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spousal support, Lombard family law attorneyWhen a couple with children gets divorced, there is a presumption that one parent—usually the one with few parental responsibilities—will be expected to pay child support. There is no such presumption in Illinois regarding spousal support, sometimes known as spousal maintenance or alimony. Instead, spousal support is awarded on a case-by-case basis, upon establishment by the court of a spouse’s need. Once the need has been determined and spousal maintenance has been deemed appropriate, the court is then tasked with determining how much the supporting spouse is required to pay and for how long.

Statutory Standards

Prior to 2015, the court was granted full discretion to set the amount and duration of spousal support orders. As one might expect, this led to vast disparities between orders issued by different judges, who were guided by their principles of what seemed fair and constituted meeting a spouse’s needs. Beginning in 2015, however, a new law was enacted that provided a standard calculation formula to be used in the majority of divorce cases in Illinois. The statutory formula will apply in your case if you and your spouse together do not make more than $250,000 per year, and you, as the payor, are not currently supporting children or a spouse from a previous relationship.

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venue, Illinois divorce attorneysWhile the process of divorce can be quite complicated and, at times, overwhelming, filing the petition for divorce is relatively simple. With the help of an attorney, it is often even easier, but you will still need to decide where to file your petition so that the divorce proceedings will be held in the appropriate venue.

Where to File

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), proceedings for divorce should take place in the county where either you or your spouse currently reside. However, you are free to file your petition in any county of your choosing. If you decide to pursue a divorce in a county other than your county of residence or that of your spouse, you will need to file a motion with your petition explaining why you chose an alternate location. For example, if, following your separation, your spouse moved to DeKalb County while you continued living in DuPage County, but you both work in Kane County, it might be reasonable for your divorce proceedings to be held in Kane County.

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kane county divorce attorney, separation period, Illinois lawBeginning in 2016, the family law landscape in Illinois is set to change rather dramatically, as a sweeping new law goes into effect on the first of the year. The new legislation, signed by Governor Bruce Rauner last month, amends a number of provisions in the law pertaining to divorce, child custody, parental relocation, and other family-related concerns. Over the next few months, as details of the new law become clearer, future posts on this blog will address some of the various expected impacts.

"Separate and Apart"

Among the most significant changes offered by the new measure is the drastic reduction of the required separation period for a no-fault divorce. Under the current provisions in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences—colloquially known as no-fault divorce—may not be granted unless the parties "have lived separate and apart for continuous period in excess of 2 years." By mutual agreement, the separation may be reduced but may not be less than six months.

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martial assets, division of property, Illinois Divorce AttorneyDivorce can present an entire spectrum of challenges for any couple, as they must contend with a large number of concerns. Depending on their specific circumstances, they may need to negotiate considerations for their children, determine new living arrangements, and establish an agreement regarding spousal support. Despite the difficulties inherent to any those issues, couples frequently have the most trouble in property division negotiations.

Equitable Distribution

Illinois law concerning divorce requires that, in the absence of a reasonable agreement, the property which constitutes the marital estate is to be divided between divorcing spouses. Unlike some states, however, Illinois property division guidelines require the equitable distribution of marital assets and debt as opposed to equal division. While equitable distribution will be addressed in more detail in a separate post, it essentially means that the property should be divided fairly, not necessarily 50/50, based on the consideration of circumstantial factors.

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Posted on in Divorce

post divorce check listOnce a divorce is granted, there are still many things a person has to do to ensure all official and/or legal connections with their now ex-spouse are taken care of.  The divorce decree ends your marriage, but you still need to make contact with various entities to ensure that your ex-spouse no longer has access or benefit of things to which they are no longer entitled.

The best way to do this is to make a list of the particulars you will have to change. Some of the items that may be on your task list include:

  1. All testamentary documents that you have drafted will need to be updated. Make sure you change the beneficiaries on any will and trusts you have, otherwise your ex-spouse would still be able to inherit your assets and property if something should happen to you.
  2. If there are any other entities where your spouse is named beneficiary, those should be changed as well. You will want to remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary from insurance policies, bank and stock accounts, and any other financial accounts you may have. The only time this should not be done is if the divorce settlement says differently. For example, if you are paying spousal support, the judge may have ordered you to keep your spouse as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy for the duration of your alimony obligation. There may also need to be changes made to retirement accounts, such as a partial roll over into one spouse’s name, depending on the divorce settlement.
  3. If your divorce settlement included an exchange of real estate between the two of you, then you will need to have quit claim deeds recorded. There may also need to be mortgage refinancing that needs to be done to remove the other spouse from financial obligation of the property, again depending on what the final divorce settlement reads.
  4. If there are any joint utility bills, such as electric, water, and telephone, those will also have to be changed into the name of the spouse that will be living in the home.

If you are considering a divorce and are looking for an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney, contact A. Traub and Associates for a consultation today.

divorce papers, serving divorce paperwork, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce attorney,For those residing in Illinois, divorce papers can either be served in person by a spouse, or through a process server. It is best to retain an experienced Illinois divorce attorney to assist you in determining the best option for your situation.  Your attorney will request the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Precipice for Summons with the circuit court to begin the process.  

Illinois state law, Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5),  requires that any defendant of a lawsuit, which includes your spouse if you are the filing party, must be informed of any pending legal action. You must "serve" your spouse with a notice of divorce or service of process.

Illinois has requirements for this process and all must be satisfied before you can move forward with your divorce action. The following is a brief description of state requirements for informing your spouse of the divorce:

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marital home, marital property, distribution of property, home appraisal, asset valuationAside from the direct impact of divorce on your children and the emotional toll on your psyche, perhaps one of the most important questions that requires your immediate attention is, "What do we do about the house"?

If you reside in Illinois, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5), states that there should be equitable distribution of all marital property in a divorce. Marital property covers everything from the marital home, finances, vehicles and recreational toys down to all household content acquired during the marriage. Although the decision regarding the family home may prove the most difficult.

Your divorce attorney will review your overall situation, including all variables playing into the decision over the home. Depending on your family needs, you and your spouse may decide that you will remain in the marital home with the children, but you will need to order an appraisal to determine your buy out cost to satisfy your spouse’s interest in the home. If on the other hand, you are open to placing the home on the market and once sold, you will be able to equally split the proceeds with your spouse.

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