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Arlington Heights Divorce LawyerThe term “divorce” has been commonly used for many years, but people who have never been divorced may not be aware of all the issues that need to be settled when you are going through one. If you are like the majority of Americans and you have not thoroughly studied the law, you might likely find yourself in a confusing situation. 

If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, please consider speaking with an experienced Arlington Heights, IL divorce attorney who can explain all the aspects of a divorce settlement in detail, including how they might apply to you.

What Issues Need to Be Settled during Divorce?

When a couple decides to legally end their marriage, the process can take some time to complete. The reason for this is that many aspects of their lives were legally bound, and now they need to agree on how to split those up. When children are involved, divorce can be even more complicated. 


Arlington Heights Divorce LawyerWe are all familiar with what is considered a “typical” divorce. You have probably seen TV shows showing spouses screaming and refusing to give each other anything. In reality, however, there are many times when a couple wants to get divorced but is not interested in hurting each other. 

In such cases, an uncontested divorce can be the simplest way for both sides to get what they want. If you are considering divorce and you think you and your spouse can agree on all the issues involved, an Illinois uncontested divorce attorney can guide you on how to accomplish this.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

You and your spouse want a divorce, but that does not necessarily mean you cannot agree on how you would like to go about it. Sometimes, a couple can form a shared vision for their future after divorce. And sometimes, they can even agree on every aspect that would need to be settled in a divorce. That includes:


Arlington Heights, IL domestic violence lawyerAccording to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), domestic violence affects millions of Americans every year, with one in five homicides being carried out by the victim’s intimate partner. 

It can be hard enough to gather the courage to leave a situation where you are a victim of domestic abuse, and even harder to think about actual legal actions like divorce. If you are reading this and find that you can identify with it, you should know about the options you have to protect yourself and your children. Suffering domestic abuse is a terrible experience that no one should have to go through. An Arlington Heights, IL attorney will walk you through what you can do and fight hard to get you the best resolution for you.

File a Petition for Sole Custody

In the State of Illinois, two parents who share children and are getting a divorce generally will have some sort of shared custody arrangement. What is commonly known as custody is split up into two categories: parental responsibilities (referring to the ability to make important decisions for the child) and parenting time (visitation, or the amount of time a parent is physically with their child).


Arlington Heights Child Custody LawyerWhen divorcing parents in Illinois cannot agree on child custody terms, mediation is often legally required before the case can proceed to court. Proper preparation is key to making custody mediation more effective and productive.

Understand the Mediation Process

It is important to understand how child custody mediation operates in Illinois. Mediation involves parents meeting with a neutral, accredited mediator to attempt to negotiate custody and parenting time agreements. The mediator facilitates discussion but does not impose any binding decisions. Conversations during mediation are considered strictly confidential under Illinois law.

Gather and Organize Documentation

Bring any relevant court orders, child custody evaluations, school records, medical records, police reports, and other important documentation that supports your position on custody arrangements to the mediation session. Having evidence available helps mediators fully understand the circumstances when reviewing proposals. Keep copies organized in a binder for easy reference.


Arlington Heights Parentage LawyerFathers have important legal rights when navigating family court in Illinois during divorce and child custody cases. However, many dads are unaware of their rights or how to assert them effectively. It is beneficial to know about a father’s rights during a child custody case.

Presumption of Equal Parenting Time

Recent changes to Illinois law have established a presumption that both parents are fit and that equal parenting time is in the children’s best interests. This means courts will generally seek to order a timeshare as close as possible to 50/50 custody or at least “reasonable parenting time" for each parent.

Fathers should not hesitate to request equal parenting time and present arguments about why spending half of the time with dad is best for the kids. Unless evidence shows otherwise, judges will aim for a schedule maximizing the involvement of both parents.


Arlington Heights Family Law AttorneyMany parents begin to settle into a pattern after their divorce has finalized and they have a final decree dictating who spends time with the child and when. Conflict may begin to become less heated and less frequent when the divorce has been finalized. However, it is important for parents who are getting divorced to continuously co-parent beginning the day they tell their child about their imminent separation. When divorcing parents work together for the benefit of the child from day one, children may experience an easier transition from living in a two-parent household to seeing each parent separately. Unless there are certain circumstances suggesting that one parent should be excluded from the child’s life, such as cases where one parent has abused the child, your child could likely benefit from you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse planning for successful co-parenting until your divorce has finalized. 

Helpful Suggestions for Putting Your Child First During Divorce

Your child may feel more secure and loved if both parents can put aside their differences when it comes to meeting the child’s needs. Tips for co-parenting during a pending divorce include: 

  • Agree on an explanation - Decide what information your child should have about your reasons for getting divorced. When your child asks about why you are getting divorced, both parents should give the same answer consistently. If both parents consistently say, “We are getting divorced because we became two really different people,” for example, the child is likely to accept it. However, consider that your child may already know more than you think.


Arlington Heights Family LawyerGuardian ad litems (GALs) play a crucial role in the legal system, representing the best interests of vulnerable individuals, such as children whose parents are getting divorced. However, misconceptions surrounding their work persist. Today, we will be debunking common misunderstandings associated with GALs and shed light on their critical role in safeguarding those who cannot advocate for themselves. If you believe guardian ad litem would be beneficial to your legal situation, discuss this with your divorce attorney to try and come up with a plan to get guardian ad litem involved in your case.

Misconception #1 – GALs are Advocates for One Party Only

One common misconception is that GALs solely advocate for one side in a legal dispute. However, the primary responsibility of a GAL is to represent and protect the best interests of the individual they are appointed to represent. They objectively assess what is in the person's well-being, considering multiple factors like their physical and emotional needs, safety, and future prospects. GALs work independently and serve as a neutral voice in court proceedings, guiding the court toward a decision that ensures the individual's welfare. 

Misconception #2 – GALs Are Decision Makers 

GALs are not empowered to make legal decisions. Their role is to provide recommendations to the court based on their extensive investigations and assessments. They gather information, interview witnesses, review relevant documentation, and analyze the case's circumstances to inform their recommendations on custody, visitation, or other matters. Although their guidance holds significant weight, the ultimate decision lies with the judge, who considers all the evidence and GAL reports alongside other relevant factors. 


Arlington Heights Divorce LawyerIt is no secret that some people are better with money than others. It can create significant strain in a marital relationship if one spouse prioritizes saving and financial responsibility, while the other is more interested in spending large amounts of money for their own personal enjoyment. When spouses who do not see eye to eye on financial management get divorced, it may become a major issue during asset division if one of them has spent wastefully without the cooperation of the other spouse. When an Illinois court finds that one spouse has dissipated (wasted) marital assets, that spouse can be ordered to compensate the other for any misused marital funds. This is very common in cases where one spouse has a drug or gambling addition, or has spent a significant amount of money on an adultery partner. If you believe that your spouse has dissipated marital assets, it is important to involve an attorney. You will likely need to provide evidence showing your spouse’s misappropriation of marital funds, which an attorney may be able to help you gather. 

Common Types of Dissipation in Illinois

When spouses are acting in conjunction, they are free to use their money in any way they see fit, even if others might consider that use wasteful. However, when one spouse acts independently of the other and without their consent, wasting money may rise to the level of dissipation. Common types of spending that may be considered dissipation of marital assets include: 

  • Drugs and alcohol - A person who becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol can rapidly spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars supporting their addiction. Some addicts may even sell off marital property without their spouse’s agreement in order to buy more drugs. 


The Most Common Reasons for Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Arlington Heights Divorce AttorneyIf you are considering getting divorced from your spouse, you are far from alone. Some individuals fear that their reason for wanting a divorce is strange, or silly. Knowing some of the most common reasons people get divorced may help to validate your feelings. Deciding whether to divorce is a highly personal choice. You should know that you will not likely need to explain your reasons for wanting a divorce to the judge. The only ground for divorce is having “irreconcilable differences.” The judge is not there to judge whether you have a good enough reason for getting divorced. Simply asserting that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences is generally enough to have your divorce granted. However, if your case goes to litigation, you may be asked some questions of a personal nature. It is best to be represented by an attorney throughout the process. 

Top Reasons for Getting a Divorce 

Some of the most common reasons spouses divorce include: 

  • Infidelity - When one spouse becomes romantically or sexually involved with another person, it can destroy the trust in the marital relationship and lead to divorce. 


Arlington Heights Family Law AttorneyWhen the Illinois economy slows down, the pace of layoffs accelerates throughout the state. It can become very difficult to keep up with your child support obligations when you do not have your full income. However, child support is ordered by a court, and unless the court changes your child support obligations, you would still need to pay as obligated.

The Court May Modify Your Child Support

The court may order a reduction in the child support that you pay if you can prove that you have suffered a significant cut in your income. If you are out of work for any extended period of time, you should file a motion to reduce child support with the court. The judge may order lowered child support. 

Courts often take a different view if the paying parent is fired from their job with cause. Then, judges often deny a request to modify child support. 


Arlington Heights Divorce LawyerMany Illinois divorces are triggered, at least indirectly, by adultery. The betrayed party, understandably hurt and angry, may wish to seek legal revenge against the person who interfered in their marriage. While revenge may seem tempting, it is not feasible to take legal action against someone for breaking up your marriage. However, it is important to understand how adultery may affect the divorce proceedings.

How Does Illinois Law View Adultery in Divorce Cases?

In Illinois, all divorces are based on “irreconcilable differences,” as it is a no-fault divorce state. Although adultery is no longer a legally recognized ground for divorce, it may still be taken into account during divorce proceedings. If a spouse’s infidelity is causing problems in the family, divorce might be a solution to consider. Adultery could affect how marital property is divided and spousal support payments. According to Illinois law, judges must decide about alimony without considering marital misconduct. Although marital misconduct may not directly impact divorce proceedings, it can still affect other aspects, such as property division.

Differences Between Fault-Based and No-Fault-Based Divorces

There are no-fault divorces in Illinois, meaning neither spouse’s bad actions are considered during a divorce. Before 2016, Illinois residents had to prove fault when seeking a divorce, but now the only ground for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” In Illinois, couples no longer have to prove fault to get a divorce, which makes the process easier and less likely to be confrontational.


Arlington Heights Divorce LawyerFinances play a crucial role in a divorce case. When there are complicated financial circumstances in a divorce, a forensic accountant may provide expert analysis and testimony. The primary objective of a forensic accountant is to assist in painting an accurate financial picture of the marital estate so that asset division, child custody, and other divorce issues can be determined. Forensic accountants are often used in divorce cases in which a spouse is misrepresenting his or her financial situation. A divorcing spouse may hide assets, undervalue assets, or lie about his or her income. A forensic accountant’s job is to uncover the truth and assist the divorce lawyer during the case.

Tracing and Identifying Assets

In many contested divorce cases, questions are raised about a spouse’s marital and non-marital assets. A forensic accountant traces and identifies marital assets, including assets that have been hidden. A spouse may try to hide assets by transferring assets to a third party, failing to disclose offshore accounts or other difficult-to-find property, or lying about the value of assets.

Valuing Assets

Forensic accountants may also be used to determine the value of assets during divorce. For example, a forensic accountant may investigate business financials to determine the value of a business so it can be accurately addressed during property division.


Illinois Divorce AttorneyProperty division is an essential aspect of the Illinois divorce process. For many divorcing couples, their home is the most valuable asset they own. Unfortunately, in these difficult times, many people owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth.

If you find yourself in this predicament, you may have questions about what happens to the home and the mortgage during your divorce. The answer to this question depends on many factors. Read on to learn more.

How is an Upside Down Mortgage Handled During Divorce?

Typically, there are two main ways that divorcing spouses address the equity in their home. In some cases, the couple sells the house and divides the proceeds between them. In other cases, one spouse buys out the other spouse by retaining ownership of the home and compensating the other spouse with other marital assets, such as bank account balances, retirement assets, or vehicles.


Arlington Heights Family Law AttorneyIn a divorce or child-related legal dispute, Illinois courts always want to ensure that the children's safety and well-being are paramount. In order to ensure that a child custody arrangement is in a child's best interest, the court sometimes requires parents to undergo psychological testing or a mental health evaluation. Sometimes, a mental health evaluation is requested by one of the parents, in other cases, the court orders psychological testing.

If you are getting divorced or going through a child custody case, you may have many questions and concerns about how mental health evaluations are used and what they entail. Each case is different; however, this blog will give a general outline of mental health evaluations in Illinois family law cases.

Who Has to Undergo Psychological Testing?

Psychological testing can be time-consuming, invasive, and expensive. Consequently, it is only used when necessary to ensure the well-being of a child. The court has the authority to order psychological testing if the court believes that a parent could have a psychological or mental health condition that influences the case.


Arlington Heights Divorce LawyerDivorcing couples of any age may have questions and concerns about how their divorce will influence their retirement, but this is often an especially crucial issue in divorce cases involving older spouses. Understandably, people want to ensure that they will have access to the financial resources they need in their golden years.

In this blog, we will discuss answers to some of the most frequent questions about how divorce can influence retirement accounts and what you can do if you want personalized guidance regarding your situation.

Does My Spouse Get Half of My Retirement Account?

Retirement funds are treated just like any other asset during a divorce. This means that any retirement funds a spouse acquires during the marriage are included in the marital state. Funds that were acquired before the marriage or after a legal separation are considered separate property. You do not have to share separate property, but it is very likely that your spouse is entitled to a share of any retirement funds acquired during the marriage.


arlington heights divorce lawyer Divorce is challenging for everyone involved, but it can be especially difficult for teenage children. The teenage years are a formative time, and the turbulence of a divorce can make these critical years even more complicated than they already are. As a result, many parents with teenage children are concerned with how the divorce will affect them. 

What to Keep in Mind

Here are some considerations for parents with teenage children getting a divorce, including:

  • Keep communication channels open – Keeping lines of communication open with your teenage children during the divorce process is essential. Make sure they know that they can come to you with any questions or concerns, and be honest with them about the situation.


arlington heights custody lawyerOne of the most challenging aspects of divorce is the impact it can have on children. In some cases, one parent may try to turn the child against the other parent, which can cause emotional trauma and damage to the parent-child relationship. If you believe this is happening, it may be worth contacting an experienced family law attorney, who may have advice on how to navigate the situation best. In addition, a lawyer with experience has likely seen this situation before and may have insight on how to proceed.

Steps to Dealing with Parental Alienation

Here are some steps you should take if your spouse is attempting to sabotage the relationship between you and your child, including:

  • Document the behavior – If you believe your spouse is trying to turn your child against you, it is essential to document the behavior. For example, record conversations or interactions with your spouse or child that suggest parental alienation occurs.


lombard divorce lawyerThere is no denying that discussing divorce with your spouse can be a high-stress and often contentious conversation. Unfortunately, in some cases, this discussion can escalate into threats of violence. If you find yourself in this situation, it is crucial to prioritize your safety and take appropriate legal action. Today, we will outline several steps if your spouse threatens violence after you mention divorce. As you navigate this emotional time, an experienced family law attorney can be highly beneficial as you work to ensure your safety while ensuring your rights are protected and that you understand your legal options moving forward.

Step #1 – Ensure Your Immediate Safety

If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety, call 911. Law enforcement officers are trained to handle domestic violence situations and can help protect you from harm.

If you are not in immediate danger but still feel threatened, consider leaving your home temporarily and staying with a friend or family member or at a domestic violence shelter. Ensure you have a safety plan, including packing essential items and important documents and having an escape route in mind.


chicago divorce lawyerWhen one spouse has a substance abuse problem, it can complicate divorce in various ways. The spouse with the addiction may be less able to negotiate effectively, and their addiction may impact their ability to make sound decisions. Today, we will discuss what to remember as you approach the divorce process if you have a spouse with a substance abuse problem. Consider contacting an experienced divorce attorney to ensure your rights are protected and understand your legal options. 

What to Do if the Spouse You Are Divorcing Has a Substance Abuse Problem 

While all situations are different, here are some considerations as you move toward and through the divorce process, including:

  • Get help for your spouse – If your spouse is willing, encourage them to seek help for their addiction. This could include therapy, rehab, or support groups. Addressing the addiction can help your spouse to be in a better position to negotiate and make decisions about the divorce. 


wheaton divorce lawyerUnfortunately, it is not uncommon for children to act out in school and at home following a divorce as they struggle to accept the changes in their family dynamic. Today, we will discuss what a concerned parent can do if their child begins acting out after a divorce.

If you are worried about child-related legal concerns before, during, or after a divorce, contact a divorce lawyer for help. An attorney can help you establish or modify the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities, enforce a child support order, and address other family law concerns. 

Tips for Parents with Children Struggling to Cope with a Divorce

Divorce can be hard on children. Here are some tips to help parents help their children get through this challenging time in their life:

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