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Hillside, IL 60162

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Oak Park spousal maintenance attorney2019 will bring a significant change to post-divorce life for many Americans, due to the 2017 federal tax reform legislation that will reverse a provision that dates back seven decades. For divorces which are completed on January 1, 2019 and afterwards, individuals who pay spousal maintenance (alimony) to a former spouse will no longer be able to deduct that amount from their taxes, a deduction which has been allowed since the 1940s. Also, individuals who receive spousal maintenance will no longer be required to declare those payments as taxable income.

This modification is expected to add a substantial amount to the U.S. Treasury’s bottom line each year. In 2010, approximately 600,000 Americans claimed the alimony tax deduction, which added up to more than $10 billion.

As a result of this change, which will greatly impact high-net-worth individuals and couples, divorce lawyers across the country say they have seen a noticeable uptick in divorces leading up to the December 31 deadline. The reason for this is simple: there will be less money for families once the new law goes into effect.

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Hillside child support attorney divorce paternityWhen an unmarried couple has a child but later splits up, or when a married couple gets a divorce, or when a couple was not in a relationship to begin with, it is typically necessary to set up child support in which one parent makes a recurring payment to the other parent for the benefit of the child. While this is often achieved without difficulty, that is not always the case.

Child Support for Divorced Parents 

During the divorce process, child support is one of the most important child-related issues to resolve, along with the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly referred to as custody) and parenting time (previously called visitation). In 2017, Illinois adopted what is known as an “income-sharing model” for calculating child support, in an attempt to allow children to maintain the same standard of living as they would have if their parents were married.

Child support amounts are determined from a table provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IDHFS), which takes the combined monthly net income of the parents and assigns a corresponding support figure which increases according to the number of children the parents share. Each parent is responsible for a portion of this amount based on how much they contribute to the combined income.

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Posted on in Family Law

Oak Park prenuptial agreement lawyerWhile you hope your marriage will stand the test of time, there is nothing wrong with planning for the worst-case scenario before you tie the knot. A prenuptial agreement is not an indictment of your relationship or its long-term potential. Instead, it displays a couple’s willingness and vision to account for various important issues if the marriage someday comes to an end. It can be considered an insurance policy to protect both parties.

If you are unsure if a prenup is right for you, here are some examples of types of individuals who should strongly consider crafting one with the help of a skilled family law attorney prior to their wedding day: 

Entrepreneurs

If you own a business separately or together, or if you are involved in an enterprise with multiple business partners, a prenup can ensure business interests are not negatively impacted by a divorce. You can draw clear parameters as to who will own what business assets and provide exit agreements if your marriage ends in a contentious manner. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Oak Park divorce attorneyEven marriages that do not end in divorce have their share of struggles. Couples who stay together for years or decades sometimes look back and identify the good times and the bad times. When a couple is experiencing relationship difficulties, they may consider what steps can be taken to save their marriage.

As men have increasingly rejected the emotionally closed-off approach that was common in past generations, marriage counseling has become an effective way to save a relationship. It can also provide a thorough diagnosis of whether a marriage is salvageable at all, or whether divorce is the best choice for a family. 

How Effective Is Marriage Counseling? 

With more than a quarter-century of research into the topic, the American Psychological Association says that modern couples counseling with the emotionally-focused therapy (EFT) model is now around 75% effective. EFT seeks to change the interaction patterns between disaffected spouses, which can alter emotional responses and strengthen the bond between them. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Oak Park IL divorce lawyer parent childrenNo one gets married thinking they will get divorced someday. But when a divorce occurs, former spouses may feel like they are lost in a new, unfamiliar world, and may allow the stress of a divorce to impact how they treat their children, or they may feel that they are involved in a competition for a child’s love now that they do not see them all the time. Sometimes, adults alter their parenting in ways that do not help their children or themselves. 

Here are four ways to approach parenting which will protect important parent-child relationships and allow your family to heal from the difficulties of divorce:

1. Do Not Try to Buy Affection

When splitting custody for the first time, it is understandable for parents to want their children to enjoy their time with them to the fullest. Unfortunately, this can turn into a spending war to see who can give the most gifts or plan the most expensive activities. If your ex takes your children to an expensive amusement park or buys them a new gaming system, do not feel like you have to top that the next week. The best thing you can do is provide the stability and support they need and appreciate.

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