Tag Archives: DuPage County divorce lawyers

Spousal Maintenance: Considerations for a Stay-at-Home Parent

maintenance, DuPage County divorce attorneyIn generations past—or so television and movies tend to depict—the average American family relied on a single income provided, in most cases, by a breadwinning father. The mother was primarily responsible for staying home, maintaining the house, and raising the children. Such is no longer the case for the “average” family, as more and more households need two working parents to maintain an acceptable standard of living. Some families, however, have the means and desire to allow one parent to stay home, and many decide to just that. For these families, a divorce can have a dramatic impact on the parent who stayed at home, often leaving him or her struggling to become self-sufficient.

Asking for Maintenance

Maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support, is one the tools that a court has at its disposal to help a stay-at-home parent during and after a divorce. According to Illinois law, the court may award spousal support if it finds that such an award is appropriate and necessary to alleviate the financial effects of the divorce on an economically-disadvantaged spouse. When deciding on the appropriateness of maintenance, the court will take many factors into account. A spouse’s role as a stay-at-home parent is part of the equation, but it is not enough, on its own, to make support necessary.

The court will also consider:

  • Each spouse’s contributions to the family, including the stay-at-home parent’s responsibilities;
  • The stay-at-home parent’s ability to generate income after the divorce;
  • Post-divorce parenting arrangements for the couple’s children;
  • How long the marriage lasted;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage; and
  • Whether the stay-at-home parent was given a larger share of the marital property instead of continuing maintenance payments.

Each Case Is Different

Stay-at-home parenting situations are as unique as the parties involved, and each case must be considered carefully by the court when maintenance is requested. For example, a very short marriage where one spouse took a year or two off work to care for an infant could receive maintenance, but an award is far from guaranteed. On the other hand, if one spouse sacrificed a career to stay at home for the better part of 20 years to raise three or four children, the court is far more likely to order support payments.

Let Us Help

If you are a stay-at-home parent who is facing an imminent divorce, you may have serious concerns about the future. Fortunately, the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group are equipped to help. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team and get the guidance you need today.





Can I Get My Marriage Annulled?

annulment, Wheaton family law attoreyAnnulment is a legal procedure which “nullifies,” or cancels, a marriage. In the state of Illinois, annulment is called a “declaration of invalidity of marriage”. A marriage which has been successfully annulled is not recognized by the state any longer. Legally, an annulment makes the marriage as if it never happened. This process is much different from a divorce and is only available in certain circumstances.

Who Qualifies for Annulment?

In Illinois, there are only four lawful reasons someone can annul their marriage:

  1. One spouse did not or could not consent to the marriage. This includes situations where the spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the marriage proceedings. If one of the spouses was mentally incapacitated due to mental illness or disability, the marriage may be annulled. A spouse who was forced to get married will be able to seek annulment as well. Finally, if the marriage is fraudulent, or meant to help evade U.S. immigration laws, it can be annulled.
  2. One spouse is unable to consummate the marriage through sexual intercourse. In order for this to be a valid reason for annulment, the other spouse must not have known about the inability before the marriage.
  3. One spouse was not of legal age to get married. The Illinois marriage age requirements are 18 for couples without consent from a parent or guardian and 16 for those with consent.
  4. The marriage was illegal. This includes instances where a person was already legally married when they married someone else and marriages between closely-related family members.

When is Annulment Appropriate?

Annulment is not necessarily a better choice than divorce, and most marriages will not qualify for annulment. Some people choose to have their marriage declared invalid in order to avoid property division or court-ordered payments such as spousal maintenance which would possibly be ordered during the divorce process.

Individuals seeking annulment must do so within 90 days of the start of the marriage if they are doing so for reasons of incapacitation due to drugs or alcohol, mental impairment, or force/coercion. If a parent wishes to pursue an annulment for their minor child who got married illegally, they have until the child turns 18 to seek an annulment. If the reason for the annulment is due to one spouse’s inability to have sexual intercourse, the time limit is one year. Finally, there is no time limit for annulments due to polygamy, or a spouse being married to more than one person at a time.

An Experienced Family Law Attorney Can Help

If you wish to have your marriage declared invalid, or annulled, having an annulment and divorce attorney on your side can make the process much easier and more efficient. Contact one of the skilled Wheaton annulment attorneys from the Andrew Cores Family Law Group for a free consultation today.




Avoid These Mistakes During Divorce

mistakes, Wheaton divorce attorneyAlthough we rarely think of it this way, marriage and, consequently, divorce are business decisions as much as they are personal decisions. When a marriage ends, it is not only the spouses who separate but also the lives they have created together. This includes the home which they share together, their property, assets, debts and more. Undoing a marriage through divorce can be a tricky process. If you are planning to divorce, make sure to avoid these classic mistakes.

Overestimating Your Future Income

As the old saying goes, “It is better to be safe than sorry.” When you are deciding how the marriage will end, try to be conservative when picturing your life as a single person. Sometimes people overestimate what they will be able to afford on their own. For example, they may want to stay in the family home for sentimental reasons, but are not ready for the burden of the mortgage payments. If you are the lower-earning spouse, it is possible that you will receive spousal maintenance payments as part of your divorce settlement, but this is far from guaranteed.

Refusing Offers of Help

In many cases, people who get divorced are hesitant to let others know. Even though 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce today, there is still a stigma attached with divorce. If you are planning to divorce, resist the urge to isolate yourself. Friends and family will probably ask how they can help during this difficult time in your life; do not be too proud to take them up on their offer. Something as simple as going to the movies with a friend can do wonders for your emotional state.

Thinking with Emotions

It is completely understandable that you will feel emotions such as anger, resentment, despair, and even vengeance during a divorce– especially if your marriage ended on bad terms. However, acting on these feelings can cause the divorce process to be much longer and more expensive than it needs to be. Some couples argue endlessly about trivial issues during divorce negotiations because they are more interested in hurting each other than making real progress.

Not Hiring a Competent Attorney

If you are getting divorced, do not place your future in the hands of an unqualified family law attorney. The experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys of Andrew Cores Family Law Group are prepared to help you navigate even the most complicated divorce. To schedule your free initial consultation, call 630-871-1002.