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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:

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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child support payments, child support laws, DuPage County family law attorney, Illinois divorce, child support lawyerParents are legally obligated to provide financial support for their children, whether they are married, unmarried, separated, or divorced. When parents do not live together, the non-custodial parent will typically pay child support to the custodial parent. However, determining the amount of support and the method of making payments can be a complicated matter. Consider the following tips on managing the ongoing payments that will ensure that your children have the financial support they need: 

  1. Understand the current child support laws - The method for calculating child support in Illinois changed in July 2017, and the amount of payments are now based on both parents’ incomes and the amount of parenting time they have with their children. When determining child support, be sure you understand the methods of calculating your support obligation. If you currently pay or receive child support, and the amount of support would change under the new law, you may be able to modify your child support order. However, the new law by itself is not a reason to make a modification; you must demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original order was made.

  1. Make payments on time - It is important to pay child support as ordered, ensuring that payments are made in full when they are due. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences, including wage garnishment, loss of one’s driver’s license, and even jail time. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services provides free child support enforcement services, allowing a parent to collect child support they are owed through a variety of methods, including sending an Income Withholding Notice to the non-custodial parent’s employer. 

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyer, divorce myths, divorce agreement, divorce process, equitable division of propertyWhile that commonly-cited statistic that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce is not quite accurate (the actual number is difficult to determine, but it is estimated to be between 40 and 50 percent), most people have some experience with divorce, whether they have gone through divorce themselves, they are a child of divorced parents, or they have a close friend or family member who has divorced.

But even though divorce is an everyday part of American life, it is a somewhat distasteful subject, and this has let some myths about divorce to flourish. Consider the following common misconceptions about divorce of which spouses in Illinois will want to be aware:

  1. The mother will have primary custody of children - The idea that the kids will always stay with their mom, and dad will only see them every other weekend is somewhat old-fashioned, and Illinois law has provisions to ensure that parental responsibility and parenting time are allocated according to how involved each parent has been in their children’s lives, what the children want, and how well the parents can work together as they continue to raise their children following the divorce.

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DuPage County divorce attorneys, divorce trends, divorcing couple, divorced parents, divorce rateEven though divorce is an unfortunate reality of modern life, people still get married every day, and they hope that their partnership with their spouse will stand the test of time. Whether you are planning to get married or have been married for years, you will likely want to be aware of aspects of your life that may make divorce more likely.

According to a variety of studies, the following factors may play a part in whether you are likely to get divorced:

  1. Your parents’ marriage - People whose parents got a divorce are 40 percent more likely to divorce than people whose parents remained married. Interestingly, while this may seem to be a behavioral factor caused by children observing the breakdown of their parents’ marriage, studies have looked at adoptive children and their biological parents and found that it is actually a genetic factor.
  2. Your age when you get married - People who get married in their teens or early 20s are more likely to divorce, but the likelihood of divorce also increases by 5 percent for every year for people who get married after the age of 32.
  3. Your education level - People with a college degree have a 65-78 percent chance of staying married for at least 20 years, while this rate is only 41-47 percent for people with a high school education and 49-54 percent for people who have attended college but have not obtained a bachelor’s degree.
  4. Religion - Studies have shown that people who grew up in a religious household were less likely to divorce. Married couples who practice religion and attend church regularly also have a lower divorce rate, and couples who have the same beliefs are more likely to stay together than those who do not practice the same religion.
  5. Smoking - When only one spouse smokes, a couple is 75-91 percent more likely to get divorced than when both spouses smoke.
  6. Drinking - In one study, 45-55 percent of couples in which one spouse was a heavy drinker and the other spouse was not got a divorce within 10 years. If both partners drank, or if neither partner drank, this rate dropped to 35 percent.
  7. Assets and debt - Couples who live in poverty and couples with a lot of debt are more likely to divorce, and couples who have more assets when they get married are less likely to divorce.
  8. Income - Marriages in which wives earn more than their husbands or spouses earn about the same amount are more likely to end in divorce than marriages in which the wife earns less.
  9. The cost of the wedding - One study found that couples whose wedding cost more than $20,000 were 3.5 times more likely to get divorced than couples who spent between $5,000 and $10,000 on their wedding.
  10. Cohabitation - If a couple lived together before getting married, they are about 12 percent more likely to get divorced.
  11. When kids were born - If a couple’s first child was born less than eight months after the wedding, they are 24 percent more likely to get divorced.
  12. Age difference - When there is a large difference between spouses’ ages, they are more likely to get divorced, especially if the wife is older than the husband.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

If you believe your marriage is in trouble, the compassionate family law attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your rights and options and advise you of the best path to take as you either pursue a divorce or work on repairing your marriage. Contact our DuPage County divorce attorneys at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.

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paternity, Illinois paternity laws, Wheaton parentage attorney, establish paternity, 
fathers' rightsWhether their parents are married or not, children deserve to have a relationship with both their mother and father and receive the support they need from them. Illinois law recognizes this by stating that every child has a right to the “physical, mental, emotional, and financial support of his or her parents.”

In order to ensure that children have a legal relationship with both their mother and their father, and that they receive support from both parents, Illinois law allows for the establishment of paternity. Whether they are married or unmarried, parents should be aware of how these laws apply to them.

Paternity Laws in Illinois

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DuPage County divorce lawyers, moving on after divorce, divorce process, depression, Wheaton divorce attorneyAt the risk of stating the obvious, divorce is not easy. Ending a partnership that has defined your life for a long period of time is an emotionally difficult process, and dealing with the financial upheaval of divorce, the need to establish new living arrangements, and the effects on your relationship with your children and other family members can cause a great deal of stress.

People going through divorce are likely to experience anxiety and depression, and they may have trouble coping with the loneliness that can come with their newly-single life. However, by following these tips, they can not only survive this difficult time, but build a successful new life for themselves:

  1. Take baby steps - Divorce has forced you to make some major changes to your life, and you will need to go about rebuilding your day to day life to fit your new reality. However, it can be hard to move on from your feelings of anger and sadness and get started making these changes. Remember that you do not need to do everything at once. Take it one day or even one minute at a time, focusing on what you need to do next as you work toward your goals.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County family law attorneys, hidden assets, high net worth divorce, no-fault divorce, joint tax returnWhen couples divorce in Illinois, they both have a right to equitable division of both physical possessions and financial assets. Couples are not necessarily guaranteed a 50-50 split of everything they own, but each spouse should receive a fair and equitable amount of the marital property.

However, some spouses, especially in cases of high net worth divorce, may attempt to conceal some of their assets in hopes that they will not have to share them.

Spouses may also hide assets because they blame the divorce on the other spouse and do not believe that they are entitled to certain marital property. Still, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, and courts will not punish a spouse for causing the marriage to fail. Property should be divided equitably; the only exception may be if one spouse has dissipated marital property, in which case the division of remaining property will reflect this.

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children and divorce, divorcing couple, divorce process, divorce and communication, talk about divorceDivorce is difficult for everyone involved, and the children of a divorcing couple can be hit especially hard by the news that their parents are ending their marriage. Talking with children about divorce can be difficult, especially when the emotional pain of a breakup is still fresh. Still, it is important to answer children’s questions and help them understand how their lives will be changing. Consider the following tips on how to speak with your kids about your divorce:

1. Be honest and age appropriate. Children will have plenty of questions about why you are getting divorced, and you should be honest with them about the reasons your marriage is ending. However, you should take their age and developmental level into account. There is no need to go into detail about specific conflicts. However, helping them understand that you and your ex-spouse had “grown up problems” that led to the divorce can give them some reassurance during this time of uncertainty.

2. Make sure they understand it is not their fault. Children will often feel that they are to blame for their parents’ breakup, so it is incredibly important to reassure your kids that you are not getting divorced because of anything they did, or that your relationship problems were something they could have resolved. Make sure to let them know that even though your lives are changing, you will always love them and be there for them.

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Wheaton divorce attorney, spousal maintenance, divorce process, spousal support, alimonyWhen a couple ends their marriage in divorce, each spouse should be able to maintain a standard of living similar to what they experienced during their marriage. When one spouse earns more than the other, the lower earning spouse may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance (also known as spousal support or alimony).

While the formula for determining the amount and duration of maintenance is straightforward, courts have some discretion when determining whether maintenance is appropriate.

Illinois statutes list 14 factors that a judge should consider when deciding whether to grant maintenance:

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divorce, Illinois divorce, divorce lawyer, divorce attorney, Wheaton divorce lawyer, Wheaton divorce attorneyIn 2017, a new Illinois child support law went into effect.

For Illinois child support payers, it is important to understand how three factors are the basis of determining child support payments: 1) the net income of both parents, 2) the number of children receiving child support, and 3) the amount of parenting time each parent enjoys with their children.  

The New Illinois Child Support Law is Effective as of July 1, 2017 

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shared physical care, Illinois child support law, child support payments, Wheaton child support lawyer, divorcing coupleIllinois law recently underwent a drastic change that redefined the guidelines for determining child support following divorce. After July 1, 2017, child support payments are no longer based on the paying parent’s income; instead, both parents’ incomes are taken into consideration, providing a method that more accurately represents the way parents provide for their children.

Child Support and Shared Physical Care

While the calculation of child support under the new law is relatively straightforward, it can become complicated in cases of Shared Physical Care, in which parenting time is split between parents in an equal or near to equal fashion. This occurs when children stay overnight with both parents at least 146 days every year, which makes 40 percent of the time or more.

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Illinois child support law, Wheaton child support lawyer, parental responsibility, parenting time, modifying child supportThe Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) has undergone significant changes in recent years. In 2016, the law was changed to reflect the state of modern parenting by replacing terms like “custody” and “visitation” with “parental responsibility” and “parenting time.”

In 2017, the law saw another major revision that completely redefined how child support payments are determined in Illinois.

Following this change, which went into effect on July 1, 2017, child support is no longer calculated using only one parent’s income. Now, the net income of both parents will be considered, and the amount of each parent’s parenting time and parental responsibility may also have an effect on the amount of child support owed by one parent to another.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_607176.jpgChild support in Illinois is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, and an update to this law went into effect July 2017. Before this change, Illinois used a somewhat antiquated method of calculating the amount of child support payments—only the paying parent’s income and the number of children being supported were considered.

Since this model no longer reflected the actual costs of raising children, the state moved to an income-sharing model that bases child support on both parents’ incomes.

Understanding the New “Income Shares” Method

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