Calabrese Associates, P.C.

Call Us630-393-3111

4200 Cantera Drive, Suite 200 | Warrenville, IL 60555

Recent blog posts

IL divorce lawyerFew people begin a marriage expecting that one day it will end. But, sadly, that is the reality for a lot of people. Divorce is difficult for so many reasons. Often, we think about divorce in terms once the process is already underway and the various issues that must be settled. But an important question remains: how are you supposed even to broach the subject of divorce with your spouse?

Of course, divorce is a difficult topic to bring up with a spouse, and it can be emotionally charged and stressful for both parties. However, some ways exist that can minimize the conflict and result in, hopefully, a smoother divorce process. Today, we will discuss how you should and should not bring up the idea to your spouse. If you believe your marriage is heading toward a divorce, contact an experienced divorce attorney to ensure you understand your legal obligations and that your rights and best interests can be advocated for.

Ways You Should and Should Not Bring Up Divorce with Your Spouse

First, choosing the right time and place to have the conversation is essential. Ensure you are both in a calm and comfortable environment where you can talk without interruptions or distractions. Avoid bringing up the topic during a stressful time, such as before a significant event or during an argument. When you bring up the topic, be honest, direct, and compassionate. Try to be clear about your feelings and your reasons for wanting a divorce in the first place. Listen to your spouse’s concerns and try to find common ground.


IL divorce lawyerAs you may be aware, divorce mediation is a method of resolving disputes between divorcing spouses with the help of a neutral third party known as a mediator. While divorce mediation is certainly gaining mainstream popularity, particularly as an effective alternative to litigation, several things still need to be clarified about the process. Today, we will discuss and debunk some of the most common misconceptions about divorce mediation. If you are getting a divorce and think mediation may be worthwhile to pursue, contact a divorce attorney who will help you get the process started while also ensuring that your rights throughout the divorce process remain protected and advocated for.

What are the Most Common Misunderstandings Surrounding Divorce Mediation?

The following are some of the most common misunderstandings regarding divorce mediation, including:

  • Mediation is only for amicable couples – One of the most prevalent misconceptions about divorce mediation is that it is only suitable for couples with an amicable divorce. This is not entirely true. In fact, mediation can be beneficial for couples who are experiencing high levels of conflict. A skilled mediator can help parties communicate effectively and work through their issues, even if they struggle to get along.
  • Mediation is a way to avoid legal representation – While some couples choose to represent themselves in divorce mediation, this is not advised. Instead, it is usually recommended that both parties have their own attorneys. This ensures that each party’s legal rights are protected and that they have someone advocating for their best interests throughout the process.
  • Mediation is a quick fix – Mediation is often portrayed as a quick fix to divorce-related issues. While mediation can be faster than going through the court system, it is important to note that it is not a magic solution. Mediation requires time and effort from both parties. It may take several mediation sessions until you reach a resolution.
  • The mediator makes the final decision – This is not true. The mediator is a neutral third party who helps facilitate communication and negotiation. However, the parties themselves make the final decisions about the terms of their divorce agreement.
  • Mediation is only for couples with children – While mediation can help resolve issues related to child custody and visitation, it can also resolve issues related to property division, spousal support, and other divorce-related matters.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Mediation Lawyer

If you have additional questions regarding the divorce mediation or want to start the process, feel free to contact the highly rated Naperville, IL divorce mediation attorneys at Calabrese Associates, P.C.. Call 630-393-3111 for a private consultation.


IL injury lawyerFor many of us, social media has become an integral part of our lives, making connecting with friends and family more accessible. While that may be true, how could social media ever affect a divorce? Today, we will discuss how social media can affect divorce proceedings. If you are considering getting a divorce, consider consulting with a skillful divorce attorney to help you understand your rights and legal options.

Ways Social Media Can Be a Factor in a Divorce

One of the most significant ways social media can affect a divorce case is by providing evidence that may be used in court. Many people use social media to post their thoughts and feelings, and sometimes they may reveal information that can be used against them in court. For example, suppose a person claims they cannot afford to pay alimony or child support, but they post pictures of themselves on expensive vacations. In that case, the other party could use those pictures to argue that that person can afford to pay. Similarly, if a person claims they are a responsible parent but posts pictures of themselves partying or drinking excessively, the other party could use those pictures to argue that the person is not a responsible parent.

Another way that social media can affect a divorce case is by influencing how the court views each party. Judges are human beings who are not immune to biases and prejudices that affect us all. For example, if one party is constantly posting negative comments about the other party on social media, the judge may be more likely to view that party in a negative light. On the other hand, if one party posts positive comments about themselves and their actions, the judge may be more likely to view that party positively. Ultimately, it is essential for anyone going through a divorce to be mindful of what they post on social media. Even innocent posts can be taken out of context and used against a person in court. It is also essential to know what friends and family members post about the divorce on social media. It is not uncommon for friends and family members to post comments or pictures that could be used against the parties in court.


dupage county divorce lawyerIllinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act 750 Illinois Compiled Statute (ILCS) § 5/602.5(a) establishes that courts must allocate decision-making responsibilities according to a child's best interests. Courts may need the assistance of a third party in determining what is in a child’s best interests. A child representative may be appointed in cases in which parties are disputing parenting time, custody, visitation, education, property interest, or general welfare of a child. 

Types of Child Representatives

The three types of people courts can select to represent a child or children are a child’s attorney, a guardian ad litem, and a child’s representative.  

  • Attorney for a Child - A judge may appoint an attorney for an older child when an attorney will need to act in the manner that the child wants. A child’s attorney not only acts in a child’s best interests, but will also present their arguments in court.  State law provides that a child attorney must provide independent legal counsel for a child and owe the same duties of undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation that are due to an adult client. An attorney must keep what is said between a child and them private.
  • Guardian At Litem - A guardian ad litem (GAL) represents a child’s best interests and may or may not be what a child wants. A GAL is appointed to conduct investigations, as they may be used in disputes asking whether it is safe for a child to live with a parent. A court could ask a GAL to do a home visit or multiple home visits and report back to the court as to what happened.  A GAL will go to the parents' home, observe how parents behave with a child or children, talk to parents and children separately, and deliver a written report to the Court or testify as a witness. 
  • Child’s Representative - A Child Representative acts similarly to a GAL in that they often have the same authority, but they will not testify in court. Special training and qualifications are usually required to serve as a child representative, and child representatives make recommendations to courts without delivering reports.

Contact a Naperville, IL Family Law Attorney Today

If you are dealing with child-related disagreements in your divorce, we are here to help. A DuPage County family law attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C. can help you get the answers you need. Call 630-393-3111 for a confidential consultation.


How Child Tax Credits Work

Posted on in Divorce

illinois family law attorneyIllinois lawmakers have introduced a proposed child tax credit that would give low- and middle-income families a $700 income tax credit for each child under age 17. Eligibility would apply to joint filers who are earning less than $75,000 and single filers earning less than $50,000.

The child tax credit program allows people with children under 17 years of age to claim tax credits of as much as $2,000 per qualifying dependent when they file their tax returns. Up to $1,500 of the credit can be refundable.

Qualifying for a Child Tax Credit

Taxpayers are able claim the child tax credit for their tax year when they file their tax returns. There will be seven tests a person and their qualifying child will need to pass.


dupage county family law attorneyThe Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 defines domestic violence (also known as family violence) as abuse, meaning physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation. Incidents of domestic violence can occur between married or divorced spouses, current or former romantic partners, roommates and housemates, parents and children, extended family members, and divorced or unmarried co-parents.

Orders of protection are common in many domestic violence cases. 

An order of prtotection is a civil court order that prohibts a person from contacting or coming near the petitioner. Any orders of protection or accusations or abuse will be considered in child custody cases.


dupage county divorce lawyerWhen people involved in a divorce or family law case head to court and go through a trial, it is important to understand that a court decision is not necessarily the final word on the matter. Illinois Supreme Court Rules allow people to appeal court decisions, meaning any judgment in a Circuit Court can be appealed to an Appellate Court and a judge or panel of judges may review the case.

Appeals typically have to be filed with the Circuit Court Clerk within 30 days of a court decision. After 30 days pass, the decision becomes binding, and no appeals will be granted.

Legal Grounds for Appeals

Appeals cannot be based on simple dissatisfaction with a judge’s decision. An appeal needs to allege some kind of mistake of law or mistake of fact.


Naperville, IL child support lawyerChild support is a crucial aspect of raising a child whose parents are not married, and it is the responsibility of both parents to support their child financially. However, in some cases, one parent may not fulfill their obligation to pay child support. This can create financial difficulties for the parent responsible for the child’s primary care. In Illinois, various strategies are in place for securing unpaid child support and enforcing court orders.

Strategies for Collecting Unpaid Child Support

Several strategies can be used to collect unpaid support when a parent is not paying child support.

  • Wage Garnishment- This is a legal process in which a portion of a person’s wages is withheld from their paycheck. This can be done through the court system with an experienced attorney who knows the process.


DuPage County high asset divorce lawyerHigh asset divorce is a complex and challenging process that requires a unique approach. In Illinois, high asset divorce cases involve significant financial assets and require expertise to navigate the legal system. This is why it is crucial to seek the help of an experienced attorney who can help you protect your financial interests as much as possible.

Dividing Assets

One of the main challenges is identifying and valuing assets. This includes everything from real estate and investments to retirement accounts and pensions. It is important to clearly understand the financial assets involved in the divorce to ensure that they are divided equitably. Businesses can be an essential asset in high asset divorce. Business owners will need to consider the value of the business and how they are willing to divide it or negotiate over it in a divorce.

Protecting Your Financial Interests

Another important aspect is protecting one’s financial interests. Pre- and postnuptial agreements can play an important role in high asset divorce, as they can provide a clear understanding of the assets and debts that each party is bringing into the marriage. Strategies such as setting up trusts or transferring assets to family members can help protect assets. Without these in place, during divorce, forensic accountants may be necessary to identify and value assets.


DuPage County divorce lawyerThe process of filing for a divorce can be hard to navigate. It can be stressful and emotionally challenging, so it is essential to understand the process before you begin. Knowing what to expect can help you mentally and emotionally prepare for the journey ahead. 

This blog post breaks down the steps in filing for divorce and what you should expect at each stage. 

Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

When getting a divorce in Illinois, it is important to understand that this state is a little different than others. With some other states, you have grounds for divorce, such as adultery and similar circumstances. However, Illinois will not allow a divorce based on that.


DuPage County divorce lawyerDivorce can be a complex and emotional process. It can be even more challenging when retirement accounts are involved. In Illinois, retirement accounts are considered marital property, which means that they are subject to division during a divorce. It is essential to understand the laws and regulations surrounding retirement account division to protect your financial future.

Understanding The Division of Retirement Accounts

When dividing retirement accounts in Illinois, there are a few key factors to consider. First, it is essential to identify all the retirement accounts subject to division. This includes 401(k)s, pensions, IRAs, and other retirement savings plans. Once the accounts have been identified, the next step is determining how they will be divided.

The Role of Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Orders (QILDROs)

In Illinois, one of the methods of dividing retirement accounts is using a Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order (QILDRO). A QILDRO is a legal document used to divide retirement accounts between spouses in Illinois. A court order directs the plan administrator to divide the account and pay a portion to the non-employee spouse. 


naperville divorce lawyerIf you own a business but are considering divorce, you may wonder how the divorce will affect your business. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that most assets gained during the marriage are subject to division in a divorce. This includes businesses.

Here are a few things you should know when navigating a divorce with a business involved.

Businesses as Marital Property 

In Illinois, a business that was owned or operated by either spouse before the marriage is usually separate property and not subject to division during the divorce. A business that was started or purchased during the marriage is treated as marital property and will be subject to division between spouses. Spouses may be able to negotiate a property division arrangement during divorce that both parties agree to. Sometimes, one spouse keeps all of the business assets and the other spouse keeps other assets such as vehicles or real estate. Others spouses divide business assets among themselves. Divorcing spouses may also decide to sell the business during divorce and split the profit or use the proceeds to pay off shared debt. 


When is Guardianship Necessary?

Posted on in Divorce

naperville guardianship lawyerIn some instances, guardianship can be a critical step in protecting the rights of individuals who cannot take care of themselves or make crucial decisions. Guardianship gives authority over a person’s life to another individual, often a family member or close loved one. It is essential to understand when and why guardianship may be necessary so that you can provide proper care and protection for your loved ones. 

Health Conditions

If an individual has a medical condition that affects their ability to care for themselves, guardianship may be a good option to ensure their safety and well-being. For example, if someone has extremely poor health and cannot get out of bed, move around, or manage daily care and tasks by themselves, a guardian may be helpful.

Mental Impairment

A condition causing mental impairment, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, can hinder someone’s ability to make decisions about their care and finances. This may require a legal guardian to be appointed to act on their behalf. Someone with severe, poor mental health may also require a guardian to make sound decisions for them.


dupage county divorce lawyer Divorce is never easy, but things can get even more complicated when your business is involved. Many businesses are considered martial property. This means that the business needs to be addressed during the asset division portion of the divorce. Valuing and dividing business assets is often complex and contentious. Here are four tips to keep in mind when going through a divorce in DuPage County with a business:

1. Understand the Tax Implications

Understanding how your taxes may be affected by your divorce, especially if you own a business, is essential. You may want to speak with an accountant or tax advisor to ensure you take all the necessary steps to minimize your tax burden. 

2. Create a Financial Plan 

Divorce brings along financial stress, and it is vital to make sure that your finances are in order. Before making any decisions, create a comprehensive financial plan and assess what assets need to be divided. This should include any investments or business interests you share with your spouse. Typically, property that a spouse acquired during a marriage is marital property. Businesses established during the marriage are considered part of the marital estate unless they are excluded through a valid premarital agreement or postnuptial agreement. 


naperville divorce lawyerDivorce is hard enough, but the process can get even more complicated when high-value assets are involved. If you are getting ready to go through a high-asset divorce, there are some steps you can take to make sure that your rights and assets are protected throughout the proceedings. 

Working with a high-asset divorce lawyer is vital to help you navigate the process and the legal jargon. However, you can benefit from preparing on your end, too.

Hire An Experienced Attorney

High-asset divorces can be highly complex, and the rules surrounding them vary from state to state, so you need a lawyer who is well-versed in your local laws. Additionally, having a legal expert on your side will help ensure that any property settlements or alimony payments are fair. 


Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Posted on in Divorce

naperville prenup lawyerThe prenuptial agreement, more commonly known as just a prenup, is a contract between spouses that both parties sign before a marriage that decides how assets will be distributed in the event of a divorce. Many people are reluctant to sign prenuptial agreements because they believe that doing so creates an impression that divorce will be more likely, but prenuptial agreements can serve many important purposes.

The biggest benefit to having a prenuptial agreement is that property division in a divorce can be much more streamlined and involve far less dispute. People could have many other reasons for signing prenuptial agreements, including concerns about children’s inheritance or businesses owned by one spouse.

How Prenuptial Agreements Work in Illinois

Prenuptial agreements in Illinois can cover many issues, but they cannot cover everything. A prenup can determine ownership of various forms of property, possible spousal support payments, and property ownership rights in cases of death.


naperville divorce lawyerIllinois is an equitable division state when it comes to property division in a divorce, but not all assets are necessarily easy to split. When one spouse begins a business during a marriage, the company typically becomes marital property. Both spouses have a right to an equitable share of marital property.

Even when a spouse starts a business before getting married, the company can still become marital property if both parties’ funds were used in the company or the non-owning partner makes any contributions to a business. There are steps people can take to protect their businesses in a divorce.

How Businesses Get Handled in Divorces

There are multiple steps people can take to protect their business interests when they are getting married, and the best move can often be to put an agreement in writing. Prenuptial agreements are one of the clearest ways to stipulate that a business will not be considered marital property.


naperville family law attorneyThe general rule with a divorce decree or order for child support, child custody, or spousal maintenance is that the order becomes final as soon as it is entered, but there are certain situations that warrant post-decree modifications. A modification usually requires a significant change in circumstances for one of the parties necessitating a change, and you will want to seek the help of a Naperville modifications attorney.

Reasons for Modifications

Courts in Illinois only agree to modify court orders when petitioners have valid reasons for seeking an adjustment to the terms of a court order. Some of the most common kinds of reasons people are able to get modifications to their court orders include, but are not limited to:

  • One party loses their job


Calculating Maintenance Payments in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

illinois alimony lawyerIn some divorce cases, a spouse may seek payments for maintenance, which used to be more commonly known as alimony or spousal support. When a court in Illinois is considering a spousal maintenance case, it is generally going to have to review a number of factors before determining if maintenance is justified, how much it should be, and how long it will last.

People who are dealing with spousal maintenance as part of their divorce will want to seek legal representation for assistance filing their claims, whether they are the party seeking spousal maintenance or the party being asked to pay it. A skilled DuPage County divorce lawyer will know how to present the best evidence in court and fight to get you the most favorable outcome to your case.

Illinois Maintenance Laws

Under 750 Illinois Consolidated Statute § 5/504, a court first needs to make numerous findings relating to whether maintenance awards are appropriate. Analysis under 750 Illinois Consolidated Statute § 5/504(a) will involve considering all 14 of the following relevant factors:


IL family lawyerThere are many disabled adults who are completely independent and living productive and normal lives. However, other adults with certain disabilities may not be able to manage their affairs on their own and could benefit from having a legal guardian. A legal guardian for an adult is a fiduciary tasked with managing a disabled person’s finances and other aspects of their life to ensure that the ward is safe and well-cared for. If you have a disabled loved one you are concerned about, such as an elderly parent or disabled child who is turning 18 years old, you may be able to help them by petitioning the court to name you as their legal guardian. To begin a guardianship, you must be able to show that the proposed ward has disabilities that prevent them from managing their own life. If you are considering becoming a guardian for a loved one, an attorney may be able to help you through the process.

Who Can Be Placed Under Guardianship in Illinois?

Not all disabilities render a person eligible to be placed under guardianship, as many people with disabilities are entirely capable of being independent. Others, however, could be in danger if they do not have a guardian protecting them. For the purposes of Illinois guardianship, there are generally three reasons a person can be placed under guardianship:

  • Mental or physical incapacity - Someone with a mental or physical disability that prevents a person from capably managing their own personal life or property may be given a guardian.
  • Mental illness or developmental disability - Severe mental illness, like a psychotic disorder, can keep a person from handling their own affairs. The same may be true for significant developmental disabilities, like Down’s Syndrome.
  • Addiction issues - A person who is addicted to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, may spend money in such a way as to inflict hardship or suffering on themselves and their family. In this case, guardianship may be in order. Guardianship may not be permanent if the person receives treatment and reaches a point where they are capable of reentering society as an independent adult.

If your loved one is struggling with one of these issues and cannot manage their own life or estate, you may be able to become their legal guardian.

Back to Top