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The Illinois small estate affidavit allows some heirs to process smaller estates without probate, but any estate in which probate assets exceed $100,000.00 must go through the formal probate process. The probate process can be long, costly, and challenging, so it is not uncommon for many people to want to do everything they can to avoid having to deal with probate.
The good news for most people is that Illinois allows a number of ways for people to avoid probate by the way they transfer assets to their heirs. When people do not designate beneficiaries on their insurance policies, pensions,
Continue Reading Estate Planning Strategies to Avoid Probate in Illinois

Paternity in Illinois is relatively straightforward when it comes to married couples. A woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of a child automatically when the couple is married. However, complications arise with children born out of wedlock. Paternity needs to be established in such cases, and one of the simplest ways this is accomplished is through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) that both parents sign and submit to the  the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). Establishing paternity without a VAP usually requires either an administrative paternity order or order of paternity.
How Contested Paternity
Continue Reading How Paternity Laws Work in Illinois

According to the United States Census Bureau, Hinsdale has a median household income of $206,701 and a median value of $882,700 for owner-occupied housing units. Many families in the Hinsdale area have significant assets, so it is not uncommon for some spouses to find themselves involved in a high net worth divorce that can be more complicated than other divorces.
The truth remains that people with greater net worth often have complex financial circumstances, and dividing property in these cases can often prove to be quite contentious. When one spouse is also a business owner, this can affect the property
Continue Reading Handling a High Net Worth Divorce in Hinsdale

Many people filing for divorce in DuPage County are dealing with courts for the first time and do not have full understanding of their rights during all proceedings. Courts can issue various kinds of temporary restraining orders or protective orders as well as other types of injunctive relief.
People should be aware of what rights they have to deal with spouses during their cases while they are still working towards a final divorce decree. Temporary restraining orders can place important financial holds on shared banking accounts while protective orders can help spouses who have been or may be at risk
Continue Reading Temporary Court Orders in Illinois Divorce Cases

One of the most contentious issues in any divorce can be child support. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has a child support estimator that uses a variety of information, including the number of children, incomes of both parents, and spousal maintenance, to give people a general idea of possible child support amounts. Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) data indicated that the $766,636,244 paid in child support in Illinois in 2018 was actually less than the $807,772,022 paid in 2015, and the 43.5 percent of parents who were due child support said they received the
Continue Reading Understanding Child Support Obligations in Illinois

The Second District Appellate Court recently dealt with a somewhat unusual topic in a divorce case when it had to rule on a case involving custody of frozen embryos. People who are involved in complex disputes relating to the dissolution of their marriage will want to work with an experienced divorce attorney. In re Marriage of Katsap, 2022 Ill. App. 2d 210706, was a court case in which Eneya Katsap was appealing a trial court judgment for dissolution of marriage to Alexander Katsap. 
Determining Custody for Embryos
The couple created frozen embryos and stored their embryos at the New England
Continue Reading Embryo Issues in Divorce Cases

A significant percentage of couples will have a prenuptial agreement in place before they walk down the aisle on their wedding day. Prenuptial agreements can protect both parties in different ways, such as by designating separate property and predetermining certain issues so as to keep any potential future divorce predictable and simplified. If you and your spouse have already married, it is not too late to take advantage of a marital contract. Your contract will be called a “postnuptial agreement” if it is signed after you say, “I do.”
Signing a postnuptial agreement can offer you nearly all
Continue Reading If We Are Already Married, Is it Too Late for a Prenuptial Agreement?

 Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can be excellent tools for married couples. These agreements can accomplish legal tasks such as designating separate property for each spouse, predetermining how property is to be divided in the event of a divorce, and even requiring each other to create an estate plan naming the other as a beneficiary. However, there are certain clauses that are prohibited in these agreements. Even if both parties willingly agree to a clause, the clause in question may not be enforced if it is statutorily prohibited or would have certain unlawful effects in application. Although other parts of
Continue Reading Prohibited Provisions in an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement

In Illinois, the term “parentage” rather than “paternity” is generally used, although you may still hear “paternity” used colloquially. Adjudicating parentage means judicially deciding who a child’s parents are. Our state’s parentage laws have broadened to reflect the idea that not all children have one mother and one father. A child born into a marriage between two women is presumed a child of both, for example. Only once paternity has been definitively established can a parent pursue parental rights, seek shared parenting time, or seek child support payments.

If parentage is not established at the hospital at the time of
Continue Reading Who Can Initiate Proceedings to Establish Parentage?

When parents of minor children seek a divorce, one of the most emotionally-charged aspects of the divorce action is likely to be the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities. It is the goal of most parents to maximize the amount of time they will be able to spend with the children antecedent to the finalization of the divorce. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act sets out statutory factors that courts are instructed to use in determining what type of custody arrangement may be in the best interests of the children.
Illinois courts are required to decide issues concerning parenting
Continue Reading Factors Impacting the Allocation of Parenting Time in Illinois

A large percentage of divorces today are settled out of court, eliminating the need for an often-emotional battle in the courthouse. If you and your spouse are willing to try mediation, you may be able to save yourselves significant amounts of time and money by avoiding litigation. In many cases, the spouses are able to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement out of court, often with the help of a mediator.
Not all mediation styles are the same. You should know that you have options for how to approach the mediation process. Determining which type of mediation is right for
Continue Reading Mediation Options for Divorcing Couples

For many spouses who are taking the step of filing for divorce, a finalized divorce decree cannot come soon enough. You may have been contemplating seeking a divorce for some time. You may have undertaken great efforts to hold together a marriage that is no longer viable. Often, by the time a person is prepared to file a formal petition for divorce, they are also prepared for the marriage to terminate at once. Unfortunately, rarely is divorce an instantaneous process. From the day your attorney files a divorce petition on your behalf, receiving a finalized divorce decree can take
Continue Reading How Long Will My Divorce Take in DuPage County?

Many modern couples enjoy the security of a strong prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can secure each spouse’s separate property or govern how marital property is to be divided in a divorce. For some, a legally sound prenuptial agreement can make the divorce process more expedient and less stressful. There may be very little property or money not governed by the agreement, making any negotiations of this nature generally brief. However, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements cannot settle the totality of the issues in each divorce case. The allocation of parenting time and parental responsibility cannot be predetermined by
Continue Reading Divorce With a Prenuptial Agreement in Place

Being married to a narcissist can feel like being caught in the web of a spider. Often, narcissists are skilled at hiding their narcissistic traits from outsiders, and they may even appear charming and polite to those who do not know them as well as their spouse would. Or, your friends and family may have quickly come to comprehend the true nature of your spouse. Indeed, social supports are of vital importance while you are in the process of undoing your marital entanglements with your narcissist spouse. There may be significant challenges on your path to a divorce decree, particularly
Continue Reading How to Divorce a Narcissist

Divorce litigation can be a stressful affair. The hearings may go on for weeks or even months depending on the particular issues of the case. Those going through a high-asset divorce may be in and out of the courtroom for more than a year. Substantial evidence may need to be gathered, including financial records, bank statements, deeds, and more. Litigation is not an expedient method of divorce. The unpleasantness and inconvenience of litigating a divorce drive many spouses, including those who are far from amicable, to resolve their divorces through the use of cooperative divorce techniques such as mediation. 
Continue Reading 3 Good Reasons to Litigate Your Divorce

Divorce can be complicated even for spouses who share very little marital property. When part of your marital or shared property is a business, ownership interests and other rights regarding the business will need to be divided in an equitable manner. There are a lot of considerations that must be taken into account when dividing a business incident to high-asset divorce. For example, you may consider whether one of you owned the business solely prior to marriage, or if one of you does a majority of the work in managing the company’s day-to-day operations.
Business valuation is likely to
Continue Reading Divorce for Family Business Owners