kane county child custody lawyerA parenting agreement, also known as a parenting plan, outlines how parents plan on raising their children following a divorce or separation. A well-crafted parenting agreement can help minimize conflict between parents and provide stability and predictability for the child.

However, the process of creating a parenting agreement can be complex and emotionally charged, requiring careful consideration of a variety of factors. This blog will provide practical tips on creating a successful parenting agreement that meets all legal requirements and prioritizes your child's needs.

Tip #1: Start with a Comprehensive Parenting Outline

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides an outline that can guide you through creating a comprehensive parenting agreement. Think of it as a template that includes decision-making, parenting time, transportation, and other sections. Starting with a template can help ensure you cover all the necessary topics in your parenting agreement.

Tip #2: Prioritize the Child's Best Interests

When crafting a parenting agreement, it's important always to prioritize the child's best interests. This means considering the child's age, development and needs when deciding parenting time, responsibilities, and other important aspects of the agreement. Remember that the agreement aims to provide stability, consistency, and support for the child during and after the divorce or separation.

Tip #3: Be Specific and Detailed

A good parenting agreement should be specific and detailed about each parent's responsibilities and obligations. This includes specifying a regular parenting schedule, outlining decision-making responsibilities, and setting guidelines for communication between the parents. Being specific and detailed can help prevent confusion, disagreements, and potential conflicts down the line.


st. charles divorce lawyerDivorces that involve major assets and debts can be especially challenging. Couples with real estate, investments, retirement accounts, and other high-value assets must carefully navigate the division process. In any case, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the laws and regulations surrounding property division in Illinois to ensure a fair and equitable settlement. This blog will provide tips and insights on approaching asset and debt division during a divorce. Read on to learn more.

Understanding Illinois Law for Assets and Debt Distribution 

If a couple can agree on how to divide their assets and liabilities, they are free to distribute property and debt however they see fit. However, if the parties to a divorce are unable to reach an agreement, the case may proceed to court, where a judge makes the decision.

In Illinois, the property is divided under the equitable distribution system, which means that the court will divide assets and debts in a manner that is fair and just but not necessarily equal. Equitable distribution does not mean that everything is divided 50/50, but rather, the court takes into consideration a variety of factors, including:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The income and property of each party
  • The contributions of each party to the marriage
  • The age, health, and earning capacity of each party
  • The standard of living established during the marriage

Tips for Dividing Assets and Debts

Here are some tips to streamline the process of assets and debt division during a divorce.

  • Make a Comprehensive List of All Assets & Debts - It's essential to have a complete and accurate list of all marital assets and debts. This includes everything from real estate and bank accounts to retirement accounts and personal property. Debts can include mortgages, credit card debt, and car loans. Your divorce attorney can help you list all assets and debts that must be divided.
  • Determine Which Assets Are Marital Property - Marital property is any property acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. This can include assets such as homes, cars, and bank accounts. Property acquired before the marriage is typically considered separate property and is not subject to division. However, if the separate property was used to benefit the marriage, it may be subject to division. Therefore, take the time with your attorney to determine which assets may not be subject to division.
  • Consider the Tax Implications of Property Division - When dividing assets, it's essential to consider the tax implications of each asset. Some assets, such as retirement accounts, may be subject to taxes and penalties if not handled correctly. 
  • Keep the Best Interests of Any Children in Mind - If children are involved, their best interests should be considered when dividing assets and debts. This can include ensuring they have a stable home and sufficient financial support.
  • Seek Professional Advice When Dividing Complex Assets - Dividing complex assets such as business interests, real estate, and investment portfolios can be challenging. It's essential to seek the advice of professionals, such as accountants or appraisers, to ensure that the assets are valued correctly and that the division is fair.

Contact a Kane County Property Division Lawyer Today

Dividing assets and debts in a divorce can be complicated, but our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you through this difficult time. Contact us today at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation with our Kane County divorce attorneys. We are here to guide you!


st. charles divorce lawyerIn 2016, the Illinois legislature struck the term ‘custody’ from the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and replaced it with ‘parenting time and parental responsibilities.’ Parenting time refers to a schedule of how each parent spends their time with their children, which is approved by a family court judge. The court makes the schedule per the 'best interests of the child' if the parents cannot agree. 

What Are Parenting Responsibilities?

A parent's decision-making responsibilities are called 'parenting responsibilities’ in Illinois. The parents can agree to share these responsibilities or one parent may have all decision-making authority. Parental responsibilities refer to major decisions about a child’s:

  • Religion
  • Health
  • Education
  • Extracurricular activities

As mentioned, an Illinois family court will allocate these responsibilities if the parents cannot decide or agree on them.

Factors Determining Child Custody in Illinois

Illinois courts use a certain set of factors to determine the child’s best interests when deciding who gets custody:

  • The ability of the parents to make decisions concerning their child
  • The child’s wishes (as per their ability to express them and in making important decisions)
  • How the child has adjusted to their school, community, and home
  • The mental and physical health of the parties involved
  • The parents’ wishes and the child’s needs
  • The role of the parents in making important family decisions for the child 
  • How well the parents can cooperate or the conflict level between them which can affect their decisions
  • Agreements made between the parents about decisions regarding the child
  • The needs of the child
  • If the child is being threatened or is at risk of physical violence from either of the parents
  • The distance between the parents' homes, the cost of transporting the child and their schedule, and the ability of the parents to cooperate
  • Whether any of the parents is a sex offender. In case both are sex offenders, the court examines the nature of their offense along with treatment options they took part in successfully
  • Whether the parents are capable of fostering a close relationship with the child and themselves

There is no specific age at which the court allows a child to choose the parent they wish to stay with. However, since the court has to consider the child's best interests during custody cases, the court may consider their wishes.


kane county divorce lawyerThere are so many factors to consider during a divorce that certain issues can get overlooked. Divorcing spouses often fail to consider the tax implications of their divorce in Illinois. In this blog, we will discuss some of the tax issues associated with divorce. For personalized guidance, contact a Kane County divorce attorney.

Child Support

Illinois courts calculate child support payments based on the parents’ income after taxes. According to current laws, child support payments are not deductible by the payee and not taxable to the receiving parent.

So if you receive child support in Illinois, you do not have to worry about those payments being taxed.

Claiming Eligible Children

Clients who claim eligible children on income tax returns receive greater tax refunds, which makes this a serious point of contention in many Illinois divorces. However, it is not always as beneficial as divorcing parents may think.

There are several ways to allocate child dependency exemptions during a divorce in Illinois. Parents may split and claim children in all years, or alternate the years in which each parent claims them.


st. charles divorce lawyerThere can be many points of contention during a divorce. However, retirement assets are often a significant source of disagreement, especially for those who have worked hard to save for their golden years.

In Illinois, the retirement assets earned during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution during a divorce. Equitable distribution means that assets must be divided fairly among both parties, but not necessarily equally.

Of course, a skilled St. Charles divorce attorney can help you better understand your rights, and how your particular retirement assets may get divided during a divorce in Illinois.

Identification & Evaluation of Retirement Assets

The first step in dividing retirement assets during a divorce is to identify them, along with all of the assets that are considered part of the marital estate. In Illinois, any assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution.

This can include your 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions, and other such retirement accounts. Since these are some of the most valuable assets for most people, they are a major point of concern during a divorce in Illinois.


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