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The prenuptial agreement, more commonly known as just a prenup, is a contract between spouses that both parties sign before a marriage that decides how assets will be distributed in the event of a divorce. Many people are reluctant to sign prenuptial agreements because they believe that doing so creates an impression that divorce will be more likely, but prenuptial agreements can serve many important purposes.
The biggest benefit to having a prenuptial agreement is that property division in a divorce can be much more streamlined and involve far less dispute. People could have many other reasons for signing prenuptial
Continue Reading Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Illinois is an equitable division state when it comes to property division in a divorce, but not all assets are necessarily easy to split. When one spouse begins a business during a marriage, the company typically becomes marital property. Both spouses have a right to an equitable share of marital property.
Even when a spouse starts a business before getting married, the company can still become marital property if both parties’ funds were used in the company or the non-owning partner makes any contributions to a business. There are steps people can take to protect their businesses in a divorce
Continue Reading Protecting Businesses During Divorces in DuPage County

The general rule with a divorce decree or order for child support, child custody, or spousal maintenance is that the order becomes final as soon as it is entered, but there are certain situations that warrant post-decree modifications. A modification usually requires a significant change in circumstances for one of the parties necessitating a change, and you will want to seek the help of a Naperville modifications attorney.
Reasons for Modifications
Courts in Illinois only agree to modify court orders when petitioners have valid reasons for seeking an adjustment to the terms of a court order. Some of the
Continue Reading How to Modify a Divorce Decree in DuPage County

In some divorce cases, a spouse may seek payments for maintenance, which used to be more commonly known as alimony or spousal support. When a court in Illinois is considering a spousal maintenance case, it is generally going to have to review a number of factors before determining if maintenance is justified, how much it should be, and how long it will last.
People who are dealing with spousal maintenance as part of their divorce will want to seek legal representation for assistance filing their claims, whether they are the party seeking spousal maintenance or the party being asked to
Continue Reading Calculating Maintenance Payments in Illinois

There are many disabled adults who are completely independent and living productive and normal lives. However, other adults with certain disabilities may not be able to manage their affairs on their own and could benefit from having a legal guardian. A legal guardian for an adult is a fiduciary tasked with managing a disabled person’s finances and other aspects of their life to ensure that the ward is safe and well-cared for. If you have a disabled loved one you are concerned about, such as an elderly parent or disabled child who is turning 18 years old, you may
Continue Reading Who Is Considered a Disabled Adult for Purposes of Seeking Guardianship?

Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can be used for a variety of purposes before or during a marriage. These agreements are contracts between couples who are married or are going to be married. Spouses or spouses-to-be can take steps such as setting aside separate property and reaching advance agreements regarding how property is to be divided in the event of a divorce. However, there are issues other than a potential divorce that can be addressed in the context of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Many spouses also use their marital contracts to address the possibility that the marriage will terminate only
Continue Reading Actions Illinois Couples Can Take Using a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement

Child support payments are calculated according to statutory guidelines. Child support payments may be ordered incident to a divorce, or for parents who were never married. These payments may be ordered judicially or administratively. After the initial child support order, there may be options for modifying the order. However, certain conditions must be met for a modification to occur. Either parent can move for a modification. In general, requests for child support modifications are sometimes granted based on a substantial change in circumstances or expenses. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Division of Child Support Services reviews requests
Continue Reading When Can a Child Support Order be Modified?

As nearly the totality of all married couples owns some property jointly, so does almost every individual spouse own property that belongs solely to them. The vast majority of people do not enter a marriage entirely empty-handed. As we discussed in our last blog, it is possible to commingle separate property, thereby adding marital interest to individual property, it is also possible to keep property entirely separated such that in the event of a divorce, your spouse has no claim. Additionally, it is possible – and likely, even – that a married person acquires property during the marriage that exists
Continue Reading 4 Types of Separate Property You May Own

Because couples are getting married later in life, divorce attorneys in Illinois have observed an increasing trend of divorcing spouses who own valuable personal property they acquired before their marriage. Unless a couple signed a clear and enforceable prenuptial agreement and was circumspect about keeping their personal and marital property separate throughout their marriage, it can be very difficult or impossible to separate personal and marital property in a divorce.
However, doing so is an important first step in the asset division process so each spouse can ensure they keep what is theirs in addition to securing their fair
Continue Reading How Does Personal Property Become Commingled with Marital Property?

Whether during a divorce, as part of a first-time parenting plan for unmarried parents, or a dispute arising after several years of co-parenting, child custody disputes can be cases of serious contention. Determining how parenting time and parental responsibilities are allocated is often hotly contested by both parents.
Complicating things is the fact that children often develop their own opinions about how things should be, especially as they get older and have a better understanding of the difference between each parent’s home environment and parenting strategy. If either you or your child believes your child deserves a fair say
Continue Reading Will a Judge Listen to My Child in an Illinois Custody Dispute?

Not every person is cut out for the responsibility and commitment that marriage and children entail. Some parents leave their families to pursue relationships with other people; some wander off because they miss living a life of spontaneity and solitude; still others leave without any explanation, leaving their family to fend for themselves.
The spouse who is left picking up the pieces generally does not want to remain married to someone who is no longer interested in shouldering their share of the family burden. But getting divorced when your spouse is missing or unwilling to participate in the divorce process
Continue Reading How Can I Get a Divorce if My Spouse Abandoned Our Family?

Being a parent can be one of the most joyous and rewarding things a person can do, but parenting is not without its challenges. Fathers often face particular challenges when they are not married to the mothers of their children and may sometimes feel as though the legal system’s hurdles are too much to overcome. Other times, a mother or a father may feel totally unequipped or unprepared to raise a child he or she did not want to bring into the world and may wonder whether relinquishing parental rights is an option. Wherever you are in your parental journey,
Continue Reading Can I Give Up My Parental Rights if I Do Not Want a Child?

So you have finally made up your mind to get a divorce and now you have to actually do it. While filing for divorce in and of itself is not so difficult, many couples get hung up on the bureaucratic elements of the divorce process because the forms can be confusing and it can be difficult to get answers to your questions. 
Court clerks, judges, and secretaries cannot give you legal advice, nor can they assist you in filling out the forms. If you want to file for divorce but do not feel comfortable handling the paperwork yourself, you may
Continue Reading Where Can I File for Divorce in Illinois?

While couples usually get divorced because they no longer have the same vision for the future or have unsolvable conflict, the tension between them usually reaches new heights during the divorce. The task of resolving complex issues like property division, child custody, and alimony can seem impossible when you dislike your spouse and want to avoid talking to them if at all possible.
One way many divorcing spouses handle the stress of divorce is by venting about it on social media. While this behavior is common, it can be a huge mistake–once something is on the internet,
Continue Reading Should I Delete Social Media Posts During Divorce?

Just as no divorce is easy, no divorce is quite the same. Individual spouses (and many cooperative couples) have to decide the tenor they want their divorce to have, as well as the strategy they are going to pursue. Some spouses opt for a scorched-earth approach after a long and bitter marriage, while others decide from the get-go that they want to cooperate as much as possible. Each potential strategy has advantages and an attorney can help you settle on the right choice for you. Here are the three most common divorce strategies in Illinois. 
Litigated Divorce
A litigated divorce
Continue Reading Consider These Three Divorce Strategies As Your Plan Your Divorce

While every child deserves to have loving parents, the unfortunate reality is that many children do not get the love and care they deserve at home. When one or both parents have died or are out of the picture because they are in jail or have lost their parental rights, a court may need to appoint a guardian. If a deceased parent left a will designating someone to be a child’s guardian, a court will usually follow the parent’s wishes. But if the designated guardian is also deceased or is unfit or unwilling to be a guardian, a court
Continue Reading When Can an Older Sibling Become a Guardian in Illinois?