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630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Top Chicago Area Divorce Lawyers
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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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Hinsdale asset division attorney

The term “dissipation” refers to assets that are wasted, destroyed, or used recklessly near the end of a marriage. When a spouse uses assets for a purpose not related to the marriage while the marriage is undergoing a breakdown, the other spouse may have a valid dissipation claim. Illinois law describes what type of spending constitutes dissipation and when the spending must occur in order to qualify as dissipation. If you are planning to get a divorce, and you have reason to believe that your spouse has squandered assets, a divorce lawyer experienced in handling dissipation claims can help protect your rights during the division of marital property.

What Type of Spending Is Considered Dissipative?

The Illinois Supreme Court defines dissipation as “the use of use of the marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time that the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” Spending money on groceries, utility bills, or other legitimate needs is not considered dissipative. However, spending that is wasteful or reckless in nature may be considered dissipation. In previous Illinois divorce cases, the following types of spending have been deemed as dissipation:

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Cook County asset division attorney

Marriage is not only a romantic relationship, but it is also a financial partnership. Consequently, the complexity of any divorce case is largely determined by the couple’s finances. Divorcing couples who do not own significant assets are often able to resolve divorce issues such as property division much faster than those with more complicated financial portfolios. Many high net worth individuals own assets such as business holdings, real estate, stock options, and more. These complex assets can significantly influence the divorce process. Therefore, if you are contemplating divorce, it is crucial for you to have legal assistance to ensure your rights are protected during the proceedings.

Determining the Worth of Hard-To-Value Assets  

Typically, the more wealth an individual has, the more likely he or she will be to have put that wealth toward investments. High net worth individuals may own a variety of assets in many different classes. Many of these assets may not be owned by the person himself or herself, but they may instead be contained in businesses, holding companies, or investment structures. For example, he or she may own assets such as retirement plans, pensions, life insurance policies, stock options, restricted stock, brokerage accounts, and deferred compensation. An individual may also have invested in fine art, an extensive wine collection, antiques, or other high-value items. Before these assets can be fairly divided during a divorce, the assets must be properly inventoried and valued. In many cases, the assistance of financial appraisers or other experts will be required to establish a value for all of the property owned by a couple.

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Oak Brook parenting time attorney grandparents

For many children, spending time with grandparents is just as vital to their happiness and success as spending time with their parents. Across the country, millions of grandparents are an integral part of their grandchildren’s lives. Many older parents worry that if their child gets divorced, they will no longer be able to spend time with their grandkids. In some cases, a grandparent may need to petition the court in order to be granted visitation with their grandchildren. If you are seeking this type of order, it is essential that you obtain professional legal counsel so you fully understand your rights as a grandparent.

Circumstances That May Lead an Illinois Court to Order Grandparent Visitation

Unless parents have lost their parental rights due to abuse, abandonment, serious drug addiction, or another reason, they have a legal right to spend time with their children. This right does not automatically extend to grandparents. However, grandmothers and grandfathers may be able to receive a court order that grants them the legal right to visitation with their grandkids in certain situations. If you are a grandparent, you may be able to receive court-ordered visitation with your grandchildren if:

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DuPage County collaborative divorce attorney

If you have decided to divorce your spouse in Illinois, you may be researching your options. Divorcing spouses who struggle to reach an agreement regarding property division, spousal support, the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, and other issues may benefit from an alternative dispute resolution method called “collaborative divorce.” As the name suggests, this type of divorce is a cooperative process that aims to resolve divorce issues using amicable negotiation and discussion without the need for direct judge oversight. Read on to learn more about what this beneficial process entails.

What Is a Participation Agreement?

During a collaborative divorce, each spouse is represented by an attorney who has received special training in collaborative law. The spouses and their lawyers hold several meetings during which they identify the divorce issues that still need to be settled and work to find resolutions to these matters that both spouses can agree on. The lawyers and spouses may also work with other professionals like financial planners and child specialists during the collaborative process. The members of the collaborative team sign a “participation agreement” in which they promise to:

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Cook County divorce attorney parental relocation

Sharing parental responsibility and parenting time with your ex-spouse can sometimes be challenging. You and your child’s other parent may disagree about certain aspects of your child’s upbringing, or you may struggle to find a division of parenting time that allows you both to see your child as much as you want. One issue that often leads to disputes after a divorce is parental relocation. If you or your ex is planning to move, you may wonder how this relocation will affect your shared parenting time arrangements. Illinois law dictates when a parent must seek approval from a judge before moving, so it is important to know the stipulations that may apply to your situation. If you have any child-related disputes with your child’s other parent, an experienced divorce attorney can help find a solution that works for you.

How Far Away Is the New Residence?

The law treats parental relocations differently depending on how far away the parent is planning to move. Local relocations do not require the parent to seek court approval. However, the parent will be required to take additional steps if moving involves any of the following aspects:

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DuPage County spousal maintenance attorney

In some divorce and separation cases, a higher-earning spouse is required to make payments to a lesser-earning spouse. These payments are called spousal maintenance under Illinois law, but they are also commonly referred to as spousal support or alimony. There are a variety of reasons that a spouse may be required to make these types of payments. Spousal maintenance arrangements may be stipulated in the couple’s prenuptial agreement, or a large discrepancy in the spouses’ assets and incomes may necessitate maintenance. Whether you are the payor or the recipient of spousal support, you may be wondering how long maintenance payments will be mandated. Like most family law concerns, the answer will depend on several factors.

Spousal Maintenance Duration

If the spouses have signed a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that specifies the terms of spousal maintenance, the court will typically uphold these terms. If the spouses did not have an agreement dictating spousal maintenance arrangements, the court will consider factors such as the spouses’ income, assets, employability, health, impairment to future earning capacity, and other elements to determine whether maintenance is appropriate. Typically, spousal maintenance is intended to give a lesser-earning spouse time to gain the skills and education needed to become self-supporting, and it can also ensure that a person is able to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed during their marriage.

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Burr Ridge gray divorce attorney

Although the overall divorce rate in the United States has been declining, there is one demographic that is experiencing a major increase with regard to the number of couples getting divorced. Interestingly, the divorce rate for adults over age 50 has doubled in the last few decades. Getting divorced after age 50, referred to as “gray divorce,” can be much more complicated than divorcing at a younger age. If you are considering ending your marriage, and you are nearing retirement age, there are certain considerations you should keep in mind.

Property Division During a “Gray Divorce” Can Be Complex

Older couples typically own higher-value and more complex assets than younger couples do. Assets like businesses, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, investments, and social security benefits can be difficult to value and divide. Retirement accounts are usually considered a marital asset, which is subject to division under Illinois equitable distribution laws during a divorce. However, funds accumulated in an IRA, 401(k), or pension before a couple got married may be considered non-marital and therefore not subject to division. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to get a court order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which dictates how retirement account funds are divided between divorcing spouses.

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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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Western Springs child support attorney

If your marriage is coming to an end because your spouse cheated on you, you may wonder how this could affect the divorce process. Illinois is a “pure no-fault” state, which means that there are no fault-based grounds for legally terminating your matrimonial union. If you and your spouse are getting divorced in Illinois, you will simply list “irreconcilable differences” as to the reason that you are seeking a divorce. However, marital infidelity can still affect your divorce proceedings in several important ways.

Assets Wasted During an Affair Can Constitute Dissipation

Illinois law prohibits courts from considering cheating or other types of marital misconduct when making property division, child support, or spousal maintenance decisions. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. According to the Illinois Supreme Court, “dissipation” occurs when a spouse uses marital funds or property “for a purpose unrelated to the marriage” while the marriage is “undergoing an irretrievable breakdown." Dissipated assets can include money spent on gifts or vacations for a secret lover, property which was sold in order to fund the affair, or other assets which were used to benefit the paramour. If you and your legal counsel can prove that your spouse dissipated assets, you may receive a proportionately larger share of the marital property in the divorce.

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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