Illinois Divorce: Case Law Update

Posted by Erin Birt | Dec 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

In an Illinois divorce case, hiding assets or failing to disclose assets during a divorce is costly.  It may affect the classification and distribution of assets and it may be cause for a court to sanction a party.  This post will focus on Illinois Divorce: Case Law Update.

A recent Illinois Appellate Case, In re the Marriage of Bradley, illustrates how the failure to disclose an asset in discovery can bar a party from claiming it is nonmarital property, permit the court to sanction that party, and require that party to pay the spouses attorneys fees.  In Bradley, the husband failed to disclose farm property until 2 weeks prior to the divorce trial.  The Court barred him from claiming it was non-marital and granted sanctions which required the husband to contribute to the wife's attorney's fees due to the increase in litigation caused by the husband.

In Illinois custody cases, the distinction between sole custody vs. joint custody often comes down to three major issues: health/medical needs, eduction, and religion.  If the parties can agree, or have no major objections, on the three major issues joint custody may be appropriate.  If the parties do not agree, or there are factors that prevent the parties from being able to communicate and discuss these issues on a regular basis (such as domestic violence, mental health issues, substance abuse issues) and reach an agreement, then sole custody may be appropriate.

A recent Illinois custody case, In re the Marriage of Voris, illustrates how a sole custody parenting agreement can be modified.  In this case, the non-custodial parent was affecting the mental health of the children and attempting to alienate the children from the custodial parent via religious exploitation.  Although the major issue of religion is present in this case, it was the non-custodial parent's actions, i.e. attempts to alienate, which in turn had adverse affects on the health of the children, that justified a modification to the parenting agreement.  In Voris, the parenting agreement was modified to include supervised visitation between the children and the father.

Please contact The Law Firm of Erin N. Birt, P.C. at 630-891-2478 or via our Contact Page with any questions about the above cases and how they may apply to a particular situation or for additional information about divorce, collaborative divorce, asset classification and distribution, or custody matters for families in Illinois. You need the right attorney with the right Illinois Divorce Case Law Update to have the best success in divorce court.

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About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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