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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_divorcing-couple_640_20170912-214121_1.jpgI get a lot of questions as to who we represent - mostly men going through a divorce or mostly women going through a divorce? And to be honest, when it comes to our divorce clientele - we represent both; we truthfully do not tend to represent one sex more often over the other.

After this question is answered I tend to get questions regarding divorce for women vs. divorce for men - how is it different? And the answer is, again, not very exciting - divorce isn't different for women versus men. The age-old stereotypes - that men made the money for the family while the women raised the children - don't apply anymore. And I'm not being Pollyanna PC when I say this; I have several women clients who are the "breadwinners" and I also have male clients who are primarily staying at home with the children.

The real question to ask when you are considering a divorce isn't a mere question - "what can I get as a woman?" But a set of questions - "here are the facts of my case .what are my options and potential outcomes given those dynamics?"

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Divorcing parents are going to argue. To state otherwise would be naive and foolish let's be real, I'm positive even Bruce and Demi have some heated arguments while not smiling on the red carpet with new spouses half-their-age. But we can also all probably agree that minimizing disagreements is in the best interest of the family unit as a whole.

Here are some tips:

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Attorney Pirtle has been published in the August 2013 edition of the Illinois State Bar Association's Family Law Section Council, of which Attorney Pucci has been a member for two years. Her article addresses a very recent Illinois Supreme Court case that effectively clarified, and in many jurisdictions changed, the standard for visitation by a non-custodial parent in parentage actions. It is an important read and the text of her article is below:

Illinois Supreme Court puts burden on unmarried fathers to prove visitation is in their child's best interest

By Julie Pirtle

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b2ap3_thumbnail_hiding-assests-before-divorce_640_20170912-214803_1.jpgBUT MY CHILDREN NEED TO KNOW!

  • All that your children need to know before, during and after a divorce is that they are safe and loved, that the divorce was not their fault and that, with time, their lives will normalize.  Your children do NOT need to know that mommy/daddy have a new love interest which is breaking up the family, or who is at fault for the divorce. Keep your children as oblivious to the divorce process as possible; it will keep them young and healthy a lot longer. It is important to act as a united front for your children. If your spouse doesn't share this philosophy of parenting, then be sure to let your kids know how much you love them; never lower yourself to your spouse's level by belittling your spouse to your children.  The bottom line is that your children know mommy and daddy are both a part of them, and it is detrimental to their well-being to hear negativity about one of their parents.  They will likely take it out on you if you start bad-mouthing the other parent.

I JUST WANT TO TELL THE JUDGE!

  • The Judge in your case does not need to know that your spouse is going through a mid-life crisis. So many clients come to us and say, "We need to tell the judge that this isn't normal behavior for my husband/wife. We need to tell the judge how strange he/she is acting – going out all night, putting more effort into his/her appearance, making new friends, etc.  I just want to talk to the Judge."
  • In custody cases, some of this information may be relevant to the Court.  Some.  Definitely not all.  And, a litigant cannot address the Court.  The only way to bring information in front of the Court is by proper Petition, and thereafter, testimony and argument.
  • In financial matters, most of this information is irrelevant and inadmissible in Court.  Most divorces are ultimately settled by the parties coming to an agreement regarding all of their financial matters. In those instances, the court reviews the agreements to make sure they are fair and conscionable and approves them. If you can't settle, then your case will go to trial where the judge will decide how your assets and debts are divided. Even during trial, the court only cares to hear evidence relevant to the separation of assets and debt, and fault of either party is not taken into consideration.  If you feel like you need to talk to someone about your spouse's behavior, and you probably do, you should seek out a friend or a counselor. Court is not the appropriate outlet.

WELL, MY ATTORNEY SAID .

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Divorce-Lawyer_640.jpgDivorce is hard.  We can help.

As most of us know, the path through the divorce process is often paved with heartache, frustration and heightened stress. If you are lucky and smart enough to hire the right counsel, these emotions can be lessened with their advice...if you choose to follow it!  Here's some initial advice, however:hire an attorney that you are comfortable with, one who is knowledgeable and one that thoroughly answers your questions.

Three things divorce litigants need to know about their relationship with their attorney:

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Mediation is the process by which a neutral third party aids two conflicting parties to promote settlement or compromise.  Oftentimes, the mediation process helps disputing parties identify and resolve emotional issues that are not truly thought of as part of the divorce or custody process.  Thus, the practice of mediation may allow divorcing parties to address and resolve matters the court or the law deems either irrelevant or inappropriate.

WE CAN HELP YOU AVOID A COURT-IMPOSED CUSTODY AGREEMENT

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Posted on in Divorce

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Divorce, also referred to as dissolution, is one solution to the breakdown of a marriage. Most people use the word separation interchangeably with divorce. Legally, however, they mean two different things. Couples who separate remain married pending any further action, while those who divorce are officially no longer married. How the couple's assets and debts are divided during a period of separation varies by state and the type of separation that occurs.

In our initial consultation, we discuss your family and your facts – as every divorce case we handle is different.  We want to be sure that we know what your goals are and we will advise you of the process and give you advice on how to proceed; one of our strongest attributes as a firm is our dedication to providing each client with individualized attention. There may be many steps involved in your divorce case (discovery, temporary support, temporary custody, litigation, negotiation) and we proceed after clear consultation with you.  Our firm handles cases involving the division of considerable financial assets, however we also regard cases with modest or few assets as equally important.  We are also specially equipped to handle complex contested custody cases that may involve several experts including a Guardian ad Litem and psychological evaluations.

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Posted on in Divorce

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Lately, when you watch or read the news a lot of what you see is discussion of how the economy is not rebounding as most hoped it would, or at least not as quickly as many predicted. Friends are worried about keeping their jobs. The housing market is not where it once was. Yet taxes and utilities keep rising.

Given all of the above, if you are facing the decision to file for divorce, the process and cost of divorce is very likely at the forefront of your mind. We have had many clients come in and confide that, quite frankly, they want to be divorced and they feel it is best for their family but they are worried that they cannot afford the cost of the process.

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Posted on in News

b2ap3_thumbnail_estate-planning_600x400.jpgBy now, most of you have estate plans. Right? If not, stop reading and call us. If you do, you need to make sure that your plan is up-to-date and that it not only reflects your current wishes but also your current financial circumstances. So when should you review your estate plan? There may be other times to evaluate your current plan, but at a minimum, make sure you take action upon any of the following events:

1) Marriage or divorce;

2) The birth of a child or the death of a child;

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Posted on in News

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Pucci Pirtle, LLC was incredibly pleased to be able to support the annual Sean Toedman 3-on-3 Tournament to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital that took place this past weekend at Lion's Park in East Dundee.  Sean was a twelve-year old Elgin resident who ultimately lost his battle with brain cancer; the tournament was organized by Dundee residents Dave and Teresa Schultz and ultimately raised over $3000.00 for St. Jude's.  Not only was the play for a good cause, but the play was GOOD - with a lot of former local high-school standouts having teams.  I encourage all local residents to come out and support this event next year, as I am sure each year it will become a larger event. 

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