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Joliet divorce attorney for Child SupportMost Americans in the 21st century spend a significant amount of their daily lives online. If you are used to regularly posting photos or sharing updates about your life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or other platforms, it may make sense to also discuss changes in your life, such as divorce. However, doing so can have a number of unexpected consequences. Before sharing information on social media, you will want to understand how this could potentially affect your divorce, and you may also want to take steps to protect your personal information and your privacy.

Social Media Posts That May Play a Role in Divorce Proceedings

It is important to understand that anything that is shared on social media may be public information that could be raised in divorce court. Even private messages or posts that are restricted to people you trust could eventually make their way to your spouse, so you will want to be careful about what you share. Some activities that you may want to avoid include:

  • Complaining about your ex - Social media may seem like the perfect forum to vent about the anger, sadness, or other emotions you are feeling during your divorce. However, making inflammatory comments about your spouse could undermine your attempts to negotiate a settlement or reach agreements in divorce-related disputes. While your divorce is ongoing, it is often best to avoid blaming your ex for your divorce, complaining that they are being unreasonable, or stating that you are being treated unfairly during the divorce process.

  • Sharing financial information - Since financial issues will be a major concern during your divorce, you will want to avoid making posts that could indicate that you have been untruthful about your income or assets. Even something that may seem harmless, such as a picture in which you are wearing new shoes or a recently-purchased watch, could be used to claim that you have unreported assets or income that should be put toward child support or spousal maintenance. If you make posts that indicate that you have made major expenditures, such as photos of a recent vacation, you may be accused of dissipating marital assets, and this may affect the decisions made during the division of marital property.

  • Posts that may call your parental fitness into question - If you are involved in a dispute over the custody of your children, your spouse and their attorney may look for any information that could be used to show that you are unable to provide the care your children need. For example, pictures of you drinking alcohol or using drugs at a party could be used against you, even if they were posted by someone else.

In many cases, it is best to avoid using social media during your divorce or sharing any details of your life while your case is ongoing. If you had shared any computers or devices with your spouse, it may be a good idea to change the passwords on your social media accounts to make sure your ex cannot access your personal information or make posts in your name.

Contact Our Joliet Divorce Lawyers

At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we can advise you on the best approach to take during your divorce, and we can help you address any issues related to social media, including information that your spouse is attempting to use against you or inflammatory comments or accusations your ex has posted online. To get skilled and experienced legal help, contact our Plainfield divorce attorneys at 815-666-1285 and schedule a free consultation today.


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joliet divorce lawyerIf you are a pet owner who is getting divorced, you probably love your pet just as you would a human family member. Understandably, you may be worried about who will keep the pet after your divorce. As with other property division concerns, you and your spouse have the option of reaching your own agreement about the ownership of pets. However, if you cannot reach a decision, the court may step in and make a decision for you. A skilled divorce lawyer can help you understand your rights regarding pet ownership in a divorce. 

When a Pet Could Be Considered Marital or Nonmarital Property

In Illinois courts, pets are treated differently than homes and other property in a divorce. A law established in 2018 requires pets to be treated similarly to children during divorce. The court can award sole or joint custody based on the best interests of the animal. 

The first step in determining who gets a pet in a divorce is figuring out if the animal is marital or nonmarital property. If you or your spouse owned the pet before you got married, it is probably considered non-marital property. Therefore, the judge would generally award custody to the spouse who owned the animal before the marriage. However, there may be exceptions to this rule. If the pet was acquired during your marriage, it is most likely considered marital property.

If the judge finds that the pet is a marital asset, the next step is to allocate ownership of and responsibility of the animal.

Factors the Court Uses to Determine the Best Interests of a Pet

When a pet is marital property, the court may look at several factors before deciding who to award “pet custody” to, such as:

  • Which spouse took the most responsibility taking care of the pet during the marriage

  • The financial stability of each spouse

  • Which spouse can provide a better living environment for the pet

  • Which spouse will be able to devote the most time to the pet

  • Whether any spouse has abused or neglected the pet

In certain cases, a judge may decide to grant joint custody of a pet. For example, if both spouses have been responsible and nurturing pet owners and the animal is resilient enough to handle splitting time between two homes, joint custody may benefit the animal. However, if the pet requires a more stable routine, the judge may award custody to one spouse.

Contact a Joliet, IL Divorce Lawyer

Pet custody can make a divorce more complicated. If you want to fight for custody of your pet, a Will County divorce attorney can help. Call the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.


joliet divorce lawyerCredit card debt is quite prevalent in the United States. In fact, Americans owe $807 billion in credit card debt. If a single person incurs credit card debt, he or she is solely responsible for paying for it. However, what happens if that debt is incurred during a marriage? If you are getting a divorce in Illinois, you may be held responsible for this debt even if your spouse was the only one who used the credit card.

How Credit Card Debt Is Split in an Illinois Divorce

If you are planning to divorce your spouse, you may wonder how your credit card debt will be handled. If the debt was incurred during the course of your marriage, the creditor may hold both you and your spouse responsible for it. On the other hand, any debt either spouse incurred before they were married is considered personal debt and is the sole responsibility of the person who made the purchases.

Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, your debt will not be divided exactly 50/50 if your case ends up going to trial. Instead, it will be split fairly. A judge will look at multiple factors before deciding how to split the debt, such as:

  • Each spouse’s financial resources

  • Each spouse’s personal assets

  • How long the marriage lasted

  • The amount of child support and spousal support

Who benefited the most from the credit card purchases may also be considered by the court. For example, if the person who made the purchases was the only one who benefited, the debt would most likely be classified as separate. On the other hand, if the person made purchases that benefited the other spouse or entire family, a judge would consider it marital debt.

Protecting Your Credit During a Divorce

Although your marital status will not show up on credit reports, joint accounts you had with our spouse and accounts you cosigned for your spouse will. If your ex makes late payments or defaults on the payments, it could negatively affect your credit rating. If it is feasible, try to pay off your existing joint accounts with your spouse and close them before your divorce is finalized. Many divorcing spouses choose to liquidate assets like real estate in order to pay off jointly held debts. 

Contact a Will County Divorce Attorney

If you have additional questions about dividing credit card debt in your divorce, a Joliet, IL divorce lawyer can help. At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we can examine your marital estate and figure out which debts you will be responsible for. Contact us at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation.




IL divorce lawyerMany married couples experience relationship issues at some point, and while many disagreements can be resolved, others may cause one or both spouses to consider ending their marriage. For some couples, divorce is the best solution, while others may be able to repair their relationship and stay married. However, some people fall somewhere in the middle, where they may be considering getting divorced but do not yet know whether ending their marriage is the right choice. In these cases, a couple may pursue a trial separation while they determine whether to get divorced, or they may make plans to live separately on a more permanent basis without legally ending their marriage. When doing so, it can be beneficial to pursue a legal separation.

What Is Legal Separation?

A temporary or permanent separation will often leave spouses uncertain about their rights, and arguments or disputes may arise over how various issues will be handled, especially if the couple has children. By pursuing a legal separation, a couple can put an agreement in place that will address these issues. In essence, a legal separation can cover most of the issues that would be addressed during a divorce, but the couple will continue to be legally married.

The process of getting a legal separation is similar to filing for divorce. One spouse will file a petition for legal separation, and the other will file a response. The couple will then identify all of the issues that they will need to address in their separation agreement, and these may include matters related to the division of marital property, child custody, child support, and/or spousal maintenance. They will work to negotiate a resolution to these issues, and if they cannot reach an agreement, they may ask the judge in their case to make the final decisions. While most of these matters will be addressed the same as they would during a divorce, a settlement regarding marital property cannot be validated by the court during a legal separation unless both parties agree on it.

Legal separation can make sure both spouses will have an understanding of their rights and requirements while they are living separately. However, by remaining legally married, they may be able to realize certain benefits, such as having both spouses and their children be covered in a health insurance plan provided by one spouse’s employer. Legal separation can also be a good solution for those who do not wish to get divorced for religious or cultural reasons. However, while a couple is still married, neither spouse will be able to marry someone else. Either spouse can choose to pursue a divorce at any point in the future, and they may be able to complete this process fairly simply and easily since many of the decisions in a separation agreement can be incorporated into a divorce decree.

Contact Our Plainfield Legal Separation Lawyers

If you have questions about the process of legal separation and whether this is the best choice for your situation, the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can assist you. We will advise you of your rights and options, and we will provide you with legal representation whether you are planning to get a legal separation or divorce. Contact our Will County family law attorneys at 815-666-1285 to schedule your free consultation.


Plainfield, IL divorce attorney guardian ad litem

Illinois has comprehensive child representation laws to protect a child’s best interests when their parents are divorcing or separating. In some cases, spouses may contest child support, child custody, parenting time, education, parentage, and their child’s general welfare. Before making a decision, the court may appoint a professional to serve the child either as an attorney, a child representative, or a guardian ad litem (GAL). If he or she functions in the capacity of an attorney, he or she will provide the same independent legal counsel and representation for the child that would be given to an adult client. A child representative tries to ascertain the best interests of the minor and offer evidence-based legal arguments to the court, but it is important to understand that he or she cannot render opinions during the divorce proceedings.

What Is a Guardian Ad Litem?

A guardian ad litem is like an investigator for the court: He or she will interview both parents, examine the child’s home and school life, and provide a written report of his or her recommendations to the court and all other involved parties. The court can call the GAL as a witness for cross-examination purposes. You and your spouse will have to decide how to split the guardian ad litem office’s fees, as the court does not cover them. If a court is assigning a GAL to your divorce case, it is crucial to work with a family law attorney and discuss how you should work with the GAL to receive the parental rights and responsibilities you desire. 

Tips for Working With a Guardian Ad Litem

Think of a guardian ad litem primarily as an interviewer. He or she will want to get to know you and your spouse individually and determine which one of you is more fit to take primary custody responsibilities. Try to make an excellent first impression on a GAL without unnatural or forced behavior. Make sure your home is clean and in order prior to the visit. Remember to pay fees on time or discuss a payment plan with the court. Be positive, and do not disparage your spouse or force your child to say good things about you. Let your child know who the guardian ad litem is and why he or she is visiting, and most importantly, be honest and forthcoming with any requested information. It is crucial that you develop transparency between you and the GAL. 

Contact a Plainfield, IL Divorce Lawyer

Remember, Illinois’ child representation laws exist to defend your child’s best interests, so stay calm and be honest when meeting with a guardian ad litem or child representative. To gain more insight into what a guardian ad litem does and how he or she could affect your divorce case, speak with an experienced Will County family law attorney. Call the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., today at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to schedule a free consultation.




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