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Tag Archives: Kane County divorce attorneys

If you are considering ending your marriage, you probably have a myriad of questions. You may be unsure of what to expect during the divorce process or whether or not you will need to hire a lawyer. You may also wonder how cooperative or uncooperative your soon-to-be-ex-spouse will be during the divorce process. Unfortunately, you cannot control how accommodating your spouse will be during the divorce. Fortunately, you can control your own actions.

One of the best ways to help your divorce go as smoothly as possible is to educate yourself about your options moving forward. One option which is available to Illinois residents getting a divorce is mediation. Mediation can be a valuable tool for couples who wish to figure out divorce issues outside of litigation. However, mediation is not for everyone.

What Does Divorce Mediation Involve?

During divorce mediation, a divorcing couple meets with a specially-trained mediator who acts as a neutral third-party during discussions about divorce issues. A mediator does not make decisions for the couple but instead helps facilitate respectful, effective communication about these issues so that the couple can reach an agreement. A mediator can help couples decide how their property should be divided and make plans for child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance.

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Kane County family law attorneyJeff Bezos is the founder, chairman, CEO, and president of Amazon. Many people consider him to be the world’s richest person. Just recently, the business tycoon announced that he will be divorcing his wife of 25 years. Bezos and his wife have four children and have spent the better part of three decades building a life together. Like many high net worth divorces, their split will likely be complicated. If you are considering divorcing your spouse and you have significant assets or wealth, you should be talking with a qualified family law attorney.

Bezos’s Wife Could Receive Half of His Wealth

Jeff Bezos’s estimated net worth is over $90 billion. He and his family live in Washington which has its own laws governing property distribution during divorce. Most states, including Illinois, make a distinction between marital property and separate property. Separate property refers to assets accumulated before the marriage and certain gifts and inheritances. Marital property includes wealth and property accumulated during the marriage as well as any commingled funds. Washington state divides marital property according to what is equitable and just. This property division method is called equitable distribution and is the same method that is used in Illinois. Property divided according to equitable distribution laws will be divided fairly but not necessarily equally.

Important Considerations During High Net Worth Divorces

Put plainly, couples with greater assets have more to lose during divorce. Complex assets like family businesses, business holdings, pensions, retirement accounts, stocks, stock options, commissions, deferred income, trust funds, and real estate investments can add complications to a divorce. If you or your spouse own a family business, a professional valuation will probably be necessary. It is vital that high net worth couples consider the tax implications of property division during divorce as well. Child support and spousal maintenance can also be complex issues during a high net worth divorce. Illinois uses the “income-shares model” when deciding child support orders. The court studies the combined income of both parents and uses that number and other information to arrive at a child support order which is reasonable and in the child’s best interest.

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Kane County divorce attorneysThe decision to end a marriage through divorce is not a decision anyone takes lightly. If you are pregnant and in a marriage which you believe is irretrievable, you may be considering divorce. Getting a divorce while expecting a child can be challenging. Depending on your unique situation, it may be best to stay married until after the birth of your child while in other circumstances, divorcing while pregnant might be the better option. Whether your spouse is the parent of your expectant child or the pregnancy is a result of infidelity, divorce during pregnancy can become very complicated from a legal perspective.

Illinois No Longer Requires Fault Grounds for Divorce

Expecting a child cannot disallow a woman from filing for divorce. In the state of Illinois, you also do not have to prove any reason for wanting to end your marriage. The so-called “fault grounds” for divorce in Illinois have been eliminated in favor of one option: "irreconcilable differences.” Presently in Illinois, to be granted a divorce, you must only prove that:

  • Irreconcilable differences have caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage;
  • Previous efforts at resolution have failed, and
  • Future efforts at reconciliation would not be in the best interests of the family.

In Illinois, a Woman’s Husband is Assumed to Be the Father

Illinois law provides that a woman’s husband is presumed to be the legal father of any children she conceives while married. This presumption of parentage also applies in same-sex marriages. A child conceived by a woman in a legal marriage will have rights to financial and medical support from the assumed parent, as well as Social Security and inheritance benefits. Furthermore, a presumed parent takes on all the legal responsibilities associated with being a parent, such as sharing child custody and providing child support.

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Kane County divorce attorneysWhen you are involved in a divorce, the process can take a serious psychological and emotional toll on you. If you have children, the effects of the divorce can be even more significant. Many children whose parents get divorced tend to struggle with the situation, and they may exhibit behavioral problems, uncontrollable emotions, and signs of anxiety or depression. Divorcing parents often wonder if the court has any power to order counseling or therapy for the children and how the costs of such services will be split. Under Illinois law, a divorce judge can order counseling for children in the midst of a divorce, and the orders will depend on the family’s situation.

Custody Evaluations

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act encourages divorcing parents to negotiate an agreement about parenting arrangements for their children. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide on such arrangements. To help the court make a decision, it may appoint an appropriately-trained professional to evaluate the child and each parent. Evaluations often include tests, interviews, and other methods of determining what the child needs. The court also has the authority to order the payment of costs for these evaluations—if they are not done by a state agency—to be split equitably between the divorcing parties.

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Kane County divorce lawyersIllinois is a state that utilizes the equitable distribution theory of asset division when a couple is divorcing. This means that any assets acquired during the marriage will be divided fairly between the parties, based on a number of factors like future earning potential. However, what many forget is that this is true for marital debts as well. If a debt is incurred during the marriage and classified as marital, the responsibility to repay it may be divided between the parties.

Defining Marital Debts

Not every debt incurred during your marriage will automatically be classified as marital. If you incur a debt related to a non-marital asset, such as a loan related to a non-marital business, it could be held to be a non-marital debt. So, for example, if you purchase a second automobile with income generated from a non-marital business, sign a loan as an individual, and do not list your spouse on the title or the insurance, it is, in theory, a non-marital asset and the loan used to finance it is a non-marital debt.

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1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100
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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