Bloomington Family Lawyer
What Constitutes “Cyberstalking” During Divorce?
Most Americans spend a significant portion of their lives connected to the Internet, engaging with social media and drafting electronic communications. As a result, it can become instinct to simply type away into a search bar any time one has a question about anything at all. And while this easy access to information can be truly beneficial in a number of ways, it can also lead to knee-jerk decisions that can land a person in serious legal trouble. Should you find yourself in this position, contact a Bloomington, Illinois family lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols for legal advice.
During the aftermath of a breakup or divorce, it can be instinctual to check up on how your former romantic partner is doing. This is an understandable reaction to the transition of moving from couple life to single life. And unless you are bound by specific terms of a protective order, simply looking up your ex on social media or Google on rare occasions is not going to cause you any legal trouble. But if you start checking up on your ex with unreasonable frequency, hack into your ex’s social media or email accounts, harassing your ex, etc. then you could face some legal consequences for taking a natural instinct too far.
Evidence Gathering Versus Cyberstalking
The wealth of information online can actually be helpful in some divorce cases. For example, if your spouse insists that all of his or her assets have been disclosed but then posts a picture of a vacation home you have never seen before, this post may prove valuable. You can alert your Bloomington family lawyer to the possibility that your spouse has been hiding assets and that it may be worth looking into the likelihood that he or she has been withholding information from the court.
However, it is not generally a good idea to obsess over your ex’s social media presence and accounts in search of incriminating evidence. If you stumble across some during the course of reasonable web surfing, by all means alert your Bloomington family lawyer. But be wary of “checking up on” your ex too often or in ways that violate reasonable expectations of privacy. Heading down that slippery slope could lead to cyberstalking behaviors.
At its most basic, cyberstalking is the act of using electronic means (the Internet, texts, social media, email, etc.) to embarrass, intimidate, harass or threaten somebody. When in doubt about whether a certain activity may be considered cyberstalking, don’t do it. If you are concerned that your spouse’s activities may impact your divorce, it is better to alert your Bloomington family lawyer and have your legal team handle it than risk the consequences of being perceived by a judge as a cyberstalker.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have questions about communicating with your spouse during divorce, electronic behavior during this process or any other issue related to the legal side of ending your marriage, please consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. You have a number of both rights and responsibilities under the law during your divorce process and it is important to be well informed about both. Once your Bloomington family lawyer is able to learn about the details of your situation, he or she will be able to speak with you about the legal realities of your circumstances and help you craft a strong legal strategy moving forward.
5 Myths About Family Law
1. Child Custody Is Almost Always Awarded To The Mother
Ask any Bloomington family lawyer, and you’ll find no presumption one way or the other. Regardless of age, the court decides which one to send the children with based on specific factors. Recently, there has been a trend towards shared custody. So long as the individuals can co-parent, they will both receive custody of the children. Your attorney will help you navigate your child custody concerns.
2. Children Can Decide Which Parent To Live With
If the children are old enough and demonstrate their intellectual capabilities, the court will consider their preferred living arrangement. However, the court must hear their preferences from the child. That can be a problem since most judges don’t want children in the courtroom. A court can be an intimidating place.
Insisting that your child speaks to the judge is one way to demonstrate that you can’t place your child’s interests above your own. Therefore, it is best to inform your Bloomington family lawyer about your child’s preferences so that they can handle the situation appropriately.
3. Not Seeing Your Children Doesn’t Allow You To Sign Over Your Parental Rights
Most places do not allow individuals to resign their parental rights unless another party could take over in case of an emergency. After all, if one parent no longer had responsibility for the child and the other died, the child would become an orphan cared for by the state. That said, our attorneys at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols can help you work out terms regarding your custody and responsibility for your children.
4. Failing To Pay Child Support Doesn’t Prevent Someone From Seeing Their Children
Parents cannot deny visitation rights because someone doesn’t pay child support. Child support payments are not a factor the court considers when awarding visitation. However, you have options if you’re not receiving child support payments. We at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols can help you take legal action and receive your payments.
5. Your Spouse Caused Your Divorce and Must Pay Your Fees
Who pays for the fees is a common myth in family law. You are responsible for your costs unless it is decided that the other party will pay a portion or all of your charges. The court will look at many factors to determine if your spouse should pay your fees. These factors include financial situations, previous orders, and failure to act. However, there is no guarantee that your spouse will be forced to pay your fees. Plan on covering your divorce fees.
Seven Misconceptions About Divorce
Misconception: Divorced People Simply Gave Up Too Easily
Many divorced people tried strenuously to make their marriage work. For whatever reason, though, it just didn’t. Think of marriage as a business agreement. Not all businesses make it, either. Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols can help you dissolve the business of your marriage.
Misconception: You Should Have Stayed Together And Worked It Out For The Kids
As a Bloomington family lawyer could tell you, kids are smart. They know when their parents are unhappy. It worries children when they see their parents fighting or miserable; they think it’s their fault their parents are upset.
Misconception: It’s Always Someone’s Fault
Irreconcilable differences are grounds for a no-fault divorce in every state. That means nobody was at fault, your marriage just didn’t go the way you wanted it to. Gone are the days where one party had to prove the other was at fault and if unsuccessful had to stay in the marriage.
Misconception: Only Women Get Spousal Support
If a man was a stay-at-home dad, and his wife worked, he may be entitled to spousal support. Spousal support is much less frequently granted than in the past, but it’s there to support one spouse when the other is the primary breadwinner and the other is the homemaker.
Misconception: The Mother Always Gets Custody
As with spousal support, things are changing in terms of physical and legal custody of the children. Many courts are now beginning with the assumption that joint custody is in the best interests of the children, and work forward from that assumption. Both parents are starting on equal footing. A Bloomington family lawyer can advise you on custody issues during your divorce.
Misconception: Non-Payment Of Child Support Limits Visitation
Non-payment of child support and visitation are completely separate issues. Even if your ex has never paid a dime of child support, that doesn’t give you grounds to withhold visitation with your children. You can take your ex to court to get a garnishment of wages to try to recoup the child support your children deserve.
Misconception: Each Side Gets Half
Courts are leaning hard in the direction of equitability, not equality. Assets you owned before the marriage generally stay yours, and assets and debts while you were married have to be split fairly between you. A Bloomington family lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols can help you keep the assets you want and minimize the debt you’ll bear.
How To Deal With A Difficult Ex-Spouse
If your ex-spouse is being difficult after the divorce, know that you’re not alone. The lawyers at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols see many ex-spouses have ill feelings toward each other. While it might seem impossible to be civil with your ex-spouse, understand that you can take certain steps to make the situation better. Here is some advice on how to deal with a difficult ex-spouse:
Give Yourself 24 Hours Before Responding To Your Ex’s Messages
If your ex-spouse sends you nasty email or voicemail, it’s tempting to give him or her a piece of your mind. However, you should avoid doing this. Screaming and yelling at your ex-spouse will just make you angrier and give your ex-spouse undeserved attention. Instead, allow 24 hours to go by before responding to your ex’s messages. This will give you time to calm down and think about what you actually should say.
Avoid Putting Your Children In The Middle
One of the worst things you can do is put your children in the middle of you and your ex-spouse’s problems. This will make them feel extremely uncomfortable. No matter what, avoid speaking poorly about your ex in front of your kids. Continue to reassure them that both you and your ex-spouse love them dearly and want the best for them.
Limit Face-To-Face Contact
If you and your ex-spouse have difficulties speaking to each other without getting into fights, it may be best to limit face-to-face meeting as much as possible. If you have to talk to your ex about something, try to do it through the phone or email.
Realize That You Can’t Change Your Ex-Spouse
It can be extremely frustrating dealing with a difficult ex-spouse after your divorce. He or she disagrees with everything you say, screams at you for no reason and is generally miserable to be around. While it would be nice to be able to change your ex-spouse’s ways, understand that it isn’t realistic. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can move on.
Focus On Yourself
It’s easy to talk and think about your ex-spouse right after you get divorced. However, this can be emotionally draining and prevent you from living a happy life. It’s better to focus your efforts on improving yourself and making yourself happier.
Consider Talking To A Therapist
If you are having trouble getting over your ex-spouse or dealing with his or her actions, you may want to think about speaking with a professional therapist. A counselor can help you come to terms with your issues with your ex so that you can move on.
Putting up with a difficult ex isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. If you have any additional questions about dealing with your ex-spouse, the lawyers at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols can help. We have dealt with dozens of cases similar to yours and are ready to assist you. Call us to schedule a meeting.
When A Spouse Violates An Order Of Protection
If you were being abused by your partner or felt you were truly at risk of suffering abuse, you might now have an order of protection in place to prevent him or her from contacting you. In Illinois, there are multiple types of order of protection, each of which is designed for specific circumstances. But they all serve the same purpose: to protect individuals from suffering from physical, sexual, and psychological abuse at the hands of their intimate partners.
If an individual named in an order of protection violates that order, he or she is subject to criminal charges. Discuss these with your Bloomington family lawyer before you take action against your former partner.
What Are My Options?
You have two options if your former partner violates the order of protection you have in place. You can:
Contact the civil court to have the judge enforce your order of protection. The court can require that he or she avoid contacting you in person or electronically, that he or she surrender any firearms he or she owns, that he or she remain an allotted distance away from you, your home, your place of work, and any other property you own at all times, or that he or she only contact you for peaceful, necessary purposes like the transfer of your child for his or her parenting time.
File a police report. If your former partner is charged with a crime, such as stalking or intimidation, he or she could face criminal penalties. These penalties can include fines and jail time. He or she might also face issues with his or her parenting time agreement.
Issues To Consider With Your Order Of Protection
If you had an order of protection issued in another state, that order of protection should be valid in other states. Check with your Bloomington family lawyer to make sure your order is valid in the state you are in now if it was originally issued by another state. To prove its validity, keep a copy of the order with you at all times. If you need to prove to police that you have an order of protection in place, you can make use of this document.
An order of protection created in Illinois is also valid if you move to another state. If you move out of Illinois, inform the local law enforcement in your new town of your order of protection so they are aware of it in the event they need to enforce it.
How To Modify A Child Custody Agreement With A Troublesome Ex-Spouse
When a couple divorces, there are many issues that need to be decided. If they have children, then the most important decision to be made is how they will share custody of their children. There are several ways that a couple may come up with a solid parenting plan. If you are going through a divorce and will need to establish a parenting plan, consider contacting a Bloomington, Illinois family lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols for assistance.
Depending on the relationship of the couple and how much acrimony exists between the two of them, they may be able to come up with an agreement in private discussions with each other. If that isn’t possible, then a custody agreement may be able to be reached by negotiation, along with their Bloomington family lawyers. If they are still not able to reach an agreement, then the family court judge will make that decision based upon evidence each side presents during a child custody hearing.
Regardless of how the agreement is reached, the final decision must be approved by the court, where it then becomes the child custody agreement between the parents.
Issues that should be included in the custody agreement include the following:
- Where the child will live
- How parenting time will be divided between parent
- Birthday schedules (including the child’s birthday and each of the parents)
- Holiday schedule
- Vacation schedules
- How will major decisions for the child be handled (i.e. medical treatment, religion, school)
- How will disputes between the parents be handled
Although there may have been much thought and negotiation that went into coming up with your custody agreement, the truth is that life is constantly moving, and it sometimes becomes necessary to make changes to the custody agreement to address some of those life events.
Examples of reasons for requesting a child custody modification include the child is changing their primary residence from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home, one parent has developed a substance abuse issue and there is concern for the child’s safety, or one of the parents are moving out of state and parenting time schedules will need to be changed.
How Do I Request A Modification?
Modification to a child custody agreement can only be made with a judge’s approval. If you are seeking a change in your custody agreement, your first step should be contacting a Bloomington family lawyer who will be able to evaluate the evidence and reasons for the change. The lawyer will prepare a petition to modify custody which will be filed in the same court that issued the original order. The other parent is also served with the petition.
The court will then set a hearing date where your Bloomington family lawyer will present the evidence to the court. The other parent will likely present their evidence as to why or why not they agree to the modification. The judge will review all the evidence and arguments and if the modification would be even more beneficial for the child’s best interest than the current order, it is likely he or she will approve it.
Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce: Which Should You Choose?
When it comes to ending your marriage, you can have a contested or uncontested divorce. A contested divorce happens when you and your spouse cannot agree on all the points required. An uncontested divorce is when you agree on all the points.
Navigating any divorce situation is difficult, and you may benefit from seeking the help of a Bloomington family lawyer.
Uncontested Divorce Explained
An uncontested divorce is likely the main goal of every couple because it moves the process along more quickly, allows you to stay in control of all decisions and usually costs far less than a contested divorce. The biggest issue with an uncontested divorce is that you must come to a complete agreement on property division, child custody, child support, debt distribution and spousal support.
You may also end up with an uncontested divorce if your spouse refuses to respond to the initial filing. If your spouse does not file an answer with the court, the judge will only consider your requests and likely grant them, allowing you to end your marriage in an uncontested divorce.
You should understand that you cannot appeal an uncontested divorce. Since you came to a mutual agreement, everything in the final decree stands as it is, which makes having a Bloomington family lawyer on your side important. You will retain the right to ask for modifications of support orders if there is a change in circumstances.
Contested Divorce Details
A contested divorce occurs regularly, which is not a surprise. Most people ending their marriage are not in a happy place where they want to work together. This leads to disagreements over certain aspects or everything involved with the divorce.
When this happens, you will have to go to trial in front of a judge. The main issue with a contested divorce is the judge has the most control. It is he or she who will make the final decisions on everything from property division to child custody.
You can come to an agreement on some aspects and leave others for the judge in a contested divorce. If you have tried to reach an agreement but it is not happening, this may be the best option.
While you may aim for an uncontested divorce, there is a chance things could become complicated and you end up with a contested divorce. It is very important to understand that for an uncontested divorce, you must agree on everything. There can be no points of contention or disagreement. For this reason, you may be unable to control what type of divorce you have. Just make sure no matter the situation, you have a Bloomington family lawyer to help you navigate the process.
Work With A Dedicated Bloomington Family Lawyer
If your former partner violates the order of protection you have in place to keep yourself safe from him or her, call the police immediately. You have the right to feel safe and protect yourself from abuse at a former partner’s hands. To handle the legal issues that can arise with your order of protection or other issues regarding your divorce, contact our team of experienced Bloomington family lawyers at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm. We can represent your case in court and help you reach a safe, productive resolution for your case. Turn to Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols when you need a family lawyer in Bloomington that you can trust.
Why You Should Hire A Family Lawyer
If you’re planning on getting a divorce, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced Bloomington family lawyer. Divorces can get complicated quickly, and you want someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. Here are several benefits of hiring a family lawyer.
- Assistance with Paperwork: With a divorce, you can expect a lot of paperwork. There’s pages upon pages of documents you have to fill out and you might not understand all the legal jargon in it. That’s why it helps to have a skilled family lawyer standing next to you. He or she understands everything that’s in this paperwork and can help you fill it out correctly.
- Prevent You from Getting Taken Advantage Of: If your spouse has hired a lawyer and you don’t have legal assistance, you could be in big trouble. Your spouse’s lawyer can go after all of your assets and pressure you into taking a settlement that isn’t fair. A skilled family lawyer won’t let that happen. He or she will look out for your best interests and won’t let you get taken advantage of.
- Help You with Child Custody Options: If you have children, it can make your divorce even more complicated. A family lawyer can go over all of your child custody options with you and help you make the right decision. He or she can help you consider components that you might have not thought about before. For instance, your lawyer can help you decide how to divide holidays.
- Provide Objectivity: When you’re going through something as emotional as a divorce, it can be difficult to remain objective. Your emotions may cause you to make bad decisions that could negatively affect your case. That’s why it pays to have a Bloomington family lawyer on your side. He or she can offer objectivity and prevent you from making a bad decision. For example, your lawyer can talk you out of badmouthing your spouse on your social media pages.
- Communicate with Your Spouse on Your Behalf: If you and your spouse are on bad terms, it may be difficult to communicate with one another without fighting. If you hire a family lawyer, he or she can communicate with your spouses on your behalf, preventing arguments from occurring.
- Reduce Your Stress: Divorce can be one of the most stressful events of your life. If you have an experienced Bloomington family lawyer on your side, he or she can reduce some of your burden. Your lawyer will handle the legwork, letting you relax a little.
Who Gets Child Custody?
Child custody is an important part of many divorces, and a Bloomington family lawyer can help you come to agreeable terms about visitation and custody so you and your ex can both have the appropriate amount of time with your children.
If you want to protect your children from an irresponsible ex, you can work with a family lawyer to make sure you get custody. And if you and your ex are on better terms, you might both be able to set aside your differences and work together on joint custody. Every case is different, so it’s important to understand all you can about the ins and outs of child custody.
How Is Child Custody Awarded?
When you start thinking about child custody, you’ll have to remember that child custody is usually awarded to the parent that can provide the most stable upbringing. This means taking into account who carried the majority of the parenting duties when you and your ex were still married, and who can can continue to provide a nurturing environment for the child (or children).
If you’re awarded child custody, it means more responsibility. You’ll be the primary guardian for your kids, which means feeding them, clothing them – as well as taking them to school, doctor’s appointments, and anything else that might be necessary for their health, happiness, and development. However, it also means you’ll be getting more time with your children.
On the other hand, if you’re awarded child custody, it means your ex won’t have as much time with the kids. They’ll have visitation rights and they’ll typically be forced to pay child support payments – this money from child support can only be used on your children, for things such as food, clothing, and school supplies.
What Is Joint Custody?
Sometimes a divorce is amicable, and both parents can come to an agreement to work together for the best of their kids. It may take some navigation from a Bloomington family lawyer, but when you and your ex reach a joint custody agreement, it means that you’ll both take time to raise your children despite being separated from each other.
Joint custody comes with a few hoops to jump through, however. Both parents need to show that they had an equal hand in raising their children before the divorce, and both parents need to show that they’ll be capable of continuing to raise their children together despite being separated. This usually means both parents will have to live in a relatively close proximity to one another, and they’ll have to work extra hard to prove they can work together to provide a strong foundation for their children’s development.
Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols Can Help.
A divorce can be difficult to navigate. Emotions run high, and there’s no shortage of animosity. Additionally, your ex may have been abusive, and you might be desperate to rescue your children from further harm. Fortunately, a family lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols can help you gain custody of your children to provide them with the best upbringing possible.
At Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, we understand that a separation is stressful, and we know that every case is different. We’re here to help you reach the best custody arrangement for you and your family, and we’re here to provide all the information you need about child custody and family law.
Don’t leave anything to chance when it comes to your family. Reach out to Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols today, and see how a Bloomington family lawyer can help your tomorrow.
Bloomington Family Lawyer
Choosing a Bloomington family lawyer can be a difficult decision no matter the circumstances. The right lawyer can make a real difference in the outcome of your divorce and how you make it through this very emotional process. At Pioletti Pioletti & Nichol we understand that finding the right lawyer for you can take time but it is well worth the effort in finding them. Without someone you trust this process can be even harder to go through.
No matter the reason you need a family lawyer, you need to find one that is willing to work as a partner to you. Your family is important and that is why we’ve put together some tips to help you find the right lawyer for your needs.
Find a Lawyer You Trust
Your lawyer is going to be your partner through this whole process and that means you need someone you can trust. You may need to confide sensitive or even embarrassing information that is critical to your case. If you can’t trust your lawyer then you’re case isn’t going to get very fair. Because you are in contact with them frequently you need to have good communication. This goes right alongside with trust, as if you can’t communicate what you need then your case may not have the outcome you want.
Interview Prospective Lawyers
You shouldn’t settle on the first family lawyer you find. When you go on your search to find someone that will work with you, you may have to go through a few interviews. In fact, it is better you do as that gives you the greatest chance in finding a lawyer that is right for you and your needs. While speaking to the prospective lawyer keep in mind these things:
- Does your personality mesh with the lawyers? No matter how good or how experienced a lawyer is, if you do not get along your case will be more difficult.
- Communication and promptness. You need to ask each lawyer you contact how long it will take them to respond back to you. You want someone who is prompt and is honest with how long it takes. If there are excessive delays or radio silence for days you may want to reconsider.
- Willingness to work within your budget. Don’t be afraid to talk money. You want to be able to get the results you need without draining your bank account. Most lawyers will talk about the fees up front and will appreciate meeting a prospective client who understands the need to budget wisely.
Experience and Expertise
You want someone who specializes in family law to take your case. You wouldn’t want your general practitioner performing heart surgery, so why would you want a general lawyer to handle your family? Always ask about experience and how long they have been working with family law.
Here at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichol we understand that a divorce can be a difficult process. Finding the right lawyer for you shouldn’t be difficult and that is why when it comes to finding Bloomington family lawyers we are eager to take your call.