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palatine collaborative divorce lawyer width=While the overall divorce rate has been declining, one type of divorce is on the rise: so-called "gray divorce." Divorcing adults over the age of 50 are divorcing at rates significantly greater than other age groups. The reasons for this discrepancy are as varied as the reasons that couples get married in the first place. Some gray divorces are a result of years of pent-up dissatisfaction, whereas others are a result of changing life circumstances, differing goals, infidelity, a lack of intimacy, or countless other reasons.

Regardless of the reasons for divorce, gray divorces are typically more complex than divorce cases involving younger couples. Older adults often have decades of accumulated assets, investments, and debts that must be considered during the divorce process. Additionally, gray divorces may involve emotional issues such as caring for aging parents or providing support for adult children as well as grandchildren. In these complicated scenarios, collaborative law can provide a way forward for divorcing couples by allowing them to negotiate their own divorce settlement outside of the courtroom.

Collaborative Law May Keep Your Divorce Case Out of Court

Alternative resolution methods like collaborative law are emerging as a preferred option for many couples. This process is often simpler and less adversarial than court proceedings, allowing spouses to focus on resolving their divorce more efficiently. Additionally, collaborative law helps keep the conversation focused on resolving issues rather than escalating tensions between parties and can help both sides come to an agreement without involving costly courtroom hearings. Through the collaborative process, divorcing couples are able to take control over their own destiny instead of having a judge make decisions for them.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_387607633-min.jpgWhen couples are preparing to marry or have already married, they may consider entering into a marital agreement such as a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement. While marital agreements can be beneficial to both spouses, there are certain things that must be included in the agreement for it to be enforceable. Otherwise, the agreement may not stand up in a court of law. This blog will explain five reasons a marital agreement may be unenforceable in Illinois. 

The Agreement was Signed Under Duress 

In order for an agreement to be legally binding, it must have been signed voluntarily by both parties. If one spouse was forced or coerced into signing the document due to threats or fear of retribution from the other spouse, then it will not be enforceable. That is why it is important for each spouse to consult with their own attorney before signing any marital agreement. 

The Agreement Contains Unconscionable Terms 

Marital agreements must contain fair and reasonable terms that are beneficial to both parties for them to be enforceable. If the agreement contains grossly unfair or unconscionable language that only benefits one party over the other, then it could potentially be deemed invalid by a court and thus unenforceable. 


palatine divorce lawyerWhether it is a startup, franchise, family business or long-term established company, if you own a business, an accurate business valuation is critical for your Illinois divorce. A fair and accurate assessment of the value of the company can help ensure that both parties in the divorce receive equitable settlements and that any debt incurred during the marriage is split fairly between them.

If you or your spouse own a business and you plan to divorce, make sure you understand your rights and work with a divorce lawyer experienced in business ownership matters. Divorce is complicated regardless of the couple's financial circumstances, but it is especially complex when one or both spouses own a business.

Why an Accurate Valuation is So Important

In a divorce, each spouse has the right to receive an equitable share of the marital estate. If a business was acquired or established during the marriage, it is most likely a marital asset. Businesses started before a marriage may be non-marital assets. However, any increase in the business's value may be considered marital property. To ensure that each side receives their fair share, an accurate assessment of the value of the business must be performed.


palatine divorce lawyerParents who are unmarried or plan to divorce often have questions about child support, visitation, and the relationship between these two issues. For example, does a parent have to pay child support if he or she does not have visitation rights? Can a parent withhold a child from his or her other parent to enforce unpaid child support? Does the amount of time a parent spends with his or her child affect his or her support obligation?

To make the matter even more confusing, Illinois law changed the language used to describe child custody matters in 2016. What was once referred to as visitation is now called parenting time. Legal custody is called the allocation of parental responsibilities.

Navigating child-related legal issues can be complicated. This blog will provide some basic information regarding the relationship between parenting time and child support. However, readers are encouraged to meet with an experienced family law attorney to receive personalized guidance.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_704183452-2-min.jpg  Divorce is bound to be challenging regardless of the couples’ circumstances. However, divorcing spouses in the public eye often have unique challenges to overcome. Contentious divorce cases involving well-known individuals often become fodder for tabloids and news outlets. Even if a couple is only well-known in their local community, they do not want their divorce to become the subject of water cooler gossip at work or the local coffee shop. High-profile parents may also worry about what their children will overhear if their divorce becomes public.

Collaborative divorce is a divorce option that allows spouses to be represented by attorneys without the exposure of a public divorce trial.

Basics of Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse retains a lawyer experienced in collaborative law. The spouses and their respective attorneys sign a document called a “participation agreement.” This document contains many promises, including the promise to negotiate in good faith, willingly share any necessary financial records other information, and maintain confidentiality.


Introducing The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson

Nicholas W. Richardson is an experienced divorce lawyer and mediator whose comprehensive legal knowledge, commitment to clients and reputation for results bring lasting solutions to your problems.

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