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dupage county divorce lawyerWhen we think of newlyweds, we typically imagine happy couples joyfully embarking on their marriage relationship. Unfortunately, for some spouses, the days, weeks, and months after the wedding are fraught with regret. If you got married and then realized that the marriage was a mistake, you may be eager to end the relationship. You may wonder whether you can get your marriage annulled. In Illinois, annulment is possible, but only under certain conditions. Married couples who do not meet the criteria for annulment must end their marriage through divorce.

Illinois Law Regarding Annulments

An annulment is referred to as a “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage” in Illinois law. Annulments are often portrayed in pop culture as a shortcut to getting divorced. However, divorce and annulment are two completely different legal processes. Divorce ends a marriage. Annulment, on the other hand, declares that a marriage was never valid in the first place.

Your marriage may be annulled if at least one of the following are true:

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dupage county divorce lawyerWhen a couple gets divorced in Illinois, a partner who shared their spouse’s last name may decide they want their maiden name back. How this is done depends on whether the name change happens as part of the divorce decree or whether you wait until after the divorce is over. 

Changing Your Name During the Divorce

A divorcing spouse can request that a change back to their maiden name be included as part of their final divorce decree. Consult your attorney to make sure that that you are given the right to resume use of a former or maiden name as part of the court order dissolving the marriage.  

Generally, part of changing your name in Illinois is publishing the name change in a local public newspaper. However, if the divorce decree includes the reversion to your maiden name, you do not have to publish a notice with a newspaper; the divorce decree will be the document that public agencies will use to change your last name on official documents. 

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wheaton divorce lawyerThe word “dissipation” refers to wasting or squandering money or resources. In the context of divorce, dissipation refers to the waste, destruction, or misuse of property during the breakdown of a marriage. If you are getting divorced and your spouse has spent money or assets frivolously, you may be able to recoup some of these assets through a “dissipation of assets” claim. However, only certain types of spending are considered dissipation according to Illinois law.

Funds or Property Wasted During the Breakdown of a Marriage

According to Illinois law, the assets and liabilities obtained by either spouse during the marriage are part of the marital estate. Typically, a spouse is responsible for the other spouse’s spending even if he or she did not know about the spending. Dissipation of assets, however, is a unique situation involving the misuse of assets near the end of a marriage.

Per Illinois law, dissipation occurs when assets are destroyed, misused, or spent and the spending:

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Wheaton divorce attorneysGetting divorced can significantly change your financial situation. This is especially true for disabled spouses, homemakers, and stay-at-home parents. Alimony, also known as “spousal maintenance” in Illinois law, is financial support that a spouse provides the other spouse during or after divorce. If you are getting divorced in Illinois, it is essential to know how and when spousal maintenance is awarded.

Why Spousal Maintenance is Awarded in Illinois

The purpose of spousal maintenance is to minimize the negative financial impact a divorce has on a spouse who is unable to support themselves without assistance. A divorcing spouse may also be entitled to spousal maintenance through an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Spouses may also request spousal maintenance from the court. When deciding whether to award spousal support, Illinois judges consider the spouses’ financial and employment circumstances as well as factors such as:

  • The spouses’ future earning capabilities
  • Each party’s financial needs
  • How long it will take for the spouse requesting alimony to become financially self-supporting
  • The length of the marriage and the standard of living in the marriage
  • Whether a spouse contributed to the advancement of the other spouse’s education and career

The Amount That a Spouse Receives in Alimony  

If the court determines that a spouse is entitled to alimony based on the factors listed above, the next step is to determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance payments. Sometimes, spouses can agree on a spousal maintenance arrangement. Collaborative law and mediation are methods of dispute resolution that may help a divorcing couple avoid litigation and reach an agreement. In other cases, the court determines maintenance payments using a statutory formula. The court may deviate from this formula if the spouses’ combined yearly net income is greater than $500,000 or if the circumstances necessitate deviation.

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Wheaton IL divorce attorneysOver the last 25 years or so, divorce rates have more than doubled for those aged 50 and over. Thought to be due, at least in part, to an increase in life expectancy, these later-life divorces have some unique considerations and risks. So, if you or someone you know is planning on filing for what the media is calling a “gray divorce,” it is important to know how to best protect oneself and financial future.

Understanding the Risks of Gray Divorce

While all divorces are considered financially, mentally, and emotionally complex, those that occur later in life carry some serious financial risks, namely a situation known as divorce-induced poverty. This is a risk of particular concern for those who have already retired or have been out of the workforce for a long period of time. In addition, women, who typically live longer than men, may experience long-lasting poverty if they do not take proper precautions during their divorce.

Preparing Your Finances

In Illinois, marital property goes into what is known as the marital estate. This includes assets like your home, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vacation homes, vehicles, and more. These items are then valued and distributed equitably among the divorcing parties. Of course, before this can happen, you will need to know what it is that you and your spouse own. For those kept in the dark about their finances, this can seem like an insurmountable task. Furthermore, there is always the risk of disappearing assets. Rest assured: your attorney can help with the process. For now, simply gather all of the financial information you can find.

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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