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Kane County family law attorneysThe process of divorce can often take much longer that you expect. Depending on the circumstances of your case and the considerations that must be made, the proceedings can carry on for months and, in some situations, even years before a final judgment is entered by the court. During that time, of course, your life does not simply stop. You must continue paying your mortgage and utility bills and providing for your children—only now you are faced with managing such things on your own. For this reason, Illinois law provides courts with the authority to issue temporary orders that can offset some of the financial difficulties that many divorcing individuals face.

Temporary Spousal Support

It is not uncommon in a marriage for one spouse to earn significantly more than the other. Such an arrangement may serve a couple perfectly well while the marriage is intact, but once divorce proceedings have been initiated, things can change quickly. A financially disadvantaged spouse may file a motion for temporary maintenance with the court. Based on the circumstances as they exist at the time, the court may order the higher-earning spouse to make support payments directly to the lower-earning spouse. The court could also require the higher-earning spouse to cover certain expenses—such as those related to the marital home—for the duration of the divorce.

A temporary order will only last until the divorce proceedings are finalized or otherwise modified. The issuance of a temporary maintenance order is not contingent on a request for long-term maintenance nor is it necessarily indicative of an ongoing need for support.

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Kane County family law attorneysParents who are no longer married to or romantically involved with one another often face serious challenges in developing an agreement regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities. In most cases, both parents want to continue to play an important role in their child’s life and are willing to compromise to make that happen. Sometimes, however, the parents cannot reach an agreement on their own. When this happens, the court must step in and assign parental responsibilities and parenting time in a manner that promotes the child’s best interests.

The process of determining parenting rights and responsibilities was—until just a few years ago—known as “child custody” in Illinois. In 2016, however, an update to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act revamped the court’s approach to the subject and replaced the term “child custody” with the phrase “allocation of parental responsibilities.” Additionally, the law divides parental responsibilities into two primary areas, each of which may be determined separately.

Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities

The first consideration for divorcing or separating parents is the authority for significant decision-making regarding the child. Significant decisions include any concerns that will impact the child’s life over a long period of time, such as education, health care, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. Decision-making authority may be granted to both parents equally, solely to either parent, or any combination of the two. For example, one parent could be responsible for educational and healthcare decisions while the other parent is responsible for all religious training, and both parents share responsibility for extracurricular activities.

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Kane County divorce attorneys If you and your spouse are getting divorced, it may seem reasonable to assume that you would get to keep the assets and debts that are in your name while your spouse keeps those that are in  hers. While such an assumption may be fairly logical, the reality of divorce is often much different, as the laws that govern divorce in Illinois are intended to ensure an equitable distribution of marital property.

Understanding Equitable Distribution

A few states require marital property to be evenly divided during a divorce. These states use what is called a “community property” system, meaning that any assets and debts acquired during the marriage—except for a few limited exceptions—belong equally to both spouses. In a divorce in community property states, the property must be divided equally.

Illinois is not a community property state; it follows a system referred to as “equitable distribution.” Under the principles of equitable distribution, the marital estate is to be divided between the parties in a divorce in a manner that is fair and just, not necessarily a 50-50 split. To determine what is fair and just, the court must take into account a wide variety of factors, including each party's income and earning ability, arrangements for the parties' children, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

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Kane County divorce attorney

If you are considering a divorce, you probably realize that the process is likely to include a number of necessary expenses. You may be required to pay for filing fees and court costs, not to mention the cost of financial experts, a guardian ad litem, or other professionals who may contribute to your case. Of course, hiring an attorney can be costly and, if you are not careful, the expenses related to your divorce can quickly add up, leaving you to pay much more than you ever expected.

Setting Realistic Expectations

There are many ways to reduce the costs associated with divorce, and you can take proactive steps before the process even begins. The most important thing you can do to limit how much you will spend on your divorce is to develop goals and objectives that are reasonable and attainable. This means determining the portion of the marital estate you would like to receive and the level of parental responsibilities you would like to have allocated while keeping your expectations realistic.

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St. Charles prenuptial agreement lawyersIf you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement before your wedding, you may feel pretty certain that you have adequately covered all of your bases in the event of a divorce. You have made plans regarding how your individual and marital assets will be divided, whether or not alimony will be paid and, which of you will get to stay in the marital home. With all of these issues settled well in advance, you and your spouse may be enjoying a sense of security and peace of mind. However, some couples who sign prenuptial agreements, make mistakes which could lead to their agreements being set aside as unenforceable by the court.

There are only a few reasons that a prenuptial agreement may be found to be invalid, including:

1. Lack of Full Disclosure

A prenuptial agreement requires a complete financial disclosure from each party regarding income, assets, and debts. The agreement cannot contain reasonable terms if both parties are not fully informed of the relevant circumstances. If your spouse has financial secrets and you did not voluntarily waive your right to disclosure, your agreement may be unenforceable. 

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Wheaton, IL 60189
630-549-0960
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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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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree