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630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Top Chicago Area Divorce Lawyers

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The COVID-19 pandemic aftermath has left many people financially overwhelmed. During the height of the pandemic, both federal and state governments provided financial assistance for many, as well as put many moratoriums in effect that prevented legal actions – such as evictions and utility shutoffs – for those who did not have the funds to pay these bills. While many of those moratoriums have been lifted and federal and state assistance has stopped, people are still left facing financial hardships. Bankruptcy may be the solution, however, it is critical to be aware that certain obligations associated with divorce are specifically exempted from bankruptcy and must still be paid regardless of any financial issues.

Child Support

Child support obligations are one of those financial issues that are almost never dischargeable. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code states explicitly that “domestic support obligations” are not dischargeable, and child support falls under this category. There is sometimes confusion on this score because if you file Chapter 13, any child support arrearages do come under the Chapter 13 plan - but this does not mean these debts are dischargeable; it merely means that under a Chapter 13 repayment plan, the arrearages will be part of that plan.

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shutterstock_1432030388.jpgDividing up the marital estate in an Illinois divorce is often a difficult task, but when marital property includes valuable assets, this can make asset division even more complex. If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage but have amassed many high-value assets, you may want to seek the legal assistance of a skilled Illinois high asset divorce attorney for help in reaching a fair and appropriate divorce settlement.

Equitable Distribution

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning that all marital property is divided between the spouses in the way deemed most fair for each spouse’s situation and future earning potential. With most marital assets, the question of who paid or who performed upkeep is somewhat irrelevant. Instead, the court considers who has the potential to earn more and place themselves in a better situation going forward. In many cases, a spouse who has a high-paying job and few obligations will likely end up with fewer marital assets than a spouse who makes very little and is saddled with many obligations to fulfill.

Something many spouses forget, however, is that debts are often divided along with assets during a divorce. If a debt is deemed marital, it will be assigned to the spouse most able to pay and balanced along with that spouse’s share of the assets. In other words, if a spouse is assigned to pay significant amounts of marital debt, they may receive more assets so as to ensure the distribution remains equitable.

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oak brook divorce lawyerMany people would like to believe that once their divorce decree is final, they will never have to deal with their ex in a courtroom again. The truth of the matter, however, is that there are several issues that could come up that may necessitate a modification to the couple’s divorce judgment. Whatever the reason for the modification petition, there are requirements set forth by the state of Illinois that must be shown to the court to be granted the requested modification.

What Can Be Modified?

Under Illinois law, almost every part of a divorce decree can be modified if sufficient evidence is shown for its necessity. In the majority of cases, changes are requested due to alterations in living conditions, such as the loss of a job or a relocation. Generally, however, the most common type of change requested is support modification. In Illinois, child support, in particular, is often the subject of modification requests.

To have a modification granted, the individual requesting the change must show a substantial change in circumstances. That substantial change must be shown even if your situation is in dire need of adjustment, because without that requirement, in theory, any spouse could just appear in court and demand a change without justification.

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oak brook family law attorneyIn today’s society, we see all types of blended families. There are often many different people who are involved in the raising of a child, including stepparents and grandparents. Unfortunately, it is also not uncommon for there to be a change in familial circumstances and because of the wishes of the child’s biological parents or other legal issues, these adults find themselves shut out of the child’s life. In some circumstances, they may have legal recourse under Illinois law.

Visitation and Blood Relatives

Under current Illinois law, a non-custodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the court determines visits would be determinantal or dangerous to the child’s wellbeing. The only other familial relations that the law recognizes as having a right to apply for visitation are grandparents and siblings (including stepsiblings).  

In order to obtain legal visitation rights, the grandparent or sibling needs to petition the court for visitation. However, the law does have stringent limitations under which those visitations can be granted, regardless of prior living situations or relationships the child had with the adult who is filing the petition:

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oak brook divorce lawyerAccording to the Illinois Department of Public Health, divorce rates have been on the decline since 2012. Even so, divorce is still a common practice amongst adults who have tried to make their marriage work yet no longer believe the partnership is worth continuing. 

The decision to pursue a divorce is not one that anybody takes lightly. Whether you have made the decision to divorce your current spouse or your partner presented you with divorce papers, the process can seem daunting. 

Thankfully, an attorney can support and guide you through the process of getting a divorce in the state of Illinois. Before you hire a divorce attorney, you should pose a handful of questions to make sure you find the right lawyer for your situation.  

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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