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Naperville, IL alimony lawyerOne common cause of stress and tension that can continue even after a divorce is finalized is spousal support (previously known as alimony). In many marriages, the earning power between spouses is uneven and results in a lopsided financial arrangement that can hurt a lower-earning spouse after divorce. This is especially true if one spouse gave up career ambitions to care for a couple’s young children. 

Nevertheless, it is common for the paying spouse to disagree with the necessity or fairness of spousal support and to not make these payments. If this sounds familiar, you do not have to solve this problem on your own. Consult with an experienced spousal support attorney who can help you with the enforcement process and ensure you receive the money you are entitled to under the law. 

Why Is My Spouse Not Making Spousal Support Payments? 

People sometimes come on hard times and fall behind in making spousal support payments for many reasons. If your ex typically makes spousal support payments on time and has only recently fallen into arrears, you may want to consider reaching out to them directly and asking for an explanation. You may be able to work something out between the two of you, although it is wise to get such an agreement in writing. 


Naperville Divorce LawyersInfidelity is one of the leading causes of divorce. This kind of betrayal can sever the bond between a married couple. Although it is a common cause of divorce, many people are still confused about whether it can affect spousal support and parental responsibilities in Illinois. You can consult an experienced attorney to help you navigate this complicated divorce process. 

Can Your Ex-spouse Still Get Spousal Support if They Cheated?

Illinois is a state that mandates no-fault divorce, so there is no requirement to establish grounds for divorce, such as adultery. As a result, infidelity itself usually does not directly affect spousal support payments. 

The role of spousal support is to ensure that both spouses can maintain a living standard that is roughly equivalent after a divorce. The criteria for calculating spousal support include the following: 


DuPage County child custody lawyerHandling issues of child custody is tricky under the best of circumstances, but unmarried parents can present additional challenges. In the state of Illinois, if you are not married to the other parent of your child, then you must establish paternity if you are a father hoping to get parental rights for a child. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate this difficult process. 

Does Signing the Birth Certificate of Your Child Establish Paternity?

If a couple is married and has a baby, the man is assumed to be the child’s legal father. If a couple is unmarried, however, both parents must complete a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. If one parent cannot or will not sign the VAP, then it will be necessary to try to establish paternity through a court order or through an administrative order from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). 

Who Has Legal Custody of a Child in Illinois?

Creating a parenting plan that includes parental responsibilities (formerly known as custody) and parenting time (formerly known as visitation) can only be done after establishing paternity. One or both parents will need to submit a parenting plan to the family court system to have it approved by a judge and made enforceable in the future. 


DuPage County Family Law AttorneyDivorce cases involving disputes over substantial assets, intricate property division, or child custody conflicts require thorough advanced preparation in Illinois. Understanding key steps is crucial when navigating high-stakes divorce complexities.

Compile Comprehensive Financial Documentation

Gather an exhaustive inventory of all financial assets and debts, including recent tax returns, pay stubs, property deeds, mortgage statements, retirement and investment accounts, stock options, company equities, and valuations of collectibles. Detail which assets were acquired before versus during the marriage. Organize records systematically.

Document Your Parenting and Child Care

To strengthen your custody argument, gather compelling evidence showcasing your dedication as a parent. Include a comprehensive range of supporting documents such as:


DuPage County Divorce LawyerHiding assets from your spouse during a divorce may seem strategic initially, but it carries significant legal and financial risks that can end up harming you in the long run. 

Illinois Law Mandates Complete Financial Disclosure

Illinois divorce law requires full disclosure of all assets, debts, income, expenses, and any financial information acquired during the marriage. Many spouses think they can get away with hiding money in undisclosed accounts, underreporting income, or not mentioning certain properties. This is a dangerous legal strategy.

Intentionally concealing assets or lying during sworn testimony constitutes perjury. It also violates statutes requiring truthful financial affidavits from both parties. The courts treat failure to disclose and fraud very seriously. Any spouse caught purposefully hiding assets will face consequences.


Naperville Divorce LawyerIf you are planning to get divorced, you are likely hoping that the process will be relatively easy. A more financially complex divorce that needs to be contested can take several years to finalize. However, if you and your spouse have a complicated financial situation, it is likely worth it to take the extra time needed to sort through these matters. A variety of financial factors can lead to a more complex divorce. Depending on the nature and extent of property each of you owns separately as well as that of your marital property, your divorce may be somewhat challenging. If either of you has ownership interest in a business, or you have joint investments, or have built up a retirement account together, these types of property will need to be addressed in your divorce. The best strategy for dividing complex assets or working through complex financial situations will depend on the nature of the assets involved. It is important to be represented by your own attorney throughout the divorce process. 

Complex Financial Situations to Resolve During Divorce 

Common types of complex financial issues that must be resolved during divorce include: 

  • Retirement plans - If you and your spouse have shared retirement accounts or plans, each spouse will likely be entitled to a share of these assets, regardless of whose income contributed to it. However, there may be concerns such as penalties for early withdrawal or tax implications to be concerned with. 


Will County Family Law AttorneyIf you have decided to divorce your spouse, you likely do have a reason. It could be that your spouse has committed adultery, or has become addicted to drugs. Or your reason could simply be that you no longer have romantic feelings toward your spouse. In the past, you might have needed to prove your reasons to a court. There used to be defined grounds for divorce like “extreme cruelty” and “abandonment.” Now, Illinois courts generally only recognize one ground for divorce, and that is that you and your spouse have “irreconcilable differences.” Since 2016, this is the only ground for divorce in Illinois’s new “no-fault” system. While your spouse could certainly be the one who took a course of action that directly caused you to choose to divorce them, you will not likely need to prove it. Courts are more interested in completing your divorce and getting you a final decree than in hearing evidence related to why the marriage has not worked out. It is still best to be represented by an attorney, as there are some facts you may still need to prove. 

How Can I Prove That My Spouse and I Have Irreconcilable Differences? 

In nearly all cases, Illinois courts will simply take your word for it when you say that your marriage has reached a point where you and your spouse cannot reconcile and continue to live as a married couple. Illinois courts have no interest in forcing someone to stay in a marriage that is making them unhappy. You may have some evidence that you have tried to reconcile with your spouse, such as proof that you attended marriage counseling. However, in most cases it is simply not necessary to introduce this type of evidence. 

What if My Spouse Disagrees That We Have Irreconcilable Differences? 

Your spouse could well attempt to prevent the divorce by arguing that your differences are not irreconcilable, or that you have not tried to reconcile. However, they are highly unlikely to succeed. At best, your spouse may be able to slow down the divorce process by forcing you to go to court instead of settling. However, your spouse does not have the power to prevent you from leaving them. You should note that if you live separate and apart from your spouse for a term of six months, there is a legal presumption that you have irreconcilable differences. If your spouse intends to contest the divorce, it is especially important to be represented by counsel. 


DuPage County divorce lawyerRecklessly spending money before a marriage is completely over could land a spouse in trouble in divorce proceedings. All spouses must obey the divorce order once the judge has entered it, but before a divorce is finalized, each spouse has the obligation to preserve marital assets to the fullest extent possible. If not, they could be considered to be dissipating marital assets and may face punishment from the court.

The Legal Definition of Dissipation in Illinois

Dissipation does not mean simply wasting marital assets. The Illinois Supreme Court had defined dissipation as the "use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time that the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown."

While the classic example of dissipation is spending money on a new lover, the definition could also apply to situations that reach beyond that. For example, Illinois courts have even found dissipation when one spouse donated money to a church. If the spouse made a large purchase for themselves, or they failed to properly tend to marital assets, they could be found to be responsible for dissipation.


DuPage County, IL divorce lawyerThe first meeting with your divorce lawyer may feel uncomfortable and frightening. After all, you are embarking on a process that will have plenty of uncertainty and possible stress. While you may not be able to control other parts of the divorce process, you do have some level of control over your initial meeting with the lawyer. Your first conversation will be more beneficial when you come prepared.

Keep an Open Mind

You may have an idea in your mind of how your divorce will proceed. Unfortunately, your ideas will sometimes run into the realities of the divorce process and the law. You may hear something that you did not expect. You should not have any firm preconceptions in your mind. Instead, you should prepare to be flexible based on what your attorney tells you. It may take some time to know where your divorce is heading, and you should not expect to leave with any concrete plans after your first meeting.

Communicate Your Situation and Goals

Your attorney will provide you with tailored legal advice based on your own specific situation. They should take the time to get to know and understand you before they counsel you on a potential course of action. You should come prepared to discuss yourself and your end goals, even if they are not entirely formulated. Your attorney will need to give you advice early in the process, so they will need to have at least some knowledge of what you want from the divorce.


Naperville, IL child custody lawyerThere are times when two parents cannot work together to make decisions that are in the best interests of their children in a custody case. In other cases, a child may have special needs that require additional involvement in the decision making process from someone whose job it is to advocate for and represent their interests. A court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child. Essentially, they act as a lawyer for the child throughout the custody process.

The Guardian’s Role Is to Make Recommendations to the Court

A judge can appoint a guardian ad litem in a custody case after one parent has filed a motion in court or because the judge has concerns about the getting facts of the case correct. The term “guardian” is somewhat misleading, however. The guardian ad litem does not have any legal authority over the child; only the court retains the authority to make decisions about the child when necessary. 

Instead, a guardian ad litem will assist the court in reaching decisions about the minor child. They usually speak to both of the parents about a situation to learn more about the parents, their home environment, the child, and the child’s needs. The guardian then makes a recommendation to the court. In essence, the court is delegating some of its fact-finding to the guardian. 


Naperville, IL child custody lawyerIn any child custody case, the court will consider the best interests of the child in reaching a decision. There are times when a judge will want to hear directly from the child, especially if they are old enough to voice their own opinions. Parents may worry about whether their child will need to testify in open court, which could add to the stress that they are already facing. Illinois law provides procedures for how children testify if it is necessary.

The Judge May Want to Hear from Your Child

It is within the judge’s discretion to request testimony from your child. Illinois law recognizes that testifying in open court is a very stressful situation for a child.Thus, your child will not be required to testify in open court. They will not be examined by a lawyer or cross-examined by the other attorney. 

The Judge Does the Questioning

Your child will be interviewed by the judge in their chambers. Judges know that children are in a difficult situation, and they will try to handle the situation as delicately as possible. They will generally try to avoid lengthy questioning that involves putting the child on the spot. Usually, the judge will try to have a conversation with your child, as opposed to subjecting them to more formal questioning. The judge may also have a trained professional speak with the child to learn more about the situation. 


IL divorce lawyerProfessionals may receive stock options as part of their compensation package. These are considered marital assets that are subject to equitable division in an Illinois divorce. There are several challenges associated with valuing these assets. The divorcing spouses often disagree about the value of stock options.

There Are Pricing Formulas that Can Be Used

For many employee stock options, you simply cannot look to exchange-traded derivatives as a pricing guide. The options are too customized, and the time horizon is too far into the future, to get any guidance from the market. Most options are valued using the Black-Scholes formula. This is an established methodology for pricing options that has been in use for five decades. This is the formula that is used in most divorces, although how it is used will be up for debate.

There Are Different Inputs Into the Black-Scholes Model

The Black-Scholes model considers the following inputs:


Will County divorce lawyerYou should not try to go through your divorce on your own. Even though you know what is best for you, this does not mean that you should expect to have all the answers about how to address the issues you may encounter. Professionals can help you handle many aspects of your divorce, giving you critical advice to help you manage the process and be able to move forward once your marriage has been legally dissolved. An experienced divorce attorney can help you with the legal aspects of your case, and other professionals that you may want to include in your team include:

Seek Counseling from a Licensed Mental Health Professional

Preserving your mental health and addressing emotional concerns can be critical throughout the divorce process. In these situations, you will likely experience significant stress. Divorce is considered to be the second-most traumatic event you may encounter in your life, with only the death of a loved one being worse. It is okay to admit that you are not completely okay and seek help from a mental health professional. They can help you talk through the issues that you are facing and provide you with strategies that can help you cope with your present reality and your fears about the future. The more grounded that you can remain during the divorce process, the better the chance that you can emerge from the divorce successfully and begin your life anew.

Obtain Advice from a Financial Planner

Your financial situation will change during and after your divorce. Chances are that you will need to make do with less. Two incomes that supported one household in the past now need to sustain two. You will need to make a number of difficult financial decisions as you divide your marital property and determine whether you will pay or receive child support or spousal support. A financial planner who has experience with divorce can give you crucial advice that can help you plan for ongoing financial success. 


Do I Need a Postnuptial Agreement?

Posted on in Divorce

shutterstock_1864643452.jpgPostnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements. They are contracts that govern how marital property would be divided in the event of a divorce. The difference is that a postnuptial agreement is signed after the two spouses have married. These agreements could be crucial in certain circumstances. An Illinois divorce lawyer can advise you about whether you should seek a postnuptial agreement and help you draft an agreement that meets your unique needs. 

You Did Not Sign a Prenuptial Agreement but Want to Now

Some future spouses do not want to talk about money before they are married. They may think that there is a stigma attached to a prenuptial agreement that keeps them from entertaining it or be unaware of the benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement. However, they may now realize they made a mistake by not signing one. A postnuptial agreement is a way to remedy what may now seem like an error.

One (or Both) Spouses Made Significant Money During the Marriage

The two spouses may not have had significant financial resources when they got married (or at least enough to justify a prenuptial agreement). Over time, their financial situation may have changed for the better. Now, one spouse may have assets to protect, while the other may want to assure themselves of a certain amount of assets if they get divorced.


Can a Mediator Help with My Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

shutterstock_2161227609_20230605-142045_1.jpgMost Illinois divorces are resolved without the need for a trial. However, not every divorce begins on the path toward an amicable resolution. There are some instances in which you may need some extra help to reach an agreement. A professional mediator can help you and your spouse find common ground and move toward a potential settlement.

How Mediation Works in a Divorce

A mediator is a trained party who is neutral. They do not have any power to decide issues in the divorce, nor will they take sides between the two spouses. Instead, they will help the two parties talk. The mediator would help the spouses find common ground and help them navigate the more difficult issues that stand between the parties and a final agreement. The hope is that, by communicating and exchanging viewpoints, the two spouses can bridge the gap and eventually reach an agreement. 

How Can Mediation Benefit Me?

There are times when you may have unresolved issues and deadlocks that you are having trouble breaking. You may need a little extra help to get a divorce agreement over the finish line. Alternatively, you and your spouse may have difficulty talking because of the emotion of the divorce. The mediator can help keep settlement discussions constructive and provide an objective view on the negotiations. 


illinois child support lawyerWhen a couple divorces, child support is provided to the parent with the most parenting time. Child support may be used to care for the child's various needs, including education, rent or mortgage, clothing, groceries, and other expenses.

Most child support orders terminate once the child turns 18 and graduates from high school. Child support payments may be extended until the child completes their undergraduate degree. However, when a child has a disability, child support obligations may need to continue well after the child has become an adult.

If a child has a disability, they will not be able to attain the same level of education or independence as children without disabilities.


naperville divorce lawyerAlternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a process of resolving legal disputes without litigation. In divorce cases, ADR methods such as mediation and collaborative divorce are increasingly being used as an alternative to court proceedings. ADR can offer a variety of benefits to couples going through a divorce. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 benefits of alternative dispute resolution in divorce cases.

Cost Savings

One of the most significant benefits of ADR is cost savings. ADR methods are generally less expensive than traditional litigation, involving fewer court appearances and less time spent in court. This can be particularly beneficial in divorce cases, where litigation costs can quickly add up.

Faster Resolution

ADR can also be faster than traditional litigation. Mediation and collaborative divorce can often be completed within a matter of months, while litigation can take years. Thus, ADR is useful in divorce cases where couples may want to move on with their lives as quickly as possible.


naperville divorce lawyerDivorce is a difficult decision and a complex undertaking. There may be various reasons for the dissolution of marriage, from different values to commitment issues. However, since Illinois is a no-fault state, married couples do not need to assign blame for the divorce. The only ground for divorcein Illinois is irreconcilable differences.

What are Irreconcilable Differences?

Irreconcilable differences are when two married people are completely incompatible, and their marriage has broken down to such an extent that reconciliation is no longer possible.

In Illinois, reconcilable differences are the only basis for divorce.


dupage county divorce lawyer Divorce is the legal process of dissolving a marriage between two people. In Illinois, there are several types of divorce, each with its own unique set of rules and requirements. While it is possible to file for divorce without the help of a lawyer, it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected, and your interests are represented. In this article, we will discuss the different types of divorce in Illinois and why you need a divorce lawyer.

Types of Divorce in Illinois

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, including division of property, spousal support, and child custody. This type of divorce is often faster and less expensive than other types of divorce, but it is still reccomended to work with a lawyer to ensure that all legal requirements are met.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is when one or both parties do not agree on the terms of the divorce. This type of divorce can be lengthy and expensive, often requiring court hearings and a trial. A divorce lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights during this process.


Helping Yourself Cope with Your Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

naperville divorce lawyerWhen we, as people, experience a significant change in our lives, our emotional well-being can be turned upside down. Few changes are more significant than going through a divorce. While working with an experienced divorce attorney to protect your legal rights is crucial, taking care of yourself during this difficult time is also essential. We recently wrote a blog discussing how best to help your child cope with a divorce. Today, we will discuss tips for helping yourself cope with your divorce.

Tips for Coping with Your Divorce

The following are tips on how to best help yourself cope with the divorce, including:

  • Seek support early and often – It is important to seek support from your friends, family, or therapist during your divorce. Talking to someone can help you process your feelings and emotions and provide you with the support you need during this difficult time. Ensure to maintain a strong base of support during and after your divorce. 

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