IL family lawyerIn 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same-sex couples all over the nation had the legal right to marry. Illinois was ahead of the curve - in 2011, the Illinois legislature signed the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, allowing couples of any sex to enter into a civil union.

Although civil unions were originally a way for same-sex couples to enter into a legally recognized partnership, they may be used for other reasons as well. Civil unions provide couples in Illinois the same legal rights as married couples, but they are not the same as a marriage. In this article, we will discuss the difference between marriages and civil unions, and why people might choose one or the other rather than simply living together.

Why Get a Civil Union Instead of a Marriage?

If couples who enter into a civil union have the same rights as married couples in Illinois, why not just get married? The primary difference between these two options is that civil unions are not recognized by the federal government. This mostly impacts a couple’s finances - a couple with a civil union can enjoy the same rights as a married couple on the state level, but retain the ability to file their federal taxes individually and potentially remain in a lower tax bracket. However, this means that couples in civil unions will also give up the financial benefits that can come from federal recognition of a marriage.

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Posted on in Annulment

IL divorce lawyerNobody enters a marriage anticipating an eventual divorce, especially shortly after beginning your lives together. Unfortunately, some people begin experiencing substantial and irresolvable problems with their spouses immediately after getting married. Perhaps your spouse is not who you thought they were; maybe living together has given you a new perspective on what an entire life spent with your spouse would really be like.

Whatever the reason you want to separate from your partner, you may be wondering whether an annulment is an option for you. Many people believe all marriages can be annulled if only they are short enough. However, Illinois law sets forth very specific provisions for when an annulment can take place. In this article, we will answer some common questions about marriage annulments.

What Is a Marriage Annulment in Illinois?

Annulment is no longer a term used in Illinois law. Now, the law refers to whether a marriage can be declared “invalid” - and there are only certain circumstances when this term applies. A marriage can be declared invalid only if it meets one of the following conditions:

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Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIf you have made up your mind to get a divorce, the first thing you think of may be to get out of a situation where there is so much resentment and hostility. The prospect of freedom is enticing, and you may be tempted to move out right away. But before you pack your bags and head for the door, there are some things you should consider before you leave the family home.

Once You Leave the Family Home, You May Not Be Able to Come Back

When you leave the family home, you leave your spouse in possession of the house and everything inside. While you may have packed your clothes and other necessities, there are likely valuable items such as furniture or items of sentimental value that are still in the home.

Although there are consequences in the property division process for spouses who destroy, hide, or sell furniture and other valuables without their spouse’s permission, this is not unheard of, especially in divorces where spouses are fighting constantly. If you leave and your spouse changes the locks, you may have lost a valuable opportunity to protect your belongings.

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Posted on in Child Custody

IL divorce lawyerKnowing when to get divorced is one of the most difficult decisions a woman can make. Many factors influence the final decision, including whether there is any abuse or serious, unresolvable conflict within the marriage. Tolerating certain problems within a marriage may seem manageable to a woman, but once she finds out she is pregnant, she may realize her marriage has deteriorated to the point where she feels as though she can no longer bring a child into it.

This article discusses some of the issues women who are getting divorced while pregnant are likely to encounter. Keep in mind that this is not intended to be legal advice and that an Illinois divorce attorney is the best source for personalized, reliable divorce assistance.

Possible Paternity Disputes

When parents are married, any children born to them are legally presumed to be the biological product of both the father and the mother. However, individuals facing divorce may be involved with other partners. If a child’s paternity is in doubt, courts may require additional steps to verify that the alleged father is, in fact, the biological father. Courts may order genetic testing of the child, in which case they will wait until the child is born. This could delay the divorce proceedings.

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IL divorce lawyerYour previous marriage is behind you and you have moved on with your life after divorce. In fact, you have even met someone new, and are considering getting remarried. Thinking about your former spouse is probably the last thing you want to do in this situation, but your remarriage can have a substantial impact on your divorce agreement and future arrangements with your ex.

Understanding how a new marriage may affect spousal support and child support is an important part of getting remarried because the changes could impact not only you but your future spouse as well.

How Does Remarriage Affect Spousal Support in Illinois?

For the recipient of spousal support, getting remarried terminates the right to receive payments. However, many recipients of spousal support know this and will attempt to delay or avoid getting remarried in order to continue receiving spousal support. Illinois law disfavors this strategy and dictates that spousal support terminates when the recipient spouse begins cohabitating with a new partner. The recipient is required by law to immediately notify their former spouse of their remarriage or cohabitation.

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