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Kane County family law attorneyToday, Americans are getting married for the first time later in life than ever before, and there has also been an increase in the number of remarriages. As a result, more and more couples are drafting prenuptial agreements. It is understandable to wonder how age and remarriage affect the need for a prenuptial agreement, or prenup, but the answer is quite simple. Those who marry when they are older—including second and third marriages—generally bring more into a marriage. In this context, “more” does not just mean assets and debts. It also refers to obligations for children, spousal support, and other considerations.

A prenuptial agreement can be a valuable tool that allows both spouses to protect themselves and any children from a previous relationship, but only if the document is drafted and executed properly. Many couples operate under the assumption that their prenup will protect them down the road only to find out that there was a flaw that caused the agreement to become unenforceable. In Illinois, the court may set aside a prenuptial agreement for reasons such as:

  • Deception or incomplete disclosure: Before you sign a prenup, you must make a full financial disclosure to your partners, and he or she must do the same. While this can be waived, doing so is rarely a good idea. If you or your spouse leave out or “forget” particular debts or assets, the agreement may not have been based on accurate information, and it may be deemed invalid;
  • One party was forced to sign: A prenuptial agreement is meant to be a voluntary contract between the parties. If you were impaired by alcohol or drugs or forced to sign under threats of violence, the court may set aside your agreement. An ultimatum—such as threatening to call off the wedding—is not generally considered to be coercion;
  • Lack of counsel or proper consideration: Illinois law does not require both parties to hire an attorney before signing a prenuptial agreement, but having a lawyer at least look over the agreement is a good idea. If your spouse has an attorney and you do not, you could be at a serious disadvantage. It is also important for you to have enough time to read, understand, and agree to the terms of the agreement;
  • Extreme unfairness (unconscionability): The provisions of your prenup do not need to be equal for both parties, but they cannot be dramatically one-sided either. For example, if your agreement says that in the event of a divorce, you will assume responsibility for all marital debts while your spouse will receive all of the marital assets, the document is not likely to be enforced.

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Kane County divorce lawyersDomestic violence is shockingly common in the United States. Although many experiencing the torture of familial abuse do not show it on the outside, they are secretly suffering. If you have decided to end your marriage due to your spouse’s abusive or intimidating behavior, first take a moment to congratulate yourself. You have started a journey that will certainly be challenging, but will ultimately lead to greater safety for you and your family. Leaving an abusive spouse may feel overwhelming, but keep in mind that you do not have to do it alone.

The Worst Thing You Can Do Is Stay Silent

One of the most difficult things about leaving an abusive partner is actually acknowledging the abuse. Many people feel ashamed to admit that they need help leaving a violent spouse—even though the shame should be felt by the abuser. Those affected by domestic violence sometimes still love and care for their abuser and therefore delay involving authorities because they worry about how it will hurt the abuser or his or her career. Other victims of domestic violence simply do not understand that there are avenues to safety which they can take even with no actual evidence of the abuse.

Geneva divorce lawyerBecause divorce is now quite common, many people incorrectly assume that getting divorced is “no big deal.” They may see friends and family go through divorces with smiling faces and assume that the ordeal was not emotionally traumatic. However, the reality is that many people are experts at hiding their pain, and even the most amiable divorce is an emotional burden to those going through it. If you are considering divorce or have already filed, you should know that there are some proven ways to help ease the subsequent emotional pain.

Tip #1: Resist the Urge to Isolate

The end of a marriage is a deeply personal affair. Some individuals getting divorced may be tempted to isolate themselves from friends and family because they are ashamed or simply do not know what to say about the separation. If you are getting divorced, you should know that spending time with others has been shown to aide in the healing process. Whether it is a trip to the movie theater, a vacation, or simply grabbing a quick coffee, getting out of the house and socializing will dramatically help you cope with the pain caused by divorce.

Kane County divorce attorneysDissipation of assets refers to instances when a spouse who is either in the process of getting divorced or will soon divorce, purposely wastes marital assets. If you are getting divorced and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has wasted marital assets through reckless spending, gambling, drug use, or through other means, you should know that there is a legal process for recovering these funds. Read on to learn the specific criteria which must be met in order to claim dissipation, as well as learn how you can reclaim the money that was wasted.

Dissipation in Illinois Defined

Not just any type of spending is considered dissipation. The spending must happen during a specific time and meet other criteria in order to be considered dissipative. The Illinois Supreme Court provides the legal definition of dissipation. In Illinois, dissipation is the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time that the marriage is undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown.”

Geneva divorce lawyersWhen it comes to the idea of a “separated” couple, there are two generally accepted definitions. The first is the one which you are probably most familiar: a couple who is unsure whether they should remain married or who has decided to pursue a divorce may describe themselves as separated because they are not currently living together.

The second definition is more formal and much less common, and it refers to a couple who has gone through the formalities of obtaining a judgment of legal separation. Under Illinois law, neither type of separation is a prerequisite for divorce, but a legal separation could be beneficial in certain situations.

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