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In an Illinois divorce or custody fight, parents often fight for more time with their children. The parents may want more time with their children but the parents may also be hoping that more time with the children means more or less child support to be paid or to be received. How does parenting time affect child support?

The purpose of the Illinois child support statute is to “to allocate the amount of child support to be paid by each parent based upon a parent’s net income and the child’s physical care arrangements.” 750 ILCS 5/505(a)(1)(F)(emphasis mine)

Under Illinois law,
Continue Reading How Does Parenting Time Affect Child Support In Illinois?

People move around a lot. It is not uncommon for a father and mother to enter into a child support order and then the parent with primary custody of the child move to another state. If the custodial parent and the child move to Illinois, the custodial parent may want to modify child support without returning to the original jurisdiction of the original state where the child support order was entered. I mean, why not? The child lives in Illinois now…so shouldn’t Illinois law govern the child support?

Out-Of-State Child Support Orders In Illinois

The parents are still bound by
Continue Reading How To Modify An Out-Of-State Child Support Order In Illinois

There is probably no more byzantine and complex process in an Illinois divorce than valuing and dividing a business. The business operating spouse will always want to keep the business while claiming the business is worthless. The spouse that doesn’t operate the business will want a grandiose share of the business’s value…without really knowing what that value is. A business’s value will surely go to trial or be negotiated fiercely.

The business owner and his or spouse, must know how an Illinois court determines the value and division of a business. More importantly, the litigants’ divorce lawyers must understand completely
Continue Reading How To Value And Divide A Business In An Illinois Divorce

People who get divorced get in fights. It is not unusual for a fight between a married couple to result in one spouse filing a Petition For An Order of Protection against the other spouse.

For divorces with children, a Petition for an Order of Protection can cause one parent to be denied time from their children for months. The alleged abuser will have to win back the trust of court system, the children’s other parent and even the children themselves before the alleged abuser can see their own children again.

How do you prevent a Petition for an Order
Continue Reading Abuse Of Orders Of Protection In Illinois

An old saying goes, “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over.” In an Illinois divorce, it’s not even over when it’s over. Either party has the option to appeal the case and the decisions rendered by the trial judge to the appropriate appeals court.

In Illinois, it is a right to appeal a divorce court’s decision.

“Appeals from final judgments of a Circuit Court are a matter of right to the Appellate Court in the Judicial District in which the Circuit Court is located” Ill. Const. Art. VI. Sec. 6

“Every final judgment of a circuit court in a civil case
Continue Reading Motion To Stay After An Illinois Divorce Is Appealed

Divorces are messy. Divorces with children are REALLY messy. Illinois divorce courts will often try to bypass the messiest part of an Illinois divorce by reserving the parenting time issues until a later date.

Sometimes, an Illinois divorce court will be tempted to resolve the cleaner aspects of a divorce that can be determined with mathematical certainty like child support, maintenance and the division of marital assets. With 80% of the divorce issues resolved but the parents still fighting about parenting time, an Illinois divorce will be tempted to just reserve those parenting time issues until the
Continue Reading Reserving Parenting Time In An Illinois Divorce or Custody Case

Your wedding vows probably included the words “until death do us part.” Even if you get divorced, your relationship with your ex-spouse may not truly end until one of you dies. What is the effect of divorce on a party’s will or estate upon death in Illinois.

A divorce in process will NOT affect a will in Illinois. Only a finalized divorce will affect a will in Illinois.

“It has long been the rule in Illinois that the death of either party to a divorce action prior to final judgment deprives the circuit court of jurisdiction over all aspects of
Continue Reading Wills After A Divorce In Illinois

Prenuptial agreements are generally drafted by the spouse who has the money. The spouse with the most assets and income will prepare a prenuptial agreement which will attempt to preserve as much of those assets and income as possible.

When preparing a prenuptial agreement, a divorce attorney will include clauses which benefit their client if the parties do, if fact, divorce. Including a clause that can limit or eliminate any contribution of attorney’s fees from one party to the other during the course of divorce litigation will clearly limit the other party’s ability to contest the prenuptial agreement and prosecute
Continue Reading Prenuptial Agreements And Attorney’s Fees In Illinois

People get paid all sorts of ways. Employees get paystubs, benefits, and per diem accounts. Employees even get paid for NOT working when they are paid for their accumulated vacation and sick days.

For an older employee in a job that allows vacation and sick day credits to be carried over year-over-year, those accumulated vacation and sick days can add up to a lot of money.

How will the money that will, eventually, be cashed in for those vacation and sick days be treated in an Illinois divorce?

How Are Vacation And Sick Days Divided In An Illinois Divorce?

“All
Continue Reading Vacation And Sick Days In An Illinois Divorce

Divorce is terrible. Divorce changes everything in both parties’ lives and in their children’s lives. However, the status quo of living in misery and distrust cannot remain either. There must be some kind of half-measure, some kind of remediation in between marriage and divorce. Often, parties will look to a postnuptial agreement (also known as a “postnup” or an antenuptial agreement) as a way to delay divorce and set new terms for an eventual divorce. How does a postnuptial agreement work in Illinois?

A postnuptial agreement is “an agreement entered into during marriage to define each spouse’s property rights in
Continue Reading Postnuptial Agreements In Illinois

The cartoon character Scrooge McDuck would keep all his wealth in one place: a giant vault. Scrooge would then swim in the money he had amassed in order to count it. In real life, wealth is never kept in one place. Often, wealth is not even money. Wealth is usually interests in assets balanced by obligations in debts.

How is the humble soon-to-be divorcee supposed to understand their and their spouse’s assets and debts for the purposes of dividing those assets and debts in an Illinois divorce?

Wealthy people divorcing in Illinois do not need, personally, to accurately account for
Continue Reading Financial Experts In An Illinois Divorce

Traditionally, men ask women to marry them by buying them a diamond ring. The “rule” is that the diamond ring should be worth two months of the man’s salary. That is a lot of money.

If the parties do not get married or get married and get divorced, who gets that engagement ring under Illinois law?

Who Gets The Engagement Ring If The Parties Never Married?

If the engagement was broken off before the actual marriage occurred, either party can go to an Illinois court with an action for replevin.

Replevin is “a lawsuit to repossess personal property wrongfully taken
Continue Reading Who Gets The Engagement Ring In Illinois?

Getting divorced is not pretty. Usually someone in a divorce has done something really stupid, cruel or embarrassing. Even if the embarrassing behavior is exclusively your spouse’s actions, your spouse (and their behavior) is still a reflection upon you.

Sex, alcohol, drugs, lying and destitution are not fun subjects when they are about you and your family. Discussing these uncomfortable indiscretions in front of a room of strangers is not pleasant for anyone. Immortalizing the details of degrading behavior in writing for the court record is just as unpleasant.

How can you let the court know about
Continue Reading How To Allege Embarrassing Facts In An Illinois Divorce?

Most divorces in Illinois are governed by one to three documents: a Judgment For Dissolution Of Marriage, A Marital Settlement Agreement and/or an Allocation of Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities.

95% of these final divorce documents will be entered into by agreement. Agreements will be enforced as written in an Illinois court.

“[S]ettlement agreements are binding absent a finding of unconscionability.” In re Marriage of Stoker, 2021 IL App (5th) 200301

Agreements in divorce are subject to contract law for the purposes of enforcement. Contract law can sometimes modify even an agreed order. This means that a court
Continue Reading Severability In An Illinois Divorce Agreement

After an Illinois divorce is over…it is not really over. Everything in a divorce order can be enforced later in the same Illinois divorce court. Additionally, virtually everything about a divorce order in Illinois can be modified in that same Illinois divorce court.

The world is not static and neither are the lives of the divorced. When a substantial change in circumstances happens in either parties’ lives, one party will file to modify the Marital Settlement Agreement or Allocation of Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities. If not modified, the other party will fail to meet their obligations under
Continue Reading Res Judicata In An Illinois Divorce

Family law is fraught with emergencies: holiday trips that have been thwarted, medical procedures that need to be done, money frittered away with no hope of recoup.

If you and your spouse, ex-spouse or ex-spouse-to-be, cannot communicate effectively about the day-to-day goings on of your lives…an emergency motion may be the vehicle for communication.

Furthermore, upon receipt of an emergency motion, you will have limited time to prepare for and defend against the emergency motion’s allegations.

What Is A Motion In an Illinois Divorce?

At the end of your divorce case, final documents such as a Judgment of Dissolution
Continue Reading How To Respond To An Emergency Motion In An Illinois Divorce