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Lake County and Cook County Divorce Law Blog

Property division: What should be done with the house?

When divorce is inevitable, Illinois residents may wonder what to do with their assets and property. Deciding what to do with the house is a common discussion point. Family law attorneys can assist with this aspect of property division as well as others. 

There could be many different factors that can determine what should be done with a house in the event of a divorce. Sometimes both spouses want to sell the house. In that case, the profits are typically split between them. Otherwise, one spouse may choose to keep the house while the other chooses other assets. 

Special considerations for military divorce

Divorce is never easy, but it can be particularly complex when one or both parties are active duty military. While military divorces have a lot in common with civilian divorces, there are special factors unique to these Illinois families that could have a significant impact on the final divorce order.

If you are facing a divorce and you are in the military or your spouse is, you would be wise to seek experienced guidance from the very beginning of the divorce process. You know there are special challenges ahead, but it is still possible to secure a post-divorce future that is financially stable and allows you to have a strong role in the lives of your children.

Chicago abolishes separate child custody court for single parents

These days, many Illinois couples who make the decision to separate may not be married. Whether married or not, those with children typically have to consider child custody. Until recently, custody cases involving single parents were not held in the same courtrooms as those with divorcing parents. This has since changed, however.

According to experts, Cook County was the only large court jurisdiction in the United States that separated divorcing parents and single parents by sending them to different courtrooms. Over the years, Cook County's Parentage and Child Support Court was held in various buildings around Chicago, including police station courtrooms and the basement of the Loop's Daley Center court complex. Recently, however, this court has been abolished in response to allegations over its constitutionality.

Property division may have many different aspects to consider

A Illinois couple may face many difficult decisions once they decide to get a divorce. One common factor spouses must consider is property division. This may be a complex process, depending on the couple's finances and assets. In addition to consulting a divorce attorney to assist in the legal proceedings, there may be steps individuals can make to make the process easier.

Some spouses may desire to remain in their homes after a divorce. In some cases, they may choose to keep the house in lieu of retaining other investments. However, this may not be the best choice in some situations. Finances often change when couples split, which means the upkeep costs may no longer be sustainable for an individual. 

Understanding finances and assets could aid in property division

There may be many events a couple plans during their lifetime, such as getting married, buying a house together or having children. Divorce is rarely on the list. However, when Illinois couples decide that divorce is imminent, there may be steps each spouse can take to aid in the process. Considering one's assets can help determine how to conduct property division.

Being aware of important financial information is often a helpful first step. Some financial aspects to consider are how much money has been earned together over the past five years and what debts are owed. Another key aspect is to identify all financial accounts and how they are allocated, such as in stocks, bonds or property. 

Is a postnuptial agreement appropriate for me?

Most couples have heard about prenuptial agreements. In fact, if you or your spouse suggested such an agreement before you married, it may have caused some tension between you. Perhaps you and your partner ultimately discarded the idea, but now that you've been married awhile, you are starting to regret that you didn't follow through.

Fortunately, there is still an alternative that may provide similar protections, especially if your marital situation has changed. More couples are now considering postnuptial contracts, which carry the same legal standing as prenuptial agreements except that you draft them after the wedding.

Proposed child support law change could affect payments for some

When couples decide to get divorced, they must contemplate multiple factors that may not only affect their lives, but their children's lives as well. Determining who will pay child support and how much should be paid is often a decision parents will face. One Illinois man is attempting to change some of the laws regarding child support where injured or disabled parents are concerned.

Recently, Illinois made a change in its formula to calculate child support payments by taking both custodial and noncustodial parents' incomes into consideration. This was an attempt to make such payments fairer for both parents. However, the man working to change the law believes that there are other factors that can affect a parent's ability to pay.

Property division may be complicated without an attorney

Illinois residents who are contemplating divorce have a lot to think about. One of the main considerations to make is in regard to property division. Depending on the couple's finances, this may be complex. Fortunately, divorce attorneys can help individuals determine how best to divide assets fairly.

When couples get divorced, they often worry about the bigger assets first. These typically include items such as the house or the car, as well as discussing spousal or child support. However, other aspects may be overlooked due to the complexities involved in dividing them. Some of these types of assets could include retirement plans, stocks and compensation earned during the marriage.

Alimony basics to consider in divorce

When Illinois couples consider divorce, there will likely be one spouse concerned about the need to receive support, and the other spouse concerned about having to pay support. Alimony laws vary among jurisdictions, and the rules for awarding alimony and calculating the amounts may differ slightly from one state to the next. However, it will help if a few general aspects of alimony are kept in mind.

Alimony is not guaranteed but rather determined by the unique circumstances of each couple. It is not always awarded to wives, and if the husband is the one earning considerably less, the court may order the wife to pay alimony. Each party's income will be considered along with the potential income and career opportunities for a spouse who is not working at the time of the divorce. Furthermore, any sacrifices made by one spouse during the marriage, such as giving up a career to care for the children will also play a role.

New child support law may effect Illinois families

Illinois couples who are contemplating divorce must take many factors into consideration. Cases with children involved are often more complex than those without due to elements such as determining custody and child support. However, a recent change in child support law intends to make the calculation of payments easier and more fair to the non-custodial parent.

The previous version of Illinois' child support law based payments solely on the income of the non-custodial parent. This means that a flat rate was applied, and the judge could also order the parent to pay health insurance premiums or other such additional payments. Under the new rules, other factors are taken into consideration when calculating child support amounts. A new formula is used to calculate payments based on both parents' incomes and visitation times with the child.