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Tag Archives: Family Law Attorney

Illinois family law attorneys, Illinois maintenance guidelines, family law attorney, alimony, maintenance, divorce finances, maintenance calculation, spousal maintenanceIn divorce cases, due to the discretion afforded a trial court, the calculation of maintenance can vary significantly from judge to judge and county to county. However, this should change as of January 1, 2015. The Illinois legislature has enacted a new law that impacts how courts will determine maintenance in divorce cases, and it will have a significant impact on future maintenance determinations in Illinois.

In many divorce cases, maintenance calculations have been difficult to ascertain. Judges have often had great discretion in awarding maintenance. However, a new Public Act impacts how courts will award maintenance to couples with a combined income of less than $250,000.

How Judges Previously Calculated Maintenance

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marriage requirements, marriage license, Illinois marriage law, DuPage County attorney, prenuptial agreement

If you have found “the one,” the special person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life; if the ring has been purchased and your beloved has said “yes;” if you've already started planning the celebration of your big day, then an important next step is to examine the marriage requirements for the State of Illinois and make sure that you follow them before you take that trip down the aisle.

Getting the License

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child support, child support lawyer, Illinois child support law, Full Faith and Credit Clause

Enforcing child support is often difficult, even when the person paying support resides in the same state as the child. Enforcing child support becomes increasingly more difficult, however, when the parties reside in different states. Not only is it often difficult to find the person who is supposed to pay, but the process of enforcing the support order is also no easy feat in itself and requires the assistance of a skilled attorney to ensure that the order is issued to the proper court.

Historically, when a non-custodial parent moved out of state, the custodial parent had very limited means by which they could recover or maintain the child support payments. In 1920, the United States Supreme Court even determined that support orders were not enforceable under the United States Constitution's Full Faith and Credit Clause. At that time, to enforce an existing custody order, the custodial parent had to establish a new custody order in the new state, requiring him or her to travel to that state and initiate proceedings there. This was a time-consuming, costly, and inefficient endeavor.

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long term separationFamily law practitioners often encounter couples who have been living separately for quite some time without either party having started the process of filing for divorce. These long-term informal separations can last for years, but not only do they have no legal basis (only a formal legal separation is recognized in Illinois), they can also have serious financial implications for the parties. While living separately without going through the formal divorce process may seem like a good idea at the time, and may be the “easiest” route for a couple and their family, these long-term separations can have disastrous financial effects. In determining whether to take the plunge and begin the divorce process, it is important to keep in mind the following:

1) Control over marital assets.

If you are living apart from your spouse, you may not have control over some of the marital assets or debt. For example, you may not know what your spouse is earning, how money is being spent or invested, or what debts are being incurred by that spouse. Furthermore, Illinois is an equitable distribution state. This means that the marital assets and debts are equitably (i.e. “fairly”) distributed between the parties, without regard to marital misconduct. Courts consider a wide range of factors when distributing debt. Hence, if you have any joint debt with your spouse, you could potentially be held liable for any additional debt accumulated during your separation. You also may not have any control over the use of marital assets and any decrease in value of these assets, which may affect your property distribution when you finally do divorce.

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For many companies, autumn marks the open enrollment period for employment-provided benefits. According to USA Today, “open enrollment is typically a period of several weeks during which you can opt into your company's benefits programs, from health insurance to a retirement plan.” Enrollment periods also apply to changing any benefits you currently receive. Knowing what benefits you're eligible for and wish to enroll in or change, both for yourself, your spouse, and your family, is important, especially if you have to make a decision by a certain deadline, as with open enrollment. This process is all the more complicated if you're going through, or think you might soon be going through, a divorce.

Insurance and Other Benefits After Divorce IMAGEFor those who are going through a divorce, separating one spouse from the other's benefit program can be one of the most painful and expensive aspects of the whole divorce process. It also tends to be more difficult for women, who are less likely to work outside of the home and are more likely to be enrolled in their husband's employer-provided benefits. Staying on an ex-spouse's health insurance plan after divorce is not an option. However, with many employer's provided plans, an ex-spouse has a certain period of time in which he or she can opt to enroll in a similar plan on their own. State and federal law dictates which employer provided plans are subject to this option and when the enrollment must take place. In addition, minor children can always stay on an employee's benefit program, regardless of a divorce or who is awarded custody.

While health insurance is the biggest employer provided benefit that changes for ex spouses following a divorce, it certainly is not the only benefit. For example, a spouse can remove you as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy. Sorting out a life insurance policy can be a complicated step in the process of separating spouses' finances during a divorce, because such policies are commonly used as collateral to secure child support and maintenance payments should something happen to the support-paying spouse.

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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