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Naperville divorce finances attorneyIf someone were to ask you right now how much money you would need each month to live comfortably, do you think you could give them an accurate number? Most people have no idea how much money they actually need to survive each month or how much they actually spend, even if they do have a budget. However, when you go to get a divorce, it is important to have an idea of your spending habits and financial needs, as it will be one of the questions that your attorney will bring up when discussing issues including spousal support and asset division. Most of the time, people will significantly underestimate or overestimate what they actually need to live a comfortable life or to maintain the lifestyle that they had during their marriage. A lifestyle analysis can help to ensure that you are prepared for life after your divorce is final.

Components of a Lifestyle Analysis

The goal of a lifestyle analysis is to produce a report that contains all of you and your spouse’s recent financial information. The analysis will also establish a basis for what your standard of living was during your marriage, and it may help to identify any issues or discrepancies. Information in your lifestyle analysis may include:

  • Personal tax returns from at least the past three years for both you and your spouse, along with business tax returns if either of you owns a business

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Wheaton IL child support enforcement lawyerIn most situations in which a child’s parents are not married or in a relationship, there will be some type of formal custody agreement detailing the rights and responsibilities of each parent, including the allocation of parenting time between them. Both parents have a legal obligation to financially provide for their child, whether or not they are the parent who is required to pay child support to the other parent. Most often, the parent with less parenting time is the one who pays support, the amount of which is determined by a formula that considers income and other factors. There are a number of reasons why a person may not make their child support payments, which can be extremely frustrating and financially straining for the other parent. If your child’s other parent is behind on child support payments, an Illinois child support enforcement lawyer may be able to help.

Failure to Support in Illinois

In most cases, there are few excuses for a parent missing or not paying child support payments without first notifying the court or petitioning for a modification to their support payments. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) states that any parent who fails to comply with a child support order will be punished the same as in any other contempt case. Typically, a person will not be found in contempt of the support order unless they have willingly defied the order or there is a history of missed or late support payments.

Taking Action to Recover Child Support

If you are having trouble receiving timely and accurate support payments from your child’s other parent, you may be able to request a contempt proceeding to determine whether or not your ex really is in contempt of the order. This proceeding will allow your ex to come forward with an explanation as to why they have not paid the child support, such as losing their job.

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DuPage County spousal maintenance lawyerEven in today’s world where a two-income household is becoming more of the norm, it is not uncommon to come across a family in which one parent works while the other stays at home to take care of the children. This may work during the marriage, but if the couple were to ever get a divorce, the stay-at-home parent could be at a significant financial disadvantage. In these types of situations, spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, is sometimes awarded to a lesser-earning spouse to help them become self-sufficient and to ensure they are able to enjoy a similar standard of living that they enjoyed during the marriage. 

How Long Does Spousal Support Continue?

The terms of a spousal maintenance award, including the duration of the payments, can differ from case to case depending on a variety of factors. However, there are a few situations in which spousal support will almost always automatically terminate:

  • Cohabitation: Illinois is one of the states in which spousal maintenance terminates when the receiving spouse moves in with or begins to cohabitate with a new partner. The spouse paying the support has the burden of proving the other spouse has a cohabiting relationship with another person, which is defined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) as two people living with one another “on a resident, continuing conjugal basis.”

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Naperville divorce lawyerFor decades, the United States has focused much time and energy on public awareness campaigns about the prevalence of domestic violence and what you can do if you are experiencing domestic violence in your home. Unfortunately, domestic violence still remains an issue to this day. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, there are around 12 million men and women who are victims of domestic violence each year.

When it comes to divorce or other child-related legal proceedings, situations involving accusations of domestic violence can sometimes be very volatile, and this can lead to concerns about protecting the safety of family members and providing for children's ongoing well-being. Because of this, there are a variety of complicated legal issues that may need to be addressed.

Domestic Violence and Parental Rights

During divorce cases and child custody proceedings in Illinois, the courts are of the opinion that the child’s best interests are best served if both parents play a close and continuing role in the child’s life. However, if domestic violence has occurred in the past, or if one parent believes the other parent's actions could threaten children's health and safety, the court may take steps to determine whether either parent is a threat to the child. In many cases, a guardian ad litem will be appointed to investigate the situation and offer recommendations about the decisions regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.

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