Category General Information

Alcoholism, Addiction & Collaborative Divorce

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, Wheaton Collaborative Divorce Attorney and Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor, Erin Birt, presented at the 12th Annual Forum for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals in Chicago, IL. Her educational seminar was entitled, “Alcohol/Addiction and the Family in Collaborative Divorce.”

During the past 10 years, Ms. Birt noticed that many families seeking a divorce were also, either knowingly or not, dealing with substance abuse issues within the family. Unfortunately, very few divorce professionals are familiar with substance abuse, dependency, and the effects on the family

In 2008, to learn more substance abuse, Ms. Birt began attending courses and working in the field of alcohol and drug counseling.  She gained valuable experience as an instructor for a DUI risk education program and working with individuals admitted to GlenOaks Hospital’s inpatient behavioral health program.

Today, clients of Ms. Birt greatly benefit from her knowledge of substance abuse.  She often works with individuals that are struggling to cope with certain life events such as adjusting to marriage, divorce, separation, or other legal consequences such as a DUI.

Learning how to cope with such life transitions without alcohol or drugs can be difficult.  Families benefit when they work with professionals that are knowledgeable and able to help motivate positive change.

Substance abuse or dependency issues typically emerge in early adulthood, around the same time young adults contemplate marriage. First marriages often suffer due to substance abuse.  Using substances to intoxication causes an interruption in the development of the marital relationship and interferes with marital responsibilities.

Responding to the correlation between substance abuse and divorce, Ms. Birt is spreading the word that divorce professionals should receive training on screening for substance abuse, the symptoms of substance abuse and dependency, substance abuse and the effects on the family, and divorce options that minimize conflict and costs.

One option to minimize conflict and cost is a Collaborative Divorce.  It is a proactive alternative dispute resolution strategy that is also child friendly. The couple retains collaborative divorce attorneys and has the option to work with neutral team members, such as Divorce Coaches & Financial Professionals, that are trained to reduce time, costs, and the emotional scars of a divorce.

To learn more about how a  substance abuse counselor can be integrated into the neutral divorce team and the Collaborative Divorce services offered by Erin Birt, please visit www.birtlaw.com or contact our office directly at (630) 891-2478.

Illinois DUI Evaluations: What to Bring to Appointment

Illinois DUI Evaluations require that clients bring certain documents to the Illinois Evaluation Appointment.  Watch our video to learn about what to bring to an Illinois Evaluation Appointment at The Birt Group, Inc. located in Wheaton, Illinois.

The Birt Group, Inc. accepts all major credit cards, except American Express, checks, and cash as payment for Illinois certified alcohol and drug counseling & DUI services.

The Birt Group, Inc. serves clients in Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville, Winfield, Carol Stream, Bloomingdale, Lombard, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, and Oak Brook as well as other cities located in DuPage County, Cook County, Coles County, McDonough County, Will County, and Kane County.

The Birt Group, Inc. serves clients throughout Illinois, subject to local court rules, as it is licensed to provide Illinois DUI Evaluations, Illinois DUI Risk Education and Illinois DUI Treatment for any arrest in Illinois by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

For an Illinois DUI Evaluation Appointment, please contact The Birt Group, Inc. at 630-891-2478.

Illinois Restricted Driving Permit & Driver’s License Reinstatement

Illinois Restricted Driving Permit & Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement hearings are administrative hearings conducted by the Illinois Secretary of State Department of Administrative Hearings.  Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement Attorney, Erin Birt, prepares and represents clients seeking an Illinois Restricted Driving Permit or full reinstatement of Illinois driving privileges.  The Birt Group, Inc. conducts Uniform Report Evaluations that are needed at Illinois Restriced Driving Permit & Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement hearings.

Formal vs. Informal Hearings:

A formal Illinois Secretary of State hearing is required for a driver whose Illinois driving privileges have been suspended or revoked for an offense(s) involving a fatality or multiple DUI dispositions.

A request for a formal hearing must be made in writing and sent via regular mail to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. Upon receipt of the request for a formal hearing and the non-refundable filing fee of $50.00, a hearing will be scheduled and notice will be sent to the Petitioner via regular mail.  If you have been denied relief at a formal hearing, a subsequent hearing can be set 90 days after the most recent hearing.

At a formal Illinois Secretary of State hearing, a hearing officer presides and both testimony and documentary evidence is heard. At the formal hearing, the formal hearing officer is authorized to rule on all motions, administer oaths, subpoena witnesses or documents at the request of any party, examine witnesses and rule upon the admissibility of evidence. At the conclusion of the hearing, the formal hearing officer will take the matter under advisement and issue an order reflecting the hearing officer’s recommendation and the decision of the Secretary of State’s office via mail.

Formal hearings are available at the following locations:

Springfield:

Howlett Bldg., Rm. 212
Springfield, IL 62756

Chicago:

17 N. State St., Ste. 1200
Chicago, IL 60602

Joliet:

54 N. Ottawa St., 4th Fl.
Joliet, IL 60432

Mt. Vernon:

218 S. 12th St.
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

An informal Illinois Secretary of State hearing is required for a driver whose privileges have been suspended or revoked for an offense(s) not involving a fatality, one DUI disposition or for sanctions related to lesser moving violations. Decisions by an informal hearing officer and the Secretary of State will be mailed to the Petitioner via regular mail.

The informal hearings are conducted at various locations throughout Illinois and no appointment is necessary.

Illinois Restricted Driving Permit & Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement hearings that involve a DUI focus certain key topics.  Please view our video about the key areas of interest at an Illinois Restricted Driving Permit & Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement hearing.

To schedule an appointment with Illinois Restricted Driving Permit & Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement attorney, Erin Birt, please contact The Law Firm of Erin Birt at 630-891-2478.

To schedule an appointment for an Alcohol and Drug Uniform Report Evaluation, which is required at an Illinois Restricted Driving Permit & Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement hearing, please contact The Birt Group, Inc. at 630-891-2478.

*Note: our office cannot provide evaluation services and legal services for the same matter.  To avoid a conflict of interest, we refer our clients to professionals experienced in Illinois Restricted Driving Permit & Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement hearings so that, together with our services, they are adequately prepared for their hearing.  Please contact our office to learn more.

Erin Birt to Present at IACP Forum in Chicago

Erin Birt was chosen by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“IACP”) to present a 90 minute workshop entitled “Alcoholism/Addiction and the Family in Collaborative Divorce” at the 2012 Annual IACP Forum.

Although the location changes annually, the 2012 Annual IACP Forum takes place October 18-21, 2012 in Chicago, IL.  The firm will provide more information as the forum date approaches.

 

 

Illinois Alcohol & Drug Counseling: April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Illinois Alcohol & Drug Counseling firm, The Birt Group, Inc., encourages individuals to spread the word that April is Alcohol Awareness Month.  The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. invites individuals and families to participate in an alcohol free weekend during the dates of April 6-8, 2012.  Individuals or families that struggle with refraining from alcohol use during those days are encouraged to contact a professional or self help program, such as AA or Al-anon, to learn about alcoholism and its early symptoms.

Contact The Birt Group, Inc., an Illinois Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counseling facility, to learn about alcoholism, the early stages of alcoholism, and the Stages of Change.

DuPage County DUI Counseling and Risk Education Video

DuPage County DUI Counseling and Risk Education firm, The Birt Group, Inc., now has a video which introduces viewers to The Birt Group, Inc. and our services.  Please watch our video and for additional information about our services, please review the following: Illinois DUI Counseling in DuPage County, Illinois DUI classes and DuPage County Risk Education, and Illinois DUI Evaluations.

Wheaton Illinois Divorce Firm: Uncontested Divorce Services

Wheaton Illinois Divorce Firm of Erin Birt provides Uncontested Divorce Services which may also be called affordable divorce services, amicable divorce services, or even “cheap” divorce services.

An Uncontested Illinois Divorce means a divorce settlement has been reached by the parties on all divorce and custody issues prior to court involvement.

To help couples that have worked hard to settle their case, our Wheaton Illinois Divorce Firm offers an Uncontested Divorce Service called a Flat Fee Uncontested Illinois Divorce Package.  It is designed to help those interested in an affordable divorce, amicable divorce, or in the words of some clients, a relatively “cheap” divorce.

The Flat Fee Uncontested Illinois Divorce Package includes:

*Client intake form

*Preparation of Illinois Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

*Filing of the Illinois Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

*Correspondence to spouse with step-by-step guide to filing his/her appearance and appearance form

*Review of uncontested divorce settlement agreement

*Suggestions for modifications to settlement agreement, if needed to make document legally sufficient

*Unlimited telephone conferences

*Unlimited email communication

*Preparation of the uncontested divorce Settlement Agreement

*Preparation of documents needed for the uncontested divorce prove up hearing

*Office conference with client for review of documents, if needed

*Office conference with parties for signing of documents, if needed

*Obtaining and scheduling court date for prove up hearing

*Court appearance at uncontested divorce prove up hearing

Avoid costly mistakes when attempting to finalize your divorce.  Contact Wheaton Illinois Divorce Firm of Erin Birt if you have had an amicable separation and need to finalize your uncontested Illinois divorce.  The Flat Fee Uncontested Illinois Divorce Package is designed to be an amicable and affordable Illinois divorce solution.

The Wheaton Illinois Divorce Firm of Erin Birt provides Uncontested Illinois Divorce Services for clients in Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville, Winfield, Carol Stream, Bloomingdale, Lombard, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, and Oak Brook as well as other cities located in DuPage County. We also serve clients in Cook County, Will County, and Kane County.

 

DuPage County Divorce: A La Carte Services

A La Carte Legal Services are also called “limited scope legal representation” and “unbundled legal services.”  Regardless of what the service is called, it means that the client can pick and choose what services the attorney will perform during the course of representation.

Attempting to navigate the legal system alone is daunting, inefficient, and not cost effective.  Vacation days, sick days, or unpaid absences will have to be used to prepare documents and travel to court to file petitions, motions, notices, proof of service, etc. There will be more time off of work to attend court appearances. And if the documents are not prepared correctly, it will have to be redone and more time will have to be taken off from work.  Less time at a job most likely means less pay.

Finding yourself in this situation is extremely stressful, however, there are options.  You can hire an attorney to help you where you need it the most: prepare a legally sufficient Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Petition for Modification of Child Support (or any needed petition, motion, or response), obtain court dates, appear at hearings, or just provide legal consulting in order to adequately prepare you for discovery, a court appearance, or hearing date, etc.

Money is tight for all right now, and especially during the holiday season. Money should not prevent you from addressing your legal needs and/or life transition.  A unique package of services can be created to fit your specific legal and financial needs.

If you, or someone you know, is attempting to represent themselves and feel it is not sufficient, or are in need of divorce related services now and don’t know where to get started, please contact The Law Firm of Erin N. Birt, P.C. to discuss your legal needs and to determine an acceptable A La Carte Service package.  For more information about A La Carte Services, please visit our webpage dedicated to such services.

 

 

Mediation Month

October or November is traditionally recognized as Mediation Month by various organizations throughout North America.  The recognition helps promote and educate the public about the benefits of the alternative dispute resolution process.

For those that may be unfamiliar with mediation, The Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators, adopted by the American Bar Association, defines mediation as:

“Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision making by the parties to the dispute.”

Mediation has been gaining popularity in recent years with corporations, government, federal courts, circuit courts, business owners, families, and individuals. In the spirit of raising awareness, promotion, and education, included below are links to articles, websites, and general information about mediation:

*Oregon proclaims October Mediation Month;

*Some Illinois organizations celebrate Mediation Month in November;

*Mediation Council of Illinois’ Standards of Practice;

*Mediation Council of Illinois’ recommendations for screening a potential mediator;

*American Bar Association’s Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators;

*ABA Rule 2.4 Lawyer serving as a third party neutral;

*Role of Attorney in mediation process;

*Example of Family Mediation Services Abroad (Ireland);

*Myths about mediation.

For families especially, November is a good time to schedule a mediation appointment to address any holiday parenting time concerns.  Resolving family issues before the holiday season approaches will help reduce stress and allow everyone to enjoy the holidays with loved ones.  Please visit our contact page to secure an appointment before the holiday season.