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When we hear the word “addiction,” most of us assume the addiction is a substance abuse problem. However, many people suffer from addictions that are not related to drugs and alcohol in any way. A shopping addiction, also called compulsive shopping or compulsive buying, can be a major problem that has significant implications on a person’s life as well as the lives of family members. If your spouse is a compulsive shopper or simply spends too much money on unneeded items, you may have concerns about how this excessive spending will influence your divorce. Protecting Your Financial Future Most…
The term “self-care” refers to actions a person takes to protect their own physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Although everyone should be practicing good self-care, prioritizing your health during divorce is crucial. Divorce ranks as the second-most stressful life event according to the research conducted by psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. Fortunately, there are many actions that you can take to reduce your stress and improve your ability to cope during and after your Illinois divorce. Coping with Divorce By Recognizing and Prioritizing Your Needs If you are like many adults, you probably put other people’s needs far above…
The wish to share your life with a romantic partner is human nature. After you decide to file for divorce, you may be eager to find a boyfriend or girlfriend who can become the loving partner you wished your soon-to-be ex-spouse would have been. You may have even decided to end your marriage because you met someone else. While the desire to date before a divorce is finalized is understandable, dating during divorce can negatively impact the outcome of your divorce in several different ways. Legal Implications of Dating During Divorce You may be shocked to learn that adultery…
There are two types of divorce cases in Illinois: contested and uncontested. If you and your spouse cannot agree about the terms of your divorce, your divorce is contested. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be able to reach an agreement about divorce issues through negotiation, mediation, or collaborative law. If you cannot reach a settlement outside of court, your case will go to trial. Although divorce can vary from case to case, there are several basic steps involved in the contested divorce process in Illinois. What to Expect During the Contested Divorce Process Reaching an agreement about asset and…
Leaving the workforce to become a full-time mother or father can be a huge advantage to your children as well as a risky career move. When you first decided to stay home with your children, you probably made the choice because it was in your children’s best interests. You placed your own professional goals on hold for the betterment of your family and trusted that your spouse’s income would sustain you. Now that you are facing the end of your marriage, you may have major concerns about the financial consequences brought on by the impending divorce. Fortunately, Illinois law…
Research shows that approximately 60 percent of married individuals have committed some form of infidelity during their marriage. Marital infidelity may range from brief emotional affairs to long-term extramarital relationships. While some married couples can overcome an affair and rebuild a trusting relationship, others cannot and choose to divorce. If you have decided to end your marriage and infidelity played a role in the decision, you probably have questions about how the cheating will impact your divorce. Affairs can lead to legal implications as well as emotional complications during the divorce process. Grounds for Divorce in Illinois The spouse…
Spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony, can be a valuable source of financial support following a divorce. However, the order for spousal maintenance may become inappropriate if either party’s financial circumstances change dramatically. If you are currently paying spousal support to your ex-spouse or you are the recipient of maintenance payments, you may have questions about how and when a spousal maintenance order can be changed. Illinois courts only grant spousal support modifications if certain qualifying criteria are met.   Alimony May Be Modified if There is a Substantial Change in Circumstances   A spousal maintenance obligation typically…
Marriages end for countless reasons. Some spouses simply grow apart while others experience a major breach in trust that brings the relationship to a screeching halt. If an issue such as infidelity has led to the breakdown of your marriage, there may be a great deal of tension and resentment between you and your spouse. If you are a parent, you are probably worried about how this tension will affect your children. Fortunately, there is considerable research about the effects of high-conflict divorce on children and the steps that parents can take to reduce their children’s stress during this tumultuous…
Collaborative divorce is a process during which divorcing spouses, their attorneys, and other relevant professionals work together to reach an agreement about unresolved divorce issues. When spouses use collaborative law to settle the terms of their divorce, they avoid stressful courtroom litigation while still benefiting from their lawyers’ legal guidance and protection. Collaborative divorce may be right for you if you and your spouse do not see eye to eye regarding the terms of your divorce but you are willing to negotiate these issues amicably and cooperatively. The collaborative law process may help you and your spouse reach an agreement…
Illinois is an equitable distribution state when it comes to the division of assets in a divorce. This means that marital assets are divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, based on the spouse’s financial circumstances, employability, health, and more. Whether a couple is determining their own asset and property division arrangement or the court is issuing a property division judgment, a complete and accurate inventory of the couple’s assets must be taken. If a spouse owns complex assets such as a business, the value of those assets must be determined before the property can be equitably distributed. A…
You may be surprised to learn that the divorce rate for adults over 50 has more than doubled in the last several decades. Called “gray divorce,” divorce involving older adults often presents unique challenges. One of these challenges involves the division of retirement funds. If you have been out of the workforce for many years, you may be worried about making ends meet without your spouse’s retirement benefits. If you were the main income earner during the marriage, you may have concerns about how much of your hard-earned retirement funds will be awarded to your spouse. Read on to learn…
Every parent should understand his or her parental rights under Illinois law. If you are a father or soon will be and you are unmarried, taking action to protect your parental rights is essential. When a married couple has a child, the husband of the woman who gave birth is automatically presumed to be the biological and legal parent of the child. However, if you are unmarried at the time of your child’s birth, you will need to take certain steps to establish yourself as the child’s legal parent. This is crucial in protecting your parental rights, including your right…
When a married couple decides to divorce, one of the most pressing concerns often involves the family home. If you are a homeowner and you are considering divorce, you may wonder what Illinois law says about who gets to continue living in the family home and who must find another place to live during the divorce proceedings. As with most family law concerns, the answers to these questions will vary dramatically depending on the circumstances of the case. However, there are some situations in which a spouse may be ordered to vacate the family home. Negotiating an Agreement With…
You may be surprised to learn that although the overall divorce rate is declining in the United States, divorce among spouses over age 50 has dramatically increased. Research shows that the rate at which older adults get divorced in this country has doubled since the 1990s. This may be due to increasing life spans, a reduction in the stigma associated with divorce, or simply because older adults want to enjoy their retirement years on their own terms. Whatever the reason, if you are over age 50 and considering a so-called “gray divorce,” you should know that it may involve…
The division of assets is often one of the most complex aspects of a divorce case. Whether spouses negotiate their own property division agreement, or the court makes a decision on their behalf, a fair asset division arrangement can only be reached when both spouses are honest and forthcoming about their finances. However, spouses are not always as truthful as they should be. Some divorcing spouses may attempt to influence property distribution during divorce by withholding or falsifying information. If you are getting divorced, and you are worried that your spouse may lie about financial information in an attempt to…