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What You Need to Know About Temporary Orders in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on October 20, 2022 in Illinois Family Law

dupage county divorce lawyerWhen a married couple decides to divorce, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made. How will their assets be divided? Where will the children live? Who will pay child support? These are all important questions that must be addressed during the divorce process. While a couple's divorce decree will set down the final decisions made in these areas, some issues may need to be addressed while the case is ongoing. Temporary orders can address these issues.

What Are Temporary Orders?

Temporary orders (sometimes referred to as temporary relief) are court orders that are issued on a temporary basis during a divorce case. In Illinois, a person will request temporary relief when filing a divorce petition, and the other spouse may also make requests when they file a response. The judge will address these requests and issue temporary orders at the beginning of the case. 

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How Is Joint Child Custody Handled in Illinois Family Law Cases?

 Posted on September 26, 2022 in Illinois Family Law

dupage county child custody lawyerAddressing matters related to child custody is often one of the most difficult aspects of getting a divorce. Unmarried parents may also need to address this issue, and both parents may be looking to determine how they can share custody of their children. In Illinois, joint child custody is generally presumed to be in the child's best interests unless there is evidence showing that it would not be. However, understanding exactly what joint custody entails is not always easy, and parents will need to be aware of how legal and physical custody are addressed in Illinois law.

Understanding Joint Child Custody

When matters involving child custody are addressed in family courts, the decisions made will usually be separated into two distinct categories, commonly referred to as legal and physical custody. Legal custody, which Illinois law refers to as the "allocation of parental responsibilities," refers to decision-making power for things like education and medical care. Physical custody is known as "parenting time" in Illinois, and it includes any time that children spend in the care of a parent. Physical custody will address where children will primarily live and when they will stay in each parent's home.

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UPDATE: Can I Prevent My Ex from Hiring a Babysitter During Parenting Time?

 Posted on September 14, 2022 in Parental Rights

IL divorce lawyerOriginally published: April 30, 2020 -- Updated: September 14, 2022

Update: The right of first refusal, as discussed below, may address situations where one parent is unavailable to care for children during their scheduled parenting time. However, if these situations occur frequently, and a parent is regularly unavailable to address children's needs when required, the other parent may believe that it will be necessary to modify their child custody agreement and ensure that children will be able to have the care they need from a parent going forward. By understanding the requirements for post-divorce modifications, a parent can make sure these situations will be addressed correctly.

Modifications to the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time will usually only be allowed if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original child custody agreement was put into place. There are multiple factors in the lives of parents or children that may be changes that are considered significant enough to warrant a child custody modification. For example, if a parent has found a new job with different hours, and they now require a babysitter or family member to pick children up from school and care for them during the evenings, the other parent may ask for their parenting plan to be modified so they can care for the children during these times. 

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How Are Legal Separations Handled in Illinois?

 Posted on August 26, 2022 in Illinois Family Law

dupage county legal separation lawyerNo marriage is perfect, and married couples may encounter relationship issues for a variety of reasons. Some common factors that can lead a couple to grow apart include disagreements about finances or how to raise children, changing priorities that cause a couple to be incompatible, or extramarital affairs. For those who believe that they can no longer make their marriage work, divorce may be the best option. However, many couples are not ready for this permanent, final step, and they may first wish to separate on a trial basis. In other cases, a couple may prefer to stay legally married, even if they no longer wish to have a close relationship or live in the same home. This will allow them to maintain certain benefits and avoid the stigma of a divorce. In these situations, legal separation may be the ideal option.

The Process of Legal Separation in Illinois

For married couples who live in Illinois, a legal separation is handled in a very similar manner as a divorce. The process begins when one spouse files a petition for legal separation with the court in their county of residence. Once the paperwork is filed, the other spouse will be served with the petition and given 30 days to file a response. If both spouses agree on the terms of their legal separation, they can sign a separation agreement that will be submitted to the court.

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How Are Disputes About Post-Divorce Relocation Handled in Illinois?

 Posted on August 12, 2022 in Illinois Family Law

illinois child custody lawyerWhen parents get divorced, they may put child custody arrangements in place to ensure they can be closely involved in raising their children. Maintaining strong parent/child relationships in the years following a divorce can be crucial for a child's well-being. However, these relationships may be affected by a parent's decision to relocate to a new home. If a parent plans to move with their children to a different city or state, and this relocation would impact child custody or parenting time, the parent will usually need to request a post-divorce modification. By understanding the specific laws in Illinois that govern parental relocation, parents can determine their options for resolving disputes in these situations. 

When Are Parental Relocation Requests Necessary?

A move to a new home by a parent will only be considered a “relocation” in certain circumstances. A relocation request may be made by a parent who has been allocated the majority of the parenting time with the couple’s children, meaning that children live primarily in their home. These requests may also be appropriate in cases where children spend an equal amount of time with both parents. Parents will need to request approval for a relocation in the following circumstances:

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How Can I Make Sure My Prenuptial Agreement Will Be Enforceable?

 Posted on July 26, 2022 in Illinois Family Law

oakbrook terrace prenuptial agreement lawyerA prenuptial agreement, or prenup, can be an important legal document that protects married spouses. As a contract between two parties who are planning to get married, a prenup will detail how different issues will be handled if the couple chooses to get a divorce in the future. Typically, a prenuptial agreement will be limited to addressing financial issues, such as property division or spousal maintenance. A prenup can provide both parties with the assurance that certain issues will be handled correctly if their marriage ever ends, and it can remove the possibility of conflict by resolving some disputes ahead of time. However, to avoid disputes related to the terms of an agreement, it is important to make sure a prenup will be valid and enforceable.

Addressing Concerns About Prenup Enforceability

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract, and both parties will need to be sure they fully understand all of the terms of the agreement and have the mental capacity to make sound decisions about financial matters. Once a prenup has been signed, and a couple has been legally married, its terms will usually be enforced in the event of a divorce. However, there are a few rare situations where a prenup may be determined to be unenforceable.

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When Is a Spouse Eligible for Spousal Support in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on July 13, 2022 in Spousal Support

dupage county spousal maintenance lawyerWhen a married couple splits up, they will often need to make significant changes to the ways they handle financial issues. A couple that had combined their finances, deposited income into joint accounts, and worked together to pay bills and other expenses will need to separate their finances and determine how they will each be able to pay various costs on their own. While this process can be complicated and difficult, spouses will usually be able to make adjustments to ensure that they will each be able to live comfortably on a single income. However, there are some situations where one spouse may be unable to fully support themselves after their divorce, such as when a stay-at-home parent did not work outside the home during their marriage. In these situations, one spouse may believe that they should receive spousal support from the other. By understanding when a spouse may qualify for this form of support, a couple can ensure that this issue will be handled correctly during the divorce process.

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Are Parents Required to Pay Expenses In Addition to Child Support?

 Posted on June 22, 2022 in Illinois Family Law

oakbrook terrace child support lawyerIn most family law cases involving children, child support will be ordered. Child support is usually a factor when parents choose to divorce, but it may also need to be addressed in situations where parents are unmarried. This form of support is not meant to benefit or penalize either parent, but it is instead a right that is afforded to children so that their ongoing needs will be met. Parents will need to understand how child support payments will be calculated, and depending on their unique circumstances, they may also be ordered to contribute to additional expenses on top of child support ordered by the court.

How Parents May Share Children’s Expenses

Child support obligations are determined based on the income earned by each parent, and in some cases, the parents’ respective amounts of parenting time may also factor into these calculations. This “basic support obligation” is intended to cover children’s daily needs, and the parent who receives payments may use them to address the costs of food, clothing, and housing. However, there are usually other costs involved in raising children, and in addition to the basic obligation, expenses such as the following may need to be added to this amount:

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What Caretaking Functions Are Considered in Child Custody Cases?

 Posted on June 08, 2022 in Child Custody

dupage county child custody lawyerParents may become involved in child custody disputes during a divorce or the breakup of an unmarried couple. In these situations, making decisions about how parents will share legal custody and divide parenting time can be difficult. When addressing these issues, it is important to understand how the laws in Illinois may affect a case. Even if a couple plans to negotiate a parenting agreement rather than resolving disputes in the courtroom, knowing how the law addresses their situation can help them make the right decisions. One issue that may play a role in these matters is the way parents have handled and expect to continue handling “caretaking functions” for their children.

What Are Caretaking Functions?

Parents will engage in a number of activities as they provide care for their children, ensure that children’s needs are met, and help children grow and develop successfully. Illinois law details a number of these caretaking functions, and it states that parents are responsible for engaging in these functions during their parenting time. When determining how to allocate parenting time between parents, one factor that may be considered is how each parent has been involved in caretaking functions for their children during the two years immediately preceding the initiation of a divorce or child custody case.

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Update: Can I Spend Money or Give Away Assets Before My Divorce?

 Posted on May 25, 2022 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyer

Originally published: February 16, 2021 -- Updated: May 25, 2022

UPDATE: Below, we look at how the divorce laws may address attempts by a spouse to hide or conceal assets prior to or during their divorce. However, it is also important to understand how the law addresses the dissipation of marital assets. Dissipation is the use of marital property for non-marital purposes after a marriage has begun to undergo an irretrievable breakdown. Asset dissipation can take many forms, including cases where a spouse spends money on an extramarital affair, such as by taking vacations with a lover or buying them gifts. However, it may also involve purchasing items or using marital funds for a person’s sole benefit, spending money on a drug or gambling addiction, or purposely destroying property with the intent of harming the other spouse.

During the property division process, a spouse may make an asset dissipation claim stating that they believed the other spouse engaged in improper behavior by spending, wasting, or destroying marital property. However, they will need to show that these actions occurred after the marriage started breaking down beyond repair, and a claim must be made within three years after a spouse discovered that the alleged dissipation took place. Claims of asset dissipation cannot address any actions that took place more than five years before the divorce process began when one spouse filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. If a court determines that asset dissipation occurred, the spouse who dissipated assets may be required to reimburse the marital estate for the value of the dissipated assets, or they may receive a lesser share of marital assets upon the completion of the couple’s divorce.

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