Author Archives: John Martoccio

IL divorce lawyerSame-sex marriages have been legal for nearly a decade in Illinois, meaning that some of those couples will also face the issues of divorce. Same-sex couples that need to get a divorce will still have to resolve the common issues of divorce, including property division, spousal maintenance, and perhaps even child support. However, same-sex divorces also raise some unique issues that are not present in other cases. An Illinois divorce lawyer can help any person going through a divorce sort through these issues, and give them the best chance of securing a positive outcome in their case.

Are Same-Sex Divorces Legal?

Once same-sex marriages became legal, same-sex divorces also became legal, as these couples have the potential for divorcing just like any other. However, same-sex couples will still have to meet all of the requirements for divorce in the state. Firstly, the couple must be married. Simply living together or being together for a long period of time is not enough to get an official divorce. Individuals that want to file for divorce must also meet the residency requirement, meaning that they must have lived in the state for 90 consecutive days before filing.

What Are the Unique Issues Pertaining to Same-Sex Divorces?

Although same-sex couples will have to resolve many of the terms associated with other divorces, these cases do have some unique issues. One of these is that a couple’s relationship may have begun long before same-sex marriages became legal in the state. They may have acquired property together that would usually be considered marital property, but because the couple was not technically married at the time, it is considered separate property.

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IL family lawyerChild custody is one of the most highly disputed issues of any divorce. It is also one of the most misunderstood. Parents often enter into child custody hearings thinking that a judge will award them sole child custody, based on their gender, or the fact that their child prefers to live with them. Other times, parents think that when they are not satisfied with the judge’s decision, they can make a motion to modify the order right away.

These are just two of the most common misconceptions about child custody. If you are going into child custody hearings, it is important that you know the facts about this legal issue, so you can better understand what to expect. Below are six facts to keep in mind throughout your divorce case.

Child Custody Decisions Are Always Based on the Best Interests of the Child

A judge will consider many factors when making a decision on child custody, and they all reflect the best interests of the child. These factors are identical in all child custody cases. While the preference of the child is one of these factors, it is never the sole deciding factor. A judge will also only consider the preferences of the child when they are of a certain age and maturity to make such preferences known.

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IL divorce lawyerPremarital agreements are legal contracts that dictate the division of assets and debts in divorce, and they can also address a number of other legal issues. However, as the millennial generation is getting older and starting to think about marriage, many of them are considering drafting a prenuptial agreement before the wedding. These premarital agreements cover all the same issues as those drafted for previous generations, but they are also slightly different. Below are the main ways these premarital agreements differ from those written for older generations.

Millennials Are More Likely to Get Premarital Agreements

For the past few years, more millennials have been writing premarital agreements than generations past. Perhaps younger couples do not see them as the romance killers that previous generations did, or maybe they simply understand the importance of these legal contracts better. Whatever the reason, more millennials are getting premarital agreements, and that is definitely a positive sign.

Millennials Have More Assets

Millennials may not have accumulated more assets than people twice their age, but they generally do have more to protect at the time of marriage. Millennials tend to marry later in life when they have established careers and as such, have accumulated a greater amount of assets. This is vastly different than other generations that often got married right after high school or college. After accumulating all of these assets, it is not hard to understand why more millennials are writing premarital agreements to protect them.

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IL divorce lawyerIn an Illinois divorce, one spouse may seek spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. Spousal maintenance is intended to help one person in the divorce become financially stable so that in the future, they are able to support themselves. In many cases, one spouse may have given up their job to stay home and care for the children, go back to school, or another endeavor that kept them from working. Although in some cases, a judge may award one spouse alimony on a permanent basis, these cases are very rare. Truthfully, there are instances in which alimony can be terminated in the state, and it is important that both the receiver and the payer know when this may occur.

When Either Party Dies

When either spouse dies, spousal maintenance is terminated. Naturally, if the payer dies, they are no longer able to pay alimony, and if the receiver dies, they no longer need it.

When the Recipient Remarries

Spousal maintenance is only intended to help one spouse get back on their feet financially after a divorce. When a recipient of alimony gets married to another person, the court will assume that there is now another income to help support the recipient. As such, a judge will usually terminate a previous alimony order at that time. The termination will likely not occur until the remarriage is final.

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IL divorce lawyerYou have a lot of concerns when going through a divorce, and an Illinois divorce lawyer can help alleviate many of them. Unfortunately, not all divorce lawyers in the state are created equal and some are better than others. So, when you are going through a divorce, how can you tell if you found the right one for your case? You can start by reviewing the five most important considerations below.

Who Will Work on Your Case?

Many divorce lawyers offer free consultations and the chances are good that you may have yours with one of the biggest partners at the firm. Law firms sometimes do this to instill confidence in you that you are working with the most experienced divorce lawyer.

Unfortunately, too many clients soon learn that after that initial consultation, the partner has passed your case off to a paralegal or associate. These individuals are integral to a law firm and while they may help your lawyer during your case, they should never be the ones guiding the big decisions. Always ask if the attorney you consult with will be the one working on your case. If not, it may be time to find a different firm.

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