Kane County divorce attorney order of protectionEnding a marriage is difficult in any circumstance. However, ending a relationship with someone who has physically, emotionally, mentally, or financially abused you may seem impossible. If you have been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of your spouse, you should know that there are legal protections available to you during your divorce. An Emergency Order of Protection is similar to a restraining order and may offer you, your children, and even your pets the legal protection you need when leaving an abusive spouse.

Domestic Violence Often Escalates When a Victim Tries to Leave

Most abusive relationships follow a similar pattern. At the beginning of the relationship, the abuser is generous and kind. However, as the relationship progresses, he or she becomes more demanding and controlling. This control often evolves into physical violence or psychological manipulation. Many abusers become enraged when their victim tries to end the relationship or leave their shared home. In fact, The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that 75 percent of injuries caused by domestic violence occur when a victim tries to leave the relationship. If you are thinking about leaving your abusive spouse, having a plan in place to protect yourself is crucial.

Obtaining an Emergency Order of Protection

In Illinois, an Emergency Order of Protection may be granted on an “ex parte” basis. This means that the subject of the protection order, or “respondent,” does not need to be present or even aware of the protection order for a judge to grant it. An Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) is a legal court order that prohibits an abusive person from threatening, harassing, or abusing the person who requested the order, or “petitioner.” An EOP may prevent the respondent from coming within a certain distance of the petitioner, his or her children, or his or her home, work, or school. An EOP may also require the respondent to surrender any firearms or move out of the marital home. If the respondent violates any of the terms of the EOP, he or she faces immediate arrest and criminal charges. If you are afraid that your spouse will become violent when you tell him or her that you want a divorce, an EOP can provide legal protection against retaliation. An EOP is also an important step in creating a record of your spouse’s abusive or threatening behaviors. The EOP or any violations of the EOP may be valuable sources of evidence during child custody decisions and other aspects of the divorce process.

Contact a Batavia, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you are planning to divorce and your spouse has been manipulative, threatening, controlling, or abusive in the past, it may be intimidating to file. A divorce lawyer can help ensure that your safety and your rights are fully protected during your divorce. Contact a qualified and compassionate Kane County divorce attorney from Van Larson Law, P.C. to learn more. Call our office today at 630-879-9090 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.



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How Can I Change My Child Support Order?  Child support payments allow divorced or unmarried parents to effectively split the costs associated with raising children. In Illinois, the amount a parent pays in child support is largely based on the difference between the parents’ net incomes. When there is a significant change in a parent’s financial circumstances, the needs of the child, or in the way the parents divide parenting time, a child support order modification may be necessary. However, changing your child support order is not always as simple as it may seem.

Calculating Child Support Payments in Illinois

Illinois child support orders are determined using the Income Shares method. First, the parents’ individual net incomes are added together to find the combined net income. The combined net income is then compared to a chart created by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to find the “basic child support obligation.” This figure represents the total financial support for which both parents are responsible. The basic child support obligation is allocated to the parents based on their respective shares of the combined net income. In shared parenting situations, meaning each parent has at least 146 overnights with the child each year, the amount the obligor parent pays in child support is reduced by his or her allotment of parenting time.

Do I Qualify for a Child Support Modification?

Illinois courts do not grant child support modifications for just any reason. You will need to show evidence that the modification is warranted. Illinois law states that a child support order may be eligible for modification if:

  • There is a “substantial change in circumstances”
  • A modification is needed to provide for the child’s healthcare needs
  • The child support obligation significantly deviates from the statutory guidelines

A major increase or decrease in the financial resources of either parent is the most common reason parents request a child support modification. Often, an obligor parent requests a reduced child support payment amount because he or she has lost his or her job or experienced a major reduction in income. However, in order for a parent’s job loss or reduced income to qualify him or her for a reduced child support obligation, the change must have been made in good faith. A parent cannot simply quit his or her job or voluntarily take a lower-paying job and expect to pay less in child support. A significant change in the allocation of parental responsibilities may also justify a child support modification, such as if the parenting time is adjusted to make it a shared parenting arrangement.

Contact a Kane County Child Support Lawyer

If you need to change your child support order, establish child support for the first time, or enforce an existing child support order, Batavia family law attorney Van A. Larson can help. Call the Law Office of Van A. Larson, P.C., at 630-879-9090 today and schedule a free, confidential consultation.



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Can I Still File for Divorce in Kane County Amidst COVID-19?With COVID-19 and social distancing orders still duly present throughout the U.S., especially in Illinois, many families have spent months together in close-quarters. For some, this time in quarantine has brought spouses and their children closer than ever. For others, the time together has only reaffirmed their thoughts of filing for divorce. Because the pandemic came on so suddenly, with businesses closing their doors at a moment’s notice, those who were considering divorce or were even in the middle of divorce proceedings may have had to put their plans on hold for the past few months.

Luckily, attorneys were deemed essential workers and many law firms remained open, either physically or virtually, to continue working with clients. Courthouses, including Kane County courts, closed for a period of time to protect their employees and avoid infecting those coming in and out of the courthouse for their legal proceedings. As Illinois public health orders have progressed from one phase to the next, the Kane County courthouses have reopened at limited capacity.

Reopening Plan

The 16th Judicial Circuit, also known as the Kane County court system, announced its first phase of reopening on June 1, 2020. Though the court reopened on that date, all jury trials were suspended until August 3, 2020. This date has now come and gone, but most family court cases are continuing to happen on a remote basis. These remote proceedings are occurring over Zoom, with each spouse’s attorney present and a judge logged in as well. Common divorce proceedings and parenting determinations are being performed over Zoom, but more contentious proceedings, such as domestic violence cases, may be brought back to the courtroom.

  1. For those having their legal proceedings occur in person, the Kane County court system has put a number of COVID-19 safety regulations in place:
  2. Everyone entering the building must wear a mask or face covering. For those who do not come with their own mask in hand, the court will provide you with a facial covering.
  3. Anyone entering the building will have their temperature taken and be asked a series of questions regarding their current health status.
  4. Childcare will no longer be offered at any of the court locations, for the time being.
  5. Social distancing guidelines will be followed in each courthouse, including marked seats and pathways.
  6. The number of people in the court will be significantly reduced to adhere to social distancing recommendations. Many cases will be done remotely and cases conducted in person will be staggered throughout the day to limit the number of people present.
  7. Those who are not required in court at the moment may be asked to remain in their car to keep the number of people in the court down to a minimum.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Even though divorce proceedings are happening virtually, your need for an experienced divorce attorney has not changed. Van Larson Law, P.C. is continuing to assist clients even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney Larson applies his 39 years of litigation and trial experience to successfully represent his clients regardless of how the proceedings are done. If you are considering filing for divorce but are unsure how that can be done during these times, contact our Batavia divorce attorney at 630-879-9090 for guidance.




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I Have Just Been Granted Supervised Visitation – What Now?In most divorce and parenting cases, the court wants to keep both parents in the child’s life. What this looks like, exactly, varies from family to family. For parents who both have played an integral role in the child’s upbringing, the court will attempt to split parenting time equitably, though not necessarily equally. Most arrangements will have one parent keep the children throughout the week, with the other parent caring for the kids over the weekend. However, some families do not have healthy enough relationships to have this type of parenting plan. In the instance that a child’s safety is at risk, the court will need to reconsider what these parenting plans will look like. Depending on the details of the situation, the court may grant supervised visitation in order to keep the parent-child relationship alive while protecting the child from potential harm.

Reasons for Supervised Visitation

For parents with a history of neglect and abuse, the court will advocate for the child by not letting them be alone with the parent. Unfortunately, these accusations are not always true — it is not unheard of for one parent to make false claims about the other to restrict their parenting rights. Courts will grant supervised visitation to watch the relationship between the parent and child and assess the child’s safety with the parent. The following are reasons why someone may be subject to supervised visitation with their child:

  • Fear of the parent kidnapping their child from their co-parent
  • Accusations or evidence of physical or emotional abuse
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Previous inappropriate sexual behavior
  • A mental illness diagnosis
  • Claims that the child feels unsafe when they are alone with the parent
  • Incarceration of the non-custodial parent

How to Handle the Supervision

If you have recently been restricted to supervised visitation with your child, your instinct is likely to fight for you and your child’s rights to be together. While this may seem like an admirable response, it can be taken in the wrong way by the court. The best way to earn your way back into your child’s life, unsupervised, is by respecting the regulations of your current arrangement and working to keep your relationship with your child. It is important that you understand that all of your conversations and interactions with your kids are being recorded throughout your visit — any slip-up can be used against you. It is a good idea to plan activities for your time together since it can be awkward to have a genuine interaction while a third party is present. Having a plan can distract you from the stranger in the room and will also show that you care for your child and your time together. Be sure to monitor your tone and language throughout the visit. You should avoid talking about your former spouse and using crude language. You want to appear to be a good influence for your child, rather than a bitter ex. For your own personal sanity, it may be a good idea to find a friend who you can vent to or even speak with a counselor or other mental health specialist. If you do not take the time to process the arrangement and your feelings about it, you may end up boiling over during your supervised visit.

Call a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

The best way to defend yourself against your co-parent’s accusations is by working with a reputable parental rights lawyer. Without a legal professional’s advice, things can quickly escalate in court and you may end up hurting your case rather than proving your devotion as a parent. Whether you are at the beginning of a parenting battle or have just received notice that your visits must be supervised, the legal team at Van Larson Law, P.C., is prepared to take on your case. Our lawyer has over 39 years of experience working with family law cases and has helped parents fight for their rights to see their children. If you are filing for divorce and have children, contact our Batavia, Illinois, divorce attorney at 630-879-9090 for a free consultation.




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Is Filing for Divorce Right for Me?Recognizing that your marriage may be coming to an end can take you months, if not years, to put into words. You have likely felt your relationship deteriorating over time but have not been ready to accept that ending the marriage may be what is best for you and your spouse. Before filing for divorce, many couples will live apart to gauge their feelings towards their spouse and their life together. In fact, Illinois may require you to live separately for six months before you are legally able to divorce if your spouse does not agree to the divorce. With the thought of divorce swirling in your head, you are likely having a number of feelings come over you all at once — remembering the good times you have had together, but feeling unsure if this outweighs your current discontent. Every marriage is different and there is no “right” or “wrong” answer, but divorce experts have recognized a few common signs that may point towards a need for divorce.

Everything Falls on You

Marriage is a partnership that requires patience and an ability to compromise. When arguments come up, do you feel as if the blame is always on you? In many cases, one spouse can feel forced to compromise during every disagreement, and after years of blame, their marriage will feel less like a partnership and more one-sided. If your partner makes you feel as if everything is your fault and fails to listen to your ideas or opinions, your unhappiness is likely stemming from this imbalance and it may be a sign that the relationship is no longer right for you.

You Are Tired of Fighting

It is normal and healthy for couples to argue because two people cannot agree on everything. However, when arguments are a daily occurrence and you are no longer interested in fixing the problem, you have likely detached yourself from the relationship. Couples who are willing to seek out additional support to better themselves and their marriage are actively working on improving their future. Those who are uninterested in putting in the additional effort should reconsider their feelings about their life moving forward.

Consider Your Kids

Many couples will stay together because they believe that getting divorced will hurt their children and make their adolescence difficult. What these parents fail to recognize is that children often emulate their parents’ relationship since this is what they are used to seeing. As a parent, you should ask yourself, “Is this the marriage that I would like my child to have in the future?” Kids are more intuitive than parents give them credit for and they are likely aware of your unhappiness in your relationship. If you would not want your child to have a marriage like yours, then you should not allow yourself to settle either.

Call a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Coming to the conclusion that divorce is what is best for your family is no easy task. Even if you are unhappy, the fear of starting over can keep you in your marriages much longer than you would have wished. The legal team at Van Larson Law, P.C., are well equipped to help guide you through the divorce process, assisting in areas such as asset division, allocation of parental responsibilities, spousal support payments, and more. Our attorney has over 39 years of experience practicing law in Illinois. If you are considering divorce, contact our Batavia, Illinois, divorce attorney at 630-879-9090 to schedule your free consultation.




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