Category Archives: Family Law

IL divorce lawyerIt can be extremely difficult to know when a marriage is truly over. If a couple has been together for some time, there can be strong feelings and many happy memories that make it hard to break up. Sometimes, a couple gets divorced but then realizes that they still love each other and want to stay together.

If you are considering your options and weighing the possibility of a divorce, it is important to understand what might happen if you and your spouse reconcile after the divorce has been finalized. Also, it may be wise to consider alternatives to divorce, such as legal separation or a postnuptial agreement, that provide legal protection without dissolving the marriage.

Divorce is Permanent

Divorce, called "dissolution of marriage" in Illinois, permanently ends the marriage. Once the court issues a divorce decree, it is difficult, and often impossible, to go back and undo the decision. If a divorced couple wishes to get back together, they have the option to remarry. However, in order to remarry, the couple must obtain a new marriage license and go through the marriage process again.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce represents one of the most significant financial transitions a person can go through, and it can be easy to make costly mistakes if you are not careful. During your divorce, you may need to address shared assets, joint debts, child support, spousal support, and other significant financial matters. Making smart decisions during this time is essential for your financial well-being and your post-divorce future. Here are five common financial mistakes to avoid during your DuPage County Divorce.

Being Ignorant About the Household Finances

In some couples, one partner takes care of bill-paying and other financial responsibilities while the other spouse handles non-financial responsibilities. If you are unfamiliar with the family finances, now is a great time to learn. Gather as much information on your family’s finances and assets as possible, and make sure that you understand the full financial picture before making any decisions during divorce.

Ignoring the Tax Implications of Your Divorce

When you get divorced and divide your marital assets, it is important to understand the tax consequences of your decisions. Your tax filing status is determined by your marital status on December 31 of the filing year. Some divorcing couples wait to finalize their divorce until January in order to reduce their tax obligation. It is also important to consider the tax implications of spousal support and other asset divisions. There are not typically capital gains taxes on asset transfers during divorce, but there are exceptions to this general rule.

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Il divorce lawyerDivorce mediation is a process during which divorcing spouses discuss unresolved divorce issues and look for mutually-agreeable solutions. It can be used to resolve disputes about child custody, division of assets and debts, spousal maintenance payments, and other issues that come up during a divorce. Mediation can also help divorcing parents communicate better and provide an opportunity to create a workable post-divorce parenting plan. This blog will explain the advantages of mediation for divorcing spouses in Illinois as well as the limitations of mediation as an alternative resolution method.

Basics of The Divorce Mediation Process

When divorcing spouses can agree on the terms of their divorce and avoid the courtroom, they can save significant time and money. The divorce mediation process helps couples reach a mutually acceptable agreement in a non-adversarial environment with the help of a trained, neutral third-party mediator. During mediation, both spouses are given the opportunity to present their own positions as well as any concerns about children or finances. The mediator then helps facilitate discussions and encourage compromise. The mediator does not make a decision or pass judgment on either party's position—rather, they help the parties devise an agreement that is acceptable to both of them.

  • Mediation can be beneficial for divorcing couples in several ways:
  • Mediation is usually less expensive and time-consuming than litigating a divorce in court.
  • The mediation process helps keep communications open and fosters cooperation between the spouses.
  • Divorcing spouses can move on with their lives more quickly if they can reach an agreement outside of court.
  • Mediation often leads to better relationships between the former spouses.
  • Mediators can provide divorce education and help divorcing couples understand their rights and obligations.
  • Mediation is confidential, unlike a divorce trial.

Possible Limitations of Mediation

Mediation can be a powerful tool during divorce. However, this alternative resolution method is not appropriate for every situation. If one spouse is abusive or extremely controlling, mediation is not recommended, as it might put the abused spouse at an unfair disadvantage. Mediation will not work if one or both spouses are completely unwilling to compromise on any issues or if the spouses cannot communicate effectively. Mediation alone may be inadequate if there are very complicated financial issues or legal issues to contend with during the divorce.

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IL divorce lawyerPrior to 2016, the time a divorced or unmarried parent spent with his or her child was called "visitation." However, courts have since changed the language in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) to refer to this time as "parenting time." In order to ensure that the best interests of the child are served, restrictions on parenting time may be put into place by Illinois courts.

When Are Parenting Time Restrictions Implemented?

Courts presume that it is best for a child to have maximum involvement of both parents in his or her life. However, the child's best interests are the most important factor that courts consider when determining the parenting arrangement. When there are serious concerns about a parent’s ability to provide an appropriate and safe environment for their child, the court may find it necessary to implement restrictions on parenting time.

What Types of Restrictions Are Commonly Imposed?

If there is a concern that unrestricted parenting time may harm the child physically, emotionally, psychologically, or morally, the court may place limitations on the type and amount of parenting time a parent is awarded.

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IL custody lawyerWhen parents get divorced, they must figure out how to handle the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Some divorcing couples are able to reach an agreement about who will have the child on what days, who will retain the majority of the parenting time, and how important decisions about their child will be made. Other couples are unable to reach an agreement about one or more of these issues, and the court steps in to make a decision on the parents' behalf.

The court seeks to resolve child custody disputes in a way that best serves the child. In order to gain more insight into a custody dispute and determine what is in the child's best interests, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to the case.

What Does a Guardian Ad Litem Do?

A guardian ad litem is an attorney appointed by the court to represent a child's best interests in a divorce or child custody proceeding. The guardian's role is not to take sides or provide legal advice but instead to gather information and present an informed opinion to the court.

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