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spousal maintenance lawyerOne of the most difficult issues divorcing couples struggle to agree about is spousal maintenance. Previously known as alimony, spousal maintenance or spousal support is money paid by one spouse to another after an Illinois divorce while the receiving spouse becomes financially self-sufficient. Spousal maintenance may be paid in a lump sum or in monthly payments over a set period. Sometimes, for long marriages, spousal support is ordered to last indefinitely.  

Spouses who are ordered to pay spousal support sometimes feel upset that they are giving money to someone they are not married to anymore. This may be especially true if one spouse is petitioning for spousal support to be a nuisance to their ex, not because they genuinely need the financial assistance. If you believe your former spouse is wrongfully petitioning for spousal maintenance and you want to fight their claim, the information in this blog may be helpful to you. 

When is a Spouse Obligated to Pay Spousal Maintenance? 

Although urban legends are full of bitter spouses who are driven to financial ruin by alimony payments, the truth is that spousal maintenance is not automatically granted after a divorce. Spouses in Illinois are encouraged to work cooperatively to decide on spousal maintenance payments together, but when this fails, a judge may intervene. When a judge is making decisions about spousal support, they consider many factors, including: 

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arlington heights divorce attorney

One of the most challenging parts of any divorce is the property division process. Ideally, a couple can work together to create an agreement for splitting their assets and debts equitably. However, sometimes court intervention is required for spouses who cannot negotiate productively or when there are other extenuating circumstances. 

One of the circumstances under which a court may get involved in dividing property is when one spouse has engaged in wasting, or “dissipating,” marital property. In this blog, we will discuss what marital asset dissipation is, how it can be proven, and how dissipated assets might be recovered. 

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arlington heights divorce lawyerAlthough it may seem difficult or even impossible, many spouses have been able to work through their differences and successfully negotiate a divorce agreement through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods. One important but challenging issue that many couples must address is that of spousal support, also known as alimony or spousal maintenance

Avoiding the hassle, expense, and conflict of litigating a divorce in court is usually best for everyone - especially if there are children involved. Although negotiating spousal support may be difficult, it is well worth the effort. Here are three tips for helping you begin. 

Successful Alimony Negotiations 

  • Focus on finding a solution - Rather than hashing out old differences, stay task-oriented and work towards an outcome. Try not to make accusations; instead, communicate your feelings and focus on your priorities. 

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arlington heights divorce lawyerGetting divorced involves learning an entirely new vocabulary. Discovery? Allocation? Retainers? Although the amount of new information can seem overwhelming, taking it step-by-step and having a great divorce attorney can help you understand everything you need to know about the divorce process

But most people who are getting a divorce have never hired an attorney before, so even that can seem daunting. In this blog post, we will explain the basics of how someone can retain an attorney and how attorneys usually get paid. 

How Do Lawyers Get Paid in a Divorce Case? 

Not everybody has the same needs or budget in their divorce, so hiring an attorney can look a little different for everybody. Many attorneys offer hourly rates, limited scope representation, contingency fee agreements, or flat rate representation. However, for most people, the process of getting the help of an attorney means paying a retainer first. 

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arlington heights divorce lawyerAlthough some people getting divorced in Illinois want to hire an attorney who will represent them from the moment the divorce begins to the moment the final divorce decree is handed down, this is neither financially nor practically feasible for everyone. If you anticipate a simple divorce, have budgetary restraints, or simply have the desire to handle certain issues yourself, you may have another option: Limited scope representation. 

Illinois allows attorneys to limit the scope of their representation to clients if there are reasonable circumstances and the client understands and gives their consent. Attorneys can coach divorcees who wish to represent themselves, prepare evidence, and can even appear in court if necessary - but only if the client seeks that representation as part of their legal services. If you are considering getting divorced in Illinois and doubt that full-scale legal representation is right for you, read on. 

Divorce on a Budget

One of the reasons people avoid hiring an attorney during their divorce is because of financial concerns. Hiring an attorney, paying a retainer, and committing to making payments throughout the divorce process may simply be out of the question. Although these concerns are legitimate, it is rarely a good idea for people to pursue divorce without any legal assistance whatsoever. It is easy to overlook pitfalls, make mistakes, or fail to realize that you are getting taken advantage of. 

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