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wheaton divorce lawyerSometimes divorce is the inevitable end of a relationship and while you may be reconciled to the breakdown of your marriage, certain factors can make getting a divorce more complex. One of these is when a spouse lives in another state or cannot be located. You may be wondering whether it is possible to divorce someone who lives outside of Illinois, or whether you can get divorced at all if you do not know where your spouse is. In this blog, we will answer questions about interstate divorce and divorce by publication. Keep in mind that the only person who can give you legal advice tailored to your situation is an Illinois divorce attorney. 

Can I Divorce Someone Who Lives Outside of Illinois? 

If you have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days, you qualify for Illinois residency and can file for divorce in Illinois even if your spouse lives outside  of Illinois. If you share children, you may need to live in Illinois for at least six months before you can file for divorce which will decide on parental responsibilities and parenting time.

If your spouse meets the residency requirements of the state in which they live, they may also file for divorce from you. In this case, the state wherein the divorce is first filed is generally the state that will have jurisdiction over the divorce proceedings. You will have to serve your spouse with divorce papers notifying them that you have filed and make sure they have received them. 


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dupage county child support lawyerMost parents would agree that child support is important for raising children and ensuring they have what they need. However, not all parents agree on the amount or duration of child support payments set by an Illinois court, which may seem arbitrary and unfair. This is especially true for parents who were never married and with whom the child did not share a specific standard of living before a divorce. 

While child support payments are ostensibly based on both parents’ incomes and the time they spend with the child, courts can make mistakes, parents can lie about their income, and other factors - such as pre-existing child support or spousal support orders - can make a new order untenable for the paying parent. If you want to appeal your child support order, whether you are sending or receiving payments, read on. 

Successful Child Support Order Appeals Are Possible, But Rare

Courts want to discourage parents from constantly bringing new cases for modification to harass each other. Therefore, courts will generally only reverse a child support order in unusual circumstances and usually only if an appeal is made within 30 days of the original ruling. These circumstances include: 


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shutterstock_759005119-1.jpgCouples getting divorced in Illinois face many obstacles and the idea of self-representation throughout the divorce may seem sensible for many reasons. After all, divorce has a reputation for being expensive and time-consuming, and if you can do the relevant research and problem-solve proactively with your spouse, why not just do the legal legwork yourself? Yet even for the most straightforward-seeming divorces, potential complications abound and representing yourself could end up costing you far more time and money than you expect. Here are three good reasons not to represent yourself in your DuPage County Divorce. 

Get Answers to Your Questions and Legal Advice

While you can get the necessary divorce paperwork yourself and find the information you need to fill it out online, when you have questions about interpreting the law, answers can be very difficult to find. Divorce law is sometimes equal parts science and magic, making case law and precedent difficult to understand. Additionally, certain judges have a reputation for ruling in certain ways that could be beneficial or harmful to your case and without an experienced attorney, you will have no way of knowing whether a judge is likely to rule in your favor or approve your divorce agreement. Having an attorney can solve all of these problems and provide on-demand legal assistance whenever necessary. 

Mistakes Can Be Expensive

People often avoid hiring an attorney because legal costs can be difficult to afford. But making mistakes throughout the divorce process can also be very expensive - not only because minor bureaucratic mistakes can end up making the divorce take longer, but because making a divorce settlement that is not to your advantage can cost you financially well into the future. Even just for the sake of having an experienced perspective, legal representation is valuable during divorce so you can avoid common mistakes and negotiate to your advantage. 


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shutterstock_1906972837.jpgDivorce can bring significant changes to your finances. Some of these changes - like living with just one income instead of two - are easy to understand, while others may require professional help to prepare for. Those seeking divorce in Illinois frequently wonder whether spousal support and child support are taxable income or tax-deductible. Whether you are paying or receiving support, it is important to understand how these payments are taxed. 

Is Child Support Taxable Income? 

Child support is considered “tax neutral,” meaning it is neither taxable income nor tax-deductible. The parent who is receiving child support does not pay taxes on those payments, and the parent who pays child support cannot deduct the payments from their taxable income. This is because even if parents were not divorced, they would be paying for their children’s needs with their income after taxes are already paid. The only difference is that instead of buying things for your child yourself, you are giving the money to your ex. 

Is Spousal Support Taxable Income? 

Spousal support payments are also tax neutral, as long as they began after January 1, 2019. Spousal support payments from divorce decrees finalized before that date may be tax-deductible for the payor and taxable income for the recipient, but any agreements after that date, including modified spousal support orders, are tax neutral. 


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wheaton divorce lawyerOne of the most challenging behaviors to deal with during an Illinois divorce is a spouse’s irresponsible financial habits. Although financial disagreements are one of the most common reasons for divorce and many couples are dissatisfied with each other’s spending and saving habits, sometimes reckless financial behavior moves beyond carelessness into something that may be considered “dissipation of marital assets.” If you have heard about dissipation and are wondering whether a dissipation claim may help you in your divorce, read on. 

What is Dissipation? 

Dissipation is common enough in Illinois divorces that the Illinois Supreme Court has given it a specific definition. When a marriage is irretrievably breaking down and one spouse uses marital property such as funds in a savings account or from a home equity line on things unrelated to the marriage, this may be considered dissipation. Simply taking yourself out to lunch when you and your spouse agreed not to eat out is probably not dissipation, however. Common examples of dissipation include excessive gambling, cash gifts given without permission, money spent on an affair, and destroying property. 

How Can I Prove My Spouse Dissipated Marital Property? 

Before dissipation can be proven, you will need to estimate when your marriage began “irretrievably breaking down” - that is, when the relationship permanently began to end. You will also need to show how much money was spent, and on what. Your attorney may be able to subpoena financial records, such as credit card statements and savings account withdrawals to prove dissipation occurred. Photographs of destroyed property, of a spouse out on a date with a new lover, or even testimony from a subpoenaed family member that they received a large “gift” of money may be used as proof of dissipation. 


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