Calabrese Associates, P.C.

Call Us630-393-3111

4200 Cantera Drive, Suite 200 | Warrenville, IL 60555

Recent blog posts

Ways Women Can Be Financially Unprepared During DivorceA financial literacy gap between spouses can cause problems when you are trying to support yourself after a divorce. If you are unsure of how to use your divorce to secure your financial future, you need to address the issue with your divorce attorney and a financial adviser before you start the negotiations. Traditionally, women were at a disadvantage when it came to financial literacy in a marriage. That has changed in recent decades as more women are in charge of or share responsibility for their marital money. However, a recent survey conducted by Worthy and the Association of Divorce Financial Planners found that some divorcing women are still uncertain about their personal finances:

  1. Few Women Used Financial Planners: Only six percent of the women who answered the survey said that they used a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst during their divorce. Sixty percent were unaware of CDFAs, and 30 percent could not afford one. This does not mean that they were without any financial advice because attorneys can help their divorce clients with financial planning. However, 61 percent of the women said it would have been valuable to work with a financial planner in addition to their attorney. 
  2. Women Were Less Confident About Finances Outside the Household: More than half of the women said that they had enough knowledge to make informed decisions about household expenses, health insurance, debts, and dividing assets. If they had children, they also considered themselves knowledgeable about child-related expenses. They were more likely to say that they were unfamiliar with spousal maintenance and taxes. To be fair, most people do not have a reason to be familiar with spousal maintenance while they are married.
  3. Many Women Did Not Have a Plan to Replace Maintenance Payments: Thirty-five percent of the women said that they receive monthly support payments, and 42 percent of those women said that they have not planned for how they would replace the income from support payments if they end. Even if you are receiving permanent spousal maintenance, you may need a backup plan if your former spouse dies or loses a significant portion of their money. Plans could include increasing your work income, cutting down on your living expenses and selling luxury items.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Financial planning is an important consideration for everyone because of the ways that divorce can affect your savings, disposable income, and retirement benefits. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can work with a financial planner to help you with your post-divorce finances. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.

Source:

...

Posted on in Relocation

Keys to Winning a Child Relocation CaseDeciding whether to allow a divorced parent to relocate with their child can be a complicated issue for a family court. Courts in Illinois are supposed to use the child’s best interest as the primary consideration, but there are often positives on both sides of the argument. Is providing the child a better living situation more important than being able to see both parents regularly? There is no perfect answer to this question because both are important to a child’s wellness and development. If you are trying to relocate with your child, the key is to understand how the court will make its decision.

Statutory Factors

As of 2016, Illinois has 11 factors that courts must consider when ruling on a contested child relocation case. One of the factors is broadly described as anything that affects the child’s best interest, meaning that almost anything related to your children could be a factor. However, the court will not weigh all of the factors equally. For instance, the court will not consider the child’s preference as strongly if the child is not mature enough to decide where they should live. The primary factors that courts consider include:

  • Why the one parent wants to relocate
  • Why the other parent contests the relocation
  • How the relocation would affect the child
  • Whether the other parent could still have reasonable parenting time with the child

Making Your Case

When requesting to relocate with your child, you must show how the positives for your child would outweigh any negatives. You should frame each argument around why the relocation would be better than your current situation and how you would minimize the negative impactive it may have on your child’s relationship with their other parent:

...

Reasons to Contest a Child Support Modification RequestEither parent in a child support agreement is allowed to request a modification to increase or decrease the monthly payments. Co-parents often disagree on whether a modification should be allowed, and the parent who is requesting the modification bears the burden of proving their case. The court will consider the request if three years have passed since the agreement was created or last modified or if there has been a significant change in circumstances for either parent. A parent who claims a reduction in their income can request that their child support payments be reduced or that their co-parent’s payments be increased. However, the court may still reject the modification depending on the circumstances:

  1. Voluntary Unemployment: A parent cannot claim a change of circumstances if they voluntarily quit their job or took a significant pay cut. Even if they involuntarily lost their job, they must make a good faith effort to find new employment within a reasonable amount of time. A parent who is capable of working cannot forgo employment and expect their co-parent to cover the child-related expenses for an indefinite period.
  2. Not a Significant Change: A minor reduction in income does not mean that a parent is no longer capable of making the same child support payments. The court will expect the parent to try to continue paying their share of child support by dipping into their disposable income before it orders the other parent to contribute more child support.
  3. Optional Expenditures: When a parent makes questionable or unnecessary purchases, they may be using money that should have gone towards child support. Using their budget on luxury expenses is not a good reason for a parent to try to modify child support.
  4. Bankruptcy: Filing for bankruptcy is a significant change in financial circumstances but does not necessarily mean that child support payments should be modified. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the parent’s monthly income should not change, meaning they can still afford child support. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, part of the parent’s income is going towards a long-term repayment plan. Child support payments are a priority in the repayment plan, and the court will decide whether the support amount should be modified to accommodate the repayment plan.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

When considering a modification to child support, the most important factor is whether the children’s needs are being met. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., will work on your behalf to modify child support payments or contest an unnecessary modification. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.

Source:

...

Four Factors That Help Determine How to Divide Retirement Plans During DivorceFiguring out how to divide retirement benefits can complicate the division of property during your divorce. As with any marital properties, you must determine their value and how they fit into the equitable distribution of property. Will you divide the benefits between each other, or will you keep your own benefits? How much of your retirement benefits should your spouse receive? There are several factors that can help you answer these questions about your retirement plan:

  1. Type of Plan: There are generally two types of retirement plans that people receive through their work. Defined benefit plans, such as pensions, give employees a certain amount of benefits upon retirement, based on factors such as salary and years of service. Defined contribution plans, such as a 401(k), are based on employee contributions to the plan, which may also be supplemented by employer contributions. It can be more difficult to determine the current value of a pension than of a 401(k).
  2. Marriage Duration: Valuing a retirement plan as marital property is not as simple as figuring out its total current value. Only the amount that your retirement benefits increased in value during your marriage is marital property. Thus, the duration of your marriage will determine how much of your retirement plan is included in your marital property. Courts may also consider the duration of the marriage when deciding how equitable the division should be. The longer the marriage, the more equitable the division is likely to be.
  3. Individual Plans: When debating how to divide your retirement benefits, you should consider whether your spouse has their own benefits to support themselves in retirement and whether those benefits would allow them to maintain a reasonable standard of living. If your spouse has a retirement plan of similar value to yours, it may be simpler for each of you to keep your own retirement plans. If your retirement plan is more lucrative, you will likely be expected to share a portion of it.
  4. Planned Use: Spouses must determine when and how they will receive each other’s retirement benefits. You could plan to receive your share of the retirement benefits upon your retirement, delaying the payments until the time you need them. You could immediately receive your share of the retirement benefits without an early withdrawal fee. However, you would pay taxes on the money you withdrew unless you roll it over into your own retirement plan.

Contact a Naperville, Illinois, Divorce Lawyer

Dividing a retirement plan during your divorce is important for supporting yourself during the later years of your life. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can assess the value of your retirement plan and negotiate an equitable distribution. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.

Source:

...

How to Request More Parental Responsibilities for the New YearAs another year nears its end, many people will take stock of their current lives and what they want to change. A divorced parent may resolve that they want a greater role in their children’s lives, whether it is through parenting time or decision-making. Illinois allows modifications to the allocation of parental responsibilities under certain circumstances. If your situation qualifies, you will have a chance to change your parenting order or agreement, as long as that change is in the best interest of your children.

Decision-Making

A parent’s decision-making power is their authority to make choices about their children, such as how to raise the children and whether to allow medical treatment. WIth divorced parents, one parent may have sole authority to make decisions or both parents may need to approve major decisions. Illinois allows a parent to petition to modify their decision-making power after two years have passed since the court approved the order or agreement. The petitioning parent must prove why changing their decision-making responsibility is in the best interest of the children. The court may modify the order or agreement without waiting two years if it believes that the current arrangement is threatening the children’s well-being or impairing their development.

Parenting Time

Parenting time is the amount of time that the children spend with each parent, usually outlined in a schedule. A parent may immediately petition to modify their division of parenting time or their parenting time schedule if they can prove a significant change of circumstances, which may include:

...

Is It Appropriate to Announce Your Divorce on Social Media?You have made the difficult decision to divorce your spouse. Now comes the uncomfortable step of telling others about your divorce. Some couples choose to save time by making a public announcement using social media. While the idea seems awkward, there are advantages to announcing your divorce on social media:

  • You can present a unified message with your spouse, explaining your decision.
  • You will have fewer individual conversations with others, breaking the news about your divorce.
  • You can set your expectations for privacy and whether you do not want others to talk to you about your divorce.

Before announcing your divorce on social media, you should consider whether doing so is appropriate in your situation.

Reasons It May Be Inappropriate

First, you should tell your family about your divorce before you make a social media announcement. Your children and other close family members deserve to hear the news from you personally and before other acquaintances because your divorce affects them on a more personal level. When considering whether a social media announcement is appropriate, you should ask yourself:

...

How to Be Amicable in a High Asset DivorceEvery divorce in Illinois follows the same laws, regardless of the couple’s net worth and how many assets they own. Still, a high asset divorce is usually more complicated than other divorces and can take longer to negotiate if you did not have the foresight to create a prenuptial agreement. However, the complexity of the division of properties does not mean you must have a contentious divorce. For instance, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had what publicly appeared to be an amicable divorce earlier this year, despite the fact that he is one of the richest people in the world. There are several keys to keeping your high asset divorce amicable:

  1. Be Thorough in Your Preparations: It is difficult to trust each other during a divorce if you believe that your spouse is hiding or misrepresenting the value of assets. It is your divorce attorney’s job to identify all of your marital properties and assess their value. This process is more difficult with a high asset divorce because of the sheer volume of properties, some of which are complicated to evaluate. Properties in high asset divorces often include luxury items, multiple homes, business interests, and lucrative retirement benefits.
  2. Be Fair: If you amassed your wealth through business dealings, you may be familiar with using aggressive tactics during negotiations. You should understand that divorce agreements follow different rules than business agreements. The goal is for both spouses to leave with an equitable share of assets that help them maintain a familiar standard of living. This often means that the higher-earning spouse must support the financially dependent spouse through spousal maintenance and high-value assets. Even if you believe that your spouse should become financially independent, they will need time to reach that independence.
  3. Be Creative: An advantage of a high asset divorce is that there are plenty of ways for you to reach an agreement that puts you both in a strong financial position. You have options for dividing properties that other divorcees do not, such as giving yourself or your spouse assets that have more growth potential than present value. You can also mix and match your properties so that each of you is receiving something that is personally valuable. Keep an open mind to creative solutions that your divorce attorney may present to you.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

When going through a high asset divorce, it is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in such cases. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., understands the complexities of a high asset divorce. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.

Source:

...

Cohabitation Agreements Protect Property Rights After BreakupsRomantic relationships are less bound by the need to marry than they were decades earlier. Adults can live together, share their finances and raise a family without ever marrying each other. However, there are institutional benefits to being married, including the rights and protections that you receive if you divorce. Divorcees in Illinois are entitled to an equitable share of their marital properties and are presumed to both have parental rights. Unmarried couples can protect themselves in the event of a breakup by creating a cohabitation agreement, a document that serves a similar purpose as a prenuptial agreement.

Why You Need a Cohabitation Agreement

Most properties that you acquire during a marriage are classified as marital properties, which you each have a fair claim to. The issue is murkier if you have a property dispute after the breakup of an unmarried relationship. The Illinois Supreme Court has denied equitable property rights to unmarried couples in the past. A written cohabitation agreement is a contract that:

  • Defines which properties you will divide in the event of a breakup
  • Divides the properties in a way that you deem fair
  • Creates an obligation for your relationship partner to follow the principles of fairness following your breakup

Cohabiting partners may have many properties that they paid for together or have both invested in, such as a home, vehicle, household appliances, and luxury items. For instance, your partner may have purchased your home on their own, but you may have a financial interest in the property if you have contributed to paying expenses on the household.

...

Illinois Court Questions Law Requiring Divorced Parents to Pay for CollegeThe Illinois Supreme Court has upheld a portion of the state’s divorce law that can order both parents to help pay for a child’s college education, in response to a circuit court judge who ruled that it was unconstitutional. The circuit court judge had decided that forcing a divorced parent to contribute to college expenses is a violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which promises equal protection under state laws. Rather than argue the merit of the claim, the supreme court said that the circuit court judge lacked the authority to strike down the law because the supreme court had previously ruled that the law was constitutional. Only the supreme court has the authority to overturn that ruling, it said.

College Expenses

The law in question is Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, which states that courts may order divorced parents to use their assets and incomes to pay for a child’s post-high school education. Expenses may include:

  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Books and supplies
  • Reasonable living expenses
  • Medical expenses

Divorced parents can share these expenses by allocating assets in their divorce agreement towards paying for college or continuing child support payments until the child graduates with a bachelor’s degree or turns 23, whichever happens first. The age deadline can be extended to 25 if good cause is shown. Continued child support payments may be dependent upon the child’s academic performance.

...

Should You Worry About the Privacy of Your Divorce Record?Many people do not realize that the court hearings for their divorce are part of the public record, meaning that anyone can access records on your divorce after it is completed. Everything you say during the hearings and the various documents that you submit is part of that public record. With records being digitized, it is more convenient for people to request and receive court records. If you are concerned about your privacy, you should discuss with your attorney whether you can seal your divorce record from the public.

What Is in the Record?

Your public divorce record does not include sensitive information such as your Social Security Number or bank account numbers. However, it may include details that are professionally damaging or personally embarrassing, such as:

  • Your financial history and debt record
  • Your business assets and interests
  • Admissions of substance abuse or mental health problems
  • Accusations of domestic violence or child abuse
  • Personal arguments between you and your spouse

All of this is information that could hurt you if someone such as a potential employer discovered it when conducting a background check on you.

...

Can Divorce Improve You as a Parent?Parents who are getting a divorce worry about how it will affect their children. Besides the pain that the breakup causes, there is the challenge of being a single parent to your children. Can you handle the demands of being solely responsible for your children when they are with you? Can you perform the tasks that you normally left to your co-parent? Divorced parents must resolve to be the best parent they can for their children. Fortunately, there are a few ways that your divorce may actually help you become a better parent:

  1. You Have Shed the Negativity of Your Marriage: It is only after divorce that you realize how much the stress of your marriage was affecting you. While there may be some sadness after divorce, you should no longer feel the anger and dread of coming home to your spouse. Your children may notice that you are happier, which may help with their own moods.
  2. You Are More Focused as a Parent: Without your spouse, your children are unquestionably the most important people in your life. Your time at home will focus on interacting with them and meeting their needs, without the distraction of your marriage. Your attention is one of the things that your children most need from you when they are adjusting to the divorce.
  3. You Can Strengthen Your Relationship: Parents often fall into roles during a marriage, such as one parent being the primary caretaker and provider of emotional support. As a single parent, you need to fill all of the roles when you are with your children. This gives you an opportunity to spend more time interacting with your children and talking to them when they have a problem. As a result, you may feel like a more complete parent to them.
  4. You Have Learned Compromise Skills: When co-parenting, you must move beyond your conflicts with your former spouse and find ways to reach agreements that benefit your children. Learning to compromise will help you in all of your relationships, including with your children. The act of compromise is also setting a good example for your children that people who do not like each other can still find ways to work together for a common good.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

How you allocate your parenting time and decision-making responsibilities is an important aspect of adjusting to life as a single parent. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., will help you negotiate a fair parenting agreement that benefits your children. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.

Source:

...

Obtaining an Order of Protection Before Your DivorceAn abusive marriage is a horrible situation to live in but difficult for some victims to leave. There is a fear of how your spouse will respond when they discover that you are leaving. You may also worry about your ability to financially support yourself – both immediately after leaving your spouse and permanently if you divorce. Rather than leaving at the spur of a moment, it is better to plan ahead if you are not in immediate danger. Illinois offers several resources for domestic abuse victims, including an order of protection.

What Is an Order of Protection?

Also known as a restraining order, an order of protection is a court-issued document that prohibits an alleged abuser from contacting or harassing the victim. The definition of abuse in Illinois includes physical violence and psychological harassment and intimidation. You must fill out a form requesting your order of protection against your abuser, including:

  • Past incidents of abuse
  • Whether you previously contacted the police
  • Whether there were any witnesses to the abuse
  • Why you need an order of protection against your abuser

If the court believes that your allegations are credible, it will issue an emergency order of protection, which will go into effect immediately and last for three weeks. In that time, you can file for a plenary order of protection that would last for two years. During the hearing for the plenary order, the alleged abuser will have a chance to respond to the accusations. A court can also issue an interim order of protection for 30 days if the emergency order is going to expire before it can rule on the plenary order.

...

How Divorce Can Change a Family-Owned BusinessMarriage is an equal partnership in which spouses share their assets and responsibility towards their family. For some spouses, their relationship extends to a business partnership. It is common for spouses to help each other run a small family business, with one spouse often serving as the primary owner and manager. In less common situations, the spouses may be equal business partners who were both instrumental in creating and growing the business. If spouses in a business partnership decide to divorce, they must decide how they will continue to run the business afterward.

Your Options

Your business is a marital property that you must include as part of your division of property. You have four options for what to do with your business during the divorce:

  • One of you can pay the other in exchange for complete ownership of the business.
  • You can continue your existing business relationship despite your divorce.
  • You can divide the business between each other and create separate businesses.
  • You can sell the business and divide the proceeds.

Some of these options may be impractical for you, depending on your circumstances. You should consider continuing to be co-owners only if you believe you can put your personal differences aside in order to make business decisions. Splitting into two businesses will make each of your businesses weaker and possibly have you competing over the same clientele. Selling your business is risky if you do not have a plan for how you will replace your lost income.

...

Why an Empty Nest Can Sometimes Lead to DivorceEmpty nest syndrome – a term used to describe grief after children have permanently left the family home – is something that most parents expect to deal with because it is healthy for the children to move out when they become adults. Unfortunately, some couples add divorce onto that grief. They could go from a full family household to living alone in just a few years. The timing of divorce after the children have left is often more than a coincidence. Empty nest syndrome can lead to divorce, even if the marriage has lasted for decades.

Prolonged Marriage

Some parents intentionally wait until their children are adults to end their marriage in order to spare their children from the effects of divorce, such as shared parenting time arrangements. However, a couple may not realize that their marriage is in danger until it is just the two of them at home. Parenting demanded most of their attention and was their strongest bond with each other. Without their parenting responsibilities, their marriage relies on their relationship with each other. Some spouses find that they no longer have much in common or have incompatible personalities. They face the difficult choice of whether to tolerate an unhappy marriage, try to fix their issues, or end the marriage.

New Perspective

Children leaving the home is a landmark event for parents that can make them reassess their lives. What will replace the purpose and satisfaction that they got from parenting? Who do they want to spend the rest of their lives with? A person’s needs can change once parenting is no longer the focus of their life. Some couples conclude that they are more likely to be happy outside of their marriage or by pursuing new relationships. They may want to end the marriage while they are young enough to start over and change themselves.

...

Does Marital Satisfaction Decline Naturally Over Time?The reason that a couple decides to divorce is often tied to marital satisfaction – if you are no longer satisfied with your marriage, you are more likely to want to end it. There is less consensus about whether marital satisfaction naturally declines over time or if something needs to create that dissatisfaction. People who believe in a natural decline in marital satisfaction may use terms such as “the honeymoon is over” and “seven-year itch”:

  • After the initial bliss of being married, spouses face adversity for the first time when they settle into their shared life; and
  • There is an idea that people become tired of their relationship with each other after seven years.

A recent study published in the journal “Social Psychology and Personality Science” tried to test whether a decline in marital satisfaction is common. The researchers differentiated their study by including couples of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, believing that the tendency to study white, middle-class couples may have skewed past results. Researchers followed couples for five years after their marriage, checking in each year to ask questions that helped them measure each couple’s level of marital satisfaction. There were several findings:

  1. Initial Satisfaction Set the Tone: As would be expected, most couples started their marriages with a moderate-to-high level of satisfaction. Sixty percent of the couples had a high level of satisfaction, 30 percent had a medium level, and 10 percent had a low level. In subsequent years, the satisfaction level remained fairly stable for couples who started with high and moderate satisfaction. Only those who started their marriages with low satisfaction showed a deep decline in marital satisfaction.
  2. Women Are More Likely to Become Dissatisfied: The category that had the steepest decline in marital satisfaction was women who started their marriage with low satisfaction. By contrast, men who started their marriage with low satisfaction tended to have an increase in marital satisfaction after three years.
  3. Economic Risk Has a Mixed Effect: The researchers looked at couples who were most likely to struggle with socioeconomic issues to see whether they had a lower rate of marital satisfaction. They found that it had little effect on men, but women were more likely to start a marriage with low satisfaction if they faced economic hardship.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Every couple that gets divorced has its own reason, but all must follow the same divorce process and laws. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., will guide you through all the necessary steps in getting a divorce. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.

...

When Does Illinois Allow the Termination of Parental Rights?Illinois family courts rarely decide to terminate parental rights. An unfit parent may lose a significant portion of their allocation of parental responsibilities, but courts want to avoid terminating someone’s parental status and leaving a child with one legal parent. The child support obligation is the most pressing issue because losing financial support from one parent could hurt the child. There is also an emotional benefit to the child knowing they have two parents, even if one is less active in their lives. Despite the negatives, there are two situations in which a court will consider terminating a parent’s rights:

  • Cases involving adoption; and
  • Unfit parent cases brought by the state.

Adoption

As previously mentioned, a family court is highly unlikely to grant a request to terminate the parental rights of one of the biological parents, whether it is voluntary or involuntary. However, it may consider the request if there is another adult who is willing to adopt the child. This adult would most likely be someone who has married one of the biological parents and become a stepparent. The process is simplest when a biological parent voluntarily surrenders their rights as a parent. Contested cases are more difficult because the parent requesting the termination will need to prove that the other parent is unfit and has shown no interest in the child.

Juvenile Cases

The state can initiate a parental termination case on a recommendation from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. There are three reasons that the DCFS may claim that a parent is unfit:

...

When Do Spousal Maintenance Payments End?Spousal maintenance, if awarded during a divorce, can last a couple of years to the rest of your life. The duration of your spousal maintenance will rely on several factors, such as:

  • How long you were married;
  • The financial means of the recipient; and
  • Whether you agree to an end-date in your divorce.

New circumstances can also allow the termination of spousal maintenance. Here are five ways that spousal maintenance payments can end:

  1. Automatic Termination: A court that awards spousal maintenance during a divorce has the discretion to determine whether it should be temporary or permanent. Illinois courts normally use the duration of the marriage to determine the duration of maintenance. A table shows how maintenance payments will continue for a period of time that is a percentage of how many years the spouses were married. For instance, maintenance payments will last for a time that is 20 percent of the duration of the marriage if the spouses were married for less than five years. The percentage increases for every two years that they were married. Divorcees who were married for 20 or more years often have permanent spousal maintenance.
  2. Negotiated Termination: Spouses can decide their own termination date for spousal maintenance if they can agree on the payments without needing the court to decide. They can reach this agreement during the divorce negotiations or as part of a prenuptial agreement. The maintenance recipient can also voluntarily terminate the payments as long as they were not coerced into doing so.
  3. Remarriage: Spousal maintenance payments automatically end if the recipient remarries or cohabitates with a partner in a relationship that is effectively a marriage. With cohabitation, you will need to prove that your former spouse is sharing their life and finances with their partner.
  4. Death: Spousal maintenance often ends if either party dies before it is scheduled to be terminated. However, a divorce agreement can stipulate that the payor’s life insurance will continue payments to the recipient after the payor's death.
  5. Change of Circumstances: The payor or recipient can petition to modify spousal maintenance if there has been a significant change of circumstances, such as an increase or decrease in income. In some situations, the court may discontinue the maintenance payments if they are no longer appropriate. These situations may include the recipient increasing their income so that it is equal to or greater than the payor’s income or the recipient not making a good-faith effort to become self-supporting.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Spousal maintenance has become more difficult to negotiate since the alimony tax deduction was eliminated this year. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you, whether you would be the payor or recipient of maintenance. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.

...

What It Costs to Keep Your Marital Home During DivorceMany divorcees prioritize owning their marital home as part of their divorce agreement. There are advantages beyond an emotional attachment to your house. You may have invested money into making the home that you want. Finding a new home will take time and be costly. There is stability in continuing to live in the same home – for yourself and your children. However, it can be expensive to keep your house in your divorce agreement. Your spouse is a co-owner of the house, and you will need to buy them out in order to be the sole owner.

Assessments and Equity

Before you can negotiate what you will pay your spouse for the home, you first need to assess its value. How you determine this may depend on whether you are still paying off a mortgage on the house or you own it outright. You need a valuation of the house in both situations, including:

  • A property value assessment;
  • The estimated market value; and
  • The property’s condition and cost of repairs.

If you have a mortgage, you will need to determine your equity in the home by subtracting what you owe on the mortgage from the house’s value. You will pay your spouse their share of the home equity in exchange for keeping the home. Your spouse may present a different valuation of your house, based on their own assessment. If you cannot agree on the house’s value, you will need to take the issue to a court, which will choose the more accurate assessment value.

...

When Is Equal Parenting Time Appropriate for Children?Illinois law requires courts to divide parenting time in a way that is best for the children. There is a rebuttable presumption that the children are better off when one parent receives a majority of the parenting time because it is more stable than frequently transporting children between parents. A group primarily made up of fathers’ rights advocates has spent years trying to change that presumption so that an equal division of parenting time is the default. State legislators have introduced equal parenting time bills multiple times in recent years, but none of them have progressed to a full vote by either chamber. It is difficult but possible to get a court to approve a 50/50 division of parenting time. There is no denying that children benefit from having an equally strong relationship with both of their parents. Other factors determine whether equal parenting time is the best arrangement for the children:

  1. Parenting Cooperation: Parents with equal time with the children need to work together more often because shared decision-making often accompanies shared parenting time. The parents must communicate about their children and sometimes receive permission from each other to make decisions. An equal parenting time plan will collapse if you are constantly clashing with your co-parent.
  2. Proximity: An equal parenting schedule involves either frequent child exchanges or staying with each parent a week or more at a time. Either way, the schedule will put stress on the children unless the parents live near each other. Proximity will shorten the travel time between homes, making each child exchange less of an ordeal. You should ideally live within the same school boundaries to make school transportation easier.
  3. Availability: Parents with equal parenting time must both be available to care for the children. This may mean having a work schedule that is compatible with the children’s schedules and forgoing other activities when it is their time to be with children. It is not fair to the children to have equal parenting time but to frequently use childcare during your parenting time.
  4. Capability: Children are solely reliant on a parent during their parenting time. Each parent needs to be capable of protecting and nurturing their children on their own. A lapse in care or discipline between parents is harmful to the children.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

The argument over equal parenting time is about which parenting arrangement courts should presume is best for children, not what the parenting arrangement should be for all cases. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you determine what division of parenting time will be best for your children given your situation. Call 630-393-3111 to schedule an appointment.

Source:

...

Four Surprising Emotions You May Experience After DivorceGoing through a divorce can stir up complicated emotions for everyone involved. Some of the emotions are predictable, such as anger, depression, and anxiety. You may be angry at your spouse and yourself for the end of your marriage while also feeling depressed about it. It is natural to feel anxious about what your post-divorce life will be like. However, you may surprise yourself with some of the emotions you feel during and after the divorce. Rather than deny them, you should acknowledge these feelings and understand why you are experiencing them:

  1. You Still Care About Your Former Spouse: Couples divorce because they no longer feel affection for each other and are unhappy living together. You may initially feel resentful towards your spouse and take some pleasure in their struggles. However, you may eventually realize that you still care about your spouse’s wellbeing and want them to find happiness on their own. This is not the same as loving or even liking someone. It is showing empathy towards someone who was once an important part of your life.
  2. You Have Some Fond Memories From Your Marriage: People try to justify their divorce to themselves by thinking that there was nothing positive about their relationship. The negative moments from your marriage do not erase the positive moments. You should hold onto the positive memories, such as your wedding, vacations, shared parenting, and fun you had together. Try to learn from your negative experiences rather than dwell on them.
  3. You Are Interested in Your Former Spouse’s Life: It is natural to be curious about how your former spouse is doing. It may be necessary to keep track of them if you are co-parents or included spousal maintenance in the divorce. However, there is also an unhealthy tendency to compare yourself to your former spouse. It does not matter if they have started dating again before you or if they look happy in their social media photos.
  4. You Are Relieved to Have Free Time from Parenting: Divorced parents often feel guilty about splitting up their family and spending less time with their children. The idea of not seeing your children for a couple of days each week may frighten you, but you may discover that you feel grateful for the time that your children spend with your co-parent. This does not make you a selfish parent. Being a single parent is more demanding than when you were married, and you need alone time to take care of personal issues or just relax.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Attorney

Dissatisfaction with your divorce agreement is an emotion that you can avoid after your divorce. A DuPage County divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you create an agreement that meets your post-divorce needs. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.

Source:

...
Back to Top