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Tag Archives: Dupage County family law attorneys

Wheaton divorce attorneysWe all know at least a few people who spend a great deal of time posting pictures and details of their lives to Facebook or Instagram. Sometimes, the appeal of posting on social media is so strong that it can cause a person to lose focus on the events happening in real life around him or her. Most people, of course, are able to use social networking sites reasonably to share photos and updates with distant friends and family, allowing them to stay in touch more quickly and directly than ever before. There are, however, some dangers associated with the use of social media, particularly for those who are in the midst of a divorce or other legal action. It is important to remember that anything you post could end up presented as evidence in court.

Conflicting Messages

While the use of social networking sites does not require ink and paper, posts and shared information are often treated as written documents. Emails and text messages, as you may be aware, can be subpoenaed to refute claims that you have made in your divorce filings. Similarly, screenshots of information that you have posted could also be used in an effort to discredit your testimony. For example, if you have told the court that you are not currently employed, but your LinkedIn profile says that you have been working for a friend’s company—possibly off the books—there are going to be questions raised.

Such questions could also be the result of photos and experiences that you share on Facebook. You may think that the pictures of your trip to the Bahamas were hidden from your soon-to-be ex because of your privacy settings, but a mutual friend could have shown them to your spouse. If you have been claiming that you have no money for basic expenses, alleged evidence of an expensive vacation could be difficult for you to explain, even if someone else paid for it.

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DuPage County family law attorneysIf you are thinking about filing for divorce, you may be concerned about the financial implications of such a decision. The process itself can be very expensive is some situations, but you could also be worried about making it on your own, especially if your spouse was the primary wage-earner in your family. To address this concern, you may consider including a request for maintenance with your divorce filing. Maintenance payments, sometimes known as alimony, may be ordered to help offset some of the economic challenges that can be created by your divorce. Such payments are not guaranteed, however, and the court must identify a spouse’s need before ordering it.

Need-Based Considerations

There are many factors that the court will take into account when deciding on the appropriateness of a maintenance order, including the lifestyle that the couple established in their marriage and how the marital property will be or has been divided in the divorce. As you might expect, each spouse’s income must also be considered, but the court will look at more than just how much you and your spouse actually earn. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that the court must also take into account “the realistic present and future earning capacity of each party.”

What Is Earning Capacity and Why Does It Matter?

A person’s earning capacity is the amount of income that he or she has the ability, training, certification, and qualifications to make, regardless of his or her current income. For example, a 19-year-old high school dropout who has been working in fast food restaurants has a much lower earning capacity than a 40-year-old business executive with a master’s degree. Earning capacity may become an issue in a maintenance proceeding, however, when one or both spouses are currently earning significantly more or less than their earning capacity would suggest.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersAs more and more couples wait longer to enter into marriage for the first time, along with the rising prevalence of remarriage, individuals have more time than ever to accumulate wealth and property on their own. Extensive personal assets, of course, can make a subsequent divorce much more complicated, as it becomes difficult to differentiate between marital and non-marital property. For just reason, those who have started a business or obtained ownership of a company prior to marriage are encouraged to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

While the law in Illinois already provides that property or assets acquired prior to a marriage are not considered marital property, complications can still arise. For example, if your spouse owned a company before you got married, the company itself may not be part of the marital estate, but income generated by your spouse’s efforts after the marriage are usually considered to be marital. Similarly, any marital property invested into the company during your marriage may need to be reimbursed to the marital estate in the event of divorce, even as the company ownership remains non-marital.

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Help?

Many of the financial concerns related to your company can be addressed long before they ever become a big problem, through the use of a prenuptial agreement. You and your soon-to-be spouse can negotiate an agreement to keep the business ownership and operation completely separate from the marital estate. You can also plan in advance on how invested marital property is to be handled.

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DuPage County family law attorneysIn just a short time, school-aged children throughout Northern Illinois will be exchanging their textbooks for sunscreen, as summer vacation will soon be upon us. For their part, many parents are also looking forward to a summer filled with family gatherings, day trips, and outdoor adventures. Parents who share parenting time with a former spouse or partner, however, may have to do a little extra planning before they can truly enjoy the warmer months ahead.

What Does Your Parenting Time Plan Say?

If you are subject to a child custody order—also called a parenting plan—the order may spell out summer specifics in regard to parenting time. For example, your plan may explicitly state that your children will be with the other parent for the duration of the summer break, especially if you have primary residential responsibilities during the school year. Other plans may split parenting time during the summer the same way it is divided during the non-summer months. In more casual situations, you may even have the freedom to make parenting time arrangements on a week-by-week basis with the other parent.

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DuPage County family law attorneyThe rights a parent has to spend time with their child and raise him or her as well as the responsibility a parent has to protect and care for his child are collectively called “parental rights.” A parent is responsible for providing the basics like food, water, and shelter, but also immaterial necessities like education, affection, appropriate discipline, and medical care. Courts do have the authority to terminate parental rights, but this only happens if it is in the child’s best interest to end contact with a parent. This most often happens in cases of abuse or neglect. Parental rights are also terminated when a parent gives a child up for adoption. In situations where unmarried parents have a child together or married parents get divorced, the courts clarify parental rights and responsibilities through child custody orders.

Parental Rights When a Child is Conceived Through Rape

Studies approximate that between 17,000 and 32,000 pregnancies resulting from rape occur in the United States each year. Most would assume that if a person is found guilty of rape that they would not have parental rights to the child which was conceived; however, this is not the case across the country. The Maryland Senate just recently voted on this deeply important, but semi-controversial issue.

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250 W. River Drive, Unit 2A
St. Charles, IL 60174
630-665-7300
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.

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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