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It does not matter if you were married for two years or 20 years — getting a divorce is a painful and demanding process no matter how long you were together. When you get married, you plan to spend the rest of your life with that person and perhaps raise a family together. A divorce causes you to undergo major life changes, losing your companion, lover, co-parent, and friend. A divorce can also cause you to undergo a great deal of stress, as divorce almost always causes a restructuring of the housing arrangements, household responsibilities, and finances. If you have…
When you end a marriage, what you are literally ending is a legal relationship between you and your spouse. However, everyone knows that ending a marriage is much more than just getting a divorce and severing your legal ties. Getting a divorce affects nearly every aspect of your life and touches everyone in the family, especially if you have children. In today’s family courts, any type of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or a collaborative divorce is preferred over a litigated divorce. In a collaborative divorce, you agree to work together with your spouse, in an honest, open, and…
Nobody ever plans to get a divorce when they get married. Couples typically do not go through the trouble of planning a wedding and shelling out the big bucks just to get a divorce a few years later. For many people, getting a divorce would put a huge strain on their finances, so naturally, their first question is often, “How much will the divorce cost?” The answer to that question is almost impossible to obtain until you have almost completed or finalized the divorce process. There are various costs associated with getting a divorce and many of them are…
Divorce can be difficult for any couple, and it often becomes more complicated the longer a couple has been married. When couples over the age of 50 choose to get a divorce, they face not only the end of a relationship that has formed a large part of their lives but also the prospect of coping with the challenges of old age independently. For this reason, it is important to properly prepare for the divorce process to reduce the possibility of an emotionally and financially stressful outcome. Important Considerations for Older Spouses in Illinois If you are pursuing a divorce…
When you have children, divorce usually does not mark the end of all interactions with your ex-spouse. In most cases, the two of you continue to bear an important responsibility to share in the raising of your children. While it can be nice to have the other parent’s support and assistance, co-parenting after divorce may also result in disagreements and conflict between you and your spouse, so you should know how to manage those conflicts to keep them from getting out of hand and hurting your children. Tips for Successful Co-Parenting After an Illinois Divorce It is not always easy…
When a couple is having problems with their marriage, sometimes the decision to divorce is clear-cut. However, many couples are not ready to take the irreversible action of ending the marriage, and instead, wish to spend time apart while they contemplate their next step. For these couples, or for those spouses who wish to avoid divorce because of cultural beliefs or health insurance benefits, a legal separation may be a good option. If you do choose to pursue it, you should understand exactly what legal separation entails and how it differs from a complete dissolution of the marriage according to…
A cheating or unfaithful spouse can put a huge strain on a marriage, and in many cases, one from which the marriage cannot recover. If your spouse has been unfaithful to you, you may understandably be angry and upset, and if you have cheated on your spouse, you may feel shame and regret. Beyond these emotional struggles, you and your spouse will likely face the difficult decision as to whether you should divorce in the aftermath of infidelity. If you do decide to proceed with legally ending your marriage, you should be aware of how the unfaithfulness can factor into…
The stereotypical depiction of divorce is often more fiction than fact. You have likely seen couples in movies screaming at each other from across an empty courtroom as a judge tries to get control over the proceedings. While this may be the case for divorcing couples who have a complex, contentious relationship, most spouses keep things out of the courtroom. Before making a decision on how you would like to pursue your divorce case, you should be aware of your legal options in Illinois. In order to appeal to the varying dynamics between divorcing couples, many law firms offer a…
If you are considering divorce and have children with your spouse, you may be wondering how things will be handled if you do decide to split. Not all divorcing couples experience contention in their parental relationship; some simply lose their romantic connection after some time together. Regardless of how amicable your relationship is, you are required to create a parenting plan according to Illinois divorce laws. Co-parenting can be difficult, especially with someone who you have legally divorced. This parenting plan will help guide you and your spouse with your future parenting arrangements and decisions, especially if you do not…
Divorce agreements are made with the intention that they will last forever. While this may be the case for those who get divorced and do not have any children or alimony requirements, divorce agreements rarely last the test of time. When children or monthly support payments are involved, things never remain the same over time. Luckily, the Illinois court system addresses this possibility within their divorce legislation. In order for modifications to be made to your agreement, you must meet the criteria outlined below. Spousal Maintenance The purpose of spousal maintenance is to even the financial divide between both spouses…
Many people have experienced a long-distance relationship at some point in their life. Maybe you dated your high school sweetheart through college or perhaps you frequently traveled for business throughout your marriage. The most common consensus about long-distance relationships: They can be difficult to maintain. For divorced parents, living apart from their child can be a challenge, even if it is just down the street. For those who have relocated across the country, co-parenting might feel impossible. While you may not be able to see your child on a daily basis, it is still possible to remain an integral…
When it comes to paying spousal support or maintenance (alimony), a common question is, “What happens if my ex remarries or starts living with someone else?” Do you still have to pay alimony in this situation? Under Illinois law, the remarriage of a former spouse receiving alimony automatically terminates the paying spouse’s obligations, unless the divorce settlement or judgment specifies otherwise. Even if the receiving spouse does not formally remarry, but instead starts “cohabitating” with another person, the paying spouse can still seek a court order terminating spousal maintenance. But keep in mind, unlike with remarriage, cohabitation does not automatically…
Retirement accounts are frequently among the most important assets involved in an Illinois divorce case. If pension benefits are earned by either spouse during the course of a marriage, they are considered marital property. So in the event of a divorce, a judge may issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which enables the division and transfer of retirement funds without incurring any legal penalties. Appeals Court: Divorce Settlement Did Not Refer to Former Husband’s Disability Pay A recent decision from the Illinois First District Appellate Court raised an interesting question related to divorce and retirement benefits–namely, does a QDRO…
Here is a common question regarding divorce in Illinois: If I divorce my spouse, can he or she still inherit property under my will? The short answer is that if you did not bother to change your will after the divorce–and you really should–then any language naming your ex-spouse as a beneficiary or executor is automatically invalidated. The remainder of your will remains valid; the law simply acts as if your former spouse had predeceased you. Of course, you are always free to sign a new post-divorce will naming your ex-spouse as a beneficiary or executor; this rule only applies…
When it comes to modifying child support obligations in Illinois, a court must answer one basic question: Has there been a “substantial change in circumstances” justifying a departure from the original award of child support? What qualifies as a “substantial change” will depend on the facts of a given case. But one thing to keep in mind is that if a change was anticipated or expected at the time of the parents’ divorce, that alone will not guarantee that a court will increase or reduce a non-custodial parent’s support obligations. Below is a recent court case that involves parenting…
It is not uncommon for one parent to move out of state following a divorce from the other parent. But when it comes to relocating with a minor child, an Illinois court must first determine if such a relocation is in the child’s best interests. Illinois law establishes a list of factors for the court to consider, including the circumstances and reasons for the relocation, the child’s educational opportunities at the new location, and whether the court can fashion a reasonable parenting plan if the move is allowed. Illinois Court Reconsiders Earlier Decision to Deny Mother’s Request for Relocation…