Recent Blog Posts

Do I Have to Pay for My Child’s College Tuition After a Divorce?

 Posted on July 21, 2023 in Division of Assets

Wheaton, IL divorce attorneyWhen you sign a divorce agreement, you are determining now how future child-related expenses will be allocated between the parents. One large future expense that can be an issue in divorce proceedings is college tuition. Divorced parents may be required to pay for college tuition, even if that child does not live at home and even if the parent does not agree that the child should attend college. This may seem unfair, but you should account for this during the divorce negotiations in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Illinois Law on Educational Expenses

If you do not agree to pay your share of college expenses (or professional education) now, the court may consider it as a factor in the equitable distribution of the marital property. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a court may award money from the assets or income of a parent to pay for educational expenses for the child through the age of 23 (and, in some unusual cases, through age 25). This would obviously include college tuition expenses. 

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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in Illinois?

 Posted on July 20, 2023 in Child Custody

Wheaton, IL grandparents custody attorneyGrandparents’ visitation rights have been an issue since the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Troxel v. Granville in 2000. Since then, grandparents have had to petition the court for visitation rights. Courts will only grant them these rights if very specific conditions are met. In short, unless there are extreme mitigating circumstances like abuse or neglect, the parents always are the ones who can determine the best interests of the children. Sometimes, however, grandparents can successfully fight for visitation rights

The Supreme Court’s Holding in Troxel 

In Troxel, the Court overturned a Washington statute that granted “any person” the right to petition for visitation at any time. Under the Washington law, grandparents could petition the court for visitation, and a judge would determine whether it was in the best interests of the children. The Court held that the state law violated a parent’s due process rights to determine what was in the best interests of their children. The end result was that the case reaffirmed parental rights at the potential expense of grandparents’ rights. 

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Can a Spouse Be Punished for Hiding Assets in a Divorce?

 Posted on July 13, 2023 in High Asset Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_Shutterstock_757083730-1.jpgA spouse may try to avoid disclosing assets during a divorce when it comes time to exchange financial information, thinking that it will help them retain more of the marital estate. There are consequences for trying to hide assets, however. A spouse may face punishment from the court and end up with fewer assets than they otherwise would have if they had been straightforward from the beginning. If you are concerned your spouse may try to hide assets, a divorce lawyer can help you trace your spouse’s hidden assets.

A Spouse Hiding Assets May Face Sanctions

When one spouse hides assets, the other spouse may need to hire a forensic accountant and go to great lengths to track down the hidden assets. In doing so, they may incur considerable expenses. If the court discovers that one spouse has indeed concealed assets, a judge may order that spouse to not only split the assets fairly, but pay for the costs incurred in finding them.  

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What if I Cannot Serve My Spouse with Divorce Papers?

 Posted on July 10, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

Wheaton, IL divorce lawyerIn order to begin the divorce process, you need to serve your spouse with court papers. Some spouses may not want to face the realities of the divorce process, such as child support and alimony. Even when you hire a third party to personally serve your spouse, they may struggle to track down your spouse. A divorce lawyer can help you when you are having difficulty making personal service.

Service Requirements in a Divorce

In order to meet your requirements for personal service in a divorce, you must have a third party, such as a sheriff or private service agency, serve your spouse. You are not allowed to do it on your own, even if the divorce is uncontested (if the divorce is uncontested, you do not have to serve your spouse papers at all). You can meet the requirements by:

Can I Seal the Records of My Divorce?

 Posted on June 29, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

Wheaton Alimony LawyerYour divorce case will mean that there are court records. Some of these records may contain sensitive and potentially damaging information that you do not want exposed to the general public. It is possible to have your divorce records sealed under certain circumstances. However, there are reasons why a judge may not grant any motion to seal your divorce records or allow certain information to remain public.

The Presumption Is that Documents Are Available to the Public

Under the Illinois Clerk of Courts Act, documents that are required to be kept by the court’s clerk are public records. Public means that anyone can show up at the courthouse and inspect these records. If your divorce is messy, or if there is information that you want kept confidential, anyone can learn about it. The only way that your divorce records can be sealed is when you file a motion with the trial court. The judge must grant the motion to seal the records.

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Can I Go on Vacation with My Kids During a Divorce?

 Posted on June 27, 2023 in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce LawyerIt is essential for you to try to maintain a sense of normalcy during a divorce, especially for the sake of your children. One way to tend to yours and your children’s well-being is to take a vacation during this difficult time. However, you may not be able to simply go away without either consent from the other parent or a court order. Your family law attorney can advise you about what you need to do before you can take the children on a trip.

International Travel Will Usually Be Off Limits

Typically, you would not be able to take the children outside of the country while the divorce is pending. The courts would be afraid that the children may not be brought back. If the children do not have a passport, both parents would need to sign a consent form for the children to apply. It is unlikely that a court would allow you to leave the United States with the children before there is a final order. 

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4 Tips for Dealing with a High-Conflict Spouse

 Posted on June 23, 2023 in Divorce

Wheaton Family Law AttorneyHigh-conflict people seem to enjoy the argument and the fight. They want nothing more than to be in a war with you at all times. Then, they believe that they must win at all costs. They can make both your divorce and the period afterward a nonstop nightmare. An Illinois divorce lawyer may be able to assist in resolving issues related to divorcing a high-conflict ex-spouse

Do Not Give Them the Fight

Once you have entered into a dispute with this type of person, there is usually no way out of it. The conflict will keep spiraling out of control. In many cases, your ex-spouse will not be satisfied until you have a climactic battle in court. You are better off doing the best that you can to not get dragged into the fight in the first place, as difficult as it may seem.

You Do Not Have to Answer Everything

There are times when you may have to answer a communication. For example, you may be co-parenting, and the communication involves the children’s welfare. However, you are not under an obligation to answer every single text or e-mail. There are some communications that are better left unaddressed. Otherwise, you could be thrust into a continuous back-and-forth with your ex-spouse. If you do not share children, there is less of a reason to answer. 

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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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