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Wheaton, IL 60189
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Wheaton, IL prenuptial agreement attorneyThe silver lining in any divorce is the hope for a better future. Many divorced individuals eventually meet someone new and get remarried. If you have previously been married, and you are now planning to marry for a second or subsequent time, you are probably busy planning the wedding and building a life with your new partner. However, it is essential that you take the time to consider how your remarriage can impact the terms of your previous divorce. It is also important to start thinking about the unique issues that may be present in a second or third marriage.

Spousal Maintenance Typically Terminates Upon the Recipient’s Remarriage

Per Illinois law, spousal maintenance or alimony terminates if the recipient gets remarried. In addition, spousal maintenance usually terminates once the recipient begins cohabitating with a new partner. If you plan to remarry, you must inform your ex. If you do not tell your ex, and he or she pays you maintenance after you are remarried, you may be forced to reimburse him or her for any maintenance you received after the date of your marriage.

Child Support Can Be Influenced by Remarriage

Child support may or may not be influenced by the remarriage of either parent. Step-parents do not have a legal obligation to financially support their step-children the way that biological parents do. However, the court considers each parent’s financial circumstances when determining a fair child support payment amount. If a parent gets remarried, and this significantly increases the amount of disposable income the parent has, this may influence the amount of support he or she pays or receives.

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DuPage County legal separation attorneyAs any married individual can attest to, it is not always easy to know when a marriage is truly over. You may be unhappy in your relationship, but you may still have a glimmer of hope that you and your spouse can resolve your differences. However, even if you are not yet ready to pursue a divorce, you will likely still need to address key issues related to your finances and your children. In situations like these, a legal separation may be the right choice. Read on to learn about the purpose of legal separation in Illinois as well as the differences between legal separation and divorce.

Understanding The Process of Getting Legally Separated in Illinois

There are many misunderstandings about what it means to be legally separated. A legal separation does not simply mean that you and your spouse are living separately; instead, it is an official legal status. During a legal separation, you and your spouse can establish arrangements about the same issues that you would need to address during a divorce. You may then submit your agreements to the court, and these agreements will become legally-binding court orders. During a legal separation, you can formally address:

Wheaton, IL family law attorney DIY divorce disadvantagesIn today’s modern world, we can pay our bills, conduct work meetings, do our taxes, and complete other important tasks all from our home computer or smartphone. If you are thinking about divorce, you may be interested in your options for an “online divorce” or “do-it-yourself divorce.” These options often seem attractive because they have low up-front costs and appear simpler than a traditional divorce. However, many people find that DIY divorces end up being disastrous.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Do-it-Yourself Divorce

A quick search of the term “online divorce” results in thousands of results for allegedly quick and easy ways to end your marriage online. Unfortunately, divorce is rarely a quick and easy process. There are certainly some things you can do to make the divorce process easier, but no divorce is completely painless. The main advantage of DIY divorce or online divorce services is that they often have a low starting fee. However, many people find that the financial harm resulting from a hasty divorce greatly outweighs these savings. When you use an online or DIY divorce service, you miss out on the personalized legal guidance you gain from working with an attorney. You may make mistakes or oversights that result in avoidable stress, financial losses, and legal headaches.  

The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Working with an attorney during divorce has many benefits. Your attorney will get to know you and your unique situation. He or she can develop a personalized divorce plan that takes into account your individual needs and goals. Your attorney’s job is to advocate on your behalf during your divorce and represent your best interests. Working with an attorney also decreases the likelihood of mistakes that can complicate or slow down the divorce process. Your attorney can help you with concerns related to the division of marital property and debt, parenting time and parental responsibilities, spousal maintenance, possession of the marital home, and many other issues. For many, the greatest benefit of working with an attorney during divorce is simply the peace of mind they gain.   

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DuPage County collaborative divorce attorneyIf you are getting divorced in Illinois, you and your spouse must resolve several issues before your marriage can be legally dissolved. Depending on your situation, you may need to reach an agreement about how to divide marital property and debt, how to allocate parental responsibilities, whether a spouse will receive spousal maintenance or alimony, and more. If you are unable to reach an agreement about one or more of these issues, your case could go to trial. Divorce litigation is often a stressful, expensive, and combative process. One alternative to divorce litigation that has helped many couples reach an out-of-court settlement is collaborative divorce.

Working With an Attorney Without Being Adversarial

Thanks in large part to movies and TV shows, many people assume that involving lawyers in a divorce automatically means that the case will lead to a contentious courtroom battle. This is not the case with collaborative divorce. As the name implies, a collaborative divorce is rooted in cooperation and respect. Collaborative divorce may be right for you if you want to have legal guidance and support from a lawyer, but you want to avoid a highly adversarial litigation process.

Participants in a Collaborative Divorce Focus on Solutions, Not “Winning”  

During a collaborative divorce, each spouse, each spouse’s attorney, and all other participants sign an agreement called a “participation agreement” or “collaborative agreement.” In the agreement, they promise to negotiate the unresolved divorce issues in good faith, freely exchange the necessary documents and information, and keep discussions and negotiations confidential. Perhaps even more importantly, the participants agree to keep the case out of court. In most collaborative divorces, the attorneys are prohibited from representing the spouses during litigation if the spouses cannot reach a settlement through the collaborative process. The goal of a collaborative divorce is to reach a mutually-agreeable resolution so that the spouses can finish the divorce and move on with their lives.

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Wheaton divorce attorney for sole child custodyIn Illinois law, the terms “child custody” and “visitation” are no longer used. Parenting duties now consist of parental responsibilities and parenting time. This change was made in large part to present parenting tasks as a spectrum as opposed to one parent being the “custodial parent” and the other parent as merely “visiting” the child. However, there are still cases in which it may be in the child’s best interests for one parent to have most – if not all – of the parental responsibilities and parenting time.  

The Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

The term “parental responsibilities” refers to how parents will make significant decisions about the child’s life. Per Illinois law, significant decisions are decisions pertaining to:

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