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Wheaton, IL 60189
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Recent blog posts

Wheaton, IL divorce attorney for child issuesThe silver lining of a separation or divorce is the possibility of meeting someone new. If you have found love after a failed marriage, you are probably eager to start your new life with this person. If you are a parent, this may include introducing your new partner to your children. The introduction of a new romantic interest after a separation can sometimes be difficult for children to handle, so it is important to be intentional about this event.

Wait Until You Are Divorced

For many people, a marriage is over long before the couple actually finalizes their divorce. If you are separated or soon will be, you and your spouse may have been sleeping in separate bedrooms and living separate lives for months or even years. You may understandably be eager to start dating someone new. However, dating before your divorce is complete can exacerbate the stress, confusion, and uncertainty that your children experience during the divorce process. It can also have potential consequences on the outcome of your divorce. For example, if you spend money on gifts or vacations with your new partner, your spouse may accuse you of dissipating assets, which can affect property division during divorce.

Go Slowly and Do Not Force a Relationship

You are probably excited for your children to develop a relationship with your new partner. However, trying to rush a relationship can backfire. Sometimes, children may resent a new romantic interest in their parent’s life. They may feel threatened or assume that the new partner is trying to replace the other parent. Give your kids time to adjust to the new partner slowly. You may want to introduce the partner at a group gathering so there is less pressure on the children.

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DuPage County amicable divorce attorneyIf you are thinking about divorce, it is important to carefully consider the information and advice that you are getting from others. Even though they have good intentions, many people unknowingly spread rumors and false information about issues like property division, child custody, or spousal support. Television and movies have also perpetuated many of the popular falsehoods regarding divorce. The best place to get legal advice and dependable support is an experienced divorce lawyer.

Myth #1: Infidelity or Marital Misconduct Will Be a Crucial Factor

Cheating and infidelity have ended countless marriages. If you are divorcing because one of you cheated, you may assume that this “marital misconduct” will play a major role in your divorce. On the contrary, the reason that a marriage ends rarely affects the outcome of a divorce in Illinois. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means that there are no fault-based grounds for divorce. You will simply state that “irreconcilable differences” have led to the end of your marriage. In addition, marital misconduct will usually not be considered when addressing the division of marital property, spousal maintenance, or parenting issues. The main way that infidelity can affect a divorce is if the unfaithful spouse spent considerable money or property to finance the affair. In this case, the wronged spouse may have a valid “dissipation of assets” claim, and they may be awarded a greater share of the marital estate.

Myth #2: Everything Will Be Split Equally

Division of assets and debts in a divorce is handled differently depending on the state. In Illinois, property is divided according to “equitable distribution.” This means that property is divided fairly based on the spouses’ financial circumstances and other factors. Spouses may also settle property division issues on their own, outside of court. Mediation is an alternative resolution method that many spouses use to discuss their divorce issues and reach an agreement about how ownership of their property will be handled.

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Wheaton, IL emergency order of protection lawyerStalking occurs when someone repeatedly follows, harasses, or threatens a person to an extent that the person fears for his or her safety. If you have been a victim of stalking, you know just how frightening the experience can be. Fortunately, there are laws that protect victims of stalking. In Illinois, what are often referred to as “restraining orders” are called “orders of protection.” There is also a specific court order designed to stop stalking behaviors called a “Stalking No Contact Order.” Read on to learn about the various court orders that can prevent a stalker from further harassing you.

Protecting Yourself from a Stalker With an Emergency Order of Protection

Two main types of court orders may be available to victims of stalking. The first is an Emergency Order of Protection. This is a court order used to protect victims of abusive family or household members. Abuse does not only include physical violence. It also includes harassment, interference with personal liberty, and intimidation. Per Illinois law, stalking behaviors typically count as abuse. Household and family members include current or former:

  • Spouses

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DuPage County parenting plan attorneyIf you are getting divorced in Illinois, and you share children with your spouse, you will be required to create a parenting agreement or parenting plan. This agreement is a detailed description of how you and your spouse will share parenting duties after your divorce, and it will ultimately become a legally binding court order. The plan also contains important information about the parents’ rights and responsibilities. Forming a parenting plan that both parents agree to is often one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce involving children. If you are a parent who is getting divorced, reach out to a skilled child custody lawyer for help with your parenting plan.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Parental responsibilities refer to what was once called “legal custody” in Illinois. Major decisions about the child’s life, including decisions related to school, extracurricular activities, healthcare, and religion, fall under the umbrella of parental responsibilities. A parenting plan will need to describe which parent is in charge of these decisions. One parent may take on some or all of the decision-making responsibilities, or the parents may share these responsibilities.

Parenting Time Schedules

The time that a parent is directly responsible for the child’s daily needs is called “parenting time.” Parents are free to divide parenting time in a way that works for their unique needs. For example, one parent may take the child on the weekends, while the other parent takes the child during the week. Per Illinois law, the parenting plan must contain either a detailed schedule of how parenting time is allotted between the parents or a method for determining parenting time that is detailed enough to be legally enforceable.  Parents will also need to address how they plan to share parenting time on holidays, school vacations, and in other atypical circumstances.

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Wheaton, IL property division attorneyMost marriages involve division of labor. One spouse may be in charge of grocery shopping and cooking while the other spouse handles homework, soccer practice, or other child-related matters. One spouse may handle lawn maintenance and home repair as the other focuses on laundry and indoor chores. While dividing responsibilities is common in a marriage, there is one way in which this division of labor can put a spouse in a very vulnerable position during a divorce. If you have not been involved in household financial decisions, it is important to start learning about your finances as soon as possible.

Being Ignorant of Your Financial Situation Can Lead to an Unfair Divorce Settlement

In an interview recently published in the Wall Street Journal Magazine, Kris Jenner admitted that she was embarrassingly uninformed about her own finances during her marriage to Robert Kardashian, Sr. She explains that she did not know how much she and her husband spent on household expenses and never once paid a bill. Jenner’s story is not uncommon. Many spouses leave the financial management to the other spouse. Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to finances and divorce, and if you do not fully understand your financial situation, this can put you at a disadvantage when negotiating a divorce settlement.

Start Gathering Financial Documents Now

If you are planning to get a divorce, it is important to know where you and your spouse stand financially. Property that is acquired by either spouse during a marriage is typically considered marital property. Both spouses have a right to an equitable share of marital property. Debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage are also jointly held by the spouses. 

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