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Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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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.

You and your spouse may be able to reach an agreement about spousal support in your divorce settlement. However, if your spouse does not agree that they should pay support, you may need to request that maintenance be awarded by the judge in your case. When deciding whether spousal support is appropriate, the judge may look at issues such as:

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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.

The monetary value of a business will need to be determined to ensure that it and other marital assets can be divided fairly. There are multiple methods that may be used during the business valuation process. The value of assets owned by the business may be calculated, and any business debts or liabilities may be subtracted. A valuation may also consider the income earned by the business over the past several years and the potential for growth in the near future. A couple may also consider other similar businesses that have been recently sold to estimate the potential purchase price of a family business.

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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.

Parents may choose to divide parenting time equally. This may be done in multiple ways. With a “2-2-3” schedule, children may spend two weekdays each week with each parent, and they will stay at parents’ homes on alternating three-day weekends. A “3-4-4-3” schedule may be used in which children stay with one parent for three days and the other parent for four days in one week, then alternate that schedule the following week. Parents may also decide to have children stay with each parent for alternating seven-day weeks.

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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.

Asset dissipation can involve multiple uses of marital property for the sole benefit of one spouse. For example, a spouse may engage in an extramarital affair, and they may use marital funds to buy gifts for a paramour, take vacations with that person, or stay in hotel rooms. A person may also dissipate assets by spending money on a gambling or drug addiction, or they may intentionally destroy property or waste money in order to cause financial harm to the other spouse.

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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.

There are some situations where a parent’s parental rights may be involuntarily terminated. In these cases, the other parent and the stepparent will usually need to demonstrate that the parent is unfit. A parent may be considered unfit in the following situations:

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