233 W. Wilson Street, Batavia, IL, 60510

IL divorce lawyerDivorce can be a long, stressful, and tedious process. Collecting paperwork, paying for attorneys, managing child visitation schedules, and waiting until the next available court date is incredibly burdensome. For many couples, a strategy called collaborative divorce can help mitigate the unpleasantness of the divorce process. While it may not entirely rid spouses of the logistical difficulties of getting divorced in Illinois, it does make the process far less contentious and more likely to produce an outcome both parties are satisfied with. To learn more about how collaborative divorce could benefit you and your family, read on.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

The intention of collaborative divorce is to build a strong team of divorce professionals who assist a family as they transition through the divorce process while keeping conflict to a minimum. To that end, each spouse will have their own attorney who is committed to seeing the couple’s differences successfully resolved. Other professionals include child psychologists, child custody specialists, family therapists, financial advisors, and any other experts that can help spouses resolve conflict and create a beneficial divorce decree.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Benefit Families?

A collaborative process makes divorce easier for parents and children. For parents, the divorce process becomes much cheaper, faster, and less stressful by giving parents complete control over the terms of the divorce decree. Traditional divorce is far more costly and drawn-out, and couples whose divorce is decided by a judge are less likely to be satisfied with a judge’s decisions. Spouses generally feel like they get their needs heard and their priorities met, and, unlike court-ordered mediation, can take as long as necessary to negotiate their differences.

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IL divorce lawyerBefore most of us get married, we have idealistic ideas about relationships and how easy our lives will be once we find “the one.” On the day of your wedding, it can be hard to imagine that divorce could ever be on the horizon. Yet relationships are complicated, and the prevalence of divorce is well known.

Spouses in Illinois sometimes get divorced for clear-cut issues like domestic violence and infidelity. But for others, the question of when to leave a relationship can be more complicated. A good spouse does not have to be a perfect person, and life’s challenges can make even the best couple question their ability to overcome a tough time. But when does a tough time last for long enough to make you doubt the permanence of your relationship? While only you can know whether it is right to file for divorce, here are some signs that it may be time to go your separate ways.

You Are Not Longer Intimate - And You Do Not Care

Couples naturally go through periods where one spouse is more interested in sex than the other. Sometimes, neither spouse expresses much interest in intimacy. As long as each partner feels comfortable and communication is open, these periods do not have to pose any threat. But when you stop being intimate with your partner and no longer care, this may be a sign that something more serious is afoot. In general, when one or both partners is not interested in addressing problems that bother the other partner, it does not bode well for the future of the relationship.

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Il divorce lawyerMost spouses sincerely hope that the moment they receive their divorce decree, problems with their ex will improve. Although in many cases this is true, for some people, finalizing their divorce is only the beginning of further legal battles. Divorce decrees are legally binding - meaning that to violate the terms of the divorce decree is to break the law - but that does not stop people from simply choosing not to hold up their end of the deal. When this means not paying spousal support or child support, this can have serious consequences for a family. If your former spouse has decided not to follow your divorce decree, read on to learn more about your options for enforcement.

What is Considered a Violation?

For someone to violate a divorce decree, there must be a current, valid court order. Even if you were never married, having a court-ordered parenting agreement and child support order is crucial for ensuring you get the help you need. A verbal agreement between two people is not legally enforceable.

Next, your ex must be willfully and meaningfully violating the order. A one-time, accidental violation, such as forgetting to send a child support payment on time but sending it a few days later, would be insufficient to take legal action.

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IL divorce lawyerBefore January 1, 2019, divorcing spouses in Illinois could sometimes receive something known as “unallocated maintenance.” While most people are familiar with child support and spousal support (also known as alimony or spousal maintenance), unallocated maintenance was less common. Until the law changed, unallocated maintenance allowed spouses to receive money that could be used for both children and themselves, with certain tax implications.

Recent federal tax laws removing unallocated maintenance as an option may have consequences for individuals receiving unallocated maintenance who want to modify their divorce decree. If you are receiving unallocated maintenance and want to learn more, read on.

Tax Implications of Unallocated Maintenance

Child support payments in Illinois are “tax neutral” - the spouse who makes payments cannot deduct them from their taxes, and the parent who receives payments does not pay income taxes on them. But before 2019, spousal support was tax-deductible and the receiving spouse had to pay income tax. Sometimes, unallocated maintenance was used as an option for combining spousal and child support when one spouse made significantly higher income than the other, simplifying matters and providing tax benefits for the receiving and the paying spouse.

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IL divorce lawyerGetting divorced is never easy, but getting divorced because you found out your spouse was having an affair can be devastating. Emotionally recovering from the broken trust while you are going through divorce proceedings proves to be a major challenge for many spouses, who may justifiably wonder: Does an affair affect a divorce proceeding in Illinois? After all, if a spouse’s infidelity ends a marriage, it may seem like it makes sense for there to be consequences.

But no matter who is responsible for the end of a marriage, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state - meaning that the only reason a couple can give for divorce is irreconcilable differences. Cheating, in and of itself, does not affect the process or the outcome of a divorce. However, behaviors and circumstances commonly affiliated with cheating can affect a divorce.

Can Cheating Affect Custody Arrangements?

Allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time are not directly affected by infidelity. However, if a parent’s new boyfriend or girlfriend poses a risk to the children, this could affect that parent’s ability to spend time with the children. For example, if a new partner has a history of domestic abuse or is a registered sex offender, courts can take this into account when making decisions about a parenting plan.

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