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Posted on in Divorce

Oak Brook Divorce Lawyer

Deciding to end a marriage is among the most impactful decisions an individual can make. It involves considerable evaluation of what is right for you in your life and a significant amount of stress as you approach the unknown. While the substantial number of elements that need to be worked out in a divorce can be overwhelming, if you follow these tips, you can reduce some of the emotional burden that accompanies the divorce process.

Include Everything in Your Divorce Agreement

To ensure there is no confusion from either party after your divorce is final, cover every conceivable issue in writing as part of your divorce decree. With everything listed as part of the legal document, nobody should “forget” a part of the agreement. If they do, there will be clear evidence they have neglected their responsibilities. 

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Wheaton Divorce Attorney

The internet has become a place where you can locate anything. Cute cat pictures, a recipe, or a new husband or wife can all be found online. Many people have turned to online dating to help them romantically. According to market researcher Nielsen, almost 30 million unique users visit dating sites each month, which makes up almost 10 percent of the U.S. population. Online dating has caused a noticeable difference in how people view relationships, marriage, and divorce

Effects of Online Dating

It used to be that people would be much more likely to date someone their friends or acquaintances knew, such as a “friend of a friend” situation. However, the increase in online dating has caused a jump in dating between what essentially amounts to strangers. The people who meet on these dating sites are usually not people who have ever encountered one another before and have no other known connections. They were completely unknown strangers before meeting online, which is significantly different than how relationships formed previously. 

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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton Estate Planning Lawyer

Many people procrastinate when it comes to their last will and testament, for a variety of reasons. They may be busy, do not feel they need one, do not want to do it until they are older, or they find it morbid. Thinking you have plenty of time to do your will is one of the many myths about estate planning. That myth and those listed below need to be debunked to make sure everyone is properly taken care of after an individual dies either later in life or unexpectedly. 

Only Rich People Need to Plan Their Estate

Some lawyers and financial advisers may be focused on the “big fish” estates, but it is not necessary to be wealthy to have a will. No matter what your financial situation, if there are items you would like taken care of after your death or decisions made about your healthcare, a will is a necessity.

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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton Wills Attorney

Many people do not look forward to preparing their will because they feel it is a morbid practice to lay out what will happen when you die. Some families find themselves tied up in lengthy and expensive court battles after a loved one dies because of this line of thinking.

Even if you dread making a will, it is critically important in order to ensure your estate is taken care of in the manner you want after you pass away. Creating a will includes various steps, such as specifying who will receive your property and assets and if you have children who are minors, who will take care of them. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce Lawyers

Parents with multiple children are often portrayed on TV as treating them differently based on the order in which they were born. For example, a common trope is that the youngest child of the family is treated less severely than the others because they are the “baby.” Another common portrayal is the oldest child has to be the responsible one and take care of the younger ones. 

Is it also possible birth order can affect adults later in life, and marriages as well? Research indicates different birth orders may impact marriage in both positive and negative ways, and could also influence the likelihood of divorce.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is something many people go through. Each couple is different, and there are many different reasons a couple or spouse might want a divorce, but there are some common themes or signs that may indicate the marriage could be headed for divorce. These signs do not mean a couple is doomed to divorce, but they can provide clues that they need to work with each other to resolve their issues before it is too late. 

Showing Contempt Toward Spouse

Four key behaviors can indicate a relationship is falling apart, and they are all related. Showing contempt for your partner, being overly critical of them, being defensive, and stonewalling are all actions indicative of serious problems in a relationship. Each of these issues should be taken seriously on their own, and any combination of them could mean a greater likelihood of divorce. Realizing your partner is human and makes mistakes, and showing empathy for them, are key aspects of a successful relationship. 

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Wheaton Prenup Lawyer

While marriage is a romantic relationship, it is also a legal contract and business agreement. Couples share each other’s assets and lives when they decide to get married. 

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements used to be frowned upon by an overwhelming majority of people, but that has changed in recent years, especially with millennials. Society has largely altered how marriage is viewed, which has led to an increase in the number of prenups and postnups. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville Divorce Lawyers

Divorce settlements require careful consideration of many aspects of everyday life. If a couple has children, the divorce process has even more elements to work out, such as the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, formerly known for legal purposes in Illinois as child custody and visitation, respectively. 

Parental responsibility and parenting time are top priorities when negotiating a divorce decree. One related aspect is sibling and step-sibling visitation with other children in the family. If divorced parents have multiple children and custody is split between them, the siblings may wish to see one another, but a parent may try to deny visitation. Siblings can petition the court to grant them visitation when a parent denies it. 

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Wheaton Divorce Attorneys

When you go through a divorce, sometimes things slip through the cracks. The mental exhaustion most couples endure means they often do not operate at full capacity day-to-day, which is understandable. It is important, however, to keep up as best you can, and that includes your finances. 

There are numerous steps to take during a divorce to protect your credit. Here are some of the key divorce tips to remember:

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce Attorneys

When you are unhappy with your marriage and want a divorce, it is important to break the news to your spouse in the right way, especially if they have different feelings regarding your relationship. Reactions vary when confronted with something like divorce, and if the conversation does not go well, it can sour the divorce process significantly.

Choosing a Time and Place

It is not a good idea to surprise your spouse randomly with your divorce intentions. You should make sure there are no distractions and prepare to have a long conversation. You need time for a lengthy, serious discussion about this new development, and both of you will have a lot to process. Distractions are a hindrance, so get a babysitter for your children so you can have an out-of-home sit-down, and silence your phones while it takes place. 

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DuPage County divorce attorney

It is understandable to be concerned about your child’s well-being during your divorce process. It is an emotional and stressful time for everyone involved, especially for children. 

To them, it can seem like their whole world is being torn apart. Scientific studies have examined the effect of divorce on children, with interesting results:

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Naperville divorce lawyer electronic parenting timeIt is important to be mindful of your children during the divorce process. Their lives are changing in many different ways, and they need to have some sort of stability during the process. After a divorce has been finalized, and the division of parenting time has been determined, it is important to have a schedule in which a child knows they are going to be able to see their parents at a designated time. 

No matter how devoted a parent is to their child, there may be circumstances beyond their control which do not allow them to be present during their scheduled parenting time. If that is the case, Illinois is a state that allows for electronic parenting time or visitation for parents. Electronic parenting time involves the parent spending time with the child using a video call, a phone call, email, or other messaging system. Modern technology makes it easier than ever for parents to be present in their child’s lives, even if they are hundreds or thousands of miles away, and parents should be sure to understand how best to use these tools to maintain a close connection with their children. 

Who Is Eligible for Electronic Parenting Time?

Not every parent or child will need to use or be eligible for electronic parenting time. This solution should not be used in cases involving abuse or habitual deviance from the schedule that was defined in the divorce decree. Electronic parenting time is typically used under extraordinary circumstances, or when it is in the child’s best interests, such as the following cases:

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorney

If divorce is something you are considering, or you are in the middle of a divorce case, one of your primary questions may be, “How long does it take to get divorced?”

Going through divorce increases stress and emotions, so it makes sense that you want to finish the process as soon as possible. It does not have to take years, but a quick divorce depends upon multiple elements coming together at once. 

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DuPage County divorce lawyer infidelity adulteryInfidelity in marriage is one of the most common reasons people choose to file for divorce. Once one person in a marriage commits adultery, their partner may feel that their trust has been broken and that they cannot repair the relationship. Couples in Illinois may wonder how adultery can affect their divorce case. 

Grounds for Divorce

The state of Illinois does not accept adultery as a reason to file for divorce. Illinois offers what is called “no-fault” divorce, meaning that neither party is considered to be at fault for the dissolution of the marriage. In the past, the law included a list of several different reasons that could be used as grounds to file for divorce. However, the only grounds for divorce that are currently recognized is “irreconcilable differences,” which means that a couple’s marriage has broken down and is beyond repair. 

Usually, there is no need to demonstrate that irreconcilable differences exist, and a divorce will be granted if both spouses agree to end the marriage. However, if one spouse objects to the divorce, adultery could be shown to be the cause of the irreconcilable differences, and if the petitioner can make the case that the marriage is irretrievable due to these differences, the divorce will typically be granted. If a couple is separated for at least six months, it is presumed they have met the requirement for irreconcilable differences. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce petition lawyerWhen a person files a petition for divorce, they are required to make the other person in the relationship aware of the petition by legally serving them with the divorce papers. Once the divorce petition has been served, the other party has a window of 30 days to file a response. After the respondent has filed a response, a hearing date will be set. In rare cases, it is possible that the person being served will not respond to the divorce petition in time. If that does happen, the court may judge the divorce to be a default divorce.

What Can Happen With a Default Divorce?

If the respondent does not file their response to a divorce petition in time, a default divorce will occur. Since the court does not have a response from the other party, they will typically grant the requests in the initial divorce petition after a brief hearing. These requests can involve issues such as spousal maintenance or child support payments, property division, or child custody.  

If you are served with divorce papers, it is possible to ask for an extension before filing a full response. If an extension is granted, the petitioner will not be able to ask for a default judgment right away. After the judgment has been granted, there is also a limited period of time in which the respondent can ask the court to reconsider the judgment. It is usually necessary to have a legitimate explanation for why you did not respond to the divorce petition, and it is likely the judge will ask for proof of your explanation. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce and taxes attorneyCouples will need to work out many issues during the divorce process, including child custody, division of assets, spousal maintenance, and/or child support payments. In addition to addressing the legal issues involved in dissolving the marriage, these decisions will also affect each party’s income taxes for that year and going forward. If you are considering divorce or have already begun the divorce process, it is important to understand how the decisions made will impact you when it is time to file your taxes. 

Filing Status

Married couples can report their income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on one tax return by selecting the “married filing jointly” status on their tax return. Couples will often pay less taxes if they file jointly instead of separately. If you are separating from your spouse, and the divorce has not been completed as of December 31st, you can still file your taxes as “married filing jointly” for that year. In the year in which the divorce decree is final, you will no longer have the option of filing jointly. If you and your significant other are still in an amicable relationship during the divorce process, you may wish to consult with a financial advisor to determine if you should take advantage of the ability to file jointly while you still can. 

Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, or alimony, is a common element of many divorce proceedings. For divorces completed prior to December 31, 2018, maintenance is deductible on a tax return for the payor and must be reported as taxable income for the payee. For divorces finalized on or after January 1, 2019, that “divorce subsidy” will no be longer available. 

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Naperville divorce and legal separation lawyerMarriage is a legal union between two people, but when one or both of those people no longer wish to be in the marriage, they may feel it is necessary to get a divorce. However, there are other steps couples may take besides divorce, depending on their situation. In some cases, couples may choose legal separation or annulment. If you are considering ending your marriage, it is important to know the difference between legal separation, annulment, and divorce. 

Legal Separation

Couples who are considering a permanent split may separate for a time if they are trying to work through their differences. However, this is not the same as a legal separation. Legal separation is an agreement or decision that is specifically put in place by the court. It outlines the rights and obligations of each person in the relationship until further action is taken. Legal separation is not necessary if couples can agree on their rights and obligations while they are separated, but it can be a helpful step to take in case a disagreement arises over issues such as child custody, visitation, or property rights.

Annulment

Annulment, also known as a judgment of invalidity, is the legal process of declaring that a marriage is not valid, essentially saying that the marriage never existed at all. A marriage may be annulled in Illinois if one partner did not consent to the marriage, was already married to another person, or was under the age of 18.

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Winfield bankruptcy lawyerWhile many people have debts that they owe, some people end up in a difficult financial situation and become unable to pay back their debts while meeting their ongoing needs. Bankruptcy laws are intended to give individuals a second chance to get their finances in order. By filing for bankruptcy, you are signaling to the court that you cannot pay off your debts. When filing for bankruptcy, you will need to describe all your property and assets. You will also disclose your financial situation, including all your debts. There are multiple different types of bankruptcy to file depending on what fits the needs of an individual or business.

Types of Bankruptcy 

The most common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. 

  • Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will lead to all of the individual’s non-exempt property being liquidated in order to cover as much of their debt as possible. Illinois law provides exemptions for some types of property, including vehicles under a certain value, tools of the trade, and some personal belongings. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will result in the debt being discharged after all non-exempt property is sold.
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be filed when an individual wishes to keep their property and use their income to pay off their debts. With Chapter 13, a payment plan for a period of three to five years will be put in place by the court, after which any outstanding debts will be discharged.  

Businesses will most commonly file Chapter 11 bankruptcy:

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Wheaton Domestic Abuse AttorneyDomestic violence in a relationship is a serious issue that millions of people face every day. For many, the warning signs are ignored or rationalized, but nobody deserves to live in an abusive situation. Physical violence does not have to occur to qualify as domestic violence. A pattern of mental or emotional abuse can emerge over the course of time, leading a person to feel unsafe in their relationship. Whatever the form of abuse a person suffers, they can achieve safety by obtaining an order of protection issued by a judge.

The Process of Obtaining an Order of Protection

If you reach a point in time when you feel the need to escape an abusive relationship, the first thing to do is make sure you are safe. The most common time for a victim of domestic violence to be attacked is when they attempt to leave the person who is abusing them or when they reach out to somebody for help. While getting out of an abusive situation and protecting your safety is important, you should also consider what may happen after you leave. If you are in danger, do not hesitate to contact law enforcement.

Once you are prepared, you will need to fill out a form to apply for an order of protection, making sure to include all relevant information regarding the abuse. Once the form has been completed, it will need to be filed. You may be able to file the form online. Instructions for filing an order of protection form online can typically be found on the local circuit court clerk’s website. If not, the form will need to be filed at the courthouse in the county where the abusive party resides or where the abuse occurred. 

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Naperville adoption lawyer single parentIn the United States, non-traditional families are becoming more common and more widely accepted. These types of families include those with step-parents and step-children, same-sex couples, and grandparents raising their grandchildren. Also included in the non-traditional category are single-parent families in which either the mother or father solely raises the child. Traditionally, adoptions usually took place when a couple was married, but now more adoption agencies are helping non-traditional families to adopt as well. Pursuing adoption as a single parent can be extremely challenging and can test your dedication, which is why it is important to consider the following questions and fully understand how your life will change if you choose to adopt.

1. Do You Have a Support System?

It has often been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and in the case of the single parent, this could not be more true. Your support system will be crucial to your parenting success. The support of your family and friends can be invaluable when issues arise, and the help they can provide may include:

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