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Recent Blog Posts

Will I Need to Keep Making Spousal Support Payments if My Ex Gets Remarried? 

 Posted on June 07, 2023 in Divorce

Joliet Divorce LawyerWhen a couple divorces, spousal support is sometimes ordered as part of the divorce agreement. In Illinois, the duration of time for spousal support payments is determined based on the court’s evaluation of several factors, such as how long the couple were married, each spouse’s earning potential, and the standard of living the couple experienced while they were still married. However, when the ex-spouse who receives the spousal support gets remarried, it can raise the question of whether it needs to be continued. If you have questions pertaining to spousal support, discuss them with your attorney to ensure you have a complete understanding of your obligations moving forward.

Spousal Support in Illinois

Under Illinois law, spousal support is only awarded to the party that truly requires the support and aims at maintaining the person’s previous standard of living. Once the circumstances of the supported-spouse change, the obligation to pay the support may also cease to exist. There is no hard and fast rule in this regard, but there are certain circumstances that Illinois courts follow to modify or terminate the support payments.  

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What to Know About Dividing Retirement Assets in Illinois Divorce

 Posted on May 22, 2023 in Divorce

Will County Divorce LawyerDividing retirement assets in a modern divorce can be a source of enormous contention during proceedings, which makes sense considering that retirement assets are often one of the most high-value assets someone can have. In Illinois, retirement assets are considered marital property and are subject to division during divorce proceedings. Understanding the legal requirements and options available for dividing retirement assets in Illinois is crucial to ensure a fair and equitable distribution. Discuss with your divorce attorney during this time as you look to protect your rights and understand your legal options.

Everything You Need to Know About Dividing Retirement Accounts in an Illinois Divorce

One of the most common ways to divide retirement assets in a divorce is through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). A QDRO is a legal order which instructs a retirement plan administrator to transfer a portion of the plan’s benefits to the non-employee spouse. The non-employee spouse then becomes the owner of those benefits and can choose to receive them at retirement age or roll them over into their own IRA account.

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What is Most Important to Know About Prenuptial Agreements?

 Posted on May 04, 2023 in Family Law

Joliet Divorce LawyerPrenuptial agreements, also known simply as “prenups,” are contracts entered into by couples that are about to get married. These agreements are used to outline the division of assets, spousal support, and other aspects of the marriage in the event of divorce or death. To ensure that your prenuptial agreement is binding and enforceable, there are essential things you need to be aware of before signing on the dotted line. If you are interested in signing a prenup, contact a family law attorney to ensure your rights and best interests are preserved throughout the process of the agreement’s creation.

Crucial Aspects of a Prenuptial Agreement

Here are the aspects of a prenup that are worth considering:

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Moving to a New Town? Make Sure You Know Illinois Parental Relocation Laws

 Posted on April 18, 2023 in Divorce

Plainfield Parental Relocation LawyerWhether it is because of a new job opportunity, a better school for your kids, or to be closer to family, it is not uncommon for parents to move. If you are co-parenting with an ex and you intend to relocate, it is important to understand your obligations under Illinois law. When a parent with the majority of the parenting time or an equal share of parenting time relocates, they may need to get permission from the court to do so. If the other parent agrees to the move and does not try to contest the relocation, the legal process is relatively straightforward. However, if the other parent contests the relocation, the situation can become more complicated.

When the Illinois Parental Relocation Laws Apply

If you are moving only a short distance away, you probably do not need to take any special steps in order to move. Illinois parental relocation law only applies to parents who are moving out of state or a significant distance away. If you live in one of the collar counties and you plan to move more than 25 miles away, this is considered a relocation. If you live outside of the collar counties, it is a relocation if the new residence is more than 50 miles away or more than 25 miles away and in a new state.

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What is a Guardian Ad Litem? 

 Posted on April 05, 2023 in Family Law

Plainfield Family Law Attorney Many people involved in family law cases such as a divorce or child custody dispute have questions about the role of guardians ad litem (GAL's). They misunderstand the purpose of a GAL or confuse a GAL with an actual guardian who takes on a caretaking role.

A guardian ad litem is an individual, typically a trained attorney, who is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a minor child (or children) in family law matters. A GAL is charged with gathering information from all relevant parties, including parents and family members, and making recommendations to the court about what arrangement would be best for the child or children’s welfare.

Why Was a Guardian Ad Litem Assigned to My Case?

If a GAL was assigned to your case, it might be because the judge in the case wants more information before making a decision. Or, another party involved in the case, such as your child's other parent, may have requested a GAL. Do not worry if a GAL is assigned to your case. The assignment is not a reflection on your or a statement about your parenting. However, it is important to cooperate with the GAL and comply with any requests for documents or information.

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How Does Divorce Impact Social Security Benefits? 

 Posted on March 22, 2023 in Divorce

Joliet Divorce Lawyer

There are countless issues to consider when it comes to divorce, and many of these concerns involve finances. Divorcing spouses understandably worry about how the divorce will impact their financial futures. One of the most important issues to consider is how divorce affects one’s Social Security benefits.

Can I Get Social Security Through My Ex-Spouse?

Under certain circumstances, divorced spouses may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits based on their former spouse’s earning record. If the marriage lasted at least ten years, a divorced spouse can claim up to half of the ex-spouse’s benefit amount if it is higher than his or her own earned benefit. To get this benefit, the divorced spouse must be unmarried and 62 years old or older.

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Divorce Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms in Joliet

 Posted on March 02, 2023 in Divorce

Joliet Divorce Attorney

When mothers choose to stay home to raise children, they typically rely on their spouse's income to make ends meet. Mothers who do not work outside the home, work limited hours, or volunteer are often put in a precarious situation during divorce. However, with the right planning, support, and legal guidance, divorcing stay-at-home moms can make a successful transition while protecting their financial interests.

Get Familiar with Your Financial Situation

For many stay-at-home mothers, the household and family responsibilities are divided. The mom focuses on taking care of the children while her spouse takes care of other responsibilities, such as paying bills and managing money. Before filing for divorce, it is important for a stay-at-home mother to familiarize herself with the family's financial situation. Developing an understanding of both assets and liabilities will help give her a clearer view of her financial future after the divorce is finalized.

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FAQs About Paternity in Illinois

 Posted on February 27, 2023 in Family Law

Will County paternity attorneysPaternity refers to the legal father-child relationship. The gender-neutral term "parentage" is currently used in Illinois law. However, "paternity" is still used informally, and the terms will be used interchangeably throughout this blog. 

Whether you are a mother or father, or soon will be, it is very important that you understand what your rights are responsibilities are regarding paternity.

Do I Need to Take Steps to Establish Paternity?

In Illinois, the paternity of a child is presumed in certain situations, including when the mother of the child is married to the father. If paternity is presumed, the parents can sign the child’s birth certificate and do not need to take any additional steps to verify parentage. However, if the parents are not married, paternity must be established through one of several legal avenues. Paternity can be established through a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage form or an administrative or judicial proceeding.

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Do Illinois Parents Have to Pay Child Support If They Are Unemployed?

 Posted on February 06, 2023 in Child Support

Will County child support lawyersAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate currently hovers around 3.5 percent. The reasons for unemployment are as varied as the people who make up this statistic. Some people are still struggling to find employment after the pandemic, while others have been affected by the recent layoffs in the technology industry. Some individuals also choose not to work. They may decide to forgo employment in favor of child-raising or domestic duties, or for personal reasons.

Whatever the cause, unemployment can significantly impact a parent's ability to provide financial support to their child in the form of child support. If you are the payer or recipient of child support in Illinois, it is important to understand how unemployment can affect your child support order.

Intentional Unemployment

When it comes to child support, Illinois courts differentiate between intentional unemployment and unintentional unemployment. Intentional unemployment is when a parent voluntarily chooses to be unemployed or underemployed. Some parents do this solely in an effort to reduce their child support obligation. Intentional unemployment is frowned upon by Illinois courts, and if a court finds that a parent is intentionally unemployed or underemployed, they may impute or estimate the parent's income for the purpose of child support calculations. For example, if a parent used to make $100,000 a year and is now voluntarily unemployed, the court may use his or her previous income in the Income Shares calculation to determine his or her child support order.

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Should I Have an Open Adoption?

 Posted on January 23, 2023 in Divorce

Joliet adoption lawyerAdopting a child can be a beautiful way to expand your family. However, it is also a big decision with many factors to consider, including whether or not you should have an open adoption. Open adoptions allow adopted children to stay in contact with their birth families and foster a meaningful relationship throughout their lives. Open adoptions can be greatly beneficial to the parents and the adopted child, but they can also bring up complex emotions for everyone involved.

Evaluating the Pros and Cons of an Open Adoption

When you bring an adopted child into your family, there are seemingly countless personal, emotional, legal, and financial matters to contend with. Will my child fit in with our family? How do I handle the legal process of adoption? How can I make my child feel safe and secure? Should we have an open adoption?

There are many pros and cons associated with an open adoption. Having ongoing contact with their birth family gives the adopted child an important opportunity to remain involved in his or her birth parent(s) lives. The child gains additional resources including emotional guidance, cultural insight, and medical information if needed. Keeping the birth family in the picture also allows the adoptive parents to maintain a healthy relationship with the birth parents. This helps create a stronger bond between the families, which leads to more stability for the adopted child.

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