Illinois Child Support Now Includes Income Sharing

On July 1, 2017, Illinois underwent a major overhaul of it’s child support laws. Before July 1, child support involved taking a certain percentage of the payor’s net income for each supported child, specifically 20% for one, 28% for two, 32% for three, and 40% for four or more. Although the new system appears difficult to understand, the new laws actually help to create a fairer outcome than the previous laws allowed. The new laws help to make sure each parent pays the fair share of raising a child.

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Divorcing a Missing Spouse

Sometimes people have been separated for many years and have never gotten divorced.  They may figure that they have no children, they own no real property,  they have no marital property, or they never plan to remarry, so what’s the big deal? If you have been separated for many years, in the eyes of the court you might as well still be living together because your rights and responsibilities are still the same.  Anything that you have purchased is marital property, even if purchased in your own name.  Your spouse is still entitled to a portion of your pension benefits, and if you die without a will, your spouse will still be able to get a spouse’s share of the intestate estate. The only way to separate your finances from a spouse is through a legal separation, which is a court proceeding, or a divorce. Continue reading “Divorcing a Missing Spouse”

Three Tips for a Successful Mediation

Ad a divorce mediator in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois, Many people ask me about the pros and cons of meditation, and some of them have been addressed in my prior article.  However, once you have decided you want to try mediation, it can help to keep in mind the following three tips for successful divorce mediation. If you are interested in divorce mediation, you can contact me or check out a mediation website I’m a part of [click here].

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Should I Mediate My Divorce?

It depends.

Why Mediate a Divorce?

When a couple files for a divorce, usually there are a lot of angry feelings. The tendency is to want to fight for every conceivable advantage. That is why you hire a lawyer, right? Well, yes and no. You hire a lawyer to fight for your rights, but also to advise you as to the best course of action to take, all the ramifications that certain actions will have and how to achieve the best possible results. Your attorney will likely inform you that mediation is the best way to go. Why? Continue reading “Should I Mediate My Divorce?”

Ex Violating Divorce Judgment or Custody Order?

“My ex is violating a court order. What should I do?” As a divorce lawyer Cook, DuPage, and Lake counties, I get that questions a lot. Unfortunately, many people are surprised when they get divorced then find their ex is not following the court order.

I wrote this article to shed some light on what a divorce lawyer can help you do when your ex is violating a court order in Illinois. I’m a divorce lawyer in Illinois, and many times I’ve taken action against against people who don’t follow court orders. Continue reading “Ex Violating Divorce Judgment or Custody Order?”

Who is the Best Divorce Attorney in Chicago?

You decide that you want to get a divorce.  Should you try to retain the best divorce attorney?  Absolutely.  You should retain the divorce attorney who is best for you!  What does that mean?  One who listens, who charges a rate that you can live with, knows the law, and understands that your divorce doesn’t exist to fund his or her next island vacation.

Here’s a few things you should know . . . . Continue reading “Who is the Best Divorce Attorney in Chicago?”

Joint Simplified Divorce in Cook County

As a skilled attorney, I generally advise against people trying to do their own divorces.  While you might think it is simple, I receive many calls from people who want to undo things from their divorce.  There is a simple way to get divorced in Cook County, but you must meet all of the criteria. This is not the same as a standard uncontested divorce.

What are the Criteria for a Joint Simplified Divorce?

To be eligible for a joint simplified divorce in Cook County you must meet the following criteria (note that this also applies to civil unions):

(a) The duration of the marriage/civil union does not exceed 8 years.

(b) Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage/civil union and the parties
have been separated 6 months or more. Efforts at reconciliation have failed or future attempts at reconciliation
would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.

(c) No children were born of the relationship of the parties or adopted by the parties during the marriage/civil
union. Neither party is pregnant by the other party.

(d) Neither party is dependent on the other party for support or each party is willing to waive the right to
support.

(e) Each party waives any right to spousal support.

(f) Neither party has any interest in real estate.

(g) The total fair market value of all marital/civil union property, after deducting all debts owed, is less than
$10,000.

(h) The total annual income of both parties is less than $35,000. Neither party has a gross annual income from all sources in excess of $20,000.

(i) Both parties have disclosed to each other all assets and their tax returns for all years of the marriage/civil union.

(j) The parties have executed a written Agreement dividing all assets in excess of $100 in value and
allocating responsibility for debts and liabilities between themselves. A copy of the Agreement, signed by
both parties, is filed with the petition.

If you do not meet these criteria and you live in Cook County, chances are you need an attorney to help you navigate through the divorce process.