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Lombard, IL divorce attorney property division

The decision to get a divorce affects your entire family, especially any children that you and your spouse share. Throughout the divorce process, you will need to resolve important issues related to your children, including child support, parenting time, and the allocation of parental responsibilities. However, your children may factor into other important decisions as well, such as the division of marital assets. As you decide on the properties that will remain with each spouse, you should consider how certain properties may help you be a better parent and help your kids adjust to the changes that divorce brings.

Marital Properties That May Affect Your Children

In general, a fair distribution of assets is important so that both parents can continue to financially provide for their children as best as possible. However, certain tangible or physical properties may be especially important to maintaining a sense of normalcy for your kids. Some of those properties include:

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Wheaton family law attorney divorce

For children of divorce, the coping process often continues long after the divorce is finalized. Their parents’ separation is a major, usually permanent change in their lives, and it is only natural that they may struggle in the months and years that follow. One area that often suffers is the children’s educational goals and performance, but parents can help by showing support and understanding. The following are a few examples of how co-parents can encourage their kids to keep up with their schooling after divorce. 

Tips for Helping Your Children With School

A new school year is just beginning, and whether your divorce is recent or a few years in the past, this is likely to be a challenging time for your children. Here are some ways you can help:

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Wheaton divorce attorney mediation

Many divorcing couples recognize that although it is no longer the right decision for them to stay married, they both continue to share the goal of providing the best possible life for their children. This desire to co-parent effectively can be a major motivating factor toward pursuing a cooperative divorce, rather than allowing the process to devolve into destructive conflict. If you and your spouse are hoping to work together to establish a parenting plan that works for everyone in your family, divorce mediation may be the right choice for you.

Why Is Divorce Mediation Beneficial?

In divorce mediation, you and your spouse are able to make your own, cooperative decisions regarding the terms of your divorce. A neutral mediator guides the process so that discussions stay on track and both spouses have the opportunity to voice their perspectives. If mediation works for you, you may be able to reach a faster resolution and reduce expenses when compared to a trial, and you are also able to keep your divorce proceedings out of the public eye. Mediation can resolve a variety of issues in your divorce, including the division of property and spousal support, but it can be especially helpful for child custody and visitation.

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DuPage County divorce attorney parental relocation

During your divorce process, you likely devoted significant time and energy to establishing a parenting plan that was suitable to you and your ex-spouse and addressed your children’s best interests. However, as your children get older and all of your living situations change, it is sometimes necessary to revisit and modify your parenting plan to meet your current needs. One of the biggest changes that can affect a parenting plan is the relocation of one of the parents. If you or your ex are planning a major move, you should consider how you will need to modify your parenting plan to accommodate this substantial change in circumstances.

Modifying Your Parenting Plan After Relocation

It is important to note that when divorced parents share custody of their children, one of them may not simply move at any time. The relocating parent must provide the other parent with reasonable notice, usually at least 60 days, of his or her intent to move. Even then, the other parent can object, in which case, there will be a court hearing to determine whether the relocation will be permitted. One of the most important factors the court considers is the impact the relocation will have on the existing parenting agreement.

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DuPage County Divorce Attorney asset division

Each week, month, and year, new social media trends get released and new platforms begin to surface. What was popular last week, may not mean much once another Monday rolls around. As smartphones and social media have become more integrated into our lives, it can be easy to forget that there are still personal boundaries when it comes to what should and should not be posted online. Studies have shown that social media content has affected people’s views on their relationships, including romantic ones, sometimes causing issues that could be mitigated without the high usage of social media. With Facebook’s option to list your relationship status, Instagram’s ability to post photos with your new significant other, and Twitter’s propensity to elicit Tweets venting about your ex, your social media posts can greatly impact your Illinois divorce.

Using Your Spouse’s Posts to Your Advantage

If both you and your spouse are heavy social media users, your posts may become evidence in your divorce proceedings. While a judge cannot make a decision based on a single post, online postings can be an indicator of your spouse’s character and reveal white lies he or she may have attempted to tell throughout the divorce. 

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DuPage County divorce attorney infidelity

Going through a divorce is never easy. Rightfully so, going through a divorce caused by an affair can be even more heart-wrenching. If you discover that your partner was cheating on you during your marriage, you may experience trust and loyalty issues in future relationships. Additionally, you may also believe that your spouse’s mistress caused this, and therefore you wish to take legal action against her. Within the state of Illinois, an individual may file a civil tort claim for alienation of affection or criminal conversation against the mistress. In this type of claim, the individual may sue the person who ruined her marriage and ask the judge to award damages based on mental disruption, humiliation to the public, and loss of support and/or wages from her spouse.

Criminal Conversation

Despite its name, criminal conversation is a civil case brought up in civil court where the defendant will not face criminal charges or jail time if convicted. Criminal conversation requires ample evidence, and in this case, the individual suing the spouse’s mistress must prove that adultery happened during the duration of the marriage. Such evidence includes pictures and/or videos that are gathered with the help of a private investigator.

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DuPage County divorce attorney child support

A divorce involves many issues that need resolving, especially when children are involved. When determining child support, the financial status of both parents is seriously considered. If the non-custodial parent is providing support, the child’s medical expenses may cause an additional financial burden. These additional expenses could cause the judge to lessen the amount of support given to the custodial parent. Whether you are the non-custodial or the custodial parent, it is important to consult with a skilled family law attorney if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child support payments.

Determining Support

Child support calculations can be incredibly complex. Within the state of Illinois, child support payments are usually paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to provide additional financial support for the child’s basic needs such as food and clothing. Payments can also be used to fund tuition, transportation, housing expenses, extracurricular activities, and medical care costs. These factors, as well as the net income of both parents, will be used to determine the amount of support the custodial parent will receive from the non-custodial parent. 

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DuPage County family law attorney child custody

During a divorce, one or both spouses may seek counseling or therapy. Due to the universal Doctor-Patient Confidentiality Agreement, patients are reassured that the sessions are private. However, it is possible your therapy records could end up in the courtroom during your divorce proceeding. When this occurs, it is important to hire a family law attorney to protect your rights. 

Record Contents

Typically, if you are attending therapy or seeking the help of a professional counselor, you may have overwhelming issues that affect you psychologically and hinder your daily activities. Discussing them with an unbiased individual can be comforting and allow you to process your emotions. Problems may involve alcohol/drug addiction, a tragic event, or mental health issues. Within a divorce proceeding, these issues may negatively affect spousal support, and/or the allocation of parental responsibilities.  

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Wheaton divorce attorney

When a couple decides to call it quits, one or both spouses may file for divorce. However, in some cases, one spouse may walk out without an explanation, leaving the other spouse to wonder about his or her whereabouts. If you wish to get a divorce but are unsure where your spouse is, be sure to contact a knowledgeable family law attorney to help resolve this complex situation.

Publication Divorce 

If a spouse would like to get a divorce but is unable to find their spouse, Illinois law allows “divorce by publication.” Publication divorce occurs only after a judge has been convinced that the divorcing spouse is unable to find the missing spouse after extensive searching. Extensive searching may include:

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Wheaton divorce attorney child custody

According to the Addiction Center, more than 90 percent of people who have an addiction started to use drugs or drink alcohol before they were 18 years old. Problems with drugs or alcohol may impact a person’s professional and personal life. Substance abuse is one of the most common reasons for divorce. Since substance abuse can affect many different aspects of a divorce proceeding, it is important to consult with a skilled family law attorney to ensure that parental rights and responsibilities are protected. In some cases, a spouse’s addiction may influence the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody). 

A Child’s Best Interest

Within the state of Illinois, the allocation of parental responsibilities is heavily based on a child’s best interest. Typically, both parents will split time with the child. However, if substance abuse plays a role in the child custody battle, the judge may determine that an arrangement of that nature would not be suitable for the child’s well-being. 

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DuPage County family law attorney prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement, typically known as a prenup, is a written contract created by two individuals prior to their marriage. This legally binding document establishes the future of any separate and marital property and/or assets, debts, and estate plan for each spouse in the event of a divorce. The state of Illinois has its own laws on what can and cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement, so before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney to verify the validity.

Important Issues to Address in a Prenup

A prenup is not a one-size-fits-all arrangement, meaning the elements that one couple may address in their agreement might not be appropriate for another couple’s situation. However, the topics listed below are a few general ideas you may want to consider including in your agreement:

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DuPage County child support attorney

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to lay off or terminate their employees for a period of time in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Losing your job for any reason can be alarming, especially if you have children. Being unemployed can affect your finances, as well as your mental and emotional health. In addition, if you are a divorced parent, it can impact your ability to pay child support. In Illinois, child support is a legal order made as part of a divorce judgment, and the amount of child support payments is based on the needs of the children, as well as both parents’ financial situations. This type of support is meant to pay for children’s necessities, such as food and clothing. If you have recently lost your job, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding child support payments according to Illinois law.

What to Do if You Cannot Pay Child Support

Within the state of Illinois, you are required to follow the court's orders regarding payment of child support, regardless of your current circumstances. If you miss any payments while you are unemployed, you will still have to pay them at some point, and interest may be applied to past-due payments. Missing payments could result in significant penalties, including fines, the loss of your driver's license, or even jail time. To save yourself from potential legal trouble, you may be able to receive unemployment benefits that will allow you to meet your obligations, and you can take steps to modify your child support order based on your financial circumstances.

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Wheaton asset division attorney pet ownership

Pets are often considered members of the family. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68 percent of American households have a pet. In the event of a divorce, pets are often included within the property and asset division process, and ownership of a pet may be awarded to one spouse. If a couple cannot agree on who gets to keep the pet, this decision may be made by the court.A judge will consider what is best for the health and well-being of the pet. In some cases, a shared visitation arrangement may be made, similar to ones made in child custody cases.

Marital Property 

Within the state of Illinois, a marital asset is considered property and/or assets that were acquired during a couple's marriage. Many couples purchase or adopt a dog or cat after they tie the knot as a way of expanding their family. In these situations, their furry companion would be considered marital property. 

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Lombard estate planning attorneyGetting a divorce can sometimes make it feel as if your world has been turned upside down. Between dealing with the financial consequences of your divorce and managing child custody or spousal support concerns, you may feel like there are almost countless tasks to complete.  In all of the chaos, it can be easy to forget important estate planning considerations. Unfortunately, if a person divorces, beneficiary designations and certain other estate planning arrangements do not change automatically. You will need to update such provisions manually, and a qualified estate planning attorney can help.  

Review and Revise Your Will

Only about 40 percent of U.S. adults have a will or other estate plan in place. If you already have a will or trust that describes your property distribution wishes, you are already ahead of most Americans. However, you will want to read and update your will after divorce. According to Illinois law, any directions in your will that refer to your spouse are made void once he or she becomes your ex-spouse. However, any provisions that address inheritance for your ex-spouse’s family members remain valid. It is always a good idea to go over your will after divorce and make sure it still reflects your current wishes.

Change Your Beneficiaries on Your Retirement Accounts

If you have an IRA, 401K, or other retirement plan, you will probably need to update the beneficiaries listed in your policy. As a part of your divorce settlement, you may be required to share retirement funds with your ex-spouse. However, any remaining retirement funds should rightfully be yours. If your spouse is currently listed as the beneficiary on your retirement account, you need to change this sooner rather than later. Some divorced individuals still want their spouse listed as a trustee for their children. If this is your situation, read through your retirement policy and other estate planning documents any make any necessary changes so that they documents reflect your wishes

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Wheaton family law attorney

Going through a divorce can significantly disrupt your life. Not only does it affect your mental and emotional health, but it can also wreak havoc on your financial situation. It may be hard to maintain the same standard of living once you and your spouse part ways. However, you can still obtain a sense of financial security. In some cases, you may be awarded spousal support or child support payments, or you may be required to pay support to your former spouse. To alleviate some of the stress, it is important to be hands-on and in control of your assets, income, debts, and expenses. A skilled family law attorney can guide you through the legal proceedings and help ensure that you are positioned for success once your divorce is complete. 

Here are a few steps to regain financial stability after a divorce:

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Wheaton spousal support attorney

Since November 2013, same-sex couples have had equal access to marriage and divorce rights under federal law. In Illinois, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) marriage is similar to opposite-sex marriage. Not only do same-sex couples have the right to get married, but they can also share property and assets, file joint tax returns, receive retirement and veterans’ benefits, and many other rights and responsibilities that opposite-sex couples receive following marriage. Since same-sex marriage is still relatively new, couples may not fully understand how the law applies to them when it comes to divorce. Therefore, if you are considering a divorce, it is critical that an experienced attorney guides you through the process. 

Illinois Divorce Laws

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning you do not need to give the court a reason why you and your spouse wish to end your marriage. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, in order to be granted a divorce, a couple must only prove:

  1. Irreconcilable differences have initiated the failure of the marriage.

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Lombard, IL child support attorney

Child support refers to the money paid by one parent to the other parent to help financially support their child after the parents get a divorce. However, these types of payments may also be appropriate for couples who never married but had a child together. Typically, child support is paid to the parent who was allocated the majority of the parenting time with the couple's child. In Illinois, child support is based on both parents' net incomes, and an “income shares model” is used to calculate the amount of the payments. Child support arrangements must be approved by the court. Payments are typically made on a monthly basis, and a parent can face penalties if the support payments are late or if support is unpaid.

Child Support Uses

Overall, child support is intended to maintain the child’s well-being and guarantee all of his or her basic needs are met. The basic child support obligation determined using the income shares method is meant to cover the following types of expenses:

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Wheaton divorce attorney parenting time

If you are a parent who is divorced or legally separated, you are likely familiar with the court-approved parental responsibilities you and your ex may have spent hours trying to resolve. A parenting plan is a legal document that outlines child-related issues such as with whom your child will live, who has decision-making authority regarding issues such as children's education and medical care, and more. Unfortunately, your child may not be too happy about the decisions made during your divorce, and they may state that they do not wish to spend parenting time (visitation) with your ex-spouse. However, even if your child is reluctant to spend time with his or her other parent, you will be required to follow the parenting time schedule set down in the parenting plan, and you may face penalties for failing to fulfill the court's orders.

The Reasons Behind the Refusal

Understanding why your child does not want to visit the other parent is the first step in addressing the issue. During this time, it is important to keep these tips in mind:

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Wheaton family law attorney stepchild

The United States is a nation in which a majority of families are divorced. However, many people find love again and choose to remarry. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 1,300 new stepfamilies are formed every day. Becoming a stepparent can be stressful and intimidating. However, with realistic expectations and a certain approach to building a relationship, a sustaining bond can be created. In some cases, a stepparent may even wish to legally adopt his or her stepchild. It is important to have an experienced family law attorney assist you throughout the legal process.

Blended Families 

A remarriage often involves more than just a couple. One or both parents may have children from their previous marriages or relationships. If you are getting remarried after a divorce, and you will have a stepchild, keep these tips in mind for a smoother transition for everyone involved:

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DuPage County divorce lawyer name change

Getting a divorce can be a very complicated process. It may be difficult to think about the decision to keep your married name or revert back to your maiden name when there are so many other pressing issues that need to be resolved. Because of this, many women choose to continue using their married names for the time being. However, if they choose to go back to using their maiden names, a skilled family law attorney can help you complete the legal steps to do so. 

Reasons for Changing Your Name

Changing your last name after your divorce is one of the first steps in getting your original identity back. Whether this decision is emotionally difficult or easy, consider these factors when deciding:

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