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chicago prenuptial agreement lawyerAlthough prenuptial agreements are famously used by people with high-worth assets, the truth is that prenups can protect many different people in many different situations. One of the best uses of a prenuptial agreement is when a parent of children from a previous marriage in Illinois  wishes to get married again. 

Having a well-written, legally enforceable prenup can save a parent’s children and second spouses from fighting over assets in court if the marriage ends in divorce or if the parent passes away. A great prenuptial agreement can bolster a will and trust, and is an important part of financial planning before getting married again. 

Using Prenuptial Agreements for a Second Marriage

When a parent dies, it is always a tragedy - but the sadness can be made much worse when a second spouse is fighting over assets or inheritance with children. A great prenuptial agreement that details exactly how belongings, savings, and other assets will be allocated in the event of a parent’s death can save children and second spouses from the time, expense, and heartache of fighting over assets in court. This is also true if the second marriage fails and a couple disagrees about how their assets should be divided. 

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lombard divorce lawyerSame-sex couples in Illinois get married with high hopes of long-term marital success. Unfortunately, staying married forever is not always possible and divorce becomes necessary. Since same-sex marriage became legal in the United States, the divorce process for same-sex couples is usually the same as ending a marriage for heterosexual couples. 

Regardless of the gender of your spouse, it is important to understand the divorce process so you can make your divorce as smooth and fair as possible. 

The Divorce Process in Illinois 

Before a couple can get divorced in Illinois, one spouse must be a resident of Illinois. To be a resident, a person must have lived in Illinois for the past 90 days or, if they are an active duty member of the military, must have been stationed there the past 90 days. If children are involved, the children must have been residents for at least six months. 

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lombard child support lawyerDifferent states have different methods for handling child support when either parent remarries. Illinois uses a method known as the “income shares model” to determine each parent’s financial obligation to their children and whether one parent must pay the other monthly child support. Parents’ incomes and the parenting time they have are the primary factors of child support payment calculations. Because remarriage potentially affects the remarried parent’s overall financial situation, either parent, paying or receiving, could request that child support payments be modified by an Illinois court. 

Remarriage as Grounds For Child Support Modification

If the parent with the majority of parenting time gets remarried, the other parent - the one making the child support payments - may request a modification. Although the spouse of the remarried parent has no legal obligation to help pay for the children, having a second household income reduces the remarried parent’s financial burdens and gives them more disposable income to provide for the children.

If the parent making payments gets remarried, their child support payments are unlikely to change without otherwise having a significant change in their overall financial situation. Because the financial obligation to their children does not change with a new marriage, courts do not often change child support when a paying parent gets remarried. 

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wheaton divorce lawyerAlthough getting divorced is never easy, the divorce process can quickly become a nightmare if your attorney has become non-responsive or shows up to meetings unprepared. Besides the expense of hiring an unhelpful attorney, you may now be faced with the additional burden of finding and hiring someone else. 

But before you decide to change your divorce attorney, it is important to set clear expectations so you know what could change and what will likely stay the same. There are certain things you can expect of your attorney, but some frustrations with the divorce process are natural and will happen no matter how great your lawyer is. 

When is Hiring a New Attorney a Good Idea? 

Although anyone can generally fire their attorney for any reason or no reason at all, you will be more likely to experience a smooth transition if you take certain steps first. Firing your attorney without having a new attorney already may lead to delays in your case and difficulty getting information transferred to your new lawyer. 

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lombard divorce lawyerIf you are getting divorced but the thought of spending hours in court negotiating with your spouse makes you queasy, there are other options. In fact, only a small percentage of Illinois divorces are actually litigated in court because the alternatives to litigation have so many advantages. 

This article looks at the two primary alternatives to divorce litigation: mediation and collaborative divorce. Although they are similar, mediation and collaborative divorce are not the same, and it is important to understand their differences, so you know whether one of these options is right for you. 

What is Mediation? 

In an Illinois divorce, mediation is a negotiation process involving two spouses and an impartial third-party mediator. Mediators are trained professionals who can guide spouses through negotiations about important issues such as the division of marital property, parenting time, and spousal support.  Mediators are skilled in conflict resolution and can help spouses keep hostility to a minimum. Although each spouse usually still has an attorney, the attorneys are not a part of the mediation process. 

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