St. Charles, IL spousal support lawyerIt is a myth that spousal support is a form of revenge. It is not about one spouse penalizing the other for past mistakes such as infidelity. Instead, it is determined by a couple's financial situation and needs. This holds significant weight, especially for women facing a midlife divorce. Research reveals that women are more likely to live below the federal poverty line compared to men. The harsh reality is that women still often earn less than men, and this earnings gap often widens as they age. You need a skilled Illinois divorce attorney to advocate for your long-term needs and ensure that spousal support is handled fairly in your divorce.

What Should Be Considered When Asking for Spousal Support?

Recent trends reveal a rising number of men and women in long-term marriages choosing to call it quits. Unfortunately, the financial repercussions tend to hit women the hardest, often resulting in a 45 percent decrease in their standard of living.

It is important to reach out to a skilled divorce attorney if you are seeking guidance on spousal maintenance and how it can help you maintain your current lifestyle. You should consider the division of marital assets, which can include pension plans and stock options. Couples should also address the allocation of marital debt and establish arrangements for child support. Your financial future is at stake, so it is crucial to navigate these matters wisely.

How is Spousal Maintenance Calculated?

When going through a divorce, safeguarding your assets and minimizing risks is crucial. Under Illinois law, there is a formula to determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance once a judge determines that a spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance.

Keep in mind that the length of support awarded depends on the duration of the marriage, with the court possibly granting permanent maintenance for marriages lasting 20 years or more. The spousal maintenance amount is calculated as 30 percent of the payor's gross income minus 20 percent of the payee's gross income.


How Can I Request a Child Support Increase?

Posted on in Divorce

St. Charles child support lawyerRising costs in Illinois after COVID-19 have strained many people, making it tough to manage finances. Amid labor shortages, some employers boosted pay to keep employees. If you suspect your ex received a substantial raise, you can petition the court to reassess child support payments. If you have custody of your children and need increased child support to cover added expenses, consult an Illinois attorney for guidance on modifying your support order.

What Is the Process to Change a Child Support Order?

Child support is typically paid to the parent who is awarded the most parenting time and with whom the child lives. The non-residential parent is the one who pays child support. Under Illinois law, if you want to change the amount of money you pay or receive for child support, there is a legal process you must follow. You need to prove to the court that there has been a significant change in your circumstances that justifies adjusting the child support payments. This legal adjustment is often called a modification.

If you know that your ex-spouse got a higher-paying job while you are facing increased expenses, you can ask the court to reconsider your child support payments. To succeed in modifying child support, you must demonstrate substantial changes, such as a significant income increase or decrease, a change in custody arrangements, or other substantial shifts in your financial situation. The court will carefully evaluate these changes before deciding whether a modification is warranted.

How is a Child Support Amount Decided?

The court determines how much money is needed to care for a child by looking at both parents' incomes together. Then, they split this amount between the parents, considering how much money each parent gets after taxes and other deductions. They also consider how much time each parent spends with the child and their responsibilities to the child.

Usually, the law has clear rules to decide how much child support should be paid each month. But sometimes, there can be arguments about what counts as a parent's net income and whether extra money should be given for things like the child's health, education, and activities outside of school.


Kane County divorce lawyersYou may believe that getting a divorce should be straightforward if you are in an abusive relationship and want to break free. In Illinois, one out of every three women is in an abusive relationship, including physical harm to emotional abuse. Unfortunately, getting a divorce in Illinois is not necessarily easier if there is a history of domestic violence. However, the presence of domestic abuse can significantly influence other aspects of the divorce process, especially child custody. Only an experienced Illinois attorney can help you understand the process.

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

Illinois follows a no-fault divorce system, which means neither spouse can blame the other for calling it quits. Factors like physical or mental cruelty, adultery, or even issues like alcohol abuse can no longer be used as reasons to seek a divorce. In order to file for a no-fault divorce in Illinois, you will need to demonstrate these three key elements:

  • Irreconcilable Differences – You must show that these differences are the primary cause of your marriage breaking down.
  • Failed Reconciliation Efforts – You should be able to provide evidence that you have tried to work on your marriage without success.
  • Not in the Family's Best Interests – You must show that continuing the marriage is not in the best interests of your family.

Courts do prioritize the safety and well-being of individuals involved, particularly children, when there is a history of domestic violence. In such cases, orders of protection may be put in place, and the court may take extra precautions to ensure the safety of the abused spouse and children when making custody and visitation decisions.

How Can I Get an Order of Protection?

Physical harm like punching and hitting is not okay. If you or your kids are in immediate danger, you should quickly file for an Order of Protection. In Illinois, you can usually get a temporary Order of Protection right away. But to make it permanent, you will need to attend a hearing.

You cannot simply claim domestic violence. You must be able to prove the abuse during divorce proceedings. It is imperative that you gather and preserve evidence to support your allegations. Photos, police reports, medical records, emails, texts, and videos will help establish the abuse and help paint a picture in court.


Is Mediation During My Divorce Right for Me?

Posted on in Divorce

St. Charles mediation lawyerIf you want to dodge the courtroom drama, mediation during a divorce could be a game-changer. Instead of fighting in court, a mediator will step in to help you and your soon-to-be ex settle your differences quickly. You will be able to address everything from child custody to property division. A mediation attorney in Illinois can make a complicated divorce process smoother and ensure your agreements meet legal requirements. 

What is Mediation?

Under the Uniform Mediation Act couples can talk with a neutral person who is not on anyone's side to work out their problems instead of going to court. In many cases, the court will ask a couple to go through mediation first.

The process of mediation is a helpful way to solve problems in many legal situations, but it is especially useful in family law cases like divorce. Here is why:

  • No More Fights – Mediation helps people work together to solve issues without arguing or fighting.
  • Keep a Good Relationship – After divorce mediation, people usually get along better, which is great for parents with children who still need to work together.
  • Save Time – Mediation is faster than having lawyers argue in court, which can take a long time.
  • Save Money – Mediation costs less than going to court and hiring lawyers for a big fight. 

Is there an Advantage to Having a Mediator who is also an Attorney?

Having a mediator who is also an attorney in Illinois can be beneficial during a divorce, especially when things get complicated for some of the following reasons:

  • Court-Ordered Mediation – In many Illinois counties, the court may require mediation for parental responsibilities and parenting time. If you hire an attorney-mediator upfront, you will not be assigned a mediator, and you will have someone with substantial legal knowledge helping you.
  • Legal Knowledge – They know Illinois laws well and can ensure that you understand the legal and financial implications of your decisions. They can also create a Memorandum of Understanding that could become a legally binding agreement when signed by a judge.
  • Children Issues – In Illinois, a parenting plan is crucial for sharing parental responsibilities and time with your kids, and this can often lead to disagreements. A mediator who is an attorney can help smooth this out.
  • Spousal Support – Figuring out financial support for a spouse based on the length of the marriage can be sensitive. An attorney-mediator can help you navigate this issue.
  • Skilled Negotiation – A certified mediator who is also an attorney is great at helping the divorcing couple talk through tough issues and find solutions. 

Schedule a free consultation with a St. Charles, IL Mediation Attorney

At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we understand that sometimes couples simply want to go their separate ways quickly.


Kane County divorce lawyerDivorce is often a complex and emotionally charged process, especially when financial matters come into play. The division of marital assets is a critical aspect of divorce proceedings. Illinois law mandates that both spouses provide complete and accurate financial disclosure. Unfortunately, some individuals may attempt to conceal or hide assets to gain a financial advantage during the divorce. However, the consequences of such actions can be severe and far-reaching. Suppose you suspect your spouse is trying to hide assets in your divorce. In that case, it's imperative to consult with your St. Charles high asset divorce attorney as soon as possible.

Legal Obligation of Full Financial Disclosure

In Illinois, spouses have a legal duty to provide complete and honest financial information during divorce proceedings. This disclosure is essential for ensuring an equitable distribution of marital property and spousal support arrangements. Both parties must provide a comprehensive list of all assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and financial documents. Attempting to hide assets or misrepresent financial information breaches this legal obligation and can have serious repercussions.

Consequences of Hiding Assets in Divorce

Hiding assets in any type of divorce can have serious legal, social, and practical consequences, such as the following:

  • Loss of Credibility: Concealing assets undermines your credibility in court. Judges and legal professionals rely on transparency and honesty throughout the divorce process. If you are caught hiding assets, your credibility can be significantly damaged, potentially affecting the outcome of other aspects of your case.
  • Financial Penalties: Courts take asset hiding seriously and may impose monetary penalties as a consequence. You could be required to pay the other party's legal fees or fines aimed at discouraging such behavior and compensating for the time and resources spent uncovering hidden assets.
  • Voiding Agreements: If you succeed in hiding assets and reach a settlement or agreement based on inaccurate financial information, the court can nullify the agreement once the hidden assets are exposed. This can lead to prolonged legal battles and additional expenses.
  • Criminal Charges: In extreme cases, deliberately hiding assets can lead to criminal charges of perjury, contempt of court, or fraud. These charges can carry severe legal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
  • Loss of Trust and Cooperation: Divorce is undoubtedly emotionally taxing, and trust is often strained. Attempting to hide assets further erodes trust between spouses, making it more challenging to work together on other divorce-related matters, such as child custody and support.

Attempting to hide assets during an Illinois divorce is a risky and ill-advised strategy. The consequences of such actions can be severe, ranging from financial penalties to damaged credibility and even criminal charges. The divorce process is inherently complex, and it's in your best interest to approach it with honesty, transparency, and legal guidance to ensure a fair and equitable resolution for both spouses.

Protecting Your Interests in a High Asset Divorce

If you believe your spouse is hiding assets during a divorce, it is essential to consult with an experienced St. Charles high asset divorce attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the legal process, gather evidence, and advocate for your rights in court. By enlisting professional help, you can ensure that the division of assets is conducted fairly and transparently, minimizing the potential for long-term consequences. Contact Shaw Sanders, P.C. online or by phone at 630-584-5550 to schedule a no-obligation case review.


A person does not need to be a blood relative of a child in order to love and care about him or her. If you married someone who already had a child, it is possible that you have spent a great deal of time getting to know the child and providing for his or her needs. You may even think of the child as if he or she was your own biological offspring. If this situation describes you, you may be wondering what it takes to adopt your stepchild. Stepparent adoptions can sometimes be complicated personally as well as legally. This is why it is a good idea to work with a skilled Illinois stepparent adoption lawyer who has experience handling stepparent adoption cases.

Stepparent Adoption Criteria

Stepparent adoption is a significantly different process than other types of adoption. In many cases, an investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services or background check is not required. In order to qualify for a stepparent adoption, the following criteria must be met:

  • The stepparent is legally married to the child's parent. Boyfriends and girlfriends cannot proceed with a stepparent adoption even if they have been heavily involved in the child's life.
  • If the child is 14 years old or older, he or she must agree to the adoption. Teenagers have the ability to block a stepparent adoption.
  • The parental rights of the child's other parent have been terminated.

According to the law, a child can only have two legal parents. If your stepchild's other parent is still alive, he or she will need to terminate his or her parental rights in order for you to be able to adopt the child.

Reasons for the Termination of Parental Rights

In some cases, a parent may voluntarily terminate his or her parental rights in order to allow a stepparent adoption. However, if the other parent does not consent to the adoption, the process becomes more complicated. If you wish to adopt your stepchild but your child's other parent objects to the adoption, the only way you can adopt the child is by having the other parent's parental rights involuntarily terminated. The court will terminate the parent's rights if it determines that the parent is "unfit." According to Illinois law, a parent may be considered unfit if he or she:


Life after divorce can be overwhelming, and seeking professional guidance is crucial to navigating the legal complexities successfully.Divorce can be an emotionally challenging and life-altering experience. As you navigate the process and move forward with life after divorce in Illinois, it's essential to be aware of the legal considerations that can significantly impact your future. From financial matters to child custody arrangements, understanding your rights and obligations is crucial. When you work closely with an experienced St. Charles divorce attorney, they can help you explore the essential legal considerations for life after divorce.

Property Division and Asset Management

In Illinois, the division of property during a divorce follows the principle of equitable distribution. This means that marital assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Reviewing the final divorce decree is essential to ensure that all property settlements are accurately reflected. 

After the divorce, you must take charge of managing your share of the assets, including bank accounts, investments, real estate, and personal property. Consider updating beneficiaries on insurance policies, retirement accounts, and wills to reflect your changed circumstances.

Alimony or Spousal Support

If alimony (also known as spousal support) was awarded during the divorce proceedings, you must understand your rights and obligations regarding ongoing payments. Adhering to the court-ordered terms is essential whether you are the recipient or the paying spouse. Changes in financial circumstances, such as job loss or significant pay raises, may warrant a modification of the alimony arrangement, but this must be done through proper legal channels. Having your St. Charles divorce attorney help you with any necessary modifications is best.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody and visitation arrangements are of utmost importance for divorces involving children. Illinois courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody. Life after divorce may require flexibility and effective communication with your ex-spouse to ensure that your children's needs are met. If necessary, you can seek modifications to custody or visitation arrangements if there are substantial changes in circumstances.


How Does Mediation Work in Illinois?

Posted on in Mediation

St. Charles Mediation AttorneyNo two divorces are the same. Each spouse and marriage are unique, with different issues to resolve. Some divorcing couples can work out agreements amicably, while many others are not able to speak to each other and rely on an experienced St. Charles mediation attorney to assist them in reaching their goals for their divorce and their future. At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we can help you no matter what type of divorce you are seeking and even if you choose to utilize mediation. 

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces

In an uncontested divorce, the couple agrees on the terms of their parting, their children, their debts and assets, as well as alimony and child support. Because of their agreement, there is no need to have hearings, negotiations, or court procedures. Even though this type of divorce is usually straightforward, it’s still essential that you hire a St. Charles mediation attorney to represent your interests.

In a contested divorce, the couple can’t agree on the essential issues, so they retain separate attorneys and head to court to let the judge decide. The couple will be required to attend hearings, settlement negotiations, and sometimes even a trial. Divorces that involve a high net worth, many assets and liabilities, or other complex issues may need to use this process over others. 

Divorce Mediation in Illinois

Couples who can’t agree on the issues in their divorce but want to stay out of court can also opt to have mediation. Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) used in many legal cases. A mediator assists the couple in identifying and talking through the problems but does not make decisions as an arbitrator does. 

During this process, a neutral third-party mediator helps divorcing couples work through the issues and conflicts that arise during the divorce. The mediator acts as a facilitator, not as a judge or decision-maker. They help the couple identify and discuss their concerns, interests, and divorce-related needs. 


b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-79.jpgHigh-income child support cases are situations where one or both parents earn a substantial income that exceeds the guidelines set in state laws. In these situations, the court agrees to deviate from standard regulations to accommodate a high income family's unique needs and lifestyle. This article explores different aspects of these complex cases and their outcomes. 


Calculating High-Income Child Support

Under usual circumstances, Illinois courts adopt a formulaic approach to determine child support payment amount.

The court uses an income-share model, where the final amount is based on how many nights a child stays at each parent’s house. This number is multiplied by the number of children one party has in this or another relationship.  The state uses these regulations to ensure every child of a divorce receives a quality life through financial support offered by the parents. 

Generally, the non-custodial parent, meaning the one with lesser parental responsibilities and parenting time, will pay a pre-decided amount to the custodial parent (meaning the parent that lives with the child). Child maintenance is paid in installments to ensure the child’s needs are effectively met. 


b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-67_20230726-155333_1.jpgWhen going through a divorce, it is crucial to recognize the significant impact your social media activity can have on the outcome of your case. Opposing counsel will undoubtedly delve into your private life, including interactions on social media and online communications with friends and family. Any missteps in this realm can potentially give your soon-to-be-ex spouse an advantage, particularly in high asset divorce cases.


Impacting Your Credibility

In a contentious divorce, one party may attempt to portray the other as immoral or untrustworthy. Social media posts can be used as evidence to support such claims. For example, if you claim financial hardship to avoid spousal maintenance, but then post pictures of extravagant parties on luxury items and lavish spending, it can seriously undermine your credibility and weaken your position during negotiations.


Child Custody Decisions

Child custody decisions are heavily influenced by the best interests of the child. Any evidence of alcohol or substance abuse, inappropriate interactions, or aggressive behavior found on social media can be used against you. Such posts can raise doubts about your ability to provide a stable and safe environment for your child. It is crucial to refrain from posting anything scandalous or inappropriate, even with a private profile setting, as mutual friends can be asked to share screenshots of your online activity.


b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-40.jpgHigh net worth divorce cases come with high risks and secret agendas. Forensic accounting can be vital in providing an equitable resolution during your divorce. Accountants use their experience to share valuable insights during valuation, track complex transactions, and uncover hidden assets.  We explore the key advantages of working with forensic accounts in a high asset divorce below. 


Use It to Identify Discrepancies in Financial Records 

Navigating a high asset divorce can be tricky, especially if your soon-to-be-ex-spouse falsifies information to reduce spousal or child maintenance obligations. Forensic accountants can catch lies by tracing financial transactions and verifying records. 

This includes:

  • Reviewing financial documents and reconciling bank statements to ensure they are accurate. 
  • Tracking financial activity to ensure funds are transferred to legitimate bank accounts. 
  • Analyzing family business records and assets to identify discrepancies. 
  • Checking tax returns and associated paperwork to catch inaccurate representation of the opposing party’s financial status. 

These steps minimize fraudulent activity by ensuring a comprehensive and accurate understanding of your spouse's finances and investments. 


b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-19.jpgThe difference between contested divorce and uncontested divorce in Illinois lies in their execution and how the soon-to-be-ex-spouses communicate during legal proceedings. Both scenarios require legal representation. A divorce lawyer will handle negotiations, paperwork, and other aspects of the dissolution of marriage to streamline the process. We highlight the distinguishing factors between each divorce type to help you make an informed choice during your separation. 


The Control Shifts in Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce  

A contested divorce typically goes to trial because the couple does not agree on how to distribute marital assets or manage child support after separation. 

Since the divorcing couple cannot reach a settlement, one or both parties request the court to intervene. The court uses the legal framework to determine an effective way to divide marital property and assets, parental responsibilities, and set conditions for child and spousal support. 

On the other hand, spouses undergoing an uncontested divorce make mutual decisions favored by one or both parties. This can mean deciding who gets the family residence and who gets the car or agreeing on how often the spouse moving out of the house gets to see the children.  


IL family lawyerIn Illinois, the court can require divorcing parents to pay for their children's post-secondary education. Family lawyers can help you decide how much you need to pay and how to divide those responsibilities during a divorce. The following is a brief overview of the statute that covers this area of Illinois family law.

#1. There Is an Age Limit for College Provisions

Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/513) has set strict terms and conditions for college expenses. The provisions include the cost of five college applications, a minimum of two college entrance exam fees, and payouts for educational books and resources.

This includes post-secondary education costs for trade school and vocational school. The court does take both parents' financial status and future resources while dividing the college expenses equitably. Do you have to pay for college until graduation? Not necessarily.

One of the clauses in Section 513 states that parents and the non-minor child are responsible for paying for college expenses until they turn twenty-three years old. After that, the divorced parents are no longer obliged to cover post-secondary educational costs under this law.

#2. College Expenses May Include Housing Costs

Despite popular belief, college expenses do not end with tuition fees. Divorced parents must also consider housing expenses when sending their children to college.


IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, certain tax implications can significantly impact the terms of a divorce agreement. These should be discussed during negotiations. Some of them include the following:

Your Tax Filing Status

Whether you wish to join separately or together for the previous year will depend on when the divorce was finalized. For instance, if it was finalized on December 31st before 11.59 pm, that means you were not legally married before that time and can file separately for that year. Additionally, you may be able to file as the head of the household if you had child custody for at least six months of that year.

If the divorce was not finalized before the year ended, you and your ex-spouse could determine your filing status. If a party cannot decide, a judge decides how tax refunds and owed taxes are divided.

Cash and Property Awards in a Divorce Decree

Property and cash acquired pursuant to a divorce decree in Illinois are nontaxable for the person receiving them. This means the person providing them cannot deduct them from their taxes. The property and money that spouses own are presumed to be earned by the party – it is presumed they have already paid taxes on these.

Certain property settlements and back taxes can lead to an IRS audit. This may happen if property settlement is treated as a spousal settlement but wasn't called maintenance so it wouldn't be taxed. An accountant can help you determine unintentional tax consequences.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_2168627041-min.jpgWho gets the marital home? Are stay-at-home parents eligible for spousal maintenance? These questions might keep you up at night before filing for a divorce in Illinois. 

How Is Property Divided During a Divorce in Illinois?  

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act divides marital assets equitably. It means that their rules on property division focus on a fair distribution of marital properties and assets instead of equal divisions. 

Assets usually belong to both partners unless stated otherwise. Therefore, as a stay-at-home parent, you have the right to receive a significant share of the properties (i.e., money, investments, real estate property) acquired by your partner after marriage. 

However, there are exceptions to this rule. 

For instance, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may exclude some assets from the divorce settlement. Likewise, a property inherited by one spouse or purchased from non-marital assets may not be distributed.  


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_568184791-min.jpgWhen the stakes are high, spouses may use ulterior means to get a greater share of the marital assets. They may do this by underreporting their financial and property assets. As Kane County divorce attorneys, we have experience dealing with hidden assets during high-asset divorces and settling property divisions. If you suspect your spouse is not being honest, do not hesitate to ask for help. 

How to Discover Hidden Assets in an Illinois Divorce 

Documenting your financial records before filing for a divorce can help you build a better case against your spouse. However, sometimes spouses purposefully disguise assets to avoid equitable distribution during a divorce in Illinois. 

They may avoid detection by lying about their income, making false investments, or asking a third-party like a friend or family member to hide the cash. Additionally, your spouse may open a retirement account, custodial accounts, and offshore account without your knowledge to funnel funds. 

They may also purchase valuable artwork, jewelry, and collectible items to sell later. 

Having legal representation and forensic accountants can help you search for concealed assets. 


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.


kane county child custody lawyerCo-parents sharing responsibility for their children after divorce are bound to the terms of their parenting plan. But life can be unexpected. Changes such as a better job in another state, remarriage, or family illness can turn your plans awry. So how does that affect relocation and visitation rights? 

Relocation Laws in Illinois 

As per Section 609.2 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a parent who wants to move a significant distance with their child needs to seek the court's approval first. Per Illinois law, relocating means moving more than more than 25 miles away if you live in one of the collar counties. If you live in a different Illinois county, a relocation is a move of more than 50 miles away, or more than 25 miles away if state lines are crossed.

If the parents disagree regarding the relocation, the court will make the decision about whether to allow the relocation. 

The court will decide whether the move is in the child's best interests by evaluating the following:

  • The quality of each parent’s relationship with the child
  • The educational properties the child will have in either location
  • The wishes and impact of the move on the child
  • Parent responsibility arrangements, including visitation
  • The reason you wish to move
  •  The distance between the locations
  • The cost and time involved in visitation
  • The motive behind the non-custodial parent’s objection to the move
  • Whether the move will enhance the child’s quality of life

Please note that the court prioritizes the child's safety and well-being. While Illinois laws regarding relocation and custody can be complicated, they are ultimately designed to keep children safe and happy in a household. 


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.


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