Category: General Resources

5 Tips for Testifying at Your Hearing

It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll have to testify at some point in your divorce proceedings.

Most often, this occurs at your final court date, or “prove up.” During this court date, both you and your significant other will stand before the judge and testify to certain facts in your Judgment and Marital Settlement Agreement. Your attorney will ask you questions and, in most instances, you’ll answer either “yes” or “no.”

You may also be required to testify during discovery at a meeting called a deposition or before the judge if there is a hearing in your case on an issue during the divorce proceedings, such as child support or maintenance.

The issue with testifying isn’t that it’s difficult. In fact, the only problem is that most individuals don’t know how to testify because what they know comes from television or other, unrealistic sources.

Read on to learn what testifying in court actually requires and 5 tips to help you relax when it’s your turn to step up to the bench!

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I Don’t Like My Case Outcome: Now What?

Like any case in court, a divorce can be risky. If you don’t settle – meaning you don’t come to an agreement with the other side about issues in the case before trial – you’re leaving it entirely to the judge to decide your fate. And, while a pre-trial conference can give your DuPage County divorce attorney insight as to what a judge will decide on your case, you will never know what can or will happen at trial.

Luckily, you have options following the close of your case to appeal or otherwise try and change a judge’s ruling on certain issues in your case. Unfortunately, not all decisions can be challenged or changed. However, you can file an appeal or a petition to reconsider on a handful of topics.

In this article, we discuss both appeals and other options in greater detail so you know your options following the end of your divorce.

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What Terminates Spousal Support in Illinois?

In almost any divorce, spousal support isn’t designed to last forever. In fact, it’s designed to provide temporary relief to an individual who needs it after a divorce. The key word here is temporary.

Maintenance in Illinois is calculated according to a statutory formula. The formula directs attorneys to take 30 percent of the paying spouse’s gross income and subtract 20 percent of the receiving spouse’s gross income. This total is the amount the paying spouse must provide yearly.

But, what puts an end to maintenance?

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The Dangers of Dissipation and Divorce

Divorce involves the division of joint accounts, joint property, and other assets. This process almost always involves one spouse believing they’re entitled to more than they’re going to receive as part of their final judgment. This often opens the door to something called dissipation.

In this article, we’ll discuss what dissipation is, why you may need to continue sharing resources during the divorce, and how to protect yourself from dissipation during your own divorce.

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Annulment vs. Divorce in Illinois: What You Need to Know

Regardless of why you choose to end your marriage, there are several ways how to do so. Annulment and divorce are two separate options to do so legally, however both function in different ways.

In this article, we’ll explore the various similarities, and differences, between both an annulment and divorce and other legal options you have at the time of separation.

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Why You Should Always Settle in Divorce

The word “settlement” has a bad connotation in the realm of divorce. No spouse wants to “settle” and assumingly take less than what he or she is owed or perhaps even compromise with a spouse that he or she no longer gets along with.

However, the truth of the matter is that settlement should almost always be your goal. After all, litigation is time-consuming, messy, and, more importantly expensive. In fact, most cases that are litigated and go to trial can easily cost upwards of $30,000, $40,000, or even $50,000 or more. And, when you consider those attorney’s fees are coming out of your pocket or the property you’re awarded in the divorce, settlement becomes an even more attractive option.

Money aside, why would anyone want to settle? Below, we explore three of the most common reasons to offer a different perspective on what is typically a contentious process.

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Divorce, Finances, and Stay-at-Home Parents

Stay-at-home dads comprise 16 percent of the stay-at-home parent population whereas mothers comprise the other 84 percent. And, while statistics continue to evolve, one thing is certain: any stay-at-home parent faces potential financial difficulty after divorce.

In most stay-at-home parent arrangements, one spouse is the sole breadwinner and the other remains at home to care for the children. As you can imagine, this leads to disparate income gaps amongst parents and, upon divorce, the stay-at-home spouse feeling pressed for financial stability.

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • Why stay-at-home parents often encounter financial difficulties;
  • How to protect your finances during and after your divorce;
  • Steps you should take for financial stability following the end of your divorce

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What to Know About Divorce and Taxes

If you’re considering divorce, you’re considering all the financial factors that go along with it. For many, this means considering big things like property, bank accounts, retirement savings, and more. But, what about taxes?

Few people are familiar with tax law. Even those who are sometimes struggle to make sense of what it’s going to mean to go from married filing jointly to single or how various components of the divorce, like child support payments, factor into taxes.

In this article, we’ll discuss the most important tax implications of divorce, including:

  • Property settlement;
  • Child support payments;
  • Child exemptions; and
  • Spousal Support/Alimony

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Why You Don’t (Necessarily) Want a Quick Divorce

This title is counterintuitive to how you feel about the divorce process. After all, why would you want to draw out the fighting, litigation, costs, and other negative processes that necessarily come with divorce?

The reason: Faster doesn’t always mean better.

Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, working out a fair arrangement for both you and your spouse will take time. Moreover, with the rest of your lives hanging in the balance, it’s important that you do the process methodically and do it right. By hiring a divorce attorney and better understanding the risks of a quick divorce, you can do both.

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Who Gets the Pet in Divorce? What the New Law in Alaska Means

Many individuals who file for divorce are surprised that when it comes to dividing property, animals get only as much consideration as non-living items. Many people consider their pets a part of their family and as such, many owners are distraught when an animal is awarded to one spouse just as the furniture and other property is.

Recently, Alaska passed a law that gives courts a new way to evaluate dividing animals as part of a divorce. Other states may follow suit, meaning that this may affect your Illinois divorce as well.

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