Recent Blog Posts

What Is the Tax Treatment of Alimony?

 Posted on June 20, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

Wheaton Divorce LawyerWhether alimony will impact your tax return depends on when your divorce was finalized. Federal law recently made major changes to the tax treatment of alimony payments after an Illinois divorce. Illinois also made dramatic amendments to alimony law around the same time. Alimony paid pursuant to a recently finalized divorce will not be tax-deductible for the payor, nor will the receiving spouse need to pay income tax on it. 

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 Changed Tax Treatment

Prior to 2019, the paying spouse was able to take a tax deduction for any alimony paid, enabling them to recoup some of the money that they paid in spousal support. Now, the TCJA made changes to federal law. Now, the receiving spouse does not have to treat alimony as income for income tax purposes. The paying spouse is no longer able to take a tax deduction. Still, a court would consider the spouse’s ability to pay alimony in light of the changes in federal law. If a divorce was finalized before January 1, 2019, alimony is still deductible for the payor and taxable for the recipient.

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How Should I Raise the Subject of a Prenuptial Agreement?

 Posted on June 12, 2023 in Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1721274790-min.jpgMore future spouses are turning to prenuptial agreements these days, as people realize the many benefits of this document. You and your future spouse need to start the conversation someplace, and it is not always an easy talk to have. How you raise the topic could influence whether your future spouse is willing to consider it. An Illinois prenuptial agreements lawyer can help you prepare and plan for this discussion and the agreement process. 

Explain the Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement

Human nature is that a person needs to see how something is in their own self-interest. There are obvious reasons why you would want a prenuptial agreement, but you need to explain why the other person should want one too. For example, it can assure the other spouse a certain amount of property in the event of the divorce.

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Can I See My Kids if There Is a Restraining Order Against Me?

 Posted on June 06, 2023 in Family Law

Wheaton Family Law AttorneyIn some cases, your ex-spouse may have filed for and received a restraining order against you. The order may require that you remain a certain distance or refrain from contact with your ex-spouse. You may be wondering whether a restraining order will keep you from visitation with your children. A Wheaton child custody attorney can give you advice, which will depend on the specifics of your situation. 

The Best Interests of Your Children

If you have been accused of domestic violence, the court may make a separate determination about whether you would pose a danger to your children. Above all, the court wants to provide a safe environment for your children. They will also weigh the importance of your relationship with them when they determine the best interests of the children. The considerations could be different when the court believes that the children may be harmed.

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The Ins and Outs of Alimony

 Posted on May 30, 2023 in Alimony/Spousal Support

dupage county divorce lawyerDivorce is a complicated affair and often involves addressing a range of emotional and financial concerns, including alimony, also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support. Alimony is one of the most contentious issues during divorce since a spouse may be unwilling and unhappy about making payments to their ex-husband or ex-wife. However, there are several situations where alimony is necessary, and divorcing couples need to understand how alimony laws apply to their specific case.

Who Can Recieve Alimony? 

Divorcing spouses can negotiate the terms of alimony and reach their own agreement regarding the duration and amount of alimony to be paid. Alternatively, a spouse can petition the court for a sposual maintenance award. If the decision is left up to the court, the court will consider the following factors when deciding whether alimony is appropriate in a divorce case: 

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Understanding Paternity Rights in DuPage County: What You Need to Know

 Posted on May 24, 2023 in Paternity

dupage county paternity lawyerAccording to Illinois law, biological fathers are not automatically considered legal fathers of their children if they are not married or in a civil legal union at the time of the child’s birth. This is the case even if both parents live together or plan to marry. In other words, a father will not have grounds to pursue custody until he establishes paternity. 

If you wish to establish paternity in DuPage County, Illinois, here are some ways you can do so:

Acknowledgment of Paternity 

If both parents agree on the biological father's identity, they can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form. This can be done right after the birth of a child at the hospital so that the father’s name can be added to the birth certificate after the form is filed through the DHFS.

Besides the hospital, you can also get a VAP form from the Department of Human Services, a County Clerk, or a local child support facility. 

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The Role of Business Valuations in High-Asset Divorce Cases

 Posted on May 19, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

wheaton divorce lawyerCouples in a high-asset divorce case have a lot to lose. If they own a business or a stake in a business, they need to hire divorce lawyers who are proficient in business valuations. The process requires an accurate account of the entire marital estate. While assigning values to non-complex assets such as furniture and vehicles is simple, assigning one to complex assets such as business interests requires professional legal aid.

When a Business Is Considered a ‘Marital Asset’

The state of Illinois uses 'equitable distribution' to divide property between spouses during a divorce. This means both parties receive a fair and equitable portion of marital assets. If a business was founded while the couple was married and before they were legally separated or divorced, it is likely considered a marital asset. 

However, if either party owned a business before marriage, some of their business assets may also be considered marital property. Additionally, business interests stemming from the non-marital property can be converted into marital property if they are commingled with other family-owned assets. This includes shared accounts which are used to manage business and family finances. 

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Collaborative Divorce: Working Together for a More Amicable Separation

 Posted on May 17, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

wheaton collaborative divorce lawyerDivorce and child custody battles can lead to strong emotions and heated arguments. This is where a collaborative process can prove invaluable. Using collaborative law, both sides can work amicably to come to non-adversarial decisions without court intervention. Resolving a divorce or family law dispute through collaborative law can be financially and emotionally easier on all involved in the divorce. 

What Is a Collaborative Divorce?

In a collaborative divorce, each involved party retains an attorney representing their interests. During this process, information is exchanged voluntarily, and settlement meetings are held to discuss and finalize agreements on key issues. 

This model aims to develop an agenda so both parties can have control over the divorce process. Here are some things you should know about the process:

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Pre and Postnuptial Agreements: Protecting Your Assets and Future

 Posted on May 09, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

wheaton prenuptial agreement lawyerNo one enters a marriage thinking it will end one day. But a divorce can be financially devastating if you are not prepared. If you wish to get married or are already in wedlock, a formal marital agreement with your current or future spouse can protect your assets. Two of these agreements are called prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

What Is the Purpose of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?

Post and prenuptial agreements are legally binding documents you can enter into with an existing or future spouse. The agreements allow couples to protect their assets and interests from uncertainties resulting from divorce or death. 

Without either agreement, the couple's assets are distributed as per Illinois laws. So drafting an agreement before or after marriage can protect you and your family from expenses and complex legal proceedings. 

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Mediation vs. Litigation: Choosing the Best Path for Your Divorce

 Posted on May 03, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

dupage county divorce lawyerWhen you are going through a divorce, the best case scenario is an amicable split in which both parties can work together and reach a mutually beneficial agreement. However, this is not always possible. As you consider your options, consider the following information about divorce litigation and mediation. 

Litigation vs. Mediation 

Irrespective of which path you choose, you and your spouse will face the same core issues: child support, alimony, allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, and asset division. The approach and process differ depending on the option you choose.

During the a divorce trial, both parties are on opposing sides. Each has a lawyer who presents their case and supporting evidence to convince the judge to rule in their favor. The ruling is left to the judge, which is final unless it is appealed. It should be noted that few divorce cases make it to trial. In most cases, the parties are able to reach a settlement during the litigation process. However, it is important to be prepared for this possibility. 

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What Are the Biggest Mistakes People Make When Getting Divorced?

 Posted on April 29, 2023 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerDivorce can be highly stressful, and when people are stressed, they can easily make mistakes. Throw intense emotions into the mix, and the chance of making a mistake increases significantly. Unfortunately, these mistakes can have long-lasting consequences, both financially and emotionally. If you are getting a divorce, hire a skilled divorce attorney to understand your legal options, as well as the implications of your divorce and what it may mean for the future.

Avoid Making These Mistakes When Getting Divorced

Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make while getting divorced, including:

  • Failing to hire an experienced divorce attorney – One of the biggest mistakes people make during a divorce is not hiring an experienced divorce attorney. Divorce can be a complex legal process, and an experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system, ensure your rights are protected, and help you achieve a favorable settlement.

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