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1776 S. Naperville Road, Building B, Suite 202,
Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

shutterstock_1313611268.jpgMany things can be difficult to anticipate in an Illinois divorce, but spousal maintenance - also known as alimony or spousal support - does not have to be. While every divorce is made up of its own unique problems and solutions, Illinois courts must consider several factors when determining whether spousal maintenance is appropriate and they use specific formulas to determine the amount. If you are getting divorced in DuPage County and wondering whether you will pay or receive alimony, read this helpful blog post and then contact an experienced divorce lawyer who can help you with your case. 

Income and Property

Courts will look carefully at the income of each spouse, as well as the potential earning power a spouse would have if they were fully employed. Because some spouses stay out of the workforce to raise children and keep a home, courts will consider whether divorce would put a homemaker spouse in a destitute financial situation and adjust spousal maintenance payments accordingly. Courts will also consider how long it would take a dependent spouse to get back on their feet after obtaining adequate training or education; if it is unclear how long it would take, or if there are young children whose needs would prevent a spouse from immediately seeking employment, courts can order fixed-term maintenance that is subject to review after a predetermined period of time. 

Needs of Each Spouse

Each spouse will have varying needs, and the court looks at each spouse’s needs equally. Does the receiving spouse really need financial support? Can the paying spouse afford to pay? The court can determine which needs are reasonable, including whether it is appropriate to permit the receiving spouse to continue the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. 

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wheaton divorce lawyerSo much of the content about the topic of divorce involves the period before and during the Illinois divorce process. Books, blogs, and TV series spend far more time focusing on the conflict of divorce and the difficulty of the process; the story often ends when each partner waltzes off into the sunset, newly and happily single. 

As many divorcees can attest, however, the truth is more complicated and not quite so easy. Life after divorce can feel a bit like being suspended in midair. You still have the ongoing sense of urgency from the divorce - the feeling that tasks need to be done, the anticipation of something about to happen - but more time to yourself with far less to do. There is no longer a process, a plan. It can be hard to know what to do next. If you are getting divorced and are wondering what to expect about adjusting to life after the divorce is finalized, here are four things you will not often hear about life after divorce. 

Life As You Knew it Has Changed

Some people hope to minimize the effects of divorce - which is understandable, given that so many of those effects have the potential to be quite negative. But denying or avoiding the necessary changes you need to make after divorce can lead to poor decisions and a longer healing process. You will probably need to budget more carefully, adjust your living space, and process the physical and emotional changes. 

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wheaton divorce lawyerUnfortunately, there is no easy way to get around the average cost of divorce. While it may be possible for some spouses who own very few assets and who get along reasonably well to save money by filing for an uncontested divorce, most couples have numerous issues that take time and resources to negotiate. But although you may already know that divorce is likely to be expensive, you may not know exactly which expenses to anticipate. At The Stogsdill Law Firm, we believe that the more information you have about divorce, the better prepared you will be to manage yours. Here are the most important expenses we see our clients manage in their divorce. 

Filing Fees

While filing fees represent one of the less painful expenses of divorce, they can still cost several hundred dollars. Filing for divorce alone costs about 350 dollars in Illinois; court appearances, child support annual fees, parenting classes, and the cost of serving your spouse divorce papers can all add up to quite a lot. Avoid unpleasant surprises by speaking with your attorney about how much you can expect to pay in fees. 

Household Expenses

Just because you moved out and only see your kids once a week does not mean that you are not still responsible for maintaining your regular expenses. You remain responsible for any debts with your name on them, including your home loan and credit card debt. And while you may not have a court order telling you to pay for certain things until the divorce is over, if you completely stop helping your spouse pay for the mortgage and the house falls into foreclosure proceedings, you may be on the hook for financial dissipation. Your attorney can help you decide which expenses to continue paying for and work with you to create an agreement with your ex to manage household costs during your divorce proceedings.

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wheaton divorce lawyerThe vast majority of parents are committed to discovering their children’s needs and wants on an ongoing basis and most parents spend many sleepless nights trying to help their children solve life’s problems and learn the necessary lessons they need to succeed. Divorce can throw a major wrench into the process of raising a child, however; not only do you have to continue raising your child with your ex, but now there are strict, legally binding guidelines dictating how you will make decisions for your child and where they will spend their time. 

Some parents can manage this well together, even after divorce; some parents struggle to cooperate. But for some parents, there is an additional concern: What if the behavior of your child’s other parent means they could be unsafe in that parent’s care? Is it possible to get full custody of a child in Illinois if one parent is endangering the child? Read on to learn the answers to these questions. 

What is the Difference Between Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities? 

Illinois does not use the terms “custody” and “visitation” anymore. Instead, they use the terms “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” These essentially describe the same ideas as the previous terms: Parental responsibility is the authority to make important decisions on behalf of the child; visitation is the time each parent spends with the child caring for him or her.

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wheaton divorce lawyerWhile nobody hopes to get divorced, sometimes a divorce is the inevitable outcome of a relationship that seems unfixable. Unfortunately, not every attorney has the skill, knowledge, or characteristics to give their clients the best experience possible. While divorce can take time and some minor delays, communication mishaps, or billing disputes may be inevitable, if you are seeing behavior from your attorney that makes you question whether they are legitimately capable of representing you, you may want to consider seeking someone new. Here are five signs that it may be time to find a new Illinois divorce lawyer

They Seem to Lack Experience or Knowledge of the Law

Sometimes attorneys fresh out of law school can provide clients with outstanding representation; other times, it takes them a few years to cut their teeth. If your attorney cannot answer basic questions, makes mistakes in front of a judge about the application of the law, or generally seems confused about which steps to take next, he or she may not have the experience necessary to provide great services. 

They Take Days or Weeks to Get Back to You

While every client wants their case to be resolved right away, the reality is that the legal process often operates very slowly. Delays can be a normal part of divorce. However, if you are asking your lawyer questions or requesting updates and you do not hear from them, this is not a good sign. Generally speaking, you should be able to reach your attorney and get an answer without hassling them. 

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