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St. Charles complex divorce lawyerEven under the best circumstances, divorce can be a challenging process. Many marital issues are sensitive in nature and difficult to resolve. These matters may include allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, parenting time (visitation), as well as spousal support or maintenance (alimony). They can also involve valuables or high net-worth assets that need to be divided. Complex divorce proceedings can seem intimidating at first, but they can be managed with professional legal guidance.    

Child-Related Issues 

Many of the disputes in a complex divorce involve a couple’s children. These arguments can include how much time each parent will spend with the child or how much support will be paid by one of the parents, among other issues. A parenting plan is a legal document that establishes the legal rights and obligations of both parents as relating to their child. This plan outlines a schedule for when each parent will see their child. Creating this timeline can be difficult since most parents do not want to give up time with their kids or relinquish control to the other parent, especially if there are bitter feelings.  

Some of the child-related issues that may need to be addressed in a divorce settlement include:

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Kane County divorce attorneysDepending on the couple and their circumstances, a divorce can take weeks or months to finalize. Once the legal proceedings are complete, a final divorce decree will be issued, which officially documents the terms of the divorce. However, sometimes a significant change in circumstances can warrant a modification of part or all of the original order. When a divorce settlement is no longer relevant for a couple or does not fit the needs of their children, it is possible to alter the terms of it through a post-decree modification. If you or your ex-spouse requests a post-divorce order modification for any reason, it is helpful to know the process and how it affects your rights regarding matters such as child-related issues or spousal maintenance.  

Reasons for Changing a Judgment Order

We all know life can change in an instant, whether it be from a sudden medical event such as a heart attack or stroke to unexpectedly losing a job. For instance, child support payments are calculated based on parent’s income. If the paying parent loses his or her job and cannot afford the payments, he or she may request a modification of the child support order. Some other examples of major life events that would justify a modification can include: 

  • Being laid off or fired from a long-time occupation, which impacts child or spousal support (alimony)
  • Being transferred out of the state or country for work, ultimately affecting the allocation of parental responsibilities and/or parenting time
  • Contracting a serious illness that requires extensive medical care 
  • Suffering a catastrophic injury that results in a disability or lost wages
  • One or both ex-spouses remarrying, which typically requires a reduction in spousal or child support payments

Steps for Amending a Judgment Order

To request a change to an order, one of the former spouses must file a “motion to modify” the divorce judgment. This motion is typically filed with the same court that issued the original divorce decree. The main steps to take when modifying an order are:

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Kane County family law attorneysWhen a couple decides to end their marriage through divorce, they have the option of deciding how to divide their assets and wealth on their own. However, when a couple cannot come to an agreement about property division, the courts must intervene. Illinois courts use a system called “equitable distribution” to divide a divorcing couple’s marital estate. If you are considering getting a divorce in Illinois, it is important to understand how asset division decisions are made.

Marital Property and Separate Property

According to Illinois law, only marital, or shared, property is divided in a divorce. Marital property typically includes any property or funds that either spouse accumulated during the marriage. Non-marital property, or separate property, includes assets that a spouse already owned before he or she got married. However, differentiating between separate and marital property is not always this straightforward. Certain gifts and inheritances may also be considered separate property – even if the spouse received the gift or inheritance while he or she was married. Furthermore, separate property can be transformed into marital property when it is commingled with marital property.

For example, if a husband purchases a house before he got married but then he and his wife both contributed to the mortgage, the home will likely be considered marital property during divorce. Similarly, if one spouse receives an inheritance during the marriage but then deposits those funds into a shared account, the inheritance funds transform from separate into marital property. The inheritance would then be subject to division according to equitable distribution.

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Elgin divorce attorneyIf you are going through a divorce, the first thing on your mind may not be taxes or financial issues; however, it is important to know that a divorce does have tax implications. Your filing status, tax consequences of maintenance payments, property transfers, and more are typically decided by your divorce judgment/order and affected by any new tax law changes.

A division of assets agreement should take into account any tax issues so there are no surprises later. If you are ending your marriage, a knowledgeable divorce attorney can help you prepare for any financial consequences.

Asset Division 

When a couple negotiates how to divide marital assets or property during a divorce, it is imperative to consider the areas that may have potential tax implications. Most marital property does not incur a tax liability if transferred, but you should consider the potential tax consequences of considerations such as:

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St. Charles divorce lawyersWhen two people get divorced, the court typically issues a final judgment that documents the terms and conditions of the divorce. However, it is not uncommon for there to be changes to the original divorce settlement or agreement. Sometimes these changes are necessary due to lifestyle changes or if they are in the best interest of a couple’s child. Post-judgment order modifications can include a change in the child support payment amount or allocation of parental responsibilities if one parent loses his or her job or moves to another state. 

Steps to Take for Enforcing an Order

Post-divorce decree issues can often become hostile and expensive. It is ideal if everyone involved can resolve these issues without taking actions such as contempt of court. If possible, negotiating an amicable resolution saves all parties time and money. However, this is not always the case if one party does not follow an order. If one party is not willing to cooperate, someone can pursue enforcement through the courts by filing a contempt of court motion. In the majority of divorce cases, contempt of court actions are typically filed for reasons such as:

  • Non-payment of child support;
  • Non-payment of spousal maintenance;
  • Failure to adhere to parental responsibility and parenting time agreements; and
  • Sale of property that violates property settlement agreements.

The Illinois Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) has the authority to implement certain enforcement procedures. For example, if one parent is behind on child support payments, they can garnish wages from his or her paycheck. Sometimes, the DCSS gets overloaded with a lot of cases, and a lawyer can file a contempt of court motion on a parent’s behalf to help recover any money that is owed.

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St. Charles hidden assets attorneysUnder Illinois divorce laws, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, meaning each party receives a fair share of any assets that were acquired during the marriage. However, sometimes a spouse can be dishonest, depriving the other spouse to what he or she is entitled. This can be done a number of ways, and although common in high net worth or complex divorces, it can happen in any type of divorce. Forensic accounting is defined as the use of accounting practices to investigate fraud and to analyze financial information for use in legal proceedings, such as disputes or litigation during a divorce.  

How Are Assets Hidden?

People can be creative when they want to conceal money or valuable possessions. In a lot of cases, one spouse earns the majority of the income or owns a business, so that spouse often has easier access to financial matters.

Some of the ways assets can be hidden include:

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St. Charles family law attorneyWhen a couple decides to end their marriage, they may be able to get an annulment. It is important to know an annulment is different from a divorce. A divorce is the legal dissolution of a valid marriage by a court or other governing body. An annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void within secular and religious systems. Unlike divorce, it is typically considered retroactive, meaning an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the start like it had never even happened. In Illinois, annulment is called a Declaration of Invalidity, and marriages can only be annulled if they were considered illegal from the start.

Grounds for an Annulment in Illinois

An annulment is only used to end an “invalid” marriage, or one that should never have happened in the first place. Annulments are rare in Illinois because it is somewhat difficult to prove grounds for annulment. There are certain legal guidelines for annulments, as well as possible time restrictions depending on the circumstances of the case. One of the following legal grounds must be met for an annulment to be granted:

  • Fraud or misrepresentation: One spouse did not tell the truth, such as already being married;
  • Impotency or incest: One spouse is impotent (and did not disclose this information to his or her partner prior to the marriage), or the spouses are too close in relation to marry legally; or
  • Lack of consent: One spouse did not have mental capacity for consent or was forced to get married.

Grounds for a Divorce in Illinois

Under Illinois law, a spouse can file for divorce based on “no-fault” grounds, commonly referred to as “irreconcilable differences,” which requires proof that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the couple must be separated for an amount of time. For many years, it was also possible to seek a divorce on “fault-based” grounds such as adultery, abandonment, or repeated abuse. Today, however, all Illinois divorce petitions must indicate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down due to irreconcilable differences.

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St. Charles divorce lawyerA divorce is likely one of the most difficult events you can go through in your lifetime. Even if you are the spouse who filed for divorce, the full impact of your decision might not hit you until long after the ink has dried on your papers. Additionally, if you did not want the divorce or were blindsided by it, you may feel hopeless and unsure of what the future holds for you.

Many communities throughout the region have divorce and separation support groups, which are offered through churches or local park districts. These groups can be a good forum for people of all ages and backgrounds who are going through a painful period in their lives.   

Types and Benefits of Support Groups

Divorce and separation groups provide a comfortable environment in which you can share your innermost feelings. It can be very therapeutic to talk to other people who understand what you are feeling in order to begin the healing process. You can contact local churches or look online to find the closest divorce support group in your area. The following are some nationally recognized support groups dealing with divorce or separation:

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Posted on in Divorce

Barrington divorce lawyers

Divorce can be an emotionally and physically traumatic experience, regardless of the level of civility shared by the divorcing spouses. Still, the more contentious the relationship, the more draining the divorce process can be. 

For soon-to-be former couples who wish to avoid combative and costly courtroom divorce litigation, there are ways to keep divorce proceedings from becoming total warfare.

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St. Charles family lawer

When a party involved in a family law case receives an unfavorable decision from the court, they can appeal the ruling. When you have initial conversations with prospective family lawyers for your case, make sure you discuss their knowledge and aptitude regarding the appeals process, which could be critical if that step becomes necessary. 

There are a few common mistakes litigators can make. It is helpful for even skilled and experienced lawyers to review these points as a refresher. Here are some areas to cover with your lawyer so that together you can craft the best possible strategy to achieve a favorable result.

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Kane County divorce lawyer

The decision to get divorced is often one of the hardest choices a person can make. Besides the divorce process itself, it is also difficult to make the announcement to all your family, friends, coworkers, and others. Although a divorce is painful for everyone involved, it is helpful for both parties to be on the same page when delivering the news. You and your spouse shared a community of mutual friends and some might not know how to react. 

Describe Your Divorce in Simple Terms

Not only will you have to tell people about your divorce, but once they start talking, you will get a lot of questions about your divorce as well. Come up with a brief description of your divorce, around one to three sentences. This will help steer the follow-up questions so you and they feel comfortable.

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Geneva divorce lawyer

The vows for marriage typically include staying together “in sickness and in health.” However, according to recent research, if the wife is the one who is ill, the bond might not be as strong. Sickness and disease can be hard on any relationship, and sometimes unfortunate health situations end in divorce. Among the important matters to address in this situation is how retirement assets are divided

Serious Illness and Divorce

When one spouse is severely ill, it can cause a strain on the marriage due to many reasons, including financial drain, or the inability of a spouse to act as a caregiver or take on all household duties. Not everyone is emotionally able to endure the extreme difficulties that can accompany serious illnesses like cancer or Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for up to 80 percent of dementia cases.

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St. Charles divorce lawyers

Everyone reacts differently following a divorce. Some people move far away and never think about their ex again, while others dwell on the what-ifs in their relationship. Divorce is an emotional time for everyone, and after the divorce process ends, the emotions can be overwhelming. 

If you have children together, some interaction with your former spouse will be necessary. It is essential in successful co-parenting. Yet if you still harbor romantic feelings toward your ex or deep feelings of regret, it can be problematic. Some people find it necessary to stay away from their ex until they have a better grasp of their new situation. Here are some reasons to take that route:

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Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyers

Some people have the perception their divorce is going to be ugly, meaning there will be constant fights in the courtroom and extremely negative feelings between then and their ex-spouse. Divorce does not have to be constant warfare. Yes, emotions run high, and disagreements occur, but avoiding a contentious court battle can shield children from the unpleasantness and save time and money. Working together can also create a foundation for successful co-parenting.

Keeping these tips in mind can keep your divorce civil:

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Kane County divorce lawyer

Working to help your child apply to college is not an easy process. Colleges are charging more than ever for tuition and other fees, so most need some type of financial aid. When students require financial aid for college, they are required to fill out forms and answer questions about income and family status. These questions can be tricky if you and your spouse are going through a divorce or are divorced. 

Here are some tips for helping your child apply for financial aid with your new family situation:

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West Dundee divorce attorneys

While it is well-known divorce can affect your mental and emotional well-being, one aspect of divorce often ignored is the potential effect it can have on your body. Maintaining good health in all aspects of your life is important for your overall happiness and ability to move on after divorce. Visiting your doctor for a checkup and making your physical health a priority can serve as a benefit as you go through the strenuous divorce process. 

A study by Duke University examined the effects of divorce on the heart health of women, and the results point to an increased risk of heart attack for divorced females. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Algonquin Divorce Lawyer

Divorce changes the lives of everyone involved for quite some time because it is such a serious and emotional decision to make. There have been long-held suspicions that the time of year may influence the divorce rate, because of the different types of outside influences present. A study by the University of Washington was able to identify the peak times of year for divorce with quantifiable data. 

When are Divorce Rates Highest?

The study used a data set including filings for divorce in the state of Washington for a 14-year period from 2001 to 2015. Using those numbers, they plotted a graph which showed two major peaks. One peak was in March and the other was in August. Between March and August is a fairly high plateau and after August there is a steep drop-off. The graph also shows the rates increase steadily from January to March. 

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West Dundee Divorce Lawyer

Most parents understandably worry about their children’s reaction to learning about their impending divorce. Divorce means unavoidable upheaval in the lives of everyone involved. Telling your children about your divorce is not something that should be done haphazardly. You should carefully plan and discuss how the conversation will happen with your spouse. If you follow a few simple tips, it can make the process easier on you and them. 

Do Not Play the Blame Game

If your divorce is especially contentious, it may be tempting to speak poorly of your soon-to-be ex-spouse and blame the dissolution of the marriage entirely on them. The children do not need to hear that, no matter how much you believe it to be true. Presenting a united front will help the children adjust more quickly to divorce. They can see both their parents being mature and handling the separation as well as possible. It also lessens the likelihood of them feeling they are the reason for the divorce or that they must side with one parent or the other. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Kane County Divorce Attorney

Marriage should be a partnership in which both parties enjoy spending time with one another. Couples do not have to be together constantly for a healthy marriage, and some alone time is good for each person so they can pursue interests by themselves. For many people, this includes video games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty. Some spouses have an issue with how often their significant other plays video games, especially Fortnite. If someone is playing video games too often, it can lead to serious problems in a marriage, and even divorce in some cases. 

Fortnite and Divorce

Fortnite’s massive surge in popularity has led to millions of people playing it all over the world each day. The game has become a pop culture sensation and has been played by more than 200 million people worldwide. Many people are addicted to the game, playing for hours and hours per day at the expense of other aspects of their life, including their marriage. 

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Algonquin Divorce Lawyer

The oft-quoted statistic about 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce is incorrect and has been for some time now. Divorce rates have declined since the 1980s and it is now estimated your chances of divorce are at about 39 percent. Even though this seems like good news, it is not necessarily an indication that the number of people living happily ever after with their spouse has increased. 

Much of the drop in the divorce rate is due to the generation known as millennials, who are less likely to get divorced. A recent study said millennials were 18 percent less likely to divorce than young married couples in 2008. There are numerous potential reasons behind this shift.

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