The Chicago Family Law Blog

July 2012 Archives

Who Gets What? The FindLaw Guide to Divorce and Property Division

You should've listened to the crusty old man masquerading as Kant when he handed out unwanted and unhealthy life advice like popsicles out of a paneled van. "Don't worry, things will get worse." "Expect the worst, you'll never be disappointed." And y'all definitely should have listened to us when we advised that a prenuptial agreement was the way to go.

So now, you're getting divorced. And you're fighting over the $1,200 Kirby vacuum cleaner. (Who needs a $1,200 vacuum cleaner? No one, but that's not the point.) You bought it, and it was never used.

Kanye Planning on Proposing to Kim? The Wedding Ring Rules

Word on the street, and on NBC, is that Kanye West, the greatest artist in the music industry today, is planning on asking reality television star Kim Kardashian to marry him. This would happen, of course, after she finalizes the dissolution of her other marriage.

News of the possible proposal came after Kanye dropped off some of his late mother's jewelry at a jewelry store. The pieces are being made into a wedding ring, presumably for Kim.

The Jackson Fight:TJ Gets Guardianship of Michael's Kids

No one really knows what’s going on with the Jackson family. Frankly, no one should really care — it should be private. But it’s MJ, so it’s not. There’s some dispute over Michael’s estate, with a few relatives claiming that his signature was forged on the will. There’s a missing but not missing grandmother, Katherine, who was the guardian of Michael’s kids. There was even an alleged attempt to abduct the kids, which led to Janet reportedly slapping teenager Paris, all reported to the masses via TMZ.

Now, in what one hopes will be an end to the family feud, Michael’s nephew, and Tito’s son, Tito Joe “TJ” Jackson has been appointed by the court as the new guardian. The move was supported by the three children, as well as the administrators of the Jackson estate, reports TMZ.

Child Custody, Camps, and Camping

Look over at your couch. Now! What's little Jimmy doing? Playing God of War III? Watching your Sex and the City box set? It doesn't matter what he's doing. He's not out getting exercise.

It's the middle of summer. We've got a few more weeks of crippling heat and waiting for school to resume (assuming there's no strike). What better way to end the summer than to either go camping or, better yet, send Jimmy off to a camp and give yourself a staycation?

Debt Division, Including Student Loans, in the Divorce

Someone’s getting saddled with that Macy’s card bill. And that Greek Literature Ph.D.? She ain’t paying for it. No really, she’s not, because it has served literally no purpose whatsoever since she got it!

At least, that’s his argument.

Her argument would be that the Macy’s card was used to furnish the marital bedroom, so it benefited both of them. As for the degree, it wouldn’t have been so worthless if he hadn’t forced her into being a stay-at-home wife by refusing to move to Indiana.

Domestic Violence Resources in the Chicago Area

No one should have to live with a spouse, significant other, or relative that makes them feel unsafe in their own home. One sign that you are in an abusive relationship is a constant fear of your partner, especially if you find yourself constantly monitoring your speech and behavior to avoid a blowup, fight, or argument. Other signs include a partner that constantly insults or belittles you and a relationship that constantly leaves you depressed and scared for your safety.

If you are in such a relationship, there are many resources available at low or no cost to help you escape your situation and move into a healthier lifestyle.

Siohvaughn Funches-Wade Looking for 13th Attorney: Changing Counsel

There are many reasons why one might want to change attorneys. Perhaps the current attorney costs too much. Or, maybe the communication between the attorney and client is failing. There's also the possibility that the attorney is simply awful.

Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, the ex of NBA star Dwyane Wade, has probably seen all of those issues and more. She's now going to need attorney number thirteen, after her current attorney successfully argued to the judge that he should be allowed to quit the case due to a breakdown in communication between the client and attorney, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Boy IS Yours: Establishing Paternity

We understand. Not all parents take responsibility for their children. In fact, some even deny that the child is theirs. What can you do if either the father is not stepping up or the mother denies that you are the father?

There are two legal routes: the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is some paperwork. The hard way means legal battles, paperwork, DNA testing, and probably lawyers. Choose wisely.

Baby Mama Drama: What to do When the Kid Isn't Yours

She says it's yours. You know it isn't. After all, nine months ago, you were broken up and you were a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. Nonetheless, because you were married at the time of conception, the baby is legally presumed to be yours. How do you fix it?

We've all been there. (Maybe.) Especially the Rhodes Scholar part. What you do to fix the problem depends on what stage of the process you are stuck at.

Siohvaughn Wade Will Not Lose Custody; Has to Visit in Florida

The estranged wife of NBA star Dwayne Wade will not lose visitation rights to her two children, despite the incident that happened on Father’s day, reports ABC Chicago. Instead, if Siohvaughn Funches-Wade wishes to visit the children, she’ll have to do so in Florida.

Last month, Siohvaughn was supposed to hand the children over to their aunt, Dwayne’s sister, so that they could be brought to Miami for the NBA Finals game and for Fathers Day. Instead, Siohvaughn allegedly refused to open the door until police arrived. She has been charged with child abduction, visitation interference, and resisting arrest.

More Lessons From TomKat: Child Custody and Religious Disputes?

We’ve talked a bit about that whole Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes thing. We really thought no one cared. A certain blogger certainly doesn’t. Fortunately or not, the story doesn’t seem to be going away. Plus, their not-so-amicable divorce keeps providing lessons in family law, child custody, and religion.

In situations where the parents are too hard-headed to come up with an amicable agreement, the choice of the child’s religion often comes down to whichever parent has legal custody of the child. Legal custody is the right to make important life decisions regarding the child’s wellbeing, schooling, and religion.

Study: Spanking Increases Chances of Mental Disorders, Drug Abuse

For most, the debate over whether spanking is an appropriate means of disciplining your children is a matter of personal preference or parenting style. Some think a mere smack on the backside is child abuse. Others think a studded belt is going too far. Either way though, the effects are only temporary … right?

According to a study cited by the Daily Mail, the effects might just be more than a little soreness. The Canadian study found that up to 7 percent of mental illnesses could be blamed on corporal punishment. Among the list of disorders were depression, mood disorders, phobias, drug problems, and major personality disorders.

What We Can Learn from TomKat: The Importance of Venue

We know what you are thinking. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are getting a divorce. Who cares?

However, there is an important legal lesson to be learned from the divorce. TMZ reports that one of the main issues in the divorce is whether it should be processed in California or New York.