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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7
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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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IL custody lawyerMany operate under the misconception that only parents and children are affected by a divorce, when in reality, multiple family members will have to adjust their own lives, offer support, and help the family as best they can. In some situations, family members may even seek visitation with children during the divorce proceedings. However, Illinois’ regulations surrounding this particular issue are quite complex. If you are in the position where you would like to seek non-parent visitation, it is possible to obtain that, but it is not easy.

The Process Is Complex

Illinois public policy favors a parent’s right to parent their children in the way they see fit as long as the child is not being endangered. However, certain family members - as of this writing, grandparents or great-grandparents, stepparents or siblings - may try to seek visitation (as opposed to parenting time) if they qualify under certain criteria. The main point that the nonparent seeking visitation must prove is that they have been “unreasonably” stopped from visiting with the child and that this has caused harm to the child (be it emotional, mental or physical).

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 Illinois divorce lawyerCohabitation is a legal concept that has been around for as long as marriage, but it has only recently begun to acquire legal significance in the last two or three decades, at least in the United States. Cohabitating is done by couples who may want to try out living together or see how they function as a unit before taking the plunge into marriage and is not a legal status. However, there are certain legal facts that one should still be aware of if they decide to cohabitate, mostly to do with support from a previous marriage.

Not True in All States

In many states, orders for maintenance can generally be modified or terminated upon a showing of a “substantial change in circumstances” - for example, if an obligor loses their job and takes a new one that only pays enough to put a roof over their head, they might ask for maintenance to be terminated or at least put in abeyance because they lack the money to pay it. This is, however, an extremely unusual situation - most of the time, spousal support can only reliably be terminated upon the recipient’s remarriage or on the death of one spouse.

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Illinois family attorneyGrandparents are an integral part of the family, but they have limited legal rights when it comes to visiting their grandchildren. Grandparent visitation often becomes an issue when parents divorce. The custodial parent generally has the right to decide who spends time with the child, and he or she might not want the child spending time with the other parent’s side of the family. In that case, do the grandparents - and other non-parent family members - have any legal options?

Non-Parent Visitation Rights Under Illinois Law

Illinois law provides limited protections to grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings, and stepparents seeking visitation time with a child. The law defines “visitation” as “in-person time” with the child, but it can also include electronic communication such as texting and talking on the phone. (Note that “siblings” include half-siblings and stepsiblings.)

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