property-divisionIt is well-known that divorce is extremely common in today’s society. The phrase “50% of marriages end in divorce” can make many people hesitant to say “I do”. For a period of time, divorce rates were on the rise. However, CDC data comparing divorce rates from 2000 to 2017 reveal that the divorce and annulment rate has reduced from 4.0 per 1,000 people in 2000 to 2.9 per 1,000 people by 2017. One of the best ways to keep this trend on the decline is to be aware of the common causes of divorce and avoid these triggers.

Financial Difficulties

Feeling financially unstable can add stress to a relationship and cause unrest, making it difficult to “enjoy the little things”. Couples that struggle with finances can struggle to think of anything other than the impending bills. This is often more common with younger couples struggling to get by on small paychecks. Ensuring financial stability is impossible for any couple, but remaining conscious of what is coming in and how much is going out can be beneficial for your stress-level and your relationship.

Unrealistic Expectations

Believe it or not, many people go into marriages unprepared for the reality of it. Couples can get caught up in the excitement of the relationship without thinking of what marriage really entails. Expecting a married relationship to be just like your dating one is unrealistic and can leave people in hot water. Relationships are bound to evolve as time goes on, but being unprepared for these changes is one of the many reasons that people sign divorce papers.

The Importance of Equality

Feeling equal to your partner is an important aspect of any relationship – married or not. The pressure of equality can be especially precarious for heterosexual couples. In the modern world, most people search for a relationship in which each member is considered equal, regardless of their gender. Though each partner may start out on an equal playing field, this can sometimes fade out once the comfort of marriage sets in.

Lack of Intimacy

One of the most common complaints by divorcing couples is a lack of intimacy, both physical and emotional. A lack of physical intimacy can make your romantic relationship feel like a friendship. Emotional intimacy is just as important. Consistently giving your partner the cold shoulder can make small arguments turn into larger issues. Maintaining a healthy level of intimacy is important for every couple looking to keep their vows.

Call a DuPage County Divorce Attorney Today

For some couples, these issues are inevitable and for others, there may be other underlying issues causing their unhappiness. Regardless of the reason, divorce is an emotional rollercoaster for everyone involved and it can be difficult to remain neutral during the legal proceedings. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we work closely with all of our clients to prioritize their needs while taking the legal stress off of their shoulders. If you are considering divorce, contact our Elmhurst divorce attorneys at 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.marriage.com/advice/divorce/10-most-common-reasons-for-divorce/

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/national-marriage-divorce-rates-00-17.pdf

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Domestic violence cases occur when a member of your household has been physically struck, threatened, or harassed by an opposing house member. Thoughts of domestic violence cases usually depict a husband abusing his wife; however, victims or abusers can be any household member. Thankfully, a lot of marriages that are linked to domestic violence issues often end in divorce. Before a dissolution of marriage is filed, there are certain precautions and considerations that should be taken to help avoid the situation from escalating. Working with a skilled divorce attorney could expand your knowledge of how the legal system can help when divorcing an abusive spouse.

Request an Order of Protection

For victims of domestic abuse, a judge can provide a temporary court order that would restrict the abuser from having access to the victim. In general, an order of protection would be able to:

  • Prevent the offender from making threats or abuse
  • Remove the offender from the residence
  • Prohibit the use of drugs or alcohol by the abuser
  • Establish a restraining order
  • Require the abuser to attend counseling
  • Require the abuser to attend court
  • Award you with temporary custody of your child
  • Adjust visitation rights
  • Grant the victim certain property
  • Require the abuser to pay support for you or a minor child
  • Require the abuser to turn over weapons to law enforcement

If you, your child, or another member of your household are being victimized, it is important to seek help immediately. Requesting assistance from the police and court system can provide immediate protection and establish a trend of abuse.

Plan for Additional Safety Precautions

After an order of protection is granted, it is not promised that the abuser will stay away. Seeking shelter at a friend or family member’s house may decrease the likelihood of the offender pursuing vengeance. Furthermore, being in contact with your local police department as well as a domestic violence shelter could provide a loving community and a sense of protection.

File for an Illinois Divorce

The reason as to why a couple wants to end their marriage no longer needs to be established in Illinois. A “no-fault divorce” simply requires that irreconcilable differences lead to the conclusion of a couple’s marriage. Although it is not mandatory, letting the court know that domestic violence factored into the divorce could be beneficial. Marital aspects such as child custody, spousal support, relocation, and the division of assets could all be affected if domestic violence can be established.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If preventative actions are not taken, victims of domestic violence can sustain brutal injures and live in constant fear. Your husband or wife should be a person that you can trust and feel safe with, not fear because of abuse. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we can provide legal help to you or a loved one that is being victimized. Immediately after any form of abuse occurs, our experienced Elmhurst divorce lawyers can work with you to secure your family’s safety. To schedule an initial consultation, contact our office today at 312-605-4041.

Source:

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/victims.html

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child-custodyFor parents going through a divorce, one of the steps in the process is formulating parenting schedule. Formerly known as “visitation”, parenting time arrangements legally lay out your schedule for parenting and spending time with your child. Oftentimes the custodial parent will remain living in the marital home with the children while the non-custodial parent will move into a new apartment or house and care for the children from that location. This allows each parent to have their own space while still caring for their child. However, there is another option that many families have never heard of known as nesting.

What Is Nesting?

Nesting is an alternative arrangement that some divorcing families use to help their children with the transitional period of the divorce. For those with a nesting arrangement, the children will remain in the marital home regardless of who is caring for them. Rather than moving from one parent’s home to another, the parents come to them. This can help children, especially those of a young age, become accustomed to their parents splitting up. It can be difficult for young children to live between two homes and some parents decide to take additional steps to keep their life as “normal” as possible.

Pros and Cons of Nesting  

Like any parenting arrangement, nesting has its ups and downs; however, some families have seen it help their children in the long run. Many parents who decide to “nest” will share the second residence and live there while their former spouse cares for the children at the marital home. This can save the recently divorced couple a lot of money in the end. Rather than leaving the rent or mortgage on one parent’s shoulders, the two can divide the cost. Nesting can also provide children with a structured schedule that does not require interruptions throughout the week. Not only can this make the divorce easier to swallow, but it can also help the kids focus on their academics and social lives rather than their new living environment.

Nesting comes with its own set of challenges despite its benefits. Sharing an alternative address and moving between both homes can make it difficult for the divorced couple to move on. While there are obvious differences in the post-divorce relationship, this shared residence can prevent the parents from meeting new adults, going on dates, or having a social life outside of their co-parent. They may feel obligated to keep the space “neutral” which could stop them from severing all emotional ties to their former spouse. Moving from one house to another can also be exhausting, especially for parents with full-time jobs. They may have a hard time feeling “at home” while staying at their alternative address.

Call a Chicago Parenting Time Attorney for Help

    Nesting may not be for every couple, but it is important to know all of your options if you are a parent going through a divorce. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand that your children are you priority and sometimes that requires formulating an alternative parenting arrangement. No matter the personal situation, our divorce attorneys will work hard to ensure that your arrangement includes the wellbeing of your child. If you are a parent considering divorce, contact our Elmhurst parenting time attorneys at 312-605-4041 for assistance.

Sources:

https://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/2085537/sharing-house-after-divorce/

https://www.itsovereasy.com/insights/post-divorce-parenting-whats-deal-nesting

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce proceedings can get ugly very quickly, especially when children are involved. Rarely do child custody cases go as planned and both parents usually do not get the custody arrangement that they were hoping for. Regardless of the parents’ marital relationship, many couples get used to co-parenting and can find it difficult to have to “take time off” from parenting their kids. Things can become even more complicated if the parenting relationship is contentious.

What Situations Warrant Visitation?

In order for the court to require supervised visits between a parent and their child, a serious situation must have happened between the parent and child or the two parents. The bad blood between divorcing spouses may prompt one or both parents to try and seek full custody or supervised visitation requirements for the child’s other parent. In order for the court to take this request seriously, one of the following situations must be proven:

  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse has been inflicted upon the child by the parent;
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse has been inflicted upon one parent by the other parent;
  • A parent struggles with substance abuse;
  • A parent has an uncontrollable mental illness that poses harm to the child;
  • A parent poses a risk of kidnapping or abducting the child;
  • A parent has neglected the child;
  • A parent has been absent from the child’s life and wishes to form a relationship with the child; and/or
  • There have been dangerous situations involving the family as a result of a parent’s actions.

How Do Supervised Visits Go?

Supervised visitation is exactly what it sounds like – a parent must have another adult party present to act as the supervisor while spending time with their child. This person can be a social worker or family member and the visit can take place at the parent’s home or at a designated facility. These decisions will be made by a judge after weighing the parent’s mental fitness and their circumstances. The controlled setting is meant to help the parent and child maintain a relationship while keeping the child safe.

A judge will decide whether the visits should be temporary or indefinite. If investigations are involved with the parent, the supervision requirement may end after the investigation is complete, dependent upon its end result. There are ways in which a parent can challenge the court order. A parent must show that they have changed for the better. An example of this is the successful completion of rehabilitation or counseling. The parent that wishes to change the arrangement will return to court and request the modification with proof of their changes.

An Elmhurst, IL Child Custody Attorney Can Help

When going through a divorce, especially one that includes children, your attorney is instrumental in keeping a consistent relationship with your child. If you believe that your child’s other parent is unfit to care for your child or you risk losing your ability to see your child freely, it is crucial to have an experienced child custody lawyer on your side. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, our DuPage County child custody attorneys have extensive experience working with all different family situations to ensure that your child is safe. If you need assistance with your child custody arrangements, contact our Elmhurst child custody attorneys at 312-605-4041 for help.

 

Sources:

https://www.custodyxchange.com/articles/supervised-visitation.php

https://www.verywellfamily.com/supervised-visitation-overview-2997448

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,All areas of divorce are difficult: The decision-making, the legal process, and adjusting to a new lifestyle. For couples without children, divorce is a life change that happens on an individual level. However, once children are involved, the ending of a marriage involves your own healing as well as your children’s emotions about the decision. Telling your children about the split is half the battle.

What Do I Say (and Not Say)?

The way you present the news is almost as important as what you say. The following tips provide help on what you should say to your children when having the difficult conversation and how you should say it.

  1. Act as a United Front: While it is no secret that you are no longer on the same page with your relationship, your parenting should remain collaborative. Planning the conversation ahead of time is a good way to try and keep things on track. This can be a good way to try and keep your emotions in check before speaking with your children. A child’s worst fear is losing a parent in divorce and having their life alter completely. You want to present the information together to show your child that although your marriage may be coming to an end, your family will remain intact, even if it is changing.

  2. Tell the Truth: At the end of the day, your child is going to be wondering “why?” Some children may already have an understanding of why the marriage is ending, especially if your relationship has been on the decline for a while. However, young children often do not understand how or why the marriage is ending. It is important to provide your children with truthful information while avoiding sharing too much. Parts of your relationship should remain private but giving an explanation such as “we don’t get along anymore” can give your child closure.

  3. Keep Things Civil: Some parents fall into the trap of throwing their spouse under the bus. As emotions heighten during the conversation, they can begin to blame their ex for the end of the marriage. This is one of the most important things to remember about divorce: Your children should not be involved in your squabbles. You and your spouse’s conflicts should not affect their relationship with their child.

  4. Tell Them “I Love You”: Reassuring your child that nothing has changed in regards for your love for them may seem unnecessary but it can be the most important thing said. Many children see your ending marriage as losing you as a parent, even though this is not the case. Reminding your child that this is not the case is crucial.

Contact an Elmhurst Divorce Attorney for Help

Personal stress is inevitable when it comes to divorce, especially if children are involved. The legal portion of divorce should be taken care of by a professional in order to allow you to focus on your children’s wellbeing and your own. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we have experience with all forms of divorce, no matter how amicable or contentious the spouses’ relationship is. If you are looking for legal assistance with your divorce, contact our DuPage County divorce lawyers at 312-605-4041to schedule a consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.mother.ly/life/how-to-gently-talk-to-your-kids-about-divorce

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/children-and-divorce.htm

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parentingIn the past, parenting was often solely an option for heterosexual couples. Whether through biological means or adoption, the nuclear family became the norm in American culture. Times have changed and this is now no longer the case. Many same-sex couples now have large families, both biologically and through adoption. Despite the open-mindedness that has now spread throughout the U.S., same-sex couples still experience legal differences in terms of parenting.

What Is Second Parent Adoption?

 In the eyes of the court, there is a difference between the biological parent and non-biological parent regardless of the amount of parenting each person actually does. This means that the non-biological parent does not have any legal rights of the child. If the child was sick in the hospital, only the biological parent is considered family. In the case of separation or divorce, the non-biological parent would have no right to see their child if the biological parent made that decision. While this may not be an issue when both parents are on good terms, this could become a problem if the marriage goes south. Many do not realize the power that emotions can have over a person until they experience heartbreak or a downhill marriage.

Second parent adoption, also known as co-parent adoption, is the best way to ensure that both parents have equal rights over the child. This form of adoption is now available in all 50 states. Unlike other forms of adoption, second parent adoption does not terminate the other parent’s rights to the child or make the other parent a step parent.

What Other Steps Should I Take?

Most families take co-parent adoption as their last step in the process to ensure equal rights of their child. An additional step that some families take is to create a custody agreement. This is similar to a prenuptial agreement. Both heterosexual and same-sex couples can create custody agreements in the case of divorce or separation. These agreements lay out the duties and expectations of each parent as well as a potential visitation schedule.

Contact a DuPage County Adoption Lawyer

Now that same-sex families have become less of a rarity, legal processes to officiate these families have followed suit. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we help all couples with the legal processes behind growing their families. If you are considering becoming a legal co-parent, contact our experienced Elmhurst adoption attorneys at 312-605-4041.

 

Sources:

http://www.nclrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Legal_Recognition_of_LGBT_Families.pdf

https://www.hrc.org/resources/second-parent-adoption

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois collaborative divorce lawyerSome people may not realize that money they put into a retirement account, like a 401(k) or IRA, during their marriage is not theirs alone. When the marriage ends in divorce, those retirement funds will likely need to be split just like every other asset and debt the couple has acquired while they were married. In order to avoid paying large fees on a retirement plan withdrawal, the couple will likely need a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order). An attorney can help walk the parties through the process, as it can get a little bit complicated.

What is a QDRO?

A QDRO is an official decree, which must be approved by a judge, that orders one party to transfer funds from his or her retirement plan to the other divorcing party. Information that must be included in the QDRO includes the plan participant’s name and either a specific amount or percentage of the benefits that are to be paid to the other party.

The party who is receiving the funds must then receive the money as if he or she was the owner of the plan. Then the payee may use the money as needed, which will result in taxes charged to the receiver of the money, or he or she may roll it over into another plan, which makes the transaction tax-free.

The payee may also use part of the money and roll over the rest. It all depends on the needs of the party who is receiving the funds. This is the case, at least, when the QDRO involves transferring money to a spouse or former spouse. However, if the person being paid is a child or other dependent, the participant of the plan will be taxed for the withdrawal.

How Are Retirement Plans Split in Divorce?

The amounts and percentages given to the other divorcing party will depend on the individual case. Everything is not always split 50/50, as there are many variables involved, like the incomes of both parties, any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements that may be in place, etc. An attorney can help sort through the numbers to come up with fair amounts.

Contact an Experienced Elmhurst Divorce Attorney Today

If you are facing divorce, the attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, can walk you through the process of filing a QDRO and much more. A knowledgeable Oak Park divorce attorney could make all the difference in your case. Call 312-605-4041 to set up a consultation today.

Source:

https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-qdro-qualified-domestic-relations-order

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,If you are close to retirement and facing a divorce (sometimes called a “gray” divorce), the issues you will need to address are at least somewhat different than those faced by younger couples. For example, you probably do not need to worry about child custody, as your children, if there were any, may already be grown and out of the house. You do likely have a lot more assets in the form of bank accounts, retirement funds, shared real estate, and more that will have to be split between the two of you.

Where to Begin

Even if both parties are willing to share and compromise, there is more to splitting certain funds than one may realize. Rather than being able to just share an IRA or 401(k) like you might do with a bank account, there are rules that must be followed to avoid various fees and taxes. Often, individuals who have passed their middle-aged years have a variety of retirement accounts, and they can be tricky.

An experienced attorney can help you navigate through all the laws and regulations to make sure you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse both get a fair deal. However, it is important that you be realistic and keep in mind that you will likely end up taking at least a minor financial hit. Transitioning from one household to two separate households will obviously mean, except in rare cases, a major increase in expenses.

Also, there is no way to getting around sharing your retirement accounts, unless of course the other party agrees not to touch it in your settlement. Even if it did come directly from your hard-earned income, it also was technically from your mutual marital income.

What Is a QDRO?

Your attorney will explain to you that a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) will be needed to split a 401(k) account without facing a lot of fees. A QDRO is a one-time break that allows you to share your retirement funds with the other party, without being subjected to a penalty. If you take out any more money to use elsewhere, there will be a penalty on that portion of your withdrawal if you are younger than 59½. A QDRO will not be needed for an IRA, but if an IRA is split, it will have to be done officially in your divorce decree or separation agreement in order for the IRA custodian to honor it. If you take the money out directly from an IRA, there will be a penalty for those under 59½, but if it is rolled over to another IRA, there is no penalty.

Contact a Knowledgeable Elmhurst Divorce Attorney

The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz and Oliver, LLC, will know exactly how to help you with your divorce. Our experienced Oak Park divorce attorneys will know exactly how to split all of your assets and debts in the best manner to avoid any unnecessary fees. Call 312-605-4041 to inquire about setting up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T065-C000-S004-dividing-your-assets-in-a-gray-divorce.html

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,For many people, the time they went through their divorce may have been the worst time of their lives. No matter whether you wanted out of the marriage or not, from the moment of your separation until well after the divorce is final can be a period of uncertainty and loneliness. Legal missteps during this time can affect the rest of your life, so it is important that you try to remain as mentally and emotionally well during this time.

Coping Tips

  1. Acknowledge your feelings, allow yourself to have them, and deal with them in healthy ways. Rather than trying to push down the wide range of emotions you are facing, try working on self-improvement and stress relievers, like working out at the gym, going for a walk, or talking things through with a close friend.
  2. Take care of yourself. Do not allow yourself to wallow in sorrow or anger. Eat healthily, get plenty of rest, even if you are having trouble sleeping, and do not turn to alcohol or drugs as coping mechanisms. These can lead to poor decisions and lifelong issues., so tread carefully.
  3. Make sure your attorney is handling your case in the way you want. If there are specific issues that you want to make sure are taken care of, make sure to communicate those necessities to your lawyer. Heed your attorney’s advice, but also offer input to ensure your needs are being met. Having things taken care of from a legal standpoint will take a lot of stress and worry off of your shoulders.
  4. Avoid arguing with your spouse (or ex-spouse). It will be tempting to answer every call, text, or email, and often you will want to get some anger and disappointment off your chest, but unfortunately, this can, and most likely will, lead to even more negative emotions piling onto you.
  5. Spend time with loved ones. You need friendships and support during a divorce. You may also need some alone time to reflect, but do not allow yourself to be too closed off from the people who love you and want to help you through this difficult time.
  6. If you have children, reassure them, and try to keep up their regular activities as much as possible. Do not drag them into the conflict, but rather try to remain as positive as you can around them. However, also be honest about the situation and let them know that they also are entitled to their feelings, and be open for them to talk to you about the situation.

Contact an Elmhurst Attorney for Help with Your Divorce

The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, are knowledgeable and ready to help you through your divorce. Contact an experienced Elmhurst attorney to iron out the details that will keep your divorce process as stress-free as it can be. Call 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/separation-and-divorce

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divorceDivorce can bring on a rush of emotions and leave a person going through the process not thinking clearly. There is so much to think about that many assets may be overlooked. Both spouses are legally required to be upfront about their assets. Although there are often cases in which a spouse purposely hides assets, some items are quite simply forgotten when it comes time to divide up everything in a divorce.

Where to Begin with Property Division

Most people probably have no problem coming up with a list of assets and debts that will have to be split in their divorce. On the asset side, think bank accounts, the family home, cars, and investments. On the debt side, think mortgages, loans, and credit cards. These can be split evenly, or couples may have different ideas for who will get what. An experienced divorce attorney can help you iron out a fair deal in your divorce and can assist in making sure you do not forget about any other valuable items that you may be entitled to.

Take Note of The Following Oft-Forgotten Assets

  • Retirement Funds: Besides checking and savings accounts, many people have 401(k)’s or other types of investment funds through their places of employment. Members of couples who have been married a while may be able to lay claim to part of their soon-to-be-ex’s retirement accounts.
  • Collections: Some collect wine, coins, jewelry, or even cars. Chances are, your combined assets have gone into building said collections, so even if you do not want to take half of the collection, you may be entitled to half of its monetary value.
  • Valuable Gifts: Watches and rings, large TVs, vehicles, and other gifts given during the marriage legally belong to both of you. In addition, even if something belonged to only one of you prior to the marriage, if you added his or her name to it during the marriage, it could be considered marital property.
  • Photographs and Items of Sentimental Value: These must also be divided or copies made when possible, even if they have little to no monetary value.
  • Intellectual Property: Products or ideas that were trademarked, copyrighted, etc., during the marriage must be split, including any income that may come from them in the future.
  • Winnings or Loan Repayments: If a spouse wins money or valuable items in a contest, on a lottery ticket, at a casino, or by other means, during the marriage, it has to be shared. The same goes for repayments received from loans given by the couple, or either member of the couple, during the marriage.

Seek Legal Counsel in Your Divorce

The above list may only scratch the surface of all the possibilities for assets that could be overlooked in the midst of divorce proceedings. An experienced Elmhurst divorce attorney can help you sort through any belongings or debts you may have and work out a fair settlement. Call 312-605-4041 to set up a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2012/11/14/what-are-the-consequences-of-hiding-assets-during-divorce/#4c2cd415190c

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/10/16/divorcing-women-dont-forget-these-marital-assets/#5efd01421195

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