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Wheaton divorce preparation attorneyThe end of a marriage is a difficult prospect for many people to come to terms with, but getting out of a relationship that is no longer working is often best for everyone involved. However, determining the best path to take and understanding the issues that must be resolved during divorce can be a daunting prospect. If you are considering divorce, or if you are ready to begin the process of ending your marriage, be sure to take the following steps:

  1. Understand your options - Are you ready to end your marriage as soon as possible, or would you prefer legal separation while you attempt to repair your relationship? Will you be able to resolve issues amicably through mediation, or do you expect any contentious disputes to arise? Are you able to reach an agreement regarding parental responsibility and/or parenting time? Addressing these issues will help you know what to expect during divorce and ensure that you are prepared to meet your legal requirements.
  1. Get your finances in order - Be sure you fully understand your finances, including the income you earn, the assets you own, the expenses you must pay, your credit card debt, and any other relevant aspects of your situation. Open bank accounts and credit cards in your own name, giving you complete control of your own finances. Document your assets and valuable possessions to ensure that they will be divided equitably during divorce.
  1. Consider your living situation - Will you or your spouse continue living in your marital home, or do you plan to sell the house? Will you be able to continue living together until the divorce is finalized? Do you know where you will be living, and will you be able to pay expenses such as rent and utilities? Answering these questions will help you prepare for success in your newly single life.
  1. Set rules for communication - Your relationship with your spouse is probably already strained, and communication with them will likely only become more difficult during divorce. Creating rules for when and how you will contact each other and what is appropriate to discuss can help you avoid emotional conflicts and reach a resolution to your divorce more effectively. Work on keeping communication brief and businesslike, avoiding arguments over who is to blame for the failure of your relationship.
  1. Determine how to talk to children - Telling your children about your divorce can be difficult, but ideally, both parents should talk to children together, letting them know that the divorce is not their fault and that you will always love them, no matter what. Before having this conversation, it is a good idea to speak to your spouse to ensure that you are both on the same page and agree to keep children out of any conflicts between you.
  1. Speak to an attorney - Even if your divorce is amicable and you expect to be able to reach a resolution with minimal conflict, you should work with a divorce lawyer to draft a settlement that meets the legal requirements for dissolving your marriage. This will ensure that no unexpected issues arise and provide you with a legal framework for any disputes that may come up in the future.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

While divorce can be complicated, proper planning and preparation will allow you to reach a favorable resolution. At Anderson & Associates, P.C., our attorneys can help you meet your legal requirements and negotiate a favorable settlement while ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process. Contact our Wheaton divorce lawyers at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.


Wheaton spousal maintenance lawyerDivorce can cause a great deal of upheaval in a person’s life, and the prospect of single life can be especially stressful someone who earns less than their ex-spouse or who has chosen to care for children rather than work outside the home. Fortunately, Illinois law allows a lower-earning spouse to receive maintenance (which is also known as alimony) from their ex-spouse which will provide them with a standard of living that is close to what they enjoyed while they were married.

Calculating the Amount and Duration of Maintenance Payments Under Illinois Law

On January 1, 2018, a few recent changes to Illinois law went into effect, making some adjustments to the statutes governing spousal maintenance. The formula used to calculate the amount of maintenance in Illinois is now used when spouses earn a combined income of less than $500,000 (this was raised from $250,000), and the methods for determining the duration of maintenance were also updated.


Wheaton order of protection attorney domestic abuseWhen someone is the victim of domestic violence or domestic abuse, they can obtain an order of protection which provides them with safety. However, victims often struggle to achieve independence from their abusers, since their lives are closely linked both personally and financially. Illinois law was recently updated to address one issue that often arises in cases of domestic abuse: cell phone accounts.

Separating Cell Phone Plans

On January 1, 2018, a new Illinois law took effect that allows a person who obtains an order of protection to transfer their wireless telephone number to a new account. This allows victims to separate their cell phone service from a plan that was shared with their abuser, providing them with financial independence and ensuring that their abuser will not be able to access information such as text messages, voice mail, or location data. The law contains the following provisions:


Wheaton prenuptial agreement lawyerWhen a couple decides to get married, they will be uniting their lives and forming a legal partnership. Unfortunately, as statistics show, nearly half of marriages end in divorce in the United States. There are a variety of reasons for this, but since the possibility of divorce exists, couples can take steps to protect themselves by educating themselves about the law and planning for both a successful marriage and a potential divorce. Before getting married, they should be sure to address the following issues:

  1. Finances - How will income and expenses be shared after getting married? Does either spouse have significant debt? Will the spouses share bank accounts and credit cards? It is important for both spouses to be on the same page about their budget, their spending habits, and their financial goals, ensuring that they do not encounter any surprises after getting married.
  1. Property ownership - Does either spouse own valuable property or have significant financial assets? Will the couple be living in a home previously owned by one spouse? Does either spouse have ownership interests in a business? Spouses should be clear about what they own, how ownership of property will be handled going forward, and what will happen to this property if their relationship ever ends.
  1. Estate planning - After getting married, will the spouses’ wills need to be updated? Do they plan to give each other power of attorney? Do they have methods in place to protect their assets near the end of their life? Does either spouse need to put provisions in place to provide for children from a previous relationship? Couples should make sure they have addressed these issues and understand each other’s wishes regarding their estate.
  1. Prenuptial agreement - While planning for divorce before getting married may not be very romantic, having an agreement in place for how things can be handled if the relationship ends can alleviate a great deal of stress. Premarital agreements can be especially helpful for spouses who own a business, bring significant assets into a marriage, or want to ensure that their children will have financial resources no matter what happens in the future.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you have any questions about the legal issues that you should consider before you get married, or if you want to make sure your family will have legal and financial protections in the future, the skilled attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you meet your legal requirements and protect your rights and interests. Contact our Wheaton family law firm at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.


Wheaton divorce attorney helping parents and children adjust to divorceThe end of a marriage can be difficult for all family members, but when parents decide to get a divorce, they may not realize the effects that it can have on their children. Even when parents do their best to prepare their children for divorce, kids can struggle with the adjustment to living in two separate homes. As parents work to end their marriage and establish new living situations, they can take the following steps to help their children transition into this new phase of their lives:

  • Follow a regular schedule - Your divorce decree and parenting plan should include a schedule for each parent’s parenting time, and it is important to follow this schedule consistently. Make sure kids know the schedule and when they can expect to spend time with each parent. It is a good idea to keep a calendar in both homes that clearly displays the days when children will spend time with each parent.
  • Maintain consistency - Kids should have regular routines that they follow at both homes, letting them know when they can expect to eat meals, work on homework or chores, and go to bed. Work together with your ex-spouse to set rules, behavioral expectations, and methods of discipline that will apply in both homes.
  • Give them their own space - You can ease your children’s transition to a new living situation by keeping familiar objects in each home, such as clothes, toys, stuffed animals, or decorations. Kids may want to keep certain items at each home, or they may bring some items with them between homes. Allowing kids to help make choices about how to furnish or decorate their room is a good way to help them become more comfortable with their new living situation.
  • Allow communication - If children miss the other parent when they are staying with you, allow them to give the other parent a call, but do not require them to do so.
  • Follow regular pick-up and drop-off routines - Cooperate in transporting children between homes and keep these transitions conflict-free. Show up on time, and, if necessary, allow kids to have a few minutes of quiet time before they leave for the other parent’s home or after they arrive.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

While the process of divorce can be difficult, it can ultimately provide a better environment for both children and parents by eliminating the stress of living in a home that is full of conflict. The experienced, compassionate attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can work with you and your spouse to address the legal issues that must be resolved during divorce and reach an agreement that protects your and your children’s best interests. Contact a Wheaton divorce lawyer today at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.


Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County grey divorce attorneyIn our modern society, divorce is an unfortunate reality that affects couples of all ages and income levels. But while the overall rate of divorce has remained steady, the divorce rate of people over the age of 50 (known as “grey divorce”) has doubled since 1990. These divorces can become especially complicated, due to the length of marriages and the complex financial issues that can arise. Here are some issues which couples will need to be aware of during a grey divorce:

  • Spousal maintenance - In a long-term marriage in which one spouse earns more than the other, that spouse will likely be required to pay maintenance (alimony) to their former partner following divorce, and the duration of these payments is based on the length of the marriage. According to Illinois law, for marriages of 20 years or more, maintenance payments will last for the full duration of the marriage, or for an indefinite period. 
  • Pensions and retirement funds - As spouses near retirement, they will likely be planning to live on the savings they have made in a 401(k) or IRA or the pension provided by their employer. However, retirement savings and pension benefits are subject to equitable division following divorce, and spouses should be sure they understand how these assets will be divided. Transferring these funds or benefits between spouses typically requires the use of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).
  • Dividing marital property - Older spouses will often have acquired a large amount of assets during their marriage, and determining how to divide this property can be a complicated matter. One important question is who will retain ownership of the marital home. A spouse may wish to continue living in their long-time residence, but they should be sure they will be able to afford the costs of maintenance, upkeep, and property taxes while meeting their other obligations.
  • Social Security - If spouses were married for at least 10 years, an ex-spouse may claim Social Security benefits based on their former partner’s earnings, but only after they have been divorced for at least two years. During grey divorce, spouses should be sure they understand their Social Security benefits and how they will affect their retirement planning.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney

At Anderson & Associates, P.C., we understand the issues that couples face during grey divorce, and we can answer your questions, help you understand your rights and responsibilities, and work with you to reach a settlement that will meet your needs. Contact our knowledgeable, experienced DuPage County divorce lawyers today at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.


Wheaton divorce attorney, divorce court, divorce process, divorce proceedings, divorce preparationThe process of ending a marriage through divorce can be very stressful. In addition to the strong emotions that come with the breakup of a relationship, there are a number of legal requirements that must be met as you work to complete the divorce process. Appearing in court can be especially anxiety-inducing, since you will likely be unsure of what to expect. However, by following these tips, you will be able to successfully accomplish your goals in your divorce proceedings:

  1. Hire an attorney - While you can represent yourself in your divorce, it is not advisable to do so. An experienced attorney can not only help you understand your rights and obligations, but he or she can also offer invaluable insight about the best ways to make arguments, the procedures and etiquette to follow, and what is likely to encourage the judge to rule in your favor.

  1. Be prepared - Be sure you have the required paperwork, financial documents, and any other appropriate evidence ready ahead of time. Talk to your lawyer about what will be discussed at your appearance, the issues you will be asking the judge to decide, and the arguments you will be making. Practice making prepared statements and be ready for questions that you might be asked. By being ready for every eventuality, you will not be taken by surprise by any developments, and you will be able to make a strong argument for why the judge should make a decision in your favor.


DuPage County divorce attorneys, shared parenting, contentious divorce, parental responsibility, parenting timeThe end of a long-term relationship is difficult for everyone involved, but children of divorcing parents are often hit the hardest as they experience major changes to their lives and routines. A contentious divorce can have especially negative effects on children, including long-term health problems and psychological issues. However, even if parents are unable to agree on many of the various issues that must be settled during their divorce, they should consider their children’s best interests when making decisions about the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time.

Research Shows the Benefits of Shared Parenting

Throughout the 20th century, many experts believed that children of divorced parents needed the stability of living in a single home rather than dividing time between parents. Divorce decrees typically reflected this, with one parent (usually the mother) being granted sole custody of children, and the other parent receiving limited visitation time. However, these types of arrangements no longer reflect the reality of modern parenting, in which both mothers and fathers are often highly involved in their children’s lives.


collaborative law, collaborative divorce, Wheaton collaborative law attorney, alternative dispute resolution,  divorce settlementThe beginning of a new year typically sees the implementation of a variety of new state laws in Illinois, and this year is no exception. Among the laws that went into effect on January 1, 2018 is the Collaborative Process Act, which formally recognizes collaborative law as a legal procedure for resolving family law disputes. Couples who wish to reach an amicable settlement in their divorce may want to consider this method of alternative dispute resolution.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Divorcing spouses must settle a variety of legal issues before their divorce can be finalized, including determining how to divide marital property, allocating parenting time and parental responsibility, calculating the correct amount of child support obligations, and determining whether one spouse will pay maintenance to the other. Resolving these issues in court through litigation can be incredibly expensive, time consuming, and stressful. Collaborative divorce provides couples with the option to work together with their attorneys to resolve disputes on their own.


Illinois divorce law,  DuPage County divorce attorneys, pet custody, marital property, marital assetsWhen a married couple decides to divorce, they will need to resolve a wide variety of legal issues, including how to divide their marital assets and debts and, if they have children, how to allocate parental responsibility and parenting time. However, one area which is often less recognized but which can still cause contentious disputes is the ownership of pets. Illinois law was recently changed to better address the role that pets often play in modern families.

Pet Ownership Under Illinois Divorce Laws

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), pets fall under the umbrella of marital property, and until recently, they were not treated any differently than other assets a married couple owned, such as furniture, jewelry, cars, or other possessions. However, for many families, treating pets the same as inanimate objects does not feel appropriate, and disputes over who will retain “custody” of pets can be a difficult issue to resolve during divorce.


Wheaton divorce lawyer, divorce mistakes, divorce process, parenting time, allocation of parental responsibilityWhen spouses decide to end their marriage through divorce, they are likely ready to leave a difficult relationship and move on to the next phase of their lives. However, couples with children will need to resolve a variety of issues, including the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time, and disagreements over these matters can often result in contentious legal battles.

The decisions made during divorce will have a major impact on your and your children’s lives for years to come. Therefore, it is important to protect yourself during this time.

Consider the following mistakes you should be sure to avoid while resolving issues related to children in your divorce:


b2ap3_thumbnail_substance-abusing-spouse-DuPage-County.jpgAbuse of alcohol and drugs is an increasing problem in the United States, and substance abuse issues can play a major role in the breakdown of a marriage. In fact, studies have shown that nearly half of people who suffer from alcohol use disorder or have suffered from it in the past have gone through a divorce. The rate of divorce for the rest of the population is only 30 percent, however. If your spouse has problems with drug or alcohol abuse, you should be aware of the following issues that may arise during divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

Since Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, spouses do not need to demonstrate any grounds for divorce other than “irreconcilable differences.” That is, the only requirement for divorce is that the relationship has irretrievably broken down. A spouse’s substance abuse may have been a reason for this breakdown, but the law does not require it to be proven, and in fact, attempting to raise the issue may make the divorce process lengthier and more complicated. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to advise you about whether you should raise the issue of substance abuse during your divorce proceedings.


Wheaton family law attorneys, divorced parents, premarital counseling, prenuptial agreement, remarriageIf your marriage has ended in divorce, you have likely gone through some difficulty as you worked to separate your life, your finances, your possessions, and your living arrangements from your ex-spouse. Life goes on, however, and before you know it, you may meet someone new and consider getting married a second time.

But before you jump into a new commitment, you should be aware that second marriages are even more likely to end in divorce. In order to avoid repeating your mistakes (or making some new ones), consider five things before getting remarried:

  1. Take your time - It can be easy to rush into a new relationship after the heartbreak of divorce. However, it is best to make sure you have fully recovered and are viewing your situation with clear eyes. Be sure you are ready to make a commitment to your new partner, and take the time to build a good foundation for your relationship and manage your expectations for your life together.


DuPage County divorce attorneys, parental alienation, children and divorce, Wheaton divorce lawyer, parental responsibilityThe end of a marriage can be very difficult for everyone involved, but children are often especially negatively affected during this emotional time. During divorce, it is important to protect children’s best interests, and they should be able to maintain a positive relationship with both parents.

Unfortunately, conflicts between spouses often spill over into their children’s lives. Whether parents involve children in these conflicts intentionally or unintentionally, they can cause serious harm to their children when they do so.

Types of Parental Alienation


divorce proceedings, Wheaton divorce lawyers, social media and divorce, communication and divorce, divorce processIn the twenty-first century, we are more connected than ever. Most people carry smartphones with them everywhere they go, giving them instant access to any information they want to look up and making it incredibly easy to connect with friends. But while this level of access provides many benefits, it also has its drawbacks.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are a major part of many people’s lives, allowing them to share their thoughts and experiences with others. Unfortunately, when you are going through a divorce, the information you share may end up being used against you.

Consider the following tips for how to make sure your social media activity does not have a negative impact on your divorce proceedings:


DuPage County divorce attorneys, fathers and divorce, divorce process, allocation of parental responsibility, parenting timeWhen parents decide to end their marriage by getting a divorce, decisions about the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time can often become contentious. In the past, it was often expected that the mother would retain primary custody of a couple’s children after divorce, but this is no longer the case.

In today’s culture, fathers often take a much more active role in parenting children and enjoy equal or even primary custody of their children after divorce. By taking the following steps, fathers can improve their chances of positive results in divorce disputes involving children:

  1. Be an involved parent - Take an active role in your kids’ lives, attending school activities and sports events, doctor’s appointments, and parent/teacher conferences, as well as spending quality time with them during your parenting time.


Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyers , amicable divorce, marriage dissolution, divorce and communication, divorce processThe breakdown of a relationship can be traumatic for everyone involved, and this is especially true for married couples. By the time spouses decide to get a divorce, they are likely ready to get out of an unhappy home situation and move on to the next stage of their life. However, dissolving a marriage can be a complicated process, and resolving the issues that arise when a couple must separate their lives from each other can become contentious, especially when children are involved.

While divorce is often difficult, it can be easier if spouses are able to work together to make the process as amicable as possible. If you are planning to end your marriage in divorce, the following tips can help you get through the process with minimal conflict:

  1. Talk to your ex - When your relationship has broken down, communication with your spouse is likely to be difficult. However, if you can talk things over, letting your spouse know your plans and what you expect during the divorce, you will be able to get through the process more easily. In some cases, couples’ counseling can be a good idea, especially if you have children, since it can help you and your ex prepare to continue working together as parents after your divorce.


Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney, divorce process, divorced spouses, divorce decree, divorce and financesWhen spouses end their marriage through divorce, their lives are often thrown into upheaval. As they work to find new living arrangements, divide marital property, determine whether child support or spousal support will be necessary, and allocate parental responsibility and parenting time, they often struggle to get their finances in order during this chaotic time.

If you are in the midst of the divorce process, you should take steps to get a clear and complete picture of your financial situation, which will ensure that you are able to avoid difficulties as you work to move on to the next phase of your life. Consider the following tips to help prepare for financial success after divorce.

Be Ready for Big Changes


Wheaton divorce lawyer, divorce trends, risk of divorce, divorce process, gray divorceWhen couples get married, they expect to spend the rest of their lives together. And while they may realize divorce is a possibility, they are not likely to expect their marriage to end. However, a significant percentage of marriages do end in divorce, and couples should be aware of the risk factors that can lead to the end of their relationship.

The Riskiest Years for a Marriage

The beginning of a marriage is an especially risky time, and studies show that around 10 percent of divorces occurring within the first two years of marriage. Since the first year of a marriage can often be difficult as couples adjust to living together, they may realize that the marriage was a mistake and decide to end their relationship. Research has also found that men are more likely to be unfaithful during this time, and infidelity is one of the main causes of divorces within the first two years of marriage.


DuPage County divorce attorney, Illinois Eavesdropping Act, cybersecurity, Wheaton divorce lawyer,divorce processIn today’s connected world, nearly everyone carries a powerful electronic device with them everywhere they go, leaving a trail of information as they browse the Internet, send email, connect with people on social media, make phone calls, and send text messages. While we expect to maintain our privacy when communicating in this fashion, we often relax our security when we are around close family members. 

During divorce, spouses may take advantage of this relaxed security and attempt to access their former partner’s email or social media accounts, monitor what they do on their computer, or read the text messages on their phone, all in hopes of gaining information they can use to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings. While it may be tempting to try to access a former spouse’s information in this manner, you should be aware of how the law addresses these types of acts.

The Illinois Eavesdropping Act

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