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2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Top Chicago Area Divorce Lawyers
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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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Burr Ridge high-conflict divorce attorney

Marriages end for countless reasons. Some spouses simply grow apart while others experience a major breach in trust that brings the relationship to a screeching halt. If an issue such as infidelity has led to the breakdown of your marriage, there may be a great deal of tension and resentment between you and your spouse. If you are a parent, you are probably worried about how this tension will affect your children. Fortunately, there is considerable research about the effects of high-conflict divorce on children and the steps that parents can take to reduce their children’s stress during this tumultuous experience.

Avoid Arguing With Your Spouse or Discussing Legal Matters in Front of Your Kids  

Numerous studies have demonstrated the harmful effects of parental conflict on children. Although many parents in miserable marriages stay married for their children’s sake, research shows that many children feel less anxiety and depression once their parents separate compared to what they did when the parents were living together. Being exposed to arguments and tension between parents can increase a child’s chances of developing mental health problems and behavioral issues. One of the best ways to help reduce your children’s stress during divorce is to avoid talking about divorce-related issues such as child support or spousal maintenance in front of the children as much as possible.

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Hinsdale child support attorney

Child support can help divorced or unmarried parents share the costs of raising their children. Child support orders in Illinois are created using the Income Shares method. This means the amount a parent pays in child support is based on several factors, including the parents’ income, the amount of parenting time each parent has, and the expenses that are necessary to provide for children's needs. Sometimes, a parent needs to modify the amount he or she pays in child support. However, certain criteria must be met in order for Illinois courts to grant a child support modification.

Orders Are Eligible for Review and Modification Every Three Years

Illinois assigns child support orders that are fair and reasonable based on the parents’ financial circumstances and the child’s needs. Because of this, parents cannot change a child support order simply because they want to pay a lower amount. Child support orders are automatically eligible for review every three years. During the review, the current child support balance, the non-custodial parent’s employment circumstances, and other applicable information may be analyzed. If it is determined that the child support obligation needs to be adjusted, the case can be submitted for modification.

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Cook County high-conflict divorce lawyer

While all divorces involve at least some degree of hostility, a high-conflict divorce is especially contentious. Child psychiatrist Dr. Mark Banschick calls high-conflict divorces “malignant divorces” because of the stress and emotional burdens these splits can incur. If you are a parent who is getting divorced, and you have a combative relationship with your spouse, you probably worry about how this conflict will affect your child. There is no perfect way to help your child cope through a high-conflict divorce, but experts do have suggestions for how to minimize your child’s emotional trauma during a difficult divorce.  

Have Adult Conversations Away from the Children

Experts agree that children can be deeply disturbed by parental conflict and fighting. The best way to minimize your child’s trauma during divorce is to keep adult conversations away from your child as much as possible. Studies show that when children watch or overhear their parents fighting, they are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems. Working with a skilled mediator may be one way to keep divorce-related discussions compartmentalized, but this is not always a possibility during a high-conflict divorce. If possible, take divorce-related phone calls in another room and avoid “bad-mouthing” the other parent in front of your child.

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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