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Family Law

Lombard divorce lawyerMost Illinois divorce cases are now resolved using alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and arbitration. Many couples try to resolve as many issues as possible before even filing for divorce so they can increase the chance of having an uncontested divorce, which allows for a faster, cheaper divorce process.

Unfortunately, divorce negotiation is neither practical nor safe for every divorcing couple. No matter how unpleasant the experience may be, some divorces need to come before a judge so each partner has a fair chance to make their arguments and ensure the law is applied correctly.

When a divorce does go to trial, there is an important fact-gathering step called discovery. If you anticipate divorce litigation, it is important to understand the discovery process, what will be expected of you, and what kind of information you may need to provide.

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Naperville divorce attorneyRetirement is usually a lifelong endeavor; people work for decades, looking forward to the time when they can finally quit their job and pursue a life of travel and hobbies. The prospect of divorce can be especially concerning for adults who are nearing retirement age because it begs a host of difficult questions: How much of my retirement will I lose? What kind of home can I afford to live in on my own? Will I be able to retire at all?

The answers to these questions vary for every divorcing spouse, but rest assured that whatever complications your case may present, having an experienced attorney on your side will result in a better outcome than if you decide to represent yourself.

How Are Retirement Plans Treated in an Illinois Divorce?

In addition to the fact that liquid assets and real estate must be divided, retirement plans must also be included as part of the divisible marital estate (unless they are protected by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement). However, spouses can divide their entire marital estate however they want - as long as both spouses agree. This means that, while you can divide your retirement accounts, you do not necessarily have to.

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DuPage County divorce lawyerThe financial stresses of getting divorced are usually centered around property division, child support, and alimony. One other important part of divorce that should not be overlooked is health insurance coverage and what happens to a spouse who is covered by their partner’s insurance after the divorce is finalized.

Health insurance is vital, especially as the cost of medical care continues to rise. If you are considering divorce, you need to prepare yourself for the future by understanding your options regarding health insurance and whether you need to take steps now to find alternative coverage.

Spousal Health Insurance After Divorce

Insurance companies and employers allow couples to remain on each other’s insurance policies, even after divorce, because of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). This allows you to buy the same insurance coverage through the same company that insured you while you were married. Your spouse will still have to be insured at the time of the divorce, and they must notify their employer after the divorce is finalized so the insurance company can send you the information you need to manage your coverage. It is essential to manage insurance matters in a timely and detail-oriented manner because small mistakes can leave you without coverage.

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Illinois divorce lawyerYou may have been surprised when your spouse served you with divorce papers, but now it is time to take action. Regardless of how you feel about divorce - whether you want it or not - the way you respond to the initial divorce papers will have a major impact on how the rest of the process goes for you. Here are some steps to take if you need to respond to divorce papers in Illinois.

Take a Moment to Think it Through

It can be tempting to react right away to bad news by getting angry, calling your spouse, or responding to the divorce papers with hostile demands. Even if you think your spouse has been totally unreasonable, take a moment to think through the situation before you do anything else. Do not contact your spouse. Do not post about the situation on social media. Do not talk to your kids about it. It is essential to keep a level head and act from a place of rationality.

Find Out When You Need to Respond

The divorce papers will have a date on which you need to respond to the initial filing. This is usually 30 days from your receipt of the papers. You may choose not to respond, but that will not stop the divorce from going through; instead, without a response from you, your spouse will likely be granted the things they are asking for.

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Illinois family law attorneyWhen a couple decides to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, they usually have questions about what, exactly, the agreement can include. Can they set limits on alimony? What about child support? Can parents agree to split custody of the kids 50/50 now, while they get along well and are not in a heated divorce?

Enforceability is perhaps the most important part of a prenuptial agreement because if a contract is not enforceable, it is a waste of time and money, and a couple ends up fighting over the issues they hoped to protect themselves and each other from. To make sure your prenuptial agreement is enforceable, read this blog about what a prenuptial agreement can address, and then contact an Illinois premarital agreement attorney who can help you create your own.

What Issues Can a Prenup Cover in Illinois?

Perhaps the easiest way to understand what a prenuptial agreement can cover is first to examine what it cannot. Anything related to a child of the marriage - such as child support, parental responsibilities, or parenting time - cannot be addressed. This is because these are separate areas of Illinois law that can only be decided by a family law court at the time a couple legally separates or divorces.

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