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

Wheaton, IL divorce lawyerRegardless of whether you have recently started the divorce process or have completed the process before last year ended, you will need to think carefully as you prepare to file taxes. Notably, your filing options will depend mainly on factors such as the date of your divorce and terms of the divorce agreement. While getting a divorce is undoubtedly challenging, hiring a highly knowledgeable divorce attorney to help guide you through the process can make it as seamless as possible. 

What to Know About Married Filing Jointly

If you are still married at the end of the tax year, you may still choose to file jointly and receive the benefits, which may include a better standard deduction offered only to married couples. You may also choose to file as married filing separately. 

What to Know About Filing Single

If your divorce has been finalized as of December 31, you will be prohibited from filing married separately or jointly. If you do not have any children or dependents, you will be required to file single, although if you do have a qualifying child or dependent, you may be able to file as head of household. 

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Wheaton, IL military divorce lawyerDeciding to get a divorce is often an extremely difficult and painful decision. This is especially true if you or your spouse are in the military. Suppose you or your spouse are an active duty service member. In that case, it is crucial to understand the considerations that will likely apply to your case as opposed to divorce cases where neither spouse is on active duty in the military. This blog will dive deeper into what you should know about seeking a divorce when a spouse is on active duty. If you ever find yourself in this position, it is essential to seek a knowledgeable divorce attorney who has worked with divorce cases involving active duty military members. 

What to Know About Statutes Protecting Military Members from Divorce Actions

It is important to know that there are laws that protect an active duty service member from being held in default for not responding to a divorce action. These types of laws exist to prevent active duty military members from getting divorced without their knowledge. Furthermore, the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act permits a court in Illinois to postpone any divorce proceedings for the entire duration of a military member's service and 60 additional days once their active service has ended. This helps prevent active duty military members from divorce while they are overseas or stationed in an area where it is difficult to respond. However, a military member can waive this right and thus have divorce proceedings begin while they are on active duty. 

What to Know About Serving an Active Military Spouse 

The spouse not on active duty will need to serve their active duty spouse with a summons and a copy of the divorce action. In cases where the active duty spouse is stationed abroad, the Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents will require that the copy of the divorce action is presented in the local language, regardless of whether the active duty spouse speaks that language. In cases where the divorce is uncontested, the active duty spouse can elect to waive service obligations by simply signing an affidavit acknowledging the divorce action. 

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Wheaton, IL divorce decree appeals lawyerThe distribution of marital property is usually among the most contentious areas of divorce proceedings. Not only can it get very complex, but people often have strong opinions about what is theirs and what is their spouse’s. In the State of Illinois, the law follows something called equitable distribution, which means that any marital assets involved in divorce proceedings are not required to be split 50/50, but must be split fairly. There comes a time in divorce proceedings when a legal ruling will be made regarding the property division. 

Once the court hands down a judgment regarding property division, the matter is considered settled. Or is it? In Illinois, there are options for individuals interested in appealing a property division judgment. However, the process for such decisions is rigorous and often requires highly competent legal counsel to appeal a property division judgment successfully. For example, suppose you are interested in appealing a property judgment. In that case, it is strongly recommended that you hire legal counsel knowledgeable in the appeals process so that your appeal can succeed. 

Requirements for Appealing a Property Division Order

As stated previously, appealing a property division order is a complex process. As a result, if you feel you need to appeal, your legal counsel or the presiding judge may have gotten it wrong the first time. This is why hiring knowledgeable attorneys in the first place is essential so that an appeal is not necessary. Nonetheless, specific requirements need to be met to have a chance at successfully appealing a property division judgment. 

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Wheaton, IL annullment lawyerPeople may be surprised to learn that Illinois Family Law encompasses more than divorce, but also includes annulment and prohibited marriage as well. Depending on the circumstances of your marriage, your marriage may qualify for an annulment on the basis that you entered into a prohibited marriage. Since family law can be challenging, strongly consider consulting with an experienced Illinois family law attorney so that any questions regarding your marriage can be answered and, if necessary, you can lawfully exit the marriage. 

Difference between Divorce and Annulment

It is essential to understand that divorce and annulment are separate. In Illinois, an annulment means that the marriage was never valid in the first place. Therefore, the court treats the marriage as if it never actually occurred. Understand that the annulment of a marriage is not a legal separation but rather a way for two people with an invalid marriage to depart the marriage lawfully. For a marriage to be declared invalid in Illinois and thus qualify for an annulment, a Declaration of Invalidity can be filed by either partner in the invalid marriage, an attorney for the state, a child of either party or the legal spouse when a bigamous marriage has taken place. Bigamous marriages are when someone enters a marriage while legally married to someone else. 

What is a Prohibited Marriage in Illinois? 

In Illinois, a prohibited marriage involves one of the following situations:

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wheaton divorce lawyerIn the early stages of divorce proceedings, the petitioner, or the party who files for divorce, must submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The individual who is served divorce papers, also known as the respondent, is then given the opportunity to reply to the divorce petition and participate in the divorce proceedings. During this period, the respondent may take issue with some of the petitioner's choices concerning matters such as the division of marital property, child custody, or other matters. The petitioner and respondent can negotiate terms to try and reach a settlement with help from their attorneys.If a settlement cannot be reached, the divorce case then progresses to a trial where a judge will handle unresolved issues. 

However, what happens if the respondent relinquishes their opportunity to partake in the divorce, refuses to respond, or cannot be located? In this situation, the court can choose to enter something called a default judgment. If you are getting a divorce and have reason to believe your spouse may not be willing to participate in the proceedings, do not hesitate to contact an experienced divorce attorney who has knowledge of divorce cases involving default judgments. 

Default Judgments in DuPage County Divorce Cases

Under Illinois state law, a respondent is granted 30 days from when the petitioner files the petition to respond. However, in some cases, the respondent may fail to reply to the petition within the allotted period of 30 days. In this case, the petitioner can file a motion for a default divorce. While the respondent can request an extension, they will not be allowed to prolong the divorce case to extend it. Proceeding with a default divorce means that the case will proceed without the presence of the respondent. 

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