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Recent Blog Posts

What is the Difference Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody?

 Posted on August 30, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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The Tax Implications of Dividing Assets and Retirement Accounts in a Divorce

 Posted on August 25, 2023 in Division of Assets

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.

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The Effects of Inflation on the Division of Assets and Retirement Accounts in Divorce Proceedings

 Posted on August 10, 2023 in Divorce

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.

 

Assets Affected by Inflation and How to Protect Them

There are certain assets, such as savings accounts, 401(k)s, and IRAs, that are more subject to inflation’s effects. Cash assets can be particularly prone as their value falls with rising inflation rates. In contrast, real estate has historically been viewed as a potential guard against inflation, as property values tend to increase over time.

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What is the Emotional Impact of Divorce on Children?

 Posted on August 03, 2023 in Divorce

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:

What if My Spouse Does Not Respond to the Divorce Process?

 Posted on July 31, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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How Are Crypto Assets Handled in a Divorce?

 Posted on July 25, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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Why You Should Be Careful Using Social Media During an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on July 21, 2023 in Divorce

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.

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How Do I Prepare for a Divorce Deposition?

 Posted on July 07, 2023 in Divorce

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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How Does Parental Alienation Harm the Children?

 Posted on June 30, 2023 in Child Custody / Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

IL custody lawyerChildren should be able to enjoy a close relationship with each of their parents, as it is certainly in their best interests. In some cases, one parent will interfere with a child’s relationship with the other parent. When a parent engages in alienation, it has serious short and long-term effects on the children. A Naperville family law attorney can help you take action to hopefully put an end to this dangerous practice.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is one parent is relentlessly negative about the other to the children or in their presence. The parent’s intent is to make their children think less of the other parent. The parent wants the child to identify with them over the other parent. The children will pull away from the targeted parent to varying degrees. The children will begin to internalize the alienating parent’s negativity to the targeted parent. They may even refuse to speak with or see the targeted parent. There can be a permanent wedge between the child and the targeted parent, which may only be bridged after extensive therapy.

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Can I Be Obligated to Pay for Private School for My Child?

 Posted on June 19, 2023 in Child Support

IL family lawyerNot every child’s educational needs and situation are the same. In addition, two parents may not agree on what type of education is best for their child. One parent may wish to send their child to a private school, while the other may oppose it. An Illinois family law attorney can advise you on how to handle this situation. Any dispute could end up in family court if the parents cannot reach an agreement.

The Best Interests of the Child Test Applies

Every child custody decision in Illinois is made after considering the best interests of the child. This holds true whether the issue of private school is raised during the divorce or any time afterward. Some things that a court may take into account include:

  • The child’s educational history
  • Any special needs that the child has
  • Family history of attending private school
  • The child’s performance in school

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