Facts and Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Posted by Erin Birt | Feb 06, 2019 | 0 Comments

There'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...

Parental Alienation – Case Law Update

Posted by Erin Birt | Feb 05, 2019 | 0 Comments

In Illinois, parental alienation is the programming of a child by the alienating parent to believe that one parent is good and the other parent is bad with the goal that the child completely rejects the other parent. In 2012, I discussed the Illinois custody case, In re the Marriage of D.T.W., w...

New Illinois Pet Custody Law 2018

Posted by Erin Birt | Jan 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

There is a new Illinois Pet Custody Law.  Starting January 1, 2018, Illinois Judges can consider the well-being of a pet when awarding sole or joint ownership during a divorce.  Previously, pets were considered property.  The pet, as well as the financial responsibility for the pet, was simply al...

When To Consider An Uncontested Divorce

Posted by Erin Birt | Jul 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

If you and your spouse mutually agree that it's time to divorce—and you feel you can easily reach a consensus about important issues—an uncontested divorce may be the right choice for you. It's fast, it avoids the courtroom, and it's much cheaper than a “traditional” divorce. THE CRITICAL ISSUES...

Can Mediation Work In A High-Conflict Illinois Divorce?

Posted by Erin Birt | Jun 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

Divorce itself is difficult enough. Add animosity and lack of cooperation into the picture and the process becomes lengthy, expensive, and sometimes emotionally destructive. From a Huffington Post article by Conflict Resolution Specialist Elizabeth Esrey, here are some facts about high-conflict ...

Are Limited Scope Services Right For Your Divorce?

Posted by Erin Birt | Apr 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

If the cost of an attorney is keeping you from finalizing your Illinois divorce, Limited Scope representation could help you complete the process effectively without spending more than you would like or can afford. In short, you're hiring a lawyer to help you represent yourself. HOW DOES IT WOR...

Maintaining A Parenting Plan After A Second Divorce

Posted by Erin Birt | Apr 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

Your first marriage ended in divorce, but you and your ex used divorce mediation to set up a workable parenting plan for your minor children. Now your second marriage is ending, and your current spouse wants you to rework that initial parenting plan in favor of your current family. The good news...

A Totally New Image Of Divorce: Divorce Selfies

Posted by Erin Birt | Mar 30, 2016 | 0 Comments

Social media has become the place to share meaningful life occasions such as birthdays, engagements, marriages…and now divorces. ENTER “DIVORCE SELFIES” The growing trend of “divorce selfies” shows newly divorced couples happily together, often outside the courthouse, after finalizing this majo...

More On New Illinois Divorce Laws

Posted by Erin Birt | Feb 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

For the past several months, I've been providing information on the new Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act that went into effect on January 1, 2016. Outlined below are a few more important changes from a recent article by P. André Katz and Erin B. Bodendorfer in the Illinois Bar J...

More Court Involvement in Illinois Parenting Agreements

Posted by Erin Birt | Jan 15, 2016 | 0 Comments

Does the joint parenting agreement from your Illinois divorce need updating? It might, based on several new family and divorce laws taking effect in 2016. Parents who are already divorced or still in the process of divorce planning should be aware of how these changes will affect them and of the...

Your Virtual Illinois Divorce Attorney

Posted by Erin Birt | Dec 09, 2015 | 0 Comments

One often-overlooked challenge of divorce planning is time. In addition to regular life activities, divorcing couples must also research information, complete a variety of documents, meet with their attorneys, and attend any number of court proceedings. Important and necessary as they are, these...

Illinois Divorce And Your 401(k) Plan

Posted by Erin Birt | Oct 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

Although it seems unfair, your personal 401(k) retirement plan is considered marital property and, as such, is subject to the same rules as other marital possessions in a divorce. A recent article by Jerry Shaw on NewsMax.com offered advice on how to ensure this asset is shared equitably between ...

Helping Adult Children Accept Your Divorce

Posted by Erin Birt | Sep 29, 2015 | 0 Comments

Although you're not dealing with child custody and visitation issues, a divorce can be just as or even more difficult for grown children than for younger ones. The good news is that there are a few more ways for helping adult children accept your divorce and move on.  This post will provide tips ...

Teaming Legal and Mediation Services In Your Divorce

Posted by Erin Birt | Aug 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

To get through your divorce with the best concessions in place, hiring a lawyer is always a good idea. To reach those concessions through effective communication and negotiation versus anger and conflict, hiring a lawyer such as a Mediation Consulting Attorney will help you determine those best c...

Is Divorce Truly The Best Solution?

Posted by Erin Birt | Jul 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

If divorce has been put on the table by you or your spouse, stop and consider one very important thing: Are you truly ready for all the emotional and legal issues that come with divorce planning? Is divorce truly the best solution? This idea is explored in a recent article on Mediate.com titled ...

More Effective Illinois Divorce Options

Posted by Erin Birt | Jul 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

Anyone 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. This ...

Recent Illinois Family Law Decisions

Posted by Erin Birt | Mar 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

In an on-going effort to share helpful information for anyone currently or previously involved in Illinois divorce proceedings, here are summaries of two recent cases from the Appellate Court of Illinois concerning paternity and a Motion Regarding Finding No Paternity. REMOVAL OF A CHILD FROM IL...

3 Reasons To Use Mediation In An Unwanted Divorce

Posted by Erin Birt | Mar 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

There are many reasons why it happens, but sometimes a spouse chooses to end a marriage with little or no warning to their significant other. For the unsuspecting party who didn't see it coming, this sudden life change can leave that person shocked, angry and depressed–often meaning they have no ...

How Social Media Can Impact Your Illinois Divorce

Posted by Erin Birt | Mar 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, texting and more) has become a favorite way for people to share information about their lives in real time.  However, if you're involved in a divorce and/or child custody case, what you post or text can have a huge effect on the ultimate outcome, and you need to b...

Child Custody And Visitation For Parents In Different States

Posted by Erin Birt | Mar 06, 2015 | 0 Comments

Today's mobile society often creates difficult decisions for divorced parents and their children, particularly when a parent needs to move out of the state where the children reside. Last October, I wrote a blog about the importance and value of collaborative divorce for couples with children, wh...

Making Divorce Mediation More Effective

Posted by Erin Birt | Feb 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

Many people believe that a divorce mediator will resolve the issues that are stalling their Illinois divorce process. However, successful divorce mediation results from the commitment and involvement of the parties involved in the divorce, not the mediator alone.  A recent article by Sandra Crawf...

Modifying Child Custody After Your Illinois Divorce

Posted by Erin Birt | Jan 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

After a divorce many couples realize that although some decisions looked great on paper, they don't always work in real life. This is particularly true for child custody agreements.  Once everyone has actually lived with the agreement, one parent may decide that they would prefer sole custody of ...

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