Office Operations during COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic. To effectively do our part to stop the spread, MKFM's offices are not generally open to the public; however, our attorneys continue to remain hard at work and available to provide legal services to new and existing clients.

Tag Archives: lawyer

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

Continue reading

In November, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriages in Illinois. While Illinois previously allowed same-sex couples to participate in civil unions, Senate Bill 0010 now allows them to obtain the legal status marriage provides.

This legal status provides several benefits that civil unions don't necessarily provide. For example, a married spouse will be guaranteed the right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated spouse without having to provide a signed power of attorney. This also guarantees employment benefits for same-sex spouses, when such benefits depend on the couple being married. When added to the federal same-sex protections, such as social security survivors' and spousal benefits, marriage-based immigration rights, and federal spousal employment benefits, Illinois same-sex couples will now be guaranteed the full spectrum of rights, responsibilities, and privileges given to heterosexual married couples.

 Same-sex couples in Illinois may begin marrying as soon as June 1, 2014 (though for those couples facing terminal illness, marriage licenses may be issued sooner in some counties). Those couples who are currently in civil unions who may wish to convert their union to a marriage will be able to do so by applying for a marriage license; returning the signed marriage certificate to the county clerk's office will officially solemnize the marriage.

Continue reading

divorce rate IMAGE

As more women take on roles outside the home than ever before, female breadwinners are becoming more common in U.S. families. While this is certainly something to celebrate for those women who are increasing their earnings and career potential, it is also creating some unique challenges for the modern family. The Pew Research Center recently published findings showing that women are now the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of families—a dramatic difference from 11 percent of families in 1960. This change in income dynamics can cause conflict, arguments between spouses, and even a higher likelihood ofdivorce.

Some research has identified that divorce rates are higher—up to perhaps even 50% higher—for couples where the female out-earns her male partner. Certainly, gender roles in the home are changing as some families make the decision that the male will stay at home and care for the house and any children. Some couples may find the change of pace refreshing, flexible, and accommodating; on the other hand, this arrangement may be difficult for particular couples to adjust to and may bother certain partners. Women can potentially feel overloaded with responsibility, and can be made to feel as though they must choose between their family and their career. Men may potentially feel threatened by a female partner who earns more money and resent her position. These stressors can cause arguments and disagreements between spouses and can cause serious conflict in a marriage.

Continue reading

social media & divorceFacebook now boasts over one billion users worldwide, and Twitter hosts more than 50 million tweets per day. In an age where so much information is shared online, and with so many potential ramifications because of that outpouring of information, it is of the utmost importance to maintain some privacy if you are considering filing for divorce.

Information that you or your spouse post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking websites may be discoverable and used as evidence in divorce proceedings. Because of the sheer volume of information we've started to share online, the amount of information that can be used against you or your spouse is potentially quite vast. This can include information or documentation relating to drug or alcohol use, romantic involvements, information on new partners, negative comments about a spouse, money and other assets spent on affairs, documentation of how assets are being used, and even potential evidence of hidden assets. All of this information can have a significant impact on a divorce case. In a study from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the organization found that 80 percent of surveyed lawyers used Facebook data in preparing divorce cases, and 66 percent considered Facebook the most important source of evidence in divorce cases.

Some issues are particularly susceptible to influence from social media. For example, information on social media is helping practitioners and spouses support claims for dissipation. Dissipation is a concept wherein a spouse uses marital funds for a non-marital purpose after the point in time when the marriage has undergone an irretrievable breakdown (for example, a spouse spends marital funds on gambling or extra-marital affairs). This affects the amount of marital property a court can award to the spouses, and the courts may therefore penalize the dissipating spouse in the property distribution. Social media is an excellent way for a spouse to discover these potential sources of dissipation, including discovering affairs their spouse may be involved in (and the marital funds that may be spent on such a romantic involvement).

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Recent Blog Posts


250 W. River Drive, Unit 2A
St. Charles, IL 60174
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.

Make a Payment
© 2020 Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC | 1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100, Wheaton, IL 60189 | 630-665-7300
Kane County | Disclaimer Privacy Policy | Resources Sitemap
Take me to top

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