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As nearly the totality of all married couples owns some property jointly, so does almost every individual spouse own property that belongs solely to them. The vast majority of people do not enter a marriage entirely empty-handed. As we discussed in our last blog, it is possible to commingle separate property, thereby adding marital interest to individual property, it is also possible to keep property entirely separated such that in the event of a divorce, your spouse has no claim. Additionally, it is possible – and likely, even – that a married person acquires property during the marriage that exists
Continue Reading 4 Types of Separate Property You May Own

Because couples are getting married later in life, divorce attorneys in Illinois have observed an increasing trend of divorcing spouses who own valuable personal property they acquired before their marriage. Unless a couple signed a clear and enforceable prenuptial agreement and was circumspect about keeping their personal and marital property separate throughout their marriage, it can be very difficult or impossible to separate personal and marital property in a divorce.
However, doing so is an important first step in the asset division process so each spouse can ensure they keep what is theirs in addition to securing their fair
Continue Reading How Does Personal Property Become Commingled with Marital Property?

Whether during a divorce, as part of a first-time parenting plan for unmarried parents, or a dispute arising after several years of co-parenting, child custody disputes can be cases of serious contention. Determining how parenting time and parental responsibilities are allocated is often hotly contested by both parents.
Complicating things is the fact that children often develop their own opinions about how things should be, especially as they get older and have a better understanding of the difference between each parent’s home environment and parenting strategy. If either you or your child believes your child deserves a fair say
Continue Reading Will a Judge Listen to My Child in an Illinois Custody Dispute?

Not every person is cut out for the responsibility and commitment that marriage and children entail. Some parents leave their families to pursue relationships with other people; some wander off because they miss living a life of spontaneity and solitude; still others leave without any explanation, leaving their family to fend for themselves.
The spouse who is left picking up the pieces generally does not want to remain married to someone who is no longer interested in shouldering their share of the family burden. But getting divorced when your spouse is missing or unwilling to participate in the divorce process
Continue Reading How Can I Get a Divorce if My Spouse Abandoned Our Family?

Being a parent can be one of the most joyous and rewarding things a person can do, but parenting is not without its challenges. Fathers often face particular challenges when they are not married to the mothers of their children and may sometimes feel as though the legal system’s hurdles are too much to overcome. Other times, a mother or a father may feel totally unequipped or unprepared to raise a child he or she did not want to bring into the world and may wonder whether relinquishing parental rights is an option. Wherever you are in your parental journey,
Continue Reading Can I Give Up My Parental Rights if I Do Not Want a Child?

So you have finally made up your mind to get a divorce and now you have to actually do it. While filing for divorce in and of itself is not so difficult, many couples get hung up on the bureaucratic elements of the divorce process because the forms can be confusing and it can be difficult to get answers to your questions. 
Court clerks, judges, and secretaries cannot give you legal advice, nor can they assist you in filling out the forms. If you want to file for divorce but do not feel comfortable handling the paperwork yourself, you may
Continue Reading Where Can I File for Divorce in Illinois?

While couples usually get divorced because they no longer have the same vision for the future or have unsolvable conflict, the tension between them usually reaches new heights during the divorce. The task of resolving complex issues like property division, child custody, and alimony can seem impossible when you dislike your spouse and want to avoid talking to them if at all possible.
One way many divorcing spouses handle the stress of divorce is by venting about it on social media. While this behavior is common, it can be a huge mistake–once something is on the internet,
Continue Reading Should I Delete Social Media Posts During Divorce?

Just as no divorce is easy, no divorce is quite the same. Individual spouses (and many cooperative couples) have to decide the tenor they want their divorce to have, as well as the strategy they are going to pursue. Some spouses opt for a scorched-earth approach after a long and bitter marriage, while others decide from the get-go that they want to cooperate as much as possible. Each potential strategy has advantages and an attorney can help you settle on the right choice for you. Here are the three most common divorce strategies in Illinois. 
Litigated Divorce
A litigated divorce
Continue Reading Consider These Three Divorce Strategies As Your Plan Your Divorce

While every child deserves to have loving parents, the unfortunate reality is that many children do not get the love and care they deserve at home. When one or both parents have died or are out of the picture because they are in jail or have lost their parental rights, a court may need to appoint a guardian. If a deceased parent left a will designating someone to be a child’s guardian, a court will usually follow the parent’s wishes. But if the designated guardian is also deceased or is unfit or unwilling to be a guardian, a court
Continue Reading When Can an Older Sibling Become a Guardian in Illinois? 

With the prevalence of television, movies, and sensationalized media, it can be hard to know what information regarding divorce is true. The process can be complicated, and there are many misunderstandings about the law. Some people who consider divorcing their spouse first seek advice from others, who while well-meaning, are often not trained in family law matters or informed about recent changes to the law. The following are some of the most persistent divorce myths that are simply not true.
Myth: Half of All Marriages End in Divorce
Reality: This myth is quite complicated but a myth nonetheless. There are
Continue Reading Four Common Divorce Myths Debunked

A personal jewelry collection is accumulated over many years and is often made up of gifts, inheritances, and collectible pieces bought during travels to faraway places or in locations of great personal significance. When an Illinois couple is facing a divorce, a spouse who has a significant jewelry collection may justifiably feel sorrow and frustration at the idea that their personal collection may be considered part of the marital estate and subject to a claim from the other spouse, whether all or in part. 
Nevertheless, all assets must be accounted for during a divorce. Determining whether a piece of
Continue Reading Can I Keep My Jewelry in My Illinois Divorce?

Parenting after a divorce can be a challenging proposition. A single parent’s struggles are only made greater by an ex-spouse who has stopped paying child support. While your ex-spouse may provide excuses about why payments have stopped or are behind, obligations for child support are court-ordered and not subject to modification by the parties involved. Only the court can approve a modification, and only then with a legitimate and qualifying reason. To ensure your child support payments are made on time, the first step is to contact an experienced child support enforcement attorney.
Options for Child Support Enforcement
Continue Reading What Can I Do If My Ex Is Not Paying Child Support in Illinois?

While as many as 40 percent of marriages end in divorce in the United States, each marriage will have its own unique relationship dynamics and combination of factors that led to the decision to split. However, it is clear that similar reasons plague many marriages. In most cases, there is not just one reason, but likely a combination of different factors that caused the divorce. If your marriage is headed for a divorce, it is time to talk to an experienced divorce attorney.
Wide-Ranging Reasons for the End of a Marriage
From traits that you just cannot stand about your
Continue Reading Ten Most Common Reasons Couples Seek a Divorce

For those in an abusive relationship, using the force of law to keep your abuser away can be the key to safety. By securing an order of protection, sometimes known as a restraining order, you can again begin to feel a level of safety in your home. At Calabrese Associates, P.C., we have been helping victims of domestic abuse for over 20 years and are ready to help you secure a restraining order to get you and your children the security you need.
Definition of Domestic Violence in Illinois
Under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, an accused abuser must
Continue Reading What Types of Restraining Orders Are Available in Illinois?

To protect individual property, safeguard business assets, and various other reasons, many couples today are choosing to sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. While no one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced, it can be beneficial to both parties to prepare for the possibility, since almost half of all marriages do end in divorce. By preparing a valid agreement, both parties can protect their financial interests and remove any uncertainty should a divorce come about. However, there are certain issues that can invalidate an agreement that both spouses should understand.
Issues That Can Invalidate an Agreement
Whether
Continue Reading Is My Illinois Prenup or Postnup Valid?

In the age of omnipresent social media, it is natural that some couples will take to posting on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites while they are going through a divorce. Some studies have even shown that apps such as Facebook play a role in an increasing number of divorces. But what, if anything, is appropriate to post and what recourse do you have when your spouse starts sharing negative information?
Actions to Take on Social Media During a Divorce
The best advice is for both parties to stay off social media during a divorce. Taking a step back
Continue Reading My Spouse is Posting About Me on Social Media During Our Divorce