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Recent Blog Posts

My Child’s Other Parent Gets Paid Under the Table. How Will This Affect Child Support?

 Posted on May 03, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Child Support LawyerAs any parent can confirm, raising a child is costly. Tuition and other educational expenses, childcare, extracurricular activities, clothing, housing, and groceries are just some of the many expenses a parent will need to cover. Child support payments help distribute the cost of raising a child between the two parents.

Unfortunately, some parents try to pay less than their fair share of financial support. If your child's parent receives cash income “under the table,” you may worry about how this will influence child support payments. In this blog, we will discuss how child support is calculated in Illinois and what you can do if your parent is trying to manipulate the child support order by failing to disclose all sources of income.

Basics of Child Support Orders in Illinois

When the court determines the amount of child support to be paid, the court begins by gathering financial information from both parents. Each parent's net income is calculated by taking their gross income and subtracting taxes, other support obligations, and certain other expenses. The parents’ combined income determines the total amount of support owed by both parents. The total support obligation is then distributed between the parents. The parent with less parenting time pays his or her share through child support.

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Legal Separation in Illinois: Your Questions Answered

 Posted on April 20, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Separation LawyerThere is a good deal of confusion and misinformation surrounding the concept of legal separation in Illinois. Many people use the word “separated” to refer to a temporary break from a spouse. Others use the word to refer to a permanent situation in which the spouses live separately. However, neither of these situations necessarily constitutes a legal separation.

A married couple who has legally separated benefits from specific legal protections under Illinois law. Being separated does not end a marriage, but it does allow the spouses to address many of the same types of issues that they would address during a divorce.

What is a Legal Separation?

A legal separation is a binding agreement between two spouses. The spouses agree to live apart from each other and to separate their finances and everyday lives. Couples who are legally separated are still married and still enjoy certain benefits that come with a marriage relationship, such as inheritance rights. They cannot marry somebody else. Unlike a divorce, a legal separation is not necessarily permanent. If a legally separated couple reconciles, they are able to vacate the separation and resume their married lives together.

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What Happens to Jewelry in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on April 17, 2023 in Divorce

St. Charles Marital Asset Distribution AttorneyWhen two people get married, they combine their lives as well as their possessions. “Yours” and “mine” becomes “ours.” This can make it very difficult to determine who owns what during a divorce. If you or your spouse own jewelry, you may wonder how this particular type of asset is dealt with during an Illinois divorce. Jewelry can not only have great financial value, it often has tremendous sentimental value as well. Asset division can be tricky and determining ownership of a piece of jewelry is not always easy. Read on to learn more.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

In an Illinois divorce, marital property typically includes property that was obtained between the start of the marriage and the separation or divorce. However, it is not always this straightforward. If a spouse acquired a piece of jewelry through an inheritance, it does not matter when he or she inherited the asset, it is a non-marital asset. For example, if your mother passed away and you inherited her wedding rings, the rings belong solely to you.

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What Can I Do About a Spouse Who Stalks Me Using Technology During Our Divorce?

 Posted on April 13, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerIt is hard to even comprehend how much our society has changed in the past few decades. For example, a phone used to be something attached to a cord in your home which was capable of little more than making and receiving phone calls. Now, phones are devices we use to shop, browse the internet, manage financial affairs, and navigate the world around us. The technological advancements made in recent years have been a great benefit to society, but they can also be used as tools for abuse.

If your spouse is using technology to stalk you during your divorce, it can be incredibly frightening and unsettling. However, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself and stand up for your rights.

Spying and Stalking During an Illinois Divorce

A huge part of any abusive relationship is control. When an abuser is losing control over his or her spouse, he or she may use various methods to continue the abusive behavior during a divorce. Stalking or spying on a spouse using technology is one of those methods. Spouses may use spyware on phones or computers, track GPS locations, or even use hidden cameras in order to follow their spouse’s every move.

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Grounds for Divorce: Clearing Up the Confusion 

 Posted on April 10, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerWhen someone begins to consider divorce, well-meaning family and friends may give them outdated or inaccurate advice. Divorce laws vary from state to state. Furthermore, the laws change frequently. So, if someone got divorced in 2015, they may have divorced under a completely different set of laws than someone in 2023. It is important for anyone contemplating divorce to educate themselves about the current divorce laws. Consult an experienced divorce attorney for help.

Grounds for Divorce in Illinois in 2023

Grounds are the legal justification for a divorce. Illinois used to have fault-based grounds for divorce. For example, a spouse could assert mental cruelty or adultery as a basis for the divorce. Fault-based divorces are no longer available in Illinois. The only grounds for divorce is irreconcilable differences between the parties, which means that there are two people who no longer want to be married and cannot work out their problems. This is called “no-fault” divorce.

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Technology-Related Concerns Co-Parents May Need to Address When Developing Their Parenting Plan

 Posted on April 06, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Child Custody LawyerTechnology has become an integrated part of our everyday lives. It is not uncommon to see children using smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices as well. When divorcing parents set up their parenting plan, it is a good idea to ensure that the parents are on the same page about child-related issues. Increasingly, technology has become a source of contention for parents. Some parents allow their children to use electronic devices at any time. Others strictly monitor their child's “screen time.”

To reduce the possibility of conflict in the future, parents are encouraged to discuss issues like these and work out a plan in advance. As you develop your parenting plan, make sure to consider the following technology concerns.

When Is a Child Old Enough to Have A Smartphone?

Unlike cell phones from previous decades, today's cell phones are capable of accessing the Internet, buying products online, making video calls, and much more. Parents should ensure that they are on the same page about smartphones. Serious conflict can arise when one parent buys the child a smartphone without the other parent's knowledge or consent. Whether your children are toddlers or teenagers, it is important for parents to discuss when their child will have a smartphone, who will pay for the smartphone, and any rules regarding the use of the phone.

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5 Reasons to Sign a Postnuptial Agreement 

 Posted on March 30, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttorneyMost people have heard of prenuptial agreements, but fewer are familiar with postnuptial agreements. Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements in that they provide a formal legal document that outlines how two spouses will handle their finances and other related matters during divorce. The difference between the two is that prenuptial agreements are signed before the marriage, while postnuptial agreements are signed after the couple has already been married. Postnuptial agreements can be incredibly helpful for couples facing uncertain financial futures or other issues. Here are five situations in which a postnuptial agreement may be beneficial.

Either Spouse Experiences a Financial Windfall or Loss

When one of the spouses suddenly experiences a financial windfall, such as an inheritance or lottery winnings, or suffers a major loss, such as the bankruptcy of a business venture they once owned, signing a postnuptial agreement can help protect both partners’ assets and financial future.

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5 Reasons to Consider a Divorce Coach to Help You End Your Marriage

 Posted on March 27, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerThe Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory lists the most difficult life changes a person can go through and the relative amount of stress each change causes. Divorce is second from the top of this list. Only the death of a spouse is considered more stressful. It is no wonder that the divorce process can be emotionally and mentally challenging. One way to help ease yourself through this difficult journey is to consider working with a divorce coach. Here are five reasons why you might want to seek out the guidance of a trained professional during your divorce.

Compassionate Emotional Support When You Need it Most

The end of a marriage can cause a range of emotions from sadness to anger, and even numbness. A divorce coach provides an understanding ear as well as practical advice to help you cope with these feelings. While a divorce lawyer helps you with the legal and financial issues surrounding divorce, a divorce coach helps with the psychological and emotional aspects of the split.

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Divorce Involving False Allegations of Spousal Abuse

 Posted on March 21, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County Family Law AttorneyIf you are getting divorced and your spouse has accused you of domestic violence or abuse, you may not know where to start. Most people getting divorced have little experience in the court system, and they are not sure what to expect or how to handle this challenging situation.

One of the first things you need to do if your spouse accused you of abusing him or her is to secure reliable legal counsel. Your lawyer will be able to provide customized advice specific to your case and ensure that you address these allegations in a way that does not aggravate the situation.

How Accusations of Abuse Can Affect Your Case

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, so the accusations of abuse will not be listed as grounds for divorce in the divorce petition. Furthermore, Illinois law states that court decisions regarding spousal support or property division will be made without regard to “marital misconduct” such as abuse or infidelity.

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Factors to Keep in Mind When Dividing Property in a High-Asset Divorce Case

 Posted on March 14, 2023 in Divorce

Kane County High-Asset Divorce LawyerMany people are under the assumption that financial wealth will greatly reduce if not eliminate most problems in life. In reality, people with substantial income and assets often face a greater number of complex challenges – especially during divorce. If you are entering into a high-asset divorce, make sure you understand what to expect and how to prepare for these challenges. Because the stakes are so high in a case like this, working with a skilled high-asset divorce attorney is recommended.

Asset Valuation is the First Step

Before you and your spouse can begin to address property division, you must know the full financial picture. Accurate, professional asset valuation is crucial in a high-asset divorce case. Make sure you understand the current value of your stocks, stock options, retirement accounts, real estate, and investments. Do not forget to get appraisals for difficult-to-value assets such as fine art, jewelry, or collectibles.

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