Category Archives: Family Law

Il divorce lawyerDivorce is a messy business, no matter the situation and specific details. Although avenues are available that make the process more amicable, it is no easy feat separating a marital union into two separate lives. Some cases have fewer factors for consideration, such as those with a short duration, no kids, and a little marital property. Once you begin piling on the elements and building a life together, the process becomes complicated. Every divorcing couple has a lot to lose, but high asset divorce accompanies other uncommon difficulties. Although the divorce process is the same, regardless of your net worth. However, when there are more properties, businesses, and other complexities, the chance for mistakes increases. These are the most costly mistakes you will want to avoid in your high asset divorce.

Acting Too Quickly

No one wants to linger in the divorce process longer than necessary, but it is often not beneficial to your case to speed through the process without careful consideration. Regardless of the emotional concerns, divorce is a legally binding contract that has a dramatic impact on your financial status. Your long-term financial stability depends on the agreement. Do not haphazardly agree to terms to rid yourself of the discomfort of the situation.

Hiding Assets

It is not uncommon that one spouse does not want to share with their ex. Although you may feel owed or otherwise entitled, you are under legal obligation to disclose all assets during the divorce process. That includes avoiding the temptation of transferring money to other accounts or third-parties for safe-keeping. It is very rare that a spouse succeeds in an attempt to conceal funds. You will be discovered, and it will put you at a disadvantage throughout the remainder of the proceedings.

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Shared Parenting Greatly Benefits Children of DivorceShared parenting is more than a right that each parent has during a divorce. Numerous studies have concluded that children benefit when both parents take an active role in caring for and raising them. Children of shared parenting agreements:

  • Do better academically and socially;
  • Have fewer issues with depression and anxiety; and
  • Are less likely to develop unhealthy habits, such as drugs and alcohol abuse.

Despite these benefits, some divorcing parents resist the idea of sharing parental responsibilities with their co-parents. Decades ago, the normal parenting arrangement after a divorce was for the children to live with the mother most of the time and have visits with the father on certain weekends. There are several reasons why shared parenting is better for children:

  1. Less Change: Children can feel abandoned if they rarely see one parent after the divorce. It is as though the father left the family instead just divorcing their mother. Shared parenting lets the children know that they still have a family with two parents, the difference being that the parents no longer live with each other.
  2. Continued Bonding: Parents and a child start developing their attachment when the child is an infant, which is why it is important for both parents to hold and care for the child at that age. This bond continues to develop between them during their adolescence and through the teenage years. Having a strong bond with both parents makes children feel more secure and be better capable of healthy relationships with others.
  3. Different Roles: Each parent has a unique perspective and skills that he or she brings to raising the children. Parenting agreements traditionally favor the more nurturing parent, but the children also learn important life lessons from the other parent. One parent may be better at helping the children solve problems or share a common interest with the children that the other parent does not.
  4. Complete Parenting: It is unreasonable to expect one person to take on all the responsibilities of a parent and be as successful as a two-parent household. By dividing parenting time, divorced parents can be more attentive in raising the children. When one parent is unavailable, the other parent can take over and prevent gaps in parenting.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Illinois presumes that each parent has a right has a right to parenting time during a divorce but that an exactly equal division of parenting time is not preferred. A Geneva, Illinois, divorce attorney at Geneva Family Lawyers can help you negotiate a parenting plan that gives you the parenting time that your children need. Schedule a free consultation by calling 331-588-6611.

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Il divorce lawyerThe most challenging part of the divorce process almost always includes reaching an agreement regarding child custody and responsibility arrangements. No parent enjoys discussing a topic that includes a period of absence from their child’s life. For Illinois residents, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act favors the idea that a child ultimately benefits from the involvement of both parents in their life. If the court determines it is in the best interest of the child, parents may enjoy sharing time with their children every few days or every other week. On the other hand, a court may decide that sole physical custody should belong to one parent while offering the other parent a reasonable right to visitation. Is the decision random, or are there certain factors that influence the outcome?

Parental Responsibilities

Under the current laws, Illinois determines not only with whom the child resides, but also who has the decision-making responsibilities. The authority is not necessarily granted to one person or even divided evenly between the two. A judge carefully considers all information surrounding the circumstances assigns responsibility to each parent according to what they determine to be in the best interest of the child. The four main areas of significant decision-making responsibilities include:

  • Education;
  • Health care;
  • Religion;
  • Extracurricular activities.

Parenting Time

Similarly to the parenting responsibilities, judges determine a parenting schedule according to their belief of what is in the best interest of the child. Additionally, the current laws entitle a parent without decision making authorities to a reasonable parenting schedule. Factors involved in determining the allotment of parenting time include, but are not limited to:

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IL divorce lawyerIf you need to identify the biological father of a child, the best avenue is through a DNA paternity test. This form of testing is unanimously accepted by courts across the country. However, what happens if someone is refusing paternity testing? It happens all the time, either the mother refuses to allow a potential father to take the test, or the father refuses to participate. Can someone legally refuse paternity testing?

Who Can Request a DNA Test?

If someone has made a request that you take or allow your child to participate in paternity testing, you are under no obligation to comply as long as it is the entity themselves making the request. However, in doing so, remember that the requesting party may seek legal aid or utilize the resources at the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). Even if DHFS becomes involved, you are under no obligation to submit.

Can I Refuse a Court Order?

If you refused to comply with paternity testing requests at both the personal and the DHFS level, the requesting party can pursue legal action and have the court order your participation. Once the court issues an order for your cooperation, you must comply. Refusal at this level is in direct violation of a court order, and you become susceptible to harsh punishment.

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The Difference Between Equal and Equitable Division of PropertyThe words “equal” and “equitable” sound similar enough that you could use them interchangeably, but there is an important difference between the words when it comes to divorce. According to Illinois law, the division of property during a divorce must be equitable but not necessarily equal. An equal division of property focuses on each spouse getting half of the marital property, while an equitable division of property is more concerned with each spouse getting a fair share.

Equitable Division vs. Community Property

Nine states, including Wisconsin, follow the community property law that assumes that each spouse equally owns any assets and debts gained during the marriage and must equally divide them during a divorce. The rest of the states use equitable distribution, which means that the marital properties will be divided based on what is fair for each side. If spouses cannot determine an equitable division on their own, a divorce court will decide for them.

Advantages of Equitable Distribution

Why do most states use equitable distribution instead of equal distribution? In many cases, dividing the marital assets equally would not be a fair arrangement because the spouses are not financially equal:

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phone 630-920-8855
address15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521
phone 331-588-6611
address21 North 4th Street, Geneva, IL 60134
Our firm handles family law and personal injury matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Geneva, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Western Springs, LaGrange, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

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