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Posted on in Annulments

annulment, marriage, relationship, divorce, eligibility for annulment, Illinois divorce lawMany people have heard of the term “annulment” and understand that it somehow similar to getting a divorce, but different in some mysterious way. Under Illinois law, an annulment is referred to as a “declaration of invalidity of marriage”. Unlike a divorce, an annulment does not simply terminate a marriage; an annulment states that a marriage is not valid and completely dissolves it as if it never existed in the first place.

 Before you get excited, thinking an annulment is the answer to all of your problems, it is important to recognize that not everyone is eligible for an annulment. There are four reasons for getting an annulment here in Illinois. According to the Illinois General Assembly, those reasons are:

  1. A party lacked capacity to consent to marriage at the time of the ceremony due to mental incapacity or infirmity or the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other incapacitating substances or was induced to enter into a marriage by force, duress, or fraud involving the essentials of the marriage;
  2. A party lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse and the other party was unaware of the incapacity at the time the marriage was solemnized;
  3. A party was aged 16 or 17 years old at the time of marriage and did not have the consent of his or her parents/guardians or judicial approval; or
  4. The marriage is prohibited.

In order to be eligible for annulment, you must file for the court order within the time frames or “statutes of limitations” for each of the four grounds for annulment:

spousal support, alimony, spousal maintenance, Illinois divorce lawyer, Geneva Illinois divorce attorneySometimes in marriage, one spouse remains at home with the kids while the other goes off to work every day. For one reason or another, one spouse has been out of the work force for so long that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to find a new job to live on. When this happens, that spouse can face many financial troubles if the couple gets divorced. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem: spousal support.

Spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, refers to “payments or transfers of money or assets from one spouse to another after a divorce.” Spousal support is not always necessary, but it is needed when one spouse may face a decrease in his or her standard of living after divorce.

Not just anybody is eligible for spousal support. The courts must consider a variety of different factors when determining if a couple is eligible for maintenance, including, but not limited to, the following:

illinois-divorce-mistakesFiling for divorce can be an emotionally and mentally draining experience. The act of filing for divorce can bring up a lot of turbulent emotions in both parties. Especially contentious divorces have the added stress of placing a financial drain on the two parties as well. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, avoiding these mistakes can help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Mistake #1 – Viewing your spouse as the enemy.

Even if you are filing for divorce now, you once loved each other enough to vow to spend your lives together. Try to keep that in mind throughout the process when things are getting emotional and intense. If the two of you have children together, you will likely still have to be able to communicate on a regular basis, and it is best to remain civil.

Posted on in Property Division

Hearing that your spouse has filed for divorce can be devastating.  The life that you have built together is changing and that’s scary.  But do not let the news take you away from dealing with the divorce proactively.  As you have spent time with your spouse amassing assets, make sure to account for everything that needs to be separated.  Having the proper setup for the process of property division can affect your financial future.

The first step is to take an inventory of the marital assets that are subject to property division.  Marital assets includes all property that was acquired during the marriage.  Certain restrictions include gifts to one spouse, property acquired by those gifts, and property excluded from the marital estate.  A good way to take stock of your assets is by collecting financial paperwork like paycheck stubs, tax returns, loan or mortgage paperwork and bank statements that will establish your net worth as a married couple.

Property Division

Posted on in Family Law

Gay marriage has long been a headline-making topic in the U.S. With states legitimizing gay marriage all across the country (in places as disparate in other social policies as Iowa and Massachusetts) and California even overturning a ruling that made gay marriage illegal, it’s no surprise that the debate has remained an important point of dissension in Illinois. In that vein, then, it’s not surprising that in late September a state court judge ruled that the 25 same-sex couples “challenging statutes that keep them from being married in Illinois can go ahead with their lawsuits,” according to Bloomberg News. Judge Sophia Hall rejected a bid by opponents to dismiss the case, and said that, “plaintiffs had presented legal issues that warrant further consideration.”  Illinois Ruling Redefines Marriage IMAGE

Their lawsuits would invalidate certain aspects of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The Act defines marriage in Illinois as a union between a man and a woman and actually states that a “marriage between two individuals of the same sex is contrary to the public policy of this State,” reports the Chicago Tribune. Before Judge Hall rejected this definition but after the 25 couples had filed their lawsuits, both the Illinois attorney general and the Cook County state’s attorney “said they agree with the lawsuits and would not defend the state law,” according to the Tribune.

Of course, with gay marriage becoming more and more common across the country, so does gay divorce. According to New York Magazine, “while first-wave gay marriages have proved more durable than straight ones (according to the Williams Institute, about 1 percent of gay marriage were dissolving each year, compared with 2 percent for different-sex couples), that’s not expected to last.” Gay divorce poses a new set of unique problems for advocates of gay marriage, as there is not yet same-sex-specific language in most divorce legislation.

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