Category Archives: Family Law

IL divorce lawyerDivorce makes virtually everything more complicated, especially when children are involved. More time and added communication are required of parents who are divorced or separated; everything from creating a time-sharing plan during summer vacation and agreeing on what expenses each parent is responsible for paying when it comes to college costs, to figuring out who takes the children to their bi-annual dental cleaning appointment involves complexities that single household families do not have to deal with. One more added complexity is that of taxes. Only one parent can claim their child as a dependent on their taxes, and this continues to be a point of conflict months or years after divorce.

What Are Child Tax Credits?

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 eliminated the dependency tax exemption that parents could claim, a parent who claims dependents still has options for other tax benefits. These include a tax credit for the child and earned income credit. A parent can receive up to $2,000 in tax credit per child under the age of 17 and up to $500 for each child aged 17 to 19 or each child aged 19-24 who is enrolled in full-time college.

A tax credit offsets tax liability. For example, if a parent made $40,000 over the course of a year, their $2,000 tax credit would bump their taxable income down to $38,000. With two children under 17, they would double their tax savings. As such, parents with joint custody often disagree about who gets to claim their child or children as dependents, because only one parent can do so.

Continue reading

IL divorce lawyerAlimony, also referred to as spousal support or maintenance, is often a point of contention amongst spouses who are going through a divorce. The paying spouse may feel like they are being asked to give more than they can afford or more than what their husband or wife deserves or needs, and the receiving spouse probably feels the opposite. As the lower-earning spouse, they might have given up their own goals to support the career of their spouse or to be a homemaker or primary caregiver for their children. Now that divorce is imminent, they have financial needs that they cannot meet on their own. Contrary to popular belief, permanent alimony is rarely awarded. Alimony is usually temporary and comes in the form as bridge the gap alimony, which helps keep the lower-earning spouse afloat during divorce, or rehabilitative alimony.

What Rehabilitative Alimony Is Used For

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded at a set amount for a period of time long enough for the lower-earning spouse to complete a bachelor’s or advanced degree or finish up specific job training. It can be used for tuition, books, non-college educational or training classes, vocational training, and other expenses such as food, rent or mortgage, and other expenses that the spouse would normally have during this period of ”rehabilitation.”

Alimony Is Awarded to Provide a Lower Earning Spouse The Means to Self Sufficiency

One of the general goals of alimony is to provide the lower-earning spouse the ability to support the lifestyle they grew accustomed to during the course of the marriage. There are a variety of reasons that the lower-earning spouse might struggle to support themselves in the months or years after the marriage is dissolved. These include the following:

Continue reading

IL divorce lawyerIt is no secret that financial troubles are a leading contributor to matrimonial anxiety and divorce. One recent study found that student loan debt is the cause of one out of eight divorces. Another survey found that money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. Whether debt, disagreements about how money should be spent, general incompatibility, or something else was the cause of your divorce, bankruptcy can quickly put your plans to a screeching halt.

Property Division Actions Are Stopped During Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows homeowners immediate relief from foreclosure due to the automatic stay, which also stops lenders and debt collectors from continuing their debt collection practices. However, bankruptcy, due to the automatic stay, also stops all property division actions. For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court appoints a bankruptcy appointee who has the power to sell off your property to pay back your debt. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy will delay the division of marital property, this form of bankruptcy is over with relatively quickly.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes between three and five years, a time during which you must adhere to a strict payment plan to repay your debt. None of your property is sold off to pay back your creditors during Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but if you are going through divorce and desire to divide marital property, you must get permission from the court to do so. As such, going through a divorce during bankruptcy is a complicated task, though in some cases it cannot be avoided.

Continue reading

IL custody lawyerCustody decisions can be challenged whenever there is a substantial change in circumstances, or you believe that your child is being harmed by the other parent’s decisions. If your child’s other parent was given full or shared custody rights and you have evidence of parental neglect, you must petition the court for a custody hearing. A Hinsdale child custody attorney can help you get started today.

Child Neglect Can be Just as Harmful as Child Abuse

Neglect is the failure to provide proper clothing, food, shelter, and medical care. It can also involve lack of supervision, failure to provide a clean living space for the child, emotional neglect such as rejecting or ignoring the child, and educational neglect such as not requiring the child to attend school. Child neglect is more prevalent than we think. Over half a million children are maltreated due to neglect each year—and these are only the cases for which an investigation or alternative response is carried out. While child abuse may grab the headlines, it is far less prevalent than neglect. And, neglect can result in some of the same detrimental outcomes as child abuse; it should never be ignored. Long term effects of neglect include the following physical ailments:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Brain damage
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Malnutrition
  • Functional limitations
  • Heart attack
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Lung disease
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • High blood pressure

Nonphysical harms include post-traumatic stress disorder, limited cognitive ability, mental and emotional health disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, social limitations, criminal activities, unhealthy sex practices, and poverty.

Continue reading

IL divorce lawyerDivision of marital assets, or marital property, is a big part of divorce. Illinois is an equitable property division state, which means that all marital property is divided fairly, though not necessarily equally. Income, real property, small business ownership or growth, stocks, and pensions are all examples of property that can be divided equitably between spouses if acquired during the marriage. However, a few types of property do not follow the normal procedure of equitable division. One of these types of property is money from a personal injury settlement or lawsuit.

When Did the Injury Occur?

Usually, all property acquired during an Illinois marriage is considered marital property. Lawsuit verdicts and even out of court settlements for personal injury cases can take multiple years to be awarded or agreed upon, respectively. As such, a settlement check may arrive during a marriage for an injury that occurred before the marriage began. In this case, the court would typically award all of the personal injury settlement money to the spouse who was injured because the money would not be considered marital property. If the accident did occur during the course of the marriage, whenever the verdict is reached or the settlement distributed, it could be considered marital property. This is not always the case, however.

Other types of civil settlements have been considered marital property even when the incident in question occurred before the course of the marriage, such as the Marriage of Rivera, 2016 IL App (1st) 160552, in which the court decided that a wrongful conviction settlement was considered marital property because the lawsuit occurred during the marriage. Yet, the forced coercion that leads to the wrongful conviction occurred before the marriage.

Continue reading

Recent Blog Posts



Free Initial Consultations

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.

© 2019 Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio 15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521 630-920-8855

OVC Lawyer Marketing

Share Your Experience