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Domestic And International Family Law Blog

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.

Understanding key points about legal separation in Illinois

When a couple in Illinois is experiencing problems in their relationship, but are not yet ready to move forward with a divorce, a legal separation is an alternative that could be viable as they determine their next step. As with all family law issues, there are requirements with a legal separation. Those who are considering this option should be aware of the law relating to such issues as support, maintenance and what can and cannot be done.

When a couple is living separately, one of the parties can be ordered to pay support and maintenance to the other party for the duration they are living apart. This will take place in the county where one of the parties currently lives or where they last lived as a married couple. When there is temporary relief and trials, it will be the same as if there is a dissolution. The difference is that with temporary relief, it will be limited in scope. There are legal provisions that must be considered when there is a separation and support is ordered.

Might conciliation be ordered and hold up my divorce?

Often, Illinois couples who have decided that their marriage is no longer working and they want to get a divorce will want to get it over with as quickly as possible. Both sides might prefer to just move on with their lives as they have determined that a divorce is the preferable course of action. However, not every case is that simple and the person who seeks the divorce could meet with resistance from the respondent, who would like to try and save the marriage. This is where it might lead to the requirement that conciliation be considered before the divorce is granted.

Understanding the law for conciliation is key to a case. The court can determine that the marriage can be saved, or if one of the parties wants to try and save the marriage, there can be an order for a conciliation conference. This will be done in the judicial district where the case is being held or another facility if there is not a court conciliation service available. Even if the spouse who is seeking the divorce does not believe the marriage can be saved, the order for a conciliation conference will likely make it necessary to take part. It does not mean that the divorce will not be granted.

Am I entitled to spousal support in Illinois?

Finances are a common concern in an Illinois divorce and its aftermath. For spouses who were stay-at-home or made significantly less income than the other spouse, there might be a question as to whether they can get spousal support (maintenance) or not. When a case is in progress or the decision to divorce is up in the air and hindered by these financial fears, it is important to understand the law and who can get spousal support.

The court will decide the amount of time for which support will be paid. This does not consider marital misconduct when the decision is made. It can be paid through the income and property held by the other spouse. The court will assess the relevant factors when deciding if support is warranted and how much it will be. The income and property each party has will be considered. That will include marital and non-marital property that the spouse who is seeking support has and the financial obligations that the parties face after the divorce. Each party will have basic needs and these will be factored in.

5 tips for blended families

Blended families-those families who have children from their previous relationships as well as from their current partnership- require more insight and communication.

It can be difficult for children to shift from old rules, old homes and old friends and traditions to new ones. Here are 5 tips that most experts agree help blended families enjoy their time together and find a balance that works. 

What is right of first refusal with child custody in Illinois?

When an Illinois couple has a child and both parents share parental rights, there are certain issues that can be complicated when providing care and making decisions on the child's behalf. This is where the care of minor children and the right of first refusal when providing care becomes important. With right of first refusal, if a parent intends to leave the child with someone else for childcare, then the other parent must be given a chance to care for the child first, unless an emergency precludes seeking out the other parent's position

Property division disputes require experienced legal help

Illinois residents whose marriage is at its end will have many issues that must be settled as they seek to move forward. Some factors like child custody will be first and foremost on their minds. Next, however, financial matters will need to be settled. Property division can range from homes and motor vehicles to businesses, retirement accounts, bank accounts and sentimental items. Having legal assistance with these matters is the first step to take.

Couples who have high-asset property division matters or are of more modest means will be concerned about property division. Real estate can be lucrative and a major asset. Both parties might want to retain the family home either to live in it or to sell it. Should there be an automobile, it could be an essential part of one or both of their lives as they need it for work or personal use. Jewelry and other items of potentially high value could be the foundation for disagreement. Bank accounts, assets and debts will undoubtedly lead to disagreements if the couple cannot come to a consensus.

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