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Top Reasons It Might Be Time for a Divorce

Posted on November 30, 2023 in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyerThere are many reasons that a marriage can fall apart and lead to a divorce. Life is unpredictable, and no one knows what the future holds. When you are unhappy in your relationship, it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons on how best to proceed. What about it making you unhappy? Can it be fixed? In the event a divorce is imminent, an experienced divorce attorney can offer their legal services to help guide you throughout the proceedings.

Physically Abusive Spouse

Anything from physical harm to emotional manipulation can be considered abuse. No one should have to deal with any form of abuse from a spouse. Once a pattern of abuse has been established, it does not take long for it to become an endless cycle. If you are experiencing abuse in your marriage, it may be time to cut things off for good. Seek counseling, seek help, seek a lawyer.

Lack of Communication

Communication is the key to a relationship’s success. Once communication begins to falter or becomes absent completely, the marriage is likely in a freefall. When you or your partner’s behavior does not match up with what either of you needs, a lack of effective communication can only compound the issue.


DuPage County family lawyerPostnuptial agreements and premarital agreements are almost identical. The primary difference is that premarital agreements are generally used to protect your past and current assets before marriage. In contrast, a postnuptial agreement can protect future assets after the wedding occurs. For more in-depth coverage of premarital and postnuptial agreements and their uses, consult an experienced family law attorney.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

Often referred to as a postnup, a postnuptial agreement is a legal contract usually outlining how assets will be divided in the event of divorce. It is a contract written and signed by both spouses after a couple is legally wed. They have become increasingly common in recent years and provide numerous reasons for their existence that can benefit any marriage.

Protect Your Wealth

The most common reason for a postnup is to protect one's assets, especially those who are substantially wealthy or who expect to inherit significant wealth in the future. A postnup can help ensure your assets remain your own and avoid fair and equitable distribution by the court.


DuPage County divorce lawyerKnown as alimony in most other states, spousal maintenance is meant to support one spouse during or after a divorce is finalized. The reasons for a spousal maintenance order will vary, but generally, it is to maintain their current standard of living. Only in extreme cases will spousal maintenance be granted indefinitely. To better understand the reasons for spousal maintenance, you should consult an attorney with experience in divorce cases.

Types of Spousal Maintenance

  • Temporary Support: Typically only awarded while a divorce case is still pending. It enables the low-earning spouse to maintain their current financial status during the divorce process.
  • Fixed-Term Support: Support granted for a set duration in which the paying spouse makes consistent payments to the low-earning spouse to keep them “afloat” while they work toward building themselves up financially. It usually lasts until the low-earning spouse completes job training or education. The court expects the recipient to make a good faith effort toward the completion of their educational goals or achieving self-sustaining employment.
  • Reviewable Support: Similar to a fixed-term support order, the recipient must show proof of their continued efforts toward self-sustainment.
  • Permanent Support: Granted in rare cases to spouses who cannot support themselves. This could be due to illness, injury, age, or other factors in a long-term marriage of at least 20 years.

How is Spousal Maintenance Calculated?

Illinois follows a basic formula for determining the total payment costs of spousal support. The formula takes 33 percent of the payer’s net income and subtracts 25 percent of the recipient’s net income. This provides the total for the yearly spousal maintenance payments. However, the recipient cannot receive more than 40 percent of the couple’s total combined net income.

How long spousal maintenance lasts is predicated predominantly on the duration of the marriage. Another formula is used in this case, similar to payments, except it takes the total years of marriage and multiplies it by a set percentage. Marriages of less than five years will be X years multiplied by 0.20.


How To Handle Rental Properties in a Divorce

Posted on November 03, 2023 in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyerRental properties can be a point of contention in any Illinois divorce. Understanding whether or not a rental property is considered marital property will go a long way in determining how it will be divided during divorce proceedings. Anyone who plans to dissolve a marriage and owns rental properties should also understand Illinois laws and the rights and responsibilities regarding them. An attorney with experience handling these cases will be helpful during a property division hearing regarding your rental assets.

What is Marital Property?

In Illinois, marital property is most property or assets acquired during a marriage. Any property acquired before a marriage is considered non-marital property. Exceptions to marital property considerations are:

  • Assets excluded in a premarital or postmarital agreement
  • Property acquired through inheritance or gift

Commingling assets can turn an otherwise non-marital property into marital property. Non-marital property can become marital property if both spouses contribute to its increase in value. Contributing finances toward repairs or maintenance that accumulate an increase in value for a property by the non-owner spouse may cause the property to become a marital asset.


Emergency Guardianship of an Adult

Posted on October 30, 2023 in Guardianship

DuPage County family lawyerAdult guardianship is a legal arrangement where a court appoints one person to make important decisions on either the health and well-being of an individual, their finances, or their estate. This individual will have to be 18 years of age or older and incapable of managing their own life and assets effectively.

As the process for guardianship can take many months, it is not uncommon for a court to grant temporary emergency guardianship to an individual while waiting for an official guardian to be appointed. This provides that individual with immediate protection in the case of threats or other emergencies. An attorney well-versed in Illinois guardian law can better help you navigate the entire process while answering any legal questions you may have.

Why File for an Emergency Guardianship?

Persons with disabilities or impairments who may be incapable of protecting themselves from harm or threats may require guardianship. Emergency guardianship is for those individuals who have a reasonable expectation that while waiting for a full-time appointed guardian, harm could come to them or their estate. So, to safeguard these adults from that harm, an emergency guardianship may be required.


DuPage County family lawyerIt is not uncommon for parents to want to move with their minor children while a family law case is pending. Though it may not affect the case outright, relocating with a child during an ongoing case is possible temporarily. Before final allocation judgment, a court can grant temporary relocation of a child as long as it is in the child’s best interests. Navigating Illinois parental allocation laws can be difficult. An experienced lawyer experienced in such legal matters would be a boon to your case.

Relocating After Parental Rights Allocation is Finalized

Any move after the allocation of parenting rights has been entered will require notification to the other parent. Parents with equal or majority parenting time must obey Illinois relocation laws in this matter, as a move is considered a change in a child’s primary address. It is considered a relocation if:

  • The parent moves outside of Illinois and more than 25 miles from the child’s current primary address; or
  • The parent remains in Illinois but more than 50 miles away or
  • The parent remains in Illinois but more than 25 miles away from a home where the current residence is in Kane, Lake, Cook, Will, or DuPage counties

Should the relocating parent stay within the radius restrictions, they will not need permission from the court to move.


DuPage County family lawyerIllinois is a no-fault state. So, regardless of domestic behavior problems or abuse, either spouse can file for divorce at any time. Domestic violence’s impact on divorce is felt more so when it involves children. If you suspect violence or have been on the receiving end of it yourself, seek safety immediately. Once you and your children are safe, your next call should be to a trusted attorney experienced in domestic violence cases.

What Does Illinois Consider Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is harassment, injury, or threat of injury to a family or household member. Household and family members under Illinois law:

  • Blood relatives
  • Married couples
  • Dating couples or ex-couples no longer dating who share a home
  • A roommate
  • Individuals with shared children
  • People with disabilities

Domestic Violence Can Affect Property Division

Physical acts of domestic violence cannot be a deciding factor in the division of property during a divorce proceeding. However, if financial abuse is involved, the court could use this information to force the abuser to pay more financial support.


Naperville, IL family lawyerA prenuptial agreement, premarital agreement, or prenup, is a contract that two people enter into before they get married. A prenup can be used to establish the rights and responsibilities of each spouse in the event of a divorce or death. There are many reasons why couples might choose to get a prenup.

A prenup can be a valuable tool for protecting your assets, your children, and your financial future. When considering marriage, it is important to talk to an attorney to discuss your options and to make sure that you understand the terms of a potential prenup.

Reason #1: Protecting Your Assets

Significant assets, such as a business, real estate, or investments, should warrant a prenup consideration. Establishing a prenup can help to avoid conflict and save money on legal fees should a divorce occur. By having a prenup in place, you and your spouse can avoid having to negotiate the division of assets and debts in court that were written into the agreement. Marital assets are still subject to a court-ordered equitable split under most circumstances (see postnuptial agreements).


IL divorce lawyerCustodial interference occurs when a parent prevents the other parent from having their court-ordered visitation with their child. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Refusing to let the child go to the other parent's house
  • Hiding the child from the other parent
  • Moving out of state without the other parent’s permission
  • Picking up the child early or dropping them off late
  • Showing up unexpectedly during the other parent’s parenting time
  • Keeping the child from talking to the other parent on the phone or video chat

Custodial interference is a serious problem that can have a devastating impact on you and your child. There are steps you can take to protect your rights and your relationship with your child. It starts by contacting a family law attorney who can help you understand your options and can represent you in court if necessary.

What are the Penalties for Custodial Interference?

The penalties for custodial interference vary depending on the severity of the offense. For the first two offenses, a person can be charged with a petty offense, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500. For subsequent offenses or more serious cases of custodial interference, a person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.


DuPage County, IL order of protection lawyerWhen safety concerns arise, individuals in Illinois have the legal right to seek protection orders. A protection order is a legal document that can help protect you from harassment or harm. There are four main types of protection orders in Illinois: Order of Protection, Civil No Contact Order, Stalking No Contact Order, and Firearms Restraining Order.

You need to go to court and file a petition to obtain a protection order. Understanding the correct order for your situation may require an experienced attorney, one who can help navigate the steps involved so that you can better understand the specific situations required to obtain a protection order.

Order of Protection

This type of protection order is specifically designed for cases involving domestic abuse where there is a known relationship between the victim and the abuser. It offers legal protection to those facing harassment or abuse within family, spousal, or dating relationships. To obtain an Order of Protection, individuals can seek help from domestic violence programs, involve an attorney for civil court filing, request it during divorce proceedings, initiate it within criminal prosecutions, or personally file for one through their local circuit court clerk's office.


IL divorce lawyerYou currently reside in Illinois and are in the process of a divorce. Unlike many couples who are experiencing this landmark decision, you and your partner are on amicable terms. Rather than fight and shout at each other, you have simply grown apart. 

 You may be wondering if this arrangement is unusual and you may be unsure as to how to proceed with a divorce. However, we assure you that you are not alone. An experienced lawyer can assist you through this difficult time. Here at Calabrese Associates, we are here to help you throughout the divorce process.

Under What Conditions Is Someone Allowed to File for Divorce?

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. This means a couple does not need any specific reasoning in order for the divorce to be granted. Rather, the pair can simply state that they can no longer function as a couple and the court can grant them a divorce. While this may seem like an easy process, how quickly and efficiently the divorce moves will depend on how much the couple is willing to negotiate on various legal matters.


IL divorce lawyerDivorce is usually a challenging process. It is not a surprise that if you are in the process of divorce, you may have many questions about your future. One issue that might come up is whether you will receive full parenting rights (defined in Illinois as having the authority to make decisions for a child and the ability to spend time with a child as her caregiver). 

It is true that this path can be complex. Perhaps you might worry that since you are the father, you will not receive parenting rights. But you should not feel hopeless. An Illinois family law attorney can assist you. Here at Calabrese Associates, we are here to help navigate your journey, and we will do our best to help.

Why the Courts Favored Women in the Past

For a long time, many believed that the mother should have full parenting rights for her child. This assumption is based on two central reasons:


DuPage County, IL child custody lawyerWhen parents in DuPage County, IL, divorce, one critical decision is to determine how to divide the allocation of parental responsibilities of their children. The two main terms these responsibilities fall under are legal custody (now referred to as “decision-making”) and physical custody (“parenting time”).

Decision-making responsibilities refer to the right to make important decisions regarding a child's upbringing. These decisions can include education, medical care, and religion. Parenting time refers to visitation rights and how much time the child will spend with each parent.

If you are going through a divorce in DuPage County, IL, and are concerned about the allocation of parental responsibilities for your child, it is important to talk to a family law attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can represent you in court.


Naperville, IL asset division lawyerThe division of assets during and after a divorce can be a hard process. This is especially true when retirement accounts have major tax implications. As couples untangle their financial lives, retirement accounts can become a focal point, as they often make up a significant portion of a couple’s wealth. It is important to be aware of what can happen to your taxes when you divide assets during divorce so you can avoid unexpected financial troubles down the road.

How Dividing Assets Works in a Divorce

In general, the tax rules for dividing assets in a divorce are relatively simple. Under Section 1041 of the Internal Revenue Code, there is no tax on property transfers between spouses or former spouses.

However, some exceptions exist. If you get a distribution from a retirement account not qualified for rollover, you might have to pay taxes on earnings. Also, if you are younger than 59½ years, a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty could apply on any distributions from a retirement account.


Untitled---2023-11-08T113946.906.jpgOne major aspect of divorce is the division of assets, including retirement accounts. This is often seen as a complex process. Inflation, and its effect on the value of assets after divorce, is something that divorcing couples should consider.


Understanding Inflation’s Impact

Inflation erodes the buying power of money over time. The value of assets may diminish in real terms as the cost of living rises. This dynamic can have massive implications in a divorce for asset division and retirement accounts.


Naperville, IL divorce lawyerDivorce is a major life change that can be especially difficult for children. They may experience a range of emotions, and how they cope with everything will vary depending on their age, personality, and the circumstances of the divorce. However, there are some things that parents in Dupage County can do to help their children overcome the changes and adjust to their new family situation.

Types of Emotional Responses to Divorce

The emotional impact of divorce can vary widely in children. Some children may only experience mild behavior changes, while others experience something more severe. The following are some of the most common emotional responses to divorce:

  • Sadness


IL divorce lawyerFor whatever reason, a spouse may not respond when they have been served with divorce papers. They may not want to face reality, or they think that the matter will go away entirely. Failure to respond to a divorce filing could lead to a default judgment. In that case, the court only has the filing spouse to listen to, and they will usually grant the divorce on the terms that the spouse is seeking.

When a Spouse Is Considered to Be in Default

Court rules set the time limit for responding to a divorce filing. The defendant in the proceedings would have 30 days to file their answer. If they give the court good reason, the judge could extend the deadline to file the answer. However, the defendant may simply not respond at all. In order to avoid a default judgment, the spouse must do the bare minimum to participate in the process. They could even avoid default if they file an appearance with the court within 30 days.

The Default Process

The court will not just move to issue a default order right after the time period expires. You would need to notify the non-responding spouse when you file the default order with the court. This would give that spouse a second notice that they need to respond to your filing in some manner. The court would consider the motion for default and likely grant it if the other spouse still has not responded. When it comes to default, late is late. The court will not reconsider the default after the order is entered.


IL divorce lawyerPeople are increasingly holding cryptocurrency assets, whether it is for savings or investment purposes. Crypto assets can greatly complicate a divorce. Crypto is treated as a marital asset, but it can present complex issues. You should hire a divorce attorney who has experience in high-net-worth divorces. You may also need to work with other experts to properly value and trace the assets.

Valuing Crypto Assets in a Divorce

Crypto assets are very volatile. The prices can fluctuate drastically by the day. You may find that the price has changed dramatically between the time that you agree to terms and the day that you sign the agreement. You may need to be creative in how you value these assets in a settlement agreement to ensure that the marital assets are equitably divided.

How Judges Value Crypto Assets

Many courts will treat crypto assets as if they are a cash equivalent and simply assign the value of where they are trading at that time in the open market. However, crypto may not always be fully a marital asset. One spouse may have purchased crypto before the marriage. Then, a judge would need to determine which part of the crypto is a marital asset and which would be considered individual property. If one spouse frequently traded crypto during the marriage, it may be difficult to value the assets. You may need a forensic accountant to give their own opinion of how the crypto should be valued. In addition, there may be large capital gains taxes that must be accounted for in asset division.


IL divorce lawyerIt may be tempting to use social media as a source of support during your divorce case. While there are benefits to using social media, there may also be drawbacks. What you post on your social media accounts may be used as evidence against you in the divorce proceedings. Accordingly, you be careful when you want to discuss any details about your case in a public setting,

Your Social Media Posts May Not Be as Private as You Think

Even if you have your posts set to “friends only,” your spouse’s attorney may have a way to access them. Each contested divorce case has a discovery process where the attorneys can gather evidence that is in the other’s possession. Your spouse’s attorney may be able to seek your social media posts, and you will be obligated to produce them.

Pictures and Statements Can Be Evidence in Your Case

There are things that can be used against you in your case. For example, if you are being accused of adultery, pictures of you with another person could be used to prove the case for a fault divorce. In addition, you may need to take the stand to testify in your own case. If you have made any statements on social media that are inconsistent with what you have said under oath, your spouse’s attorney may use them to challenge your testimony and credibility.


IL divorce lawyerIf you are in the middle of a contested divorce, your case would need to go through the discovery process. During this process, you and your spouse would exchange information, including financial data. In addition, you could also need to sit for a deposition. Here, you will be questioned under oath for up to seven hours. There is no question that depositions can be stressful experiences, and preparation is the key.

Master the Facts in Your Own Case

You are not going to win your case at the deposition. You are merely answering questions from your spouse’s lawyer who wants to learn information from you. To give the most effective testimony, you must have a mastery of the facts in your case. You do not want to be uncertain about what you are saying because you could then make a mistake. The more you know about your own case, the more in control you are, and you are less likely to be rattled.

Be Prepared for Difficult Questions

You should know that you may be asked some uncomfortable questions. Your spouse’s attorney may probe into difficult areas that could address intimate details of the marriage. Unless the questions are improper in form, there are very few things that are off-limits during a deposition. You will need to be prepared to talk about things that may rather not talk about.

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