Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

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815-666-1285

Plainfield Office

815-733-5350

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separation, Will County divorce attorney

Originally published: July 6, 2016 -- Updated: September 10, 2021

UPDATE: As described below, Illinois law no longer requires a couple to separate before they can complete their divorce. However, many couples choose to separate before or during the divorce process. In some cases, spouses may use a “trial separation” to help them decide whether they should move forward with the dissolution of their marriage. In other cases, one spouse may decide to move out of the family home after filing for divorce. 

Divorcing spouses or those who are pursuing a legal separation should be aware of how a separation may affect their rights and the decisions in their case. A pre-divorce separation may result in complications involving:

  • Property division - While all assets owned by a couple must be divided fairly and equitably, a separation may affect decisions related to ownership of property. If one spouse moves out of the family home, the other spouse may be awarded exclusive possession of the home during the divorce, and they may also claim that they should maintain ownership of the home or household items such as furniture.

  • Child custody and child support - A parent’s decision to move out may affect decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. If children will continue to live primarily in the marital home with the other parent, that parent may be awarded primary custody of the children. A non-custodial parent will usually be required to pay child support to the other parent during and after their divorce.

  • Spousal support - If a separation will leave one spouse at a financial disadvantage, they may ask that the other spouse pay ongoing financial support to ensure that they will be able to meet their ongoing needs. If a spouse who moves out of the family home earns the majority of the family’s income, they may be ordered to pay spousal support in addition to covering their own living expenses. If a spouse who relies on the income earned by their partner moves out, they may be able to receive financial support to ensure that they will be able to meet their ongoing needs.

 

If you are considering a legal separation or want to determine how moving out of your home will affect your divorce, our Plainfield family law attorneys can answer your questions and provide you with legal representation. Contact us at 815-666-1285 for a free consultation.


If you have ever filled out an application for a credit card or another purpose, you may have been required to check a box regarding your marital status. While the options nearly always include “single – never married,” “married,” “divorced,” and “widowed,” some go one step further and list an additional choice: “separated.” For many people, this raises questions about how common it is for a couple to be separated, especially those who are likely headed for divorce. Does a couple need to be separated before a divorce will be granted?

Legal Separation and Living Apart

The option of “separated” on an application usually refers to a legal disposition for the purposes of either financial responsibility or demographic tracking. Legal separation is much more complicated than one spouse moving out and both parties telling people that they have separated. In fact, legal separation typically involves most of the elements of a divorce, except that the marriage is still legally intact. While many couples who are legally separated eventually get divorced, very few who get divorced are ever legally separated.

The more casual understanding of separation, however, is a different story. Most couples go through some type of separation period prior to divorce. One spouse may find an apartment or move back in with his or her parents while the couple decides whether to permanently end the marriage or not.

Requirements in Illinois

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was recently updated to eliminate the mandatory period of separation that was once required for a no-fault divorce. Before January 1, 2016, a couple divorcing on the grounds of irreconcilable differences was required to live separate and apart for at least two years before their divorce would be granted. The separation could be reduced by agreement of the spouses, but could never be less than six months.

Today, however, there is no longer any mandatory separation period. The amended law does reference a period of separation, but only in cases where both spouses are not in agreement regarding the divorce. In those situations, a six-month separation will be accepted by the court as definitive proof of irreconcilable differences, and the divorce may proceed.

Guidance for Your Divorce

When you are considering a divorce, it is very important that you have all of the information necessary to make an informed decision. Contact an experienced Will County family law attorney today to discuss your situation and get the answers you need to whatever questions you may have. Call 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=0


Joliet divorce attorney for parental relocationParents and children are likely to experience changes in their lives in the years after the completion of a divorce. Some of the most significant of these changes involve a parent moving to a new home. When a parent plans to move, they may be unsure about whether this will require changes to the parenting plan that details how they share child custody and parenting time with the other parent. They will also need to understand the legal requirements that they will need to meet to ensure that they are in compliance with the court’s orders. By working with a family law attorney, a parent can make sure they follow the correct procedures, and they can request modifications to their parenting plan to address the changes in their lives. 

Illinois Parental Relocation Cases

A parent’s requirements when planning to move will depend on where they currently live, the distance they are planning to move, and the percentage of parenting time they have with their children. Parents who have the majority of parenting time or who divide parenting time equally with the other parent will need to receive permission from the court if they will be moving a certain distance away from their current home. For parents who currently live in Will County and the surrounding counties in the greater Chicago area, a move to a location that is more than 25 miles away from their current home is considered to be a parental relocation. 

At least 60 days before the date they plan to move, a parent is required to inform the other parent in writing, letting them know the date of the move, the address of the new home, and, if the move will be temporary, the amount of time they will be living at the new location. If there is no disagreement about the move, the other parent may sign the notice, and the notice will be filed in court. After a judge reviews any agreed modifications to the couple’s parenting plan to ensure that they will protect the best interests of the couple’s children, the relocation will be approved.

Parental relocation cases can become more complicated if the other parent objects to the move. These objections may be based on proposed changes to a parenting plan that would reduce a parent’s parenting time or concerns that children will be living farther away from family and friends or will have fewer opportunities to pursue education or participate in activities at the new location. In these situations, the parents will need to attend a court hearing, and a judge will look at multiple issues that may play a role in the case, including the relocating parent’s reasons for moving, the other parent’s reasons for objecting to the move, the children’s wishes, the history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the children, how the move will affect the children’s relationship with extended family members, and the educational opportunities for children at each location. The judge will look to ensure that modifications to a parenting plan will minimize any issues that would negatively affect the children’s relationship with either parent.

Contact Our Will County Parental Relocation Lawyers

Whether you are making plans to move to a new home or need to respond to a request by your ex-spouse to relocate, the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can advise you of your rights and options. We will provide you with representation in court hearings, and we will fight to ensure that your children’s best interests will be protected in the decisions that are made. Contact our Plainfield child custody attorneys at 815-666-1285 to arrange a complimentary consultation.

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8675000&SeqEnd=12200000

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Plainfield, IL divorce attorney parenting time

Whether you were never married, you are in the middle of a separation, or you are already divorced, co-parenting with an ex is a very challenging responsibility. This is especially true if you and your ex do not agree about parenting time, parental responsibilities, or other child-related issues. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to sharing custody of your child with an ex. However, there are some strategies that have proven to be helpful for many parents as well as the children in their care.

Take an Honest Look at What Is Working and What Is Not

You and your child’s other parent probably share at least one thing in common: You both want what is best for your kids. The end of the year can be a great time to evaluate what is working and what is not working regarding your co-parenting arrangement. If you decide that some changes would help things run more smoothly, you have the option of modifying your parenting plan. To do so, you will file a petition to modify the parenting plan with the court. Then, you and the other parent will attend a hearing in which you explain your reasons for requesting a modification. Illinois judges grant parenting plan modifications when they believe that the change is in the child’s best interests.

Consider Using Email or Text Communication if You Are Experiencing Conflict

If your co-parenting relationship is like that of most divorced couples, there is probably still a bit of resentment or anger between you and your ex. This can make effective communication difficult. One thing that has helped many co-parents communicate more effectively is technology. Email or text messages are often much less confrontational than in-person conversations. With a text or email, you can think about what you are going to say before you say it. This can help both parents avoid saying things they do not mean in the heat of the moment. There are also several computer and phone applications that can help parents keep track of child-related expenses, parenting time schedules, and other important issues. Furthermore, having a record of this communication can be very useful if parenting disputes do arise in the future.

Contact a Will County Child Custody Lawyer

Co-parenting with your ex-spouse can prove difficult, especially if you do not see eye to eye on child-related matters. If you are interested in modifying your parenting time or parental responsibilities, or you have other child custody concerns, a distinguished Joliet, IL family law attorney from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help. Call our Plainfield office today at 815-733-5350 or our Joliet office at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

Plainfield, IL family law attorney prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are often misunderstood. Some people assume that only the rich and famous can benefit from prenuptial agreements. Some even falsely believe that signing a prenup is a sure sign that the marriage will fail. Fortunately, the misconceptions surrounding prenuptial agreements and other types of marital agreements are slowly being replaced by facts. More and more individuals – especially young people – are choosing to sign prenups before tying the knot. 

Opening Up a Dialogue About Finances Before the Wedding

It is no secret that financial conflicts are common during a marriage. Many married couples report that disagreements about money are the source of most of their arguments. When you create a prenuptial agreement, you and your soon-to-be-spouse will disclose your assets, debts, income, and expenses. You will have the opportunity to discuss how these assets and debts should be managed during the marriage as well as what should happen if a spouse passes away or you get divorced. These discussions are not always pleasant, but being transparent about financial issues before getting married can help prevent future financial concerns from souring an otherwise happy marriage. 

Establishing Each Party’s Property Rights and Protection from Debt

In Illinois, property that is acquired during the marriage is marital property, and property acquired by a spouse before the marriage is considered separate or non-marital property. In a divorce, only marital property is subject to division. However, determining what property is marital and what is non-marital is much harder than it looks. Your prenuptial agreement will allow you to decide what property belongs to an individual spouse and what property belongs to the marital estate. A prenup also allows you to designate which spouse is responsible for which debts. If a party incurred any debt before even meeting his or her future spouse, it is only fair that the party who accumulated the debt is responsible for repayment.

Improving Estate Planning or Divorce Proceedings

The main goal of prenuptial agreements is to determine how divorce issues such as asset division or spousal maintenance should be handled if the marriage ends. Having a prenuptial agreement in place typically makes the divorce process go much smoother. However, a prenup offers many benefits outside of divorce. For example, prenups can be very useful for estate planning purposes – especially if a spouse is on his or her second marriage or has children outside of the marriage. Many individuals use prenuptial agreements to ensure that certain family heirlooms are passed down to children or grandchildren upon their death.

Contact a Joliet, IL Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

Although most couples who get married expect to spend the rest of their lives together, planning for the unknown can help protect your rights. If you have questions about prenuptial agreements or are ready to get started on drafting your prenup, contact a knowledgeable Will County family law attorney from The Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. Call us today at 815-666-1285 to schedule a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/destigmatize-prenups-not-just-for-rich-people_l_5f7df979c5b62e45eed528ce
https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&
https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K503

Plainfield, IL family law attorney marriage invalidation

Illinois Family Law extends beyond divorce to encompass both annulment and prohibited marriage. Depending on the circumstances of your marriage, these laws may apply to you instead of general Illinois divorce laws. Even if you know what laws apply to you, family law is a complicated subject, so you should ease the stress of separation by finding highly qualified legal representation from a family law attorney in your area.

750 ILCS - Marriage Invalidation

In Illinois, family law does not include the term ‘annulment’ any longer. Instead, you will see and hear that marriages are ‘invalidated.’ If you or your spouse wishes to annul your marriage, one of you must submit a declaration of invalidity. To successfully invalidate your marriage, you must prove that:

  • A party, due to mental incapacity or because of the influence of drugs, lacked the capacity to consent and was forced into marriage by fraud

  • A party does not have the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse and the other party was not aware of this

  • A party lacked approval from a parent, guardian, or judicial approval and he or she was 16 or 17 years old

  • The marriage is prohibited  

The petitioner must also request that his or her marriage be declared invalid within 90 days after learning of any of the conditions described above. The party does not have to directly claim that the marriage is invalid. Instead, his or her legal representation can claim it instead. 

The fourth condition that would invalidate a marriage, that the marriage in question is prohibited, applies to several situations:

  • Any marriage entered into while a party was still part of a legal relationship such as an earlier marriage or civil union

  • Any marriage between family, whether “the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption”

  • Marriages between uncles/nieces and aunts/nephews 

  • Marriages between first cousins

However, marriage between first cousins is not prohibited if both parties are 50 years old or older, or if one party files a certificate stating that he or she is “irreversibly sterile.”

Contact a Plainfield, IL Family Law Attorney

Family law cases involving marriage invalidation can produce a considerable amount of conflict depending on the circumstances. To help prevent feeling overwhelmed and to pursue an outcome that is favorable to you, reach out to a Will County family law and divorce lawyer at The Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. We will put our experience representing clients in all manner of Illinois law to provide you with thorough and empathetic representation. To schedule your free consultation and learn more, call our Joliet office today at 815-666-1285 or our Plainfield office at 815-733-5350.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3000000&SeqEnd=3700000

https://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+II&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=900000&SeqEnd=3000000

 

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