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A prenuptial agreement can help both you and your spouse enter your marriage with peace of mind regarding your finances, and if your marriage later ends in divorce, a prenup can make the process much easier by laying out the terms for property division and spousal maintenance. However, in order for the agreement to take effect and be upheld by the court at the time of your divorce, it must be legally valid. There are a few things that you can do when creating your prenup to make sure that this is the case. Establishing a Legally Valid…
Alimony and other terms for the same concept, including spousal support and spousal maintenance, may commonly come to mind when you think about divorce, but the reality is that these payments are becoming less and less common. In Illinois, spousal support is usually only ordered when there is a significant imbalance between the two party’s incomes and assets and one of the parties needs it to remain financially stable and maintain their accustomed standard of living. Even then, maintenance generally does not last forever but is instead ordered for a specific duration based on the length of the marriage,…
If you and your former spouse share children who are still under the age of 18, moving to a new location after the divorce can be a complicated issue. While a parent may have legitimate personal reasons for the move, it is also often necessary from a legal perspective to consider whether the move is in the children’s best interests, as well as how it may affect the children’s relationship with their other parent. If you believe that your ex’s relocation will be detrimental to your family, you may have options to contest it in court. What is Considered a…
In Illinois, divorcing couples have a few options when it comes to how they reach a resolution on issues including property division, parenting time and responsibilities, and child and spousal support. Perhaps the first option that comes to mind is a court trial in which each party is represented by an attorney, but this is not actually the most common method for resolving a divorce. In fact, the large majority of couples are able to settle their divorce out of court. In many cases, it is a good idea to consider whether an uncontested divorce would work…
Adopting a child is one of the most generous things that a person can do, as it often provides a child in need with a stable home and a loving family. However, the adoption process is not always easy, especially if one or both of the biological parents still have parental rights. This is often the case in a step-parent adoption or related adoption when the potential adopter or adopters are seeking to give the child a better life than the current legal parents are able or willing to provide. In these cases, it is necessary to terminate the current…
Divorce is difficult at any age, but couples divorcing after the age of 50 often face unique complications due to the way their lives have become intertwined over the course of a long marriage. Despite these complications, so-called “gray divorces” are becoming increasingly common. If you decide to get a divorce in middle-age or your later years, you should be prepared to address some of the common issues that these divorces often raise. Important Considerations in Your Divorce After Age 50  While the basic elements of a divorce are essentially the same no matter the couple’s age, they often affect…
Raising children is a challenge under any circumstances, and divorce only introduces further complications. Your children will likely look to you for greater emotional support during this difficult time, and even if you and your former spouse are committed to working together, you are likely to face challenges in coordination. If you and your ex are prone to conflict, co-parenting effectively may seem next to impossible. However, it is possible to establish a productive co-parenting strategy that can reduce stress and lead to a better life for you and your family. Suggestions for Co-Parenting Successfully Every co-parenting relationship is different,…
Unlike some other states, Illinois does not require divorcing couples to divide marital property in half between them. However, it does require them to divide assets equitably to prevent either party from facing excessive hardship, and in order to do so, it is important to know how much the marital property is worth. Valuing property can be one of the most complicated parts of the divorce process, but with the help of an experienced attorney and financial professionals, you can better ensure an outcome that protects your interests. The Process of Valuing Marital Property Before beginning the process of valuing…
In an Illinois divorce, couples must divide all marital property equitably according to their personal situation. In order for a fair distribution to occur, it is important to ensure that neither spouse intentionally harms or selfishly uses property belonging to the marital estate in the time leading up to the divorce. If you believe that your spouse has been dissipating marital assets, it is important to work with an attorney to gather evidence and present your case to the court to make the situation right. What is Considered Dissipation of Assets? In order for a spouse’s spending or…
In Illinois, many couples choose to get a divorce simply due to irreconcilable differences that prevent them from resolving the issues in their marriage. However, in some cases, a more serious problem is at the root of the decision to divorce. Domestic violence, including intimate partner abuse and child abuse, affects millions of American families, and many experts report that incidents of domestic abuse have increased during stay-at-home orders resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have decided that a divorce is the best option to protect yourself and your children from an abusive spouse, you should be aware…
If you are getting a divorce, especially in your later years, one of your biggest concerns is likely how it will affect your financial situation. Specifically, you may wonder what will happen to your retirement savings and whether you will still be able to retire as planned. In order to prepare for the impact of your divorce on your retirement, it is important to understand both Illinois property division law and the tax implications of different retirement accounts. How Are Assets Divided in an Illinois Divorce? Under Illinois law, all marital property is to be divided equitably between spouses…
Effectively managing conflict is an important skill in many areas of your life, but it is especially important throughout the divorce process. You may find that emotions are running high between you and your spouse, and chances are that the two of you will not agree on every aspect of your divorce resolution, even if you are attempting to divorce amicably. With these things in mind, you should aim for an approach that helps you resolve conflicts, or at least keep them under control. Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies When you and your spouse seem to be at an impasse,…
Many children benefit from the love and support of relatives outside of their immediate family, and this can be especially important for children whose parents are no longer living or are unable to care for them. In these cases, a relative will often step up to formally adopt the child, solidifying a legal relationship in addition to the personal relationship. If you are considering a related adoption, a family law attorney can help you with the process. Who Can Adopt a Related Child? In Illinois, a person is eligible to be an adoptive parent in a related adoption if…
Unless you are granted your marital home as part of the division of property, you will likely need to find a new place to live either during the divorce process or after your divorce is finalized. Moving to a new home is stressful at any point in your life, but along with all the other stress of a divorce, it can be even more overwhelming. However, you can make the transition easier by taking the time to prepare. Considerations When Moving After Divorce  Thinking carefully about where you will move and how you will handle the moving process can…
If you have been through a divorce, it is understandable that you may want a break from the legal process after working tirelessly to reach a resolution on important decisions including your parenting agreement. However, it is important to realize that circumstances change over time, and what worked for you, your children, and your former spouse at the time of the divorce may not be as effective a few years later. If you find that your situation has changed substantially, it may be best to petition for a modification of your parenting plan. Modifying Parenting Time in Illinois Perhaps…
If you are having problems in your marriage, chances are that the thought of divorce has crossed your mind at some point, and you may have even thought about bringing it up with your spouse. However, saying something out loud can often lead to a situation in which it is impossible to turn back, so you should think carefully about how and when you raise the subject if you choose to do so at all. When it comes to such a sensitive conversation, some times are certainly better than others. The Wrong Time If you have any hope for the…