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Family Law

shutterstock_273673343-min.jpgDifferences in money management strategies are notorious for contributing to divorce rates. Couples frequently disagree about how to manage money and financial conflict is one of the most common reasons cited for divorce. In addition to causing conflict within a marriage, the inability to effectively manage money can have long-term repercussions, affecting couples and individuals long after a marriage has ended.

Disagreements about money are not a sure-fire sign that a relationship is doomed, but if you and your spouse are constantly struggling to resolve money issues, you may want to consider speaking with an Illinois divorce attorney.

Common Marital Financial Issues

Because there is no one right strategy for managing money, couples who discuss each other’s attitudes towards spending money right from the beginning of their relationship are more likely to have a successful marriage. They avoid unpleasant surprises and have an easier time agreeing on how to handle their finances through their relationship.


shutterstock_1728117421-min.jpg Marital asset division is one of the most notorious areas of divorce, but it is not only a couple’s property that must be divided - their debts must be divided as well. Over the course of a marriage, couples can include substantial debt together. Indeed, couples may accumulate more debt than property. Jointly owned credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and home equity lines of credit are all common in modern marriages and must be dealt with in divorce.

As with the asset division process, Illinois courts are concerned with dividing marital debt in a way that is equitable rather than precisely equal. Understanding what this is likely to mean for you can help you prepare for your divorce and set yourself up for success in the future.

What is Considered Marital Debt?

If either spouse has debt before the marriage begins, that debt usually remains the responsibility of that same spouse if the marriage ends. But with few exceptions, debt accumulated by either spouse during the marriage will be considered marital debt. Medical expenses, investment debt, student loans, and small business loans are all common types of marital debt. Even a car loan taken out by one spouse and used exclusively for their benefit is considered marital debt.


shutterstock_1909339975-min.jpgIn 2019, Illinois modified the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and changed the way that spousal maintenance (previously known as “alimony”) is handled in Illinois divorces. Spousal maintenance is not intended to punish or reward either spouse. Rather, it is ordered by a court for a period of time in recognition of the fact that the receiving spouse may be left in a disastrous financial situation after the divorce because he or she often gave up a career and other personal opportunities to care for a family. There are now four main kinds of spousal maintenance that can be ordered by an Illinois court.

Temporary Maintenance

Temporary Maintenance is allocated to spouses for a brief period of time while the divorce is ongoing. Because a homemaker may have no financial resources of their own to pay for a divorce attorney, spousal maintenance may be necessary to provide for expenses while the divorce is taking place. Individuals who anticipate needing temporary spousal maintenance can include a request in their initial divorce filing.

Fixed-Term Maintenance

Fixed-term maintenance is ordered for a set period of time so that the recipient can become self-supporting after a divorce. Fixed-term maintenance is common for homemakers or spouses who gave up career advancement or education to care for children or take care of the home. The spouse who receives fixed-term maintenance will generally have a limited ability to earn an income and needs education or skills training to maintain the marital standard of living.


shutterstock_635777444-min.jpgMarried parents often move from one state to another with their children. After a divorce in Illinois, parents who share parenting time with their former spouse may be required to obtain permission from their former spouse and the court before they can move.

This article discusses the conditions around moving with a child after divorce. Whether you are a parent trying to stop your child from being relocated or a parent seeking to relocate a child, having an experienced family law attorney is essential.

How Far Can We Move Without Permission?

Illinois law requires a parent moving more than 25 miles away or crossing state lines to request permission from the other parent (this is broadened to 50 miles away if the parent lives outside of the Chicago area). If the responding parent does not consent to the move, then the parent requesting the move must file a petition with the court and show that the move would be in the child’s best interests.


Bloomingdale Paterntiy LawyerWhen a child is born outside of marriage, the parents often have questions about what will happen next to them and their child. One common question is whether it is truly necessary to go through the legal process of establishing paternity. Some parents are intimidated by the prospect of interacting with the Illinois court system in any way, while others may not see the benefits of making paternity official. For example, if you get along with the other parent, you may assume that your own personal arrangements for raising the child are sufficient. On the other hand, if you do not want the child’s father to be involved, you may feel that establishing paternity would only make things worse.

Though it is understandable to have concerns about establishing paternity, it is important not to fall victim to common misconceptions about what it entails. In many cases, establishing paternity is in your child’s best interests as well as your own, and doing so may not be as intimidating as you expect.

Establishing Paternity for Parental Rights

When a child is born to an unmarried mother, she is automatically presumed to be the child’s parent, with all of the parental rights that this entails. However, in most cases, the father has no such rights. Though a mother may be agreeable to the father seeing and spending time with the child or even helping to raise the child, if this ever changes, the father has no legal standing to assert parental rights or pursue parenting time or parental responsibilities.

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