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Establishing Paternity in Illinois

DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

DuPage County Paternity LawyerIt is in a child’s best interest to have a consistent, quality relationship with both of his or her parents. This is true regardless of the parents’ genders. When a child is born to married or recently divorced parents, determining the child’s parentage is a non-issue. The mother’s spouse is automatically the child’s legal parent, regardless of whether the child is biologically related to him or her. In cases where a child is born due to the mother’s infidelity, this can pose a problem for the partner, who may decide to terminate his or her parental rights.

When a child is born to unmarried parents, the mother’s partner can face the opposite problem: having to establish him- or herself as the child’s other legal parent in order to ensure that he or she has the legal grounds to establish parenting time and seek child support in the event of the couple’s separation. Traditionally, this was known as establishing the child’s paternity. Today, the Illinois Parentage Act does not specify parents’ genders and applies the same requirements to same-sex couples as it applies to heterosexual couples.

The Different Types of Child Representation

Naperville Divorce Attorney

The Different Types of Child RepresentationIn some divorce cases, the couple’s child or children need representation of their own. A child’s best interest is always the court’s top priority when determining an appropriate parenting time arrangement and division of parental responsibilities for the child. Sometimes, particularly in contested divorces, it is necessary for the child to have his or her own individual representation in the form of a child’s attorney, a child representative, or a guardian ad litem. These are three distinct positions, each with a unique role and set of responsibilities to a child of divorcing parents. The court has the right to determine who will pay the fees for working with one of these individuals. This responsibility can be placed on one or both parents, the marital estate, or the child’s estate.

Your child has rights related to your divorce, such as the right to a parenting arrangement that fits his or her needs, the right to maintain a healthy, consistent relationship with both parents following your divorce, and the right to articulate his or her preferences regarding his or her parenting arrangement if he or she is old enough to do so. The judge presiding over your case may interview your child at any time, for any reason that can help him or her make decisions about your child’s care after the divorce is finalized. Take the time to learn about the different professionals who could be assigned to your child during your divorce. These individuals are not adversaries – they are working for your child. Discuss appropriate interactions with them with your lawyer before your meetings with them.

Special Needs Children and Divorce

Naperville Family Law Attorneys

Special Needs Children and DivorceWhen a divorcing couple has children, the divorce is considerably more complex than a divorce between childless individuals. Issues to determine in a divorce between parents include creating an appropriate parenting time scheduling, determining each parent’s responsibilities to the children, and determining a fair child support amount to provide for them after the divorce. When one or more of a couple’s children has special needs, these issues can become even more complicated. A child with special needs might never become independent as an adult, which can mean his or her parents must continue to support him or her into adulthood. Other issues to consider include ensuring the child has access to academic or medical resources.

Extending Child Support Beyond Childhood

Generally, child support orders require the paying parent to provide child support until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later, but not continuing past the age of nineteen (19). Under Illinois law, a child support order may extended if he or she has significant special needs that require him or her to remain in the care of a parent or other legal guardian as an adult.

Common Tax Issues to Consider During Divorce

DuPage County Divorce Lawyers

Common Tax Issues to Consider During DivorceTax season is here, and for many Americans, it brings questions, scrambles to make last-minute contributions, and anticipation of tax refunds. Married couples enjoy the benefit of filing their taxes jointly and if you are in the process of ending your marriage, you might find yourself feeling lost at the prospect of filing singly for the first time in years. Below are a few common questions that divorcing couples have about tax season. The answers given are general advice; they cannot replace the value of a one-on-one discussion about the specific issues present in your marriage and divorce with your accountant or divorce lawyer.

Should we File Jointly or Separately?

If you were not yet divorced by December 31 of last year, you have the option to file your tax returns as a married couple or as two single filers. Filing jointly has numerous benefits, such as a greater deduction limit and certain tax credits, but it is not always the ideal solution. When a couple cannot work together amicably, it is less stressful for the former partners to file singly. When a couple files jointly, they are both liable for any interest, penalties, and deficiencies attached to the return. This, too, may be a reason to file your return singly. If you do file your tax return jointly and you find yourself facing penalties for errors your spouse made or attempts to collect tax liabilities that your spouse incurred, you can separate your liability from your former partner through one of the three types of relief offered by the IRS:

What Happens when Business Partners Divorce?

Naperville Divorce Attorney

What Happens when Business Partners Divorce?, Illinois, DuPage County, Naperville, Lisle, divorce, family law, division of assets, business, complex divorce, lawyer, law firmWhen a couple divorces, their assets are divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution, which means that each partner receives a share of the couple’s marital assets based on his or her contributions to the marital pool and his or her personal needs. When one or both of the spouses is a small business owner or a partner in a professional practice, accounting for this source of income can be tricky because operating a small business or professional practice does not have the same stability as a traditional job. It also requires a greater investment from the business owner or partner. Unlike a job, which is merely a source of income and employment benefits, a small business is an entity unto itself. It has assets and debts of its own that determine its value, which must be considered when dividing the business or share of a business between divorcing spouses.

What if my Spouse is my Business Partner?

If you run your business with your spouse, you will need to work with your spouse to determine what to do with the business after your divorce. Some divorced couples choose to continue to run their businesses solely as business partners. Even if you choose this route, you will need to work with your lawyer and the court to determine each partner’s share of the business’ debts and assets. In other cases, couples opt to either sell the business or have one partner buy out the other’s interest in it, both of which require the business to be appraised to determine its true fair market value.

Gray Divorce: Tips for Divorcing Later in Life

Naperville Divorce Attorney

Gray Divorce: Tips for Divorcing Later in Life, divorce, division of property, family lawAccording to the L.A. Times, The divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has more than doubled since 1990. This phenomenon, known as “gray divorce,” can be attributed to a number of causes:

  • Americans are living longer, healthier lives. At age 60, an individual might live for another 25 to 35 years;
  • Divorce does not carry the social stigma that it once carried. Many Americans aged 50 and older have parents, relatives, and friends who have divorced and demonstrated what life is really like after a divorce; and
  • For the past few decades, most women have worked outside the home. Divorce no longer means financial ruin for a woman.

When a couple over the age of 50 divorces, they have different needs and concerns than those of younger couples. Their children are likely grown or soon will be adults. Retirement may be less than 15 years away. It can also be too late for an individual to realistically be able to start a new career or re-enter the workforce, making spousal maintenance a critical concern in many of these divorces. If you are over 50 and considering filing for divorce, discuss the specific issues that individuals in your age group face with your family law attorney. Determine how they will affect your divorce strategy and the issues you need to consider after the divorce is finalized.

10 Ways Parents Can Help their Children in a Divorce

Naperville Divorce Attorney

10 Ways Parents Can Help their Children in a Divorce, lake county divorce attorneys, family law, children and divorceWhen a couple with children divorces, every member of the family feels the effects of the divorce. There are also additional issues to determine regarding the children, such as their parenting time schedule, how the parent's parental duties will be divided, and the determination of an appropriate child support amount. All of these issues fall under the umbrella of family law.

Be Emotionally Available to your Children

Your children will have a lot of emotions about your divorce, some of which will be obvious and others that might not be apparent. Be emotionally available to your children and remind them that it is healthy to express themselves. Encourage them to talk to you about their feelings or convey them in constructive ways, like journaling.

Unique Challenges of a High Net Worth Divorce

Naperville Family Law Firm

Unique Challenges of a High Net Worth Divorce, divorce, family law, law firmA high net worth divorce comes with unique challenges. These challenges are largely related to the division of the couple's assets, which can be substantially more difficult than it is in divorces among lower-income couples because, in many cases, high net worth individuals have multiple income streams. Assets may also include real estate and investments, further complicating the marital estate.

A high net worth individual is commonly defined as an individual with $1 million or more in liquid assets. Other definitions are sometimes used as well, such as couples who earn a combined $300,000 or more in the last year and expect to earn the same amount in the following year. Talk to your family law attorney about how your net worth may impact your divorce and the issues you need to be aware of before you file your divorce paperwork.

Child or Spousal Maintenance Amounts may Deviate from What Would Normally be Expected

Child support is calculated using an algorithm that takes multiple factors into consideration, such as each parent's income and the children's specific needs. When a parent has an income far outside the average, this algorithm does not necessarily work. The court may order a higher child support amount or a child support amount other than the one it would have reached using the algorithm because of the deviation from the average Illinois net worth.

Prepare and Protect Yourself During a Divorce

Naperville Divorce Attorney

Prepare and Protect Yourself During a DivorceEven when you know ahead of time that you plan to file for divorce, actually going through with the process can make you feel like your life is spiraling out of control. Try to take some comfort in knowing that this is normal – a divorce means the end of a marriage and all that comes with it, such as a shared home, shared finances, and the day-to-day routine that you built with your partner and your family. If you are a parent, a divorce can also mean a future where you will not see your children every day and, instead, you will have to cooperate with your former partner to raise them while alternating time with them.

You can cut down on the overwhelming aspect of the divorce process by adequately preparing for it. Although you cannot prepare for everything, sometimes, the divorce process may throw a curve ball your way. Therefore, you should begin the process with the documentation you need organized and accessible and in a mental state that is focused on your rights, your interests, and the best possible solution for your family.

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