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Family Law

Naperville Divorce AttorneyIn a typical Illinois divorce, marital property is distributed equitably between spouses through a property division agreement or order. This means that any assets that the spouses previously owned together will become the sole property of one or the other. However, there are possible exceptions to this outcome. If you and your spouse can reach an agreement, you may be able to continue to jointly own certain properties and assets even after your divorce is complete.

What Kinds of Property Are Amenable to Joint Ownership?

In theory, divorcing spouses could agree to maintain joint ownership of a wide variety of assets, but this is rarely realistic in practice. Though giving up some of your assets can be difficult, it is typically much less complicated to completely disentangle your financial interests from your spouse’s.

That said, there are some types of property for which it may be desirable to remain joint owners, at least for a time. This can include:


DuPage Divorce AttorneySpousal maintenance is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Illinois divorce process. While the division of marital assets is a part of all divorces, and child support is a part of all divorces involving minor children, spousal support is much more situational. You may be able to secure spousal support through a prenuptial agreement or a divorce settlement agreement with your spouse. However, if you cannot reach such an agreement, you will have to demonstrate to the court that maintenance is warranted in your case.

Temporary Maintenance During the Divorce Process

Your need for financial support may begin as soon as you and your spouse separate and the divorce is filed. This is especially true if you do not have easy access to your marital assets. You can pursue temporary maintenance by filing a petition with the court that has jurisdiction over your divorce.

Along with your petition, you will need to file a financial affidavit and any relevant evidence that shows your limited income and resources. This evidence may include recent tax returns, pay stubs and other income statements, and statements from any bank accounts that you have access to. You might also include evidence of your regular expenses. Your affidavit and supporting evidence will be the primary basis for the court’s decision as to whether to grant temporary maintenance, and if so, how much maintenance to grant.


dupage county child custody lawyerAn often-overlooked challenge for families who have been through a divorce is adjusting their holiday celebrations. Holidays after a divorce can be emotionally difficult, as they may be a reminder of happier times. They can also be logistically difficult, as parents must decide how to allocate time and arrange for exchanges and transportation fairly.

Summer holidays like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day may not carry as much importance as other holidays throughout the year, but they are still valuable times for parents and children to enjoy each other’s company. With this in mind, you should consider what you can do to make sure the summer holidays are still enjoyable for the whole family.

Create a Solid Parenting Plan

A parenting plan should not only include a regular parenting time schedule throughout the year, but also specific considerations for holidays. Illinois provides a statewide form to guide parents in the creation of a parenting plan, and this form offers various options for sharing the holidays. You and your co-parent may decide to alternate certain holidays every other year, or you may wish to create a more customized arrangement. For example, your plan could stipulate that one parent has the kids from Friday evening through Sunday morning of the Fourth of July weekend, while the other parent has the kids during the day on Sunday and into Monday.


dupage county divorce lawyerDivorce can be tough on everyone involved, including your children. Your kids may be afraid that their family is falling apart and that they are partially to blame. As a parent, it is important to make your kids’ happiness a priority and do everything you can to help them through this stressful ordeal.

Here are a few tips for raising happy kids during and after your divorce.

  • Reassure your kids that the divorce is not their fault. Unfortunately, many kids assume that their parents’ divorce is their fault. They may believe that if they had behaved better, their parents may still be together. That is why you should repeatedly tell your children that your divorce had nothing to do with them. Explain that you and your ex no longer get along, but that you still love them very much.


dupage county divorce lawyerFor divorcing couples interested in resolving their divorce amicably and with minimal involvement of the court, mediation is often a viable method of alternative dispute resolution. Even in a contested divorce, the court will sometimes order the spouses to attempt mediation to resolve some of their agreements. Whether you are preparing for mediation voluntarily or by court order, it is important to know what to expect, including whether it is a good idea to hire an attorney for the process.

Mediators and Attorneys Play Different Roles

In mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a trained mediator who will help you reach an agreement on the various aspects of your divorce resolution, including property division, spousal support, child support, and the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Many mediators are also licensed attorneys who have a thorough understanding of the laws governing divorce proceedings in Illinois. However, their role in the mediation process is not to provide legal advice or advocate on behalf of either party. Rather, they must remain neutral and impartial, helping the parties identify common ground and make progress toward an agreement on their own terms.

A divorce attorney, on the other hand, is a representative for one of the parties. If you hire an attorney, they represent you alone. Their role is to advocate for you and your interests throughout the divorce process, whether in amicable negotiations or contested litigation. Your attorney can also provide you with qualified legal advice and help you fulfill all legal requirements to finalize your divorce. Importantly, an attorney cannot represent both spouses even in an uncontested divorce, as this would create a conflict of interest.

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