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Oakbrook Terrace Family Law Blog

Basics of alimony in divorce proceedings

Alimony, sometimes referred to as "spousal support," is an important concern during many divorces. As a result, it is an important aspect of the divorce process to understand.

Alimony is a payment that is made by one former spouse to the other in some circumstances. Because this can be a concern for former spouses, it is important to understand how alimony is determined and in what circumstances it may be awarded. Alimony is intended to help a lower-wage earning or non-wage earning spouse who might be disproportionately impacted by the divorce. The former spouse may be lower-wage earning or non-wage earning because they remained in the home to care for the household or children, or contributed to the development of the other spouse's career or education.

Step-by-step understanding of collaborative divorce

The divorce process can be intense, stressful and overwhelmingly emotionally. Fortunately, there are more options available today to help guide divorcing couples through the divorce process.

As is true when facing any legal challenge, it helps to know what to expect. Understanding how collaborative divorce works is no different. There are so many issues to work out during the divorce it can seem like a daunting and confusing process. Add to that long periods of time spent working out resolutions to divorce-related concerns and the costs that go along with it can add to the concerns divorcing couples may already have.

How are parenting rights and responsibilities allocated?

There are several different options for child custody, which will determine how the parenting rights and responsibilities for the child are allocated. If you have questions about the different types of child custody, you may not be alone.

There are two categories of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. As a general rule, child custody determines the allocation of parenting rights and responsibilities for the child. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with. The child may live with both parents, going back and forth, if the parents share joint physical custody of the child. If one parent has sole physical custody of the child, then the other parent will likely have visitation rights.

Adoption basics in Illinois

Adoption is an important way for many couples to start a family or grow their family. Because of how important the adoption process can be for Illinois families, it is important to be familiar with Illinois state laws surrounding adoption.

According to adoption laws in Illinois, any child, adult that resides in an adoptive home for two years or relative may be adopted. There is also a residency requirement for potential adoptive parents to adopt which may be waived by the court. There are different methods of adopting which can include the agency adoption process or the independent adoption process. International adoption options may also be available.

What needs to be considered for an autistic child’s custody?

It can be difficult for any child to watch their parents go through a divorce in Illinois. They have to adjust to not seeing their parents in the same house and potentially new environments depending on where their mom and dads move to after the separation. If the child has autism, then this process can become even harder.

Determining custody options for an autistic child means you have to take in additional factors in order to make the transition as smooth as possible for them. While there are familiar elements, it is not completely the same as figuring out custody for a non-autistic kid.

The benefits of collaborative divorce

For couples who are contemplating divorce, it is important for to be aware that there are additional options other than divorce litigation. The divorce process can be challenging which is why different options are available to help couples through the process of resolving divorce-related concerns such as property division, child custody and child support.

Collaborative divorce is one option for divorcing couples to consider that is focused on a solutions-oriented and positive process. Collaborative divorce process allows divorcing couples to work together with representatives that will withdraw if the couple makes the decision to resolve their divorce-related concerns in divorce court. The couple enters into a collaborative divorce agreement and agrees to negotiate in good faith and fairness and provide all necessary documents and information.

Understanding property division in Illinois

Property division can be a primary concern during the divorce process so it is helpful to understand the process. The division of assets during divorce is conducted in Illinois according to equitable property division which means that marital assets will be divided fairly so it is helpful to understand what that means.

Marital property is divided during the divorce process which generally includes all property acquired during marriage. Property that may be subject to division includes homes; household furniture and furnishings; cars; bank accounts; pensions and retirement plans; stocks; business and business interests and other assets as well. To reach a fair division of the marital property, the family law court will consider a number of factors.

Social media: The reason you may lose assets in your divorce

Using social media apps causes many problems in the lives of users. Fidelity in relationships may be questioned, and lifestyle comparisons drive many people to make rash decisions with money.

During a divorce, using social media may cause even more issues. Keeping a public profile different from your courtroom persona raises suspicion. Flaunting money or posting with questionable people may tarnish your reputation with the judge. It is immensely important to be cautious online.

The importance of knowing your assets in divorce

It goes without saying that divorce can be an emotionally traumatic experience. This is especially true when you have put in years of time and effort maintaining a marriage that ultimately has come to an end. As emotional as people may get in times of divorce, it must be seen for what it truly is: a business transaction. Indeed, this may be easier said than done in the moment, but it is a reasonable and practical position to take given that life invariably goes on after a divorce decree is finalized.

For those who divorce later in their lives (i.e. after age 50) the importance of knowing your assets is paramount. Unlike those who divorce in their 20’s and 30’s, so-called “gray divorcees” have less time available to makeup budget shortfalls in anticipation of retirement.

Pet disputes in Illinois divorces

When pet owners are divorcing, what will happen with the family pets can be a very big issue. Spouses might reach an agreement on where the pets will live and who will take care of them moving forward. But what if you and your spouse aren’t able to come to such an agreement? What will Illinois courts consider when it comes to pet disputes in a divorce?

In most states, pets are considered to just be property in divorces. Courts in these states typically use property-division-like factors when deciding on pet-related disputes among divorcing spouses. However, Illinois is now among the states that takes an alternate approach to such disputes.

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