DuPage County divorce lawyerWhen things are going well in your relationship with your spouse, it is almost impossible to consider that he or she would ever hurt you, let alone be unfaithful. In all honesty, instances of cheating are not often the result of one spouse trying to hurt their partner. Instead, infidelity is usually a manifestation of deep, serious relationship issues, such as poor communication, overall discontent, and feelings of loneliness. An episode of infidelity, however, could be the proverbial last straw that prompts the offended partner to file a petition for divorce, sometimes with the expectation that the unfaithfulness will afford the filer additional benefits during the process of divorce.

Legal Considerations Regarding Infidelity in Divorce

If your spouse has cheated on you, it is entirely understandable for you to feel angry and betrayed and to hope to hold your spouse responsible for his or her hurtful choices, especially if you feel that his or her actions are responsible for destroying your marriage. However, unless you have a valid prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that includes an unfaithfulness clause, you will probably not receive any extra considerations under Illinois law.

Unlike some other states, Illinois no longer allows for infidelity to be listed as grounds for divorce. In fact, all fault-related grounds were eliminated in 2016, and the only acceptable grounds for divorce is a marital breakdown due to irreconcilable differences between the spouses, no matter what else might have happened during the course of the marriage. Illinois law also expressly forbids the court from taking “marital misconduct” including infidelity into account when deciding on spousal support or allocating marital property. However, it is possible that you could recover marital funds that your spouse spent on an affair by filing a claim of dissipation.

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DuPage County cohabitation agreement attorneyFor generations, the majority of young men and women had the goal of meeting someone, getting married, and raising a family. However, statistics reveal that for many, that goal has changed a bit. Many people today are choosing not to get married, but this choice is not necessarily keeping them from trying to build a life with that “special someone.” But, what happens when a live-in romantic relationship starts to fall apart? A qualified family lawyer can help you come up with some ways to protect yourself.

Cohabitation Statistics in the U.S.

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that among American adults between the ages of 18 and 44, a larger share (59 percent) have moved in with a romantic partner at some point in their lives than have been married (50 percent). More than a third of adults (35 percent) have been in both types of relationships.

There are several common reasons cited why people choose not to get married, with one of the major ones being financial. Many people want to be financially stable before walking down the aisle. This delay in marriage has led to a huge increase in the number of couples who choose to live together, also referred to as cohabiting. In the past 50 years, the number of couples who choose to share a home either before or instead of marriage has grown by 900 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 8 million couples cohabitate. Twenty years ago, that number was just under 3 million.

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DuPage County family law attorneyWhen it comes to prenuptial agreements, the general opinion often seems to stem from the negative stigma that anyone who pursues such an agreement must not have much faith or trust in their future spouse. Although this may actually be the case for some individuals, in most cases, this stereotype could not be farther from the truth. In fact, prenuptial agreements can help lay the groundwork for long-lasting and fulfilling marital relationships.

Prenuptial Agreements in Today’s World

Prenuptial agreements are extremely popular nowadays, for multiple reasons. Their popularity is not merely a reflection of the state of marriages in today’s society; they also offer practical advantages that benefit both partners equally. Broaching the topic with your future spouse can feel uncomfortable at first, but if you share a mutual interest in pursuing a prenuptial agreement, it can prove to be a valuable, effective tool as you enter your marriage.

Here are some factors to discuss if you are on the fence about signing a prenup:

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DuPage County division of assets attorneyA number of recent studies, including a survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, found that 40 percent of American adults have been deceptive about money with their spouse, and about 75 percent admit that financial deceit has affected their relationships. Considering these statistics, it is not surprising that one of the most contentious issues in a divorce is the division of assets. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try to hide assets from the other in order to avoid having to share them in the divorce.

Finding Hidden Assets

When couples are dissolving their marriage, they are required to provide financial affidavits to the court which reveal any assets they have. Although providing false information to the court is illegal, many spouses would rather take their chances and lie about their assets so they do not have to share them with their soon-to-be ex-spouse.

If you are going through a divorce and think that your spouse is hiding assets from you, there are steps that you and your divorce attorney can take in order to find those assets, including:

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton IL divorce attorneyFor many people, their name is a crucial part of their identity. Recently, it has become more common for women to keep their birth name when getting married to maintain this part of their identity. Those who do take their spouse’s name in marriage may wish to change it back if the marriage ends in a divorce.

Legally changing your name after a divorce is a valid option. However, there may also be disadvantages to doing so; for example, if you are professionally known by your spouse’s last name, or if you share the name with your children from the marriage. It may be easier to wait on changing your name legally until after you are retired or your children have started lives of their own. It is important to know that there are no legal requirements to change your name when getting married or divorced; it is a matter of personal preference.

Including a Name Change in the Divorce Process

To return your name to what it was before, the easiest way is to include the name change request in your divorce filing. This is then signed by the judge as part of the final divorce agreement. You may be asked to explain why you wish for a change of name to ensure there is no malicious intent in regards to fraud. An amendment to your divorce petition can be filed if you decide to change your name after your initial filing.

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