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Recent Blog Posts

Am I Entitled To Part of Our House in a Divorce if Only My Spouse’s Name is On the Title? 

 Posted on June 22, 2022 in Family Law Blog

lombard asset division lawyerBecause many Illinois couples today get married well after they complete their education and begin building their net worth, many marriages begin when one or both spouses already own property. When one spouse outright owns or has a mortgage on a house and the other spouse moves in, the process of dividing the value of the house in a divorce can be complex and contentious. 

The spouse who owns the house will generally argue that, since he or she owned the home prior to the marriage, it is his or her individual property. The spouse who lived in the home, often for many years or even decades, will argue that without his or her financial assistance or help around the house, the home - and the spouse who owns it - would not have the property value or equity ownership it has today. For a brief overview of how individually owned property may be handled in a divorce, read this blog and then get your specific questions answered by an experienced Illinois asset division attorney.

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Estate Planning When You Have Minor Children

 Posted on June 22, 2022 in Family Law Blog

lombard estate planning lawyerAs a parent, you probably do not even want to think about what would happen if you were to pass away before they become adults. It can be a very upsetting idea. However, addressing the possibility head-on by making an estate plan that includes your children is the best way to set your mind at ease. People are waiting longer to have or adopt children, and it is fairly common for men to have children later in life. While all parents of minor children should have an estate plan aimed at providing for the children, it is particularly important for older parents. By creating a comprehensive estate plan, you can help ensure that if the worst were to happen, your children would be provided for. When protecting minor children in your estate plan is your main goal, it is important to work with an attorney so that you can be confident in your plan. 

Tips for Protecting Your Children in an Estate Plan

Since you cannot leave everything directly to your minor children, there will be some strategizing involved in your estate planning. Some tips and things to consider include: 

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Tips for Creating a Complete and Comprehensive Estate Plan

 Posted on May 27, 2022 in Estate Planning Blog

b2ap3_thumbnail_dupage-county-estate-planning-lawyer.jpgQuite a few people think that making a simple will is all they need to do to check “estate planning” off their to-do list. However, there is a lot more to a complete estate plan than a will. A strong estate plan should involve multiple documents for different purposes. Your estate plan should also include provisions for your own care in the event that you experience incapacity in your advanced age. Aside from that, a will alone cannot accomplish what your beneficiaries may need after you are gone. In most cases, a trust should be used to protect those you wish to benefit from your estate. Online do-it-yourself kits rarely contain everything you actually need in your estate plan. Your best bet is to work with an experienced estate planning lawyer to ensure that your estate plan is complete and comprehensive. 

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What To Expect From a Borderline Spouse During Your Illinois Divorce

 Posted on May 24, 2022 in Family Law Blog

lombard divorce lawyerWhile much has been written about going through a divorce with a spouse who suffers from narcissism, depression, or even psychopathy, borderline personality disorder (or BPD) is so common and unpredictable that many people who get divorced do not even know that their spouse suffers from a specific mental illness - they just know they cannot take it anymore. 

Between one and five percent of the population has BPD and, for unknown reasons, most of them appear to be women. BPD often manifests with symptoms that are similar to those of other personality disorders - unpredictable mood changes, attachment difficulties, impulsiveness, and other difficulties with self-regulation. These behaviors can make it difficult to stay married, but can also make it very difficult to get divorced. If you know or suspect your spouse may have BPD, it is important to be prepared for the implications this may have on your Illinois divorce

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Illinois First Responders Face Additional Challenges When Getting Divorced

 Posted on May 17, 2022 in Family Law Blog

arlington heights divorce lawyerIllinois firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical caregivers are real-life superheroes who handle more than their fair share of challenges at work. Unfortunately, the unpredictable and demanding work schedule of these jobs also means that first responders often face additional challenges in their relationships. Emergency response employees have higher rates of divorce and, when they get divorced, they must deal with unique concerns as a result of their job. 

Why Are First Responders at Greater Risk of Divorce? 

First responders are at higher risk of matrimonial dissatisfaction because they work long hours, frequently face dangerous situations, observe traumatizing events, and often struggle with substance abuse and mental illness. In addition to the typical challenges a married couple deals with, these issues can be very difficult for the first responder and his or her spouse to manage. 

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What to Do if You Suspect Your Relative's Will is Not Valid

 Posted on May 15, 2022 in Estate Planning Blog

dupage county estate planning lawyerWhen you are grieving the loss of a family member, the last thing you want to deal with is a problem regarding their estate plan. Even when estate administration goes smoothly, it can be emotionally difficult for the surviving loved ones. Unfortunately, sometimes concerns over a will’s validity do arise. Family members may get a rather unpleasant surprise when they get around to reading their decedent’s will in some cases. Sometimes the terms of the will are much different from what you expected to find. It could be that the will leaves everything to an individual or organization the family is not familiar with. Or, it could be that the will appears to have been signed well after the decedent became incapacitated. Whatever tips you off that your family member’s will is not valid, there are ways an attorney can help you challenge the will and potentially have it set aside. 

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What Actually Happens When Someone is Murdered for Their Estate Money

 Posted on April 29, 2022 in Estate Planning Blog

lombard estate planning lawyerYou have probably seen at least one murder mystery movie where a wealthy individual is killed for their money, typically by an heir. It is a fairly common trope for impatient heirs to take matters into their own hands in order to get their share of a high-value estate faster. Sadly, this trope does sometimes play out in real life. You may have seen one of many true crime shows feature a terrifying episode where a person marries a wealthy individual, intending to murder their spouse and claim the entire marital estate. Certainly, few would want their killer to inherit anything at all. This is where “slayer statutes” come into play. In general, these laws prevent murderers from inheriting any part of their victim’s estate. 

What if the Killer Does Not Get Convicted?

If the alleged slayer does get convicted of the murder, this establishes conclusive evidence that they are barred from inheriting. However, it is not necessary. To convict a person of a crime, the state must prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that the defendant committed the crime. However, to activate the slayer statute and bar the killer from inheriting, one need only show that it was more likely than not that the murder occurred as alleged. 

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Three Tips for Successful Summer Co-Parenting

 Posted on April 18, 2022 in Family Law Blog

lombard family law attorneySummertime presents unique challenges to divorced or never-married parents who share underage children in Illinois. Children are out of school, and younger children require full-time care, forcing parents to get creative in finding childcare options and summer activities that are affordable and feasible for their schedules. Coordinating frequent visits and transportation from house to house adds to the complexity of summer schedules. If you are creating or modifying a parenting plan in Illinois, here are three tips to help you co-parent successfully in the coming summer months. 

Plan Ahead

Some parents specifically include their summer parenting plan in their initial parenting agreement. Whenever possible, taking this route is recommended for several reasons. First, it allows parents to avoid conflict by making decisions ahead of time. Second, it encourages parents to provide a stable and thoughtful environment for the children during an otherwise unstructured time. Finally, it gives children an idea of what to expect, preventing misbehavior stemming from anxiety or uncertainty about the future. 

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Six Tips to Help You Get Through Your Illinois Divorce

 Posted on April 07, 2022 in Family Law Blog

wheaton divorce lawyerEven when you know that getting divorced is the right choice, the process can still be very difficult. Most people feel a range of complex emotions, including guilt, sorrow, anger, and even regret. Long before the divorce is final, you are likely to be ready to move to the next stage of your life, and you may feel frustrated by how long the process is taking. If any of this sounds familiar to you, here are six tips to help you get through your DuPage County divorce

Strategies For Getting Through Divorce

  • Surround yourself with friends and family - Divorce often means losing the person with whom you used to share important details about your day. Although you may not be able to replace the role your spouse filled, having people to turn to for friendship, support, and a listening ear can make a big difference in your happiness during divorce. 

  • Practice forgiveness - Divorce usually leaves people feeling at least a little angry - angry about infidelity, emotional neglect, abuse, or even just the way things turned out. Holding on to the bitterness of past actions only ends up hurting you in the long turn. Forgiveness is a skill that we can get better at, and practicing forgiveness after divorce will help you move on. 

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What is Testamentary Capacity and Why Does it Matter?

 Posted on April 04, 2022 in Estate Planning Blog

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_128636027.jpgIt is rather common for people to think of estate planning as an end-of-life task. Estate planning attorneys are often called to visit clients in skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and hospice centers. However, waiting until this point to make a will can have negative ramifications. One of the major requirements for a will to be considered legal and enforceable is that the testator (the person creating their will) must have the mental capacity to do so. This standard is known as “testamentary capacity.” It is designed to prevent those who are incapacitated from executing a will that they would not have agreed to if they were not incapacitated. It also protects elders and their families against those who would exercise undue influence over a disoriented adult during the estate planning process. 


Testamentary capacity is a relatively low bar - even those with early forms of Alzheimer’s or dementia may be able to make a will under the right circumstances. An attorney will be able to apply this standard to help determine whether someone still has the capacity to make a will. 

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