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Couples enter marriage with high hopes – nobody wants or expects to get divorced in Illinois. But divorce rates are notoriously high, and many relationships ultimately come to an end. When a couple decides to get divorced, certain issues must be resolved and codified in a formal divorce decree. Asset division, parenting agreements, and child support payments are either agreed upon by both spouses or ordered by a judge and then written in the divorce order. 
It is one of those unfortunate facts of life that both spouses may not be completely satisfied with the divorce arrangements. Under
Continue Reading Is it Possible to Appeal a Divorce Decree in Cook County? 

 Divorce can get hostile, and spouses often resort to unusual measures to try to catch each other in the act of wrongdoing. Sometimes spouses will track each other, follow each other’s communications, and even install secret listening devices to find out information they could not get otherwise. Sometimes these actions are simply strange or unethical, but other times they are downright illegal. 
Spying on a spouse is never a good idea. In addition to the fact that illegally-obtained evidence cannot be used in court, spying often backfires because it opens up the perpetrator to the possibility of criminal charges
Continue Reading What Can I Do if My Spouse is Spying On Me During My Divorce? 

Getting divorced in Illinois is often a contentious process, but for spouses dealing with abuse, it can be especially challenging. Research shows an alarming number of Illinois residents deal with domestic violence, and – perhaps most alarming – that victims of domestic violence may be at greatest risk when they try to leave their abuser. 
For those who are afraid that filing for divorce could trigger escalated abusive behavior from their spouse, an Order of Protection may be helpful. There are several types of Orders of Protection, and although each can help protect a victim and their children, a
Continue Reading Can You Get an Order of Protection During Your Illinois Divorce? 

Divorce is never easy for anyone, but for some divorcing couples, it can turn into a high-conflict nightmare. When one or both spouses are narcissistic or have other toxic personality traits, they may deliberately try to upset or destabilize their partner and make the divorce process very difficult.
Often, spouses seeking divorce will delay discussing it with their partner or filing for divorce because they are worried that it may trigger an escalation in an already difficult relationship. However, staying in a high-conflict or abusive relationship forever is simply not a solution for most people, and at some point, it
Continue Reading How Can I Deal with My Toxic Spouse in our Illinois Divorce? 

 The prospect of getting divorced is never easy, but for high-profile or public-facing individuals in Illinois, divorce comes with the additional difficulty of potentially drawing the attention of the public. Public servants, media figures, and high-net-worth individuals often have journalists, photographers, and nosy neighbors who seek personal information, following them and searching for details to sell or discuss online.  
In addition to the frustration and embarrassment this may cause, having personal information go public can make the overall divorce process much more stressful. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep your divorce private. An attorney with experience in
Continue Reading How Can I Keep My Divorce Details Private? 

Creating a parenting plan during divorce is particularly challenging for parents who are so hostile towards each other that even the most minimal communication elicits an argument. Of course, this has a negative impact on the emotional and psychological well-being of parents, but the primary victims of this hostility are children who get exposed to conflict. 
In cases like this, Illinois parents may pursue a strategy called “parallel parenting.” Parallel parenting is an explicit acknowledgment that the children will be better off if the parents communicate as little as possible. 
Prevent Conflict with a Parallel Parenting Plan
Many couples can
Continue Reading What is Parallel Parenting? 

When two people get married, any assets either spouse owned before the marriage generally remain under the exclusive ownership of the original owner. Many couples sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married to ensure assets that are personally owned remain that way if a couple gets divorced.
However, sometimes both spouses use their personal property and money in a way that causes something called “commingling,” or the mixing of individual and marital assets. When a couple decides to get divorced, commingled assets can make it difficult to determine which parts of an asset or bank account belongs to which
Continue Reading Asset Commingling: What Is it and How Does it Happen? 

American tabloids love to cover the sultry details of high-profile divorce trials. Consumers may love to read about other people’s divorces, but for those going through a divorce trial, it can be a nightmare. Long wait times between court dates, hostile disputes with former partners, and the expense of a protracted trial — to say nothing of the public exposure — are all strong incentives to avoid the trial process altogether. 
Fortunately, Illinois courts encourage divorcing couples to do exactly that. Using mediation, collaborative divorce, or a similar alternative dispute resolution process, even the most high conflict spouses can
Continue Reading How Can I Keep My Illinois Divorce From Going to Trial? 

The “best interests” of a child are the primary concern of Illinois courts and judges when making decisions about a parent’s ability to spend time with and make decisions for their child. But reasonable people can and often do disagree about what is best for a child – parents getting divorced being a prime example – so how does anyone make decisions about what is truly best for a child? 
How Are a Child’s “Best Interests” Determined? 
In a divorce or parenting time modification, Illinois judges encourage parents to work together closely to try to create an arrangement for
Continue Reading How are Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities Allocated in Illinois? 

Couples owning a million dollars or more in assets face unique challenges when getting divorced in Illinois. There is a lot at stake in a high net worth divorce, and both parties are likely to hire excellent attorneys to represent them. The proceedings can be long and protracted and often involve the assistance of outside experts. 
In this blog, we will discuss some of the most common challenges we see in our clients’ high net worth divorces. If you are considering divorce and are worried about what it might mean for your assets, business interests, or spousal maintenance obligations, contact
Continue Reading Four Common Challenges of a High Net Worth Divorce

Formerly known as alimony, spousal maintenance is financial support that must be paid from one spouse to another following a divorce. The unique circumstances of each case determine which spouse is responsible for paying the maintenance and how much and for how long payments must be made. 
Spousal maintenance can be one of the most complex and high-conflict parts of a divorce. The paying spouse often feels as though they are being taken advantage of, and the receiving spouse often feels as though the time and effort they put into the marriage are not sufficiently compensated. 
Regardless of whether
Continue Reading When Can I Modify My Illinois Spousal Maintenance Order? 

 An unmarried father-to-be may worry that he will have no say in the life or wellbeing of his child. After all, it is the mother who carries the child through pregnancy, and she may feel that if she wants no contact with the father, that is the end of the story. 
Fortunately for fathers, this is simply not true. Illinois law recognizes the importance of fathers and recently updated its laws regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time to reflect the necessity of both parents’ involvement in a child’s life whenever possible. If you are an unmarried father living in Illinois
Continue Reading How Can an Unmarried Father Get Custody in Illinois? 

The spouse who files for divorce has the right to choose where to file his or her petition. Once the petition is filed in a certain county, unless there is a change of venue, the divorce proceedings will take place in that county. 
Spouses getting divorced are not necessarily obligated to accept the initial venue. If your spouse has already filed for divorce, you have the right to file for an objection to their venue, and doing so may benefit you in a number of ways. 
What is a Venue? 
In legal terms, a “venue” is the court system where
Continue Reading When Should You Consider a Change of Divorce Venue in Illinois?

Substance abuse can have a devastating effect on marriages and families. Millions of Americans suffer from an addictive disorder, and the social isolation of the last year and a half has triggered a massive increase in substance use and abuse. 
Other kinds of addiction can wreak havoc on a family as well. Compulsive spending, gambling, pornography use, and even compulsive overeating can strain a couple’s relationship to the breaking point. Addiction does have an impact on the divorce process, so if you are considering divorcing a spouse struggling with addiction, protect yourself by keeping the following things in mind: 
Protect
Continue Reading How Does Addiction Impact an Illinois Divorce?

Marriage is an exciting period for couples. They often cannot imagine a time when they would not want to share everything, and so they feel as though a prenuptial agreement is not necessary. Sometimes couples avoid creating a prenuptial agreement together because they feel as though it dooms the marriage to fail. 
However, once the marriage takes place and they return to the routine of everyday life, spouses realize that marriage is often a challenging enterprise. What may have once seemed guaranteed may no longer seem so simple. When this happens – and even if it does not – it
Continue Reading If We Do Not Have a Prenuptial, Do We Need a Postnuptial Agreement?

In a high conflict divorce, it is common for spouses to disagree about who should have parental responsibilities and parenting time. Where the child should live, who the child spends certain holidays with, and who has the right to make important decisions for the child are all issues about which parents commonly disagree.
Unfortunately, children often get caught in the crosshairs of parental hostilities. Although parents may feel entirely justified in their reasoning for wanting custody of the child, the child’s best interests are often neglected in light of the parents’ disagreements. 
What if Co-Creating a Parenting Plan is
Continue Reading If Our Custody Dispute Goes to Court, Will My Child Need to Testify?