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Domestic And International Family Law Blog

New Illinois law looks out for pets' interests in divorce cases

Illinois pet owners often do not consider their pets to be mere items of personal property. Many consider their furry friends to be like family - almost like children. Yet traditionally, pets such as dogs and cats have been regarded as items of personal property. This means in a divorce situation, judges were not encouraged to consider the best interests of the pet in making the decision as to which spouse gets to keep it. In a few cases, judges ordered the sale of a pet as if it were a house or a car.

A few states have passed laws to change this, however, and Illinois is one of these states. Last year, the state legislature passed a law that empowers judges to consider the best interest of the pet in making the decision as to who gets it.

We help couples with their prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements don't really have the reputation of being the most romantic arrangement for marrying couples. Yet many couples find that prenuptial agreements are ideal for their needs. Many couples consist of people who are already financially established and who want to protect their assets for their own children and other interests. This is one of the situations where people may find a prenuptial agreement to be useful.

A few weeks ago, we discussed one of the key features of a prenuptial agreement: whether it can be changed or revoked. It can be if the parties have a written and signed agreement that does so. This means that there is a way to change or revoke a prenuptial agreement if the spouses find that conditions have changed since the prenup was signed.

2019 starts with changes in taxes and alimony

January is unofficially labeled as “divorce month” by attorneys and researchers due to spikes in divorce filings during the winter month. It is only living up to the name after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced his divorce from his wife, Mackenzie Bezos, of 25 years.

Along will high profile separations, divorce month is experiencing changes in how former spouses address alimony payments in future tax filings under the GOP tax law.

David Schaffer selected for Super Lawyers list for the 13th year

We are pleased to announce that lead attorney, David N. Schaffer, is named to the Super Lawyers list for 2019. This list recognizes outstanding attorneys in their practice areas through anonymous peer nominations and a stringent research process. Additionally, each nominee is assessed by a rigorous panel of attorneys.

This honor is given to no more than five percent of attorneys in Illinois per year. David first was selected for the Illinois Super Lawyers list in 2007 - and has been named to the list every year since.

What can be in prenuptial agreements and can it be amended?

For some married couples in Illinois, there was a decision before the marriage to have prenuptial agreements as a protective device if the marriage failed. Even couples who did not have a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married will decide that post-nuptial agreements are necessary. This can be a confusing issue for some. With any agreement - prenuptial or postnuptial - it is important to have a basic understanding of the law and what can be in the agreement. It is also important to understand if the agreement can be amended. Having a basic grasp of these facts is wise and it is always a good idea to have legal assistance.

The prenuptial agreement can address what rights and obligations the parties have with property that they had as individuals or as a couple regardless of when it had been acquired or where it was located. It can dictate the right to purchase, sell, utilize, transfer, abandon, manage, or do anything else with the property.

In a divorce, what if parents cannot agree on a parenting plan?

As an Illinois couple gets divorced and they have children, child custody and visitation orders will always be an issue. In a best-case scenario, they will come to a reasonable agreement by themselves and court intervention will not be needed other than to sign off on the agreement they have cobbled together jointly. However, since the marriage was untenable to the degree that they decided to part ways, those issues can seep into the negotiation for a visitation order and they will not be able to agree.

Knowing what the law says when parents cannot agree on a parenting plan is imperative to both parties to settle the matter satisfactorily. Parents who cannot agree on parenting plan will come to their own agreement within 120 days of their appearance in court. It must be filed and submitted. This can be extended if there is good cause. Once the court has received the divergent parenting plans, it will come to a decision with its focus being on the child's best interests.

Couples getting a divorce should consider tax implications

Any Illinois divorce will have emotional considerations. Many people will be concerned that they are doing the wrong thing and are hesitant to rush the process. Some divorces, however, are clear-cut. The couple knows the marriage and the relationship has run its course and they want to move on. When that is the case, perhaps it is preferable to get it over with as quickly as possible. For those in that situation, a current factor should lead to them thinking about expediting their case - specifically, tax benefits for those who pay alimony.

As 2018 reaches its final month, people getting a divorce should know that for a spouse paying alimony, the tax deduction for doing so will end on Dec. 31. This is part of the new tax laws implemented by the Trump Administration. With that, people whose marriages cannot be salvaged are rushing to complete the case before the year is over. In the past, the paying spouse had the right to deduct those payments. Those receiving support paid taxes on what they got. With the elimination of this deduction, the tax responsibility will move from the supported spouse to the supporting spouse.

Family law modifications requires experienced legal help

Illinois couples who have gotten a divorce and moved on with their lives as best they can will often need to continue having some form of relationship with one another, whether they want to or not. That can be due to a variety of family law issues, including child support, child custody, visitation rights and more. When there is an agreement to divorce, it is not set in stone that any agreement will remain the same forever. That is where modifications come in.

This can lead to a resumption of the hostilities between the parties as one side might not want the modifications or is asking for too much with them. Having legal assistance is a vital part of dealing with these complex circumstances.

Is a prenuptial agreement right for you and your future spouse?

When you get married, there is a long list of decisions. You must find a wedding venue, a florist, a baker and the list goes on and on. Planning a wedding requires a lot of time and patience, but it is all worth it because you want your big day to be perfect.

One thing you and your future spouse may or may not have discussed is a prenuptial agreement. Though it is certainly not as romantic as picking out your first dance song, a prenuptial agreement can provide peace of mind and provoke important discussions about finances. Here is how to know if a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea for you and your soon-to-be partner.

Steps child support enforcement can take to reveal delinquencies

When Illinois parents have ended their relationship, it is important that the support payments be made. If a supporting parent fails to meet his or her obligations based on the agreement, it can cause a host of problems to everyone involved. The parent who is receiving child support could have issues making ends meet because of the failure to pay. The child will be deprived of important financial support. The would-be supporting parent could face penalties. For those who are dealing with these issues, having legal assistance is a must.

For the parent failing to make the payments, child support enforcement has many steps it can take to get the parent to pay. One is to inform consumer reporting agencies and the public of the failure to pay child support. If it is found that the paying parent owes back support - arrears - and it is more than $10,000, if the parent is delinquent for at least three months of what was owed, or has not made the payment of the annual child support fee for three years, the clerk of the relevant court will be ordered to inform the consumer reporting agencies of these issues.

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When you are ready to discuss your family law matter with an experienced lawyer, we are here for you. Call us today at 630-848-9955 or contact us online to arrange your initial consultation.

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Schaffer Family Law, Ltd.
200 East 5th Avenue
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Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-848-9955
Phone: 630-848-9955
Fax: 630-922-4507
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