DuPage County Divorce LawyerSometimes called “alimony” or “spousal maintenance,” spousal support is money paid from one spouse to the other during or following divorce. Spousal support is not always awarded, but it can be a crucial financial lifeline for people after divorce, especially homemakers who withdrew from the workforce to raise a family. 

Spousal support orders are set for an amount and duration that are appropriate to the circumstances. However, each party’s circumstances can change in a way that warrants modifying support payments. If you are making or receiving spousal maintenance payments, it is useful to know which circumstances require or allow a change in payments. 

Substantial Change in Circumstances

A change in spousal support requires a substantial change in circumstances and many different situations can qualify. To begin with, if the party receiving spousal support gets married again, moves in with a new partner, or dies, spousal support payments stop. In fact, an individual who is receiving payments can be faced with legal consequences if they fail to notify the paying party that they are cohabiting with, or married to, a new partner. 

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County Spousal Maintenance LawyerAlthough spouses may get divorced with the hope that they will no longer have to deal with each other in the future, for many couples this is simply not true. Responsibilities towards children can require parents to interact together for many years, and spousal maintenance - formerly known as alimony - can do the same. Illinois law allows for several types of spousal maintenance, and how long spousal maintenance will last depends on the unique circumstances of a couple’s divorce. 

Types of Alimony in Illinois 

There are three primary kinds of spousal maintenance in Illinois: 

  • Temporary or interim maintenance - Frequently awarded to homemakers who have no income of their own, temporary maintenance is ordered while a divorce is ongoing. Temporary maintenance can cover the cost of running a household and raising children, and can also include the cost of a spouse’s attorney. 

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Wheaton Divorce LawyerA primary obstacle for many people seeking divorce is the potential expense. This is especially true for those who work as a homemaker and do not have an income of their own. Being a homemaker entails endless work, but it does not come with formal pay, and the prospect of hiring a divorce attorney may therefore seem simply out of the question for homemakers in Illinois. 

Fortunately, there are things you can do as a homemaking spouse to pursue divorce, even without an income of your own. You do not have to stay trapped in an abusive or untenable relationship forever. Here are some tips for stay-at-home parents considering divorce in Illinois. 

Start Preparing Now

Although you may not be earning an income, you likely have access to your and your spouse’s shared finances. Even if you do not, the time before the divorce is a great time to begin understanding what you and your spouse have in terms of assets and debts. Many resources allow you to check your credit for free, and although taking out debt may not be optimal, credit cards or lines of credit can give you access to money if you need it.

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce LawyerSome states divide marital property 50/50, giving both assets and debt equally to each spouse following divorce. Illinois, however, is what is known as an “equitable distribution” state. This means the law requires marital property to be divided in a way that is fair, but not necessarily equal. Many factors, such as the length of the marriage and each spouse’s future earning potential, will affect how property is divided. 

Understanding how the principle of equitable distribution is likely to affect the division of marital property in your divorce is an important part of planning for the future. In this blog, we will give a general overview of the property division process. A qualified Illinois divorce attorney can answer any further questions you have.

Preparing for the Property Division Process

Spouses who are getting divorced can make the process go faster and more smoothly by collecting necessary documents as early as possible. If one spouse is likely to make the divorce process difficult, it may be wise to obtain documents before even filing. Both spouses will need to create a list with supporting evidence that details their property and debts. This includes, but is not limited to, the following documents: 

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Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County Parenting Plan LawyerMost parents feel that having children around for the holidays makes these special days even more magical. For parents who are going through a divorce, the prospect of not spending all the holidays with their children can be difficult to even think about. Figuring out a parenting plan that divides parenting time during the holidays might seem all but impossible. 

Parents who are struggling with this situation can take heart in knowing that many people before them have successfully managed to create parenting plans and new traditions that work well for everyone. Children will appreciate the predictability of a consistent parenting-time schedule and parents generally find that children adjust surprisingly well. If you are navigating holidays for the first time during or after a divorce, here are some tips to help ease the transition. 

Strive for Simplicity

Many parents find that it is simply easier to alternate years rather than trying to move children repeatedly from house to house for each separate holiday. The most important thing is to reduce stress for parents and children, and to adjust when necessary. Creating a schedule that is predictable and easily workable is often more helpful than trying to get exactly what you want. 

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