Category Archives: Family Law

IL divorce lawyerThe new tax law that went into effect at the start of 2019 harms women in a variety of ways. From lower spousal support payments to higher taxes due to children not qualifying as a deductible, the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” can have serious consequences for women and men getting divorced in 2019, and those who are planning to modify an agreement as well.

Alimony Is No Longer a Tax-Free For the Payee

Under the new tax rules, spousal support is no longer tax-deductible for the spouse who pays it. While the new law gets rid of the rule that made alimony as taxable income for the lower-earning spouse, the fact that it is not tax-deductible for the paying spouse means that there is overall less money for the lower-earning spouse.

Tax Deductions for Having Children

Tax exemptions reduce a spouse’s taxable income. The previous tax law included a $4,050 exemption for each dependent, which the new tax law has entirely eliminated. This means that many single mothers will have a taxable income equivalent to $4,050 more than in years past, which can have serious negative consequences. For a mother with two children, her taxable income will now be $8,100 greater. On the other hand, the child tax credit was doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 under the new law, and more families will now qualify because the income thresholds have been significantly reduced. To qualify for the child tax credit, the child must have lived with that parent for at least half of the year. While a parent can now receive up to twice the amount as before under the new law, the significant increase in taxable income due to child tax deductions means that many single mothers may have to stretch the budget even diligently.

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IL divorce lawyerMost divorces take a number of months to finalize—six months to a year is common. During this time, one of the spouses typically moves out of the house, as continuing to live together is too much strain on the couple as well as the children. During this time, temporary orders of custody and support can be provided by the court. One of the most important and useful court orders is temporary alimony, referred to as bridge the gap alimony. This money helps the lower-earning spouse pay bills and expenses during the divorce process.

Bridge the Gap Alimony Can Pay for Rent

If the lower-earning spouse moves out of the home, they either have to rely on family and friends to house them, or they will be forced to rent an apartment or house. The average Hinsdale apartment, which is just 1,100 square feet, comes with a price tag of $1,400 per month in rent. A larger apartment or house can easily double that cost. The median rental cost (including houses) in Hinsdale is $3,500. Bridge the gap spousal support can help the lower earning spouse afford to pay rent for a suitable house or apartment that matches the lifestyle that they have grown accustomed to during the marriage.

Similarly, bridge the gap alimony can be used to pay for the mortgage if the higher-earning spouse does not jointly own the property in which the lower-earning spouse is living. The wealth of each spouse weighs heavily on all alimony decisions. If the higher-earning spouse is much wealthier than the lower-earning spouse, a court may find it reasonable for the higher earning spouse to cover the mortgage during divorce with bridge the gap alimony.

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IL divorce lawyerThe news of divorce spreads quickly among close friends and family members. Some may breathe a collective sigh of relief, happy that you came to this positive decision. Others may be left in shock, never realizing that anything in your marriage was wrong in the first place. During this intensely personal experience, some couples struggle to keep their friends and family out of their divorce. However, it can be crucial to the success of the divorce to do just that. Family and friends may want what is best for you, but that is not always the case with your spouse’s side of the family and his or her friends. Furthermore, family and friends can inadvertently push you in one direction, making your ability to see clearly and make compromises more difficult.

Friends Will Choose Sides

Mutual friends of the spouses often end up choosing sides at some point, particularly if it is decided that one of the spouses “single-handedly” ruined the marriage, such as by having an affair. The last thing that either spouse needs is to lose valuable friends at this time in their lives, and by involving friends in the divorce, that is likely to occur. Furthermore, a friend that never got along with you or your spouse may cause one of the spouses to have even more negative views of the other. This compromises the spouses’ abilities to work together to come to a center ground or to successfully dissolve the marriage out of the courtroom.

Family Members May Cause Added Stress and Push Their Own Agendas

Poor relationships with inlaws is one of the leading causes of divorce. In fact, 60 percent of married women report have a sustained stressful relationship with their mother in law, while 15 percent of married men say the same. Another study found that when men have a close relationship with their parents in law, their risk of divorce is reduced by 20 percent. The exact opposite is true for married women; married women who reported having a close relationship with their in-laws were at a 20 percent greater chance of getting divorced.

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IL divorce lawyerFew things in life are as shocking, upsetting, and heart-wrenching as discovering that your husband has another wife or entire family. In either case, not only do you have grounds for divorce, but you also may be in a position to sue for civil damages, recover a substantially larger portion of the marital property, or even press criminal charges against the bigamist.

What Is Bigamy?

Bigamy, also referred to as polygamy, is the act of marrying another person while already married to someone else. It is illegal in Illinois and is punishable as a Class 4 felony. Unfortunately, 17 percent of Americans now believe that bigamy is morally acceptable—10 percent higher than in 2001 when Gallup began keeping track of this data. While many Americans have warmed to the idea that bigamy is okay for society, the facts show otherwise. Bigamy has negative consequences for children, society at large, and the wives of the bigamist. Bigamy is almost always committed by men.

Is My Marriage Even Valid?

If you found out that your husband has another wife, the first step is to determine which marriage came first, because the second marriage is illegitimate. As such, divorce is not necessary. Issues such as child custody and child support will need to be settled in the courts by a family law attorney, however. Furthermore, division of assets and alimony are not treated the same because the marriage never existed. The victimized spouse, in this case, can pursue compensation in a civil lawsuit.

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IL family lawyerSevere injuries and serious illnesses are an unfortunate reality of life that many families must deal with. After all, the lifetime risk of developing cancer is one in there. The odds of dying in a car crash are one in 114, meaning that the odds of being seriously injured in a traffic collision are much greater than that. Hospitalization or a serious, chronic injury or illness may limit a custodial parent’s ability to care for their child. Or, the injury or illness may simply be used against them by the noncustodial parent as a means to receive custody. Whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent, an attorney can represent your and your child’s best interests.

Difficulties a Sick or Injured Parent May Face While Caring for Their Child

Being a single custodial parent is tough enough as it is. Add to that the complications of being sick or injured, a lengthy hospital stay, and potentially an inability to work, and the outcome can be disastrous. The following are a few examples of hurdles that a hospitalized custodial parent may have to navigate in order to care for their child:

  • Financial Difficulties With Medical Bills: Even parents with insurance are at risk of going bankrupt after a serious illness. A sick or injured parent can petition the court for an alimony or child support modification in the event of a serious injury or illness, however. This added financial boost, if it is awarded, can help cover the gap.
  • Taking Time Off Work: Missing work only adds to the financial stress of the situation.
  • Physical Limitations to Care for The Child: Due to a compromised immune system due to cancer, a broken hip (for example), or general loss of immobility and strength, a custodial parent may not have the physical strength necessary to drive their child to appointments, pick up their toddler, or feed and clothe their child.
  • Medical Appointments: Frequent doctor’s visits, dialysis, radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatments, and other medical appointments may get in the way of the custodial parent’s normal schedule.

Call a Hinsdale Child Custody Attorney Today

As a noncustodial parent, you have the option of filing an emergency transfer of custody if the custodial parent suddenly falls sick or injured. As a custodial parent, you may have to fight to hold onto your current custodial rights. The skilled DuPage County child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Martoccio & Martoccio can help. Call us at 630-920-8855 today to schedule a free consultation.

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