Blog Archives

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. […]

Child Support Arrearage and Your CARES Act Stimulus Check

April 3rd, 2020 by

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act for short. […]

Coping With The Stress of The COVID-19 Virus

April 2nd, 2020 by

Contributed by Associates in Professional Counseling Life has changed as we have known it – and fast. The COVID 19 […]

Pick Your Battles and Fight Fairly

April 1st, 2020 by

Conflict and disagreements are bound to happen in any relationship and within a family.  Being confided in your home, with […]

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 […]

Child Support in Illinois – It’s Not What It Used to Be

March 30th, 2020 by

Prior to July 1, 2017, child support in Illinois used to be calculated as a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s […]

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 […]

Caring for Our Senior Community

March 28th, 2020 by

As we know, the senior community is one of the most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many seniors cannot […]

Keeping the Faith

March 27th, 2020 by

At first, the spread of COVID-19 was isolated in the far East. Business had carried on as usual and some […]

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 […]

Tips for Working at Home During Quarantine

March 25th, 2020 by

With the enactment of Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-10, many of us are now working from home when we have […]

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 […]

Special Issues for Children with Special Needs During The Pandemic

March 23rd, 2020 by

The special concerns are never-ending for families with children with special needs.  This pandemic is no different.  As stay-at-home orders […]

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 […]

How You Can Help Small Business & Feed Your Family During the COVID-19 Crisis

March 21st, 2020 by

During these uncertain times, many restaurants are offering takeout, delivery and curbside service to help in surviving this crisis.  Other […]

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 […]

Budgeting During a Crisis—Tips to Help Financial Stability Amid COVID-19

March 19th, 2020 by

With the COVID-19 national emergency, there’s been a lot of talk of self-quarantining for a minimum of two weeks, and […]

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 […]

Protecting Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak

March 12th, 2020 by

Contributed by: Sue Denk, Psy. D, LCPC Human beings like certainty.  We are hard-wired to want to know what is […]

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 […]

FMLA for Parents of Children with Special Needs

February 13th, 2020 by

Sometimes it feels like the doctor appointments, therapy appointments, meetings, and the like are never-ending when you have a child […]

Understanding the details of your divorce decree

February 5th, 2020 by

When you’re wrapped up in the emotion of a divorce, your eyes might glaze over to the details. At the […]

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 […]

Separate Your Assets When Considering Divorce

November 27th, 2019 by

If you and your spouse have separated in contemplation of divorce, it’s prudent to take stock of many areas in […]

3 Steps in the Illinois Divorce Process

November 21st, 2019 by

Starting a divorce proceeding feels like beginning any difficult task — you simply want it to be over as quickly […]

How Divorce Differs from Annulment (Invalidity of Marriage)

November 15th, 2019 by

Divorce and Annulment (invalidity of marriage) are distinct legal determinations that sever marriages in different ways. In Illinois annulment is […]

How to calculate Illinois spousal support in 2019

October 16th, 2019 by

Spousal support, which is known to many people as alimony, is payment made from one former spouse to the other […]

What are the Benefits of an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement?

September 12th, 2019 by

Though we mostly hear about “prenups” in tabloids and on TV, you don’t need to be a celebrity to sign […]

Cohabitation Agreements to Protect a Couple’s Interests

August 28th, 2019 by

If you’re in an unmarried but serious relationship, setting out a cohabitation agreement could be one of the most important things you and your partner do together.

New Pet Custody Law Further Protects Pets During Divorce

August 19th, 2019 by

Pets in Illinois recently gained an extra layer of protection against mistreatment, with help from legislation passed by the state […]

How to Write a Promissory Note For Personal Loans

July 30th, 2019 by

It feels good to help a family member or friend by loaning them money, especially if they’re facing eviction, repossession […]

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 […]

What Family Law Attorneys Should Do For You

June 3rd, 2019 by

What Family Law Attorneys Should Do For You More than any other type of legal practice, family law attorneys and […]

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 […]

Rebuilding Trust with Children After an Affair

March 14th, 2019 by

Rebuilding Trust with Children After an Affair Parents spend a good amount of time trying to keep their children from […]

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, […]

Protect Yourself From Threatening Behavior in a Relationship

July 11th, 2018 by

There’s no single template for a violent or abusive relationship. Anyone can fall victim to domestic violence or threatening behavior […]

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 […]

Tips For Moving On After a Divorce

February 22nd, 2018 by

You’ve probably asked yourself, “Will I ever get over my divorce?” Divorce often may feel like an end to a […]

The Illinois Divorce Process

January 31st, 2018 by

Marriage, from a legal standpoint, is a civil matter — and so is divorce. The state of Illinois grants both […]

2018 Will Bring More Changes to Maintenance Guidelines

January 8th, 2018 by

Once again, the maintenance laws are going through some changes. Effective June 1, 2018, new guidelines will be in effect […]

The New Illinois Pet Custody Law

December 28th, 2017 by

The New Illinois Pet Custody Law On January 1, 2018, family law in Illinois includes changes regarding the “custody” of […]

College Expense Contributions for Divorced Families

December 12th, 2017 by

College Expense Contributions for Divorced Families With the sweeping changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, effective […]

The Epidemic of Bullying

September 19th, 2017 by

Bullying is a multi-layered cross-cultural plague. Our children are like little sponges, but with limited ability to filter and differentiate […]

Reconciliation Using the Gottman Method

August 23rd, 2017 by

What is The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy? The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy is based upon 38 years of […]

Real Estate and Divorce

July 27th, 2017 by

The divorce process is difficult. An issue that can further complicate the divorce process is if what happens to the […]

Bullying 101

July 5th, 2017 by

Bullying 101 When most people hear the term “bullying”, they can relate this experience to something that has happened to […]

Debt To Income Ratio

June 5th, 2017 by

Debt To Income Ratio When applying for a mortgage, you’ll hear a great deal about your debt-to-income ratio. This is […]

Repairing Credit Prior to Purchasing

May 15th, 2017 by

Repairing Credit Prior to Purchasing Credit repair is no small feat, but remember – it’s possible, although it could take […]

Stepparenting 101

May 2nd, 2017 by

Stepparenting 101 5 Tips To Prepare You To Step In With the formation of a stepfamily, it is more than […]

Financial Tips for Newly Single Women

April 10th, 2017 by

Financial Tips for Newly Single Women Within a marriage, a man and a woman’s financial circumstances are generally pretty much […]

Choosing a Mortgage Lender

April 7th, 2017 by

Shopping for a lender can seem like a daunting task, but the good news is that you probably already have […]

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 […]

Men Also Experience Domestic Violence

July 6th, 2016 by

Typically, when we hear about issues with domestic violence it is assumed the abuser is a man. However, this is […]

Where and When to file an Order of Protection

June 29th, 2016 by

Filing for an Emergency Order of Protection should be done as soon as possible after an abusive incident. Judges consider […]

Five Tips to Being Successful in Court

June 1st, 2016 by

Five Tips to Being Successful in Court Outside of a traffic ticket, this may be your first real trip to […]

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 […]

The Ins and Outs of Parenting Time: 6 Tips

April 4th, 2016 by

The Parenting time process for either parent may bring a mix of emotions for each parent. 6 Tips to Help […]

The Truth About Social Media and Your Divorce

March 28th, 2016 by

  Not many think in –depth about what their recent Facebook “check-in” or harmless Instagram upload of their new shoes […]

Modern Family: Waiting Periods

March 2nd, 2016 by

As previously discussed, there will only be no-fault divorces granted under the new Senate Bill 57. Along with the no-fault […]

Interrogatories: How an Overwhelming Task Might Help Win Your Case

February 3rd, 2016 by

Often, the most overwhelming part of a divorce case is discovery which begins with interrogatories. Basically, interrogatories are a long […]

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 […]