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Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.
Recent blog posts

DuPage County divorce attorney asset division

If you are considering divorce, you may understandably be feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused. The idea of dealing with the court system can be daunting – especially if you have never stepped foot inside of a courtroom before. Your confusion and anxiety may be exacerbated by well-intentioned friends and family who give you divorce advice that is simply untrue or does not apply to Illinois divorce cases. Fortunately, you do not have to face divorce alone. An experienced divorce lawyer will be able to give you the legal guidance you need to manage this difficult time in your life and move on to a brighter future.

Myth: I Will Need to Prove That My Spouse Did Something Wrong to Be Granted a Divorce

When a married individual files a petition for divorce, called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Illinois, they are essentially asking the judge to grant him or her a divorce. In the past, Illinois had both fault and no-fault grounds, or reasons, for divorce. Fault-based grounds were issues such as infidelity or mental cruelty. However, Illinois has since eliminated all fault-based grounds for divorce. Now, the only available ground for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.”

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DuPage County domestic abuse attorney order of protection

Domestic abuse or intimate partner violence affects millions of people across the country, including in the state of Illinois. According to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in seven men are victims of domestic violence. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, or stalking can make a person feel as if his or her own home is a prison. If you have been the victim of domestic violence, one option you may want to consider is an emergency order of protection (EOP). Sometimes called restraining orders, EOPs are legally enforceable court orders that require an alleged abuser to cease abusive and harassing behaviors. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help you through the legal process of obtaining this important document. 

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is abuse involving a past or current family member, household member, romantic partner, spouse or ex-spouse, or someone who is the parent of the alleged victim’s child. Many alleged abusers use manipulation, intimidation, threats, and physical violence to control their alleged victims. This may include pushing, hitting, strangling, and other physical violence as well as harassment such as repeatedly following the victim. An abuser may attempt to weaken the victim’s independence and convince the victim that the abuse is somehow his or her fault. No one should have to tolerate this type of treatment. Fortunately, there are legal remedies available in Illinois that can help protect victims of domestic violence.

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DuPage County asset division attorney

Asset division during divorce involves much more than simply splitting a couple’s bank accounts. Complex assets, such as stocks and retirement funds, must also be accounted for. If you are considering getting a divorce in Illinois, you may have concerns about how your combined property will be divided between you and your spouse. You may also be unsure of which assets your spouse is entitled to and which assets are yours alone. Retirement account assets may be the result of years, if not decades, of hard work so they are often a significant portion of the marital estate. Understanding how these assets are divided during divorce is essential to ensure a fair settlement of the marital estate.

Classifying Retirement Assets as Marital or Separate

Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that property is distributed in an equitable, but not always even, manner during a divorce. Property division is based on many factors, including each spouse’s financial circumstances, their contributions to the acquisition of property, child custody arrangements, and much more. Only marital property is divided during an Illinois divorce. Marital property includes any assets that were acquired during the marriage. Nonmarital, or separate property, includes property acquired through inheritance or gift as well as property obtained by either spouse before the marriage. Retirement funds that a spouse accumulated before getting married are classified as nonmarital, and therefore, not subject to division. However, the portion of the retirement assets that were accumulated during the marriage is considered a marital asset and will need to be divided. It is essential to note that retirement plans will not be divided if a divorcing couple has signed a valid prenuptial agreement that excludes retirement assets.

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DuPage County child custody attorney

Technology has changed the way we communicate with loved ones, do our jobs, and generally interact with the world. If you are getting divorced, there are several things you should keep in mind with regard to your digital life. Social media is becoming increasingly relevant in divorce cases and family law disputes. Your use of technology and the Internet may seem unrelated to your divorce at first glance, but there are many different ways that social media, smartphones, email, and other online-based services can impact the outcome of your divorce. In some cases, it can affect spousal maintenance (alimony) and the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody). 

Change Your Passwords

According to one study, 67 percent of respondents reported that they knew their spouse’s log-in credentials. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are on amicable terms, it is still a good idea to change your passwords when you separate from your spouse to maintain a sense of privacy. It may also be helpful to turn off “location sharing” on applications and websites. You may be logged into your email, Facebook account, or your bank’s website on shared devices like tablets or laptops and not even realize it. It is recommended that you change passwords for:

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Wheaton, IL divorce litigation attorneyTV shows and movies often depict divorces as dramatic confrontations inside the courtroom. However, the vast majority of divorce cases do not go to trial. Litigation is only necessary when a divorcing couple is unable to reach agreements on issues such as property division, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, and spousal maintenance. Most divorcing couples are able to resolve these issues through lawyer-facilitated negotiations, mediation, or collaborative law. If a couple cannot reach a settlement, the case may go to trial. 

What Should I Expect During a Divorce Trial?

Divorcing spouses may need to make one or more court appearances during the dissolution of their marriage, even if the couple agrees about divorce issues. However, these court appearances are not the same thing as a divorce trial. During a divorce trial, a judge hears arguments from both sides and then issues a ruling regarding the unresolved issues. Divorce trials do not involve a jury, but they are otherwise conducted similarly to other types of civil trials. 

Before the start of the trial, each spouse and his or her attorney will gather information and evidence that support their arguments. This information-gathering process is called “discovery.” Discovery may involve written interrogatories, requests for admission, depositions, and other means of obtaining information about the facts of the case.

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