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Recent blog posts

wheaton divorce lawyerThe dissolution of a marriage can be an arduous process, both emotionally and financially. When most people think of divorce, they think of a bitter, contentious process. What if there was another way to end a marriage on more amicable terms? As it turns out, there is another way spouses can end their marriage that does not end if lifelong scars for both parties.

If both parties feel as though they are capable of working with each other, then a collaborative divorce may be possible. Collaborative law is a kind of dispute resolution that takes place outside the courtroom, where the parties cooperate to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. If you and your spouse are seeking divorce and believe you can work together, consider consulting with an attorney familiar with collaborative divorces. 

What is a Participation Agreement? 

To begin the collaborative divorce process, both parties must retain a collaboratively trained attorney and agree to and sign a legally binding contract referred to as a Participation agreement contract. This document commits each party to resolve the dispute according to collaborative principles and guidelines. The settlement will remain the primary objective since the attorneys are hired on their ability to facilitate an acceptable settlement proposal. 

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Do I Qualify for Alimony?

Posted on in Divorce

wheaton divorce lawyerGetting a divorce can have lifelong implications for your life and your ex-spouse’s life. If you are getting a divorce, you may be concerned about the financial consequences a divorce will have. Divorces can be costly, but what about after the divorce is finalized? You may be wondering, especially if your spouse is a higher earner than you, whether you qualify for alimony, also known as spousal maintenance in Illinois. 

If you are getting a divorce and are curious whether you are eligible for alimony payments, consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney to discuss your options moving forward. 

How Do You Know if You Qualify? 

The idea behind alimony, support payments paid from one spouse to the other after a divorce, is to prevent one party from experiencing excessive financial difficulty due to their divorce. The lower-earning spouse receives monthly payments from the higher-earner spouse. 

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wheaton divorce lawyerThe process of divorce can be excruciatingly painful. This is someone you once had tremendous feelings for, and knowing your relationship is coming to an unfortunate end can be a terribly sad experience. No matter how long you and your spouse were together, getting a divorce can be daunting for many different reasons. If you are considering divorce, consult an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are protected and your best interests are put first.

What Makes Divorce Unique in Illinois?

As of January 1, 2016, Illinois officially became a state where irreconcilable differences are the only grounds for a divorce, which means that you do not need to prove that your spouse is at fault for the disintegration of the marriage. 

Notably, the court will not consider misconduct accusations when deciding how to divide property or reward spousal maintenance. However, the court will listen to a spouse’s child-related concerns when it comes time to figure out how best to allocate parenting time and other essential parental responsibilities. 

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wheaton child custody lawyerIt is well-documented that getting a divorce can be highly unpleasant for many reasons. When children are involved, the process can turn from spiteful to merciless in an instant. Disagreements between parents sometimes occur when determining parental responsibility arrangements during divorce proceedings. How can conflicts best be dealt with to protect the well-being of the children involved? Most parents want the absolute best for their children. Topics vital to the child's development, such as educational and healthcare decisions, are likely to have long-lasting ramifications for children. If you are getting divorced and wish to secure the most favorable arrangement for you and your children, consult with a knowledgeable attorney with experience in divorce cases involving parental responsibility allocation. 

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Through a Parenting Plan

For years, the term "child custody" was used in Illinois to describe parenting time and decision-making powers in divorce cases. Now, legally speaking, the correct wording is "parental responsibilities." Under Illinois law, parents who are getting divorced and have minor children are required to complete a comprehensive parenting plan that explicitly states the responsibilities of each parent moving forward. A parenting plan aims to ensure that children's lives and development are not adversely impacted by their parents getting divorced. Of course, with any divorce, the children are likely to be affected in one way or another. However, a parenting plan is there to help ensure that each parent understands his or her role in the child’s upbringing, the parenting time schedule, and his or her parental rights. When it comes to drafting a parenting plan, specific components must be included. Some of the main components include:

  • Parenting time schedule – This plan shows how the children's time with each parent will be distributed. This can include what days or weeks will be spent at each parent's residence. 
  • Allocation of decision-making responsibilities – This crucial section of the plan determines how the parents will decide on their children's education moving forward, their health and medical needs, religious affiliations, and extracurricular activities. 
  • Communication guidelines – This details the type of communication for children and parents to engage in during the other parent's scheduled parenting time. 

If parents cannot agree on the parenting plan, the court will make a determination on the unresolved provisions. 

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DuPage County Spousal Support LawyerDivorce can be a long process that requires extensive paperwork, planning, and processing. Many people are surprised by how much documentation they have to gather once the divorce process begins, as well as by how much of their own information they do not know. If you are hoping for a swift divorce, one of the smartest things you can do is begin preparing now. For answers to your questions about how to get started, contact an Illinois divorce attorney right away. 

Collect Financial Documents

To answer important questions in divorce, such as how much child support payments will be and whether spousal support will be paid, each spouse needs to collect extensive financial documentation. You will need pay stubs, W2s, tax records, bank statements, credit card statements, and more. The sooner you can begin gathering these things, the sooner you will be able to present them to your attorney. 

Check Your Credit Score

An important part of life after divorce is financial planning on just one income. Your ability to take out loans, pay back debt, and get the things you need may change once you and your spouse cannot make purchases together. You need to know your credit score, as well as how much you owe to various lenders, so you can plan for the future. 

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