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The overwhelming majority of divorce cases end in a settlement. This means that the couple is able to come to an agreement about various divorce issues without having to go to trial. However, court involvement may be necessary if spouses cannot reach an agreement. If the case does end up going to court, the couple will no longer have the final say over the decisions made — a judge will. The judge will make determinations that are in line with the law, but before they can do that, they have to understand all of the facts of the case.…
Divorce can be financially taxing, even for the wealthiest of families. When a divorce is contested, it can be even more expensive and time-consuming than expected. For those who have children, child support can be one of the most important financial aspects of divorce. Ensuring that your children are adequately provided for may mean that you need to include child-related expenses above and beyond what typical child support payments provide.  Expenses to Consider Adding to Your Support Order In some cases, a child may have additional needs or expenses that the custodial parent needs assistance with. In these cases, the…
If you are a business owner, there are various issues that you must address if you get a divorce. Asset division can be a messy process, but when you own a business, there are many more financial aspects that you must consider before you divide your assets and liabilities. When it comes to dividing your property, the state of Illinois uses an equitable distribution process to ensure both spouses get their fair share of the marital assets. This means that your spouse could potentially be entitled to a portion of your business if the business is deemed to be…
Dealing with mental illness during divorce is not an uncommon issue. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 51.5 million people, or around one in five adult Americans, live with some type of mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. While most adults who live with these illnesses find ways to adapt and cope with everyday life, divorce can be a particularly difficult period of time, especially if it involves conflict between spouses. One of the biggest issues that many divorcing parents disagree on is parenting time, which can be exacerbated if one parent has a mental illness. But…
Divorce looks different for every couple. Some divorced couples end their marriage and never speak to each other again. Other couples remain on good terms and even take family vacations together after their split. Some may even continue to live together after getting divorced. If you are in a situation where it may make sense to continue living with your soon-to-be-ex, you may wonder, “Can I get divorced in Illinois if we are still living together?” Understanding Illinois’ Rules Regarding Living Separately and Apart One of the many changes to Illinois divorce law that took place in 2016 was a…
If you are like the vast majority of adults in Illinois, you probably have a cell phone, computer, tablet, or all three. Most of these devices can record audio and video at the press of a button. It can be very tempting to make use of this ability during divorce – especially if your spouse’s behavior is much different behind closed doors than it is in public. You may wonder, “Can I record my spouse and use this recording as evidence during my divorce?” Illinois Law Regarding Recording a Conversation Most states are one-party consent states. This means that it…
The make-up of the American family has changed dramatically over the last 100 years. One of the trends taking place throughout the United States is an increase in the average ages of marrying couples. Both men and women are getting married later in life. In 1960, the average age of first-time brides and grooms was 20 and 22, respectively. Presently, the average ages of first-time brides and grooms are closer to 30. This change has affected family law concerns, including prenuptial agreements and divorce. Individuals Getting Married Are More Like to Have Significant Assets and Debts Couples used to…
The silver lining of a separation or divorce is the possibility of meeting someone new. If you have found love after a failed marriage, you are probably eager to start your new life with this person. If you are a parent, this may include introducing your new partner to your children. The introduction of a new romantic interest after a separation can sometimes be difficult for children to handle, so it is important to be intentional about this event. Wait Until You Are Divorced For many people, a marriage is over long before the couple actually finalizes their divorce. If…
If you are thinking about divorce, it is important to carefully consider the information and advice that you are getting from others. Even though they have good intentions, many people unknowingly spread rumors and false information about issues like property division, child custody, or spousal support. Television and movies have also perpetuated many of the popular falsehoods regarding divorce. The best place to get legal advice and dependable support is an experienced divorce lawyer. Myth #1: Infidelity or Marital Misconduct Will Be a Crucial Factor Cheating and infidelity have ended countless marriages. If you are divorcing…
Stalking occurs when someone repeatedly follows, harasses, or threatens a person to an extent that the person fears for his or her safety. If you have been a victim of stalking, you know just how frightening the experience can be. Fortunately, there are laws that protect victims of stalking. In Illinois, what are often referred to as “restraining orders” are called “orders of protection.” There is also a specific court order designed to stop stalking behaviors called a “Stalking No Contact Order.” Read on to learn about the various court orders that can prevent a stalker from further…
If you are getting divorced in Illinois, and you share children with your spouse, you will be required to create a parenting agreement or parenting plan. This agreement is a detailed description of how you and your spouse will share parenting duties after your divorce, and it will ultimately become a legally binding court order. The plan also contains important information about the parents’ rights and responsibilities. Forming a parenting plan that both parents agree to is often one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce involving children. If you are a parent who is getting divorced, reach out…
Most marriages involve division of labor. One spouse may be in charge of grocery shopping and cooking while the other spouse handles homework, soccer practice, or other child-related matters. One spouse may handle lawn maintenance and home repair as the other focuses on laundry and indoor chores. While dividing responsibilities is common in a marriage, there is one way in which this division of labor can put a spouse in a very vulnerable position during a divorce. If you have not been involved in household financial decisions, it is important to start learning about your finances as soon as…
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has touched every aspect of our lives. School children attend classes remotely, businesses are shut down or forced to operate via video conferencing, and many people are unable to visit relatives in hospitals and nursing homes. One way in which the coronavirus may also be impacting Americans is through an increase in domestic violence. Unfortunately, many victims have stayed silent about the mistreatment they have suffered because they are ashamed, they fear retaliation, or they do not know the legal options that are available to them. If you or a loved one are…
As any parent can tell you, children are expensive. Between education and childcare, housing, groceries, healthcare, and other child-related costs, raising a child without financial assistance from the child’s other parent can be a major struggle. Parents have a moral responsibility and a legal obligation to provide for their child’s needs. Unfortunately, some parents try to evade this responsibility. If you are a single parent, and your child’s other parent is not paying child support, there are steps you can take to get the financial assistance you and your child deserve. Establishing a Child Support Order in Illinois If…
Divorce can make some people act in irrational or even malicious ways. One example of this is when a spouse purposely destroys the other spouse’s property. A resentful spouse may set fire to the other’s belongings, throw out important documents, or sell valuables for cash. If your spouse has destroyed your property or wasted assets during or immediately prior to your divorce, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your property. It is also important to educate yourself about your legal options moving forward. You may be able to recoup the value of the destroyed property through…
If you are unmarried or divorced, and you have children, you may share parental responsibilities and parenting time with your child’s other parent. In situations like this, parents are subject to certain rules and procedures when they move. The laws in Illinois regarding parental relocation changed significantly in 2016. Now, if a parent wants to move, and the move meets certain criteria, they may need to get court approval. Whether you are unmarried, divorced, or plan to end your marriage soon, it is important to be aware of parental relocation laws. Defining “Relocation” According to Illinois Law Before the…