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Child support is an important source of financial support for divorced and unmarried parents. It can also be significant financial responsibility on the part of the paying parent or “obligor.” If you have a high income and are planning to divorce, you may have questions about how your financial status may affect your child support order. Illinois uses the “Income Shares” model to determine child support. The amount an obligor pays in child support is mostly based on the discrepancy between the two parents’ net incomes, but other factors may also play a role in child support calculations.   Statutory Guidelines…
It is no secret that money is the source of countless marital arguments. Many married couples fight about finances because one of the spouses made purchases or accumulated debt without the other spouse’s knowledge. Spouses may also hide assets or income from the other spouse. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, and there has been a history of financial deception in your marriage, you should be aware of the ways that this may impact your divorce. Almost Half of All Married Couples Admit to Hiding Debt Most people would agree that honesty is a critical component of…
Dividing the time you and your ex-spouse spend with your child can prove difficult after your divorce. So, the thought of spending even less time with your child can be gut-wrenching. If your child’s other parent wishes to move a significant distance away, you may worry about how this will affect your parenting time arrangement. You may wonder if there is anything you can do to ensure that you will still get adequate time with your son or daughter or if you can prevent the relocation entirely. An experienced attorney can explain the laws regarding parental relocation and how…
When a couple decides to divorce, issues such as the division of marital assets and debts and the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time must be resolved. Some couples are able to reach a settlement agreement about the terms of their divorce through negotiations or alternative resolution methods such as mediation and collaborative divorce. Others, however, cannot reach a solution that both spouses agree to. If a divorcing couple cannot reach an agreement about one or more of the relevant divorce issues, the case may go to trial. The Fact Gathering Phase The “discovery” phase occurs…
When we hear the word “addiction,” most of us assume the addiction is a substance abuse problem. However, many people suffer from addictions that are not related to drugs and alcohol in any way. A shopping addiction, also called compulsive shopping or compulsive buying, can be a major problem that has significant implications on a person’s life as well as the lives of family members. If your spouse is a compulsive shopper or simply spends too much money on unneeded items, you may have concerns about how this excessive spending will influence your divorce. Protecting Your Financial Future Most…
The term “self-care” refers to actions a person takes to protect their own physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Although everyone should be practicing good self-care, prioritizing your health during divorce is crucial. Divorce ranks as the second-most stressful life event according to the research conducted by psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. Fortunately, there are many actions that you can take to reduce your stress and improve your ability to cope during and after your Illinois divorce. Coping with Divorce By Recognizing and Prioritizing Your Needs If you are like many adults, you probably put other people’s needs far above…
The wish to share your life with a romantic partner is human nature. After you decide to file for divorce, you may be eager to find a boyfriend or girlfriend who can become the loving partner you wished your soon-to-be ex-spouse would have been. You may have even decided to end your marriage because you met someone else. While the desire to date before a divorce is finalized is understandable, dating during divorce can negatively impact the outcome of your divorce in several different ways. Legal Implications of Dating During Divorce You may be shocked to learn that adultery…
There are two types of divorce cases in Illinois: contested and uncontested. If you and your spouse cannot agree about the terms of your divorce, your divorce is contested. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be able to reach an agreement about divorce issues through negotiation, mediation, or collaborative law. If you cannot reach a settlement outside of court, your case will go to trial. Although divorce can vary from case to case, there are several basic steps involved in the contested divorce process in Illinois. What to Expect During the Contested Divorce Process Reaching an agreement about asset and…
Leaving the workforce to become a full-time mother or father can be a huge advantage to your children as well as a risky career move. When you first decided to stay home with your children, you probably made the choice because it was in your children’s best interests. You placed your own professional goals on hold for the betterment of your family and trusted that your spouse’s income would sustain you. Now that you are facing the end of your marriage, you may have major concerns about the financial consequences brought on by the impending divorce. Fortunately, Illinois law…
Research shows that approximately 60 percent of married individuals have committed some form of infidelity during their marriage. Marital infidelity may range from brief emotional affairs to long-term extramarital relationships. While some married couples can overcome an affair and rebuild a trusting relationship, others cannot and choose to divorce. If you have decided to end your marriage and infidelity played a role in the decision, you probably have questions about how the cheating will impact your divorce. Affairs can lead to legal implications as well as emotional complications during the divorce process. Grounds for Divorce in Illinois The spouse…
Spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony, can be a valuable source of financial support following a divorce. However, the order for spousal maintenance may become inappropriate if either party’s financial circumstances change dramatically. If you are currently paying spousal support to your ex-spouse or you are the recipient of maintenance payments, you may have questions about how and when a spousal maintenance order can be changed. Illinois courts only grant spousal support modifications if certain qualifying criteria are met.   Alimony May Be Modified if There is a Substantial Change in Circumstances   A spousal maintenance obligation typically…
Marriages end for countless reasons. Some spouses simply grow apart while others experience a major breach in trust that brings the relationship to a screeching halt. If an issue such as infidelity has led to the breakdown of your marriage, there may be a great deal of tension and resentment between you and your spouse. If you are a parent, you are probably worried about how this tension will affect your children. Fortunately, there is considerable research about the effects of high-conflict divorce on children and the steps that parents can take to reduce their children’s stress during this tumultuous…
Collaborative divorce is a process during which divorcing spouses, their attorneys, and other relevant professionals work together to reach an agreement about unresolved divorce issues. When spouses use collaborative law to settle the terms of their divorce, they avoid stressful courtroom litigation while still benefiting from their lawyers’ legal guidance and protection. Collaborative divorce may be right for you if you and your spouse do not see eye to eye regarding the terms of your divorce but you are willing to negotiate these issues amicably and cooperatively. The collaborative law process may help you and your spouse reach an agreement…
Illinois is an equitable distribution state when it comes to the division of assets in a divorce. This means that marital assets are divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, based on the spouse’s financial circumstances, employability, health, and more. Whether a couple is determining their own asset and property division arrangement or the court is issuing a property division judgment, a complete and accurate inventory of the couple’s assets must be taken. If a spouse owns complex assets such as a business, the value of those assets must be determined before the property can be equitably distributed. A…
You may be surprised to learn that the divorce rate for adults over 50 has more than doubled in the last several decades. Called “gray divorce,” divorce involving older adults often presents unique challenges. One of these challenges involves the division of retirement funds. If you have been out of the workforce for many years, you may be worried about making ends meet without your spouse’s retirement benefits. If you were the main income earner during the marriage, you may have concerns about how much of your hard-earned retirement funds will be awarded to your spouse. Read on to learn…