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Recent Blog Posts

Does an Affair Have a Major Effect on a Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on September 14, 2023 in Divorce

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: 

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How Is Child Custody Handled if You Are Not Married?

 Posted on September 06, 2023 in Child Custody

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). 

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How to Prepare for a Complex Divorce Case in Illinois

 Posted on August 29, 2023 in Divorce

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:

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How Concealing Assets During an Illinois Divorce Can Backfire

 Posted on August 22, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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3 Financial Issues That Can Complicate Divorce

 Posted on August 11, 2023 in Divorce

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. 

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Do I Need to Prove a Ground for Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on August 03, 2023 in Divorce

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. 

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What Is Dissipation in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on July 30, 2023 in Property Division

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.

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4 Tips for Preparing for Your First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney

 Posted on July 30, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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What Is a Guardian Ad Litem in a Divorce?

 Posted on July 19, 2023 in Child Custody

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. 

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Will My Child Need to Testify in a Divorce?

 Posted on July 10, 2023 in Divorce

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. 

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