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Is Gender Considered in Illinois Custody Cases?

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Will County Divorce LawyerMany stereotypes exist when it comes to child custody. It is most important to understand that Illinois law prioritizes the child’s best interests above all else in custody situations. However, many people wonder if gender plays a role in determining custody and if there is a preference for either the mother or father. If you are going through a divorce and have concerns regarding child custody, contact a lawyer in Illinois to obtain the legal representation you need as you work through the consequential divorce and custody process. 

No Preference Based on Gender

Illinois law explicitly prohibits any preference based on gender when determining custody. The courts are required to consider each case on its merits, without any presumption that one parent is more suitable based on their gender. This approach aims to eliminate any gender bias and ensure that custody decisions are fair and unbiased. 

The number one concern of the court is making determinations that correspond with the best interests of the child involved. As a result, all custody decisions are focused on the child’s well-being and what arrangements will help support their well-being and best interests. 

Factors Considered in Custody Determinations 

When making custody decisions, Illinois courts consider a range of factors that are relevant to the child’s best interests. These factors include:

  • Parental involvement – The court will assess each parent’s level of involvement in the child’s life, including their participation in activities, education, and healthcare. 

  • Parenting abilities – The court evaluates the parenting skills of each parent, including their ability to meet the child’s needs, both physically and emotionally. Additionally, the court will look to ensure that the home the child goes to is a stable environment. This goes a long way in ensuring a healthy parental relationship with the child. 

  • Cooperation between parents – The court considers the ability of each parent to cooperate and communicate effectively in matters related to the child’s upbringing. 

Contact a Joliet, IL Child Custody Attorney

If you are a parent going through a divorce in Illinois, rest assured that gender will not be considered when it comes time to determine custody arrangements. While custody issues can be very important for both mothers and fathers, there is a common misconception that mothers will be favored over fathers. This is not the case and should not be a concern of any father heading into a divorce. Contact the skilled Plainfield, IL child custody lawyer with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for legal representation in your case. Call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation. 

Changes in Income and Post-Divorce Modifications

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Plainfield, IL post-divorce modification attorneyThe financial circumstances of both parties influence divorce settlements at the time of divorce. However, life is often unpredictable, and changes in income can occur post-divorce. In such situations, post-divorce modifications may become necessary to correspond with the shift in financial status, potentially affecting issues such as spousal support, child support, and other financial obligations. If you believe post-divorce modifications may be relevant to your situation, do not hesitate to contact a divorce lawyer. They will examine your situation and advise you on the most advisable course of action at this time. 

Understanding Post-Divorce Modifications 

Post-divorce modifications allow people to seek changes to court-ordered financial obligations when there has been a sizable change in circumstances. Changes in income, whether due to job loss, promotion, or other factors, may warrant modifications to spousal support, child support, or both. These modifications are typically sought through the court system and require demonstrating a substantial change in financial circumstances. 

Modifying Spousal Support

When there is a change in income, either the paying spouse or the recipient spouse may seek a modification of spousal support. If the paying spouse’s income decreases, they may request a reduction in spousal support payments. On the other hand, if the recipient spouse’s income decreases, they may seek an increase in spousal support. The court will consider numerous factors, such as the reason for the change in income and the financial needs of both parties when deciding whether to modify spousal support. 

Securing Legal Assistance

Navigating post-divorce modifications can get complex, and it is essential to seek legal assistance when facing changes in income. An experienced divorce lawyer can guide people through this important process, help gather necessary documentation, and advocate for their interests in court.

Contact Joliet, IL Divorce Attorney

Changes in income can significantly impact many areas of your divorce. Understanding the concept of divorce modifications and proactively seeking legal guidance when facing changes in income is important to help ensure fair and appropriate adjustments to court-ordered financial obligations. If you believe seeking a post-divorce modification is relevant to your situation and in your best interest, contact the respected Plainfield, IL divorce lawyers with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. They will discuss with you your situation and the best options for you going forward. They have a robust understanding of Illinois divorce law and how it affects your situation. To obtain the guidance you need and deserve, call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation today.

Joliet Family Law AttorneyDivorce proceedings often involve the division of assets and liabilities, including debt. Splitting debt can be a complex and delicate process that requires careful consideration to minimize financial risk for both parties involved. If you are concerned with how the splitting of debt may affect your divorce proceedings, contact a lawyer to secure the legal representation you need to ensure any debt relevant to the divorce proceedings will be split in a way that is favorable to you and your situation. 

Identify and Understand the Debts

After hiring your attorney, the first essential step to minimizing risk is identifying and categorizing all debts accurately. This includes mortgages, credit card debt, student loans, and other liabilities. Gathering documentation and creating an inventory of debts will help ensure transparency of debts and prevent any surprises later in the process. Additionally, understanding the terms, interest rates, and responsibilities associated with each debt is crucial for making informed negotiation decisions. 

Consider the Equitable Distribution Principle

In Illinois divorces, marital debts are split in a way that is considered fair. However, be advised that fair does not mean equal. When splitting debt, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration. These include each party’s income, earning potential, contributions during the marriage, and financial needs. Consulting with your lawyer can help ensure that a fair distribution of debt can be pursued. 

Negotiate and Draft a Detailed Divorce Agreement

To minimize future disputes or complications, it is crucial to negotiate and draft a comprehensive divorce agreement that explicitly outlines the division of debt. This agreement needs to specify which party is responsible for each debt and the timeline for repayment. Your lawyer will make sure the agreement is legally enforceable. 

Monitor Your Credit Reports and Joint Accounts

It is advisable to monitor credit reports regularly throughout the divorce process and after the division of debt. This helps identify any discrepancies, unauthorized account activity, or potential issues arising from joint accounts. Taking prompt action to rectify these issues can mitigate financial risks and protect one’s creditworthiness. 

Contact a Joliet, IL Divorce Lawyer 

Dividing debt during an Illinois divorce in a way that minimizes risk requires careful planning and consideration. By accurately identifying and understanding debts, following the principle of equitable distribution, drafting a related agreement, and monitoring credit reports, you can confidently go about minimizing your debt risk in your divorce. Contact the skilled Will County, IL divorce attorneys with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. Call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation. 

What Will Happen to My 401(k) in My Illinois Divorce?

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Plainfield Divorce LawyerWhen people are preparing for a divorce, they are often concerned with how it will affect them financially. Like so many Illinois residents, if you have a 401(k) retirement account, you are likely wondering what will happen to it as a result of your divorce. It is essential at this time to hire an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process of your divorce, as this will help ensure you have professional legal guidance throughout each step of your divorce, including as you work through important financial issues, such as the future of your 401(k) retirement account.

Illinois is an Equitable Distribution State

At the heart of Illinois divorce is the standard of equitable distribution. This seeks to ensure that when property is divided, it is done in a way that is fair. This brings us to the next important crossroads in Illinois divorce: marital vs. non-marital property.

Assessing Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

To determine the fate of your 401(k), it is crucial to distinguish between marital and non-marital property. Typically, any contributions to your 401(k) during the marriage are considered marital property subject to division. However, any contributions made before or after the marriage may be considered non-marital property, exempt from division. 

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)

In cases where your 401(k) is subject to division, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is often utilized. A QDRO is a court order that outlines the division of retirement benefits between spouses. It is crucial to consult with an experienced lawyer at this time to ensure the QDRO complies with federal and state regulations. 

Determining the Division

When dividing a 401(k), there are various methods that can be used to achieve a fair distribution. One option is the “present value” approach, where the present-day value of the account is determined, and an equivalent amount is awarded to the non-owning spouse using other marital assets. Another approach is the “shared interest” method, where the 401(k) account remains intact, and the non-owning spouse receives a percentage share of the benefits once the owning spouse begins withdrawing.

Negotiating a Settlement

Divorce is not solely about litigation. Instead, it often involves negotiations and settlements. It is crucial to work with an experienced attorney who can help you negotiate a fair settlement that takes into account the division of your 401(k) and other assets. 

Contact a Joliet, IL Divorce Lawyer

For lawyers you can trust, contact the experienced Plainfield, IL divorce attorneys with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. Call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation.

Signs You Are Divorcing a Narcissist 

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Plainfield Family Law AttorneyDivorcing a narcissist can be an incredibly challenging and emotionally draining process. It is important to recognize the signs that you are divorcing a narcissist to navigate the complexities of the situation better and protect yourself. While only a professional can diagnose narcissistic personality disorder, there are important signs to look out for, which can serve as a warning that your spouse is a narcissist. Regardless of whether your spouse has a narcissistic personality, contact a lawyer to obtain the legal protection you need moving forward in your divorce.

Look for These Important Signs

One significant sign is the narcissists’ refusal to accept accountability or take responsibility for their actions. They may deflect blame onto you or others, making it challenging to have productive discussions or reach mutually beneficial agreements. They may also manipulate the narrative to portray themselves as a target, seeking sympathy and support. Another sign is their need for control and power. Narcissists often feel threatened by losing control, especially in a divorce situation. They may use various tactics to maintain control, such as withholding information, making one-sided decisions, or attempting to manipulate the legal process. 

Narcissists also tend to exhibit high levels of hostility and aggression during the divorce process. They may use intimidation tactics, threats, or verbal abuse to assert dominance and gain an upper hand. This can make negotiations challenging and increase stress levels. Furthermore, narcissists may engage in manipulative behavior to undermine your credibility and paint themselves in a positive light. They may spread false rumors or make baseless accusations to tarnish your reputation and gain an advantage in Illinois divorce proceedings or child custody battles. 

Additional Red Flags to Look Out For 

Lack of empathy and disregard for the emotional well-being of others is also a major red flag. Narcissists often prioritize their own needs and desires, disregarding the impact their actions have on others. They may show little concern for your feelings or attempt to exploit your vulnerabilities during the divorce process. Narcissists may use financial control as a means of power and manipulation. They may hide assets, refuse to disclose financial information, or use money as a weapon to gain leverage or punish you. It is important to be vigilant and seek legal advice to protect your financial interests. 

Contact a Joliet, IL Divorce Lawyer 

For legal guidance in divorcing a narcissist, contact the skilled Plainfield, IL divorce attorneys with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. Call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation.

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