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Recent Blog Posts

How Could a Divorce Coach Help Me?

 Posted on January 20, 2023 in Divorce

IL divorcer lawyerEven when the outcome is ultimately welcome, the process of getting divorced is exhausting more often than not. You and your spouse will need to divide your belongings, make tough decisions about your parenting plan for any minor children, reach a settlement on spousal support, and much more. Dealing with these challenges can be easier with the help of a support team.

One such supportive individual that you may want guiding you throughout your divorce is a divorce coach. Divorce coaches are becoming more popular and offer several advantages. Read on to learn more about divorce coaching, and then contact an Illinois divorce attorney who is willing to work with you to complete your divorce in a way that feels right to you.

What Does a Divorce Coach Do?

The role of a divorce coach is to act as a trained mental health professional who deeply understands the potential impact of divorce on individuals and works with them to mitigate divorce’s negative effects. A divorce coach could help a client with co-parenting issues, understanding their child’s reaction to divorce, and overcoming feelings of anger or resentment towards a partner who may have done more than their fair share to end the relationship.

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Do I Have to Split My Bonus With My Spouse if We Are Getting Divorced?

 Posted on January 11, 2023 in Asset Division

IL divorce lawyerAs a marriage begins to irretrievably break down, both spouses are usually aware that they are headed for divorce. One of the most common consequences of this knowledge is the gradual separation of each spouse’s income and belongings, especially if one spouse moves out or plans to move out. However, despite their best efforts at separating personal and marital property, spouses must still face the scrutiny of a judge’s approval when getting divorced.

Following Illinois law on property division when it comes to things like bonuses, stock options, performance incentives, etc., can be challenging - especially when spouses disagree about whether they should share this compensation. Read on to learn how bonuses are handled in Illinois divorces and then schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.

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Managing Parenting and Divorce with a High-Conflict Spouse

 Posted on December 29, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce AttorneyDivorce is rarely simple or pleasant, but certain types of personalities tend to make the divorce process much more hostile. This can include personality disorders like Borderline Personality Disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and even people who, while having no diagnosable issue, are just plain cruel or vindictive. 

Yet the divorce must go forward and for parents of young children, this means seeking a resolution to complex issues of parental responsibilities and parenting time. It can feel impossible to do this, but eventually, every divorce is concluded and every set of co-parents finds or is given a parenting agreement and you will get through yours, too.

Let Your Lawyer Protect You

While the divorce is ongoing, it is important to let your attorney manage issues with your spouse by communicating with your spouse’s attorney. If at all possible, avoid speaking with your spouse. You can request an interim parenting plan that dictates how parenting time will be shared and how children will be moved between households; doing so may be the best way to protect yourself and your child. If you must communicate with your spouse, do so only in writing so you can document any abuse or hostility. Depending on the levels of abuse, you may need to seek an Order of Protection that prohibits your spouse from contacting you or your child altogether. Each case is unique and your attorney can help you decide the best path forward.

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Can I Keep My Retirement Account if I Get Divorced? 

 Posted on December 23, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County Asset Division LawyerMany people put off initiating divorce because they worry about the impact divorce and living alone afterward could have on their finances. This makes sense - after all, life is rarely less expensive when you are managing a home on a single income. But staying in an unhappy or abusive marriage is often untenable, even when finances are a compelling factor in the decision-making process. If you are considering divorce and are wondering how the asset division process could impact your financial portfolio, especially your hard-earned retirement, contact an Illinois divorce attorney. 

What Happens to Retirement Accounts in Divorce? 

Retirement accounts are treated like any other part of the marital estate in a divorce. Illinois law requires marital assets to be divided fairly, although not necessarily equally, and this is true for retirement accounts as well. If you earned any portion of your retirement account before getting married, it is important to determine how much of the overall value of the account is made up of pre-marital funds. These are your personal property and will likely belong to you after the divorce, regardless of what happens with the remainder of the value of the account. 

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Can I File for Divorce in Illinois if I Am Pregnant?

 Posted on December 20, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce LawyerVery few things in life are as challenging as managing a pregnancy. In addition to morning sickness, mobility difficulties, and the chronic discomfort of being able to smell everything around you in acute detail, a crumbling marital relationship can add a burden that feels too much to bear. Unfortunately, many women in Illinois find themselves in a situation where they urgently want or need to leave their relationship, despite being pregnant. If you are in this situation and are considering divorce, it is important to understand your options. 

Do I Need to Wait Before Filing for Divorce if I Am Pregnant? 

Illinois does not prevent a divorce from moving forward simply because a woman is pregnant. However, it is important to know that you will be expected to create a parenting plan with your soon-to-be ex that delineates how you and your ex will share decision-making responsibilities and parenting time (visitation). Sometimes, you will need to return to court to address these issues after your child is born. This is especially true if there is a question as to the child’s paternity. 

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My Spouse’s Parents Made Me Sign a Prenup. Can I Contest It in a Divorce? 

 Posted on December 06, 2022 in Family Law

DuPage County Divorce AttorneyWhile prenuptial agreements can be a wonderful source of constructive conversations before a marriage and a protective measure for both spouses before divorce, not everybody wants to write and sign a prenup. While there are good reasons for both having and not having a prenup, everybody feels differently about these legally-binding contracts, and the feeling that a prenup constrains a marriage in a way that feels overly financial or transactional is very common. 

Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement is often not simply the product of an engaged couple. The parents of one or both spouses may encourage the couple to sign a prenup, and some parents insist that a prenup be signed before doing important things like helping the couple pay for their wedding. Again, while the parental desire to have a prenup to protect an engaged child is understandable, the kind of pressure parents put on a couple may actually backfire by invalidating the agreement. To learn how a prenuptial agreement could be invalidated in Illinois, read on. 

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Will I Be Forced to Pay Alimony in My Divorce? 

 Posted on November 28, 2022 in Spousal Maintenance

Wheaton, IL alimony lawyerAlimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance are all terms that are used to describe money that one spouse pays to the other after a divorce or legal separation. In Illinois, spousal maintenance may be agreed upon by the spouses, or the court may order one spouse to pay maintenance to the other. If you are getting divorced, you may have questions about whether you will be required to pay alimony. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the length of your marriage, the incomes of both spouses, and the contributions each spouse made to the marriage.

Negotiated Spousal Maintenance Settlements

Like other elements of a divorce, spouses may be able to negotiate the terms of spousal maintenance through a marital agreement or during their divorce. If the spouses had previously made an agreement regarding maintenance in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the court will typically uphold that agreement during divorce.

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Can I Stop My Ex From Moving Away With the Kids? 

 Posted on November 21, 2022 in Child Custody

DuPage County, IL child relocation lawyerWhen parents divorce, there are many different child custody issues that can lead to conflicts and disagreements. One of the most emotional issues is that of relocation, or when one parent wants to move away with the children. If you and your spouse are having trouble agreeing on whether or not your ex should be allowed to move away with the kids, it’s important to understand what your rights are under Illinois law.

Illinois Parental Relocation Laws

In Illinois, if a parent moves a certain distance away, it may classify as a "relocation." All parental relocations must be approved by the court. If the parents agree to the relocation and the relocation is in the child's best interests, then the process of getting approved is relatively straightforward. However, the process is more complex if one parent contests, or disagrees with, the relocation.

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Undisclosed Income in a DuPage County Child Support Dispute 

 Posted on November 15, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County child support lawyerChild support payments are used to cover the cost of a child's housing, food, education, and other needs. However, if one parent is not truthful about his or her income, the child may not receive the full support they need. Illinois child support orders are calculated using the Income Shares method, which takes both parents' earnings into account. Parents who lie about how much money they make inevitably skew the calculations, resulting in an unfair child support arrangement.

Illinois Child Support Calculations

Prior to 2017, Illinois based a parent's child support obligation on the paying parent's income and how many children needed support. For example, if the paying parent (obligor) had two children, 28 percent of his or her income was earmarked for child support.

Recognizing the limitations of this method, Illinois switched to the Income Shares approach in July 2017. The new method seeks to more accurately reflect the amount of financial support a child would have if both parents were still together and sharing costs. Both of the parents' net incomes are added together and then the combined income is compared to the Income Shares schedule, which provides the basic support obligation (BSO). The BSO is the total amount of money that an average family would use to pay for child-related needs. The BSO is divided between the parents based on each parent’s percentage of the combined income. For example, If a father's earnings represent 70 percent of the parents' combined income, he pays 70 percent of the BSO.

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5 Reasons To Consider Getting a Prenuptial Agreement 

 Posted on November 07, 2022 in Family Law

DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyerPrenuptial agreements are rising in popularity. More and more couples are signing prenuptial agreements before they say "I do." Modern couples are realistic. Drafting a prenuptial agreement is not exactly romantic, but it is one of the most responsible decisions you could make before getting married. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, here are five reasons to get one.

To Protect Your Assets

If you have significant assets, a prenuptial agreement can help protect them in the event of a divorce. When people get married, their finances inevitably become mixed. Any property or money that a spouse earns while they are married is added to the marital estate. If the couple divorces, any property contained in the marital estate is divided between the spouses. With a prenuptial agreement, you can keep your assets separate. This means that in the event of a divorce, your assets will not be considered part of the marital estate and will not be subject to division. You can also use a prenuptial agreement to protect inherited property or gifts from family members.

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