Monthly Archives: October 2014

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Dissipation: How to trace assets in a divorce.


Dissipation in Illinois.

Dissipation in a legal context refers to one spouse’s use of marital funds for their sole purpose or gain and not to the benefit of the marriage. Dissipation is limited to the timeframe in which the marriage began to experience irretrievable breakdown resulting inevitably in divorce. Dissipation is commonly linked to extramarital affairs but is not inextricably associated with it. Any type of money transfer, purchase or spending spree that devalues the marital property can be constituted as dissipation if found to be done without consent or deliberately hidden from one’s spouse. read more

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How to Change Your Name After Divorce

name change after divorce

As the divorce process nears completion, clients often ask what needs to be done in order to legally revert to their maiden name. Requesting a name change after divorce is not an uncommon endeavor given that the majority of women in the United States choose to accept their husband’s family surname at the time of marriage. For those going through a divorce, it is important to make sure a few simple steps are covered in order to avoid wasted time and money down the road.

1.  The Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage must have descriptive language that allows leave to resume the use of your maiden name when desired. It is recommended to include this language whether or not you have any immediate plans to request a name change after divorce. If this language is not included in the Judgment, changing your name in the future can be a major hassle. It requires filing a Petition for Name Change with the courts and going through an exhaustive list of requirements, including public notice, appearing before a judge, and obtaining a court order. With that said, it is always prudent to include a provision granting legal authority for a name change after divorce to avoid returning to court. read more

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The Discovery Process in Divorce Cases

discovery process

One key component to any divorce case is the discovery process.  Many people might ask, “What is discovery?”  Discovery at its core can be defined as the exchange or acquisition of information.  The discovery process can occur in many forms and any good divorce attorney will utilize the numerous methods or resources available to him to obtain the information and/or documentation necessary to adequately represent his client’s interests.

Obtaining information via the discovery process can be accomplished via several different mechanisms, the most common of which include the following: read more

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Crafting a Child Visitation Schedule in Illinois

child visitation schedule


Most parents envision having an active relationship with their children – full of good times, laughs and fond memories. Rarely do people plan on being single parents or imagine going through the process of splitting time with their children with their former spouse. Many individuals whose marriage ends in a divorce or have a child out of wedlock never expected it. Whether you are in the process of a divorce or a parentage case for child custody in Illinois, a very important task may be establishing a child visitation schedule. read more

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How to File for Divorce in Illinois


The decision to file for divorce is often one of the most difficult decisions in one’s life. Filing for divorce can be time consuming, costly, and complex. For these reasons as well as others, it is crucial that anyone considering ending their marriage be sure a divorce is what they truly want.

Once you are 100% certain you are ready to file for divorce, you will need to evaluate whether you want to hire counsel or attempt to navigate the process on your own.  Generally, there are several main steps that will need to taken in order to dissolve a marriage. read more

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The Marital Home & Divorce: What happens to the house?

marital home

One of the major issues often arising during divorce is determining what to do with the marital home. In many cases, parties to a divorce are faced with the dilemma of deciding how to address the home where they resided during the marriage. In most cases, there are two options:

1.  Sell the house – In many instances, the parties want a fresh start upon their divorce and will simply decide to sell the marital home and divide the sale proceeds as they agree or as the court decides. This solution is typically the simplest way to address the martial home as the parties will not be required to value or appraise the property (for purposes of the divorce), as the value (and proceeds resulting therefrom) will be determined by the sale price. The decision to sell the marital home can become complicated if the house is “under water” (i.e. the debt or mortgage on the property exceeds the value of the property).  In situations such as this, the parties may want to consider a short sale of the property to free them from the debt associated with the property, but a short sale can become a complicated and long process. read more

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Orders of Protection: Know the types


Cook County Circuit Court classifies an order of protection in three various capacities based upon the imminent threat the petitioner is experiencing at the time of filing. Because of the fact domestic violence encumbers a broad range of offensives, it is impossible to unilaterally categorize everything on the same scale. When judges review a petition requesting an order of protection, many factors are involved in determining whether or not an order shall be granted, and if one is indeed granted, what type shall the petitioner receive. read more

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Divorce: Who gets the Child Tax Exemption and Deduction?

child tax credit

In any divorce proceeding, the issue of which party will have the right to claim the child or children for tax purposes must be determined either by agreement or by a judge. As any parent knows, receiving a child tax exemption can often be an opportunity to save a substantial amount of money come tax time. The Internal Revenue Code 152(e) clearly states that the custodial parent is entitled to the dependency exemption for their child. However, with many modern child visitation schedules providing increased parenting time for the non-residential parent, it is not always clear who should have the right to the tax benefits associated with the child. read more

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irreconcilable differences

Every couple has their ups and downs; even the seemingly “happiest” couples fight. It’s a part of life. Sometimes the fighting is manageable and sometimes it gets to a point where enough is enough! As a result, the rate of divorce  in American society has increased over the past several decades. Although there are many different factors that may lead a couple to get divorce, the most common ground used when they need to establish grounds for divorce in Illinois is irreconcilable differences. read more

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The Difference Between Mediator and Attorney


A mediator is a neutral third party who assists parties in navigating their legal differences by creating a forum for open dialogue.  Mediators can also draft legal documents detailing agreements reached by the parties but do not represent either party. Mediators are utilized out of court for the purposes of negotiation and for facilitating a dialogue that will hopefully be productive.  While they may be attorneys by trade, mediators cannot later be retained by a party to represent them in court proceedings if the mediator previously attempted to mediate the dispute at hand. A mediator will not go to court and argue for or against any party. Conversely, an attorney represents one party, and will zealously advocate for the party they are representing. While an attorney’s job is to advocate on behalf of their clients, an attorney can take a meditative or cooperative negotiating approach to working with the opposing party. read more

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