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Choosing Between Divorce and Legal Separation

 Posted on July 29, 2022 in Family Law

illinois legal separation lawyerIllinois offers two options for spouses who want to split up - divorce or legal separation. Legal separation allows the court to step in and help determine matters like allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities, or even spousal support. Property division in legal separation can only be handled by a court if both spouses agree to the terms of property division. However, a legal separation does not end the marriage. Spouses who legally separate are still spouses. Divorce is final and allows the court to determine all issues related to the termination of your marriage. There are a number of reasons that spouses may want to separate without fully divorcing. A family law attorney can help you decide which option is better for you, your spouse, and your children. 

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How to Talk About a Prenuptial Agreement With Your Partner

 Posted on June 21, 2022 in Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

geneva divorce lawyerEven if you know that getting a prenuptial agreement is always a good idea, figuring out how to bring it up to the person you are about to marry can still be tricky. Talking about a prenuptial agreement may not be the most romantic discussion you have ever had, but it is extremely important for all couples who plan to marry. Contrary to popular belief, signing a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you are preparing for divorce. These contracts can do everything from requiring you both to name each other in your respective estate plans to establishing whose separate property is whose. Prenuptial agreements can be helpful in a variety of circumstances other than divorce. Of course, if you were to get divorced, having a prenuptial agreement can drastically simplify the process. 

3 Tips for Raising the Subject of a Prenuptial Agreement With Your Future Spouse

You might be afraid that if you bring up the idea of a prenuptial agreement, your fiance might think that you are not committed to the marriage. While some people will initially balk at the idea of making a prenup, almost all come around when they hear about the benefits these agreements can provide and why they are used. Some helpful tips for talking about getting a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse include: 

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3 Potential Pitfalls of a DIY Divorce

 Posted on May 10, 2022 in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_488289283-1.jpg Divorces can run the gamut from relatively quick and easy when a couple is amicable to long, drawn-out, and contentious when they are not. If you are expecting the former, it can be tempting for you and your spouse to forego attorneys altogether and attempt to accomplish your divorce without help. Going through a divorce unrepresented can put you at a considerable disadvantage, whether you realize it or not. You may not be fully aware of the rights that you have, and a divorce can go from amicable to disastrous in the blink of an eye. Remember that you and your spouse are splitting for a good reason and strongly consider getting legal help from the start, even if you think you could go it alone. 

What Are Some Things that Could Go Wrong if I Get Divorced Without a Lawyer?

Getting your own legal counsel is extremely unlikely to make your divorce more difficult under any circumstances, but failing to do so could cause problems. Going into a divorce unrepresented is a risky option for reasons like: 

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What Are the Benefits of a Cohabitation Agreement?

 Posted on April 18, 2022 in Family Law

geneva divorce lawyerThroughout history, the typical family dynamic included a husband, wife, and children living in a home together. However, in 2022, blended families have become normalized and accepted into mainstream culture. It used to be standard for a man and woman to marry, have children, and live together. Today, many families live together and share finances, property, and children without being legally married. There are legal protections for unmarried couples living together to ensure their rights are protected. One way partners can protect these rights is through a cohabitation agreement.

Who Can Obtain a Cohabitation Agreement?

Cohabitation agreements are legally recognized documents that outline the rights of unmarried couples living together. These couples include unmarried partners who are in a long-term, intimate relationship. In many states, these relationships are known as common-law marriages. The National Conference of State Legislatures defines common law marriage as a marriage acknowledged by the state without the partners obtaining a legitimate marriage license. Common-law marriages are only accepted in a handful of American states, and Illinois is not one of the states that approve common-law marriages. This is why it is essential for unmarried, long-term partners who share property and finances to create a cohabitation agreement to protect their assets. 

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How to Use Hybrid Mediation in Your Divorce

 Posted on March 28, 2022 in Mediation

geneva divorce lawyer Divorcing your spouse can be extremely complicated, challenging, and emotionally draining. Not only are there many legal and financial considerations to consider, but tensions can arise when partners begin to discuss how to divide marital property and start separate lives. Contested divorces occur when both partners are unable to come to an agreement on a decision in the divorce. Couples have the option to litigate their divorce. However, this can be both time-consuming and expensive. Other alternative dispute resolutions include hybrid mediation to assist partners during a difficult divorce. 

What are Alternative Dispute Resolutions?

When a divorce is contested and disagreements rise between spouses, it can be challenging to reach a mutual decision. Couples must decide how joint assets are divided, if one spouse will owe another spousal support, and if there are children involved, how parents will divide parental responsibilities and parenting time. 

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Five Ways a Spouse May Hide Assets in a Geneva Divorce Case

 Posted on February 08, 2022 in Property Division

kane county divorce lawyerDuring a divorce, it is crucial that the assets of both parties are openly shared and considered for matters such as dividing assets and setting a financial limit for spousal support. But what happens if a spouse is hiding assets? There are a few ways people tend to hide finances, whether physical items or money. If you are suspicious that your spouse is hiding income or assets as you prepare for a divorce, reach out to an attorney that is prepared to uncover any hidden assets and fight for your right to an equitable divorce. Here are five signs that your spouse may be hiding assets. 

Overpaying Taxes

By overpaying your taxes, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will refund the excess money back to you. If your spouse has been overpaying their taxes, it may be a sign that they are hiding the extra money returned to him or her. This process is essentially a way to receive money in the future without having to share it during the divorce.  

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4 Reasons Kane County Couples Need a Cohabitation Agreement

 Posted on January 13, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttorneyWhether you have heard of a cohabitation agreement or not, you might need one if you are living with but not married to your romantic partner. It is becoming increasingly common for couples to live together in long-term, committed relationships without choosing to legally marry. The reasons couples may elect not to marry are numerous and varied. Some simply do not see the need for a “piece of paper” to show commitment. Others prefer to avoid legal entanglement. 

However, in the event that such a relationship ends, there is likely to be a legal entanglement of some type anyway, often in the form of joint property or even children in common. A cohabitation agreement can help you address how certain issues would be settled should you split, or should one of you pass away. These agreements may be the best way for unmarried couples to legally protect themselves. 

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3 Things to Know About Divorcing With Pets in Kane County

 Posted on December 16, 2021 in Divorce

Geneva Divorce LawyerPets are not just property to their owners. They are companions. Many consider them family members. Further, they are living, breathing, feeling, beings. People love their pets in a way that they do not love their couch, rug, or even car in most cases. If you and your spouse adopted a pet together and are now getting a divorce, you will need to address who will have custody of the pet and who will provide for its needs. A qualified divorce attorney can help you work out your pet custody concerns as one important part of resolving your divorce. 

What Should I Know About Pet Custody Issues in a Divorce?

In some divorce cases, one spouse is happy to let the other take “their” pet. In others, the spouses adopted a dog together, or have both grown attached to a cat over the years. Neither spouse may be willing to completely part with their beloved pet, so animal custody can become quite a contentious issue for some couples. Fortunately, there are solutions in Illinois. If you are faced with pet custody issues in your divorce, you should know: 

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What is Not Considered Marital Property in Illinois?

 Posted on November 12, 2021 in Property Division

Kane County Property Division LawyerDividing up marital property equitably can be one of the most stressful parts of a divorce. Depending on the length of the marriage, couples may amass quite a bit of shared property that will need to be split before the divorce is finalized. Of course, the first step to the equitable division of marital property is determining what exactly is - and is not - marital property. While it is true that most things a married couple has are considered marital property, Illinois law carves out a few exceptions. Most married individuals own some individual property, whether they realize it or not. 

If you are struggling with the division of property in your divorce, you should contact a qualified divorce attorney as soon as you can. Divorces can be highly contentious proceedings, and some will try to take advantage of unrepresented parties. Always consult an attorney before agreeing to give any property that you believe is rightfully yours. 

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4 Important Tips for Individuals Facing a High-Asset Divorce

 Posted on October 05, 2021 in Divorce

kane county divorce lawyerAnyone who has been through a divorce or is currently in the middle of divorce proceedings would likely agree that finalizing a divorce can be a complicated and contentious feat. When substantial assets and high net worth are involved, the complexities and conflicting opinions can increase exponentially. If you are facing a high-asset divorce in Illinois, there are steps you can take to make the process as smooth as possible and help you to achieve a successful settlement in the end.

Identify and Organize All Assets

While building a comprehensive list of all of your assets may not be the first thing that comes to mind at the onset of a divorce, identifying and organizing all assets as soon as possible is incredibly important. It is also important that you are completely transparent when creating this list. If it is discovered that assets are being hidden, it can have a detrimental impact on the determined settlement that one receives. This includes attempting to liquidate, devalue, or transfer ownership of any assets. 

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