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arlington heights divorce lawyerModern technology has made it very easy to record every moment of our lives. Photo, video, and voice recordings of people acting poorly are all over the internet. Although people getting divorced in Illinois may believe that recording their spouses doing something threatening or illegal would be justified and therefore no big deal, Illinois and federal law are quite strict regarding legal and illegal recordings. 

Many people have legitimate reasons to fear their spouse during an ongoing divorce process and may want to surreptitiously document threats or abusive behavior. Although there are times when secret recording can be done legally, it is easy to violate these laws and a recording could be inadmissible as evidence - or worse, get the person doing the recording in serious legal trouble. 

When Can Conversations Be Legally Recorded in Illinois? 

Illinois is an all-party consent state when it comes to recordings. This means that everyone involved in a conversation must be aware that recording is taking place. They do not have to consent to the recording; they must only be aware of it. 

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Arlington Heights family law attorneyGetting a divorce can have a major, ongoing impact on your finances. After the divorce is over and all the court and attorney expenses have been paid, many divorcees must continue to make spousal maintenance payments to their former spouses.

Knowing how spousal maintenance is handled and what kinds of maintenance there are in Illinois is crucial for managing your options and expectations. In this article, we will explore what the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows in terms of spousal maintenance, how payments are calculated, and how long you can expect to make these payments. 

How is Spousal Maintenance Calculated? 

Maintenance payments are allocated based on a fairly simple equation but judges have wide leeway to adjust payments depending on other factors as well, such as child support obligations or spousal support payments already being made to previous spouses. The basic formula for spousal maintenance is 33 percent of the paying spouse’s annual net income, minus 25 percent of the receiving spouse’s annual net income. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_737110144-min.jpgFor many divorced individuals, the prospect of remarrying a former spouse is the last thing on their minds. However, this is a choice that a surprising number of people make - and, according to the research, they frequently do it successfully. 

People who seek to remarry their former spouse often have very good reasons for wishing to do so. After some time apart, a couple may realize that getting divorced does not rid them of the responsibility to raise their children together. A shared history and vision for the future often make it possible to overcome past hurt and rekindle a relationship. 

However, marriages that ended once can end again. Former partners getting remarried should consider several things before taking a second leap into commitment. 

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arlington heights divorce lawyerStatistics about domestic violence in Illinois are tragic and shocking. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nationally, about 35% of both men and women experience harm by an intimate partner during their lifetime. In Illinois, these rates are even higher for women.

Unfortunately, domestic violence often occurs within the context of a marriage. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional manipulation, and withholding necessary financial resources are common forms of marital abuse. If you are a victim of spousal abuse and are considering divorce, there are a few additional actions you may want to consider. 

File for an Order of Protection

Orders of Protection are legally binding orders from the court that prohibit an abusive person from contacting or coming within a certain distance of their victim. You can file for an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP), which will give you immediate protection for 21 days. After the EOP expires, you may need to attend a hearing to get a Plenary Order of Protection that can last up to two years. Orders of Protection can also prohibit an abuser from contacting or coming near your children. Violations of Orders of Protection are punishable by arrest and incarceration.

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arlington heights divorce lawyerDividing marital assets between a divorcing couple is often one of the most complex and difficult aspects of the divorce process. Couples who cannot reach an agreement during the property division process may find themselves involved in a contentious litigation process.

One common disagreement occurs when determining whether an asset is owned individually by one spouse or belongs to both spouses in the form of marital property. Complex and illiquid assets such as real estate, pensions, investment accounts, businesses, and vehicles could all be considered either marital or nonmarital property, depending on when they were acquired. An asset that began as nonmarital property may become marital property through a process known as “commingling.”

What is Commingled Property? 

Only marital property is subject to division in a divorce. This includes both assets and debts that you, your spouse, or both of you together acquired during your marriage. However, even if an asset was acquired during the marriage, that does not necessarily make it marital property. For example, an asset acquired during the marriage could be considered nonmarital property if it was:

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