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Recent Blog Posts

Dividing Financial Accounts in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on August 31, 2021 in Divorce

Geneva Divorce LawyersThe division of assets can be one of the hardest parts of the divorce process, both because of the financial implications and the personal attachments that each spouse may have to the property. Your home may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about dividing property in a divorce, but you will also need to determine how to handle a variety of different financial accounts including bank accounts, investment portfolios, and retirement accounts. Each of these has its own unique considerations when it comes to dividing them while protecting your interests.

Which Accounts Are Considered Marital Property?

In Illinois, assets are considered to be marital property based on when they were acquired. If you opened or made contributions to a financial account during your marriage, that account is most likely a marital asset and subject to division in your divorce. Importantly, an account does not have to be jointly held in both spouses’ names in order to be a marital asset. However, if you have an account that was funded entirely before your marriage, or funded entirely with non-marital assets like an inheritance, the account may belong entirely to you.

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How Does a Parent’s Relocation Affect Child Custody in Illinois?

 Posted on August 12, 2021 in Family Law

Geneva Child Custody LawyerWhen parents get divorced in Illinois, one of the most important considerations is how to address child custody through the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. These decisions should be made in the children’s best interests, and this typically means that it is important to maintain stability in the children’s living arrangements as much as possible. However, it is not uncommon for a parent to move to a new location in the years following a divorce. If you or your children’s other parent intends to relocate, it is important to understand what this could mean for your parenting plan.

Parental Relocation Requires Approval

In Illinois, if a parent who has equal or majority parenting time wants to move with their child, they will need to determine whether that move requires approval from the other parent or the court system. The need for approval is based on the location of the child’s current primary residence and the distance of the relocation. If the child currently resides in Cook County, Kane County, DuPage County, Will County, Lake County, or McHenry County, approval is required for a move of more than 25 miles within Illinois. If the child resides in any other Illinois county, approval is required for a move of more than 50 miles within Illinois. Additionally, any out-of-state relocation of at least 25 miles from the child’s current Illinois residence requires approval.

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How to Address Ownership of Your Family’s Home During Your Divorce

 Posted on July 19, 2021 in Divorce

Kane County Property Division LawyerFinancial issues are likely to be one of your primary concerns when you get divorced. Decisions about how to divide your marital property will affect the resources available to you after you finalize your divorce. You will also need to be aware of the tax implications of these decisions and the expenses that come with ownership of certain assets. Addressing your marital home can be difficult, since it may be one of your most valuable assets, and both you and your spouse may have emotional attachments to it. By understanding the available options, you can determine the best approach to take as you divide your marital assets.

3 Options for Handling Ownership of Real Estate

If you and your spouse bought your home after you got married, it will be considered a marital asset, even if it was only titled in one spouse’s name. This means that the equity in your home will need to be included in the division of marital property. If either of you owned your home before you got married, it will usually be considered separate property that is not part of the marital estate. However, if the home increased in value during your marriage due to contributions by both spouses (such as using marital funds to pay for home improvements), the spouse who owns the home may be required to reimburse the other spouse for their contributions.

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When Is a Guardian ad Litem Appointed in an Illinois Family Law Case?

 Posted on July 07, 2021 in Family Law

Kane County family law attorneyDuring a divorce or child custody case, parents may disagree about multiple different types of issues, including how they will share in making important decisions for their children and when children will live with each parent. While parents may be able to resolve these disagreements by negotiating with each other and their respective attorneys or participating in mediation, there are some cases where parents may reach an impasse and be unable to resolve these matters on their own. When decisions about child custody are left up to a family court judge, a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) may be appointed to help determine how to resolve these issues.

Understanding the Role of a Guardian ad Litem

When a judge is asked to make decisions about child custody, they may not have enough information about the case to be able to determine what arrangements would be in the children’s best interests. To gain the necessary information, the judge may appoint a Guardian ad Litem, who is an attorney that will advocate on behalf of the children rather than either parent. A parent may also request that a GAL be appointed during their case.

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How are Parental Decision Making Responsibilities Determined in Illinois?

 Posted on July 01, 2021 in Family Law

geneva child custody lawyerIn a divorce proceeding that involves a child, one of the most important and often contested matters that ex-spouses have to settle is the allocation of decision-making responsibilities. While some couples can agree on the allocation of these responsibilities with relatively no issues, others may struggle on certain topics. If you are a parent who is seeking sole decision-making responsibilities of your child, it is imperative to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney.

What Decision Making Responsibilities Can the Court Allocate?

If the parents of a child cannot agree upon the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities in writing, the court system will make that determination. With the goal of determining the child’s best interests, the court will consider many factors before granting this privilege to one or both of the parents. According to 750 ILCS 5/602.5, these responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

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I Need to Modify My Child Support

 Posted on April 01, 2020 in Family Law

       

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       As of March 31, 2020, Governor Pritzker has confirmed that the shelter-in-place order shall remain until at least April 30, 2020.  Regretfully, many people and businesses alike are feeling the financial hardship that COVID-19 has caused to the economy. Moreover, it has led many people to fear that they will not be able to pay their court ordered child support or maintenance as a result of the loss of income and/or employment. 

       Section 750 ILCS 5/510 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that generally, court ordered child support (or maintenance) may be modified two ways: 1) upon showing of a substantial change in circumstances; and 2) without showing a substantial in change in circumstances, but showing that there is a difference of at least 20%, but no less than $10 per month, between the amount of the existing order and the amount of child support that results from application of the child support guidelines. Please note that this option is only available to child support cases where a party is receiving child support enforcement services from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and only when at least 36 months have elapsed since the order for child support was entered or last modified. 

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Domestic Violence During COVID-19 and Orders of Protection

 Posted on March 25, 2020 in Family Law

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               As humans, we were not meant to be socially isolated. Social isolation is believed to elevate our stress levels and it can lead us to have feelings of loneliness, fear of others, or even negative self-esteem. Currently, in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, considering the mass closures of schools and businesses, instability of employment or employment at home and the tension of the unknown can cause stress to build and lead to increased incidences of domestic violence. Hence, during this time of social distancing and shelter-in-place, domestic violence experts and shelters have expressed deep concerns as to the safety of domestic violence victims, as abusers can use social isolation to gain greater control over their victim, thus increasing the risk of a survivor’s personal safety.

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COVID -19 and Family Court Matters

 Posted on March 20, 2020 in Family Law

Covid-19-updated_20200320-145152_1.jpgAs we all endure this difficult time of uncertainty and frustration, many questions may come to mind as to the current status of our legal system and its procedures when it comes to pending or new family matters. Hence, we have prepared some basic questions and answers to try and address some of the questions that people may have.

Q.  Are the courts still open and functioning?

           A.    Courthouses in Kane, DuPage, Kendall and DeKalb are still open for EMERGENCY matters only. The courts have issued administrative orders limiting non-essential (non-emergency) matters and rescheduling non-emergency civil matters through April 17, 2020. However, courts have noted that cases may be continued between 30 to 60 days.

 

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Adjusted Gross Income for Child Support Purposes: additional monthly expenses that can be applied to reduce a parent’s gross income

 Posted on July 11, 2017 in Family Law

The Illinois Income Share Model has gone into effect, and as previously discussed in our most recent blog entry, both parents’ gross income must be determined for purposes of calculating their child support obligation. However, the statute now provides for various deductions to be applied to a parent’s gross income before a parent begins their child support calculation. This is important, as we previously discussed in our most recent blog, because a parent’s gross income will help determine a parent’s net income and based upon the total combined available net income of both parents, we will calculate what percentage each parent will be responsible to provide support. Hence, if a parent’s gross income is reduced from the get-go, it will in effect also reduce a parent’s net income therefore potentially reducing a parent’s contribution to child support. Bear in mind that this reduction in child support is not meant to allow parents to evade their child support obligation, rather, it is meant to consider what other obligations a parent may have that affects the available net income the parent has to contribute towards child support.

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Illinois Income Share Model: How to Calculate Child Support as of July 1, 2017

 Posted on June 20, 2017 in Family Law

llinois Income Share Model: How to Calculate Child Support as of July 1, 2017

On July 1, 2017, the Illinois Income Share Model will go into effect and substantially change the way we calculate child support today. Up until July 1, 2017, only the net income of the non-majority parent (or non-custodial parent) is used to calculate child support. Currently, net income is defined as total of all income from all sources minus various deductions such as Federal income tax, State income tax, Social Security, mandatory retirement contributions, union dues, health insurance premiums and court ordered obligations. Once a parent’s net income is calculated, the non-custodial parent pays a percentage of his net income as for child support depending upon the amount of children he or she must support (one child=20%; two children=28%; three children=28%; four children=40%). The new income share model will still rely upon a determination of a parent’s net income; however, the definition of net income will be modified. Moreover, the new model will also consider the income of both parents in determining what share of child support each parent must pay. Moreover, the new law has developed two separate charts: 1) to calculate a parent’s net income and 2) to calculate the amount of child support required for a child (or children) based upon the total combined net income of both parents. Click below to see charts.

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