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A divorce is hard under the best of circumstances, especially when children are involved. Many times, disputes over parental rights and responsibilities can resemble all-out, head-to-head battles, with each parent fighting tooth and nail for their own individual interests: Maximum child custody, maximum parenting time (visitation), all at the expense of the other parent. In addition, there is frequently a large dose of resentment and ill will added in. What is all too often undervalued in this scenario is the one factor that the courts will ultimately use most to decide the final parenting plan: What is best
Continue Reading Considering Divorce? Your Child’s Best Interests Come First

As the population of Illinois ages, many of us are facing difficult choices where our parents are becoming less mentally capable of making important decisions in their lives. One of the common ways to handle this situation is to seek guardianship from the courts. If granted this guardianship, you would be able to manage their affairs such as their finances, living arrangements, and medical treatment.
But there are also a number of potential drawbacks to consider. First, these wards (those being cared for) can feel extremely limited and frustrated by this loss of independence and reduced control over their lives.
Continue Reading 4 Alternatives to Adult Guardianship of Our Parents

Living with domestic violence can be confusing. Just when a bad temper or action actually crosses the line may not always be so easy to determine. In our state, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act gives you and your children the right to feel safe in your own home. That means beyond the reach of unwanted contact, physical violence, or even verbal harassment. The law spells out which acts are illegal to carry out in which types of relationships. And if it becomes necessary, it gives you the right to get an order of protection from a court to maintain
Continue Reading Am I the Victim of Domestic Violence in Illinois?

When you or your spouse own or have an interest in a business, these holdings could become a major source of contention during divorce. Often, each spouse will have their own ideas about the valuation of the business and how it should be divided. Over the past two decades, Calabrese Associates, P.C. has helped numerous business owners protect their rights and investments in even the most complex circumstances. Here are some of the issues you may encounter:
Business Valuation
The first step after determining which business holdings may be considered marital property is to conduct a thorough and detailed
Continue Reading How to Protect Your Business Interests in an Illinois Divorce

The division of assets and debts is a crucial aspect of any divorce case. Unfortunately, with the breakdown of trust in a marriage, one spouse may feel entitl​​ed to the lion’s share of assets in a divorce—and may even begin concealing some property to protect it from division. Obviously, the better picture you have of those assets, the better your chances of a fair and equitable property distribution. These three strategies will help you get what you are entitled to in your divorce.
Get Professional Legal Help
If discovering hidden marital property seems like an impossible task, you may
Continue Reading Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets During Your Divorce? 3 Ways to Get Your Fair Share

Getting a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you are preparing for divorce–far from it. Couples who are able to successfully negotiate a prenuptial agreement show excellent communication and compromise skills, which are both indicative of a strong couple. Prenuptial agreements can actually cover more than just divorce terms, and can also help couples who do make it until death do they part. However, there is always a chance that you will one day decide to split up, in which case your prenuptial agreement can protect both of you. There are also legal safeguards in place to prevent a drastically
Continue Reading Top 6 Reasons DuPage County Couples Should Have a Prenuptial Agreement

It is simple fact that every child has a biological mother and a biological father. Whether the child was conceived through assisted reproductive technology like surrogacy, adopted, or conceived naturally, there are two biological parents. However, being a biological parent does not mean that you are your child’s legal parent as well–nor does being a child’s legal parent mean that you must be a biological parent. Parentage issues can be quite complicated, but establishing parentage may or may not be. Illinois is a rather progressive state when it comes to parentage issues. If you have concerns about establishing that you
Continue Reading Is My Child Legally My Child?

Divorce can be difficult and complicated for anyone. Even for spouses who do not share many assets, there can still be quite a lot of conflict during a divorce. However, if you and your spouse–or one of you alone–hold assets of significant value, the road to a final divorce decree can be even rockier. Dividing your assets is likely to be the most time-consuming and legally difficult part of your divorce. Even sorting out who actually owns what can be difficult if your marriage lasted more than a few years. You may endure more conflict throughout. It is critical that
Continue Reading What to Expect in a DuPage County High-Asset Divorce

When mediation works, it can be a great solution during a divorce. It costs less than litigation, and it often gets you a final divorce decree much faster so you can move on with your life. However, mediation requires a certain amount of cooperation from both parties. That means that mediation is not going to work for every divorcing couple. Some spouses refuse to participate in good faith or to make reasonable concessions. Attorney-facilitated negotiation can fail for the same reasons. If you suspect that your spouse will not work with you during the divorce process, it is particularly
Continue Reading Top 5 Reasons DuPage Spouses Resort to Divorce Litigation

The worst nightmare of many people comes true when their spouse unexpectedly asks for a divorce. Sometimes the marriage may not be going well, but reconciliation seems likely; other times, the announcement comes completely out of the blue. It can be frightening and difficult to know what to do, and the idea of hiring a divorce attorney may seem painful and unnecessary. 
But if you have been surprised by a request for a divorce, it is important to take your spouse seriously and not put off taking practical actions. You may eventually be able to change your spouse’s mind,
Continue Reading What Should I Do If My Spouse Surprised Me By Asking For a Divorce? 

Couples engaged to be married in DuPage County may choose not to create a prenuptial agreement for several reasons. They may feel that such an agreement detracts from their commitment, or they may believe they do not have sufficient assets to justify the time and expense required to create such a contract. However, once a couple has gotten married, the benefits of a similar contract – the postnuptial agreement – may become clear. Creating a postnup does not mean you plan to get divorced; rather, it allows spouses to protect each other if a divorce does happen. Couples create postnups
Continue Reading Does it Make Sense For Us to Sign a Postnuptial Agreement in Illinois? 

Although some people choose to continue living in the same house with their ex-partner or try the “birds nest” living arrangement after a divorce, couples getting divorced in Illinois nearly always relocate. Whether to be closer to family, to pursue a new job, or to try to start fresh after a painful separation, relocation with a child following divorce is common enough that some parents choose to include special provisions for relocation in the parenting plan in their divorce agreement. While Illinois laws concerning child relocation still apply, parents can agree to stricter or more personalized details in their
Continue Reading Should We Include a Plan for Relocation in Our Illinois Parenting Agreement? 

Since Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into law in 2019, many Hoosiers have used recreational marijuana. Marijuana is widely available and some people who use it find themselves struggling to regulate their use. Likewise, although alcohol is legal, people who drink sometimes struggle with how often or how much they drink. Prescription drugs can also be misused or present a hazard when used in conjunction with important responsibilities, like driving a car or providing childcare. While the use of these intoxicants is not illegal, certain behaviors–such as drinking and driving–can get a user
Continue Reading Can Using Legal Drugs Affect My Parenting Time in Illinois? 

After a couple’s last child moves out of the family home, the couple will often experience something known as an “empty nest syndrome.” While many parents frequently look forward to the day that they will reclaim some of their time and their space without the challenges of raising young children, the same parents are often surprised by how blue they feel once their children are actually gone.
Without the demands of young children requiring their constant focus, many spouses begin reflecting on their lives from a new perspective. With a better understanding of the time that has passed and the
Continue Reading Why Do So Many People File for Divorce in Illinois When Their Last Child Leaves Home? 

When large discrepancies in income exist between former spouses, or when one spouse gave up significant employment opportunities to raise children or care for a home, spousal maintenance may be awarded. Not every Illinois divorce involves spousal maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support), but when it is fair and appropriate, spousal maintenance must be negotiated. But how much is fair? And how are amounts and the length of payments determined? Here are three factors to consider if you are negotiating spousal maintenance in your Illinois divorce. 
What Was the Marital Standard of Living? 
Spousal maintenance is not determined
Continue Reading Three Things to Consider When Determining a Spousal Maintenance Agreement in Illinois

 Divorced and separated parents frequently disagree about child support. The parent who is ordered to pay often feels as though the money is not being used correctly, and the receiving parent often feels as though the payments are insufficient to meet the child’s needs. Sometimes a parent will fail to pay child support because he or she feels the amount is unfair or because it seems impossible to afford it. 
But no matter the reason, Illinois takes failure to pay child support seriously. Unpaid child support places the full financial burden of raising a child on one parent
Continue Reading Help! My Child’s Other Parent Will Not Pay Child Support in Illinois