Tips For Your Final Divorce Hearing

Posted by Erin Birt | Feb 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

Your divorce planning is done and your final divorce hearing, or Prove Up Hearing, has arrived.  This is when the divorcing parties formally request that the judge approve the terms of their settlement, enter a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, and finalize the case. Below are some tips for y...

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...

Why Fighting Can Actually Be Productive In Divorce Mediation

Posted by Erin Birt | Aug 25, 2016 | 0 Comments

For many people, divorce mediation can be helpful at opening up channels of communication between parties to air their individual thoughts, desires, and expectations. It can also provide the opportunity for either party to air specific feelings of sadness about the divorce, fears about the futur...

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...

Is Your Divorce Starting Before You Even Get Married?

Posted by Erin Birt | Jun 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

Some divorces are a huge surprise to both the couple and their families. Other can be seen coming from a long way off, well before the wedding. A recent Huffington Post article offered thoughts from counselors and divorce mediators on how to know whether you're really ready for marriage. Here a...

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 ...

Key Questions To Achieve The Goals Of Your Divorce

Posted by Erin Birt | May 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Hiring the right lawyer can be a critical decision in any legal matter, but it can be invaluable in your divorce planning–especially if the process will include some type of family mediation or collaboration. In a recent article on, mediator Justin Kelsey outlines some effective ques...

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...

Recent Illinois Divorce Maintenance And Child Custody Rulings

Posted by Erin Birt | Mar 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

Summarized below are two recent court rulings involving spousal maintenance and child custody issues in two Illinois divorce cases. SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE – In re Marriage of Roberts After 37 years of marriage, a public school teacher filed for dissolution of marriage from her husband, a disabled ...

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...

New Laws For Post-Divorce Child Relocation

Posted by Erin Birt | Jan 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

Post-divorce custodial parents and children looking to relocate inside or outside of Illinois should be aware of new laws and procedures for this situation effective in 2016. There are new Illinois laws for post divorce child relocation. See the brief outline below, and consider reviewing your s...

Parenting Plan Changes for Illinois Divorces

Posted by Erin Birt | Dec 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

Illinois parents who are considering or actively involved in divorce proceedings in 2016 should be aware of Parenting Plan Changes for Illinois Divorces.  This changes both how Illinois Divorce Attorneys are creating and maintaining a post-divorce parenting plans. Here are the details. NEW FILIN...

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...

New Illinois Parentage Laws In 2016

Posted by Erin Birt | Dec 03, 2015 | 0 Comments

Among the specific changes being made to Illinois divorce laws in 2016 are new statues around parentage rights. Key changes in the New Illinois Parentage Laws in 2016 are as follows: New Illinois Parentage Laws NEW PARENTAGE ACT – The Parentage Act of 2015 goes into effect on January 1, 2016, a...

New Grounds For Illinois Divorce

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

As of January 1, 2016, Illinois will be streamlining the specific grounds one can use to plead for divorce. This won't negate the valid reasons that bring couples to divorce planning, only the way in which a divorce attorney can present them in court. OLD ILLINOIS DIVORCE GROUNDS At this point...

Illinois Divorce Act Benefits Children

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

Illinois couples with children who are planning a divorce now or in the near future should note that Illinois divorce laws will change on January 1, 2016. The new Illinois Divorce Act will likely have a significant impact on how your divorce is ultimately resolved. Learn in this post how the new ...

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 offered advice on how to ensure this asset is shared equitably between ...

Advice On Divorce From Those Who Know

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

The HuffPost Divorce page recently presented advice from readers/bloggers on how they made their divorce process and co-parenting situations a bit easier to handle. These are all fairly simple suggestions, yet they can create amazingly beneficial results. This post will reveal the best advice on ...

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Family Centered Divorce ∙ Mediation ∙ Co-Parenting

Birt Family Law is the family centered law and mediation practice with a focus on Restorative Divorce; offering creative and supportive legal and mediation solutions with one goal: keeping the separating family out of court and working together towards a positive resolution.

We offer multiple options to achieve this goal including mediation, coaching, co-parenting strategies, and Restorative Divorce services. 

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Birt Family Law is committed to keeping the separating family out of court and working together towards a positive resolution.