At some point, everyone needs the assistance of an experienced legal professional. This is especially true for couples experiencing separation or divorce and their attendant issues of child custody, property division and support payments.
In these situations, it can be great to have a DuPage County family law firm on your side to help ensure that decisions are made in the best interests of everyone involved. A family lawyer trained in collaborative law also works closely with a variety of financial, psychological and other experts to meet the very specific needs of each case.
There’s no better way to understand and appreciate the value of family law than to see it in action. Below are summaries of two appellate cases outlined in the Family Law section of the Illinois State Bar Association Newsletter of August 2014.
Equal Visitation Rights
The core of this appellate case centered on a mother’s visitation rights for her young child. At the time of divorce, the father was named the custodial parent and the court ordered that visitations could only occur if both the child’s mother and father agreed on the time and place of visitation.
Given that the parents rarely agreed on anything and had a difficult relationship, the mother believed that her ex-husband would never agree to any proposed time or place, thus limiting her options to see her child.
In the end, the appellate court ruled that the initial trial court was in error stating: “[T]here must be a scheduled visitation which will occur when [the parties] fail to agree,” and especially in this case where the ex-spouses had difficulty cooperating.
During original divorce proceedings, the court did not cap the amount of money an ex-husband would owe his ex-wife as a percentage of his future work bonuses.
The appellate court reversed this, stating that a cap should be in place. According to the court, the ruling of no cap “sets up a potential windfall for [the ex-wife] and has no evidentiary relation to her present needs or the parties’ standard of living during the marriage.”
However, the same appellate court also found for the ex-wife and kept in place a timeframe of seven years of maintenance payments before review rather than the three years requested by the ex-husband.
These are just brief summaries of the many positive things happening in Illinois Family Court every day, thanks to family law attorneys who work hard to ensure that their clients achieve the best possible outcome from a very trying situation.
Contact me to learn more about my skills and experience with family law and how I can help you through your initial proceedings as well as after your divorce.
About Erin Birt:
Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and family 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 team of collaborative professionals develop creative outcomes 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.