Recent Blog Posts

Who Pays for a Child's College Expenses in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on June 27, 2023 in Child Support

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.

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Key Tax Implications of an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on June 21, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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Property Division for Stay-at-Home Parents

 Posted on June 07, 2023 in Divorce

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.  

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Searching for Hidden Assets in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on June 02, 2023 in Divorce

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. 

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Crafting a Parenting Agreement: Ensuring Your Child's Best Interests

 Posted on May 24, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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Relocation and Visitation: Navigating the Challenges of Co-Parenting

 Posted on May 18, 2023 in Child Custody / Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

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. 

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Tips for Dividing Assets and Debts in a Divorce

 Posted on May 09, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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Child Custody Battles: Understand Your Options

 Posted on May 02, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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Tax Implications to Consider During a Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on April 27, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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How Retirement Assets Are Divided During a Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on April 19, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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