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Schaumburg Divorce Attorney

Although it has become more common for women to keep their maiden name for personal or professional reasons, taking a spouse’s last name when you get married is still a common practice. The tradition originates from old 19th century English law, where women were required to assume their husband’s surname. Today, 20 percent of women in the United States retain their birth names, but what happens when a member of the 80 percent decides to get a divorce

Since the 1980s, the divorce rate in the United States has decreased. Today, for first-time marriages, it sits at around 45 percent. When divorcing your spouse, a request to change back to your maiden name should be included in your divorce petition. This only concerns a switch to your birth name. A new request should be filed if you wish to change your name to something else.

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Schaumburg Divorce Attorneys

Enlisting children in extracurricular activities builds confidence and opens doors to different interests. Participating in music, sports, or clubs as a child can create lifelong skills and passions. 

A break in the family, such as a divorce, can make life feel uncertain for your children, and create conflicts between parents. Perhaps one parent thinks the violin lessons are going nowhere, or horseback riding lessons are too expensive, while the other disagrees.

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Schaumburg Divorce Attorneys

Did you know married couples with teenage daughters are more likely to get divorced than those without? Still, it is much more than the occasional screams and door slams from a teenage girl that leads to a divorce.

Both male and female teens go through dramatic changes during those years, and divorce can turn things even more traumatic. This change may pile up on everything else they are feeling. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg Divorce Attorneys

Thanksgiving starts the holiday season that recently divorced couples sometimes dread. When children are involved, holidays like Thanksgiving that are family based often get complicated. While your parenting plan likely covers holidays and other special dates, that does not mean it will be an easy time emotionally. 

Cooking for a large group of people is intimidating enough. Here are some tips for surviving your first Thanksgiving after a divorce:

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Schaumburg Divorce Attorneys

Illinois is an equal distribution state, which means when assets are split between two parties in a divorce, the judge determines what is a fair division. This does not mean assets are split 50/50, however, and numerous factors are considered, including:

  • Length of the marriage.
  • How much each spouse makes.
  • Health and age.
  • Standard of living.

If the home you and your spouse lived in was marital property, one person will typically be granted the family home. This is usually the spouse who has primary residential care of any children under the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly called custody). For the other spouse, this means finding a new residence. 

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Arlington Heights divorce attorneys prenuptial agreementWhen signing a prenup agreement, it may feel like divorce is the inevitable conclusion, but if a couple gets divorced without one, the parties go to court to decide the division of assets if mutual decisions cannot be made. Signing a prenup before marriage addresses many issues a couple may face if divorce occurs, as long as no one tries to break the agreement.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement? 

A prenup is an agreement two people make before they are married, which settles financial and other arrangements in case the marriage fails. A person might suggest getting a prenuptial agreement if:

  • He or she makes significantly more than the other partner.
  • Both are business owners or entrepreneurs.
  • One person has a high amount of debt.
  • They have been married before and/or have children. 

Prenups are best known for protecting premarital assets. Without a prenup, the financial burdens of your spouse may become yours, even after divorce. They are also used to determine alimony. Because they are private agreements, prenup terms can be tied to how long a marriage lasts. Clauses can be added such as a confidentiality to protect the details of your divorce or marriage from publication. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Barrington spousal maintenance attorneyChange is once again coming to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), and this time it is taking aim at the calculation method for spousal maintenance, formerly known as alimony. Spousal maintenance is governed by Section 504 of the IMDMA and is the contribution that one party (the “Payor”) gives to the other party (the “Payee”) based upon a calculation which is currently dependent upon the GROSS* incomes of the parties. 

In order to determine if spousal maintenance is appropriate, the court will first make a determination using the facts of the case and applying them to various factors that they deem to be relevant. If the court decides that maintenance is appropriate, they will then move forward and determine the guideline calculation.

Generally, guideline maintenance is awarded if the parties’ combined GROSS annual income is less than $500,000.00, and the Payor has no obligation to pay child support, maintenance, or both from a prior relationship.

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Palatine divorce attorneyDivorce can be a financially draining process, but it can also take an emotional toll. It takes a long time for a couple to build a life together, and no matter how many problems you and your spouse have, divorce is the end of that relationship. No matter who initiates the divorce, the emotional and physical separation is tough on both parties. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself while going through a divorce and after the divorce process has been completed: 

  • Follow a Routine - Having consistency during this time of uncertainty will help you carry on. Even though your marriage is officially ending, it is important to keep living your life and participating in activities you enjoy. Do not stop going to your book club or getting drinks with friends after work on Fridays. The only thing that has changed is your relationship status. 
  • Stay Healthy - If you do not already exercise regularly, now is the perfect time to start. Physical activity improves your mood and keeps your body strong. Even if it is just a walk around the block, keeping your blood flowing can help lift your spirits. Do not forget to keep feeding your body good things, too. There is nothing wrong with comfort food, but do not let cheesy and greasy foods become the majority of what you are eating. 
  • Be Kind to Yourself - It is very easy to blame yourself for the end of your marriage, but you are not the only reason for the divorce. People change over time, and sometimes their goals do not align with those changes. It is completely normal to have ups and downs in a relationship, but if the downs are bad enough, it is okay to admit that a divorce was the best option for the both of you. 
  • Reflect - Even though your breakup has a name with a capital “D,” at the end of the day it is still a breakup. Take time to mourn the relationship. It is sad that your marriage ended, and it is perfectly acceptable to feel that way. Think about some of the positive things that can come from your divorce, like a chance for a fresh start. For example, you now have more time to spend with your friends or start a new hobby

Contact a Schaumburg Divorce Attorney Today

If, despite the love you and your spouse once shared, you cannot make your marriage work, you should be sure to understand your legal options. Contact a Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer from Anderson and Associates, P.C. to discuss the divorce process. Call 847-995-9999 to arrange a free consultation.

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Arlington Heights family law attorney sole child custodyWhen parents break up, decisions about who children will live with can often lead to highly contentious disputes. While a court is more likely to recommend joint, or shared, child custody, it is not impossible for a parent to get sole custody in the right circumstances. 

Shared vs. Sole Custody

In Illinois, custody is referred to as allocation of parental responsibility. When a parent has sole custody, the child is his or her total responsibility, and the parent will have the right to make decisions about the child’s education, medical care, religious training, and extracurricular activities. The other parent may be granted visitation rights (known as parenting time under Illinois law). 

Shared custody means that both parents will share in making decisions about how the child is raised, and the child will typically divide his or her time between parents. This split is rarely 50/50, but even if one parent has the majority of the parenting time, the parents will share responsibility for the child’s upbringing.

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Barrington divorce attorney missing spouseSometimes, when someone chooses to get a divorce, their spouse refuses to agree to the dissolution of their marriage. This may be due to denial or an attempt to control a spouse in the case of domestic abuse, or, in some cases, the couple may have separated, and a spouse cannot be located. If your spouse is refusing to cooperate in your divorce case, you should be sure to understand your legal options.

Irreconcilable Differences

In Illinois, irreconcilable differences are the only recognized grounds for divorce. This means that the couple is not able to solve the issues in their marriage. It is considered a no-fault ground for divorce, which means that neither spouse is to blame for the deterioration of the marriage. If a couple lives separately for at least six months, this is a presumption of irreconcilable differences.  

Some common reasons a spouse may refuse to agree to a divorce include:

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg divorce lawyer parents children holidaysThe leaves are starting to change colors, and now that it is October, your child is likely to be gearing up to go trick or treating this year. If you have recently gotten a divorce or are in the midst of the divorce process, holidays will be handled differently than when you were married. However, planning for successful co-parenting will ensure that your child has as good a time as they did in previous years. 

Trick or Treat?

While your child may choose to dress as Batman or their favorite Disney princess, you and your ex-partner should be completely transparent about planning family holidays. Communicating details and keeping your child out of any crossfire will allow him or her to focus on getting candy and not on dealing with mom and dad’s separation.  

If your parenting plan does not account for Halloween, it is important to communicate with your ex before the big night and make sure your plans are clear. Scrambling to make plans the night before Halloween will put unnecessary stress on everyone. 

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Rolling Meadows marital property division lawyerWhen a married couple decides to get a divorce, their assets will be divided between them. In Illinois, this can be done between the two parties out of court, but if an agreement cannot be reached, then the court steps in with a system called equitable distribution. This system intends to divide properly fairly, but it does not mean that all assets are divided equally. Some of the factors used to determine how to divide marital property include:

  • The distribution of wealth
  • The length of the marriage
  • The couple’s standard of living
  • Future parental responsibility 
  • The health, income, and age of the individuals 

With these factors, it is still important to take action before your divorce to protect yourself financially, because the outcomes of these decisions are often uncertain. 

Know Your Finances

Before the divorce process begins, it will help to learn as much as you can about your personal finances. Begin tracking how much you earn, how much you spend, and any future expenses. Start creating a budget focused around necessities such as food, shelter, and medical care for yourself and your children. Use previous statements, bank records, and records of expenses to plan for the future. All of this information will not only help you, but it can be used to demonstrate your financial needs to the court when dividing marital property. 

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Posted on in Family Law

Palatine paternity attorneyEstablishing paternity benefits a child by giving him or her the right to receive support from and have a relationship with both parents. However, it is important for parents to understand how Illinois law defines and determines paternity.

What Is Paternity?

Paternity is the identity of a child’s legal father. This is established through the marital status of the parents, a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, a court-ordered DNA test, or adoption. If a woman is married or in a civil union within 300 days before the birth of the child, then her partner is presumed to be the child’s legal father. 

When paternity is established for a child, it gives him or her certain legal benefits based on their legal relationship with both parents, including:

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Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer co-parentingIt is normal for relationships to change, but it is when they change too much that couples may consider getting a divorce. Not all married couples decide to have children, but if they do, a divorce can become much more complicated. You may be able to resolve the various legal issues that must be addressed during divorce, but when it comes to the relationship with your ex, that is up to you. It is, however, in the best interests of your children to remain civil with each other while raising them together. 

Positive Relationships in Sole or Joint Custody Situations

Following divorce, parents may have joint custody of their children, or one parent may have sole custody. With sole custody, one parent is granted primary responsibility of the child, and the other has visitation rights (known as parenting time in Illinois). With joint custody, both parents share decision-making responsibility when raising their children. 

Either arrangement requires communication between you and your ex. These suggestions can aid in improving your relationship as you work together to raise your children:

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Posted on in Divorce

South Barrington divorce lawyer parents and childrenGetting a divorce is rarely an easy process, and it is further complicated when children are involved. A divorce with children brings up the topics of child custody (allocation of parental responsibilities), visitation (parenting time), and child support. By choosing the right attorney, you can alleviate the stress of planning your upcoming divorce while ensuring that your rights are protected as you and your ex-spouse plan for how to continue to raise your children together after the end of your marriage.

No matter the feelings between the parents, it is important to talk with children and discuss what divorce entails for your family. Depending on their emotional maturity, older children may have an easier time understanding divorce, but younger children often struggle to understand and adjust to the changes in their lives. Here are some guidelines for discussing divorce with children who are six years old or younger: 

Zero to 18 Months Old

A child this young barely has the developmental skills to form a proper sentence, let alone discuss or understand their parents’ divorce. However, children at this age can pick up on tension at home. Hold off on discussing the divorce in detail with children this young until they are older. Ease the stress on your infant by remaining consistent with them in your daily routines. This means taking care of yourself, ensuring that you will be able to continue to provide quality care for your infant during and after your divorce. 

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Arlington Heights divorce lawyer back to school“What did you do this summer?” This question is often asked when children go back to school, but for some children, summer was not all pool parties and playgrounds. For a child whose parents got a divorce over the summer, this question can be intimidating and stressful. A child who has divorced parents can exhibit certain behaviors and symptoms in school which can affect their education if not handled properly. The logistics of having a child in school can be complicated for any family, and a family with divorced parents can experience more stress and trouble than others. However, by following these tips, you can help your child’s school year go more smoothly:

1. Determine Who Will Pay for School Supplies

A new school year means new school clothes, shoes, uniforms, backpacks, and lunch boxes--not to mention the long list of school supplies. These costs add up quickly, so you should determine how they will be divided between you and your ex. If you already have a preset arrangement, stick to that. If not, dividing the cost in half is usually a good way to meet your child’s needs without causing conflict.

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Palatine military adoption attorneyMilitary life is not always the most stable--those who are in the military or grew up in a military family can attest to that. But now, more adoption agencies and child welfare groups are recognizing that military families are just as capable of providing a loving and welcoming home for children as any other family. Though being in the military does pose unique circumstances, it also means that you may be able to receive certain benefits when adopting a child that are not available to anyone who is not in the armed forces.

Complications With the Adoption Process for Military Families

Military life is unique and brings with it many specific circumstances that other families may not experience or have to deal with, especially when they are going through the adoption process. These include:

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Palatine divorce attorney parenting planEveryone knows that divorce is hard on all of those who are involved - especially the kids. Even if you try to keep them out of the fighting and the negotiations, you may not realize how much your children actually pick up on. They can sense when there is tension between their parents, but they often do not know what to do about it, and this can cause them a great deal of stress. One way that divorced parents may be able to help their children cope with the changes to their lives is by using a unique co-parenting arrangement called “nesting.”

What Is a Nesting Arrangement?

This type of co-parenting agreement occurs when a divorced couple keeps the family home, and the children reside there 100 percent of the time--it is the parents who come and go. A separate living space, such as an apartment, is rented so the parents have somewhere to go when the other parent is at the house with the children. Or, in some cases, each parent will have their own living space to go to. This type of arrangement puts the focus on making the children comfortable with the parents’ divorce and alleviating the stress that children feel when they are constantly hauled back and forth between residences.

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Posted on in Divorce

Barrington divorce attorneyBreaking up is hard to do, and when you have been married and spent years of your life with another person, ending your relationship can be even harder. Divorce can leave many people with feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, but there are things you can do to help yourself through the transition period after a divorce:

1. Allow Yourself to Grieve

This is probably the most important step to healing after a divorce. While you are not mourning the loss of your spouse’s life, you are mourning the loss of a relationship. Your marriage was a very significant relationship, and ending it will require you to completely reconfigure your life. Even if you were the one who wanted and initiated the divorce, you still should allow yourself time to fully comprehend the changes you are experiencing.

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Palatine divorce attorneyFirst comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...divorce? When you got married, you might have thought you would live happily ever after, but the truth is, divorce is not uncommon, especially in the United States. Though divorce happens for myriad reasons, and no one couple’s relationship is the same as the next, there are some interesting trends to note in divorce and marriage.

1. Divorce Rates Have Actually Decreased

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marriage rates have actually decreased since 2000, when the rate per 1,000 people was about 8.2. In 2016, the U.S. marriage rate was at 6.9 per 1,000 people. Divorces have also been decreasing steadily since 2000, when the divorce rate was at 4.0 per 1,000 people. In 2016, the U.S. saw one of the lowest divorce rates ever at 3.2 per 1,000 people.

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