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Recent Posts in Family Law Category

  • How Does Inheritance Affect the Equitable Distribution Process?

    In an Illinois divorce, the court determines asset distribution and debt allocation based on “equitable distribution.” As the term implies, equitable means fair, not equal. This flexible system means that separating spouses may not receive a strict 50/50 split. The court considers multiple factors when determining equitable distribution: Duration of the marriage The earning abilities ...
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  • The Benefits of Modifying Alimony

    Each marriage is defined by unique family and financial dynamics that must be taken into account during divorce determinations. In certain cases, the court may award a lower-earning spouse alimony to make the transition to single life (and a single income) easier. In theory, alimony is to provide financial assistance while a spouse pursues new job or educational opportunities. It’s entirely ...
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  • Your Divorce & the TCJA

    If you and your spouse are seriously considering a divorce, there may be no time like the present to file your petition and complete the process. As 2018 crawls to a close, we are getting closer and closer to the last tax season that provides certain tax benefits to divorced couples. The Trump Administration passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in December 2017, and the legislative changes will ...
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  • What Happens to Student Loans in a Divorce?

    Americans collectively owe nearly $1.5 trillion in student loan debts. Statistically, this means that 1 out of every 4 adults nationwide are currently part of a college debt repayment plan. The standard federal repayment plan takes at least 10 years to complete, and it’s not uncommon for people with student loan debts to marry and divorce within that same time period. But what happens to ...
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  • The Pros & Cons of Lump Sum Alimony Payments

    Before the divorce process can be finalized, all financial matters relating to spousal maintenance, or “alimony,” must be agreed upon by both spouses or determined by the court. The purpose of alimony is to offer financial support to a lower earning spouse as they adapt to being single and self-sufficient. Typically, alimony is paid in monthly installments to benefit the financial ...
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  • Timeshares & Divorce | Illinois Divorce Attorneys

    For some married couples, timeshares are a vacation paradise and a romantic home away from home. For many others, however, timeshares represent a misguided purchase that is notoriously difficult to sell. Typically, a timeshare allows multiple people to own the same property and utilize it for established periods of time during the year. While the idea is sound, the reality is a little less grand. ...
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  • Private School Tuition & Child Support Payments

    The primary purpose of child support is to provide minors with financially-stable living environments that encompass their basic living needs. Calculating and establishing the guidelines of child support payments is an important facet of many divorce settlements. Basic living expenses include: Clothing Shelter Food Educational expenses Health care (circumstantially) The Illinois Marriage and ...
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  • Parenting Plans & Summer Vacation

    Summer is a great season for families to vacation together. However, summer plans can get complicated after a divorce. This is particularly true for children who split their time between two households. In 2016, Illinois replaced “child custody arrangements” with “parenting plans.” These are legal documents that list the rights and obligations each parent has regarding ...
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  • Divorce & Your Estate Plan

    One important set of documents tends to be forgotten in the mad scramble of divorce: your estate plan. This is comprised of several essential documents that protect your financial interests and personal medical choices in the event of an emergency. If your plan isn’t updated, then your ex may still be designated as your executor and primary beneficiary. Estate planning documents commonly ...
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  • A Conflict of Interest: iPhones & Your Divorce

    iPhones are incredible technological devices that allow you to maintain social relationships and navigate the inconveniences of daily life. Your phone even has the ability to sync up to any other Apple product in your home, allowing you to consolidate information and easily keep your day-to-day appointments. So what role does your iPhone play in your divorce? Here are some phone-related divorce ...
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  • What Is the Illinois Collaborative Process Act?

    As of 2018, Illinois is the 12 th state to adopt a collaborative practice law under the Illinois Collaborative Process Act. In a collaborative divorce, spouses hire attorneys to facilitate their equitable distribution negotiations outside of court. Since implementing the law in January, it has become increasingly common for divorcing couples to utilize the collaborative process as an alternative ...
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  • Military Divorce 101: The Basics You Should Know

    In many ways, a military divorce shares many similarities with a civilian divorce and, depending on the circumstances, might not be that much more complicated to navigate with legal help. That said, they do share some differences, including the service of process, residency and filing requirements, and specific rules regarding the division of military pensions. To help shed some clarity on the ...
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  • Asset Protection During a Divorce

    Getting a divorce is not just an emotional process, but a financially difficult one as well. Divorcing spouses risk taking a major hit to their financial health during a divorce, especially without proper legal guidance on their side. While you might be tempted to fixate on what went wrong in your marriage or on how to cope with this major change in your life, it is crucial to also try to limit ...
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  • Tips for a Successful Co-Parenting Relationship After Divorce

    Divorcing spouses often cannot wait for the whole ordeal to be over and to put the past behind them. If you share children with your former spouse, however, you cannot simply move on and cut ties with your ex-spouse. The romantic portion of your relationship is over, but you will still have to co-parent your children together. Unfortunately, if there is lingering animosity, this situation can ...
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  • A Chronological Timeline for Divorce

    No two divorces are alike. For some, the process can be incredibly complex and time-consuming, while for others it could potentially be much more straightforward and relatively quick. That said, for those who are about to embark on moving forward with this decision and will soon work toward dissolving their marriage, having a general idea of the process and its timeline can be helpful in ...
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  • Relocating with Your Child After Divorce

    Life is not stagnant and situations constantly change, but for divorced couples who share children, drastic changes can present some big issues that can be difficult to overcome, especially if these changes involve a big move. If you are considering relocating with your child after a divorce, it is crucial to carefully examine this decision without hastily beginning the process. Here are some ...
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  • Three Reasons It's Important to Establish Paternity

    When a child is born to a single mother, only the mother is listed legally as a parent. That is, until the mother and father can legally establish paternity for its father. Legal paternity can have several benefits for all parties involved, including for the child themselves. Here are three extremely important and beneficial reasons why mothers, fathers, and children can benefit from establishing ...
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  • Adopting Your New Spouse's Children: What You Need to Know

    When you marry to a spouse who has children, you may wish to obtain legal status as a parent for their children as well through the adoption process. Adopting stepchildren isn’t as long and detailed a process as a traditional adoption (you won’t have to go through home visits and a long waiting period), but you will have to go through the unique obstacle of obtaining the right to adopt ...
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  • Can My Divorce Decree Be Changed?

    Life is fluid and constantly changing, which the courts understand. That is why it is possible for individuals to request a modification to their divorce decree. A divorce decree specifies rights and obligations regarding spousal support, the division of property, and child custody and support, among other issues. Either party can petition to amend a divorce decree to modify any number of the ...
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  • Child Visitation FAQ

    Divorce can make life seem pretty uncertain, especially when it comes to visitation and custody of your children. You likely have a lot of questions, so to shed some clarity on the situation, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding child visitation. Here are some answers to commonly asked child visitation questions: What does the term “reasonable visitation” ...
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  • How to Protect Yourself Financially During Divorce

    The decision to move forward with a divorce is an emotional one, but it is important to keep a clear head and to take the necessary steps to protect yourself financially during the process. In fact, many of the steps you can take to safeguard your financial health can be done early on in the divorce process, allowing you to rest easier at night. Here are some tips to protect your finances if you ...
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  • Determining Separate & Community Property During Divorce

    Divorce is not only a hugely emotional experience, but also a very technical one as you begin to unlink your shared lives. If you and your spouse had a particularly long marriage, determining what property is separate and what is shared might be a difficult task, which is why it is crucial to have a skilled divorce attorney assist you throughout this process. Of course, it would also be a good ...
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  • Do I Need an Attorney to Adopt?

    Welcoming a child into your family is a wonderful experience for a couple to share. However, the legal process of it is often time-consuming and rather complicated. To ensure your adoption goes smoothly and successfully, you should hire an attorney to avoid making any errors that might prolong the process or compromise your chances of expanding your family. In Illinois, state law dictates the ...
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  • How to Help Your Kids Cope with Divorce

    Divorce is difficult, but no matter how hard you think it is, it will most certainly be more difficult for your children to cope with since they cannot fully understand why it is happening. The only thing they can see is that their parents will no longer be together. To minimize the impact of this emotionally overwhelming experience, you and your spouse will have to take some steps to help relieve ...
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  • How to Create a Parenting Agreement After a Divorce

    If you and your spouse share children and are divorcing, child custody is likely to be the most difficult task you will face. However, regardless of how angry you might be with your spouse, do not let your feelings get in the way of making the decision that is best for your children. Set your emotions aside and put them first as you work out your parenting agreement. Creating a Parenting Agreement ...
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