When a marriage ends, both parties suffer in their own way. Sorting through assets, possessions and an entire life together can take a toll on your mental, physical and emotional well-being over time. As you start your life on your own, it is easy to feel bleak about the future.
You don't hear much about annulment of marriages around Illinois. As we noted in our previous post it is a part of the family law landscape. But state law is fairly restrictive about when it can be sought and when courts can grant that a marriage never really existed in the eyes of the law.
If you are reading this blog you know that ending a marriage in Illinois is commonly done through filing for divorce. Did you also know that you could, in certain situations, seek to have a marriage annulled?
We have been talking about heart balm laws and the General Assembly's decision to repeal them as part of the family law overhaul that went into effect on Jan. 1. Until those laws were repealed, they limited the types of damages someone could pursue for a broken engagement. And make no mistake: According to Westlaw, the courts were deciding cases based on the Breach of Promise Act in 2015.
It was all so romantic at the time. The food, the wine, the flattering lighting and that breathtaking engagement ring were enough to convince you that the person across the table from you was The One, the person you wanted to commit to, to build a life with, to raise children with. But in the cold light of early March, you realize you have made a mistake. Can you break it off? What about the ring?
An unusual program offered in Cook County is offering an underserved, perhaps forgotten, population access to family court. The program offers prisoners -- officially, incarcerated litigants -- a chance to appear before a judge via teleconference to deal with divorce, parenting time, support and other family court matters without the hassle of arranging an in-person appearance.
We are discussing a case from New York about a restraining order and a Facebook post. Family law matters are handled at the state level, not the federal level, so a case from New York would generally not have any impact in Illinois courts. However, the fact that Facebook is involved makes the case noteworthy. As we said in our last post, courts around the country are still developing the laws of social media, trying to determine just how powerful a tool a post or a tweet can be.
There are a couple of givens in family law. First, divorce, even an amicable divorce, is stressful. In fact, according to the commonly used Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale, divorce is second only to the death of a spouse when it comes to stressful life events.
On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v Hodges. From that day forward, every state would be required to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.
In Illinois, Christmas presents are generally not marital property and, so, not subject to property division in a divorce. There are exceptions, of course.