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IL divorce lawyerFamily law issues in the U.S. can be especially complicated for Muslims, whether they were born and raised in the U.S. or are recent immigrants. For instance, many Muslims in DuPage County have ties to non-Western cultures and traditions that often are seen as being in conflict with Western values that often are seen as more prevalent in the U.S. Yet more American Muslims are filing for divorce than ever before.

To be sure, it is important to recognize that many American Muslims are filing for divorce at higher rates. These divorces highlight a growing number of Muslims in the United States deciding to end their marriages for various reasons.

Rates of Divorce Among American Muslims

Currently, the overall divorce rate in the U.S. is right around 45 percent. The divorce rate in the country has declined since the 1970s and 1980s, but it still remains relatively high. In Canada, the divorce rate is at about 37 percent—less than the overall rate in the U.S., but still comparatively high. How does the Muslim divorce rate in the U.S. and Canada compare? In short, there is not a lot of research that has been conducted on this topic, and as such, there is very little data. Back in 1990, one study suggested that the divorce rate among Muslims in North America was just over 30 percent, which was less than the average divorce rates in the U.S. and Canada but significantly higher than divorce rates among Muslim communities in other parts of the world.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you have made the decision to file for divorce — or you have at least made the decision to speak with an attorney about the possibility of filing for divorce—the next steps can feel daunting. For most residents of DuPage County, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer. Once you have scheduled an initial consultation, you will likely be wondering what you need to bring with you when you meet with a divorce attorney for the first time. While preparing for a divorce consultation can feel intimidating, you should keep in mind that this consultation is for you so that you can get a sense of the attorney’s role in the process, whether you want to work with this particular divorce lawyer, and what major issues you are likely to face in your divorce.

The family law advocates at Farooqi & Husain Law Office have years of experience assisting members of the Muslim community in DuPage County with divorce. Recognizing the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) will govern your divorce proceedings, the following is a checklist to consider when preparing for your divorce consultation.

1. Financial Documents

The first and most important category of items to bring to any divorce consultation concerns your finances (and financial documents from the marriage). The divorce lawyer will want to have a sense of the complexity of dividing marital property, whether you will want to seek spousal maintenance (or should expect to pay spousal maintenance), and how the court is likely to handle child support if there are still minor children from your marriage or if you have children in college.

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Posted on in Spousal Support

IL family lawyerGetting divorced can take a significant financial toll on any couple or family, especially when just one of the spouses was the primary earner. Whether one spouse stayed at home during the marriage to raise children or simply had a lower earning job, divorce can be extremely difficult when parties begin living on only one income. Alimony, which is known as spousal maintenance under Illinois law, is a term to describe a maintenance payment from one spouse to the other in order to account for substantial differences in income levels as a result of the divorce. Spousal maintenance is not awarded in all divorces, but it is awarded in many of them.

Factors for Awarding Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

In order for one spouse to receive alimony or spousal maintenance from the other spouse, the spouse seeking the maintenance must request it. The first step the court takes when it receives a request for spousal maintenance is to determine whether it is appropriate. In other words, should the spouse who wants maintenance receive it?

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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

IL family lawyerFiling for divorce in DuPage County can be complicated and frustrating when you do not have the help of an experienced lawyer on your side, especially when it comes to the division of marital property. One of the most contentious issues in divorces is property division. Under Part V of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), marital property is divided according to a theory of division known as equitable distribution. This means that all marital property will be divided in a way that the court considers fair—but not necessarily equal—to both parties.

Yet in order to understand how the equitable distribution of marital property might work, it is essential to understand how the court classifies marital property.

Marital Versus Non-Marital Property in Illinois

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you get divorced in DuPage County and have an uncontested divorce—or believe you will have an uncontested divorce - then you may have heard about a marital settlement agreement. What is a marital settlement agreement, and why do you need to have one? In short, marital settlement agreements are used when spouses are getting divorced but agree to the terms of the divorce. The marital settlement agreement can clarify how assets, payments, and other financial matters are divided. We will provide you with some additional information about the marital settlement agreement, and then we will give you some examples of what it can contain.

What Is Included in the Marital Settlement Agreement?

Typically, when a couple enters into an uncontested divorce—this means that the couple agrees to all terms of the divorce and the court does not need to make any decisions about financial matters, for instance—then that couple will also enter into a marital settlement agreement.

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Illinois family lawyerThere are many situations in which a wife wants to file for divorce, but the husband controls all of the money thereby making it difficult for the wife to afford an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer to help with the case. For wives in DuPage County who want to file for divorce but have been stay-at-home parents throughout the marriage, or for another reason the husband controls the marital assets, it is important to know that there may be options to obtain attorney fees from the husband.

The dedicated family law advocates at Farooqi & Husain Law Office are committed to providing counsel for members of the Muslim community throughout DuPage County, and we can speak with you today about paying for your divorce when your husband controls the family’s finances.

Temporary Relief and Petition for Attorney Fees

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Illinois family lawyerIf you are thinking about filing for divorce in DuPage County, it is important to have an experienced advocate on your side throughout the process. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we regularly assist members of the Muslim community with family law matters, including the dissolution of marriage. Your Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorney can help to ensure that you are prepared for divorce and that you have taken all of the necessary steps, but in the meantime, we have some tips for making sure that you are on the proper track.

1. Get Your Finances in Order

Whether you handle the family finances or not, it is important to get your finances in order and to have a clear sense of marital property. As such, you should carefully consider your income and your budget, and you should also make a list of all marital property that you know about. When you make a list of property, be sure to include both assets and debts, and provide the following information:

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Illinois family lawyerWhen you are considering divorce or already have filed for divorce in DuPage County, you should be thinking about hiring a divorce attorney who can assist with your case. Divorce law in Illinois is complicated, and legal issues arising in a divorce can be particularly contentious. Nearly all matters pertaining to divorce are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Divorce attorneys should have experience handling cases similar to yours, such as those involving complex property division, high asset divorce, contentious custody issues, or concerns about maintenance and support. But how do you pick the best attorney for you? A publication from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) provides some tips for choosing a divorce lawyer who is best for your case.

Seeking Out Particular Criteria in a Divorce Attorney in Oakbrook Terrace

To pick the best divorce attorney for your case, you should have a sense of some of the particular criteria you are looking for in an advocate. For example:

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Illinois divorce lawyerIf you are currently paying alimony in Oakbrook Terrace  (or “spousal maintenance,” as it is known under Illinois law), or if you are planning to file for divorce in 2018, it is important to think carefully about how the new tax plan could affect alimony payments. In short, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will change the way your spousal maintenance payments — whether you pay them or receive them — affect your total taxable income and thus the amount of tax you pay. To be sure, Trump’s tax bill will make 2018 an interesting year for those looking to divorce. What does this mean for Illinois residents, and is there anything you need to do before the tax plan takes effect?

Alimony, Tax Deductions, and Taxable Income

The new tax bill comes with big tax cuts for certain individuals and entities. In order to raise revenue that will be lost through the tax cuts, the Republicans who drafted the bill turned to alimony as a possible source of revenue. Under the new bill, spousal support paid by one spouse to the other will not be tax deductible, and the recipient spouse no longer has to pay taxes on it. How is this different from the current system?

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Illinois divorce lawyerThe holiday season in DuPage County is upon us, and with it comes the looming threat of divorce. Whether you celebrate Christmas or are a member of the Muslim community of Oakbrook Terrace, the general holiday season in the country — from Thanksgiving through the New Year — is often a time in which married couples reevaluate their positions and consider the possibility of making a change as part of a New Year’s resolution. And it is not simply the winter holiday season that results in a spike in divorce rates. A recent divorce study concluded that a majority of divorce filings occur soon after the winter holiday season, and then soon after summer vacations come to an end.

What else should you know about filing for divorce after the holidays?

Divorce Day or the Beginning of the Work Week after the Holiday Season

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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

Illinois divorce lawyerHow often do residents of DuPage County file for divorce, and how frequent are those divorce rates in comparison to the national average? We often hear that a high number of marriages end in divorce, but how often is that actually true? And for marriages that do end in divorce, are there certain predictors that might help us to determine a couple’s risk for divorce? We often hear similar questions from our clients, and we know that residents of Oakbrook Terrace who are thinking about filing for divorce have questions about divorce rates in the area.

We have some statistics to help you understand the facts and figures surrounding divorce in DuPage County, as well as across the country.

Getting the Facts About American Divorce

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Illinois child support lawIf you live in DuPage County and have been thinking about filing for divorce, you may know that Illinois law recently changed when it comes to child support. In brief, as of July 1, 2017, Illinois now follows the “income shares” model when calculating child support obligations. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/505), the court calculates both parents’ combined net income, and then determines the total amount of the child support obligation from the schedule. The court then calculates each of the parent’s percentage share of that child support obligation.

How does parenting time affect each parent’s percentage share of the child support obligation? When parents share parenting time equally, the court is unlikely to adjust a parent’s percentage share of the child support obligation based on parenting time. But what about when parenting time is not shared equally between the parents?

When the “Shared Physical Care” Formula Might Apply

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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

Illinois divorce attorneyWhy do most people in DuPage County file for divorce? We often hear about couples deciding to get divorced after years of marriage, and sometimes the reasons are unclear. While every family’s situation is unique, there are sometimes similarities among the causes for divorce. We have gathered some facts about frequent reasons for divorce from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), MSN, and Divorce Magazine. Many of the top causes for divorce trend across these resources, and we have collected them for you here.

1. Lack of Commitment and/or Support for the Spouse and to the Marriage

Many couples who get divorced cite a lack of commitment from the other spouse—either to the marriage in general, or to the educational, professional, and/or personal goals of the other spouse. According to the MSN article, about 73 percent of couples who get divorced cite a lack of commitment from the other spouse as one of the reasons they filed for divorce. About 62 percent of those spouses indicate that they wished their spouse would have tried harder to make the marriage work, and anywhere from 21 percent to 37 percent of those spouses also blame themselves, wishing they had made their commitment to the marriage clearer.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyIn Illinois divorce cases, it is very important that you work with a dedicated Oakbrook Terrace family law attorney from the start of your case to ensure that all divorce matters are handled smoothly. It is a good idea to have a better understanding about how the divorce process will work. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we are committed to providing family law services to members of the Muslim community, and we can answer your questions about divorce today.

If you want to divorce your spouse, there are some key features of Illinois divorce that you should learn more about.

Have You Met the Requirements to File for Divorce?

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,If you are filing for divorce or are in the midst of dissolving your marriage, how will you be impacted by the availability of temporary support? For many Muslims in DuPage County, temporary support is a significant issue. If you were the primary earner in your household during your marriage, you will need to be aware that the court can order you to pay temporary support for your spouse and children until other orders are finalized. And if you were not the primary earner in your family, you are likely to have questions about whether you will be eligible for temporary spousal support and temporary child support until your divorce is completed.

Major changes to Illinois’s marriage and divorce laws will take effect on January 1, 2016, and one of those new laws deals specifically with temporary support.

Establishing the Need for Temporary Support

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spousal support changes, Islamic divorce lawyer ChicagoStarting January 1, 2015, Illinois made significant changes to its laws regarding spousal maintenance. The formula for determining maintenance underwent significant alteration. This revives an ongoing debate among Muslim scholars and attorneys, however: a non-religious court may order spousal support, but it is generally considered to be haram amongst Islamic faithful. Divorce laws in the United States take precedence over religious laws, but within Islamic law itself, there is a growing trend to argue in favor of maintenance, under the Islamic principle of mut‘at-al-ṭalāq. It is possible for some to reconcile the two bodies of law.

Traditional Rationale

Generally, under traditional Islamic law, post-divorce maintenance was held to be haram because it was seen as an "additional" benefit to the wife. She was said to have “exhausted her share” during the marriage by being fed, clothed and sheltered by her husband. Support was permissible during the three-month religiously imposed waiting period (“‘iddat al-ṭalāq”) but not afterward.

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Islamic divorce attorney, Illinois divorce attorney, Islamic family law attorney, Islamic law can be quite complex in several areas, none more so than divorce. While standard secular divorce has many different requirements and stages, there are certain common occurrences that conflict with Islamic principles. Sometimes you may require the services of an experienced Islamic family law attorney in order to successfully navigate these obstacles in an Islamically acceptable way.

Who Keeps the Mahr?

Mahr, often incorrectly translated as “dowry,” means a gift from the groom to the bride upon the occasion of their wedding. There has been much ink spilled on the question of whether or not a wife may keep her mahr even after divorce. The short answer depends on who possesses the right of divorce and who initiates it.

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