DuPage County Divorce Blog

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Grandmothers and grandfathers play an important part in a child’s life. However, some grandparents go above and beyond the typical grandparent role. They take on the responsibilities usually expected of a child’s mother and father. Sometimes, grandparents step in because the child’s parents have passed away. Other times, grandparents are forced to assume parenting responsibilities because the child’s parents suffer from addiction or mental illness. Whatever the reason, grandparents in this situation may be interested in formally adopting their grandchild. Grandparent adoption is the legal process through which a grandparent becomes a child’s legal guardian. Depending on the circumstances, adopting
Continue Reading How to Adopt Your Grandchild in Illinois

Domestic abuse can take many forms. Some victims suffer physical abuse including punching and kicking. Others are psychologically manipulated and isolated from their loved ones. Some aggressors show up at the victims’ homes, schools, and workplaces or use threats and intimidations to maintain control over their victims. If you have been stalked, threatened, or abused, you should know that there are legal protections available to you in the form of protection orders.
Emergency Order of Protection
Domestic violence or domestic abuse involves abuse between family members, past or current romantic partners, or household members. If you have been the
Continue Reading What Types of Protection Orders Are Available in Illinois?

Child support is a crucial form of financial support for divorced and unmarried parents in Illinois. Both of a child’s parents are expected to contribute financially to his or her upbringing – even if they are not married to each other. Child support allows parents to share child-related expenses including housing, tuition, and other educational costs, clothing, and more. However, child support laws are often confusing and hard to interpret. Read on to learn answers to some of the top questions Illinois parents have about child support.
Which Parent Pays Child Support?
The parent with the greater amount of “parenting
Continue Reading Top 5 Questions About Child Support in Illinois

Ending a marriage can turn your entire world upside down. It is no wonder that divorce is considered to be one of the most stress-inducing life experiences a person can go through. Dealing with the legal, financial, practical, and emotional implications of divorce can be overwhelming for anyone.
Divorce coaches are mental health professionals who help divorcing spouses cope with the turmoil of divorce and make sound decisions during the divorce process. If you are thinking about ending your marriage, a divorce coach may help you reduce stress, avoid unnecessary contention, and work toward a favorable divorce outcome.
A Divorce
Continue Reading What is a Divorce Coach and Do I Need One?

The decision to end your marriage is likely one of the biggest decisions of your life. There is no “undoing” a divorce once it is finalized. Consequently, some states require married spouses to wait a certain amount of time before they can get divorced. Illinois used to have such a requirement; however, there is no longer a mandatory separation period or waiting period for divorce in Illinois. That being said, there are still certain criteria that must be met before you can divorce in Illinois.
Divorce Requirements and the Separation Period
To get divorced in Illinois, you or your
Continue Reading Do You Have to Be Separated for a Certain Amount of Time Before Divorcing in Illinois?

Prenuptial agreements are marital contracts that cover a wide range of issues. These documents are grossly misunderstood by the general public. Some people assume that prenuptial agreements are only necessary if a spouse intends to get divorced or does not take the marriage seriously. Others assume that if a spouse asks for a prenuptial agreement, he or she plans to take advantage of the other spouse financially. Although these myths are slowly being replaced by facts, it can still be a difficult topic to broach with a fiancé(e).
Wait Until the Right Time to Talk About a Prenup
Prenuptial agreements
Continue Reading How Can I Bring Up a Prenuptial Agreement with My Partner?

If you are getting divorced, you may be completely unsure of what to expect. How long will the divorce take? Will I need to go to court? What steps are involved in the divorce process? Questions like these are important. While there is no way to predict exactly how your divorce case will unfold, educating yourself about the Illinois divorce process will help you prepare for the different possibilities. The “discovery” phase of the divorce involves gathering facts and information using discovery tools such as interrogatories and depositions.
Discovery Depends on the Spouses’ Transparency
Divorcing spouses are asked to
Continue Reading What Happens During Divorce Discovery in Illinois?

Alimony, spousal maintenance, and spousal support are all terms used to describe the financial assistance an individual provides to his or her spouse during or after divorce. In Illinois, you can request temporary spousal maintenance while your divorce is ongoing through a “temporary relief order.” You may also receive payments after the divorce is complete. However, spousal maintenance is not guaranteed, and many divorce cases conclude without a spousal maintenance order. Read on to learn about how, why, and when spousal maintenance is awarded in Illinois.
How Can You Get Spousal Support?
Spousal maintenance may be awarded to a
Continue Reading 4 Questions About Alimony in Illinois Divorce Cases

Many parents who are thinking about ending their marriage have the same concern. They wonder, “How often will I get to see my kids if we divorce?” If you are thinking about divorce and you live in Illinois, it is important to understand how the state handles visitation. It is also important to know the vocabulary Illinois courts now use to describe parenting duties. In Illinois, the term “visitation” is no longer used to describe the time that a child spends with each parent. Visitation has been replaced by the term “parenting time.” Read on to learn
Continue Reading How Does Visitation Work in an Illinois Divorce?

Domestic violence affects the lives of millions of people every day in the United States, and Illinois residents are no exception. If you or a loved one has experienced domestic violence or abuse, you may have questions about protection orders. In Illinois, an Emergency Order of Protection is often issued on the same day that it was requested. It prohibits the subject of the order from contacting or coming near the petitioner and may also contain other provisions such as a provision requiring the subject to surrender his or her firearms. An order of protection also helps to create
Continue Reading What Counts as Abuse for an Illinois Order of Protection?

We typically think of marriage as a romantic partnership. However, marriage is also a legal relationship. When a married couple divorces, they will need to follow certain procedures to dissolve the legal marital relationship. If you are thinking about getting divorced in Illinois, you may wonder what the process entails. For example, you may wonder what the legal grounds for divorce are in Illinois, or whether there is a waiting period before you can file for divorce. The better educated you are about the divorce process in Illinois, the better prepared you will be to end your marriage on
Continue Reading What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

Adopting a child in Illinois can be an incredibly joyous and rewarding event. However, adoption is also a complex process that requires patience and diligence. Having an experienced adoption attorney will help you navigate adoption law, and understanding the process before you get started will help you set realistic expectations.
Am I Eligible to Adopt?
Illinois adoption law does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or marital status. As long as you are over 18 years of age, you meet Illinois residency requirements, and you are determined to be a reputable person, you may be single, married,
Continue Reading What You Need to Know If You Are Thinking About Adopting in Illinois

Most couples buy a home at some point in their marriage. The family home is often the most valuable asset a couple owns, and the prospect of figuring out how to divide it in a divorce can be daunting. Fortunately, Illinois courts have established means of handling property division during divorce, and homes are no exception.
Who Gets to Keep the House?
Sometimes, it is necessary for a divorcing couple to sell the family home and divide the equity. However, it is common for one spouse to keep the home. Which spouse that will be may depend on a variety
Continue Reading How Does Divorce in Illinois Affect the Family Home? 

Retirement funds, such as pensions and 401(k) accounts, are often a substantial issue in an Illinois divorce. For a couple who have earned average incomes throughout the duration of their marriage, retirement accounts can make up the majority of their accumulated wealth. As such, spouses are often concerned with the impact of a division of retirement savings as a consequence of their divorce.
In our last post, we discussed the impact of divorce on Social Security benefits. Here, we will examine the way that retirement accounts are handled in a divorce.
401(k) and Contribution Plans 
Unless spouses signed
Continue Reading How Does Divorce in Illinois Affect Retirement Savings? 

There are many factors to consider during your Illinois divorce, and one that is frequently overlooked is how Social Security benefits are handled. Social Security benefits are more complicated than other retirement assets like a 401(k), because federal law prohibits assigning, dividing, or garnishing Social Security benefits. This means that state courts cannot even consider Social Security benefits in the division of marital property, because dividing and allocating them–even by anticipating a larger future benefit for one spouse and allocating marital property to the other spouse accordingly–would contradict federal law.
However, that does not mean that you are
Continue Reading How Does an Illinois Divorce Affect Social Security Benefits?

Once a couple knows their marriage is over, spouses preparing to divorce in Illinois can become very competitive and hostile. One tactic a spouse might employ in an effort to get revenge, pay less future spousal support, or otherwise get the upper hand in the divorce, is to hide assets and sources of income.
This tactic is more common in high asset divorces, when a couple’s financial picture may be complex and one spouse may manage many or most of the assets, leaving the other spouse in the dark. Finding hidden assets and income that one spouse tries to
Continue Reading Discovering Hidden Assets in an Illinois Divorce