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When a couple divorces, they must address several difficult and complicated issues. They must reach an agreement about how to split up their assets and debt, what to do with the marital home, how child custody issues will be managed, whether a spouse will receive spousal maintenance, and more. If the spouses are unable to reach an agreement, their case may go to trial. Most divorcing spouses want to avoid divorce litigation if possible. Mediation is an alternative resolution method that may help a couple reach an agreement about the terms of their divorce; however, mediation is…
The need for companionship is only human. For many, the end of marriage offers hope of a brighter future with a new romantic interest. If you are in the middle of a divorce or soon will be, you may wonder if it is okay to start dating while the divorce is still ongoing. You may even already have a boyfriend or girlfriend and you are wondering how this can influence your divorce. Only you can know if dating during divorce is right for you, but it is important to know how dating during divorce can affect your divorce proceedings. Dating…
The average cost of raising a child through age 18 is estimated to be over $250,000. As any parent can tell you, having children is expensive. Child support is a key source of financial assistance for single parents in Illinois. Most unmarried and divorced parents rely on child support for help with housing, education, childcare, food, and other costs. These financial needs do not disappear because the parent responsible for paying child support is incarcerated in jail or prison.   Illinois Courts May Deviate from Statutory Guidelines When a Parent is in Jail Illinois child support payments are based on both…
Reaching an agreement on divorce issues like property division, child custody, and spousal maintenance is often difficult to do without help. If you are considering divorce, you may be looking for alternative dispute resolution methods including collaborative law and mediation. These methods may allow you to reach an agreement about the terms of your divorce without going through a stressful and expensive litigation process. Reaching an agreement without court intervention may also allow you to keep the divorce as amicable as possible. However, these dispute resolution methods may not be for everyone. A skilled divorce attorney can…
Public opinion about prenuptial agreements has been shifting in the last several decades. Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular among younger generations. While there is still a significant amount of misinformation circulating about prenuptial agreements, more and more people are realizing the benefits of creating a “prenup.” If you are thinking about signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married, it is essential that you understand the standards these documents must meet. Mistakes made during the creation or signing of a prenuptial agreement may invalidate part or all of the contract. Inaccurate or Incomplete Financial Disclosure A prenuptial agreement can address…
More and more older couples are getting divorced. Recent trends show that individuals in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s are choosing to leave their marriages and pursue a happier post-divorce future. Going through a divorce after a long marriage and getting divorced at an older age both come with certain complications and obstacles. If you are over age 50 and thinking about divorce, educating yourself about your rights and responsibilities is one way to avoid costly mistakes. Remaining Ignorant of Your Finances Ending a marriage is as much a financial separation as it is a personal separation. Typically, the…
Divorce brings about a number of financial implications. If you are a parent planning to divorce, one of the most pressing financial concerns you may be facing is your child’s college education. Public and private university tuition has skyrocketed in the last several decades. While you were married, you probably assumed that you and your spouse would finance your child’s college education together. Now that your Illinois marriage is ending, you may be unsure of how to deal with college-related costs for your son or daughter. Child Support May Extend into College Years When most people think about child support
Finances have a tremendous impact on divorce. Without accurate, up-to-date financial information, it is impossible to negotiate a fair divorce settlement. This is why each spouse is required to complete a financial affidavit during the first stages of the Illinois divorce process. Unfortunately, not every spouse is truthful when filling out the affidavit. Spouses may lie about their income, assets, debts, and expenses in order to sway the divorce settlement in their own favor. Doing this is not only unethical, it is also unlawful. An experienced divorce attorney can help protect your rights to marital assets. Hiding Assets By Transferring…
Divorce is already difficult enough. Adding the stress of being in the public eye can make the divorce process even more daunting. If you or your spouse is well-known or you simply value your privacy, you may have concerns about confidentiality during a divorce. One legal tool for protecting your privacy during your Illinois divorce is a confidentiality agreement. A confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement is a legal contract that prohibits parties from sharing certain information. If a party breaches the contract, the non-breaching party may be entitled to damages. Confidentiality agreements are often a crucial component in protecting privacy…
If you are a parent who is planning to divorce, you may be unsure of how you and your spouse will share parental responsibilities and parenting time. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may not see eye to eye about parenting roles or what is best for your child and you are worried about how this will affect your ability to share custody. Fortunately, you and your spouse have the ability to design your own custody arrangement that takes your complicated relationship into consideration. There are two main strategies when it comes to sharing parental responsibilities and parenting time:…
“Gray divorce” or divorce at an older age is remarkably common in the United States. More and more often, couples in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are choosing to end their marriages and pursue a happier future apart. Making the decision to divorce is difficult regardless of age. However, when a couple over age 50 gets divorced, there are often additional considerations and concerns. If you are an older adult who is thinking about filing for divorce, it is important to educate yourself about the issues you may face. Legal Considerations and Financial Issues in a Gray Divorce Divorce involving…
In decades past, taking care of children, cooking, cleaning, and maintaining the marital home were largely seen as the wife’s responsibility. Today, American families come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties. Married couples have the freedom to assign responsibilities according to each spouse’s skillset. More and more often, this means that the majority of the childcare and homemaking duties falls to a husband. If you are a stay-at-home father or “house husband” who is getting divorced, you may have questions about your rights. Fortunately, Illinois law treats men the same as women with regard to spousal maintenance, property
Several years ago, Illinois enacted considerable changes to the way child custody is allocated to divorced or unmarried parents. The terms child custody and visitation have been replaced by “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” respectively. This change is intended to represent parenting authority as a spectrum instead of an either-or situation in which one parent is the custodial parent and the other parent only receives visitation. If you are planning to divorce, you and your spouse may design whatever type of parenting arrangement you see fit. However, if you cannot agree on a parenting plan, the…
If you are like most married people, the property you owned and the property owned by your spouse merged when you got married. According to Illinois law, only marital property, or property held by the marital estate must be split during a divorce. However, telling the difference between marital property and nonmarital property is often much more difficult than it seems. Commingled assets, or assets that contain marital property and non-marital property, can change identity, making asset division much more complex. Property that was once considered marital property may be classified as non-marital property. Likewise, property classified as nonmarital…
Deciding to divorce is a deeply emotional decision. If you are like many people, you may have assumed that the most difficult part of the divorce process would be the actual decision to walk away from the marriage. While the mental aspect of divorce is certainly challenging, legal and logistical concerns can often be just as difficult to navigate. If you are in a high-conflict divorce, you and your spouse may struggle to see eye-to-eye on anything. You may disagree about property division, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and numerous other issues. If you…
Most people know that child support payments are used to help a divorced parent pay for child-related costs. However, fewer are aware that a similar form of support called spousal support or spousal maintenance exists. Spousal maintenance, which is commonly referred to as alimony, is financial support that a spouse pays to the other spouse during or after divorce. The amount of support that a spouse may be entitled to depends on several factors. If you are interested in pursuing spousal maintenance, an experienced divorce lawyer can help.   Determining Spousal Maintenance in the Absence of a Marital Agreement If…