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630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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Western Springs divorce attorney

The term “self-care” refers to actions a person takes to protect their own physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Although everyone should be practicing good self-care, prioritizing your health during divorce is crucial. Divorce ranks as the second-most stressful life event according to the research conducted by psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. Fortunately, there are many actions that you can take to reduce your stress and improve your ability to cope during and after your Illinois divorce.

Coping with Divorce By Recognizing and Prioritizing Your Needs

If you are like many adults, you probably put other people’s needs far above your own. The needs of your children, your aging parents, or even your boss may leave you with little time and energy to focus on your own well-being. However, taking time to care for yourself during your divorce can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Some of the ways you can practice self-care during divorce include:

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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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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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Western Springs divorce attorney collaborative law

Collaborative divorce is a process during which divorcing spouses, their attorneys, and other relevant professionals work together to reach an agreement about unresolved divorce issues. When spouses use collaborative law to settle the terms of their divorce, they avoid stressful courtroom litigation while still benefiting from their lawyers’ legal guidance and protection. Collaborative divorce may be right for you if you and your spouse do not see eye to eye regarding the terms of your divorce but you are willing to negotiate these issues amicably and cooperatively. The collaborative law process may help you and your spouse reach an agreement about the division of marital assets, child custody, spousal maintenance, and more.

What Happens During a Collaborative Law Divorce?

If you choose to use collaborative law to settle your divorce, you and your spouse will each hire your own attorney. Before you meet as a group, you and your lawyer will meet to discuss what you would like to achieve in the settlement as well as any concerns you may have. Next, the spouses and their respective lawyers will sign a “Participation Agreement” in which they agree to freely exchange information, negotiate in good faith, and cooperate in the collaborative divorce process. The spouses and attorneys will then hold a series of meetings aimed at reaching a resolution. Other professionals such as financial advisors, accountants, and child specialists may also participate in the collaborative divorce process.

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Hinsdale spousal support attorney for divorce over 50

You may be surprised to learn that although the overall divorce rate is declining in the United States, divorce among spouses over age 50 has dramatically increased. Research shows that the rate at which older adults get divorced in this country has doubled since the 1990s. This may be due to increasing life spans, a reduction in the stigma associated with divorce, or simply because older adults want to enjoy their retirement years on their own terms. Whatever the reason, if you are over age 50 and considering a so-called “gray divorce,” you should know that it may involve unique challenges and obstacles. It is very possible that either you or your spouse will be entitled to spousal support payments. For help with maintenance-related concerns and much more, speak with an experienced family law attorney.

Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

Spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, refers to financial payments that a higher-earning spouse makes to the lesser-earning spouse after divorce. While it is not appropriate in every situation, it may be necessary in a gray divorce, especially if one spouse has been out of the workforce for many years and would struggle to support themselves without assistance from their former partner. 

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Burr Ridge division of assets attorney

Property division during divorce can vary significantly in its complexity. If a divorcing couple does not own a home or significant assets, the division process is typically more straightforward. However, if the couple has complex assets such as a family business, the division of property will be much more complicated. Illinois courts use a method called “equitable distribution” to split marital assets and property. This means that the marital estate is divided fairly based on each of the spouse’s contributions to the estate, their financial circumstances, and other relevant factors. Before a family-owned company can be divided in a divorce, the value of the business must be determined. There are several different ways to perform a business valuation, so read on to learn which option will work best for your situation.

Determining the Monetary Value of a Business

The business valuation method used by a couple during divorce will depend largely on the couple’s plans for the business moving forward. If the couple is going to sell the business, one way to determine the value of the business is by comparing the business to similar companies that were recently sold. This is referred to as a “market approach.” Another way to value the business is to use an “asset approach.” This involves calculating the total value of the assets owned by the business and then subtracting the business’s liabilities. In an “income approach” to business valuation, the present value of projected future income is used to determine the value of the company. 

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Burr Ridge high-conflict divorce attorney

Marriages end for countless reasons. Sometimes, a married couple simply grows apart and realizes that their marriage is no longer beneficial to either partner. Other times, spouses divorce soon after their wedding because they quickly realized that getting married was a mistake. Many marriages also end because an adulterous spouse is having an affair. If you are considering getting a divorce, it is important to know the grounds for divorce in Illinois. Major changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) took effect in July of 2016, including an overhaul of the “grounds,” or reasons, a person can seek a divorce in Illinois. Read on to learn the current basis for filing for a divorce in Illinois and how instances of infidelity or other breaches of trust could affect your divorce proceedings.

Illinois is a Pure “No-Fault” State

Prior to the 2016 revamp of the IMDMA, there were several fault-based grounds for divorce in Illinois. They included adultery, impotence, a spouse infecting the other with a sexually transmitted disease, bigamy, alcohol or drug abuse, extreme physical or mental cruelty, a felony conviction, abandonment for at least a one-year period, and attempted murder of a spouse by the other. There was also a no-fault ground for divorce called “irreconcilable differences.” In 2016, all of the fault-based grounds for divorce were eliminated. Today, Illinois is a “pure no-fault state” when it comes to divorce. The only legal reason divorcing couples can site is “irreconcilable differences” which caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with no hope for reconciliation.

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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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Hinsdale complex divorce attorney

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that nearly 18 million U.S. adults suffered from a substance abuse disorder in 2017. If you are married to someone who abuses drugs or alcohol, you know just how devastating this type of addiction can be to a family. Of course, substance abuse is not the only type of addiction that can negatively impact a marriage. A gambling addiction, compulsive shopping, sex or pornography addiction, or even food addiction can put a major strain on a relationship. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, and your spouse has addiction issues, there are several things you should keep in mind to protect yourself.

Protecting Your Finances

Many individuals do not realize how serious their spouse’s addiction is until they check their bank account balance. The money needed to fund an addiction can easily reach up to tens of thousands of dollars, if not more in some cases. If you are worried that your spouse may be recklessly spending marital funds, there are several steps you should take immediately, including the following:

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Hinsdale asset and property division attorney

One of the most contentious parts of the divorce process is often the division of marital property. Divorcing couples have the option of dividing property on their own, but couples who cannot reach an agreement will require court intervention. Illinois courts divide marital assets and debts according to “equitable distribution.” Unlike other states that divide the marital estate exactly in half, Illinois instead considers a variety of factors to determine an asset division arrangement that is fair and reasonable for both spouses. If a couple has a high net worth or owns complex assets, the property division process can become especially complicated.

Differentiating Between Separate and Marital Property is Not Always Straightforward

Only marital property is divided during an Illinois divorce. Marital property generally includes property obtained by either spouse during the marriage. Separate property typically includes any assets or debts that the spouses acquired before the marriage took place as well as certain gifts and inheritances acquired throughout the union. Differentiating between separate and marital property is not always as easy as it may seem. Assets that are commingled can lose their identity and be transmuted from separate property to marital property. For example, if a spouse receives an inheritance from a relative during the marriage, those funds are typically considered separate property. However, if the spouse uses some of those funds to pay for shared expenses during the marriage, the funds may be transmuted into marital property.  

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Burr Ridge high-asset divorce attorney

The divorce experience is different for everyone. A young couple who does not have children, own a home, or have valuable assets may be able to get a divorce relatively quickly and effortlessly. The more assets you own and the more complex those assets are, the more likely it is that you will have a complicated divorce. If you are planning to end your marriage, and you and your spouse have a high net worth, own complex assets, or have high-value assets, your divorce may involve more negotiations. There is much more at stake in a high asset divorce, so it is crucial for couples in this situation to be informed about the unique issues presented by a high asset or complex asset divorce.

Child Support and Spousal Maintenance Payments Are Usually Much Larger

Illinois child support orders are decided using the “Income Shares” method. This approach involves evaluating each spouse’s income, determining the total amount of support for which the parents are collectively responsible, and then splitting the cost between the spouses in proportion to their incomes. Similar to property division, the spouses’ financial circumstances must be fully understood before a child support order can be entered by the court.

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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