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DuPage County family law attorney

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is on everyone’s minds these days. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a global pandemic, and President Trump recently declared a national emergency as the spread of the virus continues to expand across the country. The virus is thought to have originated in China, but it quickly spread to Europe and the United States. At the time of this writing, more than 198,000 people have been infected in more than 80 countries. Here in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered all restaurants and bars to close except for carryout orders. In addition, Illinois schools are closed until further notice, and health officials are urging citizens to avoid gatherings of 50 or more people. Many people are working from home now, and in some cases, workers have been temporarily laid off. Those who have pressing legal matters may be wondering what effect the virus will have on divorce or family law court cases. Read on to learn more about coronavirus, its impact on the Illinois court system, and how Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can assist you during this difficult time in our nation’s history.

Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

It is imperative that anyone who is exhibiting signs of coronavirus seeks medical attention as soon as possible. In order to avoid serious or life-threatening complications, as well as potentially spreading the virus through human contact, those who have been exposed are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

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Posted on in Divorce

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

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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:

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spouse dies during divorce in Illinois, IL divorce attorney, Due to the long-winded nature of many divorces, there are cases where a spouse passes away before the divorce is final. In Illinois, when a party in a divorce dies, the case is dismissed. The court requires two living parties to a divorce, so if only one is alive, there is no divorce.

Additionally, the surviving spouse is not a divorcee, but rather a widow. But what else changes when a spouse dies during divorce?

Division of Marital Assets and Property

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