Category: Divorce Q&A in Illinois Law

Common Divorce Questions in Illinois – Resources & Answers to Common Questions

We’re a law firm specializing in divorce and family law. In this section of our site you’ll find FAQs, articles, resources and answers to common questions about marriage & divorce law in Illinois.

If you need legal help or representation please click here to request a free 30 minute confidential consultation with one of our team.

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Divorce Q&A: What is the Right of First Refusal?

If you have minor children, you’re going to have a parenting plan as part of your divorce. Typically, this parenting plan is called a Joint Parenting Judgment or, more commonly, an Allocation of Parental Responsibility Judgment.

The Right of First Refusal is going to be part of your parenting plan as part of Illinois law. This gives you the right to spend more time with your children if your soon-to-be former spouse, or former spouse, can’t.

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Divorce Q&A: What is Dissipation?

You and your spouse may have had to compromise on how to save and spend money during your marriage. However, some spouses consider divorce a free-for-all where they can spend money as they like. As you can imagine, this isn’t the case.

If a spouse begins to spend money on lavish trips or other expenses that are solely to his or her benefit, the courts will likely consider it dissipation. If they do, that spouse will almost always have to pay some or all of the money back to be divided as property in the divorce.

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Divorce Q&A: What Can I Do if My Spouse Interferes With Parenting Time?

Divorce is designed to give both parents roughly equal parenting time with their children. Doing so is for the benefit of the children and each parent in remaining an active, involved influence in their children’s lives.

However, divorce is inherently contentious. And, unfortunately, this often means one parent will try and withhold parenting time from their former spouse. Luckily, they aren’t legally entitled to do so and, should it happen to you, you can work with a Naperville divorce lawyer to get back the parenting time you’ve lost.

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Divorce Q&A: What is Unallocated Support?

Child and spousal support are both familiar topics for most divorcing couples. You understand that if you get divorced, you or your spouse may be required to pay support for a set period of time depending on a number of factors set forth by the court. However, few divorcing couples are as familiar with the idea of unallocated support.

Unallocated support often benefits both the spouse who is ordered to pay and the receiving support. But, what is unallocated support and how can you benefit?

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Divorce Q&A: What if My Spouse Makes False Allegations of Abuse Against Me?

Divorce tends to bring out the worst in people. And, now that Illinois family law has changed, spouses are turning to more creative ways to “get back at their spouse” during the divorce process. One way they’re doing so is by making false allegations of abuse against their former spouse.

Child abuse is the most common, falsely alleged accusation during divorce proceedings. However, some spouses may allege domestic abuse as well. If this happens to you, it’s important you know the process that follows and your options in the divorce.

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Divorce Q&A: What if My Spouse Doesn’t Participate in the Divorce?

At a basic level, divorce proceedings seem straightforward. However, there are a number of uncommon issues that may surface that can make it more difficult to get divorced. One of these issues is that your spouse refuses to participate in the divorce process.

One of the first questions you may wonder in this scenario is whether you can get divorced if your spouse refuses to do so. The short answer? Yes, you can.

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Divorce Q&A: When the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Changed, Did Collaborative Divorce Change as Well?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) was updated on January 1, 2016. With it came changes we’ve discussed in other articles on the blog – including child custody, spousal support calculations, and more. However, one area many don’t think to look for change is in the alternatives to traditional divorce. One of these areas is collaborative divorce.

But, what is collaborative divorce and how did it change? We’ll discuss these questions and others below.

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Divorce Q&A: Gifts, Loans, and Other Shared Marital Property

Accounting for every financial asset in a divorce is complicated. Accounting for every financial asset correctly is even more challenging.

After all, most couples receive gifts, loans, and other shared property throughout their marriage. And, should the time for divorce come, accurately sorting through all this property can be a greater challenge than most couples anticipate.

With the assistance of a skilled Naperville divorce attorney, you can ensure you receive any gifts you’re owed as well as a fair part of loan repayment and other shared marital assets. Below, we discuss each in greater detail to ensure you leave nothing to chance and receive the settlement you’re owed.

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Divorce Q&A: What Do I Do if my Spouse Isn’t Paying Child Support?

All parents love their children but few are happy to pay child support following a divorce trial or settlement. However, to the receiving parent, these expenses are necessary for childcare, basic needs, education, and more.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some individuals don’t pay child support on time. When this happens, it isn’t worthwhile to go to them and ask them to pay. Instead, you need to pursue a number of other options that will ensure you get the money you need for your children.

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Divorce Q&A: Why Isn’t There Custody Anymore?

There are many terms common to the divorce process. Alimony, also known as maintenance, is one of them. Another is custody and in many divorces or divorces depicted in popular culture, it’s one of the most contentious issues.

In Illinois, custody no longer exists.

Instead, there’s something called parental responsibility and it’s removing some of the contentious emotions from the divorce process. If you’re just considering divorce and haven’t yet talked to a Naperville divorce attorney, you likely haven’t heard of the term.

In this article, we’re going to provide a brief overview of what parental responsibility is, how it works in your divorce, and what you need to know.

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Divorce Q&A: “Can I Get Divorced Later in Life?”

If you want the short answer to this question, it’s yes. Although society tends to see divorce as an issue for younger people, more and more older couples are deciding that it’s never too late to go through the process as well.

Recent statistics suggest that those divorcing later in life (i.e. individuals over the age of 50) are divorcing at double the rate that they were in the last 20 years. This suggests that though many believe there is a stigma attached to divorce later in life, it isn’t always necessarily the case.

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Divorce Q&A: Most Common Divorce Questions

When anyone first considers the divorce process, a few common questions are likely to come to mind. Unfortunately, a quick search of the Internet will reveal conflicting information that makes it difficult to know which sources are correct and which aren’t.

At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we’re all about transparency in the divorce process. As such, we like to keep our clients informed from the beginning which is why you can find frequently asked questions on our website that should resolve many of the doubts you have when first starting the process.

If you’re still feeling uncertain, we’ve included some of the most common questions below with their answers to make you feel more comfortable moving forward with the divorce process. Feel free to explore both this article and our other resources (along with our FAQs) to learn everything you need to know about the process before getting started.

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Divorce Q&A: What is a Financial Disclosure Statement?

Precision is important in divorce cases. Everything from how much your house is worth to how much credit card debt you have and what’s in your bank and retirement accounts are all numbers used in preparation of your final divorce judgment.

However, spouses aren’t always honest when it comes to divorce. Often, spouses believe they can lie about how much they have in an account. And while you technically can lie on a Financial Disclosure Statement, you won’t want to.

But, what is this document and how does it play a role in your divorce?

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Divorce Q&A: Why Custody is Now Parental Responsibility

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act changed on January 1, 2016 and child custody is no longer a term used in Illinois law. Now, what was once custody has become parental responsibility.

There are many reasons this change was necessary. However, at the heart of it all, is the desire to lessen the divorce process as a contentious event and instead, facilitate cooperation between parents to raise children.

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Divorce Q&A: Why Get a Prenup?

Prenuptial agreements are something most couples don’t want to discuss. Many wrongly believe that considering a prenup means you’re already thinking about divorce before the wedding day. However, this just isn’t the case.

Prenuptial agreements serve many useful purposes. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t just relevant for those with a significant amount of money or other assets either. Here, we’ll clear up some common misconceptions about prenuptial agreements and clarify what you should know before you say “I do.”

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Divorce Q&A: Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces

There are two basic kinds of divorces: Contested and uncontested. But, do you know the difference between them?

Many believe that knowing the difference is irrelevant. And, to be sure, the end result in either kind of divorce will be the same because you will be divorced. However, the kind of divorce you experience will affect everything from how long the divorce will take, how much it will cost, and the complexity of a case in general.

By understanding the basic differences between the two, you can participate in your divorce in a much more active way.

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Divorce Q&A: What is Equitable Distribution?

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, unlike many others in our country. So, what does that actually mean?

It means that in property division, things aren’t divided 50/50 as many expect. Instead, they are divided fairly between the parties. This leads most clients to another question: “How does the Court determine what it believes to be fair?”

The answer is more complicated than you may think and worth investigating in greater detail.

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Divorce Q&A: Is it Possible to Get Divorced With Just One Attorney?

When you and your spouse are considering or have decided to get divorced, you’ll likely begin meeting with potential divorce lawyers in Naperville. After all, you do need an attorney to get divorced, right?

Actually, you don’t. In fact, if both you and your spouse wanted to proceed without attorneys as pro se individuals, you could. Depending on the county in which you live, there are sometimes even entire Courtrooms dedicated solely to those who have chosen to represent themselves pro se.

A much more common approach is for one spouse to retain an attorney and for the other to proceed pro se. There are several benefits of doing so and in below, we’ll discuss why, if you’re considering divorce, you may be able to save attorney’s fees by relying on just one professional in your case.

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Divorce Basics: Is A Trial Always Necessary?

If you watch a lot of detective shows or are generally uninformed about what actually happens inside a courtroom, you may be under the impression that without a trial, there can be no resolution to a case. However, that isn’t true, especially when it comes to the breakdown of a marriage.

There are two potential paths to close any case involving the end of a marriage: Settlement or trial. As you can imagine, there are risks and advantages to both choices, which you must consider prior to moving forward in your case.

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How To Get Divorced In Illinois: Understanding Your Role

Whether due to what you’ve seen on television or what you may have heard from a friend of a friend, many individuals believe they won’t serve an integral role in their own case. In fact, many believe that by hiring an attorney, most of the issues of their case will resolve themselves and they won’t need to spend much time involved in the proceedings.

However, this just isn’t the case.

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How Long Does The Divorce Process In Illinois Take?

What to Expect From The Illinois Divorce Process

Ending a marriage can be an intimidating process. It’s unfamiliar and a time in your life when it feels as if everything is falling apart. This can make the process even more difficult and, in some cases, stops many from filing, even if they want to.

At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., our goal as your family law attorney in Naperville is to keep you informed and comfortable throughout your entire proceeding. This means explaining what is happening in your case and what to expect next every step of the way.

Here, we’re going to discuss the basic steps present in any case so you know what to expect before you call us for your free, 30-minute consultation. We hope doing so puts you at ease and makes you more confident moving forward and starting anew.

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A pile of money and a college graduation hat

Who Pays For College And Handles Financial Aid After A Divorce?

College expenses are a major concern for any parent. However, parents who are getting divorced often have more to worry about, especially if a separation occurs well before a child is nearing the age at which they will attend college or pursue vocational school or any other professional training after high school.

After the age of 18, child support will end as this new financial need emerges. But, how much are you obligated to pay and what does the new Illinois law state regarding this issue?

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