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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce can be complicated on its own, but adding children into the mix can complicate things further. When you get a divorce and you and your ex have children together, you will almost always split decision-making responsibilities and parenting time with them if it is left to the courts to decide. The courts will encourage you and your ex to work together to create parenting plans, but in the event you and your spouse cannot work together, Illinois family courts will intervene and it will be left to a judge to determine what is in the best interests of the children. Sometimes, a parent may believe that what is best for their child is for the other parent to play no part in their life. In cases like these, will the court issue an order to restrict parenting time?

Petitioning the Court for Parenting Time Restrictions

In an effort to be fair to all parents, the court begins its determinations from a place of neutrality. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifically states that “It is presumed that both parents are fit and the court shall not place any restrictions on parenting time…” If you believe that your ex should have parenting time restrictions, you must be able to prove to the court that spending time with your ex would endanger the physical, mental, moral or emotional health and well being of your children. If you wish to restrict your ex’s parenting time, you must petition the court for the restriction and attend a hearing.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL child custody lawyerThe “dream” divorce, if there is such a thing, is one in which both spouses are amicable with each other, still respect one another, and are willing to work together. While this may be a reality for a lucky few, the majority of divorces are going to involve some degree of animosity between the spouses. In some cases, the tension between the spouses can get so bad that a spouse will do anything in his or her power to keep their soon-to-be-ex from getting their fair share of marital assets. In these cases, the spouse may do what is considered marital asset dissipation.

What is Dissipation?

The Illinois Supreme Court defines dissipation as the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time the marriage at a time the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” Dissipation can include intentional wasting, spending, destroying or otherwise squandering marital assets for the simple purpose of depriving the other spouse of the asset. Examples of dissipation can include:

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce-financesOne of the most frequent causes of marital stress - and often divorce - is financial issues. Multiple studies confirm that high debt and the lack of communication about the debt is one of the major stresses in many marriages that end up in divorce.

Some of the more frequent financial issues that married couples face include:

  • Credit card debt: When one spouse continues to rack up credit card debt over the objections of the other spouse
  • Budget overextension: When one or both spouses are unable to stay within their financial means
  • Financial infidelity: When one spouse has secret bank accounts, credit cards, hidden purchases, or gambling issues
  • Impulsive major purchases: When one spouse makes a major purchase - such as a vehicle - without discussing with the other spouse
  • Inability to compromise: When spouses have different philosophies on how money should be spent, saved, etc.
Many people who cite debt as the cause of their divorce often find that their credit scores have suffered because of the marital debt. If you are in a situation where martial debt and financial issues are leading you to consider divorce, it is important to know the steps you should take to protect yourself before, during, and after the divorce. Multiple Streams of Debt

Common forms of  marital debt include:

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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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