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Belleville Family Law And Criminal Defense Blog

Heroin addiction: An illness or an offense against the state?

If you're suffering from a heroin addiction, or if you use heroin on a regular basis, you're breaking the law every time you use the drug. However, the users of heroin are often so devastatingly addicted that the use of the substance isn't a choice: It's a matter of life and death.

When an addiction becomes severe, any doctor or psychologist will agree that it's an illness and those who have fallen into addiction may have lost their will and cannot overcome the problem without help. Illinois courts attempt to reconcile the fact that many heroin users need medical and psychological help and -- in many ways -- this kind of aid is far more useful to the victim, and society, than incarceration.

Divorcing amicably: Yes, it's possible

It's true that no divorce is easy. There's lots of paperwork, and hurt feelings can get in the way of finalizing the steps of divorce as quickly as you'd like. Between arguments and disagreements, it's simple to let a divorce get the better of you.

The truth is that not all divorces have to be contentious. Even if you don't agree on everything, you can agree to divorce in as positive a manner as possible.

Thinking about divorce? Ask yourself these questions first

Divorces are, at their core, legal documents separating you from your spouse and ending your marriage. While there are many reasons you may want to get a divorce, you also need to take the time to weigh your options.

Getting a divorce won't necessarily end your troubles with your spouse. For instance, if you have children, a divorce might not mean you can stop talking to your ex-spouse. Before you get a divorce, take time to think about different aspects leading up to your decision.

5 Top Problems That Lead To Divorce

Marriage is supposed to be a happy union of two persons who commit to love and care for each other forever. However, real life has other plans. It’s common for couples to have issues that crop up from time to time throughout their marriage, and many times, those problems lead them to consider divorce. Here are five red-button issues that are some of the top problems that lead to divorce.

Misplaced Motives

Divorce and the division of a military pension

Military couples live in unique circumstances that can make divorce a tricky enterprise. The military lifestyle can put the spouses of service members in situations where they’re unable to work due to frequent moves. As such, they may be entitled to a significant amount of spousal support in the event of a divorce.

The husband or wife of a service member can also claim a portion of their spouse’s military retirement benefits. A military pension can be a significant asset, as service members typically accrue benefits more quickly than a civilian. When such a sizable amount of money is at stake, it’s important to know how its division works in a military divorce.

Debunking marijuana possession charge myths

If you are ever charged with marijuana possession, you probably have a lot of preconceived notions about what the process looks like and your possible penalties and fines.

Below are a few debunked myths regarding marijuana possession in the area.

Identifying people unfit for parenting

Illinois residents involved with raising a child may benefit from learning more about how the state determines if an individual is unfit to be a parent. There are several conditions that may compel family courts to consider an individual unfit for parenting. It may be worth noting that individuals who relinquished a child within the parameters established under the Abandoned Newborn Protection Act may not be considered unfit.

However, people who have abandoned a newborn at the hospital, or in any setting where the individual seemingly relinquishes their parenting rights, may be considered unfit. According to family courts in Illinois, abandoning a child in almost any circumstance indicates that an individual is unfit to parent. State laws also describe individuals who have failed to maintain responsibilities, concern or interest regarding the child as being unfit as well.

Legal help for child support issues

If you are a parent going through a divorce in Illinois, our firm may be able help you to negotiate for a fair child support order. By carefully reviewing the financial situations of all of the parties involved, we work to ensure that our client's rights are respected and that the child support order is in compliance with state guidelines.

In Illinois, a noncustodial parent with one child can expect to pay child support in the amount of 20 percent of their monthly net income. Additional children will result in a higher percentage being paid with a maximum payment of 50 percent of the parent's monthly net income. Although the formula for calculating child support payments in Illinois can appear to be relatively simple, there is always room for parties on both sides to argue that the court should vary from the guidelines.

Maintenance payments in Illinois

In Illinois, a person going through a divorce may have to pay maintenance, or spousal support, to their former spouse. There are several types of maintenance awards issued in the state, including temporary, rehabilitative and reviewable. Numerous factors are taken into account when the courts are determining the amount and duration of payments.

In most cases, the standard of living for both parties will be lower after the divorce. While the courts look at the standard of living prior to the separation, they also review how long the couple was married, if there is an earnings disparity between them, custody arrangements for any children, age and health of the parties and the ability of each person to acquire income and assets moving into the future.

Divorce and separation in Illinois

The main purpose of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is to promote the cordial settlement of disputes and minimize the harm that could be done to family members by the legal process of dissolving a marriage. It also seeks to facilitate maximum cooperation and involvement of both parents in regard to the well-being of children throughout the divorce process. According to the Act, divorce proceedings will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of civil practice law.

In addition, the act eliminated any provisions regarding marital misconduct, or, in other words, Illinois became a no-fault divorce state. The initial pleading in all proceedings under the Act have to be denominated in a petition, which can be answered through responsive pleading. To put it another way, the person seeking the divorce must file a petition to be answered by the other spouse. In the event that one party is seeking an order of protection, the court will find out whether either party had either sought or been the respondent to an order of protection in the past.