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Potential Changes to Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

Exit strategyThe Illinois General Assembly has passed a major update to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). If signed by the Governor, the new IMDMA will offer many positive changes for divorcing couples in Illinois.

Here is an outline of proposed changes taken from a recent article in the Illinois Bar Journal by Matthew Hector.

GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE

  • Except in cases of irreconcilable differences, the new Act will remove all grounds for divorce previously listed in the IMDMA.

  • The term “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage will automatically be presumed when divorcing parties have lived separate and apart for at least six months.

  • Couples who are in agreement about divorce can now proceed immediately, no six-month waiting period required. Divorcing couples who don’t agree to a six-month waiting period no longer have a mandatory two-year wait for divorce.

  • A judge must enter an order of dissolution within 60 days of the closing of proofs.

CHILD CUSTODY

  • Emphasis is now on parental responsibility rather than who will get custody of a child.

  • While some decisions (health, religion, and extra-curricular activities) will be shared between both parents, in some cases the responsibility for specific decisions will be granted to the parent who can best make those decisions. For example, a parent who is a teacher might be assigned to make educational choices.

  • The best interests of the child remain paramount.

CHILD RELOCATION

  • Custodial parents in the following counties can relocate with a child up to 25 miles without court approval: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will.

  • Those in other counties can move up to 50 miles without court permission.

  • Any move of 25 miles or less can be across the state line without leave of the court; Illinois courts will retain jurisdiction over custody issues.

PROPERTY DIVISION AND MAINTENANCE

  • The court must now provide the reasons for allocation decisions.

  • For marriages of ten years of less, fixed periods can be set during which a maintenance decision cannot be changed by a court order.

  • Allocation decisions are no longer automatically subject to review by either party filing a motion.

“HEART BALM” DECISIONS

  • The following divorce actions will be eliminated in the new IMDMA:

    • Alienation of Affection

    • Breach of Promise to Marry

    • Adultery/Criminal Conversation

Contact me if you would like to learn more about current Illinois family law or the proposed changes to the IMDMA and how they could affect your divorce planning.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT

Erin_Birt_37033-199x300Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association. She is a past board member and presenter for the Mediation Council of Illinois.

More Effective Illinois Divorce Options

Negotiate You and I Want Street Signs Negotiation AgreementAnyone dealing with legal issues, divorce in particular, deserves to have all the information necessary to make the best possible decisions. This can be tricky if you’re not a legal professional or can’t afford one to help you, but a new Illinois policy will help change this for the better.

THE ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT SPEAKS

The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued a new policy to help ensure that litigants are informed about the many important and helpful services available to them. These include pro-bono (free) and low-cost legal services, legal aid hotlines, and internet-based resources.

For anyone who is or will be involved in divorce proceedings, two of these services are worth noting. They are:

  • Limited Scope Legal Services
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Services

While the names are fancy, the important part is that both of these services fall under the larger umbrella of Illinois collaborative divorce law and divorce mediation, which have a proven history of successful divorce resolutions with little or no time spent in court.

CLIENT SUCCESS STORIES

Below are summaries of two Birt Law divorce cases where clients started out in the formal divorce litigation process, with little or no success. When they began working with us using limited scope services including divorce mediation and the collaborative divorce process, they were able to create solutions that satisfied all parties.

  • Case 1 – A young couple with no children initiated their divorce at the courthouse and soon realized that the amount of time spent at the courthouse and with attorneys might be better served with a mediator. They came to me with much anger about the process and hurt emotions. We worked around their schedules to minimize time off from work, which also minimized hostility and anger during the sessions, and soon the parties were able to discuss matters without arguing. They quickly resolved their differences within five mediation sessions.

  • Case 2 – After attending couple’s counseling for several months, a couple with children determined they should divorce. Each consulted with divorce attorneys who informed them of the litigation process and the fees associated with the divorce process. Both parties determined that litigation was not what they had anticipated and sought the help of attorneys who would meet with both of them periodically to discuss and negotiate a parenting plan. They also wanted to work with a financial professional to address the allocation of assets and debts. After explaining limited scope services, our client stated, “I am thankful that I can hire an attorney that listens to what I want and not tell me what has to happen.” The parties reached an agreement to settle within four weeks.

As a DuPage County divorce attorney and trained practitioner in these processes, I know that limited scope and alternative divorce resolution can create results like those outlined above, regardless of where you are in your divorce litigation. Contact me to learn how you can get started.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT

Erin_Birt_37033-199x300Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association. She is a past board member and presenter for the Mediation Council of Illinois.

Facts And Benefits Of Collaborative Divorce

Teamwork EssentialsThere’s been little or no fighting. You’re on relatively good terms with each other. You actually even like each other. It’s just that you don’t love each other any longer and divorce is the inevitable outcome. In situations like this–and even ones with more emotion–collaborative divorce planning may be a very good option.

At Birt Law, we offer a Collaborative Divorce Knowledge Kit, prepared by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, which outlines the process and helps you know what to expect. Here are a few excerpts from that kit.

WHAT IS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE?

  • Collaborative Divorce, also called Collaborative Practice, is a new way for you to resolve disputes respectfully–without going to court. It offers you and your spouse or partner the support, protection, and guidance of your own lawyers, and allows you the benefit of child and financial specialists, divorce coaches, and other professionals.

  • You and your spouse control the process, make the final decisions, and pledge mutual respect and openness.

  • The discussions and negotiations of the process are kept private.

  • It is a flexible divorce solution that allows you to control your outcomes.

CASE STUDIES

These are just a few of the case studies presented in the kit that show the effectiveness of the process.

Case Studies

WHY IT WORKS

Along with providing the support of caring and talented professionals, a collaborative divorce:

  • Encourages mutual respect

  • Emphasizes the needs of children

  • Utilizes a problem-solving versus an adversarial approach

  • Identifies and addresses the interests and concerns of all

  • Prepares participants for their new lives post-divorce

As a trained collaborative law attorney, I can help you determine whether your situation could benefit from Illinois collaborative divorce law services. Contact me for more information.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT

Erin_Birt_37034Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association. She is a past board member and presenter for the Mediation Council of Illinois.

Redefining Joint Custody in Illinois

Child custody concept.The recent Illinois Appeals Court case In re Marriage of Perez shows that the courts now favor a decision of joint custody (often without naming a custodial parent) for minor children in divorce cases.

Yet this is not always the best outcome for the children, writes Champaign County Circuit Judge Arnold F. Blockman in the June Family Law Newsletter of the Illinois State Bar Association.

CHANGES IN THE CHILD CUSTODY LAWS

In the past, the Illinois joint custody statute was defined as joint legal custody and joint physical custody, and the court could not order joint custody unless both parental parties agreed.

However, a revision of the statute in 1986 removed those two separate definitions and replaced them with the term “joint custody” along with other significant changes.

Now joint custody can be created by the court itself or by an independent request from either parent. The parties must present a Joint Parenting Agreement for court approval, and the court can “impose its own Joint Parenting Agreement if it finds that joint custody is in the best interests of the child.” Lastly, the cooperation of parents for joint parenting is a major factor in a court’s decision to award joint custody.

THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS

Judge Blockman believes there is inherent danger in the trial court “imposing a joint custody order on the parties when one or both does not want joint custody or when the parties cannot agree on parenting times or the residence of the child.”

He feels a child would be harmed by the ongoing conflict in this situation, and Blockman would encourage the trial courts “to take a much more active gatekeeper role in approving joint custody agreements and adequately fulfilling its responsibility in insuring that joint custody is, in fact, in the best interest of the child.”

In the case of In re Marriage of Perez, there were major disagreements between the parents on several issues including where the child would live and specific parenting time with each party.

Blockman argues that these disagreements and lack of a custodial parent would have an ongoing impact on the child. “It is this writer’s opinion,” he states, “that when there is substantial conflict and lack of cooperation, there has to be someone making the major decisions or, at the least, someone designated as the primary custodial parent.”

For Judge Blockman, the court’s decision is simply postponing a day of reckoning when these issues will have to be addressed because the family relationships will have become strained and dysfunctional, with the child caught in the middle.

It’s his hope that the concepts of custody and joint parenting will be abolished in divorce planning in favor of litigation that actually protects minor children as they struggle with a very difficult, life-changing situation.

A divorce with child custody and visitation issues can be difficult without the right legal guidance. Contact me to learn how family mediation can help you make the best decisions for your children.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT

Erin_Birt_37033-199x300Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association. She is a past board member and presenter for the Mediation Council of Illinois.

Handling Alcohol Abuse In Divorce Mediation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor divorcing families, the mediation process can be extremely helpful but also quite stressful. If anyone in the family struggles with alcohol abuse, they may manage their anxiety by coming to sessions under the influence–making the process more challenging for the mediator as well as the participants.

Author and trained mediator Charlie Mulvey addresses this issue in a recent article on the site Mediate.com, suggesting that mediators should be able to screen participants prior to a session using a portable alcohol recognition device to ensure all parties are sober. This is particularly important when negotiating child custody and visitation.

WHY SCREENING IS CRITICAL

Mulvey cites studies which show that separation or divorce rates are four times higher for alcoholics than for the general population, which means that at some point a mediator will be assisting a family struggling with this issue.

Research has also shown that alcoholism often equates with a higher rate of domestic abuse and violence, particularly with what Mulvey calls “high conflict couples” who struggle with any form of divorce mediation.

Screening for the presence of alcohol not only ensures more effective mediation but might also shine a light on domestic violence within the family. In addition, says Mulvey, it’s “just plain common sense, both for your own protection and safety, as well as the successful operation of your mediation practice.”

AN EFFECTIVE NEW TOOL

There have been many iterations of the “breathalyzer,” a device that measures a person’s blood alcohol content, but most were difficult to use and quite often inaccurate. Recently, the company Soberlink has developed a blood alcohol measuring device that is accurate, reliable and portable, making it a viable tool for family law mediators to perform DUI evaluations.

First, Soberlink can be used to confirm the sobriety of all mediation participants prior to the session. Perhaps an even more valuable use of Soberlink is to ensure child safety during visitation with the non-custodial parent.

Soberlink employs facial recognition to confirm the identity of the person using it, uses GPS to show the person’s location, and transmits results to the other parent within 60 to 90 seconds by internet, text or email. In child custody situations, this can provide peace of mind regarding a child’s safety during visitations and perhaps redevelop trust between the divorced parents, says Mulvey.

Finally, Mulvey states that “few investments in the family mediation arena have a higher potential for screening matters appropriate for mediation, providing safety and security, and ensuring a productive and successful mediation outcome for parents and children alike…”

As a trained mediator and licensed counselor for DUI risk education and treatment, I can help you successfully navigate a divorce process that involves alcohol abuse and/or domestic violence. Contact me to learn more.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT

Erin_Birt_37032Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She also opened The Birt Group, a state-licensed DUI Counseling Firm in 2011.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association.

A Better Father’s Day For Divorced Dads

father and daughter playing on the beach at sunsetFather’s Day for divorced dads can be anything from bittersweet to devastatingly sad, depending on child custody and visitation decisions. According to a recent article on the website Divorce360, “Depression for men is more closely tied to the loss of children than it is to the loss of the marriage.”

POST-DIVORCE MODIFICATIONS 

The National Fatherhood Initiative has discovered that a majority of men who don’t currently live with their children believe that they spend too little time with their kids. As a result, many divorced men carry around a lot of guilt that the family breakup is damaging their children in some way.

If you’re a divorced father who wants to spend more time with your children than the standing court order currently allows, schedule a family mediation session with a qualified DuPage County divorce attorney. The mediator will help you and the other parent come together to create a post-divorce parenting schedule that works as well for you as it does for the other parent. Furthermore, your children’s emotions and perceived needs can also be discussed in the mediation, which may or may not occur in litigation.

The result could be more frequent and/or longer visits with your kids on Father’s Day, summer vacations and major holidays.

OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION

The links below will take you to web pages full of useful tips and ideas to get through Father’s Day (with or without the kids) and resources that support divorced dads in general.

According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, there is a Father Absence Crisis in America. Mediation can be the first step to taking your family out of that equation.

As a qualified divorce mediator, I can help you get the process started. Contact me for more information or to schedule a mediation session.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT

Erin_Birt_37032Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association. She is a past board member and presenter for the Mediation Council of Illinois.

Illinois Family Law Case Summaries

wooden gavel and book isolated on whiteHere are summaries of two recent family law cases from the Appellate Court of Illinois.

PAYMENT OF OVERDUE CHILD SUPPORTIn re Marriage of Rocha

When this couple divorced in 1998, the husband was ordered to pay child support of $150 per week.

In 2001, three years after the initial “Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage,” the husband filed a motion to reduce child support because he was unemployed, and the court reduced the support amount to $74.40 per week.

Later that year, the wife informed the court that her ex-husband was actually receiving 95% of his pay from his former employer, and the court increased child support back to the original $150 per week. Eighteen months later, the ex-wife returned to court because her ex-husband had been failing to make regular support payments and was now behind on them.

The ex-husband paid some of what was owed, but fell behind again due to another job loss. He was ordered to stay current on support payments and provide evidence of a job search. Nothing else was brought before the court until 2010 when the ex-wife petitioned the court “to vacate prior court orders based on the court’s finding” because her ex-husband “fraudulently concealed his income and employment from the court beginning in 2003.”

On appeal by the ex-husband, the appellate court found in favor of the ex-wife and maintained that the ex-husband “tried to hide information for purposes of minimizing his child support obligations” and “committed a fraud on the court in 2003” because he was not truthful about his employment status and salary at that time.

As a result, the appeals court upheld the order for the ex-husband to pay $32,419.47 in unpaid child support plus $17,640.77 in interest dating back to the time of the fraud in 2003.

CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATIONIn re Marriage of Perez

As part of the dissolution of marriage in 2012, the court granted both parents in this case joint legal custody and visitation for their daughter, giving physical custody to the mother and liberal visitation rights to the father.

However, two years later, the father filed a motion for mediation to help create a new, more balanced parenting schedule. Witnesses for each parent said both were extremely committed to the happiness and stability of their child, and many extended family members also helped in the child’s care.

The child’s mother would not participate in the family mediation process, so the court created a joint parenting agreement which gave each parent joint legal custody and “joint care of the child” as well as a 50/50 schedule for parenting time. Neither home was designated as the child’s primary residence.

On appeal, the child’s mother said that the trial court was in error by granting the 50/50 parenting and for not designating her home as the child’s primary residence. The appeals court disagreed on both counts, stating that the trial court found it was in the child’s best interest “to fashion its custody order to maximize the involvement of both parties.”

Because both parents lived near each other, shared joint legal custody and had equal parenting time, the schedule was not a hardship for either party. For these same reasons, the appeals court concluded that the trial court was also within its scope when it refused to designate either parent as the “‘primary’ residential custodian.”

If you need the help of a DuPage County Divorce Attorney for child support, mediation, or other family law issues, contact me for more information.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT:

Erin_Birt_37033-199x300Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association

What Your Kids Want To Say About Your Divorce

parents with children talking silhouette vectorIn a recent Huffington Post article, 12 Things Kids Think About Divorce But Are Too Afraid To Say, family therapist Tara Kennedy-Kline outlines what your kids probably want to tell you about the divorce, “but don’t have the world experience to say directly.”

She developed this list after counseling hundreds of divorcing families and observing the children’s behavior.

You can see the entire list in her article, but it really boils down to three basic rules your kids want you to follow.

RESPECT AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR FEELINGS

“Quit telling me I’m ‘being dramatic’ about what’s happening.” Your kids have every reason to feel upset about the divorce. They’re scared and might even be wondering when they’ll make you mad enough to stop loving them, too, states Kennedy-Kline.

Try to include your kids in decisions around child custody and visitation, perhaps through family mediation. Sometimes what they prefer might actually be best for everyone. This can be facilitated by the use of a Child Specialist, or even taking the time to discuss your personal knowledge of the children’s expressed feelings during the mediation session.

Let children have (and express) their thoughts and feelings about your new relationships, and expect that those feelings may not always be warm and fuzzy. Often that’s a signal that your kids need quality time with just you.

BE CIVIL TO AND ABOUT YOUR EX IN FRONT OF THEM

If they could find the words, your children might say, “Please stop talking badly about each other to me or in front of me; it just makes me disrespect you,” according to Kennedy-Kline.

Don’t whine in front of your kids about how you got the worst of the post-divorce property division. They will think you care more about the material things than about the loss of their family. Try to admire the gifts your ex gives them rather than being jealous and insulting.

Accept that your ex may be better at teaching your kids something than you are. In your child’s words, “When you allow me to learn from and value both of my parents, that teaches me to appreciate the gifts in others and to ask for help when I need it.”

REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE ALWAYS THEIR PARENT

You might have stopped being married, advises Kennedy-Kline, but you have not stopped being parents.

This means being able to attend your children’s celebrations or sports event and be civil to each other. You also need to continue to protect them from anyone or anything that would hurt them, possibly including the new person in your life.

Finally, if they could, your children would ask you, “Please get on the same page when it comes to values, rules and discipline,” states Kennedy-Kline. Letting them have free reign to spite your ex will only confuse and frustrate your children in the long run.

Divorce mediation with a qualified DuPage County Divorce Attorney can help you deal with many of these issues. Contact me to learn more about mediation and other services I offer.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT

Erin_Birt_37033-199x300Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association.

Reinstating An Illinois Driver’s License

Wooden judge gavel and car keys over sound box - view from topWhile the law firm often focuses on divorce and family matters, it also provides services relating to reinstating driving privileges.

In Illinois, a DUI offense–driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs–can result in a restricted driving permit or revocation of your driver’s license. In some situations, you may need the assistance of an attorney and/or a state-approved evaluation agency to restore driving privileges after DUI.

Here is a brief outline of the license reinstatement process.

DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR REINSTATEMENT – Normally, your license will not be returned to you until the eligibility date set by the court. However, your license could be reinstated if you provide proof of ‘undue hardship’ for reasons of employment; medical; child, elder or disabled persons daycare; educational; support group; or court-ordered community service reasons, per the Illinois Secretary of State.

ATTEND INITIAL CONSULTATION – This occurs regardless of your reinstatement eligibility.

COMPLETE DRUG/ALCOHOL REQUIREMENTS – If your license was revoked for DUI, you will be required to undergo DUI Risk Education and Treatment within six months prior to your hearing date by a Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA)-licensed provider. The DUI evaluations determine what level of treatment, if any, each person must receive.

ATTEND A HEARING – This hearing determines either that your license will be fully reinstated or that you will have a restricted driving permit and perhaps a breath alcohol ignition device in your vehicle. If your offense was a first-time DUI or did not involve a fatality, it is an informal hearing. Fatalities or multiple DUI arrests warrant Secretary of State Formal Hearings, and you may request representation by a Driver’s License Reinstatement Attorney.

When a license reinstatement is denied after an informal hearing, you can apply for a formal hearing or attend another informal hearing in 30 days. If the denial is after a formal hearing, you must wait 90 days for a new hearing.

Anyone granted a Restricted Driving Permit will be informed of the conditions that must be met.

If your Illinois driver’s license has been revoked for a DUI offense, my office is a state-licensed counseling and treatment provider for drug and alcohol abuse, and we can represent you at a formal hearing if required. Contact me to learn more about how we can help with all aspects of license reinstatement and evaluations.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT

Erin_Birt_37033-199x300Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She also opened The Birt Group, a state-licensed DUI Counseling Firm in 2011.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association.

Create A Workable Post-Divorce Parenting Schedule

Loving father.Being a parent is often challenging; parenting after a divorce can be even more so for both custodial and non-custodial parents. Creating the right parenting schedule can make this very difficult situation that much easier.

From a recent article on the site SinceMyDivorce.com, here are some tips to develop and follow a workable parenting visitation schedule.

  • Know Your Court’s Guidelines – “Many states have guidelines in place for visitation schedules,” according to the article, and it’s important to know what is allowed in your state. You can obtain these guidelines from your DuPage County Divorce Attorney.

  • Avoid Court If Possible – In other words, try to work out the details outside the court system. It’s likely that you and your ex-spouse can come up with more effective and workable results than a judge who knows almost nothing about your particular situation.

  • Consider Mediation If You’re Struggling – If you can’t work things out alone, the court may recommend or even mandate that you use family mediation. “A properly qualified mediator will be experienced in both facilitating discussions and parenting complexities so the probability of being able reach an arrangement that is acceptable to both you and your ex is increased,” states the article.

  • Complete And Submit All Required Documentation – Enlist the help of a lawyer to ensure the proper documents are completed and filed correctly. If you wish to have sole physical and legal custody of your child, you will likely have to file additional documents about your child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent.

These last two items can help ensure that your parenting schedule, once created, continues to work as intended for your new family circumstances.

  • Stay On Schedule – Whether your schedule came from mutual agreement, mediation or a judge’s decision, you must follow it once it becomes a court order. If either parent cannot or will not follow the agreed-upon schedule, it’s likely that the court will again become involved. It’s also possible to request post-divorce modifications of the schedule based on changing life situations.

  • Be Respectful Of Your Former SpouseThis is particularly important in front of your children. Let them contact their other parent when they’re with you, and remind them that both of their parents love them and want what’s best for them.

Even the most beneficial visitation arrangements can be difficult at times. Remember that staying calm and doing your best will make it easier for everyone involved and keep communications flowing.

As a qualified DuPage County Divorce Lawyer and trained mediator, I can help you create the right custody and visitation arrangements for your needs. Contact me for more information.


ABOUT ERIN BIRT

Erin_Birt_37032Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association.