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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Oak Brook restraining order lawyerRealizing that you are in an abusive relationship often takes much longer than many people expect. Due to the emotional ties and feelings of obligation that people in such relationships often experience, they may deny that abuse is occurring. In addition to enduring abuse, victims often struggle to gather the courage and strength to break ties with their abuser. For some, ending an abusive relationship is not only emotionally difficult, but it can also be physically dangerous. In these cases, a victim may be able to protect their safety by obtaining an order of protection.

Orders of Protection in Illinois

An order of protection is what many people commonly call a restraining order. While a restraining order may be obtained to protect against an abusive spouse or partner, these types of orders are not limited solely to those who are romantically involved. An order of protection can be obtained against the following people:

  • Anyone you are related to by blood or through marriage.
  • Those who you are tied to through having a child together.
  • Someone you are seeing romantically or have dated in the past.
  • A person acting violently or threatening to act violently towards one of your employees while at work.

If a judge approves the order of protection, this can mean multiple things for the accused. The judge can order the abuser to stop abusive acts, not contact you, physically stay away from you, attend counseling, pay child support, and/or move out of the home you share. Because not all of these stipulations apply to every abusive relationship, the details of an order of protection can vary based on the situation. 

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Wheaton annulment attorneyAn annulment provides couples with a way to dissolve a marriage in some circumstances. Like a divorce, an annulment ends the legal partnership of marriage between two people. However, unlike a divorce, an annulment declares the marriage invalid, essentially erasing the existence of the marriage as a whole. While many going through a divorce may wish their marriage never happened, not all couples can obtain an annulment. In Illinois, there are several instances and time limits in which one can receive an annulment (known under Illinois law as a declaration of invalidity of marriage):

  • One or both spouses could not consent to be married. Reasons why a spouse may not have been able to consent include mental disability, the influence of alcohol or drugs, or the use of force or duress. The time limit for an annulment due to lack of consent is 90 days, and this type of annulment can be sought by either spouse or by the legal representative (such as a parent or guardian) of a spouse who lacks the mental capacity for consent.
  • One spouse is unable to consummate the marriage through sexual intercourse, and this was unknown to the other spouse before the marriage. The time limit for an annulment for this reason is one year from when the condition became known.
  • One or both spouses were under the age of 18 and lacked consent from a legal guardian. These marriages can be annulled by the minor or by their parent or guardian before the minor turns 18 years old.
  • The marriage was illegal. In Illinois, marriage to kin or to someone who is already married is prohibited. In these cases, an annulment may be sought by either party or their children, by the legal spouse of a person who is already married, or by the state of Illinois, and they may do so at any time before three years have passed since the death of one of the spouses. 

One of the most common reasons couples seek an annulment is for religious purposes. Under the rules of the Catholic Church, one cannot get married “in the eyes of the church” if they have been previously married. Those who believe in Catholicism must receive an annulment of their previous, thus labeling the marriage “null and void,” in order to get married in the church to another person.

Contact a DuPage County Annulment Lawyer

The annulment process begins with a petition to the court which will need to provide ample evidence to support the reason(s) the marriage should be made invalid. The timing of the petition is crucial, since an annulment will be denied if the marriage extends outside of the time parameters listed above. When obtaining an annulment, it is important to work with an experienced Oak Brook family law attorney, since the process is detail oriented and dependent on the specific details of your marriage. At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we have extensive experience with the annulment and divorce processes. Contact us at 630-472-9700 to schedule a free consultation and learn how you and your spouse can obtain an annulment. 

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Posted on in Pet Custody

Lombard divorce and pets attorneyTo animal lovers across the country, pets are an important part of their family. Many go so far as seeing their pet as another child to take care of. This is especially common in marriages without children. Strong feelings toward pets can make some divorce cases even more difficult than they already are, and changing attitudes toward animals and updates to divorce laws have added new factors for couples and courts to consider during divorce.

A Shift in Priorities

Over time, pets have become a staple in American homes, with many homes having two or three dogs or cats running around. The family pet has now become more than just another mouth to feed, but a full-fledged member of the family. This is evident in the sharp rise of money spent on animals each year. The pet industry has seen exponential growth over the last 30 years, increasing from a total of $17 billion in 1994 to an estimated $72 billion in 2018 alone. This increase in spending is more than just a result of higher prices. It is a reflection of the shift in attitude regarding household priorities in America.

More Than Property

In past divorce cases, pets used to be considered marital property. However, it is much more difficult to divide up a living animal in than it is to divide something like a living room set, especially for those who consider themselves “pet parents.” As part of a reflection of changing attitudes, the laws in Illinois have recently changed, and certain factors must be considered when divorcing spouses cannot come to an agreement over the pet’s permanent residence. 

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IL family lawyerGetting a divorce is not as easy as it looks in the movies. Filing for divorce is much more than just deciding you and your spouse no longer want to be together. There is an involved legal process that takes much longer than most people think. If you are considering filing for divorce, know the various steps that need to be taken in order to understand the road ahead.

  • File a Petition: Under Illinois state law, no waiting period is necessary to file a petition for divorce as long as one spouse legally resides in Illinois. Though this is the rule for petitioning, granting a divorce has other requirements. In order for the divorce to be granted, one spouse has to have legally resided in Illinois for over 90 days prior to the judgment.
  • Grounds for Divorce: Having grounds for divorce does not necessarily mean abuse or neglect. In Illinois, irreconcilable differences is one of the most common grounds for divorce. In layman's terms, irreconcilable differences means no faults were made, both parties simply no longer want to be married. This can be proven by showing that both spouses have lived apart for the last six months.
  • Trial or Agreement: There are a variety of agreements that must be made before a divorce can be finalized. This includes division of property, division of debts, spousal maintenance, and child custody decisions. Although many couples can do this through mediation or agreement, others must do this with the help of a judge.
  • Marital Property Division: The property of each spouse is not decided based on who brought in the most income, but rather is tried to be split evenly. This includes real estate, furniture, cars, savings accounts, stock portfolios, retirement savings and other assets made throughout the marriage.
  • Custody Decisions: This process involves much more than just choosing who lives with whom. Custody decisions are made regarding all parental responsibilities such as the child’s education, health, and religion. Most parents are required to create a “parenting plan” before the divorce can be finalized.
  • Child Support and Spousal Maintenance: Most child support decisions are based on which household the child will reside in primarily. The obligation to pay child support is usually given to the parent that does not house the child majority of the time. Spousal maintenance is not always a requirement in a divorce. This is situational based on the couple’s finances.

Seek Legal Help

Divorce is a trying time for everyone involved. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney is crucial in making the transition as easy and painless as possible. Our Dupage County divorce lawyers work to tailor your divorce contract to benefit both parties in the ending of their marriage. If you are filing for divorce and need help with the proceedings, call the law office of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at 630-472-9700 for your free consultation.

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Posted on in Premarital Agreement

IL divorce lawyerPrenuptial agreements are no longer reserved solely for the rich and famous, though it may appear that way through media coverage. A prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a prenup, is a legal document that determines how assets, debts, finances, and property will be managed during a marriage or after a marriage if it comes to an end. In the past, prenups have been seen as taboo or damaging to a relationship; however, millennials often request prenuptial agreements, causing an increase in this form of legal documentation.

What Exactly Is a Prenup?

Prenuptial agreements are most commonly known for financial division; however, they cover more than just “who gets the money.” Although prenups are important in regards to officiating financial matters, they can also assist couples in managing prior commitments or obligations like children and ex-spouses. The document can help those with substantial assets or debts avoid conflict later in the marriage. Prenups are important because they take precedence over state laws regarding divorce and marital property, putting control into the hands of the couple requesting the legal documentation.

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