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2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Top Chicago Area Divorce Lawyers
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Cook County divorce attorney parenting time

If you are a parent who is planning to divorce, you may be unsure of how you and your spouse will share parental responsibilities and parenting time. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may not see eye to eye about parenting roles or what is best for your child and you are worried about how this will affect your ability to share custody. Fortunately, you and your spouse have the ability to design your own custody arrangement that takes your complicated relationship into consideration. There are two main strategies when it comes to sharing parental responsibilities and parenting time: co-parenting and parallel parenting.  

Co-Parenting Involves Collaboration and Teamwork

The term co-parenting is typically used to refer to situations in which divorced or unmarried parents work together to raise their children. They may communicate about the children regularly and keep each other up to date about what happened during their parenting time. The co-parenting relationship is often complex in nature. Each parent can still have some residual anger or resentment toward the other. They may also sometimes disagree with the parenting decisions that the other parent makes. However, both parents strive to be amicable and cooperative.

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Burr Ridge divorce attorney spousal maintenance

In decades past, taking care of children, cooking, cleaning, and maintaining the marital home were largely seen as the wife’s responsibility. Today, American families come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties. Married couples have the freedom to assign responsibilities according to each spouse’s skillset. More and more often, this means that the majority of the childcare and homemaking duties falls to a husband. If you are a stay-at-home father or “house husband” who is getting divorced, you may have questions about your rights. Fortunately, Illinois law treats men the same as women with regard to spousal maintenance, property division, and other divorce issues.  

Alimony or “Spousal Maintenance” in Illinois

If you have not worked outside the home in several years, you may be concerned about the financial implications of your impending divorce. You may be dependent on your spouse’s income and hesitant to reenter the workforce. Most of the time, when a spouse has sacrificed employment opportunities for the betterment of the marriage or family, that spouse is entitled to alimony or spousal maintenance. However, if you have already signed a prenuptial agreement waiving your right to this financial support, the court will probably uphold this agreement. In the absence of a marital agreement describing a spouse’s right to maintenance, Illinois courts make maintenance determinations based on each spouse’s present and future earning capacity, the impairment to a spouse’s earning capacity caused by his or her focus on domestic duties, the duration of the marriage, and several other factors. The amount of maintenance you may be entitled to will likely be based on Illinois statutory formula. If you and your spouse’s combined income is above $500,000 per year, the court has the discretion to set aside the statutory formula when determining the amount of spousal maintenance.  

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Cook County divorce attorney child custody

Deciding to divorce is a deeply emotional decision. If you are like many people, you may have assumed that the most difficult part of the divorce process would be the actual decision to walk away from the marriage. While the mental aspect of divorce is certainly challenging, legal and logistical concerns can often be just as difficult to navigate. If you are in a high-conflict divorce, you and your spouse may struggle to see eye-to-eye on anything. You may disagree about property division, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and numerous other issues. If you cannot reach a decision about the terms of your divorce, there are several things to keep in mind.

Seek Assistance from a Lawyer and Other Professionals

If you are someone who values your independence, you may be hesitant to reach out for help during your divorce. However, divorce issues are multifaceted and complex – both legally and psychologically. Getting support during a high-conflict divorce is crucial.

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Oak Brook divorce lawyer parental relocation

Dividing the time you and your ex-spouse spend with your child can prove difficult after your divorce. So, the thought of spending even less time with your child can be gut-wrenching. If your child’s other parent wishes to move a significant distance away, you may worry about how this will affect your parenting time arrangement. You may wonder if there is anything you can do to ensure that you will still get adequate time with your son or daughter or if you can prevent the relocation entirely. An experienced attorney can explain the laws regarding parental relocation and how it applies to your situation. 

Defining “Relocation” With Regard to Illinois Law

One of the updates to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) that went into effect in 2016 specifically addressed the rules regarding parental relocations. Special rules apply when a parent with the majority of the parenting time or equal parenting time relocates to a location that is:

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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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DuPage County child custody attorney

Going through a divorce when you and your spouse have a child together is often much more complicated than a divorce that does not involve a minor child. There are many questions that divorcing parents will need to address as part of the legal process of ending your marriage, including whether you will share custody of your child or assign the majority of the parental responsibilities to one parent. If you plan to have a co-parenting arrangement, you will need to determine which parent the child will spend the majority of his or her time with, how the child will be transported between households, and a number of other issues, such as parenting time during the holidays.

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Illinois replaced the terms “child custody” and “visitation” with the terms “allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” in 2016 as part of a major overhaul of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Divorcing parents in Illinois must decide how they will distribute parental responsibilities and parenting time, and these decisions will be formalized in their official parenting plan or parenting agreement.

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Western Springs child custody attorney

Illinois courts make all child-related decisions based on the child’s best interests. Unfortunately, it is sometimes in a child’s best interest not to spend time with one of his or her parents. If a mother or a father cannot adequately protect a child’s safety or provide for the child’s basic needs, that parent may be declared an “unfit” parent. This means that the court may place restrictions on some or all of the parental rights, including parenting time. If you have reason to believe that parental fitness may be a consideration in your child-related legal dispute, speak to an experienced divorce attorney to receive the personalized guidance you need for a favorable outcome.

Establishing Parental Fitness

The question of parental fitness is often brought up during child custody disputes. If evidence shows that a parent is unfit, he or she may no longer be permitted to share in decision-making responsibility for the child, and restrictions may be placed on his or her parenting time. A range of issues can bring a parent’s fitness into question, but courts typically consider a parent to be unfit if one or more of the following elements are present:

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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