Family & Divorce

Historically speaking, the decisions made in a divorce case largely favored the woman. When spousal maintenance, or alimony, was awarded, the woman was usually the recipient. Family courts were also more likely to award the woman in a divorce case child custody, believing it was in the best interests of the child to stay with their mother. These patterns in history have led many men to believe they are already at a disadvantage before their divorce case even starts, but that is not the case. Today in Illinois, family law judges only consider what is fair when making decisions on…
It is no secret that divorce can be messy. Emotions and tensions can run high, causing large amounts of stress that not everyone can handle. In some situations, a spouse may end up just fleeing or leaving the state entirely to get away from the situation or in an attempt to avoid getting a divorce. In other situations, a person may end up filing for divorce because their spouse has already disappeared. Whatever the situation, an absent spouse can be frustrating and can add steps to the divorce process, but it is still possible to complete the divorce, even…
Spouses need to address many different types of legal and financial matters when getting divorced, and attempting to understand the laws that apply to them and the terminology used in their case can sometimes be overwhelming. Spouses who own assets such as retirement accounts or pensions may have heard that they should use a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). By understanding what this type of order covers and when it should be used, spouses can make sure they will be able to divide their marital assets correctly while addressing any related financial issues. Using a QDRO to Divide Retirement…
The charges a person will face when they are accused of driving under the influence will largely depend on their prior criminal record. Specifically, any prior DUI convictions the accused has on their record will be considered. However, the courts will only look back on a certain period of time when determining the sentence for someone convicted of a DUI. This is known as the lookback period. Typical time frames for loopback periods in other states are five to ten years, and when a person has a DUI conviction that occurred before that period, the court will not consider it.…
The make-up of the American family has changed dramatically over the last 100 years. One of the trends taking place throughout the United States is an increase in the average ages of marrying couples. Both men and women are getting married later in life. In 1960, the average age of first-time brides and grooms was 20 and 22, respectively. Presently, the average ages of first-time brides and grooms are closer to 30. This change has affected family law concerns, including prenuptial agreements and divorce. Individuals Getting Married Are More Like to Have Significant Assets and Debts Couples used to…
For anyone walking down the aisle anytime soon, some data regarding divorce should be encouraging in terms of the future of your relationship: The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) reports that divorces have been steadily decreasing in the U.S. over the last few decades, hitting a record low of 14.9 divorces for every 1,000 marriages in 2019. This is the biggest drop in more than 50 years, surpassing the rate of 15 divorces per 1,000 marriages in 1970. Even better news is that the duration of current marriages increased by one year over the period from 2010 to 2019. These…
One of the most difficult decisions you may ever be faced with is determining when the time is right for a divorce. All couples go through periods of being unhappy, but when it becomes a frequent occurrence, you may begin to wonder whether or not you would be happier alone.  In most cases, there is some form of resentment during the divorce, whether it is about a specific issue, or the divorce itself. In many cases, this can lead to mistrust. Even though you are ending your relationship, there are many things that require a level of trust during a…
In Illinois, parties to a divorce are often required to complete a financial affidavit. A financial affidavit is a legal document used to declare the income, expenses, assets and property, and outstanding debts of each spouse. Parties to a divorce have a basic duty to make full and transparent financial disclosures. Unfortunately, not everyone plays by the rules. If you believe your former partner is hiding assets, your rights are being violated. Fortunately, there are tools you can use to help uncover property and assets that are being improperly concealed by your spouse. How Do I Know if My…
If you are considering ways to provide for a loved one with special needs, you have probably discovered the inherent conflict with giving money directly: Any funds you contribute could make this individual ineligible for benefits under the Social Security SSI program, Medicaid, and other forms of public assistance. Your heart may be in the right place, but you could be doing more harm than good when it comes to qualifying for needs-based programs that focus on income and assets. With this information in mind, you may have also come across special needs trusts when researching ways to provide…
When a couple no longer wants to be married and live together, they may get a divorce or they may become legally separated. Unlike many states, Illinois does still recognize legal separations and there are many reasons a couple may decide to get one. However, when a couple does obtain a legal separation, it sometimes leads to many questions. One of these is whether they are still eligible to get a divorce once they have legally separated. In short, being legally separated does not prevent a couple from officially ending their marriage in divorce in the future. Reasons for Legal…
Though getting a divorce is often the right decision for personal reasons, you may find yourself at risk of financial hardship without your spouse’s income, especially if your own earning ability is limited. Petitioning for spousal maintenance can help you meet your needs after the divorce, but these support payments usually have an end date, and they can terminate earlier than expected under certain circumstances. With this in mind, it is a good idea to start planning for your future as soon as possible. How Long Will Support Payments Continue? When an Illinois court determines that spousal support is appropriate,…
When a couple gets divorced in Illinois, all of their financial assets will need to be considered in order to determine a fair distribution of marital property. Many people are aware that this includes properties like the marital home, vehicles, and joint bank accounts, but it also includes some assets that you may not expect, like businesses and individual retirement accounts. One of the most complicated kinds of assets that may need to be divided in a divorce is a settlement or verdict from a civil lawsuit. Dividing Personal Injury Settlements and Other Lawsuit Awards Illinois law differentiates between…
Many people aspire to notoriety. However, few realize that there are also downsides to being in the public eye. Many recognizable individuals find themselves subject to public scrutiny and privacy violations. If you or your spouse are well-known, you may have concerns about how you can protect your privacy during divorce. The end of your marriage is a deeply personal matter, and it should never serve as entertainment or gossip for others. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to protect yourself in a high-profile divorce. Consider Using a Non-Disclosure Agreement A confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement…
If what you know about paternity comes from daytime soap operas, TV dramas, or blockbuster films, there is a strong possibility that you do not have a clear picture of how the laws work in Illinois. You probably understand the fundamental principle under state statutes on parentage, which is that all children are entitled to the physical, mental, emotional, and monetary support of both parents. However, if parents were not married when the child was conceived and/or born, serious disputes can develop over these responsibilities. When you realize that there is a lot you do not know about paternity proceedings,…
The silver lining of a separation or divorce is the possibility of meeting someone new. If you have found love after a failed marriage, you are probably eager to start your new life with this person. If you are a parent, this may include introducing your new partner to your children. The introduction of a new romantic interest after a separation can sometimes be difficult for children to handle, so it is important to be intentional about this event. Wait Until You Are Divorced For many people, a marriage is over long before the couple actually finalizes their divorce. If…
The divorce of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West made headlines around the world recently. There have been varying opinions about the divorce since it was announced, but one thing is certain. The divorce case is likely to be quite complex, even though the couple had a premarital agreement in place. Kim and Kanye, however, are not the first couple to go through a complex divorce, and they will not be the last, either. Below are some of the factors that can make a divorce case complex. Distinguishing Separate Property from Marital Property In a divorce, only marital property is divided.…