Ask Kym: How Do I Co-Parent Amidst COVID-19?

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In the past few days, we have had numerous calls on this issue.  While there is no clear law as to what rules apply to parenting time and visitation during a pandemic like COVID-19, since this is an unprecedented global health crisis, I wanted to provide some suggestions to our clients and potential clients who co-parent.  Please remember that although …

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Overview of the Uniform Child Custody Enforcement Act

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In way of background, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act was enacted in 1968.  It was revisited an amended 30 years later with the formation of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act in 1997.  It has been adopted in all 50 states and was adopted in Illinois in 2003. Definition of Child Custody Proceeding – this includes proceedings involving legal …

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COBRA Basics for Divorcing Families

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As a divorce attorney, I get a lot of questions about Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”).  More specific information relating to your family’s health insurance should be investigated by you and your spouse via the applicable employer. Generally speaking, COBRA is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and applies to covered employees, their spouses, their former …

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Ask Kym: Can I Modify Spousal Maintenance in New York if I Have a Child in New Marriage?

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Babies are expensive.  Getting married is expensive.  Having a wife is expensive.  All of these are considerations to be had when you have support obligations arising out of a first marriage.  Many people think that since the payor (the one paying support) has a “new family,” the obligation to the first spouse will cease.  This is not the case. In …

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NALC Fact Sheet: Custody and Visitation Issues for Divorcing Farm and Ranch Families

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This is always a hot topic in divorce, but in particular with farm and ranch families.  I worked on Fact Sheets for family law issues affecting agriculture for the National Agriculture Law Center.  You can read my Fact Sheet on children issues including “custody and visitation” here.

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Family Law Issues in Agriculture: Equitable Distribution

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Equitable distribution (“ED”) is the allocation of the marital estate in a divorce. Importantly, not all states are equitable distribution states; instead, states like Texas and California are community property states. The majority of states are equitable distribution states, but it is important to confirm this with a licensed attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. In way of background, property in …

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Ask Cari: What are Some Considerations for Farm or Ranch Divorces?

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Since practicing family law in Central Illinois, I have had a lot of farm divorces.  Hear me discuss three considerations for farm and ranch families going through a divorce here.

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Family Law Issues in Agriculture: Prenuptial Agreements

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Prenuptial agreements are oftentimes viewed as taboo; instead, farmers, ranchers, agribusiness owners, and food entrepreneurs should view prenuptial agreements like an insurance policy for a marriage. Nobody gets on an airplane thinking that it is going to crash, but you still go over the safety instructions. A prenuptial agreement simply notes the safety instructions in case the marriage terminates for …

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Family Law Issues in Agriculture: Orders of Protection

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An Order of Protection is available for parties who are being stalked, harassed, or abused by their partner (physically, verbally, or sexually). It is available not only for romantic relationships (e.g., spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend), but also other family relationships (e.g., between a farmer landlord uncle and farmer tenant niece). Although the procedures for filing and defending against an order of protection …

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Family Law Issues in Agriculture: Keeping the Business Intact

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Most parties going through a divorce do not consider the option of keeping the farm business intact. Everyone’s brains (including the lawyers’) typically go to dividing the farm/ranch assets, along with its inventory. However, there is another option: keeping the business intact. This has several advantages, especially if this is a multi-generational farm family business. This requires careful planning and …

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Family Law Issues with Agriculture: Estate and Succession Planning

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It is uncommon for agriculture producers and business owners to consider estate planning and succession planning for their agriculture operation in the midst of a divorce; however, divorcing farm families should consider this while negotiating the division of marital assets. These assets may include the farm or ranch business and its assets. After all, divorce is one of the Big …

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Family Law Issues in Agriculture: Animal Issues

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Divorces among farm families inherently have animal issues – not only with live animals but also with genetic material (e.g., embryos, semen). These are important property disputes for some farm families. Depending on the state, companion animals can be treated differently. Companion Animals To begin, companion animals typically include dogs and cats, but can also include some exotic animals and …

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