Dupage County Lawyers

Family Law

When Is It Healthier to Leave a Bad Marriage?

What are the consequences of staying in a bad relationship longer than you should?  While no one wants to go through a divorce, if your marriage is really on the rocks, new research shows that staying in a miserable marriage can actually be bad for your health, far worse than striking out on your own. According to a long-term study of 373 married couples conducted by the universities of Nevada and Michigan, constant strife and arguments about core issues such as children, money, in-laws and leisure activities, all negatively activate the release of stress hormones. This has negative consequences that include...

What Happens to Debt When You Get Divorced?

When couples divorce, who gets stuck with the debts run up during the marriage? Just as assets are shared in marriage, debts may be as well, so it has to be determined which party should be responsible for what debts. Sometimes, even if your spouse was the one who incurred the debt, you may still have to pay it; and creditors may be able to go after you for debts held jointly if your former spouse doesn't pay. The experienced and compassionate Illinois family-law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. understand that debt is a major issue for people going through...

How Is Child Support Calculated in Illinois? 

When parents divorce in Illinois, child support is determined by a formula that changed on July 1, 2017, when Public Act 99-764 amended the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Instead of the old method of relying on the net income of the non-custodial parent, there is now an income-share system that holds both parents accountable for child support based on how much they financially contributed to the combined household income while married. Many factors affect the amount of child support, and each situation is different; so if you are having issues with child support, it pays to seek legal...

Arguments in Favor of Prenuptial Agreements

For those planning to tie the marital knot, there are a lot of things to consider, and making a prenuptial agreement should be right up there on your list. A prenup – a legal document that determines how assets will be divided and protected in the event of a divorce – is not only a smart financial decision, it can improve your relationship and chances of staying together by addressing sensitive financial issues right from the start. And it provides protection for your assets if you eventually do decide to get divorced. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, so courts will divide...

How a Divorcing Couple's Age Affects Asset Division

While the U.S. divorce rate has been steadily decreasing since the 1980s, it has increased for couples over age 50. In fact, according to a Bowling Green State University study, the divorce rate for senior couples doubled between 1990 and 2010. One reason may be that people are living longer, and when looking at the best way to enjoy a projected lengthy retirement, they may evaluate relationships and find them lacking. When older couples split up, issues differ from those of younger couples as child support and custody aren’t usually involved. Older couples often have higher incomes and assets and more complicated financial...

Study Estimates 13% of Divorces Caused by Student Loans

Student loan debt, now at a record high of $1.5 trillion, has become a marriage killer. According to a June 2018 survey by Student Loan Hero and reported by CNBC, more than a third of borrowers said college loans and other money factors contributed to their divorce, and 13 percent of divorcees blame student loans specifically for ending their relationship. This is not surprising when you consider that the average outstanding student loan balance is $34,144, up 62 percent over the last decade, according to a report by Experian. And the percentage of borrowers who owe $50,000 or more has tripled over...

Divorce "Tax Break" Will Soon Be Eliminated

There is never a good time to get divorced, but if you have high assets, you probably will be best off getting one as fast as possible.  The reason is the new Republican tax law, which will eliminate the tax break for alimony payments that are finalized or modified after Dec. 31, 2018. Agreements signed before the end of the year will still qualify for the annual deduction. This can make a big financial difference for wealthy couples where one spouse earns substantially more per year than the other. The Securities Exchange Commission defines a high-asset or high-net-worth couple as a couple...

How Out-Of-State Moves Impact Custody

What do you do about custody and visitation when one divorced parent wants to relocate to another state? If the move involves a large distance, it can create major disruptions in the child’s life and the ability to spend time with the other parent. However, these issues can exist even if the move is within the state of Illinois – if the distances involved are large enough. Any move that disrupts an existing family schedule can lead to conflict and negatively affect the children involved. In January, 2016, as part of the revised Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act,  the law regarding...

A Major Shortcoming of Child Psychiatric Care in Illinois

Hundreds of children under the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are being held inside psychiatric hospitals for weeks or months, even though they have been cleared to leave. These children are supposed to be moved out of these hospitals to environments such as foster homes or residential treatment centers while receiving treatment, but often the DCFS fails to find appropriate placements. Unnecessary and prolonged hospitalizations harm children and families and are a failure of our state’s ability to care for suffering children. These long stays often have detrimental effects on children and can cause them...

What Common Knowledge Gets Wrong About Adoptions

Many people longing to be parents never even begin the adoption process because of fear that they may not qualify. Unfortunately, by counting themselves out too soon, they wind up depriving themselves of a chance to become a parent as well as depriving a child from having a good home. Adoption establishes you as a child's legal parent, with the same rights and responsibilities as having a natural child. The process of adoption is complex, involving providing medical history, character references, and having your background checked. Still, most people can go through the process successfully and wind up with a child. Choices for...

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