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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.

Assets with fluctuating values can also complicate the process. Cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly relevant in divorce proceedings. Because digital currency can vary dramatically in value from day to day, you must decide how to account for this fluctuating value during asset division. Stocks, stock options, and other investments with variable value can be nearly impossible to properly value without an expert opinion.

Failing to Negotiate a Fair Settlement

Negotiating a divorce settlement takes time, patience, and a deep understanding of what you own and what you owe. The key is finding the balance between letting your spouse walk all over you and being too stubborn. By refusing to compromise, you can drag out the divorce process and cost yourself money in legal fees. However, you do not want to go to the other extreme and give your spouse everything he or she wants. An experienced divorce lawyer can help tremendously in this aspect.

Failing to Disclose All of Your Assets and Debts

During your divorce, you will be asked to list all of your assets and debts. Do not assume that you can get away with neglecting to disclose all of your property. Evidence of these so-called “hidden assets” may lurk in your tax returns, loan applications, bank statements, and other financial records. Not only is hiding assets in a divorce a sure way to make the divorce more contentious, it is also against the law.

Contact a Joliet Divorce Lawyer for Help

The best way to ensure you do not make major mistakes during your divorce is to work with an experienced divorce lawyer. Call the Plainfield, Illinois divorce attorneys at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for help. Call 815-666-1285 for a free, confidential case assessment today.

Sources:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/10/avoid-these-mistakes-when-splitting-assets-in-a-divorce.html

 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

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. 

When determining maintenance awards, courts typically use a statutory formula. In 2021, courts may deviate from this formula if the couple makes more than $500,000 a year.


Spousal maintenance can be complicated and confusing. Contact a skilled Joliet divorce lawyer from Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for help.


In the original stage version of The Odd Couple, Oscar Madison's alimony obligation is used to provide character background and to solidify the notion that he was divorced. While Neil Simon's play about vastly different roommates is now more than 50 years old, many people still assume that alimony, currently called spousal maintenance under Illinois law, is virtually an automatic part of the divorce process. In today's world, however, such an assumption is no longer true.

The Purpose of Spousal Maintenance

The original concept of maintenance is a product of a previous era in which men were the primary wage-earners in their families and women, by and large, stayed home to manage the house and children. There were always exceptions, to be sure, but the social expectations were very real. Thus, if and when a divorce was necessary, the wife would often be left without a way to support herself. In such cases, alimony was usually found to be appropriate to help keep the woman—and often the couple's children—afloat financially. There were enough such situations that alimony quickly became almost an expectation following a divorce.

Need-Based Maintenance Awards

Under current Illinois law, spousal maintenance is not presumed to be appropriate in every situation. Family situations today look much different than they did in previous generations, with spouses contributing to household finances more equitably than ever before, and other responsibilities shared more evenly. This also means that there no real way to create a legal standard that would apply to all of the various possible scenarios.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that spousal maintenance is to be considered on a case-by-case basis, assuming there is no valid agreement regarding maintenance between the parties. Maintenance will only be awarded if the court determines there is a need for such support, based on a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • The income and needs of each spouse;
  • The portion of the marital estate being allocated to each spouse;
  • Each spouse's age, health, and employability;
  • The ability of the spouse seeking maintenance to become self-sufficient;
  • The contributions of each spouse to the other's career or income potential; and
  • The length of the marriage and the standard of living established.

When maintenance is appropriate, there is a formula in the law to be used in most cases. The court retains the discretion to deviate from the statutory formula depending on the circumstances of the marriage and divorce.

We Can Help

If you are considering a divorce and have questions about receiving spousal maintenance, contact an experienced Joliet family law attorney. At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we will help you understand your options and responsibilities under the law. Schedule your free initial consultation today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+V&ActID=2086&ChapterID=0&SeqStart=6100000&SeqEnd=8350000

Source:

 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K504


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

Multiple studies show that parental conflict has a major impact on kids. This is true even if the parents are divorced and living separately. If you are in a high-conflict divorce or soon will be, parallel parenting may be the best way to minimize hostility between you and the other parent. In a parallel parenting situation, parents rarely communicate with each other. When they do communicate, they do so through text messages or email.

A Strong Parenting Plan is Key

Parallel parenting only works when both parents understand their rights and obligations. This means that you will need to have a comprehensive parenting plan involving a detailed parenting time schedule. Remember to include provisions describing how you will handle holidays, school vacations, birthdays, and other special occasions. Include exhaustive information about how and when you can change the parenting time schedule or allocation of parental responsibilities.   

Consider Using Temporary Relief Orders

The time between a couple deciding to divorce and the completion of the divorce can be months or years. High-conflict divorce cases are often especially lengthy. Consider petitioning the court for a temporary relief order that defines parenting time and parental responsibilities during the divorce. This will ensure that you and the other parent understand exactly what is expected of you. Furthermore, a temporary relief order protects your rights. You may also want a temporary order for child support. An experienced family law attorney can discuss your situation with you and help you determine which temporary relief orders may be appropriate for your situation.

Contact a Plainfield Family Law Attorney

If you are a parent planning to divorce, contact the skilled Joliet divorce lawyers at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for help. Our team understands the challenges involved with a high-conflict divorce involving parents. We can help you formulate a plan to minimize conflict and prioritize your children’s wellbeing. Call 815-666-1285 today for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k501.htm

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201309/parallel-parenting-after-divorce

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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.

How Does DNA Testing Work?

Children get half their DNA from their mother and half from their father. Laboratory technicians can analyze a baby’s DNA and compare it to the presumed father’s DNA to see if the man is actually the child’s father. During paternity testing, DNA may be obtained through the test subject’s cheek cells or blood. To get a cheek cell sample, a cotton swab is lightly scraped on the inside of the subject’s mouth. DNA is extracted from cells on the cotton swab and analyzed. In some cases, blood samples are taken from the test subjects instead of cheek cells. DNA paternity testing is extremely accurate.

What If My Child’s Parent Refuses to Cooperate?

Paternity is a crucial factor in gaining parental rights, establishing child support, and addressing other family law issues. However, establishing the paternity of a child can be particularly challenging if a parent does not cooperate. If you are a mother or a father and you have a paternity-related issue, contact an experienced family law attorney for help.

Contact a Joliet Paternity Lawyer

Whether you are the mother or the father, establishing the paternity of your baby is an essential part of protecting your rights and your child’s rights. For help, contact an Illinois family law attorney at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. Call 815-666-1285 for a free, confidential case assessment today.

Source:

 

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/10119-dna-paternity-test


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.

The majority of the women who seek adoptive parents for their babies are kind, selfless mothers hoping to give their children a better life. However, some women who claim to be looking for adoptive parents are simply scam artists. They use deception to extort thousands of dollars from couples under the guise of medical expenses or other baby-related needs. Some scammers even go so far as to send parents fake ultrasound pictures or other fabricated evidence. Parents hoping to adopt a child can sometimes be blinded by excitement and optimism to recognize red flags of deception in a situation like this.

Protecting Yourself and Your Rights

If you want to adopt a child, the best way to ensure that you will not fall victim to an adoption scam is to work with a skilled adoption lawyer. Your attorney can help you evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various adoption avenues, guide you through the adoption process, and make sure your rights are protected. An experienced lawyer will also know to look for signs that a couple may be in the grips of an adoption scam. Finally, your adoption attorney can ensure that you do not inadvertently violate Illinois law while you pursue the adoption. Paying or receiving money in exchange for a child is a felony offense, however, paying for a mother’s cost of living expenses and giving her modest gifts is allowable.

Contact a Plainfield Adoption Lawyer for Help

Adoption is a significant legal undertaking. If you want to adopt a child, contact a skilled Illinois adoption lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., for help. Call our office at 815-666-1285 today for a free, confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://data.postandcourier.com/saga/stealinghope/page/1

 

https://adoptionnetwork.com/adoptive-parents/how-to-adopt/about-birth-parents/what-is-a-birth-mother-scam/

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