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The legal and financial aspects of marriage are often overlooked in our romantic conception of relationships. However, finances are an important part of any marriage – and perhaps even more important in a divorce. One particularly difficult aspect of determining how marital property is divided in a divorce is the valuation and division of complex assets, especially when those assets and the individuals who own them have a high net worth.  What is a Complex Asset?  Complex assets include assets made up of multiple components, each of which may contribute to the asset’s value. For example, an investment…
Pursuing an adoption in Illinois is a wonderful way to expand your family, but it can also be  a lengthy and expensive process. Whether you adopt through a private arrangement with a biological parent, an agency adoption, or a related adoption such as a stepparent adopting a stepchild, the adoption process can have many complications and emotional pitfalls. Recognizing this, the Illinois State Legislature recently passed a bill designed to streamline the adoption process. Senate Bill 107 was passed unanimously and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Pritzker. Among other issues, the bill addresses the following:  Eliminates…
Spousal maintenance (formerly known as “alimony”) is one of the most contentious issues in an Illinois divorce or divorce order modification. The receiving spouse often feels entitled to maintenance, and the paying spouse often feels as though they cannot or should not have to pay someone they are no longer married to.   Illinois law provides specific guidance for how courts determine how much, if any, spousal maintenance should be paid. It also provides for specific circumstances that can exclude a former spouse from receiving more maintenance payments. Read on to learn more about the factors a court considers when…
Research suggests that getting divorced can be one of the most difficult and disruptive life events for everyone involved. A divorcing couple has often built up years of resentments, and it can be hard to remember that they ever saw anything good in each other. One potential consequence of this hostility is that parents will often try to get sole custody of their child. They may try to convince the court that the other parent is so unfit that they should not have any say in important decisions regarding the child. Sometimes, this is based on the sincere belief that sole…
Unfortunately, some divorces are so fractious and bitter that parents cannot decide upon a parenting plan that works for everyone. Sometimes, both parents are struggling with personal issues that get in the way of their parenting capabilities. Perhaps one parent will make accusations about another parent’s behavior, and a judge is unsure whether the accusing parent is telling the truth.  These are just a few examples of situations in which a court may decide to appoint a custody evaluator. Formally, these situations are known under Illinois law as “604b Evaluations” – when the court asks an outside representative to…
People who sustain serious injuries at work often depend on the monetary compensation they receive from workers’ compensation or a personal injury settlement. The money victims receive is necessary for medical costs, which can be exorbitant, and to make up for the wages lost due to the injury. You may believe that, in the event of a divorce, your settlement money will remain yours alone, since you are the one who is affected by the injury. However, Illinois law defines marital property as all assets acquired during a marriage – and money acquired because of workers’ compensation and personal…
When a divorce is finalized, the divorce decree will describe property division, spousal support, allocation of parental responsibilities, and how much child support must be paid. However, circumstances can justify modifying a divorce order so that the amount of child support due reflects a parent’s current situation. In order to understand how a job change or other circumstance may affect child support payments, it is important to first understand how child support is determined in Illinois.  What Factors Does a Court Consider When Determining Child Support? Hourly wages or salary are not the only factors a court will consider…
Divorce is commonplace in 2021, and many couples may be tempted to handle the filing, negotiating, and property settlement for themselves. When a couple is separating amicably, it may seem that the divorce process is fairly straightforward and they believe they will be able to come to a mutual resolution without help from a divorce attorney. Couples may also believe they can save themselves significant time and expense by handling the divorce themselves.  Regardless of how legitimate the reasons for wanting to avoid hiring a lawyer may be, the truth is that handling the divorce process yourself can actually end…
Paternity – the state of being someone’s father – may seem more straightforward than it actually is. Some men strive to avoid being seen as a child’s father, as this comes with responsibilities like child support, while other men have to work to prove that they are the father of a child so they can be involved in his or her life. Whichever side you find yourself on, it is important to understand how paternity is established and treated within Illinois law.  How is Paternity Established?   Paternity tests are the most famous method of establishing paternity, as they are often…
Choosing a great divorce attorney is a crucial part of having a successful divorce process. But with so many attorneys here in Illinois alone, how do you know which attorney to choose? Skills, experience, and a proven track record are things most people would want – but whether you want an attorney who is more aggressive or more compassionate will depend on your circumstances and your own personality.  Here is a list of some of the most important qualities everyone should look for in a divorce attorney – and why The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. measures up.  Professionalism A great…
Divorce can be a traumatic event for children, but there are things parents can do to make the process easier. Staying connected to their child during and after the divorce is the priority of most parents, and studies show that children with involved parents tend to do much better throughout their entire life. Here, we explore some of the best ways parents in Illinois can remain close with their children after a divorce.   Be Assertive in the Relationship Kids sometimes react unpredictably following a divorce. They may become withdrawn, surly, and even directly tell you they don’t want to talk…
 Divorce is never easy, but it is made even more difficult when one spouse cannot or will not work. Studies show that divorce is substantially more likely among heterosexual couples when the husband is not employed. The working spouse may feel frustrated by months or years of supporting the household but may also feel guilty for potentially cutting off the non-working spouse’s source of income.  Divorcing an unemployed spouse does not have to be a nightmare. Along with hiring an experienced divorce attorney, here are three things to consider when divorcing an unemployed spouse.  Alimony Alimony, or spousal…
Once a divorce is finalized, former spouses are free to marry anyone they want. Although this typically means finding and marrying a new partner, sometimes ex-spouses will want to remarry each other. Research shows that only 6 percent of couples remarry each other after divorce – but of those who do, a surprising 72 percent stay together.  This may seem shocking to some people, but there are actually good reasons people remarry each other. People change, grow, recognize their mistakes, and shift their priorities. If couples share children, they may realize that life apart is more difficult than life together.…
Studies show that divorce is one of the most difficult life events that children can experience. Although divorce is never easy, it does not have to be a disaster. Making intentional decisions to protect your child throughout the divorce process can significantly impact the emotional success of a child during and post-divorce.  Our last post examined strategies for telling your child that you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce. In this post, we will look at ways that you can protect your child during the divorce, focusing on maximizing parental connection and minimizing trauma and self-blame.   Constantly…
Making the decision to get divorced is never easy. Divorcing parents have to balance a tricky line between honesty, self-advocacy, and doing what is best for the kids – all while managing their household and keeping their career afloat. Add the potential conflict and hostility of divorce, and you’ve got a complex situation with no perfect solution.  In this blog, we will look at some of the strategies experts recommend for discussing this sensitive subject with children. Be sure to also read our next blog for ways you can protect your children during the divorce proceedings.  Make Sure Your Kids…
Although divorce is common, it is one of the most difficult life events an individual or family can face. Making the decision to begin divorce proceedings should never be done lightly, and it is normal to feel some uncertainty about moving forward. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself and make the process as painless as possible.  Prioritize Peace Extensive research shows the traumatic effects of divorce on both children and adults, and most people agree that reducing conflict is imperative during divorce proceedings. Unfortunately, when spouses are in the middle of tense negotiations, it can…