Regardless of whether the decision to divorce is mutual, at least one spouse will typically deal with substantial financial fallout. While some couples make enough money individually to weather the repercussions of divorce with minimal adjustment, in many households one spouse makes substantially more than the other. This disparity means that the lesser-earning spouse is forced to scramble for alternative ways to obtain money.
Borrowing from family and friends or selling possessions are methods commonly used to make up the shortfall. While this situation is hardly sustainable in the long-term, the situation should still be addressed in the short-term to prevent irreparable financial loss. Illinois allows parties with pending divorces to request temporary support until the dissolution is finalized and property division and spousal/child support is established on a more permanent basis.
Ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson, are currently facing this situation. Sandi Jackson alleges Jackson Jr. is not contributing to household expenses while their divorce is pending, leaving her to ask friends for money and selling belongings to make ends meet. Given how contentious the issue of support is in divorce, understanding when support may be temporarily awarded is important....
The calculation of spousal maintenance, or alimony, has become increasingly inconsistent in recent years due to the large amount of discretion given to individual judges in assigning awards. However, in 2014, the Illinois legislature passed an amendment to the state’s alimony law. The new law works to limit individual judges’ discretion in alimony awards by providing judges with a specific set of spousal maintenance guidelines to follow when making their rulings.
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act
Prior to the passage of the amendments to the Marriage Act, Judges determined whether a spouse was entitled to alimony based on factors listed in the Illinois statutes. These factors included:...
Whether a family celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just the winter season, the holidays will be very different following a divorce. However, it does not mean that the holidays will be impossible. In fact, certain steps can be taken to help keep everyone happy.
Have a Detailed Child Custody Agreement
The first and most important suggestion for handling the holidays after divorce is ensuring a child custody agreement specifically deals holiday arrangements. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach. A decided schedule will depend entirely on the circumstances of each individual family....
Valuation Date for Illinois Divorce Assets
Under Illinois law, assets in a divorce are valued as of the date of trial, or as close to it as possible. Assigning value to an asset can sometimes be difficult, either due to circumstances (the trial date is postponed the day before) or the type of asset (stock prices fluctuate based on changing markets)....
A bill winding its way through the Massachusetts legislature wants to ban couples going through a divorce with children from having sex or even dating until the divorce is finalized, unless the Court grants permission. Illinois has no law prohibiting dating during the divorce proceedings but that does not mean that dating during divorce is a good idea.
Why Dating During Divorce is a Bad Idea
There are a number of emotional and practical reasons why dating before the divorce is finalized may not be a good idea....
As discussed previously, collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows parties going through a divorce or child custody issue to attempt to come to a mutually agreeable solution. It sounds similar to mediation, but the two are not exactly the same.
In mediation, the parties meet outside of Court in an attempt to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the contested issues, just as in the collaborative law process. The difference is that in mediation, pleadings, motions and other filings have been submitted to the Court, the parties have been (or are scheduled to be) deposed, and there have been Court hearings. Mediation, then, is an attempt to resolve the issues before the proceedings get any more contentious and adversarial.
In collaborative law, coming to an agreement before entering the Courthouse is the goal. When the parties use the collaborative law process, they bypass Court's initial involvement; there are no pleadings, no Court hearings; and hopefully, if the process works as planned, there is only a single hearing once an agreement has been reached for the Judge to approve the agreement and finalize the divorce. At the outset, the parties agree that they do not want the process to be contentious or adversarial....
Children are one of the most important and fought over parts of a divorce. Severing the marital relationship also means decreasing the amount of time parents can spend with their child, which means discussions can quickly become contentious. Before proceedings begin, understanding the different types of child custody and available visitation arrangements is helpful to work on an arrangement that takes into consideration the most important factor in all child custody cases: the best interests of the child.
Sole vs. Joint Child Custody in Illinois
When making an award of child custody (or when the parents agree to custody), the Court makes two separate awards: one for legal custody and another for physical custody. For both types, parents are awarded either sole or joint custody....
Divorce is an unfortunate fact of life. Couples realize they are no longer compatible and agree to go their separate ways. For some couples, however, whether due to religious, health or financial reasons, divorce is not an option. Yet they are still incompatible and can no longer live together. For these couples, Illinois provides legal separation.
What is Legal Separation?
Legal separation is more than what is commonly referred to as a “trial” separation. In a trial or physical separation, couples live apart while trying to decide if they should get divorced. There is no payment of alimony, no child support or custody agreement, no property division, and the Court is not involved....
More than a quarter century ago, George Strait, an American country recording artist, released one of his most popular songs, All My Ex's Live in Texas. What may have been lyrical for Mr. Strait does not necessarily hit the high notes for the rest of U.S. divorcees.
Recently reported by The Huffington Post, Texas did not even rank in the top 10 states that may sway your marital success. The American Community Survey (ACS) ranked the following cities and their respected states as possibly hazardous to your wedded bliss:
|1||Panama City, Florida|
|2||Sierra Vista, Arizona|
|3||Charleston, West Virginia|
|8||Palm Bay, Florida|
|10||Grand Junction, Colorado|
Texas may be off the hook, but for those couples residing in Panama City, Florida, or any of these top 10, perhaps a change in address may be a considerable option. So what about Illinois?...
While filing for a divorce is never easy, there are several things that you can do to make the process easier. According to Forbes magazine, you can give yourself a significant advantage in a divorce proceeding by filing first.
Being first to file for divorce has a few legal advantages in Illinois. Firstly, if you and your spouse have been separated and live in different counties, filing first allows you to have the divorce decided in the jurisdiction where you reside. Additionally, it allows you to be the first person to present your case at trial, if you should choose to do so.
Choosing to be the first to file for a divorce has several other serious advantages as well. First of all, you can assemble a file with copies of all of your important paperwork, including bank and income statements for both you and your spouse. This may prevent your spouse from attempting to hide assets later. It also allows you the time you need to prepare for the financial impact that divorce will have on your life, as well as save the funds you will need to hire your qualified divorce team....
You struggled with the decision, but you finally concluded that divorcing your spouse will be the best course of action. You are a stickler for detail, and before you contact an experienced Illinois divorce attorney, you want to secure all personal documentation that may later be requested.
According to About.com's Divorce Support, having documents readily available to your attorney will ultimately alleviate any confusion and make the negotiation stage of the divorce run more smoothly. It is also suggested that presenting your attorney, and later the courts, an organized and complete document file provides you with more support of your case.
It is further recommended that you construct your divorce document checklist in this order:...
Roughly half of all Illinois marriages end in divorce. The number of women going the nontraditional route of children first, marriage later (and often to partners who are not their child’s parent) is also rising, particularly among women who have children in their 20s. These two facts combined result in a society in which blended families have become commonplace. And contrary to the myth of the cold, selfish and jealous stepparent, many play a pivotal role in raising their partner’s children, and grow to have loving, caring relationships with their stepchildren.
But this relationship may be severed completely if the death or disability of the child’s parent results in custody being given to the non-custodial parent or grandparents, who may hold ill-will toward the stepparent. In these situations, Illinois law grants a stepparent the right to petition the Court for visitation.
Establishing Stepparent Visitation in Illinois...
When a marriage ends or a separation occurs, there are often bitter feelings and questions about what the involved parties should do next. Most often, in cases of this nature, the individuals will first look to their friends and family for advice, or in some instances, advice is thrown at those in transition without solicitation. The reality, however, is that there is no substitute for sound legal advice from a legal professional who understands the law and can apply it to your particular case.
In Illinois, 750 ILCS 5/401 dictates the requirements for dissolution of marriage.The grounds for dissolution of marriage range from impotency, willful desertion to habitual drunkenness by the spouse for two years, the excessive use of addictive drugs for two years and beyond......