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Recent Blog Posts

Common Mistakes During Asset Division in a Divorce and How to Avoid Them

 Posted on November 13, 2021 in Division of Property in Illinois


Joliet Divorce Lawyers for Asset DivisionA crucial component of any Illinois divorce is dividing the spouses’ assets and debts. For many couples, the assets division process initially seems straightforward. However, the process often becomes much more complex than spouses expect. Tax implications, commingled assets, property with fluctuating value, and other complications can make property division one of the most challenging aspects of divorce. Furthermore, the consequences of property division can have a major impact on the parties for years or even decades after the split. If you are planning to divorce, make sure to be aware of common mistakes during the property division process and how to avoid falling victim to the same missteps.

Miscalculating the Value of Your Assets

Spouses who can divide property through an out-of-court agreement can save money and stress. However, when you make your own decisions about who gets what in the divorce, miscalculating the value of the assets can lead to a grossly uneven split. For example, you may decide to simply split your retirement funds 50/50 with your spouse only to suffer an early withdrawal penalty that reduces the value of the retirement asset. You may fight to keep the vacation home or only to realize years later that you cannot afford the home’s upkeep. You must also consider the tax consequences of any property you retain.

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2021 UPDATE: Will I Get Spousal Maintenance After My Divorce?

 Posted on November 09, 2021 in Alimony

spousal maintenance, Joliet family law attorney

Originally Posted June 8, 2016 - Updated 11-9-2021

Spousal maintenance or alimony offers a lesser-earning spouse the financial support they need after a divorce. However, Illinois laws regarding spousal maintenance have changed in the last few years. If you or your spouse are interested in pursuing a spousal maintenance award during your divorce, it is important to know how these legislative changes can impact your case. 

If spousal maintenance is awarded by the court, the amount of maintenance a spouse may receive is now calculated using the sposues’ net incomes. Gross income is no longer used by the court when deciding the amount of maintenance a spouse receives. 

Furthermore, alimony in Illinois is no longer tax deductible for the paying spouse. The recipient spouse cannot count alimony payments as taxable income. 

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Parallel Parenting May Be a Good Option in a High-Conflict Divorce

 Posted on October 20, 2021 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities


Joliet Divorce attorneyDivorcing couples often struggle to see eye-to-eye. However, some divorce cases are especially wrought with conflict. If this describes your situation, you may be worried about how you and your soon-to-be-ex will handle child custody issues. Some divorced parents are able to continue a close relationship and even attend holidays and vacations together, this is nearly impossible in a high-conflict divorce. One option some parents find useful is a method called “parallel parenting.” In a parallel parenting scenario, each parent handles parenting obligations with little input from the other parent. Communication between the parents is limited and each parent’s independence is prioritized over collaboration.

Parallel Parenting Minimizes Contact Between the Parents

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How is DNA Paternity Testing Used in Illinois?

 Posted on October 12, 2021 in Family Law


Joliet Paternity attorneyThe word “paternity” refers to a father’s legal relationship with his child. When a mother gives birth, she is automatically the child’s legal parent. However, the same is not always true for fathers. If a mother is married, her husband is presumed to be the child’s father. However, many mothers are not married at the time of their baby’s birth. Furthermore, relationships are complicated, and sometimes a woman’s husband is not the baby’s biological father. If you are involved in a complicated situation like this, you may wonder how Illinois uses DNA paternity testing to confirm parentage in a family law case.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

There are three main ways that a parent can establish legal parentage or paternity. The simplest method is for the parents to sign a document called a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity and put the father’s name on the baby’s birth certificate. However, this option may not be feasible if paternity is unknown or contested. Paternity may also be established through an administrative paternity order or court order. In some cases, DNA testing is needed to confirm that a father is indeed a child’s biological parent.

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Considering Independent Adoption? Make Sure to Avoid Adoption Scams

 Posted on October 06, 2021 in Family Law


Joliet divorce attorney for AdoptionstAdopting a child is one of the most meaningful responsibilities a person can undertake. For many prospective parents, conceiving a child naturally is not possible due to age or medical conditions. For others, adoption represents a personal choice to give a child in need a loving home. Sadly, some unscrupulous individuals take advantage of hopeful parents. If you are thinking of adopting a child, it is crucial that you remain cautious of adoption scams.

Private Adoptions Can Leave Parents Vulnerable

There are many ways to adopt a child in Illinois. Many people choose to adopt a child through an adoption agency or the Department of Children and Family Services. Others opt for an independent adoption. In an independent adoption or private adoption, the adoptive parents work directly with an expectant mother. Unfortunately, independent adoptions are more susceptible to scams than other types of adoption.

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How Can Social Media Affect My Divorce?

 Posted on September 23, 2021 in Divorce


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:

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What Expenses Are Included in Child Support in Illinois?

 Posted on September 13, 2021 in Child Support


Joliet divorce attorney for Child SupportParents are expected to financially support their children and provide for their needs. When parents are married or living together, they will usually combine their finances to cover all of their household expenses and any other costs involved in raising their children. However, the issue of financial support becomes more complicated when parents get divorced or split up. In these cases, child support orders will need to be established to ensure that both parents will contribute toward their children’s needs. Parents will want to understand what expenses are covered by child support and whether they will need to address any other costs related to raising their children.

Basic Child Support Obligations and Additional Expenses

In family law cases involving the custody of children, child support obligations will be calculated based on the total income earned by both parents. This is known as a “basic child support obligation,” and it is meant to represent the amount that a couple would have spent to cover their children’s needs if they were still married or living together. The total amount of this obligation will be allocated between the parents based on their individual income levels. In cases where parents divide parenting time equally or when children spend near-equal amounts of time in each parent’s home, additional calculations may be performed to ensure that the parents’ financial obligations address the percentage of time children live with each parent.

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UPDATE: Do We Need to Separate Before Filing for Divorce?

 Posted on September 10, 2021 in Family Law

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.

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How Should Ownership of the Family Home Be Handled During Divorce?

 Posted on August 24, 2021 in Division of Property in Illinois


Joliet divorce attorney for asset divisionDuring the divorce process, spouses will need to make many different decisions about how to handle financial issues. Many of these issues will involve the division of marital property, and spouses may be required to make sacrifices or adjustments as they determine how to ensure that they will have the financial resources needed to support themselves after their divorce is complete. Ownership of a couple’s marital home is one issue that can sometimes be difficult to resolve, especially when both spouses have an emotional connection to the home or when parents want their children to continue living in the same community. By understanding their options, spouses can make decisions that will benefit them moving forward and ensure that they will be able to maintain financial success.

Options When Addressing Real Estate Ownership

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When Must a Parenting Plan Be Modified Due to Parental Relocation?

 Posted on August 16, 2021 in Family Law


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. 

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