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630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Top Chicago Area Divorce Lawyers

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney spousal maintenance

The wish to share your life with a romantic partner is human nature. After you decide to file for divorce, you may be eager to find a boyfriend or girlfriend who can become the loving partner you wished your soon-to-be ex-spouse would have been. You may have even decided to end your marriage because you met someone else. While the desire to date before a divorce is finalized is understandable, dating during divorce can negatively impact the outcome of your divorce in several different ways.

Legal Implications of Dating During Divorce

You may be shocked to learn that adultery is technically a misdemeanor criminal offense in Illinois. Of course, it is almost never prosecuted and the chances of a person being convicted of adultery are nearly zero. However, dating before the completion of your divorce can have significant civil consequences.

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DuPage County contested divorce attorney

There are two types of divorce cases in Illinois: contested and uncontested. If you and your spouse cannot agree about the terms of your divorce, your divorce is contested. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be able to reach an agreement about divorce issues through negotiation, mediation, or collaborative law. If you cannot reach a settlement outside of court, your case will go to trial. Although divorce can vary from case to case, there are several basic steps involved in the contested divorce process in Illinois.

What to Expect During the Contested Divorce Process

Reaching an agreement about asset and debt division, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, child support, and spousal maintenance is not always easy. This is especially true in complex divorce cases such as those involving high income or hard-to-value assets. If you know that you and your spouse will struggle to reach an agreement about one or more divorce issues, your divorce will likely involve the following steps:

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Western Spring divorce attorney spousal maintenance

Leaving the workforce to become a full-time mother or father can be a huge advantage to your children as well as a risky career move. When you first decided to stay home with your children, you probably made the choice because it was in your children’s best interests. You placed your own professional goals on hold for the betterment of your family and trusted that your spouse’s income would sustain you. Now that you are facing the end of your marriage, you may have major concerns about the financial consequences brought on by the impending divorce. Fortunately, Illinois law provides several options that may help mitigate the negative financial effects of divorce for homemakers and stay-at-home mothers and fathers.

Non-Financial Contributions Are Considered 

Spousal maintenance refers to payments that the spouse with a higher income makes to the spouse with the lower income after divorce. If you and your spouse have already reached an agreement about maintenance through a valid prenuptial agreement, the court will likely uphold this agreement. If you do not have a marital agreement addressing maintenance, you have the right to petition the court for spousal maintenance. When deciding whether or not to award maintenance or alimony to a spouse, Illinois courts consider each spouse’s income and property, in addition to his or her needs. They also take into account any impairment to a spouse’s present and future earning capacity caused by child care obligations. The amount and duration of spousal maintenance is usually determined by statutory formula. If the combined yearly income of the spouses is greater than $500,000, the courts may deviate from the statutory formulas.

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Burr Ridge divorce attorney asset divisionResearch shows that approximately 60 percent of married individuals have committed some form of infidelity during their marriage. Marital infidelity may range from brief emotional affairs to long-term extramarital relationships. While some married couples can overcome an affair and rebuild a trusting relationship, others cannot and choose to divorce. If you have decided to end your marriage and infidelity played a role in the decision, you probably have questions about how the cheating will impact your divorce. Affairs can lead to legal implications as well as emotional complications during the divorce process.

Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

The spouse initiating a divorce is called the petitioner according to Illinois law. He or she petitions the court to grant the divorce. Traditionally, a spouse would need a valid reason or “grounds” for requesting the divorce. These grounds included impotence, abandonment, severe alcohol or drug abuse, mental cruelty, adultery, and other issues that led to the destruction of the marriage relationship. In 2016, Illinois eliminated all fault-based grounds. It is now a “pure no-fault” state and the only ground for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” Although adultery is no longer a legal reason for divorce, there are still several ways that infidelity may influence the outcome of your divorce.

Dissipation of Assets

Illinois law defines the “dissipation of assets” as the use of marital funds for a purpose that does not benefit the marriage during a time when the marriage is experiencing an “irretrievable breakdown.” One common example of dissipation occurs when a spouse spends a great deal of money on an affair partner. If a divorcing spouse buys expensive gifts for his boyfriend or girlfriend or takes an affair partner on a luxurious vacation, the other spouse may have a valid dissipation claim. If the innocent spouse and his or her lawyer can prove that the other spouse dissipated assets, the innocent spouse may be entitled to a proportionally larger share of the marital assets during property division.

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Burr Ridge divorce attorney spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony, can be a valuable source of financial support following a divorce. However, the order for spousal maintenance may become inappropriate if either party’s financial circumstances change dramatically. If you are currently paying spousal support to your ex-spouse or you are the recipient of maintenance payments, you may have questions about how and when a spousal maintenance order can be changed. Illinois courts only grant spousal support modifications if certain qualifying criteria are met.  

Alimony May Be Modified if There is a Substantial Change in Circumstances  

A spousal maintenance obligation typically terminates if the party receiving maintenance remarries or if either party passes away. If the receiving party is cohabitating with a romantic partner in a marriage-like relationship, the paying party may petition the court to have his or her maintenance obligation terminated. Illinois courts may modify the amount or duration of spousal maintenance if there is a “substantial change in circumstances.” When determining whether or not to grant a spousal maintenance modification, courts will consider factors such as:

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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