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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Recent blog posts

New Lenox divorce and child custody attorney

If you are getting divorced, and you have children, there are an entire set of issues that must be addressed that will be unique to this type of case. You and your spouse must decide where the children will live, what kind of parenting time arrangements will work for you, and, arguably most importantly, how decisions concerning the children will be made. Illinois courts urge you and your spouse to reach an agreement about these issues on your own, but that is not always possible. If you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement, the court will step in, and a judge will make these decisions for you.

Types of Significant Decisions

What used to be known as “child custody” is now called “allocation of parental responsibilities” in Illinois. In general, significant decision-making responsibilities include any decisions that must be made about the child’s life. The judge can allocate the right to make each of these decisions to one or both of the parents. Decision-making responsibilities that will be allocated include:

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Mokena divorce QDRO lawyer

Property division can be one of the most contentious portions of your divorce. Even after just a few years of marriage, you and your spouse have probably commingled some of your separate property and acquired quite a bit of marital property. In Illinois, marital property is defined as any assets or debts that you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. All marital property must be divided before you can finalize your divorce -- including your retirement accounts. These can have both marital and non-marital characteristics, which is why they can be so difficult to deal with. Certain types of retirement accounts require certain procedures in order to divide them in accordance with the law. A knowledgeable asset division attorney can help you determine what kind of steps you must take to divide this valuable marital property.

Is Your Retirement Account Marital or Nonmarital Property?

As a general rule of thumb, any retirement accounts that either spouse acquired or participated in during their marriage are presumed to be marital property. These may include pension benefits, defined contribution plans and accounts, individual retirement accounts, and non-qualified plans. If you believe that your retirement account or pension should not be considered marital property, you must prove to the court that your retirement benefits were acquired through a method that would deem them to be nonmarital property, such as through gift or legacy. In addition, your retirement benefits could be specifically excluded from the marital estate through a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

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Orland Park fathers' rights lawyer

How to Protect Your Business During Your Illinois Divorce

For many people, the American dream is realized through small business ownership. While owning your own business can be a fulfilling career, it can also lead to a difficult situation if you get a divorce. In any divorce, a business is a significant asset, and it will likely be subject to property division during your divorce.

In the state of Illinois, marital property (any property that was acquired during your marriage) is distributed in an equitable manner. This means that property is not necessarily split 50/50 -- it is split in a way that is deemed fair and equitable. Your business is likely one of your most valuable assets, both financially and emotionally, and you will want to understand how you can continue owning and operating it following the equitable division of property. Taking the following steps before you begin dividing your property may help you keep your business or minimize any losses you may incur.

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Elmhurst, IL property division lawyerFor many people, getting a divorce is the hardest and most stressful thing they will do in their life. Divorce involves legally separating yourself from the person you have been with for years. Not only do you have to deal with the legality of a divorce, but you also have to deal with the emotional ramifications. When it comes to property division during a divorce, both the legal and emotional aspects are involved. Much of the property that is divided in a divorce has both sentimental and monetary value, which is why property division can be so contentious. If you are getting a divorce, it is important that you understand Illinois law affects the way property is divided.

Marital or Non-Marital Property?

Before any property division can occur, you must first know what property is actually subject to being divided. In Illinois, all marital property is subject to division, whereas non-marital property is not. Marital property includes any and all property or debts that were acquired by either spouse after they were married and before they separated. A few exceptions to this rule exist, and depending on the circumstances, some assets may be considered to be non-marital property. Examples of non-marital property include:

  • Anything acquired by gift, legacy, or descent, as well as property that was acquired in exchange for this type of property;
  • Anything that was acquired in exchange for property that was acquired prior to the marriage;
  • Property acquired by either spouse after they were legally separated; and
  • Property that is specifically excluded from the marital estate, as stated by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Factors Used for Consideration

It is always better to come to an agreement about property division with your spouse rather than relying on someone else to do it. In some cases, settling this issue fairly without legal intervention is impossible. If a judge has to make decisions on how the marital property will be divided, he or she will look at a variety of factors, including:

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Orland Park fathers' rights lawyer

The domestic landscape has greatly changed from what it was 20 or 30 years ago. More fathers are stay-at-home dads than ever before, and many mothers earn incomes equal to or higher than their husbands. Though not all families are set up that way, the general attitude toward men as caretakers has become much more accepting. When a couple goes through a divorce, most fathers still want to play an active role in their child’s life, though they may feel discouraged and disadvantaged when doing so. Certain topics are still skewed in the woman’s favor in many courtrooms, even though the judge may not necessarily mean to do this. If you are a father who is going through a divorce, you should understand how certain issues may affect your rights as a father in Illinois.

Spousal Maintenance

The idea of spousal maintenance was originally created to allow wives who got a divorce to continue to share a portion of their ex-spouse’s income. This occurred mostly in the days when the women were predominantly stay-at-home mothers who did not have careers and did not earn their own income. 

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