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



Oak Park Divorce LawyerGetting a divorce can be a tough process, including emotionally and financially. Even after the  divorce is finalized, sometimes certain financial issues can linger for years if they were not addressed properly during the divorce process. One aspect of the financial side of a divorce which spouses in Illinois should be aware of is called a QDRO, which many times is used to divide retirement benefits. By understanding when a QDRO may be used and how it can affect your financial future, you can make sure you are taking the correct steps to protect your interests, and avoid potential complications down the line.

What Is a QDRO?

A QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is a court order that allows for the division of certain types of marital property. These types of orders will typically be used when dividing retirement benefits, including certain types of retirement savings accounts and pension benefits  which a person is eligible to receive after their retirement. Without a QDRO, a division of retirement benefits might result in unnecessary taxes, penalties, or other complications.

When Are QDROs Used?

A QDRO may be used if a spouse has participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and the funds in that retirement account will be divided between the spouses as part of the divorce settlement. 401(k) accounts and other types of tax-deferred retirement accounts oftentimes may be divided between spouses in a divorce, and when a QDRO is provided to the administrator of a retirement plan, funds may be withdrawn from an existing account and transferred to an alternate payee, the spouse. It should be noted that QDROs may not be used for certain types of accounts, including individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Funds in an IRA may instead be withdrawn using a "transfer incident to divorce," which will be similar to, but not the same as, a QDRO.


Oak Park Child Custody LawyerWhen parents get a divorce, it can sometimes be difficult for them to remember that their children’s best interests should be their top priority. Parents can become focused on their own desires, and they may even attempt to use their children against each other. In some cases, one parent may attempt to manipulate their children into taking their side in disputes, or even cutting off contact with the other parent. This is known as “parental alienation”, and it can have damaging psychological effects on a child. If you believe that your ex is engaging in “parental alienation”, you will want to make sure you address this issue appropriately during legal proceedings related to child custody.

Understanding “Parental Alienation”

“Parental alienation”  is defined as attempts by one parent to cause their children to feel negatively about the other parent, or other forms of interference in their parent/child relationship. This may involve a variety of different actions, including speaking negatively about the other parent in the children's presence, asking children to monitor the other parent's activities or relationships, encouraging children to take sides in disputes, claiming that the other parent does not love the children or want to spend time with them, or refusing to allow the children to see or communicate with the other parent. This kind of behavior can be very harmful, because it creates an environment where the child feels that they must choose between their parents. The result is often increased stress for all parties involved, and long-lasting emotional damage for the child.

When trying to assess whether “parental alienation” is occurring, there are a few indicators you can look out for. If there is a sudden change in your child’s attitude towards you, or if they actively avoid spending time with you even after numerous attempts at communication, then there may be cause for concern. If your child's beliefs about you seem irrational, or if they use language that seems to come from your ex, those are signs that your ex may be attempting to alienate them against you, and you will need to determine how to respond.


Hillside Divorce LawyerIf you have decided to get a divorce, the process will go more smoothly if you and your spouse can both agree on the terms of the divorce and sign the necessary paperwork. However, there may be situations in which your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, or participate in the divorce process. There could be a number of reasons for this refusal, such as:

  • They are hoping you will change your mind about getting a divorce;

  • They want to delay the process and cause more difficulty for you;


Hillside Divorce LawyerDuring a divorce, one can expect their life to change in many ways. As you end your legal relationship with your spouse, you will need to make adjustments to your spending to ensure that you will be able to cover all of your expenses, and your daily routines will most likely change as well. However, you will usually want to make these changes on your own terms, and you may be looking to ease into your new life gradually. This may be difficult if you will be required to find new living arrangements, and you may be concerned that you could be forced to move out of your home while you are still in the midst of the divorce process. By understanding the divorce laws in Illinois, and the ways Illinois courts handle these situations, you can protect yourself against the unexpected, and make plans for how matters will be handled as you dissolve your marriage.

Equitable Distribution Laws

Illinois law states that marital property should be divided equitably, but not necessarily equally, between you and your spouse during your divorce, and this could include your home and other assets of significant value. As you negotiate a property division settlement with your spouse, you can address who will retain ownership of the home post-divorce. Depending on the overall circumstances, the financial resources available to each party, and each party’s ongoing needs, either spouse may be awarded sole ownership of the home, while the other party may receive other assets that have a similar value to the equity in your home. Alternatively, the parties may decide to sell the home during the divorce process, which will require both spouses to find new living arrangements. If the parties cannot reach an agreement on their own, then the judge in your case may decide who will own the home, or whether it should be sold.

In some cases, one party may be allowed to remain in the home for a certain amount of time before being required to move out, because the house is being sold, or because the other spouse will now be becoming the sole owner. If you and your spouse have children, making agreements that allow for gradual changes to your lives can help minimize disruption during the transition period your family is going through.


Hillside Child Custody AttorneyWhen a married couple gets divorced,  as well as in other types of family law cases, court orders will be put in place that will detail how certain issues will be handled going forward. While parents are expected to follow the terms of these orders, situations may arise in which one parent may believe that the other has failed to meet their obligations. These disputes may be related to child custody, child support, or other issues. Understanding the best ways to address these issues is important, and parents who approach these matters the wrong way could face a number of additional legal concerns. If you are in this situation, here are some mistakes that you should be sure to avoid:

Withholding Child Support

In some cases, a parent may violate child custody orders; for example, they may fail to pick up or drop off children when required, or they may refuse to allow the other parent to communicate with the children. These actions can cause a great deal of difficulty, especially for a "non-custodial" parent who spends less time with their children than they would prefer. The inability to spend time with children or communicate with them about what is going on in their lives can have a significant impact on parent/child relationships, and a parent who is being denied parenting time may believe that they need to take action to compel the other parent to abide by a child custody order.

In response to the denial of parenting time or other violations, a parent may believe that the best action would be to stop paying child support to the other parent. However, doing so will only complicate a case further, and it may lead to court penalties for failing to meet one's financial obligations. Child support is a benefit provided to children rather than to the other parent, and the denial of this form of support will ultimately harm the children. To avoid potential penalties, a parent will need to address the other parent's violations through the court rather than taking matters into their own hands.

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