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DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

Family Law

Naperville family law attorneysIf you are getting married at a point in your life when you already have significant assets or children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can provide you with important protections in the event your marriage fails. However, the hardest part of getting a prenuptial agreement may be raising the subject with your partner in the first place. You can make the conversation easier if you are careful about how you approach it.

Tips for Talking About a Prenuptial Agreement

If you are not careful, your partner may view your request for a prenuptial agreement as a sign that you do not trust him or her, or that you expect the marriage to fail. In order to assuage these fears, here are some suggestions that can lead to a more positive discussion.

  • Include your request in a larger conversation about finances. Marriage means that you and your spouse will share at least some financial assets and debts, so it is in the best interest of any couple to discuss finances openly before deciding to get married. As you start to learn more about each other’s financial needs and goals, you may find a good opportunity to raise the subject of a prenuptial agreement.
  • Explain your reasoning. When you ask your partner about creating a prenuptial agreement, do your best to make it clear why it is so important to you. If your partner understands your desire to provide for your children or retain control over a business in which you have invested significant time and energy, he or she may be more open to supporting your needs.
  • Be open to your partner’s needs and concerns. At the same time, make an effort to listen to and understand your partner’s concerns. You may need to reassure your partner of your love and commitment, but you should also be open to his or her requests for terms in the agreement that protect his or her own interests.
  • Do not put it off. A request for a prenuptial agreement weeks before your marriage is likely to raise more red flags than a request as soon as possible after your engagement, or even before it. Giving your partner an opportunity to process your request is one of the best ways to ensure that it does not lead to conflict.

It may also help to let your partner know that in Illinois, a prenuptial agreement can be modified at any time as long as both partners agree. However, under no circumstances should you attempt to manipulate, coerce, or force your partner into signing a prenuptial agreement, as any of these behaviors can make the agreement invalid, not to mention the damage that such actions could cause in your relationship.

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Lombard divorce attorneysIn many marriages, an imbalance in income means that one spouse relies on the other for financial support to maintain their accustomed standard of living. When these marriages end in divorce, it can be especially hard for the lower-income spouse to recover financially. Thankfully, Illinois courts will often award spousal support or maintenance in these cases, but it is important to note that this is usually not a permanent solution. If you rely on spousal support, you should be aware of the circumstances under which those payments can end and plan accordingly.

Standard Duration of Spousal Support in Illinois

If the court determines that spousal maintenance is necessary, the duration of payment is typically calculated based on the length of the marriage, starting at 20 percent of the length of the marriage for marriages shorter than 5 years. For example, a marriage of 4 years would result in 9 to 10 months of spousal support. The duration increases by 4 percent of the length of the marriage for each additional year up to 20, at which point the court may award spousal support for a period equal to the entire length of the marriage or indefinitely.

If you are the spouse receiving support, understanding these calculations can help you make plans for increasing your personal income in the future, perhaps by continuing your education or seeking new career opportunities so that you can fully support yourself by the time the payments terminate.

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DuPage County family law attorneysAfter your divorce is finalized, you may be looking for a fresh start, perhaps in the form of a change of scenery. However, if you share children with your ex, relocating after your divorce is not as simple as picking a spot on the map. You should think carefully about whether the move is in your children’s best interests, and even if you decide that relocation is the right decision, there are important procedures you must follow to ensure your relocation is legal.

Possible Reasons for Relocation

Moving with your children after a divorce is a major decision that affects your entire family. However, there are situations in which it may make sense. For example, relocation can be a good decision if:

  • The move allows you to better provide for your children. You may have a good case for relocation if you are moving to accept a job offer that advances your career and increases your income, or to pursue higher education that increases your job opportunities.
  • The move allows you or your children to pursue an important opportunity. If the reason for your move is directly related to your children, perhaps to allow them to attend a better school or participate in a cherished extracurricular activity, you may have a good case that the move is in your children’s best interests.
  • The move brings you closer to extended family. Relocating closer to your family not only gives your children the opportunity to build stronger relationships with them, but may also give you access to a better support system that can assist in the raising of your children.
  • Your children are able to maintain their relationship with the other parent. Presuming that your ex is a fit parent, it is important that your relocation does not damage your children’s relationship with him or her. If you choose to move, you should work with your ex to update your parenting plan and arrange for regular travel so that your kids can still spend time with both of you.

Obtaining Approval for Relocation in Illinois

If you plan to move with your child out of state or at least 25 from your current home (50 miles, if you already live outside of the immediate Chicago area), you will likely need to obtain legal approval to do so. First, you must provide reasonable written notice to the other parent, usually at least 60 days before the move. From there, the best-case scenario is that your ex consents to the relocation and is willing to work with you on an updated parenting plan. However, if your ex does not consent, you will need to file a petition for relocation and demonstrate to the court that the move is in your children’s best interests.

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DuPage County elder divorce attorneysMore and more couples are getting divorced later in life. Some attribute this shift to an increase in female independence in modern relationships. Since women are no longer solely dependent on their husbands, they often feel more free to divorce their spouse if they are unhappy in their marriage. Others believe that our longer lifespans are contributing to these late-life decisions. With people living 90+ years, being married to the same person for that amount of time may not be in the cards for every couple. Known as gray divorce, getting divorced after the age of 50 brings on its own unique challenges, making it critical to hire a divorce attorney who can help you avoid making the following mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not Taking Note of Your Assets

Rarely do both spouses have an equal hand in managing the household finances. Over time, particular chores get assigned to each spouse and paying bills or managing accounts is often one of these. If you are the spouse who took on other responsibilities throughout your marriage, it is important to do your own inventory of your assets and debts. In some cases, divorcing spouses may attempt to conceal assets during the divorce to keep them for themselves. This is especially true for couples who have been married longer and have more savings and debts collected. 

Mistake #2: Forgetting the Taxes

Almost every decision that you make in your divorce will entail a transfer of assets or finances from one spouse to the other. Maybe you decided to keep the family home or are receiving child support or alimony. Whatever decisions you make in the process will come with their own taxes. You should look into the tax implications of each decision and select the one that makes the most sense. Should you pay your alimony in a lump sum or make monthly payments? Is keeping or selling your house the best idea? Your attorney will be able to guide you through these determinations and lead you to a reputable tax advisor when necessary.

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Lombard family law attorneysCollege is undoubtedly one of the most expensive investments that you will ever make. As college and university tuition prices continue to rise, it may seem impossible to help pay for your child’s tuition. When couples decide to have kids, oftentimes they will create a separate savings account that will be used towards their children’s tuition. However, the steady increase of tuition costs and the day-to-day costs of raising a child can leave these accounts inadequate to cover the child’s costs as they settle on which college or university to attend. 

For divorcing parents, things become even more complicated. In Illinois, divorced parents are required to create a parenting plan that outlines the details of parental responsibilities, parenting schedules, and child support obligations. Unlike some other states, Illinois law addresses the topic of costs associated with college, requiring many parents to help fund their child’s education.

Educational Costs

As a parent reviewing your child’s post-high school options, you may be intimidated by the cost of college. In order to give children with divorced parents the same financial support as those whose parents are still married, a family court judge can require you to assist with the following costs. Because state schools are typically more affordable than private institutions, Illinois law uses the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) as its reference point.

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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

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