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Latest from Michael C. Craven

At the outset, you should keep one key point in mind about divorce in Illinois. The Illinois statute on the dissolution of marriage is no-fault, which means nothing can stop you if you want a divorce. There are some basic procedural requirements, however. When filing the petition for divorce, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of Illinois or be stationed in the state for at least 90 days via military service. The petition must also state that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship, and reconciliation is not practical. This requirement
Continue Reading I Want a Divorce but My Spouse is Hiding Assets

In an ideal world, parents who are not involved in a relationship can still work out and comply with their parenting plan that covers child custody and visitation. The reality is that you could encounter a situation where your ex violates the arrangement, potentially putting strains on your schedule, employment, and other aspects of your personal life. Fortunately, Illinois’ statute on the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time also provides you with tools when your child’s other parent is not following the plan. You can bring the issue back before the court by seeking enforcement, though there may be
Continue Reading My Ex is Not Following the Parenting Plan – Now What?

The financial and legal interests of spouses are closely intertwined during their marriage, so one of the most critical aspects of the proceedings will be separating these bonds. Illinois’ property division statute covers this part of the process, providing that all marital assets are subject to equitable distribution between the parties. Therefore, the initial inquiry is whether the item was acquired during the marriage or became jointly owned under certain circumstances. Then, all marital property is divvied up between the parties according to the interests of fairness.
 
However, when a marital asset involves ownership interests in a business, the
Continue Reading Business Valuation and Calculating Goodwill as Part of it

There are almost limitless opportunities for investors of all types and budgets, and stock options are one option that enables you to derive value from the underlying asset at a later date. The basic definition of a stock option is a contract between the buyer and seller to complete a stock purchase transaction in the future at a designated price.
 
From the date of the contract to finalize the transaction, stock options have some qualities of property because there is value down the road. At the same time, before the option is exercised, the current value is fleeting.
 
Continue Reading Illinois Divorce and Dividing Stock Options

The ultimate goal of divorce in Chicago is to end the marriage and wrap up the legal implications of the marital relationship, so you can expect that fiscal issues will be at the forefront of the proceedings.
 
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act includes a section on three key financial considerations: alimony, child support, and property division. You might not have to address all of these matters but, when you do, they could impact your divorce case during the proceedings and after the final decree is entered.
 
Financial factors are among the most hotly disputed issues
Continue Reading Important Financial Considerations to Think About During and After Your Divorce

Of all the tasks and activities involved with planning your perfect wedding, you may not focus on the one that only matters if things go south, creating a prenuptial agreement. Few couples want their nuptials to be preceded by signing a contract that anticipates divorce, but it may be wise to consider.
 
The Illinois Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act allows soon-to-be spouses to hash out the details of property division and alimony, and there are numerous benefits for doing so. At the core of a prenup is certainty over what happens if the marital relationship breaks down, as well as
Continue Reading Could a Prenuptial Agreement be Right for You?

Of all the divorce issues couples face during the proceedings, dealing with the family home can be one of the most contentious and emotionally charged. The value of the residence places it among the highest valued assets in a divorce, and it will be considered marital property in many cases. As a result, Illinois’ property division statute applies. By law, all marital assets are subject to equitable distribution between the parties, so the court will divide property according to the interests of fairness.
 
Unfortunately, knowing the basics of asset distribution in Illinois divorce will not provide much guidance on
Continue Reading In an Illinois Divorce, Should You Sell or Keep the Family Home?

There are emotional and financial challenges involved with any divorce, but some parties will also need to incorporate strategies for tax matters when ending their marriage. Specifically, there can be taxable events and other tax-related issues that arise with the division of marital property.
The different transactions and ownership changes that result from a dissolution of marriage may trigger the Internal Revenue Code section on capital gains and losses, particularly related to the marital home. Without proper planning and attention to detail, you could end up paying more than you should to the IRS.
As such, it is critical
Continue Reading How to Reduce Capital Gains Tax Selling the Marital Home

Parental Responsibilities in Illinois
For many parents that are divorcing, the conclusion of the process marks the end of any legal obligations or rights they have stemming from the marital relationship. Post-divorce is very different for parents with minor children, who must continue to comply with the court’s order concerning their children’s care and support.
 Illinois’ statute on the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time presumes that both parents are fit to exercise custody and visitation, so many find themselves in a co-parenting situation. Though the parties are no longer a couple, many parents can fulfill their respective
Continue Reading Co-Parenting When You Can’t Get Along with Your Ex

Next to alimony and care for minor children, property division is one of the primary issues that all couples will face when going through a divorce in Illinois. Illinois divorce laws provide that assets are subject to equitable distribution.
 
This generally means that items will be divided between the parties according to the interests of fairness. In some cases the process seems relatively clear-cut with respect to certain real and personal property, such as the family home, vehicles, and financial assets.
 
Ownership in an Illinois business, however, is an entirely different, far more complex matter. Even the initial
Continue Reading How do You Divide Illinois Business Assets in a Divorce?

While it is encouraging to know that the overall divorce rate in the US is at a 50-year low, a closer look at the data reveals a shocking trend. Recent US Census Bureau figures indicate that the dissolution of marriage rate is highest among individuals aged 55 to 64, a phenomenon familiarly known as “gray” divorce or “silver splitting.” If you are contemplating divorce after 50, you probably expect certain challenges with asset division and alimony. The length of the marriage, age of the parties, and many other factors impact these issues.
However, an Illinois gray divorce encompasses many other
Continue Reading Divorce After 50 and Their Unique Issues

While it is true that every divorce case is different, there is one common issue that most parties going through the process will face:
 

  • Addressing the property that you share
  • Divvying up these items according to state divorce laws
  • There are generally two legal approaches to assets in divorce:

  • Community property
  • Equitable distribution
  • Illinois falls into the second category. In general, the process for dividing assets under Illinois equitable distribution statute revolves around the concept of fairness. However, the underlying details make property division more complex than you might expect.

    You should trust a Chicago divorce attorney
    Continue Reading Understanding Illinois’ Equitable Distribution in a Divorce

    The school year is underway for children throughout the Chicago area, and many families continue to adjust to the new schedule to accommodate classes, sports, and other activities. For co-parents who share custody, the start of school might also mean addressing your Illinois parenting plan. The arrangement that was in place over the summer may not be workable now that children have a different structure. Plus, the holidays and vacations that are closely tied to school will impact your family over the next few months.
    It can be difficult to anticipate the exact details to include in a parenting plan
    Continue Reading Parenting Plan Must Haves: Schedules for School, Holidays, and Vacations

    When their marital relationship breaks down and spouses are looking at options for ending the marriage, most will immediately turn their thoughts to divorce. What you may not realize is that legal separation could be a route to consider, depending on your situation and objectives.
     
    The concept once referred to the period of time a couple lived apart before divorcing, which is why there is some confusion about separation. Additional misunderstandings arise because the relevant statutory sections fall under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, even though the statute on legal separation does not legally end your
    Continue Reading What is the Law Regarding Separation in Illinois?

    Regardless of whether parents are in an intact relationship and living under one roof, both will have child support obligations under Illinois law. It is typically the nonresidential parent who will have to pay, as the residential parent is presumed to be contributing financially with the child living in his or her home.
     

    However, beyond this general arrangement, the legal details under Illinois child support laws are far more complex. The state recently enacted legislation that implements a child support income shares model, which bases support obligations upon the financial situation the child would have enjoyed had parents remained
    Continue Reading Child Support Income Shares Model Calculator

    Marriage has always been a legal relationship in addition to being a personal one. As a result, there are certain requirements involved with the Illinois divorce process just as there were leading up to your wedding day. At one time, you needed to prove that you had grounds for divorce in Illinois as a reason to end the marriage.
     
    Parties had to include allegations regarding adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or other misconduct defined by law. However, changes to the Illinois statute on the dissolution of marriage eliminated the need to have a reason for divorce. Now, you must simply state
    Continue Reading Do I Need Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?