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High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Oak Park prenup attorney

With a divorce comes many difficult emotions and questions about the future. Whether it be concern over child-related issues, where to live, or finding a job, a lot of people fear the unknown. This can be an uneasy time, and especially for a spouse who was a stay-at-home parent or who relied on his or her partner’s income. There are laws that govern the financial support an ex-spouse may be able to receive after the end of the marriage. One spouse may be entitled to receive spousal maintenance payments, but it is important to understand how eligibility for spousal support is established, how the dollar amount of the payments is calculated, and how long maintenance will last. 

How Is Spousal Support Determined in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, what used to be called alimony or spousal support is now termed spousal maintenance. This type of support can be granted to either party. Illinois courts do not consider fault in connection with the divorce or any misconduct committed by either spouse during the marriage when determining whether a spouse is eligible to receive maintenance. When deciding whether to award maintenance, the court will consider certain factors, such as:

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Oak Park prenup attorneyNowadays, it’s common for two people who are planning to marry to create and sign a prenuptial agreement. While it was once considered a document that was only necessary for the rich and famous, a prenup can actually provide benefits for couples at all income levels. This type of agreement can help a couple determine ahead of time how their marital property will be divided in the event they decide to part ways and get a divorce. It may also spell out how assets or property will be handled during the marriage, such as whose name will be on mortgages, car loans, insurance policies, retirement benefits, etc. 

When creating a prenuptial agreement, being open and honest regarding what each person brings to the marriage can lay a solid foundation of trust. With a prenup in place, a couple can make decisions that can help avoid conflict if the marriage does not work out. 

Issues to Consider In a Prenup

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that an engaged couple signs before getting married. The agreement becomes valid on the day the marriage takes place. Illinois prenuptial agreements can address any of the following subjects:

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Oak Park, IL divorce order modification lawyerIn some divorce cases, a couple may change their minds or disagree about certain issues even after the divorce is final. For example, if a person believes his or her ex-spouse violated the divorce decree, he or she can file a “post-decree motion” to enforce the terms of the divorce decree. Similarly, a change in one or both of the former spouses’ circumstances, such as a job loss or relocation, may require amendment or modification of the divorce decree, especially if a child is involved. These modifications or post-decree matters must be approved by a judge and should be fair to each spouse and in the best interests of the child.  

Parental Responsibilities and Child Support

The majority of post-decree matters deal with disputes over child-related issues. Parental responsibilities (formerly called child custody) and parenting time (formerly known as visitation) are determined during the initial divorce proceedings. However, changes may be necessary in some cases, such as when one parent would like to have more parenting time with his or her child. 

In any case that involves children under the age of 18, the court in which the original divorce decree was issued maintains its authority to decide future child-related matters. The parent requesting a change in the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time must prove to a court all of the following:

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Oak Park, IL parenting time lawyer

According to Illinois law, a “guardian” is defined as a person, institution, or agency appointed by a court to manage the affairs of another person, who is referred to as their “ward.” When a child turns 18, his or her parents do not have legal guardianship at that point, since the child is now considered an adult. However, a guardian may be appointed on behalf of an adult who is disabled due to a mental illness, physical incapacity, or developmental disability.

Illinois is one of the most progressive states when it comes to guardianship laws. The Illinois Probate Act was amended in 1979 to provide statutory protection for disabled persons who are 18 or older, with new procedures for appointing guardians. Any person over the age of 18 who is of sound mind, is not a convicted criminal, and is viewed as qualified in a court of law may be appointed as the guardian of an adult with disabilities. However, this person must prove to the court that he or she has the capability to maintain an acceptable level of guardianship.

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Oak Park, IL parenting time lawyerWhen parents choose to get a divorce, they will need to determine when children will spend time with each parent. While it is important to create and follow a regular parenting time schedule, parents can still choose to be flexible, and they may be able to agree to make changes to the schedule as needed. One common situation in which changes may be necessary occurs when the kids are out of school for holidays or summer breaks. During vacations, children have more free time to spend with each parent, and so parents should work together to determine a schedule that is in the best interests of the children.

Scheduling Factors

In many divorces, children will reside with one parent for the majority of the time while spending some amount of parenting time with the other parent. However, some divorced couples are able to share equal or near-equal amounts of parenting time. While these arrangements provide consistency during the school year, schedules may need to be adjusted during the children’s summer vacation. When creating a summer parenting schedule, many factors come into play, including the children’s ages, the distance between the parents’ homes, parents’ work schedules, and plans for summer activities.

When making a new summer residential schedule, the timeline usually starts when the child gets out of school, and it ends once he or she goes back to school. A summer schedule that is in the best interests of the child can often be worked out between both parents. For example, if one parent is a teacher and does not work during the summer, the parents may decide that the child will spend the weekdays with that parent and the weekends with the other parent. This arrangement can be helpful if the child is young, eliminating the need to have the child go to a daycare facility or stay with relatives during working hours. As children get older, parents may need to make changes to these arrangements as needed; for example, teenagers might need a schedule that fits with their social life and sports or extracurricular activities.

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