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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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DuPage County divorce attorney asset division

Millions of adults struggle with addiction and substance abuse problems in the United States. Sadly, drug and alcohol addiction can make someone a shell of who he or she was before the addiction began. Being married to an alcoholic or drug addict is often just as miserable as having the addiction yourself. In some cases, salvaging a marriage that has been devastated by drug and alcohol addiction is simply not a possibility. If you are planning to divorce your spouse and he or she has a substance abuse problem, it is important to educate yourself about how your spouse’s addiction may influence your divorce case.

Addiction May Impact Asset Division

Illinois is now a pure no-fault state when it comes to divorce. This means that you will not list your spouse’s addiction or any other fault-based grounds as the reason for your divorce. When you petition the court for a dissolution of marriage, the only ground available to you will be “irreconcilable differences.” However, your spouse’s addiction still has the potential to influence your divorce settlement. If your spouse spends a great deal of money or sells any property to finance his or her addiction, you may have a valid dissipation claim. Dissipation occurs when a spouse uses marital funds for a purpose that does not benefit the marriage after the marriage has begun to experience an “irretrievable breakdown.” The funds your spouse spends on drugs or alcohol during the end of your marriage may be considered dissipated assets. This means that you may be entitled to a proportionally greater share of the marital assets during property division as a form of reimbursement.

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DuPage County divorce attorney spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance, spousal support, and alimony are all terms used to describe payments that one spouse may be ordered to pay to the other spouse as a result of a divorce. Typically, spousal maintenance is awarded when one spouse lacks sufficient income to support themselves in the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to during the marriage. Spousal maintenance may be awarded based on the directions contained in a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, or other valid marital agreement or it may be awarded on a case-by-case basis by the court. If you have reason to believe that you or your spouse will have to pay spousal support, you may have many questions about the amount and duration of the payments.  

When Does an Illinois Court Award Spousal Support?

If no valid marital agreement describes a spouse’s maintenance obligation, the court will decide whether or not maintenance is appropriate and necessary by weighing a number of factors. These factors typically include but are not limited to:

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Wheaton divorce attorneyAlthough we usually think of marriage as a romantic union, it is also a financial union. When a couple marries, they combine their property, expenses, and debts. Undoing this financial fusion during divorce can quickly become complex. If you are getting divorced, you may have concerns about what property is rightfully yours and what belongs to your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. Read on to learn about how property is divided in an Illinois divorce and what to do if you need legal guidance during your split.

Illinois is an Equitable Distribution State

When a couple divorces, they have the option of making their own decisions about what property should go to which spouse. However, when divorcing spouses cannot agree to a property distribution arrangement, the court must intervene.

Unlike certain other states, Illinois does not simply split marital property in half and assign 50 percent of the value of the marital estate to each spouse. Instead, Illinois follows equitable distribution laws. According to equitable distribution, marital property is divided equitably, or fairly, depending on the spouses’ financial and life circumstances. Things like each spouse’s income, property, health, future earning capacity, and financial needs are taken into consideration. Before marital property can be divided, the court must determine what property is marital property and eligible for division and what property is separate property which is not divided.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersGetting a divorce can be one of the most stressful life events a person may experience. Not only does a person getting divorced have to deal with the financial and legal implications of ending their marriage, they also must deal with the emotional and mental implications. If you are considering getting divorced or have already decided to end your marriage, you may feel totally overwhelmed and lost. These types of feelings, while distressing, are completely normal. Fortunately, there are many things which mental health experts say can help ease the pain of divorce.

Take Care of Your Health First and Foremost

A lot of people take care of everyone else around them before taking care of themselves. While this type of generosity is often seen as a good thing, being too generous with your time and emotional energy can result in burnout. While going through a divorce, it is advised that you be a little more selfish than you normally would be. Take time to relax and unwind in the ways that are meaningful to you. Medical professionals also encourage anyone going through a stressful life event to make sure they are staying hydrated, eating healthy foods, getting at least some exercise, and sleeping at least 7-8 hours a night.

Do Not Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you are an especially independent or private person, it can be challenging to reach out to others for help during a demanding time in life. However, experts say that reaching out to others during a break-up or divorce is one of the best things you can do for your mental wellbeing. Even if you do not feel like divulging all of the details of the divorce to others, simply spending time with friends and family can help you gain a sense of normality and calm. Some people find that a divorce support group or spiritual organization can be a great help as well.

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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