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Latest from Michael C. Craven

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?

    The legal concepts that apply to many aspects of your life are constantly evolving to accommodate changing times. The same is true for Illinois’ statute on child support. The basic duty to support has not been altered significantly, so both parents are still obligated to provide for their children. The amount runs according to statutory child support guidelines, which consider:
     

    • Each parent’s income.
    • The number of children to be supported.
    • How many overnights the child spends with the non-residential parent
    • Many other factors. A judge can deviate from the statutory formula under appropriate circumstances, allowing for some flexibility.


    Continue Reading Child Support Laws in Illinois

    After a divorce that involves minor children, one parent is typically ordered to pay child support, as well as other expenses related to their education, healthcare, and other costs. Child support is expected to help the other parent to pay for the child’s daily expenses. If you believe you are no longer responsible for paying support, it is important to speak to a child support lawyer in Chicago that can help you petition to terminate child support.
    Terminating Support Upon the Age of 18
    It is a common misconception that child support is automatically terminated after a child turns 18
    Continue Reading Petition to Terminate Child Support in Illinois

    In Illinois, the concept of ‘child custody’ is now referred to as the ‘allocation of parental responsibilities.’ Under Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/602.5), state courts are required to “allocate decision-making responsibilities according to the child’s best interests.” As a general rule, Illinois courts presume that it is best for a child to have an active, ongoing relationship with both parents.
    However, there are exceptions. Unfortunately, some parents are simply not fit to provide care for a child. This raises an important question: How do you prove someone is an unfit parent in Illinois? In this article, our child
    Continue Reading How Do You Prove Someone is an Unfit Parent in Illinois?

    During or after a divorce, the financially advantaged spouse may be required to make alimony (spousal maintenance) payments to their former partner. In Illinois, there are several different types of spousal support, including:
     

    • Temporary alimony
    • Reviewable alimony
    • Fixed term alimony
    • Indefinite alimony

    Both fixed term alimony and indefinite alimony can last for many years. However, these payments may stop early if the receiving spouse remarries or enters a new cohabiting relationship. Here, our spousal support lawyer in Chicago provides a more detailed explanation of what happens when the spouse who receives alimony moves in with someone new.
    Cohabitation With
    Continue Reading Does Alimony Stop When You Live With Someone?

    What Do You Need To Know Before You Call A Divorce Attorney?
    Being prepared for a conversation with an attorney, especially an initial conversation, is probably very helpful to both the potential client as well as the attorney. The attorneys will want to be focused on facts and issues that will be relevant in the case. As a general rule, an attorney doesn’t need the entire history of a party’s life or marriage, , this is especially true for marriages that span 10-20 years or more.
     
    The kinds of issues in a particular case will be the driving force
    Continue Reading More Divorce Questions People Also Ask In Illinois

    Parents who are going through a divorce or a child custody case often have questions about how Illinois parental responsibility law handles a child’s preferences. In other words, can a child’s preference for custody play a role in determining the allocation of parental responsibilities? If so, you might also be wondering if there is a specific age at which a child can refuse child visitation in Illinois. Generally speaking, Illinois law does not set one specific age at which a child’s preference can play a role in determining custody or the allocation of parental responsibilities. Instead, the court may consider
    Continue Reading At What Age Can a Child Refuse Visitation in Illinois?

    If you are planning to file for divorce in Illinois, but you know your spouse does not want to move forward with the divorce, you may be wondering how Illinois divorce law handles such cases. In other words, you might want to know: Do both parties have to agree to divorce in Illinois?
     
    While a divorce case may be able to move more quickly and smoothly when both parties agree to the divorce and all terms of the dissolution of marriage, you should know both spouses do not have to agree to divorce in order for a divorce
    Continue Reading Do Both Parties Have to Agree to Divorce in Illinois?

    Getting divorced in Illinois will result in all marital assets and debts being divided equitably between the spouses. Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, the court will look to a variety of applicable factors to determine what a fair or equitable division of the property looks like based on the specific circumstances of the parties involved in the divorce. Yet in order to consider how to get to the stage of an equitable division of assets in divorce, the court must first classify all property as either non-marital or marital property, recognizing that only marital property will be subject
    Continue Reading Division of Assets in Divorce Worksheet

    When parents get divorced in Illinois, the court will calculate child support payments as part of the divorce case. As you may know, Illinois recently shifted to using the “income shares” model for child support. The model took effect on January 1, 2019, and it requires both parents to contribute to the financial support of their children.
     
    According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/505), under the income shares model, the court will determine each parent’s adjusted net income and combine those amounts to obtain a total adjusted net income.
     
    Continue Reading Issues That Impact Your Child Support Payments

    Whether you are the parent who pays or receives child support, you should be aware of your rights and obligations under Illinois’ statute on child support obligations. In some cases, the duty to pay child support arises out of a divorce. In other cases, it follows a parentage case. Regardless of the specific circumstances, child support orders are legally binding. There are severe consequences and penalties for violating a child support order. Here, our Chicago child support lawyer about ending child support payments in Illinois.
    Most Child Support Orders Include a Termination Date
    In most cases, child support orders
    Continue Reading Ending Child Support in Illinois: What You Need to Know

    In an Illinois divorce case, it is common for a judge to award spousal support to a lower-earning spouse or party that faces challenges in becoming self-sustaining. The details of alimony vary and are very case-specific, so the duration could be several years after the divorce was finalized. As such, it is probable that adjustments may be necessary due to lifestyle changes of either the payer or recipient. Regardless of whether your arrangement was determined through a settlement agreement or a court hearing, you may be in the position to request or contest modifications to alimony.
     
    Frequently, questions regarding
    Continue Reading Settlements, Financial Matters, and Remarriage