Tag Archives: Hinsdale divorce attorney

IL divorce lawyerThe new tax law that went into effect at the start of 2019 harms women in a variety of ways. From lower spousal support payments to higher taxes due to children not qualifying as a deductible, the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” can have serious consequences for women and men getting divorced in 2019, and those who are planning to modify an agreement as well.

Alimony Is No Longer a Tax-Free For the Payee

Under the new tax rules, spousal support is no longer tax-deductible for the spouse who pays it. While the new law gets rid of the rule that made alimony as taxable income for the lower-earning spouse, the fact that it is not tax-deductible for the paying spouse means that there is overall less money for the lower-earning spouse.

Tax Deductions for Having Children

Tax exemptions reduce a spouse’s taxable income. The previous tax law included a $4,050 exemption for each dependent, which the new tax law has entirely eliminated. This means that many single mothers will have a taxable income equivalent to $4,050 more than in years past, which can have serious negative consequences. For a mother with two children, her taxable income will now be $8,100 greater. On the other hand, the child tax credit was doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 under the new law, and more families will now qualify because the income thresholds have been significantly reduced. To qualify for the child tax credit, the child must have lived with that parent for at least half of the year. While a parent can now receive up to twice the amount as before under the new law, the significant increase in taxable income due to child tax deductions means that many single mothers may have to stretch the budget even diligently.

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IL divorce lawyerFew things in life are as shocking, upsetting, and heart-wrenching as discovering that your husband has another wife or entire family. In either case, not only do you have grounds for divorce, but you also may be in a position to sue for civil damages, recover a substantially larger portion of the marital property, or even press criminal charges against the bigamist.

What Is Bigamy?

Bigamy, also referred to as polygamy, is the act of marrying another person while already married to someone else. It is illegal in Illinois and is punishable as a Class 4 felony. Unfortunately, 17 percent of Americans now believe that bigamy is morally acceptable—10 percent higher than in 2001 when Gallup began keeping track of this data. While many Americans have warmed to the idea that bigamy is okay for society, the facts show otherwise. Bigamy has negative consequences for children, society at large, and the wives of the bigamist. Bigamy is almost always committed by men.

Is My Marriage Even Valid?

If you found out that your husband has another wife, the first step is to determine which marriage came first, because the second marriage is illegitimate. As such, divorce is not necessary. Issues such as child custody and child support will need to be settled in the courts by a family law attorney, however. Furthermore, division of assets and alimony are not treated the same because the marriage never existed. The victimized spouse, in this case, can pursue compensation in a civil lawsuit.

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Il divorce lawyerIf your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has an employer-sponsored health plan, and the employer has 20 or more employees, you can stay on this group insurance plan for up to 36 months under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). However, you will have to pay for the plan yourself. The cost and benefits remain the same as before, and because it is still a group insurance plan, it will likely be much more affordable than purchasing a private insurance plan for yourself. COBRA is a great option for spouses to pursue during divorce, but it will eventually need to be replaced with something more permanent.

Purchasing a Plan on the Marketplace

The Marketplace can be accessed through Get Covered Illinois, where you can purchase a health insurance plan for yourself at a potentially reduced cost, depending on your level of income. Commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” the Affordable Care Act reduces premium costs and bars health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Even if the Open Enrollment period has closed, you can still apply for coverage if you have gone through a qualifying life change, which divorce is considered to be.

Applying for Medicaid

Individuals between the ages of 19 and 64 can apply for Medicaid if they have incomes under 138 percent of the poverty level—up to $16,392 for an annual income or $1,366 per month, according to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is very tough on children — a fact that has been well documented over many decades. Divorce has been associated with academic difficulties, disruptive and illegal behavior, low self-esteem, depression, and emotional distress. When children of divorce enter adulthood, they are more likely to live in poverty, have children out of wedlock, marry at a young age, and get divorce themselves than their peers from non-divorced families.

Because a parent’s strongest instinct is to protect their children from all of this, some spouses decide to either make the marriage work for the sake of the children, or they agree to get divorced, but only after the youngest child is on his or her way to college and out of the house. While both of these options seem like the right thing to do for your children because the family is kept in-tact, the truth is that both of these approaches may be more harmful than a simple divorce and shared custody.

How Delaying the Divorce Can Harm Your Children

Children are much more in-tuned with their parent’s emotions and thoughts than we give them credit for. Even very young children, or teenagers who are seemingly off in their own worlds, pick up on subtle insults and tension between their parents. The fact that you want to get divorced means that you are unhappy with the marriage, and that unhappiness will only intensify in the years to come as you wait for your youngest child to graduate high school. Parents may think they are helping their children by soldiering on during the marriage, but they are only doing themselves and their children a disservice. After all, one cannot fake happiness no matter how much effort is put into the facade.

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IL family lawyerIt can be tempting for a spouse to monitor the movements of the other, especially during divorce or searching for suspected infidelity. Cell phones can easily be tracked without the other spouses’ knowledge, and GPS devices the size of a coin can be hidden in vehicles without being detected. Furthermore, accessing a spouse’s emails can show what they have been up to, not just where. However, tracking or spying on a spouse in such a manner is not necessarily legal in Illinois, and by doing so and getting caught, it can have a profoundly negative effect on your divorce be creating further distrust, anger, and feelings of betrayal. GPS tracking and digital spying will most likely result in a contested divorce, as the spied-upon spouse will feel they have less reason to compromise.

Electronic GPS Tracking Can Be Illegal in Illinois

Under 720 ILCS 5/21-2.5, it is a Class A misdemeanor to place a GPS device on a person or their car, without their consent, in order to track their location. However, it becomes more complicated when the vehicle is owned jointly in a marriage. While it may not be illegal, or at least a punishable offense, for one spouse to secretly track the other, it can certainly have a negative impact on divorce decisions like child custody if it reveals the poor character of a parent.

Tampering with Computers, Such as Reading Your Spouse’s Emails

Another way that spouses keep tabs on another during divorce is by secretly accessing the other’s phone or laptop to read emails. This is also unlawful in Illinois under 720 ILCS 5/17-51. While criminal charges may never be filed, reading the emails and private messages of your spouse can:

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