Category Archives: Family Law

Il divorce lawyerAlthough the majority of divorce cases are settled before they enter litigation, the reality remains that many cases require a trial. If your divorce is headed to trial, it is normal to feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the prospect of going before a judge and stating your case. Still, there are certain things to remember that can help you feel confident throughout the length of the trial, and give you a better chance of a positive outcome.

Dress Appropriately

It may sound obvious, but you should always dress appropriately any time you have to appear in court. Do not dress casually or wear provocative clothing. Instead, dress professionally wearing either a suit or another item that provides a clean and neat appearance. This shows that you have respect for the entire process and the court and will win favor with the judge.

Keep Answers Short

During a divorce trial, you will likely have a lot to say and you will want the judge to know your full side of the story. However, it is best to keep your answers short and to the point. Providing too much information can actually make your case less compelling. Also, if you provide too much information, it could hurt your case. Your lawyer will always make sure that the most important information comes to light during the trial.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce forces you to think about your future, what you want it to look like, and how to protect and prepare yourself for it. While trying to place yourself in the best position possible once your divorce is finalized, you may try anything to keep your family home. The marital home is typically the biggest asset in any divorce and one that often both spouses wish to keep. Before you enter into a fight regarding the home, there are some very important questions you must ask yourself.

Is the Home Marital Property?

Under Illinois’ property division laws, marital property is subject to equitable division. This means that if you and your spouse purchased the home together after you were married, the court will divide the home fairly, although not necessarily equally. If you or your spouse bought the home alone before marriage, on the other hand, it is separate property and the purchaser can keep it outright. Typically, family homes are considered marital property, although that is not always the case.

Do You Have a Premarital Agreement?

More and more couples today are entering into premarital agreements prior to marriage. If you and your spouse did this and the home was mentioned in the agreement and the agreement is deemed enforceable by the courts, the terms included in the agreement will stand, even if it is no longer your preferred outcome.

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Il divorce lawyerMarriage is not for everyone. While some people need to stand up in front of family and friends during a ceremony, others like to simply live together as husband and wife, without any documentation to back that up. This latter situation is known as a common-law marriage and although it may work for some people, it is important for anyone that enters into one to understand how to protect their rights.

What Constitutes a Common Law Marriage

Of course, not everyone that lives together is considered to be in a common-law marriage. In most circumstances, people wishing to enter into this type of relationship must:

  • Live together for a certain amount of time
  • Have the legal right to marry
  • Intend to marry at some point
  • Recognize the other person as their husband or wife

Not all states recognize common law marriage and so, the above requirements only apply to those that do.

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IL divorce lawyerMost people would like to know that once their divorce is finalized by the courts, it is truly over. However, that is not always the case and many spouses often want to modify court orders issued as a result of a divorce. Modifications are not granted easily by the courts. They will take a number of factors into consideration, such as the order an ex-spouse wants to be modified, and the reasons for changing it. If you have recently gotten a divorce and now wish to modify some portion of the divorce decree, below are some of the most important things to know when making changes.

Reasons for Post-Decree Modifications

Typically, only two changes in a person’s life allows them to modify court orders. These include a change in their financial situation or a change in their family situation. Common reasons for post-decree modifications include:

  • A party paying support suffers a disability and can no longer work as a result
  • A party receiving support has been promoted or has received a significant increase in their salary
  • A party has had a significant reduction in their earnings
  • One party has remarried or has had another child
  • The needs of a child receiving support have changed
  • The child has reached an age of maturity and wishes to live with the other parent
  • A parent wants to move to another state

Even when these scenarios occur, it is crucial that both parties comply with the original order before making any changes. If they fail to do so, they may be held in contempt of court.

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IL divorce lawyerBusinesses in Illinois divorces are typically considered marital property. Even if only one spouse operated the business, it is generally assumed that the profits from the business contributed to the needs of the couple, the children, and the household. Due to this, when one or both spouses operated a business during the marriage, it is subject to the property division rules of the state. Dividing a business is one of the most complicated aspects of any divorce and typically, there are three ways in which it can be done.

Give Your Spouse Something of Equal Value

You can give your spouse something that is equal to their portion of the business in one of two ways. If you operate the business and want to continue doing so after the divorce, you can simply buy your spouse out. In this method, the value of the business is divided and you will have to pay your spouse their equal share. In some cases, you may not have to buy out your spouse, but you may allow them to keep more assets during property division hearings. For example, if you want to keep the business and your spouse wants to keep the family home that is approximately the same value, you can forfeit your rights to the home and retain control of your business.

Sell the Business

If you do not wish to continue running the business after divorce, selling it might be a good option. In this instance, the business is simply sold and you and your spouse will divide the proceeds fairly. This is not always a good option, as many people do not want to lose the hard work they have put into a business to simply sell it. However, if neither spouse wants it, or you both co-owned and operated the business and you will not be able to continue doing so once the divorce is final, this may be the only way to do it.

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