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Recent Blog Posts

3 Situations in Which a Married Couple May Decide to Get a Legal Separation

 Posted on October 27, 2022 in Family Law

DuPage County legal separation lawyerA legal separation does not end a marriage. However, it does allow spouses to make legally binding decisions about child custody, property division, and other issues typically decided on during a divorce. There are several reasons a married couple may choose to seek a legal separation rather than a divorce, including religious beliefs or personal preferences. In some cases, couples may also use legal separation as a way to test whether they want to end their marriage,

If your marriage is experiencing turmoil, make sure you understand the advantages and limitations of legal separation before making a decision.

Basics of Legal Separation in Illinois

When a couple gets divorced, they are no longer married in the eyes of the law. This means that they can remarry if they choose to do so. A legal separation does not end your marriage, but it does allow you to create a separation agreement - a document similar to a divorce decree. Your separation agreement may contain determinations regarding:

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Ending Your Marriage When You and Your Spouse Co-Own a Business

 Posted on October 24, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County asset division lawyerAccording to the most recent estimates, there are approximately 5.5 million family businesses currently operating in the United States. Running a family business can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be a challenging one. If you and your spouse co-own a business together and are considering ending your marriage, there are some important things to keep in mind. You will need to plan your divorce carefully to protect your business interests and avoid any potential disputes down the road.

Valuing the Business is Often the First Step

If you and your spouse co-own a business, the first thing you need to do is determine how you will value the business for the purpose of property division. This can be a complex process, as businesses are often worth much more than their physical assets.  You will need to consider the value of the business's goodwill, any intellectual property it may have, and its current and future earning potential.

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Everything You Need to Know About Depositions During Divorce

 Posted on October 13, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyerContested divorce cases often become contentious. Disputes may arise regarding the division of property and debt, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, spousal maintenance, child support, and other issues. In some situations, depositions are used to gather information and evidence relevant to the disputed issues. If you are getting divorced, it is important for you to understand how and when depositions may be used in your case.

What is a Deposition?

Depositions are interviews that take place under oath. In a divorce deposition, each spouse and his or her respective attorney answer questions pertinent to the divorce case. Most depositions are conducted in person, but some take place over phone or video conferencing.

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How Does Child Support Work if I Have Kids With More than One Person?

 Posted on October 06, 2022 in Divorce

Wheaton, IL child support lawyerChild support obligations in Illinois are based on both parents’ net incomes. For many payers, or “obligors,” child support payments represent a major monthly expense. If someone is already making child support payments to an ex, he or she may worry about how he or she will afford additional child support payments. People in this situation are usually filled with questions. If a parent has children with multiple partners, does he or she pay child support to every partner? How much does he or she pay? These questions can cause great concern for both payers and recipients of child support in Illinois.

Read on to learn how Illinois courts handle child support when someone has multiple families and what you can do if you need help establishing, changing, or enforcing a child support order.

How is Child Support Usually Calculated?

As of July 1, 2017, Illinois uses the Income Shares formula to calculate child support. The parent with less parenting time is responsible for paying child support to the parent with more parenting time. The amount he or she pays is determined by a formula that uses both parents’ net incomes. The basic steps of the Income Shares calculation are as follows:

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What Happens When Assets Are Hidden During a Divorce?

 Posted on September 23, 2022 in Divorce

Naperville Family Law AttorneyAll divorcing couples are required by law to fully and frankly disclose all of their assets (and income, expenses, and debt). Sadly, though, it appears that some individuals simply cannot resist the temptation to steal or lie in order to retain at least a piece of those riches for themselves.

If you suspect hidden assets in your divorce, you may want to work with an attorney experienced in forensic accounting

Red Flags for Hidden Assets

Financial red flags might be simple to identify. There is a long list of questionable actions your spouse might take, but here are a few:

  • Being extremely controlling with money matters, possibly limiting your access to accounts or statements

  • Refusing to explain transactions to you or conducting opaque business

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Illinois Divorce Cases Involving a Professional Practice 

 Posted on September 16, 2022 in Asset Division

Naperville Family Law AttorneyWhen a divorcing spouse is a doctor, accountant, attorney, or another professional with a private practice, this can heavily influence the property division process during divorce. A professional practice is often considered a marital asset, which means it would be subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. However, there are certain special considerations that must be taken into account when dividing a professional practice. It is important to seek legal counsel early on in the divorce to determine how best to protect your interests.

Spouses May Both Have a Right to a Portion of the Professional Practice’s Value

If a professional practice is considered marital property, both spouses may have a right to the value of the professional practice. This is likely to occur if the practice was opened during the marriage or if the non-owning spouse contributed to the development and growth of the practice. 

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Child Support Calculation Deviations in DuPage County Divorce Cases 

 Posted on September 06, 2022 in Family Law

Wheaton Family Law AttorneyIn July 2017, substantial changes to Illinois child support laws took effect. Instead of determining child support solely on the paying parent's income, child support determinations are now based on both parents' financial circumstances. The changes were made in an effort to make child support calculations more equitable.

Child support is usually calculated using the Income Shares formula.  The Income Shares model estimates the amount of money that would have been available to the child if the family had not been divided by divorce. This approach considers both parents' net incomes to determine a child support obligation. In some cases, however, a court may deviate from the typical calculation method. 

Deviating From the Income Shares Formula

Courts can deviate from the statutory child support formula if the court feels it is in the best interests of the child. In making a determination about whether to deviate from the Income Shares calculation method, courts will consider factors such as:

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Should I Hire a Lawyer if I am a Domestic Violence Victim?

 Posted on August 25, 2022 in Family Law

Naperville Protection Order LawyerPhysical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological manipulation, and financial exploitation are just some of the forms of domestic violence suffered by individuals in Illinois and across the country. Domestic violence is shockingly common. Sadly, many people suffer in silence because they are not aware of the resources and legal tools at their disposal.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may be wondering whether or not you should hire a lawyer. Family law attorneys experienced in domestic violence matters can help you navigate complex legal issues like protective orders, child custody, and property division during divorce. An attorney’s job is to advocate for you and ensure your rights are not violated.

Taking Legal Action After Domestic Abuse

If you are unsure of whether a lawyer can benefit your particular situation, consider the following factors:

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Tips for Working with a Guardian Ad Litem During Your Divorce

 Posted on August 19, 2022 in Family Law

Wheaton Family Law AttorneyChild-related matters in a divorce are often some of the most contentious aspects of a divorce case. They are also some of the most consequential aspects of the divorce. When divorcing parents disagree about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, a guardian ad litem may be assigned to the case. The guardian ad litem evaluates the circumstances of the custody dispute, investigates both parties, interviews family members and caretakers, and makes an informed recommendation to the court about the case outcome. Working with a GAL can sometimes be uncomfortable. He or she may need to ask personal questions, investigate the parents’ homes, and interview teachers or other people important to the child’s life.

If a guardian ad litem was assigned in your divorce or child custody case, here are a few tips to help you make the most of the situation.

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5 Reasons to Consider Working with a Divorce Coach

 Posted on August 15, 2022 in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce LawyerIf you are like many people, you are not familiar with the term “divorce coach.”  Divorce coaching is a relatively new service that is becoming more and more popular. Ending a marriage can take a massive toll on a person. Divorce can be so overwhelming that some divorcing individuals make mistakes or agree to unfair divorce terms just to get the process over with. A divorce coach provides emotional support and practical guidance to divorcing spouses and helps them navigate the major life changes that accompany divorce. If you are getting divorced, here are five reasons to consider working with a divorce coach.

You Need Help to Get Through this Stressful Life Experience

The Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory is a scientific tool first published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research that is used to predict stress-induced health problems. Divorce is listed as the second-most stressful life event on the inventory, just beneath death of a spouse. If you are going through a divorce, you need someone to help you manage this stress.

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