Author Archives: John Martoccio

IL divorce lawyerHistorically speaking, the decisions made in a divorce case largely favored the woman. When spousal maintenance, or alimony, was awarded, the woman was usually the recipient. Family courts were also more likely to award the woman in a divorce case child custody, believing it was in the best interests of the child to stay with their mother. These patterns in history have led many men to believe they are already at a disadvantage before their divorce case even starts, but that is not the case.

Today in Illinois, family law judges only consider what is fair when making decisions on a divorce case. Gender is no longer a part of the decision-making process. Still, many myths surrounding men and divorce still abound in the state today. Below are the most common myths many people still believe, and the truth behind them.

Women Are Always Awarded Child Custody

The idea that women are always awarded child custody is perhaps the biggest myth involving men and divorce. At one time, this was true but today, the family court will only evaluate what is in the best interests of the child and they will make their decision based on that. Like other decisions made in a divorce case, gender is not taken into consideration when judges award one parent child custody.

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IL family lawyerWhen a couple no longer wants to be married and live together, they may get a divorce or they may become legally separated. Unlike many states, Illinois does still recognize legal separations and there are many reasons a couple may decide to get one. However, when a couple does obtain a legal separation, it sometimes leads to many questions. One of these is whether they are still eligible to get a divorce once they have legally separated. In short, being legally separated does not prevent a couple from officially ending their marriage in divorce in the future.

Reasons for Legal Separation

There are many reasons a couple may choose to opt for a legal separation instead of divorce. One of these is for religious purposes. Many religions forbid divorce and so, a couple may choose to get a legal separation that allows them to act and live as a divorced couple without officially ending the marriage. In this instance, it is unlikely that a couple would get a divorce in the future unless they left their religion or went against it.

In other cases, a couple may choose a legal separation rather than a divorce for health reasons. For example, one spouse may become very ill and require extensive medical treatment. On their own, they may not be able to afford that treatment on their own. However, if they are listed on their spouse’s health insurance, the couple may choose to obtain a legal separation rather than a divorce. Once the spouse that was ill recovers and does not require the costly medical treatment, the couple may then choose to get a divorce.

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IL divorce lawyerThe divorce of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West made headlines around the world recently. There have been varying opinions about the divorce since it was announced, but one thing is certain. The divorce case is likely to be quite complex, even though the couple had a premarital agreement in place. Kim and Kanye, however, are not the first couple to go through a complex divorce, and they will not be the last, either. Below are some of the factors that can make a divorce case complex.

Distinguishing Separate Property from Marital Property

In a divorce, only marital property is divided. Marital property includes any assets or liabilities the couple acquired together during the marriage. Determining which assets are considered separate property is typically more difficult than identifying marital property. Inheritances and gifts, as well as personal injury awards, are types of property that are usually considered separate.

However, it is important that spouses keep these assets separate from marital assets, such as placing them in a separate account. Co-mingling assets makes it incredibly difficult to determine which of the assets have been spent, and how much of the separate property remains. When separate property is not kept separate, it may be subject to property division.

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IL divorce lawyerIn 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, making Illinois the eleventh state in the country to legalize marijuana for adult use. The legislation includes many laws, and one of them is the fact that people that use marijuana cannot be discriminated against for their consumption in family court. Unfortunately, many courts have still not recognized this part of the law and continue to discriminate against parents that use marijuana during child custody hearings. If you use marijuana, it is important to know how it may affect your child custody case, and how to prevent it from happening.

How Marijuana Use May Affect a Child Custody Case

Even though marijuana is now legal for adult use in Illinois, it remains illegal under federal law. Perhaps this is the reason why judges and some attorneys remain biased against individuals that choose to use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. It is a difficult stereotype to defeat, even though the image of marijuana users most biased people have is not realistic.

Child custody battles are already some of the most contentious aspects of any divorce. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try and stain the character of the other parent when going through child custody hearings. When that parent uses marijuana, the other spouse may use that information to try and make it seem as though this fact compromises their ability to properly care for their child. This argument is often raised even when the use of marijuana has no impact on a parent’s ability to raise and care for their children.

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IL divorce lawyerAfter a divorce, entering into a romantic relationship with another partner is very exciting. Many times, people even want to get remarried, which is another exciting prospect. However, if you are considering remarriage after getting a divorce, there are some very important factors to consider first. Any new marriage you enter into will not only affect you and your new spouse, but also your former spouse and your children.

Spousal Maintenance Considerations

If you are receiving spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, a remarriage will have a great impact on it. In Illinois, recipients of spousal maintenance do not continue to receive it once they get remarried. This is because it is presumed that the new spouse can provide financial support instead of the spousal maintenance payments. If you are receiving spousal maintenance from your former spouse, you need to consider the effect of no longer receiving these payments.

On the other hand, if you are the spouse making maintenance payments, you will still be obligated to pay them after getting remarried. You will still need to consider the impact these payments will have, and if you can afford to financially support your former spouse as well as your new family.

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