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Hillside, IL 60162

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Recent Blog Posts

3 Reasons Why You May Want to Create a Postnuptial Agreement

 Posted on January 17, 2022 in Family Law

Oak Park Marital Agreement LawyerMost people are familiar with the concept of a prenuptial agreement, or prenup. These types of agreements are signed by couples before getting married, and they may address issues related to the ownership of property and decide how certain matters will be handled if the marriage ends in divorce. What some people may not realize is that a couple can also create a similar type of agreement after they are already married. These agreements are known as postnuptial agreements, or postnups. By understanding the situations where a postnup may be beneficial, a couple can determine whether creating this type of agreement will be a good idea.

Situations Where Postnuptial Agreements Can Provide Protections for Spouses

A postnuptial agreement can address certain types of financial or property-related issues, detailing how these matters will be addressed if a couple chooses to end their marriage and pursue a divorce or legal separation. Spouses may decide how their marital property will be divided, or whether one spouse will pay spousal maintenance (a.k.a. alimony or spousal support) to the other. Some reasons why it may be a good idea to make these decisions ahead of time through a postnup include:

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What Steps Do Divorced Parents Need to Follow When Moving to a New Home?

 Posted on December 16, 2021 in Family Law

Oak Park Family Law AttorneyAfter getting a divorce, you may be looking for a fresh start, or you may be considering a new direction in your life. This may include plans to relocate to a new home in a different community. While this can be a beneficial change that may allow you to cut down on expenses, pursue new career opportunities, or live closer to members of your family, you will want to be aware of any legal issues that may affect your ability to move. If you share custody of your children with your ex-spouse, you will need to follow certain steps during the parental relocation process. By working with an attorney who is experienced in post-decree matters, you can make sure you meet all of your legal requirements while addressing any disputes with your ex-spouse or other issues that may arise.

The Parental Relocation Process

When you are making plans to move, you will want to determine whether this change will need to be addressed through the legal system. Illinois law details when a move is considered a parental relocation. If you live in DuPage, Kane, Cook, Lake Will, or McHenry County, and you are planning to move at least 25 miles away from your current home to a new home either inside or outside of Illinois, you may need to receive permission from the court.

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How Can I Show That I Should Receive Spousal Support in My Divorce?

 Posted on December 09, 2021 in Divorce

Hillside Divorce LawyerIf you are planning to get a divorce, your ability to support yourself financially will likely be one of your primary concerns, especially if you earn a lower income than your spouse or are a stay-at-home parent. As you make plans to address your living situation and determine how you will cover your ongoing expenses, you will want to determine whether you will be able to receive financial support from your spouse. Spousal maintenance, which is also known as spousal support or alimony, may be available, but to receive this form of support, you will usually need to demonstrate that it is needed.

Factors Considered When Addressing Spousal Maintenance

When addressing issues related to spousal maintenance, it is important to understand the purpose of this form of support. When a couple gets divorced, they should be able to continue living at the standard they enjoyed while they were married. Spousal support may address a disparity between spouses’ incomes and ensure that a lower-earning spouse can maintain their standard of living. Maintenance is based solely on spouses’ economic circumstances and needs rather than the reasons they are getting divorced. In fact, Illinois law states that “marital misconduct” will not affect the decisions about whether to award spousal support, so maintenance cannot be used as a penalty for infidelity or other actions or behavior by a spouse.

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How Is Ownership of a Family Business Handled During a Divorce?

 Posted on November 22, 2021 in Divorce

Oak Park Marital Business Division LawyerA divorce will affect the finances of spouses in multiple ways. During the divorce process, spouses will need to identify all of the marital assets they own and determine how these assets will be divided. The property division process can become especially complex if either spouse owns a family business. Because a business may be one of the most valuable assets a couple owns, and it may serve as a source of income for one or both spouses, a couple will need to determine how ownership of a business will be handled going forward.

Options for Ownership of a Marital Business

A family business will be considered a marital asset if it was founded or acquired while a couple was married. If one spouse owned a business before getting married, it will usually be considered separate property. However, any increase in value for a non-marital business during a couple’s marriage may need to be addressed during the divorce process, especially if these increases may be partially attributed to efforts by the non-owner spouse or investments in the business using marital funds.

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How Can Parents Divide Parenting Time When Creating a Parenting Plan?

 Posted on November 09, 2021 in Divorce

Oak Park Parenting Time AttorneyParents who choose to get a divorce will need to address multiple issues related to their children, and the decisions they make will be set down in a parenting plan that will be incorporated into their divorce decree. These issues include the allocation of parental responsibilities, which will determine how the parents will make child-related decisions going forward, as well as the child support obligations that will apply to both parents. Parents will also need to create a parenting time schedule that details when children will spend time with each parent. By understanding the options available for dividing parenting time, parents can make sure they create a schedule that will provide for the best interests of their children.

Options for Parenting Time Schedules

The amount of time that children will spend with each parent may depend on a variety of factors, including how each parent participated in child-related duties and activities during their marriage, each parent’s work schedules and availability, children’s schedules for school and activities, the needs and desires of the parents and the children, and each parent’s ability to provide for their children’s needs. A parenting plan will include a workable schedule that fully details the days and times that children will spend with each parent, as well as how children will be transported to and from each parent’s home.

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How Can Asset Dissipation Affect Property Division in a Divorce?

 Posted on October 13, 2021 in Divorce

Hillside Divorce LawyerWhen a married couple decides to divorce, they will need to make decisions about multiple types of financial issues. In many cases, couples will be able to negotiate a divorce settlement that details how they will divide their marital property. However, there may be some situations where a couple will be unable to reach an agreement on these issues, and if their case proceeds to litigation, a judge will make the final decisions about how their assets will be divided. While couples can usually benefit by working together to reach a settlement and avoiding litigation, there are times when a trial may be necessary, including in cases where one party has committed asset dissipation.

What Is Asset Dissipation?

When a couple is married, they may both be involved in managing their family’s financial affairs, and they may both make purchases or use money or property in a way that benefits the family. However, there are some situations where a spouse may use marital funds or other property that is jointly owned by the spouses for their own benefit and for non-marital purposes. If a person can show that their spouse dissipated assets during their marriage or during the divorce process, they may ask that the court require the other spouse to repay the marital estate for the dissipated assets. If this will not be possible, other marital property may be divided in a way that addresses the dissipation, such as by granting the non-dissipating spouse a larger share of the marital estate.

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How to Address Obstacles That May Arise During a Step-Parent Adoption

 Posted on October 05, 2021 in Family Law

Oak Park Stepparent Adoption AttorneyThe divorce rate in the United States is high, and after ending their marriage, former spouses will often begin new relationships or get remarried. Blended families are common, and stepparents will often build strong relationships with their stepchildren. A stepparent adoption may be used to solidify these bonds, making a stepparent the child’s legal parent who will have obligations to provide for the child’s needs and the right to maintain a close relationship with them. However, even when a stepparent adoption may seem like the best solution for everyone involved, some obstacles may arise during the adoption process, and parents will need to understand the best ways to resolve these issues.

Issues That Can Affect a Step-Parent Adoption

One of the primary challenges in a stepparent adoption is obtaining consent from the child’s other biological parent. In Illinois, a child can only have two legal parents, and before a stepparent can adopt the child, the other parent’s parental rights must be terminated. A parent can voluntarily agree to terminate their parental rights by signing a consent form, but in some cases, they may refuse to give consent, or it may be difficult to locate them to obtain consent.

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How Are Children’s College Expenses Addressed During an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on September 28, 2021 in Divorce

oak park child support lawyerWhen parents get a divorce, under the law both parties will be expected to contribute toward the financial costs involved in raising their children, and child support will usually be ordered. These payments will usually last until a child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. However, the parents may still have financial obligations after a child reaches legal adulthood - they may be required to pay non-minor support that will provide their children with financial assistance as they attend college and seek an education. To ensure that this issue is addressed correctly, divorcing parents will want to understand the types of non-minor support that may apply in their situation, the amount they will need to pay, and how long these payments will last.

Parents’ Contributions to Children’s College Expenses

Parents may agree on the amounts that they will each contribute toward the costs of their children’s college education, or a parent may petition the court to ask that the other parent be required to provide financial assistance. When determining an appropriate amount that a parent may be required to pay, the court will look at the income and financial resources of both parents, as well as the resources available to the child, such as college savings or scholarships.

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What Types of Modifications Can I Make to My Divorce Decree?

 Posted on September 16, 2021 in Post-Decree Matters

Oak Park divorce order modification lawyerWhen a divorce is finalized, the decisions that are made are intended to be permanent. However, there may be some cases when a divorce decree may be modified, especially if it contains provisions that affect the parties’ ongoing financial situation or their relationships with their children. When addressing post-decree matters, divorced spouses should be sure to understand the types of changes that can be made and the circumstances that may warrant a modification.

Terms of a Divorce Decree That May Be Modified

After a couple’s marriage has been legally dissolved, an ex-spouse usually will not be able to request changes to decisions about the division of marital property. However, a person may be able to petition the court for modifications to address the following:

  • Spousal maintenance - If spousal support was not awarded to either party in a divorce decree, neither party will usually be able to go back to court to ask for this form of support. However, if one spouse has been ordered to pay support to the other, either party may ask for modifications to the order based on changes in their financial circumstances. For example, someone who is required to pay maintenance to their ex-spouse may ask for support payments to be reduced or terminated because they have experienced health issues or financial difficulties that have affected their ability to continue making these payments.

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How Is Spousal Support Calculated in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on August 25, 2021 in Divorce

Oak Park divorce attorneyIf you are going through a divorce, you may be concerned about your ability to provide for yourself financially once your marriage has been legally dissolved. If you have relied on your spouse during the marriage to earn the majority of the income needed to meet your family’s needs, you may be able to receive financial support (known as spousal maintenance) following your divorce. On the other hand, if you earn more than your spouse, you may be concerned about your ability to cover your own expenses if you are also required to pay spousal support. By understanding how spousal maintenance is calculated, you can determine the amount you may pay or receive, allowing you to plan for how you will meet your financial needs once your divorce is complete.

Guidelines for Calculating Spousal Maintenance

Illinois law provides a formula for calculating spousal support obligations based on the income earned by divorcing spouses. Under this formula, 25 percent of the recipient’s gross annual income is subtracted from 33⅓ percent of the paying spouse’s gross annual income. The result will be the amount that will be paid on an annual basis, although this amount will usually be divided into 12 monthly installments. However, when the amount of maintenance is added to the recipient’s income, the total cannot be more than 40 percent of the spouses’ combined gross annual income.

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