What Should I Include in My Divorce Planning Checklist?

DuPage County family law attorney divorce preparationThinking about the end of your can be emotional and intimidating, due to a fear of the unknown and what comes after the dust settles. In many divorce cases, a couple may have experienced problems in their relationship for a while, which ultimately led to the decision to separate. If it seems like divorce may be on the horizon, planning ahead can benefit you in the long run, especially considering all the decisions that need to be made.

During the planning process, it helps to document everything, from bank statements to credit card receipts. This ensures you will have proof if any aspects of your divorce are contested and you have to fight out the details in court. It is also a good idea to seek legal counsel to ensure you so you are protected both legally and financially.

Steps for Planning Ahead

Before filing for divorce, you should think about where you will live and what your income and expenses will be post-separation. It is imperative to take inventory of your shared financial affairs, including investments and insurance policies, as well as other assets like houses, vehicles, and more. Make photocopies of deeds, insurance policies, and other financial documents. You should also write down all the account numbers for banks accounts, investment and retirement accounts, credit cards, and car loans. This way, you will know what you are entitled to as your share of the marital assets.

Divorce can be expensive. Start saving money as soon as possible to ensure that you will have enough to cover the legal fees. You should also know the costs of moving and what your new rent or mortgage will be at a new residence. You want to avoid accepting a divorce settlement that does not provide you with the financial resources you deserve just because you are desperate. It might also be helpful to speak to a financial advisor who can recommend the best financial strategy to fit your needs moving forward.

If you move out of the marital home, it is smart to get a post office box to ensure that you do not miss any important mail, especially if you receive checks or time-sensitive legal documents to sign. You will likely want to set up your own email address for privacy reasons if you shared one with your spouse during the marriage.

When a divorce includes children, you need to arrange a time and a place when you will tell the children you are divorcing. You should try to use appropriate language the kids will understand, while reassuring them that you both still love them and the divorce is not their fault. It is also never too early to figure out how you are going to raise them as divorced parents. That includes working out child custody and parenting time arrangements that are agreeable to everyone while protecting the best interests of the children.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney

Going through a divorce can be difficult, and you do not want to make any hasty decisions or mistakes that could cost you in the end. Our DuPage County divorce lawyers will guide you through the steps of the divorce process, ensuring that you consider everything that could impact your future, especially financial matters. Contact the Andrew Cores Family Law Group at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/093015/divorce-planning-checklist-what-you-need-know.asp


When Is Supervised Parenting Time Appropriate in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton-supervised-parenting-time-lawyerDuring and after a divorce, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows both parents to have reasonable parenting time with their child. In some situations, if a parent is worried about his or her child’s physical or mental well-being when spending time with the other parent, he or she can request a hearing to ask for supervised visits. The parent requesting this supervision needs to show evidence to support this request. If you are ordered to have supervised parenting time with your child, an experienced family law attorney can help you determine the best way to proceed.

Factors that May Require Supervision

Many factors are considered when deciding if parenting time will be supervised or not. In general, Illinois courts prefer to promote a healthy parent-child relationship, even during disputes over parental responsibilities (child custody). For a parent to have supervised parenting time, the court must consider the child to be in serious danger if he or she were to be left alone for a period of time with that parent. The court also has the right to modify an existing parenting time order if needed.
If two ex-spouses have an argument, or if one parent does not like the other parent’s new partner, that typically does not qualify as seriously endangering the child mentally, physically, or emotionally. On the other hand, if the other parent (or his or her new love interest) is physically or verbally abusive to the child, that is grounds for seeking supervised parenting time. In some cases involving domestic abuse to the other parent or the child, the court may issue an order of protection to limit or restrict an allegedly abusive parent’s access to the child entirely.
If one parent is diagnosed as mentally ill or is found to be abusing drugs or alcohol, those would be valid reasons for supervised parenting time. After a certain amount of time, supervised parenting time orders can be reviewed to determine if they should be reversed or modified. This could happen in cases where an alcoholic parent becomes sober, or if they are under the care of a physician and are seeking treatment or therapy for a mental disorder.

Who Can Supervise Parenting Time?

Once supervised parenting time is ordered, the court can appoint another family member, a friend, or a third party to supervise the visits between a parent and child. Supervised parenting time centers can provide a neutral meeting place where trained staff or social workers can observe the visits. In most scenarios, there is no fee for low-income families to attend these centers.
In Illinois, courts can place other types of restrictions on parenting time if they determine it is necessary or in the best interest of the child, including specifying certain locations for visits,  denying parenting time when the parent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or restricting overnight parenting time.
Normally, only parents have a legal right to parenting time. In certain situations, however,  grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings can request a visitation order from the court if they so choose.

Contact a DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

Divorce can be difficult in many ways. If certain events lead to you being required to have supervised parenting time with your child, you should speak to a diligent Wheaton family law attorney. We can review your case to determine if the order can be reversed or modified. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.

Sources: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000



Am I Entitled to Benefits If I Have a Civil Union in Illinois?

Wheaton cohabitation agreement attorneyA civil union is a legally recognized arrangement that may be used by a same-sex or opposite-sex couple, with rights similar to those of marriage. Couples may opt to be in a civil union temporarily until they get married, or for the rest of their lives. Illinois passed a law that officially recognized civil unions in 2011. Although not legally married, people in civil unions are entitled to many of the same benefits as married couples, which could include insurance coverage, survivorship, hospital visitation, and more. Civil unions were more common in the time period before gay marriage was legalized. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court removed all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalizing it in all 50 states.

Rights to Benefits for a Civil Union Partner

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Ilinois, and it is often the best method for couples to receive the benefits that come with being in a committed relationship. However, some couples may not want to marry for various reasons. For example, if they were previously married and went through a bitter divorce, they may not wish to experience that again. Divorces can devastate family members emotionally and financially, especially if one spouse loses custody of a child or is forced to file for bankruptcy. A person may choose to remain unmarried in order to avoid repeating this situation.

Often referred to as “domestic partnerships,” civil unions are a type of relationship that grants limited rights to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples who cohabitate but who are not married. Civil union partners are eligible for the same coverage options as a spouse, so they will be able to join their partner’s health, dental, and life insurance plans. The children of a civil union partner are also entitled to the same coverage.

Under Illinois law, the recognition of civil unions and domestic partnerships allows unmarried couples to include both of their names on legal documents, such as mortgages, titles, wills, and more. In order to receive additional protection, partners may wish to create a cohabitation agreement, which is essentially a contract between the couple that can address a variety of issues, such as how to divide assets if the relationship ends. This type of agreement can provide certain rights, such as ensuring that each person receives an equal share of the property owned by the couple in the event they go their separate ways. It is important to note that a cohabitation agreement cannot specify the terms of child support or parenting time; those have to be decided by a court.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Two people who are in a loving relationship may decide to live together but choose not to get married for various reasons. A civil union can include some of the same benefits given to married spouses. If you are considering entering into this type of arrangement, Andrew Cores Family Law Group will help you and your partner understand the legal aspects of this type of agreement and your rights to property in case of a breakup. Call a Wheaton civil union lawyer at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.