Blog Archives

Gatherings: In Jeopardy

September 1st, 2020 by

In early August, the city of Peoria, IL made international news for their 10th annual “White Trash Bash” that occurred […]

Pop Quiz for Parents: Hybrid, Remote, or In-Person?

August 24th, 2020 by

Hybrid learning, remote learning, or in-person- how is a parent is supposed to choose?  I don’t know about you but […]

What Defines Paternity?

August 20th, 2020 by

The birth of a child is almost always a joyful occurrence, with parents celebrating the new life they have brought […]

Self-Care During the Divorce Process

August 17th, 2020 by

When going through the process of divorce, getting out of bed each morning can be, for some, a daunting task. […]

Divorce May Not Be the Answer

August 13th, 2020 by

When you are meeting with an attorney to get legal advice on your relationship, it does not mean that the […]

Evictions in Illinois During COVID-19 Pandemic

August 10th, 2020 by

In response to the economic effect of the pandemic, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Executive Order that stayed the […]

Law Students—Still Preparing to Wait

August 5th, 2020 by

Back in June, we posted a blog about the Illinois Supreme Court postponing the bar exam to September 9 and […]

Saving For Your Child’s College Education

July 27th, 2020 by

It is customary, nowadays, that parents build a college fund for their minor child.  College funds are typically funded by […]

Tips for Parents: Helping Children Navigate a Divorce

July 23rd, 2020 by

What is the best way to help your child get through a divorce and maintain that after a divorce? Every situation […]

Virtual Graduation Ceremonies

July 10th, 2020 by

As a recent college graduate, I have driven by many houses decorating their lawns with signs of their graduate and […]

Hit the Road: Traveling With Children During the Pandemic

July 8th, 2020 by

Travel is an education in itself, every parent knows that. So pack your bags, and have your kids pack theirs. […]


July 6th, 2020 by

While I would not say the Chicagoland real estate industry is booming (we are definitely below the expectations for the […]

Hope in the Midst of COVID-19: A Guide to Taking Care of Business

June 23rd, 2020 by

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, this seems to resonate now more than ever. Many people have been wondering when things […]

Better Communication With Friends and Family

June 18th, 2020 by

Most people identify the coronavirus as having a negative impact on our social life with friends and family but I […]

The Phases of Restore Illinois

June 8th, 2020 by

The state of Illinois began a mandatory shelter-in-place order on March 21, 2020. The stay at home order required non-essential […]

Slow Down: A Look at Driver’s Education and the REAL ID

June 3rd, 2020 by

Driver’s Education: Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, driver’s education is one of the many things that changed. Classes went from […]

Law Students: Preparing to Wait

June 1st, 2020 by

In the past few months, there have been many changes to the world around us because of the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

Living With an Essential Worker

May 30th, 2020 by

My husband is considered an essential worker as a technician for an alarm company. With that being said, we have […]

Flexible Adaptation to Changing Times

May 29th, 2020 by

For small businesses, the pandemic has been very difficult. However, lessons can be learned from this time and what is […]

You Really Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Gone

May 18th, 2020 by

Everyone’s life was always so busy with work, school, homework, playing/watching sports, hanging out with family and friends for birthday/graduation […]

Laib From New York: Volunteering In The Empire State

May 16th, 2020 by

Written by Rick Laib I do not particularly regard myself as rebellious, so when the initial set of executive orders […]

Mother’s Day: A New Page in History During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 9th, 2020 by

Each year in May, people around the world stock up on cards, flowers, candy and other gifts to shower their […]

Missed Connections for Children During COVID-19

May 8th, 2020 by

As a new mom, I had envisioned parenting in an entirely different way. As with most mothers, I was looking […]

Rare Mysterious COVID-19 Syndrome Linked to Children Ages 2–15

May 6th, 2020 by

As parents, we worry every day about protecting our children.  Now, with the pandemic, we are faced with even more […]

Grandparents Visitation Rights During COVID-19

May 4th, 2020 by

As the Quarantine wears on, we all miss our extended families. My daughter keeps looking at pictures of her grandparents […]

Searching for a Job During COVID-19

May 2nd, 2020 by

Who could have guessed that this is how 2020 would be going? As of March 26, over three million Americans […]

The Time to Design

April 29th, 2020 by

Design is in the eyes of the beholder. It can be viewed in the form of art, a job/career, or […]

I Do…? Coronavirus Says “I Don’t”

April 28th, 2020 by

For the most part, little girls dream of their wedding day. This day is “supposed” to be one of the […]

The coronavirus pandemic from the perspective of a 90-year-Old

April 27th, 2020 by

Being born during the depression, I understood from my parents the struggles they went through to survive and the losses […]

Avoid Cabin Fever During the Pandemic: A Note From Duke On Behalf of Your Pets

April 24th, 2020 by

Article by Duke Sterk and Monika Wolniak Cabin fever is hard enough on our humans; they at least can communicate […]

A Look Into The Trucking Industry and the Coronavirus From a Driver’s Perspective

April 23rd, 2020 by

We’ve seen various advertisements sharing the phrase, “If you bought, it a truck driver brought it.” We’ve all seen and […]

A Summary of Tax Relief Options for Businesses Harmed by the COVID-19 Crisis

April 22nd, 2020 by

In addition to the loans and grants being made available to businesses during this pandemic, there have been several changes […]

Understanding How Financially Vulnerable Our Seniors May Be

April 20th, 2020 by

Everybody understands how physically vulnerable our seniors are, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Seniors are by definition our oldest demographic […]

COVID-19 Mindset Reset

April 16th, 2020 by

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 virus has us all feeling frightened, uneasy, frustrated and unsure of what tomorrow […]

This Virus is Killing My Business…Pun Intended.

April 14th, 2020 by

What Can the SBA Do to Help? As everyone knows, this is a scary time for business owners across the […]

Online Notarization and Witnessing Available!

April 13th, 2020 by

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Illinois has passed an executive order to help ensure citizens get the legal assistance […]

Student loan relief efforts during the COVID-19 crisis

April 10th, 2020 by

Do you have federal student loans? If you do, you may have visited sites like this week, checking to […]

What Americans Can Expect With The New Changes To Retirement Accounts During the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 7th, 2020 by

The CARES Act (CORONA VIRUS Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020), allows much economic relief for Americans, including […]

Tips To Maintain a Positive Mindset

April 5th, 2020 by

Like many of us enduring this new life of social distancing and stay-at-home order since COVID- 19 has hit, you […]

Applying for Unemployment Benefits Amid Coronavirus 2019

April 5th, 2020 by

Due to the devastating economic crisis as a result of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), there has been a surge of unemployment […]

This Pandemic Is More Than a Rain Delay

April 3rd, 2020 by

No one ever could fathom that a virus could change the world so drastically and our lives as a whole. […]

Hospitalization and Visitation During The COVID-19 Pandemic

April 3rd, 2020 by

Everyone is talking about the overload at the hospitals and many have heard that visitors are not allowed at the […]

Domestic Violence During COVID-19

March 31st, 2020 by

In the United States, the daily count of those infected with COVID-19 is on a steady incline.  As state officials […]

Estate Planning During an Emergency

March 30th, 2020 by

As the COVID-19 spreads uncertainty and fear during these difficult times, it has forced many of us to confront our […]

How to Reassure Your College Student During The Pandemic

March 29th, 2020 by

How can we assist our college students during this crisis? Here we will describe how we can try to calm […]

Child Support and Maintenance Obligations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 26th, 2020 by

As if you don’t have enough to worry about during this pandemic, you may have recently lost your job, declared […]

Parenting Schedules in the Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

March 24th, 2020 by

The world is facing unprecedented circumstances and because of these unprecedented circumstances, there are new questions that have never been […]

Ways to Reduce Stress While Being Cooped Up

March 22nd, 2020 by

You, like most of us, enjoy going out shopping, dining out, and enjoying a social life.  But with the forced […]

Be the Voice Above the Noise: Five Practices to Inspire Hope in These Uncertain Times

March 20th, 2020 by

Contributed by John Hackett Ed.D. No one likes uncertainty. If you don’t believe that, ask yourself this question: What is […]

Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Trap Us or Bring Us Together?

March 16th, 2020 by

Within a matter of weeks, a far East problem labeled COVID-19 became a worldwide problem. Now we are faced with […]

Crazy Times and the Family Sandwich

March 12th, 2020 by

Crazy times, right? So much stress, with our retirement investments shrinking and our health concerns growing, whole families are in […]

Does the NEW 2020 Post-Judgment Interest Rate in Illinois Really HELP You?

January 20th, 2020 by

Many Illinois residents owe some kind of credit card debt. When the payments become too much and you stop paying, […]

Types of Guardianships in Illinois

January 8th, 2020 by

There are many types of Guardianships in Illinois some of which overlap.  If you are considering seeking a Guardianship in […]

5 Facts About Retirement Funds and Divorce

July 19th, 2019 by

No one plans for divorce, so it’s common for people to have misconceptions about how it could affect ownership of […]

How retirement accounts get divided during divorce

June 11th, 2019 by

How retirement accounts get divided during divorce Whether we have been working for 10 years or 40, most of us […]

Gray Divorce: 5 Unique Emotional Challenges

May 6th, 2019 by

Gray Divorce: 5 Unique Emotional Challenges When your heart is breaking, it really doesn’t matter how old you are. The […]

Helping Children Cope With Divorce at Different Ages

April 17th, 2019 by

Helping Children Cope With Divorce at Different Ages Children cope with divorce differently, with hurts, hopes, reliefs and grief unique to […]

Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in Illinois?

April 4th, 2019 by

Grandparents Visitation Rights in Illinois The law doesn’t always operate the way people anticipate, and sometimes its statutes fly in […]

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property in Divorce

March 7th, 2019 by

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property in Divorce The marriage of two people joins them together in love and in life. It’s […]

Parental Consent for Treatment of Minors

February 1st, 2019 by

Parental Consent for Treatment of Minors Counselors hold a unique position in society, entrusted with the mental health care of […]

How the Change in Illinois Alimony (Maintenance) Law Affects You

January 29th, 2019 by

How the Change in Illinois Alimony Law (Maintenance) Affects You At the turn of the new year, several new laws went […]

4 Realistic Changes to Make in the New Year

January 10th, 2019 by

It’s a new year and it feels like you should get a reboot, a chance to wipe the slate clean […]

Six Tips for Holiday Survival During Family Upheaval

December 6th, 2018 by

Six Tips for Holiday Survival During Family Upheaval The holiday season brings joy, wonder and the warmth of family and […]

What It Really Takes to Co-Parent After Divorce

November 20th, 2018 by

Separation and divorce disrupts the lives of more than just the two people involved. The ripple effect most significantly affects […]

What is a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity?

October 26th, 2018 by

The birth of a child is almost always a joyful occurrence, with parents celebrating the new life they have brought […]

Self-Care During Divorce is Critical to Mental Health

October 1st, 2018 by

Whether we get divorced in our 20s or 60s, whether it happens quickly or it’s a long time coming, divorce […]

Navigating Grey Divorce & Relating to Your Adult Children

September 25th, 2018 by

Navigating Grey Divorce & Relating to Your Adult Children No matter how old you get, your kids are always your kids. […]

The Importance of State Judicial Elections: Why You Should Be Involved

September 19th, 2018 by

The Importance of State Judicial Elections: Why You Should Be Involved Walking into your polling place, you probably feel confident […]

Senate Bill 2289 Adjusts Maintenance Calculation for Divorce in 2019

August 14th, 2018 by

Legislature Adjusts Maintenance Calculation for Divorce Starting in 2019 In August, 2018, the Illinois Legislature announced several amendments to the […]

Preparing for the Financial Affidavit Process

July 26th, 2018 by

Preparing for the Financial Affidavit Process If you find yourself headed into family court as a party in a divorce, […]

Child Safety Tips Often Overlooked By Parents

June 28th, 2018 by

You know that as a parent, you would do everything in your power to keep your child safe. Whether it’s […]

Failure to Communicate

June 8th, 2018 by

“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” You may not remember or maybe were not born yet when […]

Staying Positive Through Challenging Times

June 8th, 2018 by

3 Simple Tips for Staying Optimistic in Tough Times “Chin up! Everything will be OK.” “You just need to be […]

Break Free From the Paralyzing Pain of Divorce

May 29th, 2018 by

Break Free From the Paralyzing Pain of Divorce Experiencing a divorce brings about an overwhelming jumble of emotions, leaving people […]

Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Divorce

April 30th, 2018 by

How Divorce in Illinois Relates to Substance Abuse With the changes to Illinois law commencing on January 1, 2016, Illinois […]

How Illinois House Bill 4113 Would Affect Families

April 16th, 2018 by

Illinois’ Proposed Equal Parenting Bill Law Would Automatically Divide Parenting Time Equally Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill that would […]

Paw-rental Responsibilities

March 30th, 2018 by

In January 2018,  the implementation of Illinois’ pet custody law has re-defined our pets, from the old definition as “property” […]

Awareness is Power: Cyber Issues and Divorce After 50

March 23rd, 2018 by

Divorce After 50 & The Accompanying Cyber Issues  The percentage of divorcing couples has been on the decline, however, the […]

New Tax Reform and Home Loan Deductions

March 9th, 2018 by

2018 has brought upon a few changes in Illinois family law, but there have also been some changes with federal […]

How Organized Are You Financially? Four Essential Topics Spouses Need to Plan For…..

February 20th, 2017 by

How Organized Are You Financially? Four Essential Topics Spouses Need to Plan For….. What amazes me, as a Financial Planner, […]

Victims’ Economic Security & Safety Act (VESSA)

January 31st, 2017 by

Since the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act of 1986, State and Local levels of government have implemented many programs […]

Financial Focus: Estate Planning Tips for Blended Families

December 27th, 2016 by

Article 9 – Dec. 19, 2016 Adam Underhill Edward Jones Financial Advisor Most of us need to do some type […]

Year-end Tax-smart Investing Ideas

December 15th, 2016 by

    Adam Underhill-Financial Advisor FINANCIAL FOCUS Year-end Tax-smart Investing Ideas By: Edward Jones As 2016 draws to a close […]

Surviving the Holidays – Six Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Blues

December 7th, 2016 by

Holidays are typically both a festive and stressful time for everyone!  The traditions of the season bring joy, but also […]

Estate Planning Issues for Divorced Women

December 7th, 2016 by

By: Sonia D. Coleman Joan was married to Ed for 10 years and had four children.  They divorced and the divorce […]

Financial Planning for Divorced Women

October 21st, 2016 by

Thomas Wagner Wealth Management Advisor GCG Financial, Inc. Three Parkway North Suite 500 Deerfield, IL 60015-2567 847.457.3031 A […]

Divorce: Important First Steps

October 6th, 2016 by

1. Know your rights:  If you’re even considering divorce, spend the money for one consult with a reputable, good attorney […]

The Emotions Of Divorce

September 14th, 2016 by

Making the decision to divorce is never easy. You swing back and forth between feelings of happiness and being on […]

How Divorce Impacts Families

September 7th, 2016 by

As a licensed mental health professional, I work with many individuals, couples, and families who are affected by divorce. I […]

Need Help? Just Ask! Resources To Guide You Through Your Divorce.

August 17th, 2016 by

Divorce can have an long-term effect on individuals. In order to get your life back on track, it is essential […]

What to Expect at a Plenary Order of Protection Hearing

July 29th, 2016 by

A court hearing can be an overwhelming thought to anyone. A hearing for a Plenary Order of Protection may be […]

Divorce and Corporations

May 24th, 2016 by

Many couples today have an interest in some type of corporation, whether it be a family business, a business of […]

You’ve Been Served: The 411 on Subpoenas

September 4th, 2015 by

The infamous “You’ve been served” everyone sees on the latest edition of their favorite legal TV show is common, but […]

The Right to Know: The Discovery Process in Divorce

August 13th, 2015 by

So, you’ve filed for divorce. What happens now? More times than not, cases enter into a phase of divorce known […]

Paternity & The Importance of a VAP

July 21st, 2015 by

The public policy of parenting in Illinois is to recognize “the right of every child to the physical, mental, emotional […]

Ready for Change? Empower Yourself!

February 27th, 2015 by

  We believe in change when it becomes necessary.  We believe in change when the time is right, and we […]

Fear Factors in Divorce

October 31st, 2014 by

At Halloween time, we enjoy the concept of all things spooky. On some level, we love to be scared. The […]

How to Get From Start to Finish

October 10th, 2014 by

Contemplating Divorce is a scary place for most anyone.  The process is something with which most people are completely unfamiliar.  […]

The Importance of Financial Disclosure Statements

September 24th, 2014 by

Most couples have one party who is much more conversant with the income, assets and liabilities of the family. At […]

Employment Benefits and Divorce

September 17th, 2014 by

When navigating the divorce process, it’s important to know that your employment benefits are subject to review. This is an […]

Could it Be Depression?

September 8th, 2014 by

Symptoms and Treatment Depression is a serious illness, not a harmless part of life. It is a complex disorder with a […]

The General Divorce Process

August 28th, 2014 by

The Divorce process itself can be quite daunting. For most clients, it’s a new experience and one likely lacks the […]

New Maintenance Guidelines-Commencing January 1, 2015

August 20th, 2014 by

There are many pieces to the divorce settlement puzzle.  Some pieces have been more clearly defined, such as child support […]

Illinois Child Support Guidelines

August 8th, 2014 by

Child support is a periodic support payment that is often ordered when two parents are no longer living together. Public […]

Courtroom Appearance-What Impression Will You Make?

July 30th, 2014 by

Whether it be a first impression or a lasting one, we can all agree that the impression you make on […]

College Expenses-Navigating Allocation & Your Plan

July 25th, 2014 by

In the last section of our College Expenses series, we address the issue of allocating post-high school expenses and your […]

College Expenses-Navigating What, When & How Much

July 16th, 2014 by

Our previous article entitled “College Expenses-Navigating the Legal Framework” introduced you to the topic and the relative statutes. This section […]

College Expenses-Navigating the Legal Framework

July 10th, 2014 by

Whether your child is a senior contemplating the reality of leaving home and facing the challenges of academia, a Junior […]

The Vacation Guide to Family Fun

June 30th, 2014 by

Summer vacations are a time for family fun and relaxation. Following Divorce, family trips are certainly different than they used […]

Maintenance-What’s Fair?

June 20th, 2014 by

The goal of any Family Law attorney is to secure a fair and reasonable outcome for his or her client. […]

Tips to a Fearless Deposition

June 10th, 2014 by

In Family Law litigation, a deposition may be utilized to obtain information from a party under oath. Illinois law authorizes […]

Patience: A Virtue Needed in Family Law Litigation

May 20th, 2014 by

Everyone recognizes the importance of virtue and striving for moral excellence. We know that patience is a quality which has value […]

Custody Evaluations Defined

May 9th, 2014 by

Is mental health a factor in fighting for custody? The ways in which the mental health field interacts with family […]

A New Season-A New You

April 23rd, 2014 by

After an extremely long winter, spring has finally returned.  We’ve spent several months fighting the urge to hibernate and longing […]

Protecting Your Child’s Credit

April 10th, 2014 by

We have all heard about thieves stealing the identity of one person or another. Maybe you, personally, have been the […]

Mental Health and the Law

April 2nd, 2014 by

Johnston v. Weil: Defining Mental Health Treatment The Illinois Supreme Court issued a major decision regarding the confidentiality of mental health […]

The Right to Information-Discovery in Family Law Cases

March 26th, 2014 by

The division of the finances including assets and debts during a divorce starts with the identification of the assets and […]

Health Care Reform Deadlines

March 5th, 2014 by

On March 31st, 2014, the 1st year of the Health Care Reform Act, (Obamacare) enrollment will come to a close.  As a last reminder, if you are eligible for […]

The Value of a Free Consultation

February 20th, 2014 by

Who says you can’t get something for nothing? We all tend to be skeptical of anything that is “free”, but […]

Combating the Winter Blues

February 10th, 2014 by

Snow storm after snow storm, sub-zero temperatures, endless shoveling and long commutes have many of us singing the blues this […]

Tax Preparation and Divorce

January 28th, 2014 by

Tips from the Family Law Perspective Your marital status on December 31st determines whether you can file your taxes as […]

Illinois Enacts Right of First Refusal

January 20th, 2014 by

Effective January 1, 2014, Illinois has passed a law specifically authorizing the right of first refusal with respect to child […]

How Does The New 2014 Health Care Law Affect You?

January 12th, 2014 by

The new health care law has expanded health insurance with more benefits for more people and more affordable coverage for […]

Family Law and Matters of the Heart

January 9th, 2014 by

Retainer fees, contract negotiations and court dates. These are some things that may come to mind when you think of […]

Welcome to Our Family Law Blog

January 3rd, 2014 by

Welcome to our Family Law blog! Gwendolyn J. Sterk and the Family Law Group practices all areas of Family Law […]

A New Perspective: Happy Holidays After Divorce

December 4th, 2013 by

As the holidays arrive, so does the familiarity of the season’s routine. The decorating, shopping, and cooking are, once again, […]

Economic Recovery After A Life Change

November 2nd, 2013 by

Develop a new Estate Plan and Will. Make sure your Powers of Attorney are updated and complete. Meet with a […]

Back To School – Quick Tips For Parents

August 4th, 2013 by

Beginning a new school year gives a fresh start to improve our behavior during a divorce. Your children deserve the […]

How To Forgive Another Person For Past Hurts

April 14th, 2013 by

No one gets through life without being hurt by another person. We all have experienced the pain of a thoughtless […]

Support to Empowerment: Divorce Groups for Women

September 29th, 2012 by

Beyond Support…to Empowerment While scanning the Calendar of Events section in my local paper, I took note of the various […]

Military Issues in Divorce

October 23rd, 2011 by

With almost three million active Service Members and reservists in the U.S., as well as many military veterans, military issues […]

Civil Unions in Illinois

August 3rd, 2011 by

On June 1, 2011, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act took effect. This law provides for the […]

Divorce Considerations: Gathering Digital Information

June 22nd, 2011 by

When contemplating or in the process of a divorce, one important task is to collect as much information as you […]

Unemployment: Supporting Your Family & Post-Decree Modification

November 27th, 2010 by

AN OVERVIEW OF THE IMPACT OF UNEMPLOYMENT ON SUPPORT Effective August 2010, the unemployment rate in Illinois was at 10.1%, […]

The Cost of Raising A Child: All About Child Support

October 13th, 2010 by

WHO GETS IT, WHO PAYS IT, AND IS IT EVER ENOUGH? In September of 2010, The New York Post reported […]

Simplicity By Purging: Redirecting Your Energy To Moving Forward With Your Family

March 24th, 2010 by

Recovery from divorce requires, among other things, the act of purging. Redirecting your energies into tasks that will help you […]

Your Family and A New Years Resolution

December 30th, 2009 by

MAKE 2010 YOUR YEAR OF FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT  In today’s society, our dismal national economy keeps financial issues at the forefront […]