Botti Marinaccio Blog

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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…
 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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Raising children is an important, difficult, time-consuming endeavor. When a couple gets married and wants to start a family, it is common for them to decide on an arrangement in which one spouse works outside the home and the other spouse stays at home with the children. Although this arrangement may work well for some families, one common concern for homemakers is what will happen to them in the event of a divorce. The homemaking spouse has often given up many years of being in the workforce, and so has not only given up those years’ worth of income…
High-conflict divorces are painful experiences, and they can be made even worse when the custody of a beloved pet is contested. A couple may disagree over who should have full-time custody of the pet or whether one person should have any visitation rights at all. Coming to a resolution on these issues can be difficult and emotionally draining. Some couples have planned to avoid conflict around pet ownership by using a “petnup.” How Are Pets Treated in Illinois Divorce? Illinois is one of the few states that allow for animals to be treated as more than property, thanks to a…
The cultural stereotype of asset division in divorce is that all marital debts and assets are split 50/50, but the reality is more complicated. While some states do have “community property” where marital assets are divided equally, Illinois is not one of those states. In Illinois, divorce law requires something called “equitable division.” Equitable division is exactly what it sounds like: Marital assets and debts are divided according to what is fair, rather than right down the middle. Here, we will look at what factors judges can use when determining equity, and other issues that might contribute to the division…
If you are considering divorce and feel concerned that it may be a high-conflict divorce, you may want to speak with a divorce attorney without letting your spouse know. The reasons for this are varied: Perhaps you still live with your spouse and fear retaliation or abuse, or you yourself are unsure of how serious you are about pursuing a divorce. You may want to give yourself the upper hand in preparing for the divorce and serving the papers. Regardless of the reason, it is perfectly legal to meet with a divorce attorney without telling your spouse. You can…
Finding out that your spouse has gone behind your back and had an affair is one of the most upsetting experiences a person can have. You may feel as though your world has turned upside down and that you now doubt many of the things you previously assumed to be true. Complicating your personal experience is the ensuing divorce. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that regardless of the reason for your divorce you will simply file citing “irreconcilable differences.” Nevertheless, marital infidelity can still affect the outcome of your divorce. Child Custody Typically, infidelity will not impact…
Although circumstances can vary when building towards a high asset divorce, common contributing factors are spouses who are high earners and have had a long marriage. When spouses commonly hold many assets that are valuable and complicated, a complex divorce is inevitable. If you are considering divorce and have high-value assets or high net worth, you will need an experienced, assertive attorney who will advocate for your best interests. In addition to having an outstanding legal team, here are other things to consider when beginning a high asset divorce. Hire a Forensic Accountant Complex assets include things like stock…
Statistically, about 40% of first marriages end in divorce. That jumps to around 60% for second marriages, and all the way up to 70% for second or third marriages with children. In addition to these statistics, fewer people are getting married before they have children, resulting in large numbers of blended marriages later in life. Of course, some of these marriages end in divorce. Blended families – where both parents have children from previous relationships – face special complications during divorce. Here, we look at some of those factors affecting parents who are getting divorced for the second or…
When you feel as though your marriage is reaching its end, deciding what to do can be difficult. Is there hope for reconciliation? Do you really want something as final as a divorce? Legal separation and divorce are both processes that couples use in Illinois to end a relationship. They are similar in some ways, but they have fundamentally different outcomes: A divorce completely ends the marriage under the law, but a legal separation does not. Legal Separation Legal separation is different from a couple merely deciding to break up or live in different homes; legal separation involves petitioning an…
During a divorce or separation, child custody is often among some of the most contentious issues that a couple can face throughout the process. Any topic has the potential of becoming an issue in a divorce, but child-related issues are especially subject to disagreement. When parents do not live in the same state, things can become even more complicated. Many parents move away after a divorce or separation, sometimes to a different state, even when they have children. Before you are able to begin a custody case, you will first need to make sure that you file the case…
In uncontested divorces, both spouses are typically willing to hand over whatever information the other party requests or needs. However, in divorce cases that involve spouses who do not get along with one another, it is not always guaranteed that you will get all of the information that you asked for. The process of discovery is simply just the formal process of asking your spouse for their financial information and handing over any information that they request in turn. How Can I Gather Information During the Discovery Process? There are various things you can do during the discovery…