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Recent Blog Posts

Do I Have to Pay Alimony if I Already Pay Child Support?

 Posted on April 16, 2024 in Child Support

Naperville, IL divorce lawyerIt is often necessary in a divorce for one spouse to financially support the other spouse to a certain extent. This financial support is called family maintenance and includes both spousal support and child support. 

Child support and spousal support, also referred to as alimony, are two different payments. Illinois law may require each, depending on the circumstances. In some cases, one of the parties can be forced to make both payments.

This article will discuss when you might have to pay spousal support, child support, or both. It is best to check with a qualified divorce attorney to understand your specific case.

Do I Have to Pay Alimony?

As a general rule, if two people get divorced and only one of them is financially independent, he or she will likely be ordered to pay the other spouse alimony. This can also be the case if both spouses are financially independent but one is significantly more well-off than the other. 

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What Can I Do if My Spouse is Hiding Money in Our Divorce?

 Posted on April 08, 2024 in Division of Assets

Naperville, IL asset division lawyerOne of the most difficult parts of the divorce process is deciding how to divide up a couple’s assets. This is especially true in the case of high-asset divorces, where assets belonging to one or more of the spouses are over $1 million in value. 

A qualified divorce attorney can explain what assets will be divided and how, especially in a high-asset divorce. Each side will need to submit a financial disclosure which includes each party’s:

  • Assets

  • Expenses

  • Liabilities

  • Financial documents

This disclosure is a legal document that the court will use to decide how the money is distributed. Making false claims or leaving out assets on the financial disclosure is a serious breach of the law.

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What Happens with a Family Pet in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on March 28, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerThere are some topics related to divorce that people are familiar with. These include child custody, alimony, and the division of assets. There are several topics that are less widely known. One of these lesser-known topics refers to family pets. What happens to a pet when the owners get a divorce? This article will review this interesting topic, but if you are considering divorce and want to know whether you can keep your pet with you, speak with an experienced Naperville, IL divorce lawyer to find out more.

Who Gets to Keep Our Dog?

Pets used to be considered a type of property in the state of Illinois, until a law was added to the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act in 2018 that stipulates that companion pets can be treated similarly to children. Spouses ending their marriage have more “pet custody” options now. They can be granted joint ownership and even have visitation plans now, similar to parenting plans for children.

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How Can I Have an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on March 21, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerWhile it might seem like something to take for granted, the fact that all people are different has far-reaching implications. It means that every couple has its own unique dynamic, every family has its own unique dynamic, and every divorce also has its own unique dynamic. That is why, even though divorce often plays out the way you see on TV - with spouses doing everything in their power to hurt and punish each other, many couples simply do not fit that description. 

There are even couples who decide to end their marriage and still manage to work together to ensure they can each enjoy their future, especially if they have children. Sometimes, this kind of couple can have what is called an uncontested divorce. In this article, we will explore what that entails and why a lawyer is necessary. If you have any further questions, feel free to speak with a knowledgeable Naperville, IL divorce lawyer to find out more.

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Making Birdnesting Work in Illinois

 Posted on March 13, 2024 in Child Custody

IL custody lawyerThere are many different ways a child custody arrangement can be settled. One parent might be granted full custody. One might be granted no nights at all with their child and infrequent visitation. A couple could also have complete joint custody, in which case they both have the same number of days with their child. Once they work out when the child will be with which parent, the question remains where everyone will live. As part of the division of property that happens in a divorce, couples generally decide which spouse will keep the family home and which will move somewhere else. But there is another option. Couples who can get along well even after divorce might consider birdnesting as a possibility. This article will review what birdnesting is, and a knowledgeable Naperville, IL child custody lawyer can offer more thorough details.

What Does Birdnesting Mean?

When parents go through a divorce, they need to come up with an arrangement for dividing custody as well as assets and property. Often, one parent keeps the family home, and the other moves somewhere nearby, close enough to be able to get their kids to school. The children will sleep at their respective parent’s homes on their designated nights together. Birdnesting is a different way of handling this. The children live permanently in their home, and the parents alternate sleeping there. On the nights that they do not have parenting time, they sleep elsewhere.

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Can I Modify My Parenting Plan in Illinois?

 Posted on March 04, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerWhen parents in Illinois get a divorce, they end their divorce proceedings with a legal document, called a parenting plan, that sets out both spouses’ parental rights and responsibilities. Essentially, it is an outline of how they will continue to care for their children once they are no longer married. Of course, the plan that parents formulate is based on their respective circumstances at the time of the divorce.

One parent might have a more flexible work schedule and will be more available for dropping off and picking up the children at school and extracurricular activities, handling more of their medical care, and taking care of the many other things that parents need to take care of for their children, and that parent might be granted more time with the child as a result. One parent might have an addiction and not be considered safe for the child to be around and will be granted minimal to no custody. However, like all other aspects of life, the parents’ circumstances can change. If you find that your parenting plan no longer suits you, speak with a reliable Naperville, IL child custody attorney to examine how you might be able to amend it.

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What Goes into Determining Parenting Time?

 Posted on February 28, 2024 in Family Law

DuPage County family lawyerDeciding on a parenting time schedule that is in the child's best interest is one of the most important and often challenging aspects of child custody cases. Illinois courts rely on several factors when making determinations about parenting time arrangements. If you have any concerns or need help with this, an Illinois lawyer is the person to have on your side.

Evaluating the Child's Needs and Relationships

When deciding parenting time in Illinois, the court's primary goal is to do what is best for the child. They will look at what both parents want, but the child's needs and well-being come first. The court will consider how much time each parent spent caring for the child before the separation. They also want to see that both mom and dad will support the kid in having a solid relationship with the other parent going forward.

They will examine how the child adjusts to changes in their living situation, school, and community. The mental and physical health of the child, parents, and others involved gets reviewed. The quality of the connections between the child and each parent plays a big role, too. Information about domestic problems that could jeopardize the child's relationships or safety may impact the ruling.

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Types of Spousal Support in Illinois

 Posted on February 23, 2024 in Spousal Maintenance

Naperville family law attorneyDeciding on the appropriate type of spousal support after a divorce can be a complicated process. Several factors come into play, including the income levels of both spouses, the length of the marriage, and more. Illinois allows for different categories of spousal support, each with its own considerations. An Illinois lawyer can help you understand the differences and can help lead to a more equitable outcome.

Temporary Maintenance

Temporary maintenance is spousal support that is paid while a divorce is still pending. It intends to maintain the financial status quo for both spouses while the divorce works through the courts. Temporary maintenance addresses urgent needs, allowing the receiving spouse to continue paying for living expenses even though the marriage is ending. Some of the financial support may also be used to pay legal fees related to the divorce. The courts determine eligibility for temporary maintenance by looking at the income levels of both individuals. Even if one spouse earned significantly more than the other during the marriage, temporary support aims to keep both at the same standard of living. This prevents one spouse from struggling financially while the other lives comfortably during the divorce process. Once the divorce is finalized, temporary spousal support ends. However, it may influence the determination for permanent maintenance.

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Other Parent Keeps Missing Their Scheduled Visitations

 Posted on February 19, 2024 in Visitation

Blog ImageCo-parenting after a separation or divorce can be challenging. When one parent consistently misses scheduled visitations with the children, it causes understandable frustration and hurt for everyone involved. An Illinois family law attorney can help you navigate this difficult situation. Both parents have certain custody and visitation rights with their children in Illinois unless a court has ordered otherwise due to exceptional circumstances. When one parent denies the other parent court-ordered visitation with the children without valid cause, it may be considered contempt of court.

If you are the parent being denied visitation that you are legally entitled to, you can file a petition for a rule to show cause why the other parent should not be held in contempt. At the hearing, the judge will allow both sides to present evidence and testimony concerning missed visitations and may order make-up visitation time or other remedies to ensure compliance going forward. Documentation is key whenever visitation is denied contrary to a court order.

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When Should You Consider a Postnuptial Agreement?

 Posted on February 12, 2024 in Family Law

Naperville Family Law Attorney
A postnuptial agreement, also known as a postmarital agreement, is a written contract entered into by a married couple that outlines what happens in the event of divorce or death of a spouse. While not necessarily a romantic topic, postnups can provide important legal and financial protections for both parties if done thoughtfully. An Illinois family law lawyer can provide guidance on when you might want to discuss a postnuptial agreement with your spouse.

Changes in Financial Circumstances

One of the most common reasons couples pursue postnuptial agreements is a significant change in their incomes or assets. For example, perhaps one spouse will inherit substantial money or property during the marriage. Or maybe one spouse decides to start a business, putting them at higher risk of lawsuits. Dramatic increases in earnings can also prompt couples to spell out in writing what happens if the higher wage earner dies or the couple splits up. A postnup allows you to thoughtfully decide on a fair distribution of assets instead of leaving it solely up to divorce laws in your state.

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