois, a parenting plan is created to determine each parent’s rights and responsibilities, including the time each parent spends with a child, also known as parenting time. The plan creates a structure that helps ease the transition of two parents who now live separately. It covers things like who is financially responsible for different aspects of the child’s life, how holidays or vacations should be approached, and daily life aspects like school and extracurricular activities. No matter how diligently you and your attorneys work to craft a suitable plan, it will not last forever as it was originally written. As time goes by, your situations will almost certainly change, and the parenting plan will probably require modifications.

Modifying Your Parenting Plan

As with creating the parenting plan in the first place, changing a parenting plan should be treated as a business transaction or contract negotiations. Amendments to an Illinois parenting plan require approval from the court. If there are any discrepancies, Illinois law falls back on the original parenting plan, but if the change has been active for six months, it may be added to the court-approved plan. Changes made without the court and official documentation are not enforceable. Illinois law states parenting plan changes should be in the best interests of the child. The state requires a significant change in circumstances in order to grant a modification. Acceptable reasons may include:

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Kane County family law attorny child custody

Family court judges are required to make decisions based upon the best interests of a child in any allocation of parental responsibilities case—previously known as “child custody” in Illinois. The judge will have to decide which home is the best place for the child to live most of the time. As a divorced parent, you may be wondering if the school district you live in will influence that decision.

Education Is One Factor

There are many different factors that go into making a decision that is in the best interest of the child in a divorce. The type of education a child will receive is an important consideration, but it is only one factor among many. Other factors Illinois judges look at when deciding what is in a child’s best interest include:

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Kane County personal injury attorney wrongful death

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that approximately 29 people lose their lives in drunk driving accidents every day in the United States. This means that intoxicated drivers cause the death of a person every 50 minutes on average. If you have lost a parent, child, spouse, or other loved one in an accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver, you may be able to recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When a family loses a loved one, they often suffer significant financial injury. For example, a father who is struck and killed by a drunk driver will not be around to help provide for his children. In such a case, a wrongful death lawsuit allows the surviving parent to receive funds that help him or her pay the costs associated with raising the children. In Illinois, a special representative of the decedent (the person who died) may bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person or organization responsible for the death on behalf of the decedent’s immediate surviving family. This special representative is most often a spouse, adult child, or parent of the deceased individual.

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Kane County family law attorney allocation of parental responsibilities

The allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as child custody) can greatly impact the life of a child. Further, it can determine just how involved you are in the decision-making process of your child’s life. Whether you are an unmarried father who has recently established paternity or half of a couple going through a divorce, it is important for you to understand the allocation of parental responsibilities, including who may be eligible to pursue it and when.

What Is the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?

The allocation of parental responsibilities can be broken down into two primary areas of concern: parenting time and significant decision-making authority for the child. Parenting time is the time that each parent spends with his or her child, while the decision-making authority pertains to the level of responsibility each parent has regarding important choices regarding the child’s life. For example, a parent with more decision-making authority may have the final say in where the child goes to school, or whether he or she attends church or not.

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Kane County family law attorney parenting time

One of the most difficult things for children—and parents—to handle during divorce are the transition periods between time with each parent, especially for young children. Your children are used to having both Mom and Dad in the same home together, sleeping in the same room every night, surrounded by the same toys and belongings. Suddenly, instead of the consistency of a daily routine, their little world is turned upside down and they spend their time being shuffled between two homes, two routines, and two different sets of rules. However, there are steps that parents can take to make that transition easier for everyone.

Prepare Kids for the Transition Between Two Homes

It is vital for children’s adjustment to feel secure and to know exactly what to expect now that they are going to be leaving their house to go spend time at what will also be their home, with the other parent. Discuss the things they may want to bring with them and assure them that you will help them pack those belongings. Explain what days they will be going from one home to another. A suggestion that provides a good visual for young children to follow is to make a color-coded calendar for each home so the kids can see when the transitions will take place and what days they will be at each home.

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Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorney asset division

Most couples who end up getting divorced usually see it coming months, if not years, before the papers are actually filed. It is not an uncommon scenario for a husband and wife to stay together long after they both realize their marriage is over. For anyone who is in this situation, there are steps that should be taken before the divorce process begins in order to ensure there is an equitable division of assets and no surprises for either party during divorce negotiations.

Financial Documents

If you are contemplating divorce or suspect that your spouse is, the first step you should take is to gather copies of all of your financial records, including:

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