Tag Archives: DuPage County divorce lawyer

Post-Divorce Decree Modifications

order modification, Wheaton family law attorneyGenerally speaking, when a divorce decree is final, it can no longer be modified. However, when a significant change occurs in one of the parties’ lives, a decree can be adapted to fit that new reality. Protocol must be followed, but with help, a decree can be changed to suit life as it changes.

When Is Modification Appropriate?

It is sometimes difficult to determine when a life change has been dramatic enough to mandate modification of a divorce decree. The unspoken rule is that whenever the amount of people, time and/or money changes in your life, it is grounds for change. Some examples of these situations would:

  • One party to the divorce becoming disabled permanently or for the foreseeable future;
  • One party receiving a promotion/higher salary at work;
  • One party remarrying and/or having more children;
  • One party wishing to move to another state; or
  • The child requiring more or less medical care than he or she did at the time of the divorce.

Any or all of these might conceivably convince a judge to approve a modification of your divorce order. You or your former spouse may need a child support adjustment or a change to the parenting time schedule, either of which would directly impact the life of your child or children. The court will always do its best to rule in the child’s best interest.

Important Considerations

While most modification requests are made in good faith and granted by the court, some actions will immediately disqualify a person from being able to modify an order, especially regarding maintenance payments or child custody. For example, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) states clearly that if a spouse engages in cohabitation on a “resident, continuing, conjugal basis” before divorce, he or she loses the right to receive maintenance. The rationale is that if he or she is living with someone else, he or she does not need his or her former spouse’s money. If that cohabitation arrangement subsequently falls apart, a modification to add maintenance will not be considered.

You should also be aware that in Illinois, if your modification request is found to be fraudulent or “vexatious,” as the law characterizes it, you may be liable for the other party’s attorney fees as punishment of sorts. The court does not take wastes of its time lightly.

Contact an Order Divorce Modification Attorney

If you are unsure whether or not you have experienced a sufficient change in your life to request modification of your divorce, it is be best to consult a professional. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney for a full case analysis today.




Mediation in Divorce Proceedings in Illinois

mediation, DuPage County divorce attorneysMany Illinois couples choose to utilize the mediation process to come to an agreement during divorce proceedings. In some cases, the court may actually mandate that a couple spends time with a neutral mediator before asking the court to ultimately decide the terms of a divorce. No matter the reason for choosing mediation, there are many benefits, though mediation is not appropriate under all circumstances.

Your divorce attorney in the Wheaton area can help you weigh your options when deciding how best to proceed with your divorce dispute resolution.

Mediation Advantages

There are numerous advantages to selecting mediation as a form of alternative dispute resolution, including:

  • Time and cost-effectiveness – Mediation is typically faster and less expensive than the drawn-out court proceedings;
  • Tailored to your needs – Parties have a hand in creating the agreement;
  • Flexibility – Parties can create or select from a broader range of solutions than the judge’s, more generic standard plans;
  • Opportunity to be fully heard – Each party has more opportunities to voice questions and concerns;
  • Less adversarial and rigid – Parties can make changes and revisions during problem-solving;
  • Less formal – Parties need not follow as many procedural rules when presenting their positions; and
  • More agreeable settlements – Parties typically report greater satisfaction with mediation results than court-ordered plans.

Mediation is Not Always Appropriate

Mediation is not appropriate for every couple going through divorce proceedings. In some instances, a stricter and more formal proceeding before the court is the right choice. Mediation is not always the best option when:

  • Either party cannot be trusted to act in good faith;
  • One party needs to compel disclosure of information from the other party;
  • Abuse has occurred or is alleged, whether physical, sexual, financial, or other;
  • The relationship is too acrimonious, and parties cannot interact with each other; and/or
  • Parties possess extremely disparate levels of power, control or sophistication, whether financially or otherwise.

Consult an Experienced Mediation Divorce Attorney in Wheaton

A compassionate divorce attorney at our law firm can help you decide which dispute resolution format is right for your family, given your specific circumstances. Your divorce lawyer will consider the goals you have in mind for your division of marital assets, parenting time plan, spousal support, and other issues related to your divorce.

He or she will also take into account whether your spouse has a history of abusive behavior or hiding assets, whether your family would benefit from creative or flexible solutions and problem-solving that might be considered “outside the box,” and whether time and cost are largely important factors in resolving your divorce.

Do not hesitate to contact our skilled DuPage County family law attorneys today. We are eager to assist you with your case.




The Legal Aspects of Marriage in Illinois

marriage, Illinois divorce, Wheaton divorce attorneyMarriage represents that wonderful time when you make a commitment to another person to hopefully spend the rest of your lives together. There is a lot to plan with a wedding, like the venue, the food, and the guest list. In the middle of all this planning, it is easy to forget that marriage is actually a legal agreement that changes the rights and obligations that you and your spouse have to each other.

Getting a Marriage License in Illinois

A religious ceremony alone does not give a marriage legal recognition in the state of Illinois. The couple also must go to their local county clerk’s office to apply for a marriage license. To obtain a marriage license, you must show a valid ID, identify your parents, state whether you have previously been married and, if so, how that marriage ended, and state whether you are related to each other and, if so, how.

After paying a fee, you will then be issued marriage certificate form and a marriage license and that becomes effective the next day (meaning you cannot get married that day). You then have 60 days to have the marriage solemnized. Once the marriage is solemnized, you must return the certificate to the court within 10 days for it to be legally recognized by the state of Illinois.

The Legal Effects of Marriage

Marriage has several legal benefits. Once you are legally married, you can file your income taxes jointly, which may greatly reduce your annual tax bill. If one spouse is not a U.S. citizen, marriage grants them residency and speeds up the process of citizenship. Being legally married also simplifies estate planning, as by law your spouse is now entitled to many of your assets. Specifically leaving other assets to them can help avoid estate taxes.

Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

While many couples are hesitant to broach the topic, planning for the wedding is actually the ideal time to talk about a prenuptial agreement. No one gets married thinking that they will get divorced, but in a worst-case scenario, these agreements can clearly identify the rights of the parties and how any assets will be distributed. Prenuptial agreements can be ideal vehicles for protecting business interests, inheritances, or large assets obtained before the marriage. They can also clearly identify whether spousal maintenance will be paid following a divorce. It is important to realize that, contrary to popular belief, courts will not enforce a prenuptial agreement if it is exceedingly unfair to either spouse.

Contact an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney

Getting married is a wonderful milestone in your life, but in the excitement of planning the ceremony and reception, it can be easy to forget about how your legal relationship also changes after marriage. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement, or have questions about how marriage could affect your estate planning. Contact our office today to speak with one of our compassionate DuPage County family law attorneys about your legal needs.