Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reconciliation in the Midst of Divorce Proceedings: Is It Possible?

It is absolutely possible for people to reconcile with each other in the middle of divorce proceedings. It is not common, but our office has seen this happen. Divorce is a difficult time for any relationship, and any good family law attorney recognizes a couple’s chance at reconciliation and encourages them to seek therapy or other counseling in order to salvage the marriage.

Do not feel apprehensive about seeking reconciliation with your spouse; share your thoughts with your attorney. Courts are willing to accommodate a couple’s attempt to reconcile and will put a case on hold for up to several years to allow the couple the time they require. In Illinois, the judge can also order a conciliation conference and/or counseling in cases where reconciliation is possible.

Please feel free to contact George Pecherek for a free consultation if you have any questions about divorce or reconciliation with your spouse.

Filing For Divorce Before Your Spouse: Why It Is Important

There are a number of advantages to be had from filing for divorce before your spouse.

A Clear Point for an “Irretrievable Breakdown”of the Marriage is Established

By filing first, a clear point for a marriage’s irretrievable breakdown is established. Showing an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is necessary to obtain a “no-fault” divorce. An early filing date protects you if you think your spouse will try to unfairly hide, spend, or transfer marital assets. An early filing can also protect you from debt your spouse may create in order to punish you. The earlier you file your divorce petition, the less time you give your spouse to unfairly hide money. Headaches from such situations can be lessened, simply by getting to the courthouse before your spouse.

Filing First Shows Your Strength and Commitment to the Divorce Action

Filing first is a proactive step in taking control of your divorce, as well as the rest of your life. By filing first, you announce to your spouse and her attorney that you are prepared and determined to deal with the divorce, rather than allowing it to catch you by surprise and steamrolling over you.  By presenting a strong, confident legal team, consisting of yourself and your attorney, you can deter your spouse from utilizing spiteful, silly strategies later in the divorce action.

Filing First Allows You to Dismiss the Case Easily if You Change Your Mind

Whoever files the divorce action first in the court is known as the “petitioner.” Your spouse will be known as the “respondent.” The petitioner has the option of voluntarily dismissing the action if they desire to do so, while the respondent does not have this option. This option is excellent if your bargaining power is much lower than you expected. While you would have to start the action over, a fresh start is better than a disastrous conclusion by the first court. Because your spouse does not have this option, if the case looks like it will not turn out in their favor, there is nothing they can do; they are stuck.

By Filing First, You Present Your Arguments to the Court First

If the case goes to court, as the petitioner, your attorney presents your evidence and arguments first. First impressions are important. By presenting your case first to the judge, the judge will have your argument in his mind and you will create an uphill battle for your spouse to defeat your argument. Also, presenting evidence is a useful tactic for asserting your case’s strength to your spouse and can encourage them to seek a settlement.

You are in Control

Once again, filing first for divorce is a proactive step in taking control of your own divorce. You control the timing of notifying your spouse, by instructing your attorney about the timeline upon which you would like your divorce to progress. You can adequately prepare for the fallout from this difficult time in your life when you are controlling its timing and when your divorce is not simply happening to you.

If you are considering filing for divorce, please contact George Pecherek and Associates today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.

George Pecherek & Associates, P.C.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Free Information to Be Published on our Website

George Pecherek & Associates will soon be updating its website with a bounty of new information regarding divorce.  This information will be available in both English and Polish.

George Pecherek & Associates, P.C.

Illinois Passes Historic Same-Sex Civil Union Law

Illinois has become the sixth state to allow same-sex civil unions.  The "Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act," will provide legal recognition of gay couples and give them some of the same benefits automatically available to married couples, including the right to visit a sick partner in the hospital, the right to have a licensed ceremony done, the right to share a room in a nursing home, disposition of a deceased loved one's remains and the right to make decisions about a loved one's medical care.  Additionally, same-sex couples are now able to inherit property from one another and in some cases may be eligible for employer-sponsored insurance plans.  The law also grants same-sex couples the right to sue for the wrongful death of their partner, to be recognized as legal parents of their children, to receive pension benefits and to act to dissolve the relationship.

The Illinois Religious Freedom and Civil Union Act will also protect the rights of religious institutions to define marriage as they choose, and will be available to any couple, same-sex or opposite-sex, in a committed relationship who meet the following requirements: 18 years of age or older, not in an existing marriage or civil union, and are not related.  It will take effect June 1, 2011.  Under Federal Law, civil unions for same-sex couples remains unrecognized.

Rep. Greg Harris, a co-sponsor of the bill, stated:  "We have a chance today to make Illinois a more fair state, a more just state, and a state which treats all of its citizens equally under the law . . . we have a chance here, as leaders have had in previous generations, to correct injustice and to move us down the path toward liberty."

George Pecherek & Associates, P.C.