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Lake County and Cook County Divorce Law Blog

Determining and enforcing child support in Illinois

Most people in Illinois would agree that raising children is expensive. For many, doing so on a single salary is often difficult, if not impossible. As such, discussions surrounding child support following the end of a romantic relationship or in paternity cases can often become contested.

Unfortunately, those who need child support or those who are expected to provide it may not be fully aware of the obligations under Illinois law, which uses an "income shares model." Under this model, the court considers the income of each parent as well as parenting time. A formula helps determine the appropriate amount of child support. Various factors, including the amount of time spent with the child over a certain period of time, gross income of each parent, physical or emotional needs, other income -- including public benefits -- that a parent might receive and existing tax burdens, are included in these considerations.

High asset divorce: Questions arise over De Niro prenup

When a couple is in love and contemplating the rest of their lives together, many recognize the importance of planning for the future -- even if that future might include a time in which they are no longer involved romantically. For many couples in Illinois and across the country, this includes the creation of a prenuptial agreement. However, this agreement can still be questioned, as demonstrated by actor Robert De Niro's high asset divorce.

Recent court proceedings have shed some light on the dispute between De Niro and his estranged wife, Grace Hightower. A representative for Hightower claims that De Niro is worth approximately $500 million from revenue earned from movies, a restaurant chain he owns and a hotel. The representative further states that Hightower is entitled to a 50 percent division and estimates that De Niro has earned $300 million since a prenuptial agreement was signed in 2004.

Does a minor in your family need care and support?

Most parents are willing and able to care for their children to the best of their ability. However, as your family may know first-hand, this does not always happen. There are times when a parent is physically absent or mentally incapable of caring for his or her children, which may leave a minor child without care, support and guidance. 

The law allows for other individuals to step in and help a minor who is not receiving care from his or her parents. This is guardianship, and it allows another adult to care for the physical and financial well-being of a child, typically until he or she reaches the age of 18. If there is a minor in your family who needs help, you may want to learn more about what guardianship means and how you can seek this designation.

Ex-husband must still pay alimony, despite commitment ceremony

When couples choose to divorce, there are multiple decisions that must be made. While some people in Illinois may want to rush to an agreement so that they can continue on to the next chapter of their lives, the decisions that are made during the divorce process -- including alimony -- can have a significant impact on each person's future. In some cases, it may be difficult to change such decisions should they prove to be burdensome.

man in another state is working to show that he should no longer have to pay his ex-wife spousal support. The couple apparently agreed that he would no longer provide such support if she marries. He argues that since the woman invited friends and families to witness a "commitment ceremony" between her and her new partner, he should be able to stop making payments.

Child custody: Mother allegedly said $1 million will help her

Rap music fans in Illinois and throughout the country mourned the death of super star Nipsey Hussle when he was shot outside a clothing store he owned. The rapper/philanthropist was the father of two children, one of whom is the central focus of a contentious child custody battle. The court will soon decide whether the child should be placed under legal guardianship of her paternal aunt or be placed in the custody of her mother.

Cases like this can be quite complex, especially when one party accuses another of being an unfit parent. That is basically what is happening in the Hussle child's situation. Her aunt and other relatives on her father's side have told the court they believe her mother's criminal rap sheet is evidence that she is not currently able to provide proper care for her daughter.

Discovering hidden assets important in property division

There is no doubt that the end of a marriage is often a difficult time -- sometimes both financially and emotionally. While some couples in Illinois are committed to making the divorce process as seamless and peaceful as possible, there are others who may attempt to hide certain assets during the property division process. As such, many people often turn to the law office of Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd. for guidance.

Many couples acquire a significant amount of assets during their marriage. When a divorce begins, both spouses are instructed to disclose information on all their assets and income. Unfortunately, some people may fail to provide accurate information or may take additional measures to protect assets from lawful division.

Property division and retirement accounts

People enter into marriage in Illinois believing that theirs will be the marriage that will last. In about 50% of marriages, that is not the case. Divorce itself can be complex and property division in particular can be very involved. Many divorces are happening between older couples who have accumulated significant assets in their retirement savings accounts.

Retirement accounts are often considered marital property. As such, they are subject to division between the divorcing couple unless an instrument, such as a prenuptial agreement, is in place. In addition to being a significant part of a couple's wealth, there are also tax implications that may come into play. When negotiating a divorce settlement, it can be important to understand the implications so that the involved parties' interests are protected.

Property division when an Illinois business is involved

Few people -- even those who may have created a prenuptial agreement -- are ever fully prepared for the emotional and financial ramifications of a divorce. Despite the complications that the end of a marriage can create, often people in Illinois and across the country come to the conclusion that such a path is in their best interests. As such, many turn to the law firm of Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd. for help with the variety of different decisions, including those involving property division, that will ultimately lead to a new, likely happier, and more fulfilling start.

While some decisions regarding property division are relatively straightforward, others can be more complicated. Specifically, the division of a business can be tricky. Any business that is established during the marriage is marital property. Because Illinois is an equitable division state, both spouses will receive a fair share of the business, though a fair share may not be an equal share.

Maintaining a healthy separation between work and divorce

Most people find themselves in situations where they wish that they could put important matters on hold, at least for a short time. It's possible that there is too much too address at once and that it seems everything needs immediate attention. That feeling can be especially common when managing business and a divorce simultaneously.

Over the years, you may have gotten to a point at which your company and its operations run like a well-oiled machine. You can almost anticipate every action that needs to take place and when, and you always feel prepared. However, a divorce may have thrown numerous aspects of your life off track, and now, you worry that your business will suffer.

How is alimony determined?

Sacrifice is a large part of a marriage. Often, for example, one spouse in Illinois will choose to sacrifice his or her career to raise children or financial well-being to support their partner during the launch of a business. Unfortunately, this sacrifice can leave one of the spouses in a bleak financial situation if the relationship ends in divorce. In this circumstance -- and others -- alimony may be appropriate.

Alimony is awarded either upon the agreement of the couple or by an order of the court and is considered separate from marital property. The purpose is to address any disadvantages a spouse with lower income may experience, potentially allowing both spouses to maintain the same or similar standards of living. Courts often have a great deal of discretion when awarding alimony, unlike in child support matters. In some cases, the payments are intended to the "rehabilitative," allowing the spouse to obtain professional retraining or otherwise get back on firm financial footing.

  • The Chicago Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association | 1912
  • 10 Best | 2015 - 2019 | Attorney Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • DBR | Chamber of Commerce | Deerfield | Bannockburn | Riverwoods

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