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Recent Blog Posts

What Should I Do When Planning or Preparing for a Divorce?

 Posted on June 16, 2015 in Divorce

divorce, divorce planning, Illinois divorce attorneyDivorce lawyers are often asked by potential clients what they, the client, should do when planning or preparing for a divorce. This is not a situation where they are trying to hide assets or income. On the contrary, this question is usually posed to protect the person that is contemplating divorce because their husband or wife may begin to hide assets, income or other information in the event of a divorce.

While this list is not all inclusive, consider the following if a divorce seems imminent. First, gather important documents, such as:

  • Birth certificates;
  • Social Security Cards;
  • Prior years’ tax returns;
  • Wills;
  • Trusts;
  • Premarital Agreements;
  • Bank statements;
  • Credit card statements;
  • Medical records; and
  • Any other document that is hard to duplicate

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What Is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or "QDRO”?

 Posted on May 31, 2015 in Divorce

qdro,A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is (i) a domestic relations order (ii) that creates or recognizes the existence of an "alternate payee's" right to receive or assigns to an alternate payee the right to receive, all or a portion of the benefits payable with respect to a participant under a retirement plan, and (iii) that includes certain information and meets certain other requirements as provided by law. ERISA § 206(d)(3)(B)(i); IRC § 414(p)(1)(A)

So, what does that mean? In more plain language, a QDRO allows a person incident to a divorce, legal separation, or dissolution of same-sex partnerships, the right to divide their retirement benefits with their former spouse. This is particularly important if only one spouse to the marriage was saving for retirement and said savings are held in a qualified retirement plan.

QDROs are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the IRC), and the Plan holding the retirement funds. Unless incident to division in a divorce or similar domestic proceeding, ERISA and the IRC do not allow a retirement plan participant (i.e., the spouse saving for retirement by placing funds in a 401(k) Plan) to assign their interest in a retirement plan to another person. An exception to the anti-assignment rule occurs by way of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

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What is a Removal Action in Illinois?

 Posted on May 21, 2015 in Family Law

removal, moving out of state, Illinois child custody attorneysA removal action occurs when a custodial parent, who is separated or divorced from the other parent, tries to move out of state with the children. The non-custodial parent can agree to the removal, in which case the parties would enter an agreed order with the court. If the noncustodial parent does not agree to the removal it will be up to the court to decide whether the removal is proper.

The court will consider the following factors known as the Eckert Factors to determine whether the custodial parent can move a child out of state over the other parent’s objection:

  1. The likelihood that the move will enhance the general quality of life for both the custodial parent and the children;
  2. The motives of the custodial parent in seeking to move to determine whether the removal is merely a ruse intended to defeat or frustrate visitation;

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What Does Child Support Cover? What Expenses of My Children are not Included in Child Support?

 Posted on April 24, 2015 in Lincolnwood Divorce Lawyer

child support, support orders, Illinois family lawyerIn Illinois, the current statute that governs child support is 750 ILCS 5/505 which is titled, “Child Support; Contempt; Penalties.” According to the Illinois child support statute, guideline child support is as follows:

The Court shall determine the minimum amount of support by using the following guidelines:

Number of Children

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Is My Divorce Uncontested?

 Posted on April 09, 2015 in Lincolnwood Divorce Lawyer

uncontested divorce, contested divorce, Illinois Divorce AttorneyDivorces are usually classified as either contested or uncontested. It is important to understand the difference between the two. A contested divorce means that the parties are not able to come to an agreement on disposition of property, finances, and custody of the children. The parties need the court system to decide these matters for them. In these instances, it is always best that you reach out to an attorney who is experienced in filing the appropriate motions and petitions necessary to protect your rights.

Alternatively, an uncontested divorce occurs when the parties have reached an agreement on all issues they may face, including disposition of property, finances, and custody. An uncontested divorce is the preferred way to go, as they will save the parties’ both significant time and litigation costs.

An experienced attorney can review your case for common pitfalls that trip up divorcing couples and advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities.

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I Am Not Married to the Mother of My Child, What Rights Do I Have?

 Posted on March 09, 2015 in Child Custody

fathers rights, unmarried, illinois child custody lawyerIt is common in today’s world for couples to have children out of wedlock. There is no longer, or at least less so, a stigma about putting kids before marriage. However, the problem arises when (if) the relationship ends. The mother is presumed to the parent of the child by virtue of having given birth to the child. A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he and the mother are or have been married to each other, if the father signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP), and/or the father is on the child’s birth certificate. What rights does the father or mother have if the relationship ends and there was no marriage?

Parentage matters are governed by multiple statutes. First, the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 (750 ILCS 45/1 et seq). This is different from the Illinois Parentage Act (750 ILCS 40/1 et seq.) which deals with artificial insemination. The Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 is usually referred to as the “Paternity Act.”

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How Will My Divorce Affect My Children?

 Posted on February 17, 2015 in Divorce

divorce affect on children, Illinois family law and divorce attorneysThe biggest concern for most parents in a divorce, or when considering a divorce, is how it will affect their children.  The impact of divorce on children depends in large part on how their parents (the parties to the litigation) react to the divorce.

One of the most important things to remember when going through a divorce, is not to drag your children into the litigation.  Divorce is adult business.  Children should not have to deal with adult stressors.

Here are some ways you can avoid involving your children in divorce litigation:

  • Decide with your spouse how to tell the children about the divorce.  You may not be married anymore (once the divorce is final), but you are always parents.  You need to be able to talk to each other and make decisions that are best for your children.

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How Do I Find the Best Divorce Attorney in Chicago?

 Posted on January 26, 2015 in Divorce

findingLawyers frequently hear the question, “How do I find the best divorce lawyer in Chicago?” Or, “How do I find a top divorce lawyer?” from parties seeking to dissolve their marriage.  If you do not have a referral, you may find yourself searching the internet to find the right attorney to represent you in your divorce.

A top divorce lawyer, or top Chicago attorney, is subjective.  It all depends on the eye of the beholder.  When seeking a divorce lawyer that fits your needs, you need to ask yourself specific questions, such as:

  • Do I think my case will go to trial?
  • Do we agree on everything, but we want a lawyer to write up the paperwork?
  • Do I have a custody fight or custody battle in my divorce?
  • Do we plan to share our time equally with the children?
  • Are there complex assets that need to be valued or sold?
  • Do we have a small marital estate?

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Lincolnwood Divorce Lawyers Open Three Illinois Offices and Launch New Website

 Posted on January 12, 2015 in Illinois Divorce Attorney

Weiss-KunzLincolnwood divorce law firm Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC is pleased to announce the opening of three offices in Northern Illinois. The family law and divorce law firm opened its three offices in order to better serve clients throughout Illinois, including Cook, Lake and DuPage counties. The three offices serve clients in downtown Chicago, at 180 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 3700; in Lincolnwood, at 6703 N. Cicero Avenue; and, in Lisle, at 5950-E Lincoln Avenue, Suite 100.

In conjunction with the opening of the three family law offices, Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC has launched a new informative website. The new legal website can be found at  and contains helpful legal information for clients looking for more information regarding divorce and family law in Illinois, as well as a blog sharing new legal trends and firm related updates. The content marketing and design team of OVC INC. Lawyer Marketing partnered with Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC to create the website.

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The Effect of Infidelity on Divorce

 Posted on January 07, 2015 in Family Law

effects of infidelity on divorceTime and time again, divorce lawyers are asked what, if anything, is the effect of infidelity on a divorce.  If my spouse is cheating, will I be compensated in the divorce?  If my husband is cheating, will he be punished in the divorce?  If my wife is having an affair, will I win custody?  Or, from the point of the view of the person in the relationship, if I am sleeping with someone else or in love with someone else, am I in trouble? Should I be afraid to ask for a divorce if I am the cheater?

The short answer to all of these concerns is that Illinois is a no fault divorce state.  That means the affair itself is not relevant.  For example, the maintenance statute indicates that maintenance is determined "without regard to marital misconduct."  Certainly there are minimal exceptions to this rule. Cohabitation is grounds for barring maintenance.  Further, if you are being supported by a paramour, that decreases your need for support.  But the affair, in itself, is not relevant.

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