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Recent Blog Posts

Can divorced parents live in different states?

 Posted on September 01, 2021 in Divorce

A divorce with children may become complex, especially if one parent wants to relocate and the other does not. Regardless of the reasons, a move to another state may complicate post-divorce parenting.

Parenting across state boundaries may seem impossible, but it can happen. If both people work together and keep the lines of communication open, their children do not have to bear the emotional brunt of a relocated parent. Learn more about how co-parenting across the miles can occur.

Revamp the visitation schedule

Depending on the distance between parents, the parenting plan will need revising to account for the distance. Some of the elements that an out-of-state visitation plan may contain include:

  • Extended visitation in summer and during school breaks
  • Travel arrangements for children
  • Parental responsibility and expenses

When the out-of-state parent is unable to visit with the children, the parenting plan may address provisions for phone calls and video conferencing. Setting out a virtual visitation schedule may prove beneficial for filling the gaps between in-person time.

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Do I need to get my own health insurance if I get divorced?

 Posted on August 01, 2021 in Divorce

Those of us with decent health insurance have the peace of mind of knowing that if we get sick or badly injured, we can get the medical care we need without a massive bill afterward. The same goes for our children. Your health plan may not be perfect, and dealing with the insurance company is not always pleasant, but it certainly beats having no insurance at all.

Most married couples in the Chicago area put the family on one spouse’s plan. But if that couple gets a divorce, what happens? Does each spouse have to get their own health insurance? What if one spouse does not work outside the home and does not have access to an employment-based plan?

Spousal continuation and your divorce

Fortunately, Illinois law allows you to stay on your ex’s health insurance after your divorce. It’s called “spousal continuation.” A statute lays out the steps you and your ex must take to make this happen.

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Do I qualify for a change in spousal maintenance?

 Posted on July 01, 2021 in Divorce

After agreeing to the terms decided upon between you and your spouse, you signed divorce papers, but as time goes by, life and circumstances change. The change may have affected your financial situation, leading you to believe you need more money to keep yourself stable.

Although divorce decrees are legally binding, you can ask the courts to alter certain areas. Spousal support is one of those for which you can request a modification.

Factors involved

There must be a substantial change in your financial status to justify a modification for spousal support. Judges consider different factors to decide if you meet the requirement.

These factors include:

  • A change in employment
  • An increase or decrease in income since the divorce order
  • Not able to earn current or future earnings because of disability
  • Tax implications on the support and how it could affect the overall financial situation

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How to adjust to shared child custody during the school year

 Posted on June 01, 2021 in Child Custody

By now, almost all schoolchildren in the Naperville area are on summer vacation. But summer goes by fast. In a few months, school will start again, with most (if not all) students planning on back to in-person learning this fall.

If you are getting divorced this summer, the 2021-22 school year could be your kids’ first time dealing with school while also living in a shared child custody arrangement. This will require adjustments for yourself, your ex, and most importantly, the children. Fortunately, by keeping your children’s schooling in mind when negotiating your parenting plan, you can make the transition easier and help your kids thrive in their education.

Two possible custody plans to help your kids in school

There are several options that allow you to share custody while still giving your kids stability so they can go to class, do their homework, and take part in extracurricular activities. One option is to have the children alternate weeks between your and your ex’s homes. This is a good option for older children who can better handle being away from one of their parents for an entire week. A twist on the week-to-week plan is to throw in a mid-week evening visit or overnight stay. For example, the child could be living with parent A for the week but have dinner (or spend the night) with parent B on Wednesday night, then vice versa the next week.

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How does divorce affect your retirement savings?

 Posted on May 01, 2021 in Divorce

Throughout your marriage, you and your spouse accumulate many assets, and during a divorce, you must split your valuables equitably.

Retirement plans are often among people’s most valuable property. If you have savings set aside for your senior years, you should understand how a divorce in Illinois will impact those funds.

Is your retirement account a marital asset?

As with most assets, any savings you accumulate before the marriage are not considered marital property. Any contributions made after your union are marital property unless you have a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement that excludes the account. Illinois treats these contributions like any other marital property.

How is the account divided?

Typically, a divorcing couple either divides the savings at retirement or one spouse buys the other out of the plan. If the latter, one spouse usually obtains marital property with a value equal to his or her interest.

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How can you protect your business from divorce?

 Posted on April 01, 2021 in Divorce

Divorce can create a lot of problems for business owners. If you have put your assets into a business and they are subject to division during divorce proceedings, it could jeopardize everything that you have worked hard to achieve.

There are a few things that business owners can do to proactively protect a company against divorce. Some simple but effective precautionary steps may make it possible for you to preserve your interests, keep your business going, and continue meeting your obligations to partners or creditors.

Create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

An agreement stating that the assets you invest in a business are not marital property is an excellent way to safeguard them. If you are already married but do not have a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can have the same binding effect.

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For wealthy Naperville parents, lifestyle maintenance can influence child support

 Posted on February 01, 2021 in Child Support

When a couple getting divorced relied on one high-income breadwinner, it is often a priority for the other spouse to receive enough marital property to maintain the lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage. Alternatively, spousal maintenance can help a divorced person continue to enjoy the same comforts they did during the marriage.

While divorce will affect their children’s lives, most Naperville parents would want to minimize the impact — both emotionally and economically. Child support is how divorced and unmarried parents in Illinois make sure that their children’s basic needs are met. But for high-income families, child support can also have the purpose of maintaining the children’s lifestyle after their parents split up.

Child support can be different for high earner parents

State law includes a formula for calculating child support based on several factors, including each parent’s income. But family court judges can deviate above the calculated level of support when the noncustodial parent’s income is high. Depending on that parent’s income and financial resources, the court might order them to pay thousands of dollars a month in child support. Besides the basics like food and shelter, the custodial parent can use this money to pay for things like sports, private tutors, designer clothes and vehicles.

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3 FAQs about who gets the house after divorce

 Posted on February 01, 2021 in Property Division

Determining who keeps the family home after divorce is often a financially, legally and emotionally complex process, especially when a couple shares young children.

During an uncontested divorce, spouses may be able to negotiate an agreement. However, if spouses cannot agree on ownership, the court treats the home as it does other types of assets that may be subject to equitable distribution under the law.

1. Is the family home marital property?

With the exception of personal gifts and inheritances, nearly all assets that either spouse acquires during marriage automatically become shared marital property subject to court division upon divorce. This includes the family home, even if only one party’s name is on the deed.

2. How might the court handle award of the home?

Rather than dividing each marital asset equally, the court distributes property according to what it deems fair to the needs of each party and shared children. For example, a judge may award the home to the parent that has primary childcare responsibilities but award a greater portion of another type of asset to the other spouse.

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How retirement can affect spousal maintenance in Illinois

 Posted on December 01, 2020 in Alimony

Though permanent spousal maintenance is rare in Chicago-area divorces, it does happen. Spousal maintenance, commonly known as alimony, is meant to provide financial support to one spouse. The purpose is to give the spouse time to develop the job skills necessary to be financially independent or maintain the spouse’s lifestyle during the marriage but cannot afford to keep up on their own.

Most of the time, spousal maintenance is temporary. The spouses either agree to alimony for a set number of years, or the judge presiding over the divorce awards maintenance with a certain end date. But indefinite alimony is allowed in Illinois. When permanent spousal support is part of a divorce order, it is usually because one of the exes gave up working to support the other ex’s career. They agreed to be the primary homemaker and child-rearer to allow their spouse to focus on achieving their work goals. Now, after many years of depending on their spouse for income, they have few, if any, job skills.

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Is it reasonable to expect a 50/50 child custody arrangement?

 Posted on December 01, 2020 in Child Custody

As in other states, Illinois law now uses the term “parenting time” in lieu of “physical custody”. This reflects the fact that family courts prioritize thebest interests of the childwhen determining whether he or she lives with one parent or alternates between households.

In general, the court favors an arrangement that fosters a close relationship with both parents. However, even when parents share physical custody, the time that the child spends with each parent may not be evenly split. Additionally, if one parent has demonstrated that he or she is unfit, the court may award sole custody to the other ex-spouse.

Physical custody and parenting plans

Even when parents share physical custody, it is unlikely that the child will spend precisely half of his or her time with each parent. Rather, divorcing individuals must submit adetailed parenting planthat specifies which days of the week the child will spend with each parent, including holidays and school breaks.

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