Tag Archives: Illinois law

Illinois Adjusts Spousal Maintenance Law Ahead of New YearSince the U.S. Congress eliminated the alimony tax deduction, divorce professionals have waited to see how state governments will respond. People paying spousal maintenance will not be allowed to deduct their payments from their federal income taxes if the divorce agreement is approved after Dec. 31, 2018. Recipients will also not claim their payments as taxable income. The new law shifts the financial burden towards the paying spouse, and divorce professionals expect courts to react by awarding less in spousal maintenance. Illinois recently approved a new law that changes its directions to courts on how they should evaluate whether to award spousal maintenance and what the maintenance amount should be.

Deciding on Maintenance

The maintenance section of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act contains a list of relevant factors that a court must consider when determining whether awarding spousal maintenance is appropriate. The list instructed the court to consider “the tax implications of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties.” Lawmakers amended the section to simply state that the court should consider “the tax consequences to each party.” The amendment broadens the definition of what courts may consider in relation to taxes, which includes how not having the alimony tax deduction will affect the paying party.

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What the Equal Parenting Time Law Would Mean in IllinoisA proposed bill in the Illinois House of Representatives has brought the debate over 50/50 parenting time arrangements to the forefront of family law discussions. The bill would create a legal presumption that it is in the best interest of children that parents have an equal share of parenting time after separation. Illinois courts currently presume the opposite when left to determine the division of parenting time. If passed, the law would be considered a win for fathers, who are less likely to receive a majority of parenting time when the time is unevenly divided.

Default Position

There is a consensus amongst parents and family law courts that children are best served when both parents are an active part of their lives. The disagreement is over how much parenting time each side needs to be an effective parent:

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illinois divorce law changes, kane county divorce attorneysIf you are an Illinois resident currently in the midst of the divorce process, you may have concerns about recent changes in divorce law that passed in 2016 and how they might affect you and your family once your divorce is final. The good news is that a majority of these changes were put into motion to ease common divorce tensions, with the goal to reduce conflict and simplify the process as a whole. While there will always be some level of conflict where divorce is concerned, revisions to our state’s laws serve to streamline the experience for each party involved.

Here are a few ways recent law changes have changed how couples divorce, but for the better:

1. Revisions to Grounds for Divorce

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Kane County child support lawyersWhile very few people would dispute the appropriateness or the need for child support, there are differing opinions regarding how support payments should be determined. For many years, Illinois law based child support calculations primarily on the income of the supporting parent and the number of children needing support. Beginning next summer, however, the state’s approach will be changing to one that is seen by many as more equitable since it accounts for both parents’ income and the actual cost of raising a child.

Income Shares Child Support Model

Last summer, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure several years in the making. The new law provides a totally updated model for determining a parent’s child support obligation. The method is known as “income shares” and is currently in use in more than three dozen other states. According to the income shares model, the combined income of both parents is used to determine a “basic support amount,” or the amount that the couple would spend on raising their child if they had remained in the same household. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has been tasked with developing a table for determining this amount as a percentage of the parents’ combined income.

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Kane County divorce attorneyThroughout the country, divorce has become a common enough occurrence that many people speak of the process very casually. The seriousness of divorce, as a result, is frequently underestimated. For example, in the 2011 film Crazy Stupid Love, the main character’s work colleagues laugh and celebrate when they discover that he is “merely” getting a divorce and does not have cancer. Such a casual attitude leads many to believe that when a marriage is experiencing problems, it is easy to ask the court to dissolve the relationship. The reality, however, is rather different.

Irreconcilable Differences

According to Illinois law, a judgment of divorce will only be granted on the grounds that “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” The law goes on to say that the court must also determine that attempts to save the marriage have failed or that future efforts toward reconciliation would be unreasonable and not in the family’s best interests. But, what does that mean?

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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