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Recent blog posts

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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Park Ridge divorce attorney for child custody evaluatorsWhen parents are divorcing or separated, they may disagree about how to share responsibility for raising their children, the amount of parenting time children will spend with each parent, and a variety of other issues. In some divorce or child custody cases, the court may require assistance from outside experts such as child custody evaluators, to help determine what would be in children’s best interests. When working with these professionals, both parents and children may be concerned about what records will be available to them and whether confidential information will be released as part of the court record. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we recently represented a client in a case that clarified some of these issues.

How Does Illinois Law Address Child Custody Evaluators?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifies when and how professionals may be appointed to perform investigations and evaluations of a situation and provide recommendations about children’s best interests. According to 750 ILCS 5/604.10(b), a person who is appointed by the court may review relevant records and information related to the case, and they will present a report that explains their conclusions and recommendations about the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, or child relocation.

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Posted on in Family Law

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL order of protection attorney,An order of protection, sometimes referred to as a restraining order, is a court order that restricts an individual accused of threatening or abusive behavior from continuing their behavior against the accuser. Abuse includes physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, or interference with personal property.

There are several ways an order of protection can be obtained. You can file an order of protection through an attorney, request one with your divorce petition, request a criminal order of protection if there have been criminal charges filed against the alleged abuser, or contact a local domestic violence program for help.

Illinois Order of Protection

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