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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyWhile countless studies have shown that life following a divorce often leads to higher depression rates, more stress, and overall dissatisfaction, those who spend a prolonged period of time in an unhappy marriage to begin with tend to thrive once the marriage is over. Experts have a number of theories for this, most notably the idea that the benefits of leaving behind an emotionally exhausting (and in many cases, emotionally or physically abusive) marriage usually end up outweighing the disadvantages.

Increasing Your Chances of Success

Examining the overall quality of a marriage before calling it quits is important in the overall outcome for each party. Once you’ve decided it is in your best interest to end the marriage, there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances of enjoying a fulfilling, balanced post-divorce life. Channel your energy into the following three areas after the split to ensure a healthier, happier lifestyle:

Finances - Although the divorce process is undeniably an emotional struggle, it can also be incredibly challenging where your finances are concerned. Spending adequate time doing an evaluation of your money matters prior to the divorce and directly afterward can make a world of difference in the quality of your life once the separation is official. This is an important step in creating a secure financial foundation for your future. Do your best to assess debts, a savings goal if your existing savings plan is minimal or nonexistent, and work with a professional attorney to understand the value of your assets.

Family Plans - Divorce can be especially traumatizing for children in the family, which is why it is so important to talk about, create, and follow through with a proper parenting plan once the divorce is final. You can reduce your stress and your child’s stress by establishing routines, making time for fun quality time, and ensuring everyone understands visitation arrangements.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyMaintaining balance and ensuring a healthy lifestyle following divorce has been and continues to be a difficult challenge for many spouses as they undergo the separation process. Divorce is a multi-faceted emotional journey, affecting every part of our lives, and often impacts our children, social lives, and work lifestyles in significant measure.

While there have been many varying opinions from psychologists regarding the best ways to maintain balance and stay well following a divorce, one common theme seems to string all these theories together: Creating balance after a split requires deliberate focus and practice. Here are three practical tips for both creating and sustaining a healthy life balance once your marriage is over:

1. Keep up with your normal routine - People often find themselves in need of some time off after their divorce due to the emotional distress. Divorce undoubtedly takes a big mental toll on everyone involved, but some mental health experts actually endorse continuing your usual activities and routines, including your work schedule. Other experts feel that because divorce is a loss, we understandably grieve that loss, which fuels the need - and desire - to take a break from work, social obligations, and hobbies. However you decide to recover from your separation, it is helpful to scale certain activities back without giving up your routines entirely. Attempt to find a happy medium and you have a better chance at achieving balance you can sustain long-term.

2. Make adjustments in the workplace - Just because you decide to minimize the time you take off from work after your divorce or completely bypass taking time off does not mean you cannot benefit from making adjustments in the workplace once your marriage is over. In fact, making certain adjustments may help you achieve much-needed post-divorce balance in other areas of your life, like your relationship with your children or with your physical health. It does not hurt to speak with your managers about potential scheduling changes, such as switching from morning shifts to evening shifts or telecommuting from home for a while, instead of quitting entirely or taking a prolonged period of time off. The key is to attempt adjustments at the office that will enhance the quality of your life after your divorce and ultimately create a healthier balance in your life as a whole.

3. Make quality time priority - Quality time with yourself, your kids, and other family members is key in creating a healthy life balance after an emotionally draining separation. Simple things can make a huge difference, such as sharing a meal with your children or treating yourself to a relaxing night in with your favorite movie. Make quality time just as much of a priority - and a routine - as your exercise routine or getting to work on time. When you do not neglect self-care, you will find more peace and a sense of stability in your life, which you really need following a separation.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyerNo matter which way you slice it, there is nothing fun about the divorce process. Even under the most civil, loving circumstances, the actual split and all it entails can be emotionally - and financially- draining. One area most people do not like to think about but are confronted with very early on in the process is money. Regardless of how peaceful the separation, the subject of money can test anyone’s patience and place them on the defensive, especially when it involves their lifestyle and livelihood following the divorce.

When it comes time to protect your quality of life and all you are accustomed to at the end of your marriage, how you handle your assets is critical. Even the smallest mistake can cost you a lot when it is time to negotiate settlements, and if you’re not careful, some errors can continue to cost you long after the divorce is over.

Here are three ways you could end up hurting your assets and their value when you divorce:

1. Keeping joint accounts

One way you can do serious damage to your funds when you decide to separate is to keep all of your accounts connected. For example, if you and your spouse share checking and savings accounts, credit cards, auto loans, or a mortgage loan, having your name on any of those accounts makes you liable in the event something goes wrong. If your spouse misses a payment on your mortgage, you are held responsible. If you have money tucked away into a savings account and both your names are on the account, all it takes is one heated disagreement for your spouse to potentially drain the account of those funds. Close joint accounts and separate your finances now. Do not wait for the divorce to be finalized or until an argument surfaces, placing your money at risk.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyerProtecting your finances as you prepare for the divorce process is perhaps one of the most important tasks you can take on before your marriage officially ends. Planning is everything, as divorce can easily wreak havoc on your financial standing if you are not careful. Protecting your assets and monetary funds is critical if you want to maintain the lifestyle you are currently accustomed to and ensure your financial future is secure.

Constructing a Game Plan

As a divorcing spouse, you are already facing an emotional toll; the last thing you want is to tack on additional stress due to financial trouble, especially when some of that trouble can be avoided if addressed early on. Here are some important steps you can take to safeguard your finances amidst your impending divorce:

Take inventory - As overwhelming as it might be, taking financial inventory is a must. Sit down and create a list of every account and asset you share with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You will need to take stock of joint accounts and pay special attention to lines of credit, as well as wills, retirement accounts, and any pending purchases or joint business investments. Also take note of any life insurance policies you opened up while with your spouse. You may wish to modify the policy if you had them listed as a beneficiary. Once you have a clear, thorough list of all your debts, accounts, and belongings, it is time to sit down with your spouse and speak civilly about what you would both like to see happen with each respective item on the list.

Establish your own credit - Whether you are at the beginning of the initial separation process, have a hunch that your marriage is on the rocks, or are diving straight into divorce, it is never too soon to try and establish your own line of credit. If you are on the verge of separating, you are at an advantage; the sooner you establish your own credit, the better off you will be post-divorce. This goes for standard bank accounts, as well. The moment you see your marriage coming to an end, start shuffling away some cash of your own. The divorce process itself costs money, and you will need funds to get by on your own afterward. This is imperative, especially if you have never lived alone or will be on your own for the first time in years.

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Posted on in Mediation

Illinois mediation attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerThe decision to attend mediation to settle your divorce matters is a beneficial one. Couples have the option to discuss their post-divorce arrangements and come to settlement agreements in the presence of a professional mediator, who is trained to minimize conflict and help produce positive results for the entire family. Before you begin the negotiation process, though, it is important to address core issues that will be discussed during mediation. This will help ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible and that you are not caught off-guard when it is time to reach an agreement.

Here are some key areas every couple should discuss in preparation of the mediation process:

Joint Accounts

Whether you share regular checking and savings accounts, vacation funds, or credit cards, it is important to take inventory of all your joint accounts and make sure you have copies of everything. This includes mortgage statements, wills, and trusts. If you are able to civilly discuss money matters with your soon-to-be ex-spouse before mediation, it is helpful to do so, but if that is not an option, gather the financial records for yourself and wait to tackle the subject until your mediation conference.

Other Assets 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyThe divorce process can trudge up a myriad of emotions and bring a lot of unresolved conflict to the surface, especially when you are getting down to the wire. The closer you get to the finish line, the more stressful the situation tends to be, as it is a taxing experience for everyone involved. Despite these common bumps in the road, many divorces run smoothly and end on a mutual, peaceful note. The entire process can prove to be a positive path for the whole family, as it often removes everyone from an unhealthy environment.

Even when you are fortunate enough to skim through a divorce without much tension, one area that can be significantly affected in the aftermath is your finances. This doesn’t mean your financial well-being needs to suffer, however. Here are three ways your divorce can affect your money and how to combat those changes so they don’t take a turn for the worst:

1. Tax Changes

When you divorce, the change must be reflected in your filing status. For example, if you are still married on December 31st, the IRS considers your status “married” even if you have been separated and the divorce is in progress. You can avoid needless trouble with the IRS by simply ensuring you choose the correct status. In short, couples cannot file a joint return for the year that their divorce decree became official.

If you have children, another area you will need to address is the Dependent Exemption. The spouse who is eligible to claim their child on the return is entitled to certain tax credit benefits, but you must meet specific requirements to claim this advantage. If your child resided with you longer than they resided with your ex-spouse during the tax year you are filing for, you might be eligible to claim the exemption. These details can be tricky, so it is important to work with a qualified accountant and attorney to properly address any questions and concerns when you file.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyNo one likes to think about the possibility of an impending divorce, especially after spending months or years investing time and energy into a relationship. It is not uncommon for one spouse to feel blindsided by the news that their partner is considering divorce, or to experience shock that there is even a problem to begin with. The reality, though, is the road to divorce often begins long before the final weeks and months of the marriage. There are numerous red flags that can signal the potential end - or the beginning of the end - of a marriage, and it can be easy to dismiss these signs early on if you are not tuned into the root issues.

Paying Attention to the Warning Signs

Whether you are newly married and have been feeling uneasy about your recent partnership or you have been married for years and are beginning to question your marriage’s foundation, if you are sensing something is amiss, it is wise to pay attention to your instincts. Even if things seem to be running smoothly in the moment, those unsettling feelings are often an indicator that trouble is brewing. These warning signs can morph into much larger problems down the road if not acknowledged early on.

Common Red Flags

Distance - Most red flags that signal imminent divorce typically revolve around something that is lacking in the marriage. Distance is a perfect example of this factor. Whether your relationship is lacking physical or emotional intimacy or your spouse is simply not around to share the most basic day-to-day moments that contribute to a life together, any distance, especially when it is a recurring pattern, is a sign that something is wrong.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_asset-division.jpgRegardless of how much or how little you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse own, the division of assets in the divorce process can significantly impact your financial standing after your marriage is over. Whether you need to look out for your own well-being or you have additional family members to care for after the separation, money matters. What you and your spouse split and how you split it will be a defining factor in the overall quality of your long-term financial security.

Where Asset Division Can Get Tricky

Determining Value

Some couples make the mistake of believing that the most important factor in the division of assets is the flat dollar value. Whatever something is worth must determine its overall value and it should simply be divided evenly, right? This is not always the case. When it comes to most assets, their worth must be based on more than just their dollar value. For example, you must take into account factors such as an asset’s liquidity as well as how its sale will be affected by taxes. The long-term worth of a piece of property is just as important as its immediate worth.

Types of Property

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerDivorce can be overwhelming on its own, but adding the possible tax implications of divorce to the mix can definitely contribute to the stress of the process. You and your spouse have already decided to split. Your lifestyle, future, and any children you both share will be affected by the separation. Decisions must be made regarding filing the paperwork and how you will handle mediation or time in court. The last thing you are probably thinking about when you are ending your marriage is your taxes, but the reality is that your divorce does have the power to impact your taxes both during and after the transition.

Filing Status

The first factor you should be aware of is your filing status. For example, the “Head of Household” status typically provides a slight advantage to divorcing taxpayers, compared to the “Married Filing Single” or “Single” statuses, but certain requirements must be met to be considered head of the household, so you need to ensure you are in line with those requirements first.

When it comes to your status, the IRS determines which one you are eligible for based on where you stand come December 31st. If you are married on this date, the IRS considers you “married” for the entire year. The same idea applies if you are divorced on December 31st; if you are divorced on that specific day, then you are considered divorced for the whole year. What does all of this mean? In short, if you divorced by the 31st of December in any given year, then you are not eligible to file as a married person for that year’s taxes, and your filing status is an important factor in how much money you owe or receive when tax season arrives.

Claiming a Dependent

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Posted on in Family Law

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyFor some couples facing marital troubles, divorce as a solution is a last resort and legal separation is the first course of action. There are countless reasons you or your spouse might not be ready to call it quits just yet, and legal separation allows you time to assess the damage and decide whether or not divorce is the right choice.

How Is Legal Separation Different from Divorce?

Like divorce, legal separation is a legal action that officially deems you both separated in the eyes of the law. However, legal separation is a term and is not an actual divorce. According to the law, you are still married and may not marry other people. Your property and possessions are not divided up unless you ask the court to divide those things for you. The court can decide other things with a legal separation, such as child support, parenting time (visitation), and allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody).

To qualify for legal separation in Illinois, you must have been living in the state for at least 90 days, not be “at fault” for the separation, and must be physically living apart from your spouse. “At fault” is defined by many things, including adultery and abandonment. Filing for legal separation does not prevent you from filing for a divorce later on, should you decide to end the marriage entirely.

Legal Separation Can Be Beneficial

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois mediation attorneyCouples looking for a smooth, amicable divorce solution often turn to mediation to settle their differences and come to agreement on lifestyle arrangements following the end of their marriage. While it is true many divorces can take a turn and become messy, the bulk of them actually result in a peaceful, mutual split. It is not uncommon for this kind of separation to stem from a thorough, professional mediation process.

Why Do Amicable Divorces Benefit from Mediation?

Respect: Although mediation is typically pursued by couples who struggle with conflict resolution, those experiencing amicable divorces greatly benefit from the mediation process as well due to one simple factor: Both spouses are interacting in a civil manner. Couples who are already cooperating with one another and communicating peacefully are on the fast track to success when they enter mediation. The trained mediator can more effectively do their job to facilitate settlements and manage negotiations when both parties leave hostility and conflict at the door. If your divorce is mutual and you and your spouse are communicating with respect and patience, your meditation experience can be a positive, productive one.

Resolution timelines: The Illinois State Department of Human Rights reports that their Mediation Unit boasts a resolution rate of over 80 percent out of all conferences held. Mediation is proven to be a quick, efficient, and affordable process for divorcing couples. It is an especially fast process when you and your spouse enter mediation on amicable terms. The more common ground you share and the more civil you are, the faster you will reach an agreement and resolve your divorce case.

Similar expectations: Chances are, if you are entering mediation on civil terms, you likely already share similar expectations in regards to what you are looking to achieve and what you are looking to walk away with when the process is all said and done. Discussing goals and individual expectations before you begin the mediation process is a good way to increase your chances of success. If you want to resolve your conflicts quickly and relatively painlessly, consider making the effort to respect one another’s opinions, wants, and needs, and attempt to find a way to meet on middle ground.

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Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois alimony attorneyAmong the many questions divorcing spouses have following a separation, questions regarding alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, tend to be a big concern. This is particularly true for stay-at-home parents or spouses who are not the main earners in the household. Taking on greater financial responsibility - or in some cases, any financial responsibility at all - can be a scary thing, especially when one spouse has become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and is suddenly thrust into a new routine.

Alimony’s Nationwide Evolution

As societal roles and career opportunities have changed for both men and women in recent decades, so have the expectations and allowances surrounding spousal maintenance. More women are working now more than ever, and the concept of stay-at-home fathers is far from new. According to Labor Department statistics, nearly three-quarters of women work. In the year 2010, 97 percent of the 400,000 people receiving alimony were women, and that trend has been a continual one.

These statistics have revealed an important fact about alimony and its place in today’s post-divorce world: It seems the majority of alimony recipients continue to be women, but most of those women are actively involved in the workforce during the time of the marriage or become employed following the divorce. As a result, states all throughout the country have been taking these factors into consideration when determining maintenance awards in court rulings.

Is Spousal Maintenance a Sure Thing?

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Illinois mediation attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerEven the most peaceful divorces can benefit from family law mediation. Whether there are minor or major disputes regarding issues such as finances or the raising of children, the groundwork for any separation is improved when spouses work with a certified professional who can both provide the resources and information needed to ensure the divorce process goes smoothly and help reduce tension at the same time.

Why Is Family Law Mediation Such a Helpful Tool?

  1. It reduces emotional and financial stress.

Divorce can make you go bankrupt - both literally and figuratively. It is not uncommon for spouses who feel hurt or betrayed to experience a lot of hurt and anger toward their partner. These emotions often turn into the desire for revenge, especially where finances are concerned. When consumed or blinded by these emotions, it is easy to lose sight of reality and form unrealistic expectations about how much money you will receive from your spouse or how much you will be responsible to pay following the separation. If you are not careful, this can translate to a lot of money and energy spent on “getting even,” which can sadly lead to serious emotional toll as a result. Divorce mediation helps keep the facts and your perspective in check, providing a professional, civil, organized environment for settling financial and lifestyle matters.

  1. It makes the divorce process more efficient.

Another common habit divorcing spouses adopt in the midst of a separation is independent research. In today’s day and age, it is completely understandable to want to research things like alimony and child support calculations on your own. While there are many useful tools on the internet for those going through a divorce, some of these resources are inaccurate or mere estimations. They cannot replace the true value and legitimacy of a legal professional, especially when it comes to the ability to lessen tension, reduce misunderstandings, and educate you and your spouse on your rights. The Illinois Department of Human Rights reports that the state’s Mediation Unit has a resolution rate of over 80 percent out of all conferences held. The mediation process is confidential, relatively fast, and removes any doubts or uncertainties you might have as you proceed with your divorce. All of these factors combined make for a more efficient divorce process, from start to finish.

Regardless of where you and your spouse fall on the divorce conflict spectrum, professional mediation offers an excellent alternative form of dispute resolution. If you want to minimize conflict, reduce tension, and ensure your rights are protected, it is important to speak with an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation today.

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Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerDespite even the greatest efforts, some marriages end in divorce due to deterioration over time while others fade quickly due to inevitable circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Whatever your situation, when it comes time to file for divorce, you will likely come across the term irreconcilable differences, a concept used to describe conflict that is unable to be resolved between two spouses. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, irreconcilable differences are cited as the source for the “irretrievable” breakdown of the marriage. In some states and counties, these differences are also referred to as grounds for divorce.

When the court determines that certain efforts at reconciliation have failed, or that any further attempts at reconciliation in the future are no longer practical or productive, those efforts are no longer considered in the best interest of the family. In short, when both parties have done all they can do to resolve their problems and have reached no compromise or found no solution, their marriage is dissolved due to irreconcilable differences.

Common Conflicts

Everything from disagreements about politics and religion to in-law issues and money troubles can drive a wedge between spouses. What might seem like a minor or petty problem to one couple can actually be a serious problem for another. Here are some conflicts that are often unable to be reconciled in a marriage:

  • Intense Family Involvement: In-laws or extended family that is overly involved in a couple’s affairs can be a big source of tension and can ultimately contribute to the unraveling of a marriage;
  • Lack of Balance Between Home and Work: Too much time at the office and not enough time and home can create division and distance in any relationship. This typically leads to a breakdown in communication and intimacy;
  • Communication Problems: Communication is everything. If it is lacking in any way or one person is putting in more effort to communicate than the other, conflict eventually arises; and
  • Marital Affairs and Other External Relationships: Emotional and physical affairs, whether romantic or friendly in nature, can at times be a threat to a healthy marriage. Trust is lost, communication crumbles, and the marriage suffers.

If you find yourself facing a divorce due to any of these irreconcilable differences or are dealing with some other unique circumstance that has led to the dissolution of marriage, you need to speak with a professional Kane County family law attorney to ensure that your rights and best interest are protected. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation today.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois divorce processRegardless of the reason for your impending divorce, the challenges set before you as you wade through the ordeal can seem daunting, especially when you are unfamiliar with the steps required to initiate the process. Even the most civil agreement between two partners to end their marriage can prompt a lot of stress due to the overload of incoming information.

You have decided to divorce. So, what is next? What do you need to know? Are you taking the most reasonable course of action? Who can help guide you along the way? Here are three things every divorcing spouse should know:

Legal Separation Is Not for Everyone

Some partners choose to file for legal separation in order to officially live apart but hold on to certain benefits, such as health insurance policies and various financial arrangements. Living apart and filing for legal separation can protect the best interest of both parties while giving them time and space to live apart to examine whether or not divorce is the best option. For some, this is a way to test the separation waters before officially calling it quits; for others, it is merely a transitional stepping stone on the way to a sure-fire divorce. No matter which camp you fall in, one thing to know is that legal separation is just that: a separation. It is not an actual divorce, and it is only a temporary solution.

Mediation Works

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Illinios family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerDivorcing couples often hear a number of things about mediation as they enter the divorce process. Success stories and horror stories abound. More often than not, though, the success stories far outweigh the disappointing accounts given by co-workers, families, and friends. This is ultimately due to the overwhelming resolution rates that we see among Illinois State divorce cases. The Department of Human Rights reports that their Mediation Unit’s resolution rates are 80 percent for all conferences held. That tells us mediation works, and it can for you, too.

What Makes a Good Mediator?

Resolution rates are not magic, however. They do not exist by chance or luck; they are a direct result of working with a professional, efficient, trained mediator who is well skilled and equipped to produce good results. Here are three qualities that define a good mediator:

Effective Communication

All mediators are required to be excellent communicators. After all, it is their duty to help facilitate a civil, safe meeting between two divorcing partners to discuss and negotiate the terms of their separation. Listening skills are crucial, but being able to effectively communicate the concerns and needs of each spouse to everyone present during the meeting is a must.

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Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce lawsAlthough partners may always choose to live apart without legally separating, the formal arrangement of legal separation has its advantages for spouses looking to protect their best interests when a divorce is imminent. Not only does official legal separation help define lifestyle and financial boundaries for a separating couple, it also gives the couple space to spend some time apart and consider whether or not divorce is the best solution.

If you or your spouse are not yet committed to filing for divorce, legal separation is a temporary, alternative avenue that allows you to explore your options and set the parameters for your split. To file for legal separation in Illinois, you will need to keep the following requirements in mind:

  • You and your spouse must be separated and already living apart when the court action is initiated;
  • If you are the one seeking the legal separation, you must provide a statement that you are not the one at fault for the separation;
  • You may not marry anyone else during a legal separation until the dissolution or marriage or divorce is resolved and final;
  • You may not claim any rights to property or possessions at a later divorce hearing, after the date of the judgment of legal separation has passed; and
  • To begin the legal separation procedure, you must start by filing a petition with the Clerk of the Circuit Court

Once you file the petition with the Clerk of the Circuit Court and declare that you are not at fault for the separation, you are required to wait for a sheriff’s deputy to deliver a summons to your spouse. Your spouse will then have the opportunity to respond and at that point, the case is brought before a judge. The judge will decide whether or not all issues between you can be resolved, and if so, help set the groundwork for your agreements.

Acquainting yourself with the general requirements for a legal separation is the first step in filing and beginning the process. Should you have more questions as you consider legal separation, you can benefit from having an experienced, professional Kane County family law attorney by your side to help direct and guide you to ensure your case is handled both thoroughly and efficiently. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. at 630-584-5550 today for a free consultation.

 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyWhether your decision to end your marriage has been a mutual one or a tough conclusion you’ve had to make all on your own, divorce is never easy. Even amicable separations can bring about a lot of headache when it comes time to take legal action. Both partners must come to an agreement on how assets should be divided, who will take ownership and responsibility for what, and if children are involved, parenting time (visitation) and child support must be arranged and agreed upon.

If you live in Illinois and have recently come to the conclusion that it is indeed time for you and your partner to file for divorce, here are some basics to help you get started.

The Statutes

As you begin to seek representation and commence the divorce process, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the state’s divorce statutes. These written laws explain the guidelines for dissolution of marriage and how they are defined. For example, Part IV of The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act covers everything from Irreconcilable Differences to Legal Separation. While the legal jargon can be hard to digest and is best read through with an experienced attorney, the statutes clearly and specifically lay out what you need to know. You can find these laws via the Illinois General Assembly government website (www.ilga.gov).

State Requirements

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyOne of the most technically difficult parts of a divorce can be the dividing of the marital property. Before the work of dividing the assets can even be started, the assets must receive a valuation.

How Marital Property Is Divided

Illinois considers all property, with a few exceptions, acquired after the date of the marriage to be marital property. Unless the two sides come to an agreement on their own, a judge is required by law to divide the property equitably. This means studying all the relevant factors and dividing the property fairly. This does not necessarily mean the property is divided equally.

How Much of the Value of an Asset Is Marital Property?

Some assets, such as a business or retirement account, may have been acquired before the marriage. However, most likely any increase in value to these assets after the date of the marriage may be considered marital property.

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