Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,With the new year fast approaching, 2019 is right around the corner. While this is exciting for some, couples who have just filed for divorce or are mid-divorce could see some not-so-nice changes with the new year. A law that was passed in December 2017 will come into effect beginning January 1, 2019, and will affect any couple who has not finalized their divorce by December 31, 2018.

Act Will Change Tax Implications For Divorcing Couples

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed in December of 2017 and made changes to the tax code that will affect about half of Americans in some way, shape or form when it goes into full effect at the beginning of the year. For divorcing couples, the TCJA will affect the tax implications of spousal support (also known as alimony). The act will change the existing 77-year-old law on who pays taxes on spousal support.

Old Law vs. New Changes

Any couple who finalizes their divorce before December 31, 2018, will adhere to the current rules on who pays taxes on spousal support. As of now, the person who is paying the spousal support can deduct the payments on their taxes. The person who receives the spousal support must pay taxes on the payments depending on their tax bracket. Under the new law, spouses who pay support payments will not be able to deduct the amount on their taxes and the spouse who receives the payments will not pay tax on them.

Implications of the Change

Couples who are currently going through a divorce have more pressure to finalize their divorces before this new law goes into effect. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers estimates that divorces will change significantly in the way they are settled and that divorce cases will become more hostile than before. The organization has also stated that couples who currently have prenuptial agreements should reexamine the documents and update them based on the new law.

Get in Touch with an Elmhurst, IL Spousal Support Attorney

It is no secret that a divorce can be a messy and complicated process. With the new law that will take full effect next year, your divorce could become even more complicated. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, you can have peace of mind knowing that we are here to help you throughout your divorce process and will help you make the best decisions about spousal support and its effect on your taxes. Our highly-skilled Lincolnwood, IL spousal support attorneys understand the importance of receiving support and that spousal support is something that you may depend on, especially right after your divorce. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation by calling 312-605-4041.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Divorce is difficult and stressful for everyone – there is no doubt about that. Once you completed your divorce and have decided everything from how your marital property is divided to how your parenting time is divided, you probably felt like a weight was lifted off of your shoulders. All of that stress and worrying can come rushing back if you have to move and you want to take your child with you. In Illinois, parenting time can be changed if there is a significant change in circumstances from when the parenting plan was first created – parental relocation qualifies as one of those circumstances. Even if you are not moving out of the state, you cannot just pick up and move if you are taking your child with you. You must seek the permission of both the other parent and the court.

First Steps

Before you do anything, you are required to provide written notice about your intended relocation to the child’s other parent. The notice should be issued to the other parent at least 60 days before your intended relocation unless that is not possible. The notice should be filed with the clerk of the circuit court and should include your intended date of relocation, your new address if it is known and the length of time you will be there if the change is not permanent. If the other parent agrees to the relocation, signs the notice and files the notice with the clerk of the court, no further court action will be taken. If the parent fails to sign the notice, objects to the relocation or you both cannot agree on a modification to the existing parenting plan, this is when the courts get involved.

Petitioning the Court to Relocate

Every decision that the court makes concerning your child is made with the child’s best interest in mind. When making a decision on how the parenting plan will be modified to accommodate the relocation, the courts will consider:

  • The reasons for the intended location;
  • The reasons why the other parent objects to the relocation;
  • The quality of the relationship that each parent has with the child;
  • The educational opportunities that the child currently has and the ones that he or she will have at the new location;
  • Whether or not extended family is near the existing location and the new location;
  • The anticipated impact the relocation will have on the child;
  • Whether or not an acceptable allocation of parenting responsibilities is possible with the relocation;
  • What the child wants, within reason; and
  • How a modification to the parenting plan could be crafted to minimize impairment to the parent-child relationship.

Contact a Lincolnwood, IL Parental Relocation Attorney

Whether you are the parent who is seeking to relocate or you are the parent who is objecting to the relocation, this type of change can be difficult for everyone – including your child. Stress during this time of contention can be reduced with legal help from an experienced and knowledgeable Skokie parenting time lawyer. Our attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC are compassionate and understand how a relocation can affect everyone in the family. Our attorneys also understand how to obtain successful parenting plan modifications, which can help speed up your relocation process. Call our office today to set up a consultation at 312-605-4041.



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Skokie divorce hidden assets lawyerDivorce can be complicated, especially when you are dealing with a high net worth and a spouse who has attempted to hide assets. Though it is difficult to keep financial secrets from your spouse these days, it does not stop people from trying. According to a report by, nearly 15 million adults have a credit card or bank account that their live-in partner does not know about. Though it can be tempting to hide assets from one’s spouse during a divorce, it is not a good idea – in fact, it is illegal. If you think your spouse may be concealing financial resources during your divorce, here are five ways you can begin looking for hidden assets:

1. Look at Tax Returns

The first place you should begin looking for hidden assets is in your taxes. Income tax returns from at last the past five years are a good place to start. Look at where income has been coming from, whether that be your spouse’s job, interest, dividends, or capital gains or losses. If something seems off on the tax return, talk to your attorney about it.

2. Check Bank Statements

Another place to look could be bank or credit card statements. When examining these statements, you should look for any large transfers or withdrawals, especially patterns such as regular transfers or withdrawals of small amounts of money. Look for any payments made to family members or friends or custodial accounts for children. Also, look for any ATM withdrawals and note the amounts withdrawn – are these normal spending habits, or could they be an indication that your spouse is withdrawing and concealing marital funds?

3. Check Public Records

Another way you can find hidden assets is by checking public records for valuable information. Public records can be accessed at places such as county courthouses or city halls. Records you should be concerned with include:

  • Tax assessments
  • Loan applications
  • Business records
  • Real estate appraisals
  • Property deeds

4. Search the House

Another way you to find hidden assets is through good, old-fashioned searching. Look in all the spots that your spouse could hide information – not only in the obvious places, such as his or her desk, filing cabinets, or journals, but also in closets, dresser drawers, and even under the mattress. You might just find clues about certain assets that he or she is hiding.

5. Hire an Attorney Skilled in Asset Discovery

Divorce is not easy for anyone, but if your spouse is hiding assets from you, it can be even more emotionally and financially stressful. If you suspect that your spouse is concealing funds or property from you, you should immediately contact a Lincolnwood divorce asset discovery lawyer. The experienced lawyers at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can help you discover any assets that your spouse may be trying to keep from you and work to protect your rights throughout the divorce process. To schedule a consultation, call our office at 312-605-4041.


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Elmhurst divorce attorney pet ownershipEveryone who is a pet owner knows that their pet is part of the family, and to some people, their pets are even like children. For the longest time, pets were considered property in an Illinois divorce, and the spouse who got to keep a pet was mostly determined by who purchased the animal. A recent change to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act now includes a clause about pets which sets out guidelines to determine who gets the pets when spouses get a divorce.

Pets are Treated More Like Children Under New Law

A new law that took effect at the beginning of 2018 now allows pets to be treated more like dependents and less like property. This means that Illinois now recognizes that animals are living beings, and their best interests need to be taken into consideration when a separation is in order. However, it will still need to be determined whether or not pets are considered marital property before any allocation occurs. If a pet is found to be marital property, a judge can now consider certain factors when determining who gets custody of a pet in the divorce.

Considering Factors

Much like when you are getting a divorce with children, either party can petition for sole or joint possession and responsibility of a pet or “companion animal,” as the Act puts it. The petitioner could either be awarded sole or joint custody of the animal, depending on the judge’s decision on what is in the best interests of the pet. The only animals that this change does not apply to are service animals, but in cases with companion animals, judges may consider factors such as:

  • Who spends more time with the animal.
  • Who takes the animal to the veterinarian.
  • Who trained the animal.
  • Who tends to the animal’s daily needs, such as eating or walking.
  • Who has financially provided for the animal.

Use a Lincolnwood Divorce Attorney to Settle Your Pet Custody Disputes

For most pet owners, their animals are part of the family, which is why this new law was enacted–to treat animals owned by divorcing couples more like family members. If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about who your pet will end up with, you should contact an Elmhurst divorce lawyer who can help you fight to keep your beloved animal in your possession. By working with Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, you can have peace of mind knowing that your attorney has a proven track record of successfully settling family law cases. To set up a consultation, call our office at 630-530-4400.


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Skokie divorce lawyer business valuationThe American Dream is the belief that anyone can achieve success if they work hard enough. For many people, their own American Dream is realized through business ownership. In 2010, there were reported to be around 27.9 million small business in the U.S. Comparing that statistic to the divorce rate, which is anywhere between 40 and 50 percent, it is safe to say that many divorcing couples have an extra question to ask: what happens to my business if I get a divorce?

Steps to Protecting Your Business

Owning a business is a rewarding experience, which is why you want to protect it at all costs. The easiest and least stressful option for protecting your business in the case of a divorce is to come to an agreement about the business in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If you do not use either of these documents, there are still ways you can protect your business from being divided in a less-than-favorable way:

1. Get a Proper Valuation

The first step in protecting your business is making sure that it is valued properly. This is how the courts decide what your business is worth and how much each spouse is entitled to. The best way to do this is to get a court-appointed appraiser to evaluate the company and then have a private professional look over the numbers before you show them to the court.

2. Pay Yourself a Decent Salary

While it may seem odd, you should pay yourself a good salary rather than investing it all back into the business, or you could be accused of withholding some of the earnings from your spouse. Their lawyer could argue that the spouse was entitled to more of the company’s money, because not enough of it was put into the household.

3. Ease Your Spouse Out of the Business

As soon as possible, you should try to phase your spouse out of the business. The longer they work there, and the more effort they put into building the company, the more a lawyer can argue that they deserve a portion of the company, and the more likely a judge is to agree with them.

4. Give Up Other Assets

As a last resort, you can use other assets, such as cash, real estate, or other property, to bargain for your ownership of your company. Your business is an asset, and it will be valued and distributed like other assets. If you can negotiate with your spouse, you might be able to mitigate any obligation you have to share business interests with them.

5. Hire an Experienced Skokie Divorce Lawyer

When you own a business, it is often your most valuable asset. The last thing you want to do is lose it during your divorce. If you want to retain your business and keep doing what you love, you should hire an Elmhurst divorce attorney who is skilled in the area of protecting family businesses. Contact Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC to see how we can help you protect your business, whether through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or through measures during the divorce process. Call our office at 312-605-4041 to set up a consultation.


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Skokie divorce property division lawyerWhen considering marital assets that get divided during a divorce, most people think of houses, cars, bank accounts, and retirement accounts. However, there are actually many more assets that divorcing couples may have to figure out how to divide. Sometimes, these odd assets can be forgotten about when couples focus on more obvious and expensive assets, but taking care of the division of these assets early on can save a headache in the future.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

The first step in dividing any assets in a marriage is determining which assets can actually be divided. Anything deemed marital property is subject to division; anything deemed non-marital property is not. In the state of Illinois, the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act dictates what is marital and non-marital property. Marital property is defined as any property, including debts or other obligations, that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage–anything else is non-marital property.

Types of Unusual Divorce Assets

When it comes to assets in a divorce, there are two types: tangible and intangible assets.

Tangible Divorce Assets

These types of divorce assets are the kind that are physically present–assets you can see and touch. Examples of unusual tangible assets include:

  • Gifts given during the marriage: Gifts given before you were married, such as an engagement ring, are not subject to division. However, other significant gifts that spouses give to each other while they were married are up for grabs.
  • Pets or other animals: Prior to 2018, pets were thought of as property and were divided as such. Now, Illinois law states that ownership of non-service animals should be based on the animals’ best interests.
  • Collections or memorabilia: Collections of items such as comic books, coins, stamps, books, art, or antiques can be of significant value. If the items were acquired during the marriage, they can be subject to division between the two spouses.
  • Photographs: A lot of photos can be easily duplicated and shared thanks to technology. If you have photographs or negatives that need to be divided, making copies of them can become costly.

Intangible Divorce Assets

Intangible assets are those that you cannot necessarily see or touch, but are still real. Examples of these types of assets include:

  • Frequent flyer miles: If you have frequent flyer miles or other travel rewards that you received during the marriage, they can be assets that you should divide. The money that was spent earning these rewards was shared money between both spouses and should be considered accordingly.
  • Tax losses and carryovers: With these assets, an accountant can help hash out the details. Tax losses and carryovers can mean less tax liability, so determining who gets to pay less is important.
  • Digital music or movies: Due to copyright laws, you cannot share or make copies of movies or music that were purchased in a digital format. Because of this, you will probably need to determine who gets exactly what.
  • Intellectual property: Intellectual property encompasses copyrights, patents, trademarks, and royalty rights. These can be worth significant money, so it is important to distribute them accordingly.

Get Help From an Elmhurst Divorce Lawyer

Dividing marital assets can be tricky and confusing, especially when it comes to unusual assets for which ownership is not obvious. The process can also become heated if you and your spouse disagree on who gets what. However, dividing assets does not have to be difficult; with the help of an experienced Lincolnwood divorce attorney, you can work to figure out which assets should be allocated to which spouse. Contact Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC to discuss your assets and decide how they should be divided. Call 630-530-4400 to schedule a consultation.


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Lincolnwood collaborative law attorneyCollaborative divorce has been around since the 1980s, and it has been practiced in Illinois since 2002. The Collaborative Process Act went into effect at the beginning of 2018, officially recognizing collaborative divorce as an option to couples who want to legally separate. The act breaks down guidelines for couples to follow when they decide to pursue the collaborative divorce model, such as signing a collaborative contract and retaining certified collaborative divorce attorneys.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

The collaborative divorce process begins when the couple and their collaborative divorce attorneys sign a legally binding contract to agree to resolve their marital disputes outside of the courtroom. The point of collaborative divorce is to avoid litigation and keep control over assets, property, child custody agreements, spousal maintenance, or any other issue that may arise during the divorce process.

The Collaborative Divorce Process

The collaborative divorce process consists of a series of meetings that take place in private offices rather than the courtroom. Each person works with their own certified collaborative attorney, in addition to a team of trained professionals in various fields.

1. Beginning the Process

When you have made the decision to go with a collaborative divorce, the first step is to find a certified collaborative divorce attorney. The attorney will talk with you about the collaborative divorce process, answer any questions you might have, and prepare you for collaborative meetings.

2. Making the Commitment

During the first meeting, both partners and their lawyers will sign a document called a participation agreement. The agreement states that you will work with your spouse to come to a collaborative decision about all issues, rather than going to court, in order to benefit you and your children, if you have them. By signing the agreement, you also agree to voluntarily provide all documents needed during the divorce. If the collaborative process is unsuccessful, and either party decides to resolve matters in court, both partners must surrender their attorneys and their teams and seek other counsel.

3. Choosing a Team

In addition to your attorneys, your collaborative team will include specialists of your choosing. These specialists can include divorce coaches, child specialists, appraisers, estate planning attorneys, mediators, or psychologists. Who you have on your collaborative team depends entirely on the needs of your family and your situation.

4. Negotiating Your Settlement

Collaborative divorce is exactly what you would think it is–you and your partner collaboratively work together to achieve a result that you both are satisfied with. Your meetings will be used to negotiate your parenting responsibilities, visitation arrangements, and how you will divide your marital assets and debts. You will also decide whether or not spousal support is needed for a spouse and the amount and duration of support if it is needed. The collaborative team will help you make these decisions respectfully and calmly, and your attorneys will be there to give you legal advice.

5. Moving Forward

Once you have reached an agreement about all matters, your attorneys will write up the agreements into legally-binding documents. Once you and your partner have signed the documents, your attorneys will file them with the court and schedule a hearing to finalize the divorce.

Seek Counsel From a Lincolnwood Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

Collaborative divorce has many benefits, including lessened legal costs and increased power in making your life decisions. With the help of a skilled Skokie collaborative divorce attorney, you can ensure that you are getting what you want out of your divorce. Contact the lawyers at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC to see how you can begin the collaborative divorce process. Call 630-530-4400 to schedule a consultation.


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Maxine Weiss-Kunz Skokie family law attorneyThe March 2018 issue of The Catalyst, the newsletter of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law, contained an article spotlighting Attorney Maxine Weiss Kunz, looking at her career, her background as a Chicagoland native, her personal life, and the story of how she founded Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC.

This article highlights the passion and dedication that Maxine brings to her work in family law, as well as her achievements and the recognition she has received, including her selection as a 2018 Super Lawyer and as one of 40 Under 40 Attorneys to Watch by the American Society of Legal Advocates.

Along with her colleagues at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, Maxine Weiss Kunz works to help clients achieve positive results in cases involving divorce, parentage, allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, child support, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and adoptions. She is also a certified mediator and collaborative lawyer, and she serves as a guardian ad litem who is appointed by courts to determine children’s best interests in family law cases.

If you want to know more about how the attorneys of Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can help you reach a positive resolution in your divorce or family law case, contact our Elmhurst family law attorneys at 312-605-4041 to arrange a consultation.

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Lincolnwood spousal support attorneyWhen married couples decide to get divorced, one spouse may be at a disadvantage, and the adjustment to living on a single income can result in difficulty making ends meet. However, according to Illinois law, when one spouse earns a substantially higher income than the other, they may be required to pay spousal maintenance (which is also called spousal support or alimony) to their former partner.

Maintenance allows a spouse to maintain a standard of living after their divorce that is similar to what they were used to during their marriage, and it can be especially helpful for spouses who decided to make sacrifices to their own career in favor of raising children or who helped their partner advance their career and increase their earning potential. However, spouses should be aware of some recent changes to Illinois’ divorce laws which affect maintenance awards.

Updated Guidelines For Duration of Spousal Support

In Illinois, if maintenance is awarded during divorce, the duration that these payments will last is based on the length of the parties’ marriage. On January 1, 2018, an update to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act took effect which changed the method of calculating this duration.

Under the old law, the percentages used to determine the duration of maintenance were broken into five-year increments. For example, in a marriage which lasted between 10 and 15 years, maintenance payments would last for 60% of the length of the marriage. Under the updated law, a more specific calculation is used for every year between five and 20 years of marriage, using the following percentages:

  • Under 5 years: 20%
  • Between 5 and 6 years: 24%
  • Between 6 and 7 years: 28%
  • Between 7 and 8 years: 32%
  • Between 8 and 9 years: 36%
  • Between 9 and 10 years: 40%
  • Between 10 and 11 years: 44%
  • Between 11 and 12 years: 48%
  • Between 12 and 13 years: 52%
  • Between 13 and 14 years: 56%
  • Between 14 and 15 years: 60%
  • Between 15 and 16 years: 64%
  • Between 16 and 17 years: 68%
  • Between 17 and 18 years: 72%
  • Between 18 and 19 years: 76%
  • Between 20 and 20 years: 80%
  • Over 20 years: 100%, or for an indefinite term

For example, if couples had been married for 14 years and two months (170 months) when one spouse filed for divorce, maintenance payments would last for 60% of the length of their marriage, or eight years and six months (102 months).

One other change which went into effect in 2018 is the income limit under which the statutory formula for calculating maintenance will be used. These guidelines will apply to spouses with a combined gross income of less than $500,000; previously, the limit was $250,000. For spouses with a combined income greater than $500,000, the amount and duration of maintenance will be decided on a case-by-case basis, taking all relevant factors into account.

Contact an Elmhurst Divorce Lawyer

Determining the correct amount of spousal maintenance can often be a complex matter. If you need help demonstrating your eligibility for maintenance or ensuring that the amount and duration of the maintenance you pay or receive is calculated correctly, the attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can advocate for your interests and protect your rights. Contact a Skokie spousal maintenance attorney at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.


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Elmhurst divorce lawyer alcohol substance abuseAlcohol and drug abuse are issues that affect millions of people across the United States, and substance abuse is often a factor in the breakdown of a marriage. Studies have shown that there are nearly 25 million people in the U.S. who are in a marriage in which a spouse is an alcoholic or drug addict, and around 7% of divorces are the result of substance abuse issues.

If your spouse has issues with substance abuse, you will likely want to do everything you can to help them receive the treatment they need and salvage your relationship. However, sometimes divorce may be the only option, especially if your and your children’s safety and financial security are at risk. If you are planning to divorce a substance-abusing spouse, you should be aware of the following concerns:

Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

While your spouse’s substance use may be one of the primary reasons for the breakdown of your marriage, you do not need to demonstrate this in order to file for divorce. In Illinois, the only reason, or “grounds,” necessary for divorce are irreconcilable differences. A petition for divorce will simply state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and attempts at reconciliation would not be in the family’s best interests. Raising the issue of substance abuse when filing for divorce may only complicate the process, so it is best to speak with your attorney about how to address these issues during the divorce process.

Child Issues

The safety and well-being of children is of paramount importance during divorces involving substance abuse. During and after divorce, both parents will typically be granted parenting time with children, so if you believe your children are at risk while in the care of your ex-spouse, you should take steps to protect their safety. Gather information and evidence demonstrating your spouse’s dangerous or risky behavior regarding your children, and speak to your attorney about whether it would be appropriate to request restrictions on your spouse’s parenting time or ask for them to participate in a rehabilitation program or drug testing as part of your divorce agreement.

Financial Issues

Substance abuse can lead to a variety of financial difficulties in a marriage, especially when an alcoholic or drug addicted spouse spends marital funds supporting their addiction or has difficulty maintaining employment. When planning for divorce, you should begin protecting your financial assets by opening your own bank accounts or credit cards, ensuring that you will have the resources you need to support yourself. Speak to your attorney about your spouse’s dissipation of marital assets to support their habits, and be sure to understand how their employment status will affect issues such as spousal maintenance and child support.

Contact a Skokie Divorce Attorney

If you are considering divorce, and your spouse struggles with substance abuse, the attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can help you understand your rights and work with you to make sure your family’s safety and financial security are protected throughout the divorce process. Contact a Lincolnwood divorce lawyer today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.


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