Category Archives: Family Law

Illinois divorce lawyerMarriage is a partnership, and spouses often make sacrifices during their relationship as they support their partner and their family. In many cases, one spouse will decide to stay home to care for children rather than pursuing career advancement, or a spouse may provide financial support to their partner as they pursue an education that will help them earn a higher salary. However, if the marriage ends in divorce, the spouse who made sacrifices is often at a financial disadvantage, and they may struggle to support themselves in their newly single life.

Following a divorce, both spouses should be able to maintain a standard of living similar to what they enjoyed while they were married. When one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the other spouse may be awarded spousal maintenance (formerly known as alimony).

Determining Maintenance in Illinois

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Illinois divorce lawyerThe end of a relationship is difficult for everyone involved, but when parents end their marriage in divorce, children are often the ones who have the hardest time. Divorce will bring a great deal of upheaval to their lives as they adjust to new schedules, split their lives between two households, and try to understand changing relationships between family members.

As you work to provide the best possible environment for your children following your divorce, you will want to be sure you are considering their needs and providing them with love and support. Here are some valuable tips for helping your children get through this difficult time:

  • Be honest - Children are sure to have a lot of questions about why you and your spouse divorced, and you should try to answer their questions honestly while keeping your answers age-appropriate. Encourage them to discuss their feelings about the divorce with you and let them know that it is okay to feel sad or angry.
  • Offer reassurance - Children often worry that they may have been the cause of the divorce, so it is important to reassure them that your divorce was not their fault in any way while helping them understand that you will always love them and be there for them.
  • Provide consistency - It is important for children to have a regular routine in their daily lives. Reliably following your parenting time schedule and sticking to a consistent plan for bed times and mealtimes will give them the stability they need.
  • Provide them with quality time - Make the most of the time you spend with your children and be involved in their lives. Encourage them to share their interests with you and offer them love and support.
  • Cooperate with your ex-spouse - You and your former partner share the goal of raising your children in a loving, positive environment, so it is best to try to be flexible and accommodating to each other’s needs. If your work schedule or your children’s schedules for school and activities change, work together with the other parent to modify pickup and drop-off times as needed.

Never involve children in conflicts - You are likely to have disagreements with your ex-spouse, but you should do your best to keep your kids from being caught in the middle. Do not send messages to your ex-spouse through your children, and avoid disparaging your ex-spouse in your kids’ presence.

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Illinois divorce attorneyWhen a couple ends their marriage in divorce, separating their lives from each other can become very complicated. The process will require the resolution of a number of issues, including determining how to divide property, allocate parental responsibility, and calculate the amount and duration of child support or spousal maintenance. When couples have a large amount of assets, the complexity of these matters can increase exponentially, and mistakes made during a high net worth divorce can have long-lasting consequences. During a high asset divorce, couples should avoid making these mistakes:

  1. Not hiring a financial advisor. A high net worth divorce often involves a number of complex financial issues, including real estate, business valuation, and pensions, investments, and retirement accounts. In order to gain a full understanding of what both spouses own, earn, and owe, a financial expert’s assistance is often required. By consulting with a financial advisor at the beginning of the divorce process, couples can avoid unexpected complications and resolve financial issues as smoothly as possible.

  1. Hiding assets. Spouses in high net worth divorces may try to transfer some of their assets to a child or relative to avoid dividing these assets with their spouse, or they may try to keep from disclosing the full extent of their earnings in order to reduce the amount they will pay in child support or spousal support. Attempting to hide assets is not only illegal, but spouses who try to do so will lose their credibility and be at a disadvantage in any disputes that arise during the divorce process. It is important to provide accurate, complete financial information during divorce, which will allow the process to be completed more quickly and efficiently.

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Illinois divorce attorneyAccording to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), over 15 million adults in the United States suffer from an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol abuse can be a major factor in divorce; studies have shown that people with an alcohol use disorder in either the past or present are more likely to get divorced.

Alcoholism can greatly complicate a divorce, so if your spouse has an alcohol use disorder, you should be aware of the following issues:

Fault During Divorce

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Illinis divorce lawyerCommon wisdom states that 50% of all marriages end in divorce, although this isn’t exactly true. While the actual divorce rate is difficult to determine, it is likely somewhere between 40 and 50%. And that is not the only misconception people have about divorce. Since few people plan for divorce, they are often unaware of the legal aspects that come with dissolving their marriage. Here are some other myths that have sprung up around divorce:

  1. Adultery is a factor in property division - Illinois is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning the only reason necessary for divorce is that spouses have “irreconcilable differences.” Whether one spouse cheated on the other has no bearing on how marital property is distributed between the spouses. The one exception to this is if a spouse dissipated marital assets (that is, they spent money or incurred debt) while pursuing an affair, in which case the allocation of assets and debts during divorce may be adjusted to compensate for this dissipation.

  1. The wife will get custody of the kids - In the past, husbands often acted as the breadwinner for their family, with wives staying at home to raise the children. This meant that wives would often retain primary custody of children following divorce. However, times have changed, and in most modern marriages, both parents work and share parental responsibilities. Child custody arrangements will likely reflect parents’ roles during the marriage, with either the mother or father having primary custody, or parents sharing parenting time equally.

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