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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

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

JOLIET

58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 500, Joliet, IL 60432

Phone: 815-727-4500

CHICAGO

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

Phone: 630-932-9100
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DuPage County divorce lawyersWhen one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other, the transition from married to single life can be particularly hard on the lower-earning spouse after divorce. This is especially true when the latter spouse has taken on most of the home and family duties in order to support the other’s career advancement. 

To ease the transition, the higher-earning spouse often makes monthly maintenance payments to the other for a year or more after the divorce. However, there are many misconceptions about Illinois laws on spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. Both spouses should go into a divorce understanding what they can realistically expect when negotiating a maintenance agreement.

Q: What if I Do Not Think I Need Maintenance at the Time of the Divorce, But Change My Mind Afterward?

A: If you waive your right to maintenance in your final divorce settlement, you cannot go back to court later and try to obtain maintenance (750 ILCS 5/457e). Therefore, one important step in the divorce process is to work out a budget and determine how much money you will need to support yourself after the divorce.

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DuPage County divorce attorneys

A divorce settlement may require a higher-earning spouse to pay monthly spousal maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support, to a lower-earning or stay-at-home spouse. The divorce decree will specify the amount of the monthly payment and the duration of payments. If the decree specifies “indefinite” payments, you might assume the payments are guaranteed to continue until the recipient dies or remarries. 

However, the use of the term “indefinite” does not guarantee the recipient payment of maintenance for life. It is important for both spouses to understand when and how an award of maintenance could be modified in the future. If a spouse expects to depend on a fixed amount of income for the rest of their life, extra care must be taken in drafting the marital settlement agreement. 

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DuPage County parental alienation attorneyNo marriage is perfect, and marriages regularly end in divorce. Disagreements and anger about the end of a marriage can cause a spouse to lash out at their former partner in whatever ways they can. Divorces with an adversarial nature often seriously impact the lives of the spouses and any children involved. Occasionally, a parent may take the anger and resentment even further than normal and cause their child or children to experience parental alienation syndrome. 

What Is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Parental alienation syndrome is a term created in the 1980s by the child psychiatrist Dr. Richard Gardner. Gardner used this term to describe what happens when a parent tries to make their children dislike the other parent. The parent who is attempting to alienate the child is often not happy about the divorce and wants their children to be on their side in order to influence child custody decisions. The alienation is accomplished by making negative comments about the other parent, constantly putting them down, blaming them for everything, and even making false accusations. It is also common to see a parent attempt to keep the children to themselves as much as possible and limit the other parent’s parenting time with the children. 

Addressing Parental Alienation

Parents who believe their significant other has alienated their children against them may wonder what they can do to stop the alienation and have a good relationship with their children again. One of the keys to helping your child come back from the alienation is to start talking to them about similarities and differences between family members. Discuss non-emotional topics such as favorite colors, music, and hobbies and how the child is alike or different from each parent. Then, once that has been established, move on to discussions of the emotions the child is feeling, such as anger. Discuss what makes the child angry and how that is the same or different from what makes the parents angry. Doing this exercise will encourage the child to think about individualized emotions and help them realize that they do not have to feel the same emotions as others. For example, they do not have to be angry at one parent just because the other parent is angry. 

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DuPage County divorce lawyer retirement alimonyEvery divorce needs to be treated differently due to the individual circumstances in each case. However, there are some common elements that will typically need to be taken care of during the divorce process, including child custody, division of assets, and spousal maintenance (alimony). Maintenance consists of financial support that one spouse pays to the other to make sure they are able to support themselves after the divorce. If you are close to retirement age and are considering initiating divorce proceedings, you may be wondering what will happen if you are ordered to pay maintenance and decide to retire soon after.

Possible Outcomes

If you decide to retire and are still paying maintenance to your ex-spouse, there are a few different outcomes that could occur. Illinois law states that you may be able to receive a reduction or stoppage of your maintenance obligation if you are able to show that you have had a “substantial change in circumstances” making you unable to pay the maintenance. The decision to retire is often not enough for a judge to order a complete termination of maintenance payments, but it may be enough for a reduction of the amount of payments. The decision will depend on how severe the reduction in the payer’s income is after retirement. Retirement is not the only factor that a judge will look at to determine if the maintenance payments should be changed, but it does fall under the “substantial change in circumstances” umbrella. 

Termination of maintenance is usually only granted if the person being paid gets married again or if the retirement of the payor reduces their income to the point where any payments towards maintenance would cause them to fall under the poverty line. Usually, a change such as reduction or termination is not granted immediately. Instead, the payments may be reduced for a year, and then reduced further during another period of time, after which they may stop. This method lets everyone plan for the changes in income ahead of time and make the arrangements necessary to ensure that their ongoing needs will be met. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Illinois-divorce-lawyers_20190204-082413_1.jpgWhen a marriage ends, it can cause a significant amount of stress on both parties involved. The decision to ask for a divorce, the actual process of the divorce, and adjusting to your new life after the divorce can cause varying levels of stress. Stress can take over a person’s life if steps are not taken to mitigate it.

What Is Divorce Stress?

Most people have an idea of what stress is, but in order to help combat your stress, it is helpful to learn more about it as it relates to your divorce. Divorce stress usually involves two different types of stressors. There are the ones most people think about and know they will have to deal with in some form: who is going to move, losing what you are familiar with, paying bills, your children’s reaction, and starting over.

Then there are the stressors which are caused by what is unknown in your life because of the divorce: what kind of settlement you will have, the division of assets and debts, finding a job after the divorce, dealing with less money, being afraid of family reactions, etc. The combination of all these factors can cause a large amount of stress in somebody who is going through a divorce.

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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 35 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Joliet, St. Charles, and Chicago.

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