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Wheaton QDRO and QILDRO LawyersSecuring your financial future by helping you save for retirement is something your employer may offer you as an employee. In addition, you may have saved on your own to build a healthy nest egg for your golden years. While money deposited in retirement accounts generally belongs to the person whose name is on the account, when that person gets divorced, if there are no agreements to the contrary, his or her spouse is entitled to an equitable portion of the money contributed into the retirement accounts during the marriage.

Retirement Funds as Marital Property

In Illinois, despite in whose name the account is held, retirement benefits, including pensions and 401k savings accounts, are considered marital property if they are acquired after the marriage was formalized and before a formal dissolution of a marriage is granted by a judge. If either spouse wants to challenge the classification of the retirement benefits as marital property, he or she has to show the court that the benefits were acquired in a way that qualifies as non-marital property under the law.

When a couple is getting divorced, each spouse can request an equitable portion of the other's retirement benefits be awarded by the court. However, Section 502 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that the couple could also agree on how to deal with the retirement benefits themselves. For example, they can decide to renounce all claims to the benefits, or, if they both have retirements funds, they can agree to an even split of the accounts. These agreements could be written into a marital settlement agreement, which is then reviewed by a judge before being entered as part of the final Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.

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DuPage County family law attorneysThe debate over whether or not parents should stay together for the sake of the kids has been a controversial one for decades now, continually raising the big question: Is divorce really the answer? While most couples contemplate divorce as a means to end a relationship that is no longer working for either party, the concept of a parenting marriage stems from an entirely different motivator all together—one aimed at serving a very unique purpose. 

The Idea Behind the Parenting Marriage Model

Just as couples who decide to divorce based on the realization that their marriage is no longer a healthy option, couples who choose a parenting marriage also recognize that their relationship has changed and is no longer the romantic partnership it once was. Under this marriage model, they choose to remain in the marriage for the sole purpose of continuing to raise the children together. 

The specifics of a parenting marriage can differ greatly from one couple to the next. Many spouses remain living under the same roof, in their own personal bedrooms, and some choose to date and have separate romantic relationships outside of the home. Negotiations are made both formally and informally, and mutually agreed upon boundaries and guidelines are established from the beginning. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyersWhen divorce proceedings begin, it can throw everything else in your life into a state of uncertainty. Life continues while the legal issues are getting worked out, with bills to pay and obligations to meet. Because of this, sometimes an Illinois court will order temporary relief to one spouse in order to get through the period of the proceedings, including temporary parental responsibilitieschild support, or spousal support

Parental Responsibilities and Child Support 

Most temporary relief orders asked for in Illinois courts have to do with the arrangements for any children of a divorcing couple. It is common for one parent to seek a temporary order of parenting time simply to ensure the children are permitted to remain in their current situation. Forcing children to move abruptly, only to possibly return them to the previous situation, is generally held to not be in their best interests. Alternatively, parental responsibilities can be contested for more malicious reasons. For example, in some divorce cases, particularly those that are contentious, it is not unheard of for one parent to attempt to get possession of the children solely to cause a disruption in the lives of the children and the former spouse.

Child support is another major factor. The costs of raising a child cannot be paused while the divorce is ongoing, so a temporary order is often necessary. The court will generally assess the request by considering each parent’s income, the current situation, and the needs of the child. 

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DuPage County family law attorneysHigh net-worth couples who are going through a divorce often face special issues that require extra planning and attention. Because of the complicated nature of the assets involved, care must be taken to divide the property in a way that does not compromise their value. Often, such couples also hope to keep the details of the divorce as private as possible for personal, safety, and business reasons.

Protecting Assets

Illinois law presumes that any asset acquired after the date of the marriage is a marital asset, subject to a few exceptions. In the absence of an agreement between the spouses, the law requires a judge to decide what is a marital asset and then divide those assets equitably. While there are certain legal factors a judge must consider when dividing assets, without proper preparation and representation, you risk having your assets undervalued or split in such a way as to diminish their value.

Divorce planning, asset valuation, and vigorous representation can help protect your assets and preserve them for the future. This means that with the help of your attorney, you may wish to assemble a team of financial professionals, including financial planners, appraisers, and others, whose knowledge and resources will be crucial in safeguarding your wealth and property.

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DuPage County collaborative divorce attorney

If you are planning to divorce, you may have questions about how you can protect your rights and reach a divorce settlement that is reasonable and fair. You may want the legal protection and support that comes with hiring a lawyer but are worried that bringing lawyers into the equation could make your divorce more adversarial. Whether your worries are accurate or not, there is an option in Illinois that allows divorcing couples to work with attorneys under a non-adversarial process. Collaborative divorce, or a divorce resolved by means of collaborative law, is an alternative resolution method that has helped many couples settle divorce issues without resorting to stressful and often antagonistic litigation.

What Happens During a Collaborative Divorce?

During a collaborative divorce, each spouse retains his or her own lawyer who provides legal guidance throughout the collaborative process. The spouses and their respective lawyers will work together to negotiate unresolved divorce issues during a series of informal meetings. The purpose of these meetings is not to “win” or “lose,” but instead to reach mutually agreeable solutions regarding the division of marital property and debt, spousal maintenance, child custody, and other divorce-related disputes. Once an agreement has been reached, the lawyers submit the necessary paperwork to the court and the agreements are written into the final divorce decree.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree