110 E. Schiller Street, Suite 320, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC312-605-4041

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IL divorce attorneyThere is no arguing that an uncontested divorce is easier for everyone involved. When divorces are amicable, there is less arguing and less stress involved in the process. You also get to complete your divorce at your own pace when the divorce is uncontested. The state of Illinois even offers a specific divorce process for couples who do not have any major disagreements or extenuating circumstances surrounding the divorce.

Joint Simplified Divorce Requirements

The joint simplified dissolution procedure is a set of guidelines to help couples get a quick and easy divorce. However, not everyone can use this set of guidelines. There are certain requirements that couples must meet before they can file for a joint simplified divorce. A couple can only file a joint petition for a simplified dissolution if:

  • Neither spouse is dependant on the other spouse for financial support, or each spouse is willing to waive the right to support
  • At least one spouse has been a citizen of Illinois for at least 90 days
  • The requirement for irreconcilable differences has been met
  • No children were born of the marriage and the wife is not currently pregnant
  • The couple was married for less than eight years
  • Neither spouse has any interest in real property or retirement benefits
  • The total value of all marital property is less than $50,000, the combined gross annual income is less than $60,000 and neither spouse has an income of more than $30,000
  • Both spouses have disclosed all assets, liabilities and tax returns for all years during the marriage
  • Both spouses have agreed to a plan to distribute marital assets and allocate debts and liabilities among themselves
  • The spouses have agreed to a plan for the ownership and responsibility of any companion pets

The requirements for a joint simplified dissolution can be quite restricting. Not every couple will qualify for a joint simplified dissolution, but that does not mean you cannot file for an uncontested divorce. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we offer a flat rate for uncontested divorce packages and can help you and your spouse stay on the uncontested track.

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Posted on in Mediation

IL divorce attorneyOnce you have come to the decision that you and your spouse are getting a divorce, your next task is to determine how you will go about getting the divorce. Though it may be surprising, there is more than one way you can get a divorce. Your default choice when you make your decision should be some form of a collaborative process. You can use a collaborative process, litigation, or mediation. The process you use to get divorced entirely depends on your unique situation and what would work best. An Illinois divorce attorney can help you determine the right course of action.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that allows you and your spouse to work with a third-party mediator to complete your divorce. Mediation, unlike most other forms of divorce, does not assign an attorney to each spouse. Instead of attorneys, the mediator is present to keep the couple on track about which issues they must address and helps to settle arguments if they arise. As such, the mediator is not allowed to give legal advice and is not permitted to pick sides or sympathize more with one spouse.

Mediate or Not?

Divorce mediation can be enticing to many couples because it often reduces court costs and completes the divorce as quickly as the couple pleases. There are also other benefits of divorce mediation, such as the ability to make your own decisions for your family, being able to have a more peaceful divorce and keeping stress to a minimum. In some cases, however, a mediated divorce would not be in the best interests of the family. You may want to consider a different method of divorce if:

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IL divorce lawyerThough it remains federally illegal, marijuana for recreational use and medical purposes is legal in the state of Illinois and other states across the country. In its fourth month of legality, recreational marijuana still faces negative stigmas surrounding its use. In Illinois divorce cases, spouses may become concerned about how recreational cannabis will factor into the case. In many cases, a spouse’s recreational cannabis use will not significantly affect the outcome of the divorce. However, in some situations, a spouse’s recreational marijuana use may affect certain aspects of the divorce case.

Marijuana Use and Asset Dissipation

Couples who divorce in Illinois must come to an agreement on how their assets will be divided. The only assets that are subject to division are marital assets or those gained by either spouse during the marriage. This can include income or money in savings accounts. Asset dissipation occurs when one spouse uses marital property for their own benefit for a purpose unrelated to the marriage, while the marriage was undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. If a spouse has a habitual and excessive cannabis hobby, the other spouse may be able to claim that the cannabis-using spouse dissipated marital assets to fuel their cannabis use.

Marijuana Use and Child Custody Concerns

If a couple has children during a divorce, they must also come to an agreement as to how their children will be raised after the divorce. Couples with children must come up with a parenting plan that outlines the time that each parent will spend with the child and what kind of decision-making responsibilities each parent has concerning their child.

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IL divorce lawyerSocial distancing guidelines have been in place for weeks in an effort to slow the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Nearly every aspect of our lives has been affected by this situation, including governmental and legal matters. In Cook County, the circuit court has changed some of its guidelines as to how court functions will take place during this pandemic. One of the changes includes how prove ups for a divorce are permitted to take place during this time. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, we have already utilized these new guidelines to conduct prove ups since the courts have been closed. This has resulted in successful outcomes for our clients in their divorce cases. 

What Is a Prove Up?

When a couple has an uncontested divorce, they must take steps to finalize their divorce and make it official. To do this, they are required to attend a hearing before a judge, allowing the judge to review their agreements and ensure that the agreements are fair and in the best interest of any minor children involved in the divorce. Once the judge signs the divorce agreement, the divorce is final. This chain of events is commonly referred to as a prove up. Prove ups are typically required to be in person, with everything in writing, though such circumstances have temporarily changed due to the reduction in court operations.

Requirements for Oral Prove Ups

The Cook County circuit court has put measures into place to allow couples to finalize their divorce remotely. If a couple wishes to have their prove up conducted remotely, they must sign a document stating they agree to do so. The agreement, as well as all required documents, must be submitted to the court via email. The agreement must contain a requested date, time and method of communication, such as Skype or a conference call. The court will then respond with a confirmation of your chosen date and time or a new date and time for the prove up.

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IL divorce lawyerAs COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, spreads across the United States, many people are starting to feel the effects. Dozens of cities and states have ordered the shut down of non-essential businesses in an effort to “flatten the curve” so to speak. Officials have also started to issue stay-at-home orders requiring citizens not to leave their homes except for life-sustaining or essential activities.

Illinois was one of those states, issuing a stay-at-home order that became effective March 21. Because of the stay-at-home order and the business closings, many people have been laid off without pay, putting stress on their financial situations. Many people, especially those who have children, have been concerned about how these closings and stay-at-home orders will affect their family situations. Child support is required to be paid by law, but what happens if you are laid off without pay?

Can I Change My Child Support Order?

Typically, a child support order is only eligible for modification every three years or if there is a “significant change in circumstances.” This is a broad interpretation and does not have a set definition, so a variety of situations can be eligible for a modification. Most commonly, a change in the non-custodial parent’s income is cause to re-evaluate child support orders.

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