IL collaborative divorce and mediated divorce lawyer, IL divorce attorney, Illinois mediation attorney, In the past, there was often only one route to take if you and your spouse wanted to get a divorce – that route was litigation. Different forms of alternative dispute resolution have been increasingly used to reach an agreement during a divorce. It is the general consensus that litigation is a last resort when going through a divorce and for good reason. Litigated divorces are often long and drawn out, in addition to being extremely costly and contentious. Because of this, two forms of alternative dispute resolution – collaborative and mediated divorces – have gained in popularity. Though the end goal is the same, these two types of divorce methods are quite different.

Divorce Mediation

In a mediated divorce, you and your spouse deal with one attorney who acts as an intermediary when settling issues during your divorce. Proponents of mediated divorces state that divorce mediation is more peaceful, can be accomplished quicker than other divorce methods and allow you to make your own decisions about your divorce, rather than having a judge make them.

A mediated divorce is typically only appropriate (or effective) when the couple has little to no disagreements about the issues they are discussing. Mediated divorce typically does not make sense in situations in which one spouse is controlling and the other is submissive, or in situations in which either spouse may not be completely truthful.

Collaborative Divorce

For spouses who do not want to resort to litigation, but have many disagreements, a collaborative divorce may be useful. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse has their own attorney that is trained in collaborative law and is there to advise you and assist you with making your decisions. In addition to the attorneys, collaborative divorces also typically involve other professionals, such as financial planners, divorce coaches, child specialists or even property appraisers. You and your spouse must sign an agreement stating that you will settle your issues outside of court before you begin the collaborative process. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement during collaboration, you will both have to hire new attorneys and head to the courtroom.

As with a mediated divorce, a collaborative divorce allows you to make your own decisions and can be much quicker than relying on the court system to complete your divorce. Although a collaborative divorce is likely to cost more than a mediated divorce, the cost typically comes in less than a litigated divorce. Like mediated divorces, collaborative divorces are often easier on the whole family because of the cooperative nature of the process.

An Elmhurst, IL Collaborative Law Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Options

Though these two types of alternative divorce methods are different from one another, this is not to say that one method is better than the other. Divorce situations are all different and what works for one couple may not necessarily be the right choice for you. If you are unsure of the type of divorce method for your situation, contact our team at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC. Our skilled DuPage County collaborative law lawyers are more than happy to help you through your divorce. Call our office today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL child custody lawyer, Spouse Who Does Not Agree to a Divorcecannot deny a divorce, there are ways they can prolong the process and make your life as difficult as possible. The following information provides insight on how to deal with a spouse who does not agree to a divorce.

My Spouse Will Not Respond to My Divorce Petition

In Illinois, the only acceptable reason to cite for divorce is irreconcilable differences, which can be cited by either spouse in the Petition For Dissolution of Marriage. The spouse who files the petition is referred to as the petitioner, while the other spouse is referred to as the respondent. Once the petition has been filed with the court, a hearing will be scheduled. It is the filing spouse’s responsibility to notify the other spouse of the petition and the hearing. Once the notice is served, the respondent has 30 days to respond to the notice and state whether or not he or she intends to contest the divorce.

If your spouse does not respond to the notice or does not show up to the hearing, you have the right to request a default judgment. A default judgment is typically in favor of the filing spouse and can determine things such as how property will be divided or how child support will be ordered. Before the court grants the default judgment, they may schedule another hearing. If your spouse does not show up to this hearing, the default judgment is typically granted.

I Cannot Find My Spouse

If your spouse is missing in action and you cannot find him or her, you can still get a divorce, but it may be a bit more difficult. If you want a divorce and your spouse is missing or unreachable, you must show to the court that:

  • You made reasonable attempts to get into contact with your spouse by serving notices at his or her last known residence and workplace.
  • You contacted people who may know of your spouse’s whereabouts.
  • You had notice of your divorce petition published in a newspaper or other publication that is distributed in the area your spouse was last living.

A DuPage County Divorce Attorney Can Help You Exercise Your Rights

If your spouse does not agree to a divorce and is fighting and disagreeing with you from the very beginning, you are probably in for a fairly stressful divorce. You need help from knowledgeable Elmhurst, IL divorce lawyers who have plenty of experience helping contentious situations. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we have helped hundreds of clients through their contentious divorces, even if they involve complicated issues such as dealing with highly-valuable assets or a spouse who refuses to agree to a divorce. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 312-605-4041 to see how we can help you.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL child custody lawyer, IL spouse's infidelity lawyerIt can be devastating to those who decide to get a divorce because of their spouse’s infidelity. Marital infidelity can cause feelings of sadness, hurt, anger, despair, and anguish, which can all cause the divorce process to be even more stressful and combative than your average divorce. If you are divorcing because of infidelity, you may be wondering whether or not your spouse’s adultery could give you an advantage in your divorce. While the answer is typically “no,” there are certain areas and aspects of your divorce that could be affected by a spouse’s infidelity.

Wasted Assets During an Affair

When it comes to asset and property division during a divorce, Illinois is considered an equitable division state. This means that each spouse will receive a share of the marital estate that is considered to be fair and just but does not always mean each spouse will receive half of everything. In regard to infidelity, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifically states that the court, “shall divide the marital property without regard to marital misconduct in just proportions…” which means that a spouse’s infidelity will not be a deciding factor at all.

However, in cases that your spouse had an affair and spent marital money on his or her lover, you may be able to claim dissipation for those “wasted” assets. Dissipation is stated to occur when one spouse uses marital assets for reasons unrelated to the marriage while the marriage was going through an irretrievable breakdown. If you claim dissipation, you may be able to receive a larger portion of marital property, depending on what the court deems to be appropriate.

Issues Concerning Children

There is also a possibility that issues such as parenting time and parenting responsibilities could be affected by your spouse’s infidelity. In a majority of cases, parenting time and parenting responsibilities will not be affected if your spouse was unfaithful. However, if your spouse’s new partner poses a risk to your children, the court could use that when making decisions about parenting time. For example, if your spouse’s new partner is a registered sex offender or has been convicted of domestic violence, the court may impose restrictions on visitation with your spouse.

Questions About Your Illinois Divorce? Contact an Elmhurst, IL Divorce Lawyer Today

Even though a spouse’s infidelity alone is not a valid reason on which to make divorce-related decisions, the actions of your spouse during such infidelity could possibly affect the terms of your divorce. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand the emotional distress that can come from going through a divorce with a spouse who has not been faithful. Our skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys can help you through the issues of your divorce and inform you of your rights when it comes to getting your fair share of marital property and protecting your children from your spouse’s new partner. Call our office today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL child custody lawyerNearly any marriage can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. What was once considered a taboo or only for the uber-wealthy, prenuptial agreements are now being used by more and more everyday couples. In the event that you get a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can help you decide how your property is divided, whether or not you receive spousal support, or even who gets custody of your pets. Sometimes, however, you may no longer find that your prenuptial agreement is right for your situation when it comes time to divorce. Can you contest the terms of your prenuptial agreement?

Challenging Your Prenup

Prenuptial agreements are documents that are supposed to make your divorce process easier, not more difficult. However, if you believe that your prenuptial agreement should be invalidated, your divorce has the possibility of getting even more contentious. This is when it is crucial for you to hire experienced legal counsel.

Even though prenups are legally binding, they are not set in stone and can be challenged in some ways. Your attorney will be able to help you go over your prenuptial agreement and determine the reasons why your agreement may not be enforceable. You will need to attend a court hearing to challenge your agreement before a judge. If the court agrees with the criticism of the agreement, your prenup or parts of your prenup may be invalidated. Here are the most common reasons a prenuptial agreement is invalidated:

  • Your spouse did not fully disclose all of his or her assets when the agreement was signed.
  • You were forced or coerced to sign the agreement.
  • You signed the agreement too close to the wedding and did not have enough time to fully understand the terms of the agreement.
  • Your prenuptial agreement is extremely favorable to one spouse.
  • You or your spouse did not have proper legal counsel when the agreement was signed.

A DuPage County Divorce Attorney Can Answer Any Questions You Might Have About Your Prenuptial Agreement

In most cases, a prenuptial agreement is binding once you are married. However, in some cases, you may be able to have your prenuptial agreement invalidated. If you are going through a divorce and you have questions about your prenuptial agreement, you should contact a knowledgeable Elmhurst, IL divorce lawyer. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we not only help couples create prenuptial agreements before marriage but can also examine them for possible invalidity. Do not go through your divorce alone; call us today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce can be complicated on its own, but adding children into the mix can complicate things further. When you get a divorce and you and your ex have children together, you will almost always split decision-making responsibilities and parenting time with them if it is left to the courts to decide. The courts will encourage you and your ex to work together to create parenting plans, but in the event you and your spouse cannot work together, Illinois family courts will intervene and it will be left to a judge to determine what is in the best interests of the children. Sometimes, a parent may believe that what is best for their child is for the other parent to play no part in their life. In cases like these, will the court issue an order to restrict parenting time?

Petitioning the Court for Parenting Time Restrictions

In an effort to be fair to all parents, the court begins its determinations from a place of neutrality. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifically states that “It is presumed that both parents are fit and the court shall not place any restrictions on parenting time…” If you believe that your ex should have parenting time restrictions, you must be able to prove to the court that spending time with your ex would endanger the physical, mental, moral or emotional health and well being of your children. If you wish to restrict your ex’s parenting time, you must petition the court for the restriction and attend a hearing.

Common Parenting Time Restrictions

During the hearing, you will have to present to the court evidence that supports a parenting time restriction. The court will hear your concerns as to why you want to restrict your ex’s parenting time, but they will not grant the restrictions unless it is actually found that your ex’s actions are in some way damaging to the children. It is rare, albeit not impossible for one parent to have 100 percent of the parenting time. However, it is more common that a court will place a restriction on the type, duration, and supervision of the parenting time that is allotted to the parent in question. Types of restrictions that can be placed on parenting time include:

  • Prohibited unsupervised visits
  • Prohibiting overnight visits to the non-custodial parent’s home
  • Only allowing visits in the custodial parent’s home
  • Only allowing visits that take place outside of the non-custodial parent’s home

An Elmhurst, IL Parenting Time Attorney Can Help

It can be difficult to parent children with your ex once you have gotten a divorce, but it is something that usually must be done. If you believe that your children are better off with some types of restrictions on your ex’s parenting time, you should call our skilled DuPage County parenting time lawyers today. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we can help you petition for a majority of the parenting time and the placement of appropriate restrictions on your ex’s parenting time. Call our office today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL child custody lawyerThe “dream” divorce, if there is such a thing, is one in which both spouses are amicable with each other, still respect one another, and are willing to work together. While this may be a reality for a lucky few, the majority of divorces are going to involve some degree of animosity between the spouses. In some cases, the tension between the spouses can get so bad that a spouse will do anything in his or her power to keep their soon-to-be-ex from getting their fair share of marital assets. In these cases, the spouse may do what is considered marital asset dissipation.

What is Dissipation?

The Illinois Supreme Court defines dissipation as the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time the marriage at a time the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” Dissipation can include intentional wasting, spending, destroying or otherwise squandering marital assets for the simple purpose of depriving the other spouse of the asset. Examples of dissipation can include:

  • Gambling and losing money
  • Not paying mortgage payments, especially when it was agreed that the spouse would
  • Spending money on a new partner
  • Withdrawing or transferring large amounts of money
  • Making uncharacteristically large or unusual purchases
  • Destroying marital property, such as burning photographs

What You Can Do if Your Spouse Has Dissipated Assets

Illinois practices what is known as equitable distribution when it comes to dividing marital assets. This means that each spouse will not necessarily receive half of the assets, but they will receive a portion that is considered fair by Illinois courts. For some spouses, receiving a larger portion of marital assets actually does make sense and is necessary for their financial futures. When the other spouse dissipates a portion of those assets, the spouse in need is no longer getting what they deserve. Claiming dissipation can help recover some of the lost assets.

To start dissipation investigations, you must provide notice to the court that you intend on claiming dissipation no later than 60 days before your trial or 30 days after the close of the discovery process, whichever is later. In the notice, you should provide information about the property that was dissipated and when the dissipation took place. If the judge accepts the dissipation and feels as though there is enough evidence to support your claim, they will factor the dissipation into your property allocation.

Our DuPage County Asset Dissipation Attorneys Can Help

Though it is not entirely uncommon for a spouse to be vengeful during a divorce, it can be devastating to be on the other end. If your spouse has dissipated a portion of your marital estate, you should contact our skilled Elmhurst, IL asset dissipation lawyers for assistance. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand how important it is for you to receive your fair share of your marital estate. Call our office today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.


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divorce-financesOne of the most frequent causes of marital stress – and often divorce – is financial issues. Multiple studies confirm that high debt and the lack of communication about the debt is one of the major stresses in many marriages that end up in divorce.

Some of the more frequent financial issues that married couples face include:

  • Credit card debt: When one spouse continues to rack up credit card debt over the objections of the other spouse
  • Budget overextension: When one or both spouses are unable to stay within their financial means
  • Financial infidelity: When one spouse has secret bank accounts, credit cards, hidden purchases, or gambling issues
  • Impulsive major purchases: When one spouse makes a major purchase – such as a vehicle – without discussing with the other spouse
  • Inability to compromise: When spouses have different philosophies on how money should be spent, saved, etc.

Many people who cite debt as the cause of their divorce often find that their credit scores have suffered because of the marital debt. If you are in a situation where martial debt and financial issues are leading you to consider divorce, it is important to know the steps you should take to protect yourself before, during, and after the divorce.

Multiple Streams of Debt

Common forms of  marital debt include:

  • Credit card debt
  • Mortgage debt
  • Auto loan debt
  • Medical debt
  • Student loan debt

If you and your spouse have a joint credit card, loan or mortgage, it is important to work together to make sure each months’ payments are made. If you are able, it is best to pay more than the minimum due each month in order to pay down the debt quicker. If the accounts are open and payments still need to be made during your divorce, the court will decide how marital financial obligations should be met based on each spouse’s financial situation.

Your Credit Report

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from the three nationwide credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Your credit report will show all joint accounts and debts you currently have. Making payments on time and not allowing additional debt to pile up will keep your credit score intact.

Filing for Bankruptcy

If your financial situation is dire, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. If this is something you and/or your spouse are considering, you will want to speak with your divorce attorney and find out if filing for bankruptcy before filing for divorce or after your divorce is final will be more beneficial for your situation.

It is important to note that if you are granted bankruptcy, not all debts are included. Spousal support/maintenance, child support, student loans, and income taxes must be paid. These financial obligations cannot be included in a bankruptcy filing.

Contact a DuPage County, Illinois Divorce Attorney Today

Your current financial situation can make or break your future. If you are going through a divorce and worried about the final financial outcome, contact an Elmhurst, Illinois divorce attorney at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLP. We will ensure that you get a fair division of property, assets, and debt. Call us at 312-605-4041.


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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL child custody lawyerThe Oscar-nominated movie, Marriage Story, starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, offers insight and advice regarding marriage and divorce. The film focuses on real-life issues within a relationship and offers teachable lessons for those who are ending their marriages.

The critically-acclaimed film has won rave reviews because of its realistic and often gut-wrenching portrayal of a couple whose love for each other disintegrates into divorce. And just like many real-life couples, the main characters first agree that they will bypass legal battles and have a “friendly divorce,” however, both end up hiring divorce attorneys. As the film reveals, even the friendliest of breakups can become contentious and attorneys are needed to make sure the divorce process is as fair as possible for both spouses.

How Divorce Attorneys Make a Difference

If you believe your marriage is headed towards divorce, do not put off hiring a legal professional from Weiss-Kunz & Oliver to help. Our legal team has successfully handled countless divorce cases and has the skill and legal expertise when it comes to knowing what to expect both in and outside of the courtroom.

More often than not, we represent clients whose soon-to-be ex-spouses are only focused on “winning,” whether that is winning more assets, more property, or the custody of the children. Each divorce attorney from our firm understands that the issues involved in a divorce are not a contest – these issues will determine your and your children’s future, including your financial, emotional, and physical well-being.

Even the simplest of divorces can quickly escalate into a “messy” one. Having a seasoned divorce attorney advocating for you through this process is critical to ensuring that your parental rights are protected and you receive your fair share of the marital estate. Your attorney will make sure that issues regarding child custody and support, asset and property division, and spousal support are worked out with the best resolution possible based on the circumstances of your case.

Your divorce attorney’s dedication does not end when the divorce is final. It is not uncommon for divorced couples to have legal issues that arise that result in the need for legal action, such as modifications of parenting plans, child support, or spousal support. Your attorney can help resolve these issues, as well.

Contact a DuPage County, Illinois Divorce Attorney Today

If you are unhappy in your current marriage and are considering a divorce, it may be time to find out what your legal options are. Call Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC at 312-605-4041 to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced Elmhurst divorce attorneys and find out how our firm can help.


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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL child custody lawyerWhen a couple decides to get married, they usually agree to share what they own. If the marriage were to end in divorce, the marital estate is divided under the equitable distribution doctrine. Unlike community property states, which divide the couple’s assets in a 50/50 division, Illinois law says the couple’s assets need to be divided equitably based on certain factors. Some of these factors include:

  • How long the couple was married
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate
  • The value of the assets
  • What each spouse’s financial circumstances will be after the divorce
  • Tax implications
  • Whether spousal support will be paid

One factor that usually supersedes all other factors is whether the couple had a valid prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract entered into by the couple prior to the marriage which stipulates how assets and property will be divided in the event the couple divorces. The agreement can also address any outstanding debt the couple has and spousal support/maintenance.

Although it is recommended that every couple draw up a prenuptial agreement before the wedding, many couples choose not to. The good news for those couples is that Illinois law also recognizes postnuptial agreements.

Postnuptial agreements address the same terms and/or issues that prenuptial agreements do. The only difference is that the agreement is entered into at some point after the couple has married.

Reasons Why Married Couples Choose to Sign a Postnuptial Agreement

In certain marital situations, signing a postnuptial agreement is highly recommended. Typically, postnuptial agreements are established because of the following:

  • One of the spouses has significant assets and the couple did not enter into a prenuptial agreement before they married.
  • One or both of the spouses have children from previous relationships or marriages. Having a postnuptial agreement can ensure that each spouse’s children receive the inheritance according to their parents’ wishes.
  • One spouse has taken on insurmountable debt or has previously made irresponsible financial decisions.
  • One spouse has a profitable and established business
  • One spouse has inherited a substantial amount of money or property

How to Establish a Valid Postnuptial

To considered valid, enforceable, and legal under Illinois law, a postnuptial agreement must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be written. An oral postnuptial agreement will not be considered valid.
  • It must be signed by both spouses. Additionally, it should be notarized by a third party.
  • It must be voluntary. One spouse cannot threaten, deceive, coerce, or physically force the other to sign the postnuptial agreement. If any of the following have occurred during the making and signing of the postnuptial agreement, the document is not valid.
  • It must be fair. A postnuptial agreement cannot favor one spouse over the other.
  • It must include full disclosure regarding property, assets, income, debt, and any other issue the couple has added.

Contact an Elmhurst, Illinois Postnuptial Attorney Today

If you are married and have decided that you and your spouse should draw up a postnuptial agreement, contact a skilled DuPage County, Illinois family law attorney at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC. Contact us at 312-605-4041.


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Park Ridge divorce attorney for child custody evaluatorsWhen parents are divorcing or separated, they may disagree about how to share responsibility for raising their children, the amount of parenting time children will spend with each parent, and a variety of other issues. In some divorce or child custody cases, the court may require assistance from outside experts such as child custody evaluators, to help determine what would be in children’s best interests. When working with these professionals, both parents and children may be concerned about what records will be available to them and whether confidential information will be released as part of the court record. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we recently represented a client in a case that clarified some of these issues.

How Does Illinois Law Address Child Custody Evaluators?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifies when and how professionals may be appointed to perform investigations and evaluations of a situation and provide recommendations about children’s best interests. According to 750 ILCS 5/604.10(b), a person who is appointed by the court may review relevant records and information related to the case, and they will present a report that explains their conclusions and recommendations about the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, or child relocation.

Another section of the IMDMA, 750 ILCS 5/607.6(d), states that if the court orders that a child should receive individual counseling or that one or both of the parents should undergo family counseling with their child, these counseling sessions will be confidential. Any communication made by any of the parties (including parents and children) during counseling cannot be used during litigation, nor can a professional appointed by the court consider the contents of a counseling session when performing an evaluation.

An Example of the Laws Regarding Confidentiality

Attorneys Amanda Oliver and Andrew Ference recently addressed these matters in a Cook County family law case in which we represented a woman during post-divorce litigation. A court expert was appointed to evaluate parenting matters, and this expert interviewed therapists that had been appointed by the court and reviewed their notes from their sessions with the parties. The children, who were represented by a guardian ad litem and a child representative, filed a motion to discharge the expert and bar her report because it was based on confidential information. Our client supported this motion.

When addressing this matter, our attorneys argued that even though the parties had provided releases allowing the court-appointed therapists to speak to the custody evaluator, the use of confidential information to reach the conclusions in the evaluator’s report was in violation of the law. The judge agreed, and the report was barred from being considered during the remainder of the case.

Contact an Elmhurst Child Custody Lawyer

The matters addressed during a contentious divorce or child custody case can be very sensitive, and you will want to be sure you and your children will be able to maintain privacy and confidentiality when working with court-appointed experts. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we can advise you of your rights in these types of cases, and we can provide you with the representation you need as you work to reach a resolution that protects your children’s best interests. To speak to a DuPage County family law attorney, contact our office today at 312-605-4041.



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