Author Archives: John Martoccio

IL divorce lawyerUnlike child support in Illinois, spousal maintenance is not awarded in every divorce case. A judge will weigh every case on its own merits and determine whether a need for maintenance exists. If you believe that you deserve spousal maintenance as part of your divorce, it is important to review some important factors to determine if you are eligible, and then explicitly ask the judge to consider awarding you spousal maintenance.

Marital Misconduct Is Not Considered

When one spouse’s wrongdoing contributed to the breakdown of the marriage, such as if they had an affair, the other spouse often thinks that is enough to obtain spousal maintenance. This is not true. Spousal maintenance is intended to help you if the divorce will leave you in financial hardship. Illinois law specifically prohibits judges from considering marital misconduct when making determinations about spousal maintenance. Although misconduct may play a part in other aspects of the divorce, such as property division, it is not a consideration in maintenance decisions.

Lower Earning Potential

While marital misconduct is not considered in spousal maintenance decisions, your earning potential is a factor. If, during the marriage, you were unable to reach your full earning potential, a judge will consider that when making maintenance decisions. For example, you may have planned to go to school to secure a better career but put those plans on hold so your spouse could pursue their lucrative career. In this case, a judge will likely determine that you contributed to your spouse’s earning capacity and so, award you spousal maintenance. Although in this scenario maintenance may be only temporary until you can increase your earning potential, it will help with your case.

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IL divorce lawyerNearly everyone has heard of a friend or family member that has gone through a nasty divorce. It can seem as though this is the only way to get a divorce, but that is not true. Uncontested divorces are those in which both parties agree to all terms of the divorce and they simply draft an agreement reflecting those terms. Couples often seek uncontested divorces because they allow the parties going through the process to do so with less stress in a shorter amount of time, and it also allows them to save money during the process.

Willingness by Both Parties

If even one party in a divorce is intent on dragging out the process and making it as difficult as possible, an uncontested divorce is not possible. To get an uncontested divorce, both people must be willing to remain open, reasonable, and objective. It is crucial that differences are put aside, which is often challenging in a situation when emotions run high. Still, this is the most important element when trying for an uncontested divorce.

The Right Attorney

Just because a divorce is uncontested and agreed upon does not mean that spouses cannot use an attorney. In fact, each spouse can and should have separate representation to ensure that their rights are being upheld. However, choosing the right attorney is of paramount importance. Some lawyers are so focused on taking a case to trial that they cannot move from the mindset of a litigator to that of a collaborator.

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Il divorce lawyerGetting a divorce is a stressful and confusing time. Without knowing what to expect, you could end up in a lengthy court battle, and spend way more than you have to. If you are considering divorce, or the process has already started, check out the eight tips below that can help you get through it.

Forget Fault

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means neither of you has to prove drunkenness, infidelity, or any other type of fault. If possible, it is important not to focus on who was at fault, as this can lengthen the divorce and will make the process more challenging and stressful.

Agree Whenever Possible

No one expects anyone going through a divorce to be agreeable all of the time. However, it is important to know which battles to fight, and which ones to avoid. Determine what is most important to you and hold firm on those terms while compromising on the rest.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen considering divorce, you are likely thinking about how it could be a long process, and the many steps you will have to take throughout it. While the actions you take during divorce will depend on the specifics of your case, there are also some things that anyone considering divorce should do before they even file. The most important of these are listed below.

Prepare Financially

You will need a lot of documentation during your divorce case. Now is the time to collect records of financial accounts, phone records, car notes, and mortgages. Many times, spouses share these documents and when that is the case, you should take photocopies of the documentation and store them in a safe place.

Be Realistic About Child Custody

If you have children, custody issues are likely to be one of your biggest concerns as you consider divorce. It is important to remember that in most cases, a judge will award both parents time with the child unless there is an extreme situation such as addiction or domestic violence. Reviewing your work schedule, your child’s schedule, and the obligations you have will greatly help you prepare for the child custody process. If you and your spouse can reach a child custody agreement that is fair, your divorce will proceed much quicker and much more smoothly.

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Virtual Divorce AttorneyIN these days of social distancing and concerns about the COVID-19 virus, many judges in domestic relations and divorce courts are conducting hearings using ZOOM, FaceTime, or another form of virtual appearance.  You as the husband or wife, mother or father who is a party to the hearing will likely testify and you may, in fact, do so not in the courthouse but in your lawyer=s office or in your own home using ZOOM or numerous other platforms to allow you to participate without actually being in the room.

SO, in another blog, I will explain how to conduct yourself during a hearing, but first things first.  How do you dress for a virtual hearing?  The first rule of good conduct in any courtroom, whether it is actual or virtual is to be respectful to the judge.  In a nutshell, this means no sweats, no sweat pants, no sweatsuits, in fact dressing up can be as simple as wearing a dress or nice shirt for a woman and a shirt and tie or a suit for a man. Respect the judge by appearing to care about what you look like.  You will begin to win the battle because the judge will have confidence that you have taken the time and prepared yourself to act and LOOK like someone to be taken seriously.

AFTER many years and many trials, I have observed people who appeared in person before the Court in a whole variety of outfits and if they had looked in the mirror and thought twice about it they would have made a better choice in their apparel.

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