Are You Familiar with the Latest Mediation Laws?

I am a certified Family Law Mediator – mediation is a non-binding confidential process by which a neutral third party, who is either selected by the parties or selected by the court, assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement regarding their children.

Mediation is required pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule for parents who disagree over allocation of parental responsibilities (custody), relocation, parenting time (visitation), and other non-child support issues related to their children. If the parties cannot agree to a mediator, the court will appoint a mediator for them.

The role of the mediator is to assist in identifying the issues, lessening misunderstandings between the parties, to explore and clarify the parties’ respective interests and priorities, and to identify and explore possible solutions. The goal of mediation is to find compromise and to reach an amicable resolution of some or all of the issues in dispute.

Mediation for non-child related issues may be ordered by the Court, by agreement of the parties. Examples of non-child related issues that may be subject to mediation include, but are not limited to, disputes over debts, assets, and the division of either or both.

If you are looking for a family law mediator in Kane or the surrounding counties, please contact me.

Legally yours, Susan

Dogs, Cats, Goldfish, Parakeets, and Then There Are the Children

Hello Folks,

My blog has discussed the new custody rules regarding pets – the Court must consider the best interests of the pet. And, my blog has discussed proposed House Bill 4113 where the Court would not have discretion to consider the best interests of the child – it would be presumed that shared parenting responsibilities and parenting time would be in the best interests of the child (except in extenuating circumstances). So, here is my question to you – why the presumption of equality regarding children and not pets? And, or visa versa? I welcome your thoughts and appreciate them.

Legally, Susan

The Legislature is in Session…

…And that means that new laws are being proposed and debated. This session many of the new laws impact domestic violence. Senate Bill 2330 would allow the Court to waive the publication requirement for a domestic abuse victim to change his or her name and allow the victim’s address to be omitted from Court documents. I will be discussing some of the other proposed laws the legislature is considering in the weeks to come so, please keep checking with me for updates.

Legally, Susan

Pets and Divorce

Did you know that as of January 1st, if you are going through a divorce and you have a pet (that is not a service animal), the Judge can consider the well-being of your pet in deciding whether to award joint or sole ownership? This is a shift toward treating pets more like children instead […]

Follow up to House Bill 4113 regarding parenting time and responsibilities

Today there was close to a two hour hearing on the House Bill brought forward by Father’s rights groups that was sponsored by LaShawn Ford. If passed, the Bill would increase the evidence needed to determine if a parent is unfit and would require a Judge to explain his or her decision if he or she deviates from the presumption that equal parenting responsibilities and equal parenting time are in the best interests of the child. The current statute does not prevent a Judge from granting equal parenting time but the proposed Bill will practically mandate it! No vote was scheduled on the legislation – but, it will be in due time – more to come on the hearing and the eventual vote so, please stay tuned.

Legally, Susan

Illinois’ Parenting Law

Did you know that there is a controversial change being proposed to Illinois’ parenting laws and it’s called House Bill 4113. If passed, this Bill would require a Judge to presume equal time with the children and equal parental responsibilities are in a child’s best interests. Among the Bill’s proponents are parental rights groups including Fathers for Equality. Currently, the Bill is slated to be heard by the House’s Restorative Justice Committee. Stay tuned for more!

Legally, Susan

For personalized representation from an attorney who will listen, address individual needs, counsel, and provide caring service and zealous advocacy, please contact Susan D. Shivers to schedule an appointment.