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 | 630-200-4882
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Evening and Weekend Hours by Appointment
West Dundee, IL847-428-7725
St. Charles, IL630-200-4882
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Kane County divorce lawyersA divorce can impact all areas of a person’s life, from physically separating to breaking apart emotionally and financially. Once the decision to divorce has been made, a couple may think the hard part is over. However, the legal process of ending a marriage raises many new queries that need to be resolved. For example, how will property and assets be divided? If children are involved, who will be awarded the allocation of parental responsibilities and who will pay child support? What are the tax implications, especially when it comes time to file your taxes? With tax season upon us, it is important to be prepared by considering the tax consequences when you get divorced in order to protect your financial future.   

Tax Implications of Divorce

Even if you or your spouse has filed the divorce petition, if you are still married as of December 31 of that given year, you have the option to file jointly for that year’s tax return. Until a divorce decree has officially been issued, you are married in the eyes of the law. However, once your divorce is final, each party has the option to claim as Single or Head of Household. The right choice for your situation will depend on your specific circumstances, and it is advisable that you speak with a tax professional.

If you have children together, the parent with the majority of the parental responsibility typically files as head of household, and the tax exemption or credit for the children usually goes to this parent. In some scenarios, parents can split tax exemptions using IRS form 8332, which means the custodial parent allows the other parent to claim a child on his or her taxes. Parents can also claim a tax credit for each dependent who is under the age of 17. There are also other credits for contributions to education and childcare.

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Kane County divorce attorneysPeople often say that a marriage is hard work. Once the “honeymoon” phase is over, being married can be challenging for various reasons. Even if two spouses love each other, life circumstances can get in the way of living happily ever after. For example, a job loss or the death of a loved one can cause one partner to turn to alcohol or drugs as a remedy. In other cases, someone may become addicted to shopping, gambling, or pornography as a way of coping with stress. Regardless of the root cause of an addiction, this type of behavior can destroy a marriage and ultimately lead to divorce. If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse who has an addiction problem, it is important to know how to protect yourself emotionally and financially.  

Irreconcilable Differences

In Illinois, the only recognized “grounds” or reason for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” This means the marriage has deteriorated without hope for reconciliation. Therefore, abusing drugs or alcohol cannot be the official reason to file for divorce, but it can definitely contribute to the breakdown of a relationship. When a couple has children together, addiction can put a significant strain on the family. In some cases, alcoholism can lead to physical or verbal abuse. Attempts at rehab or therapy may have failed to resolve the problem. A parent may feel he or she has no choice but to leave the marriage in order to protect him or herself as well as his or her child’s best interests. Even though it is not a legal prerequisite, if a couple has been separated for at least six months, that typically proves they have irreconcilable differences.

Protecting Yourself

Once you have decided to leave your addicted partner, there are a few things you can do to help prepare for the divorce process. In many divorce cases involving an addict, the two spouses do not agree on how to divide marital property or assets. For these situations, the court will consider many factors to determine the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time. Overnight stays may not be granted, or a judge can order supervised visitation for the parent who has a substance abuse problem.

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Kane County divorce attorneysThe reasons for divorce can be numerous, from infidelity to financial problems to addictions to simply growing apart. Some marriages can end amicably if the decision to separate was mutual. However, many divorces are contentious, especially if one partner harbors bitter feelings toward the other spouse. When it comes time to make decisions during the divorce proceedings, this can cause conflict. 

Litigation is one approach to resolving divorce disputes between couples. This method involves going to court in order to come to an arrangement on issues such as spousal support or allocation of parental responsibilities, and more. Couples will often resort to litigation if they cannot reach an agreement on their own or through mediation. It is important to have an experienced divorce attorney by your side if you are considering filing for divorce under any circumstances. 

Steps to Keep in Mind When Divorce Issues Are Escalated

Just as every marriage is different, every divorce is unique. Each has its own set of challenges and issues to resolve. If a couple had a difficult time agreeing on things during the union, they will likely argue over property division or child-related issues in the divorce settlement. That is when a judge may become involved, and he or she will make the children’s best interest the top priority when determining certain solutions. The court will weigh several factors when deciding outcomes for parenting time and child support, including the kids’ wishes.   

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Kane County divorce attorneysThere are many reasons why a marriage may end in divorce. These can range from infidelity to financial problems to lack of communication to domestic abuse, the list goes on. Many couples who have children stay together even though they are unhappy for their “kids’ sake.” However, staying in a toxic relationship can be detrimental to your well-being, which in turn affects your children. There comes a point where it may be in your best interest to file for divorce. If you and your spouse have tried marriage counseling and put forth a concerted effort to salvage your union but problems remain, it may be necessary to make a decision about how you want to spend the rest of your life. 

Problems Can Negatively Impact Your Relationship

Regardless if a couple has been married for a few years or several decades, marriage is hard work. Life circumstances such as a job loss, a child with special needs, or a family member’s death can strain even the best of relationships. If issues are not addressed, they can simmer over time and cause feelings of resentment, anger, or loneliness, ultimately leading to the breakdown of a marriage. One of the most important aspects to a successful marriage is communication. In order to solve problems, a couple needs to talk about them and try to find ways to conquer them. 

Some of the typical behaviors that often lead to one spouse considering filing for divorce include:  

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Kane County family law attorneysA divorce under the best circumstances still has its challenges. When parents split up and are no longer married, they are still responsible for supporting their children, both emotionally and financially. This is why child support orders are included in a final divorce decree. In Illinois, basic support payments are calculated according to the Income Shares model. This approach takes the combined net income of both parents into consideration when determining the amount each spouse is obligated to pay. However, what happens when a parent remarries, has more children, and gets divorced for a second time? Will the child support order for a second divorce be the same as the first divorce? It is helpful to seek professional legal counsel to find out how multiple marriages and children affect this type of financial support. 

Income Shares Model 

Once a couple has finalized their divorce, it is common for one spouse to pay child support, spousal maintenance, or both in some cases. Illinois law provides guidelines for determining this financial support. Remarriage can have an effect on the duration and amount of child support payments made to the custodial parent, which is the parent with the majority of the parental responsibilities

In 2017, Illinois changed its child support law to use the Income Shares model when calculating payment amounts. Previously, the number of children involved and only the obligor parent’s income were taken into consideration when determining a support order. 

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