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Divorce brings many changes and a new school year can heap challenge upon challenge for newly divorced parents who are managing children’s schedules from two different households. The first school year can be especially difficult as you come up with new strategies for managing the new and old problems that come with having minor kids in school. Here are four situations that Illinois parents frequently encounter during the school year and some suggestions for handling them smoothly.
Homework and School Projects
It is important for parents to be on the same page about enforcing homework rules and expectations. This is
Continue Reading Four Challenging School Situations You May Run Into After Divorce

While many stepparents come to have close relationships with their stepchildren, other stepparents do not nor even wish to. Step-families are often a complex mix of histories, emotions, grievances, and perceived injuries, making warm relationships difficult to establish and nurture.

Whether one feels positively or otherwise about his stepchildren, when it comes to estate planning, certain questions must be answered. Does a stepparent need to specifically address stepchildren in the estate plan? Is a stepparent a terrible person if they choose to specifically exclude their stepchildren or even one particular stepchild? If you are learning more about creating an
Continue Reading Do I Have to Include My Stepchildren In My Illinois Estate Plan?

 Trusts are rapidly replacing wills as the main form of testamentary estate planning. You do not need to be a millionaire for using a trust to make sense. In terms of deciding who gets what when you have passed away, a trust can do everything a will can do while also allowing for some discretion and more gradual distribution. There are a number of benefits trusts offer that wills cannot. Unless you have minor children, you may not need a will at all if you establish a trust. There are also numerous different types of trusts that all offer
Continue Reading The Big 4 Benefits of a Trust Over a Will

Many couples in Illinois feel as though they have lost a romantic connection or have differences too great to overcome. At the same time, these couples may not be ready to completely commit to a divorce – now or ever. When this happens, Illinois law offers an alternative option that may be a better fit: Legal separation. If you want to officially separate from your spouse but do not want a divorce, read this overview of legal separation and then talk to a DuPage family law attorney about your options. 
What is a Legal Separation in Illinois? 
When married couples
Continue Reading Is Legal Separation a Good Idea if We Are Not Ready for Divorce? 

Creating an estate plan can take some effort. You have to carefully consider who you would like to receive what. There can be an emotional aspect to estate planning. There is some legal strategizing involved. The last thing you want is for someone to dispute your estate planning documents when you are no longer here to defend yourself and your plans. Disputes are common when a relative is left out of the estate plan and becomes upset. They may also occur simply because your survivors are not getting along with each other. Document disputes are not always raised in good
Continue Reading 3 Strategies for Preventing Disputed Documents

The purchase of a first home is a major milestone in many couples’ marriages. Unfortunately, the division of the marital home later in divorce is often a difficult issue to resolve, especially when only one spouse has their name on the title or purchased the home before the marriage. If you are thinking about getting divorced and are wondering whether you have any claim to the home you lived in during your marriage, make sure you have a skilled Illinois divorce attorney on your side. 
Homes Can Be Personal Property, Marital Property, or Both
Before assets can be divided in
Continue Reading If My Name is Not On the Title, Do I Still Get Part of Our House in an Illinois Divorce? 

As people live longer and longer lives, the chances that you could one day experience age-related incapacity increase. Even if it is only for a short time in your very advanced age, most people will at some point lose the ability to think clearly and make decisions on their own behalf. While no one wants to go through an illness that affects the mind, like dementia, the reality is that many of us will. Planning for incapacity is a wise choice; the younger and healthier you are when you do it, the stronger your plan may be. The entire process
Continue Reading 5 Advantages of Planning for Incapacity

Although alimony is less common in Illinois divorces than it used to be, it is still frequently ordered or negotiated between a divorcing couple. Technically known as “spousal maintenance,” alimony is intended to allow a spouse to recover from the financial consequences of separation from their partner, especially if the marriage lasted a long time and the spouse receiving alimony sacrificed all or part of their career potential to raise a family. If you are seeking an Illinois divorce and are wondering how long alimony lasts, read on and then contact a DuPage County family law attorney who can help.
Continue Reading How Long Do I Have to Make Alimony Payments in Illinois? 

Because many Illinois couples today get married well after they complete their education and begin building their net worth, many marriages begin when one or both spouses already own property. When one spouse outright owns or has a mortgage on a house and the other spouse moves in, the process of dividing the value of the house in a divorce can be complex and contentious.
The spouse who owns the house will generally argue that, since he or she owned the home prior to the marriage, it is his or her individual property. The spouse who lived in the home,
Continue Reading Am I Entitled To Part of Our House in a Divorce if Only My Spouse’s Name is On the Title? 

As a parent, you probably do not even want to think about what would happen if you were to pass away before they become adults. It can be a very upsetting idea. However, addressing the possibility head-on by making an estate plan that includes your children is the best way to set your mind at ease. People are waiting longer to have or adopt children, and it is fairly common for men to have children later in life. While all parents of minor children should have an estate plan aimed at providing for the children, it is particularly important for
Continue Reading Estate Planning When You Have Minor Children

Quite a few people think that making a simple will is all they need to do to check “estate planning” off their to-do list. However, there is a lot more to a complete estate plan than a will. A strong estate plan should involve multiple documents for different purposes. Your estate plan should also include provisions for your own care in the event that you experience incapacity in your advanced age. Aside from that, a will alone cannot accomplish what your beneficiaries may need after you are gone. In most cases, a trust should be used to protect
Continue Reading Tips for Creating a Complete and Comprehensive Estate Plan

While much has been written about going through a divorce with a spouse who suffers from narcissism, depression, or even psychopathy, borderline personality disorder (or BPD) is so common and unpredictable that many people who get divorced do not even know that their spouse suffers from a specific mental illness – they just know they cannot take it anymore. 
Between one and five percent of the population has BPD and, for unknown reasons, most of them appear to be women. BPD often manifests with symptoms that are similar to those of other personality disorders – unpredictable mood changes, attachment difficulties,
Continue Reading What To Expect From a Borderline Spouse During Your Illinois Divorce

Illinois firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical caregivers are real-life superheroes who handle more than their fair share of challenges at work. Unfortunately, the unpredictable and demanding work schedule of these jobs also means that first responders often face additional challenges in their relationships. Emergency response employees have higher rates of divorce and, when they get divorced, they must deal with unique concerns as a result of their job. 
Why Are First Responders at Greater Risk of Divorce? 
First responders are at higher risk of matrimonial dissatisfaction because they work long hours, frequently face dangerous situations, observe traumatizing events, and
Continue Reading Illinois First Responders Face Additional Challenges When Getting Divorced

When you are grieving the loss of a family member, the last thing you want to deal with is a problem regarding their estate plan. Even when estate administration goes smoothly, it can be emotionally difficult for the surviving loved ones. Unfortunately, sometimes concerns over a will’s validity do arise. Family members may get a rather unpleasant surprise when they get around to reading their decedent’s will in some cases. Sometimes the terms of the will are much different from what you expected to find. It could be that the will leaves everything to an individual or organization the
Continue Reading What to Do if You Suspect Your Relative’s Will is Not Valid

You have probably seen at least one murder mystery movie where a wealthy individual is killed for their money, typically by an heir. It is a fairly common trope for impatient heirs to take matters into their own hands in order to get their share of a high-value estate faster. Sadly, this trope does sometimes play out in real life. You may have seen one of many true crime shows feature a terrifying episode where a person marries a wealthy individual, intending to murder their spouse and claim the entire marital estate. Certainly, few would want their killer to
Continue Reading What Actually Happens When Someone is Murdered for Their Estate Money

Summertime presents unique challenges to divorced or never-married parents who share underage children in Illinois. Children are out of school, and younger children require full-time care, forcing parents to get creative in finding childcare options and summer activities that are affordable and feasible for their schedules. Coordinating frequent visits and transportation from house to house adds to the complexity of summer schedules. If you are creating or modifying a parenting plan in Illinois, here are three tips to help you co-parent successfully in the coming summer months. 
Plan Ahead
Some parents specifically include their summer parenting plan in their initial
Continue Reading Three Tips for Successful Summer Co-Parenting