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How are Divorce, Legal Separation, and Annulment Different in Illinois?

When you are examining various methods of separation between you and your spouse, it is important to know the differences between your options. Before acting, it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we can help you navigate which route is best for your situation.

A divorce is a complete dissolution of a marriage which leads to what is called a judgment for "dissolution of marriage." This process addresses all of the issues between former spouses such as parenting time for any children you may have, other parental responsibilities, who will be paying child support, distribution of any debts or assets you two share together, and if one of you will have to pay maintenance to your spouse.

The main difference between divorce and legal separation is that a separation does not dissolve the marriage. In order to perform a legal separation, you and your spouse must be living apart from one another. You and your spouse can fill out a legal separation agreement to determine the allocation of certain parental duties or payments such as child support or maintenance. Property cannot be divided unless you and your spouse have agreed.

As for an annulment, it is actually a religious term that is not recognized under Illinois law. You may seek what is known as an "invalidity of marriage," which is a lack of consent due to mental incapacity, being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, underage, or physical unable to consummate the marriage.

At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we have have been proceeding over family law and divorce cases since 1949. If you live in the DuPage County, Kendall County, or Kane County, contact us to set up an initial consultation for any questions you may have. You can reach our Wheaton, Illinois, office at 630-665-7300 for more information.

Should I File for Divorce First in Illinois?

Filing for divorce before your spouse can have more advantages than you would think. It can be difficult to accept a divorce is imminent, but it can be a benefit to yourself, in the long run, financially and legally, if you file sooner rather than later. If you believe your marriage has reached the point of being insurmountable, then reach out to the attorneys at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC. We can help explain your options and move forward.

When we mention that there are advantages to filing for divorce first, it is not to encourage racing to that conclusion. It is simply to allow yourself time to prepare and plan. Here are a handful of steps you take ahead of time if you are preparing for divorce:

  • Contact attorneys to setup your legal team;
  • Gather any documentation that will be needed before proceedings begin; and
  • Ensure you have access to funds or a credit line

In addition to these suggestions, you can prevent your spouse from hiding any assets that could belong to you. When you file for divorce first, this makes you the petitioner and the plaintiff. This allows you to choose which county your divorce will have the proceedings and the ability to present your case first for litigation in your case. Under Illinois Law, there is a No-Fault Policy, which means couples can separate based on irreconcilable differences instead of needing any legal reason to be divorcing.

At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we have had decades of experience with family and divorce cases in Kane County, DuPage County, and Kendall County. Please contact us with any questions you may have to set up a consultation. We can help guide your way through this difficult time financially and legally to set you up for life after marriage. Call us at 630-665-7300, so we can help you.

Can I Deny Visitation If My Ex Does Not Pay Child Support in Illinois?

It can be deeply disappointing and difficult when an ex is not paying his or her share of child support. Even though it may seem fair to deny their parenting time or visitation until you receive your financial support, there are other measures you can take. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we can help explain why denying visitation does not have to be done and help you explore the different options you have.

You may not deny your ex spouse visitation of your child because, under Illinois law, parenting time and paying child support are treated as completely separate issues. The reason for this is because by denying your ex parenting time you are also penalizing your children. The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, among other protections, provides you support to help collect what is owed from your ex-spouse.

In most circumstances, the court will serve your former partner with a legal notice. If your ex still does not pay, he or she can receive other consequences such as:

  • Seizing of property;
  • Garnishing wages;
  • Retracting federal tax refunds in order to pay child support;
  • Revoking a driver's license;
  • Denial issuing them a new passport;
  • Suspending occupational license in certain fields; or
  • Suspending a license to run a business.

The final consequence is jail time. Although, this alternative is not often pursued because if the nonpaying parent is in jail, we or she cannot pay the child support owed.

We are sympathetic with the frustrations that deal with a spouse who is not paying their proper child support payments. However, there are different approaches we can take to engage in so you receive proper support. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we will do what is best for you and your children in these situations. Contact us to set up a consultation by calling 630-665-7300. If you are located in DuPage County, Kane County, or Kendall County, we are here to help.

How Do I Know How Much My Illinois Self-Employed Spouse Makes?

When your ex-spouse is self-employed, it may seem like there is no way to establish how much they make. Let us at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, investigate those details to put your mind at ease. We can employ a number of practices that to come across the most precise figure that represents the income of your self-employed ex-partner.

It may seem difficult, but there are different ways to find out how much your ex is making even when he or she is self-employed. One of the first actions our divorce attorneys can take is to look over you and your spouse's federal and state tax returns for the potential indication. If that income that was reported does not fit the lifestyle you and your ex-spouse have enjoyed, it may lead to further investigation to find the true income of your partner.

Another option we have is to obtain documentation from the business or third parties to help fill in any missing information. Next, we can look into obtaining any loan applications for your spouse to discover the income they claimed. We can also pull bank statements or credit card statements to assist in the search. On these statements, we can locate actual deposit and payment amounts to track down the true number that is their income.

All of these procedures may seem to be an insurmountable amount of work but leave that to our staff of attorneys can help you resolved the issues. Our team here at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC takes our knowledge of family law to and serves clients throughout the area.

We help those located in Wheaton, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Naperville, Oak Brook, and throughout the area. Please contact us for assistance in Kane, DuPage or Kendall County. Call our law firm at 630-665-7300 to set up a consultation to get answers to any questions you may have during this stressful time.

Other Than My Income, What Can Affect My Required Illinois Child Support Payment?

When the court is deciding required child support payments, there are factors that can come into play besides just your income. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we can help explain these details and offer advice moving forward. We have handled many family law and child support cases over the years, and we are prepared to assist you through your matters as well.

One factor that can affect your required child support payment is the amount of parenting time that you have with your children. When it pertains to pay for daycare, extracurricular activities, and uncovered medical expenses, there are a few different ways the courts will rule on who is required to pay. The court may issue that both parents contribute in addition to their regular amount they pay for child support. In some cases, the court may implement a maximum limit on the amount of additional expenses you need to provide.

When minor children attend after-school activities, summer camp, or other childcare needs, it can either be seen as a luxury or necessary if both spouses work full time. If the courts deem this type of childcare necessary, the noncustodial spouse may be expected to supply one-half of the cost. This is because, presumably, if the family unit had remained the same, you and your spouse would have treated childcare as a necessary cost.

Exceptions can be made if your child is old enough to live without childcare or if the custodial parent is not working. In the latter case, the parent who wants their child in childcare would be responsible for paying for that cost unless there is an agreement with the other parent for splitting those charges.

At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we understand that navigating all the logistics that comes with the financials of divorce such as child support can be strenuous. Our team will be with you every step of the way to ensure you have answers to all of your questions. To set up an initial consultation, call 630-665-7300. From our main office in Wheaton, we assist clients in Naperville, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, and many surrounding cities.

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1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100
Wheaton, IL 60189
630-549-0960
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.

We serve clients throughout Kane County, Illinois including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elgin, Algonquin, Aurora, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Big Rock, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Hampshire, Huntley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sleepy Hollow, Wayne, West Dundee as well as throughout DuPage County.

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