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MaxineThe 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.

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Posted on in Family Law

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

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

The same is true for division of assets.  The Illinois statute on property distribution states in relevant part that a court "shall divide the marital property without regard to marital misconduct..."  Again, marital misconduct is excluded from a Court's determination of how to divide assets of a marriage.  If your husband or wife is sleeping with the neighbor, they are still entitled to the same portion of assets as they would receive if they were not cheating.

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TheIn December of 2014 Maxine Weiss Kunz, founding member and partner of Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, was accepted onto the development committee of The Lilac Tree. This wonderful organization is a resource for divorcing women in the process of divorce, contemplating divorce, or post-divorce.

The Lilac Tree offers help in many ways, including divorce workshops and seminars.  These programs are available in the evenings and weekends, if necessary.  The group is especially known for reducing stress during the divorce process.  Reducing stress during a divorce, or for those contemplating divorce, or post divorce, is also a goal of Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC.

The Lilac Tree also offers divorce Support Groups and referrals at no cost to other professionals, including without limitation accountants, financial planners, and collaborative professionals.  Maxine Weiss Kunz is also a collaborative attorney which is how she first came to hear about the wonderful efforts of The Lilac Tree.

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illinois-prenuptial-agreementThere is an assumption by many that premarital agreements, more commonly known as prenuptial agreements, are only necessary for the extremely wealthy, to preserve a inheritance, or for second marriages. This is not accurate. Especially with the new guideline maintenance laws coming into effect, premarital agreements are extremely important to protect against high maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support) awards that could end up prejudicing the payor.

For example, starting in January 2015, if a court determines that an award of alimony is appropriate in your case, a husband or wife earning under $250,000 dollars per year could be liable for maintenance to their soon to be ex-spouse for 15 years or more. You could be liable for permanent maintenance. If your spouse does not work, you may end up paying them as much as 40% of your income. This is where a premarital agreement can protect you.

In a premarital agreement, you can create your own alimony guidelines. You can even bar the right of a spouse to receive maintenance under the right circumstances.

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