spousal support, DuPage County divorce attorneysIf you are getting divorced, you may wonder whether or not you will be able to receive spousal maintenance. Also called spousal support or alimony, spousal maintenance refers to payments that a spouse makes to the other spouse after a divorce. Although women were traditionally the recipients of maintenance, spousal support laws apply the same to men as they do women. Spousal maintenance is typically ordered when there is a significant difference in the spouses’ financial circumstances or when a spouse sacrifices career or educational opportunities for the benefit of the household.

Factors Considered by Illinois Courts When Determining Spousal Support

There are two ways that a spouse may be considered eligible for spousal support. The first is when the couple have already made spousal support decisions through a prenuptial agreement. Unless there is a problem that invalidates the prenuptial agreement, the court will uphold the arrangements to which the spouses agreed.

The second way a spouse can receive spousal support is by petitioning the court for spousal support. Courts consider a range of factors when deciding whether or not spousal support is appropriate. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s assets and income
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age and overall health
  • Each spouse’s present and future earning capacity
  • Any non-financial contributions made to the marriage such as contributions made as a homemaker or stay-at-home-parent
  • The time it will likely take the recipient spouse to gain suitable employment
  • Tax consequences of property division during divorce

How Much Support Does a Spouse Receive?

In most cases, spousal support payment amounts and the duration of payments are determined via statutory guidelines. The formula for calculating the amount of maintenance is a function of the income of both parties. The duration of the maintenance order is calculated based on the length of the marriage. The longer a couple has been married, the longer the recipient spouse will receive maintenance. In marriages of 20 years or more, permanent maintenance may be awarded.

Regardless of how much time remains on the order, maintenance automatically ends when the recipient spouse remarries. Additionally, if the recipient is cohabitating with a romantic partner, the paying spouse may petition the court for termination of the maintenance order.

Contact a Wheaton Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Whether you are pursuing spousal support or your spouse is requesting support, quality legal guidance from an experienced lawyer is key. For help with spousal maintenance, property division, child custody, and any other aspect of your divorce, contact Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Schedule a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney by calling our office today at 630-665-2500.




Posted in DuPage County Divorce Lawyer, Spousal Maintenance | Tagged , , , , |

valuation, Wheaton divorce attorneysWhen you are going through a divorce, financial and property considerations are often among the most complex elements of the process. Dividing marital assets can be intensely personal, as well as extremely confusing, depending on what your marital estate includes. For example, if you and your spouse bought a particular piece of furniture, you may both have a sentimental attachment to it and deciding who should get to keep it may cause an argument. However, if you or your spouse own a business—or part of one—determining how those interests are to be handled in divorce may be much more challenging.

Proper Valuation Matters

To ensure the entire process of dividing property is completed equitably and in accordance with the law, you will need to establish the value of the business interests to be included in the marital estate. In fact, a business valuation is important even the company is non-marital, as personal assets of each spouse must be taken into account as well.

There are several commonly accepted methods of completing a business valuation. Each involves a different philosophy of business analysis, and, while none is objectively superior to the others, the approach you choose will probably be based on how you see your company:

  • Asset-Based Valuation: This type of valuation is a relatively black-and-white determination, which considers all of the company’s assets and liabilities. In essence, this approach tries to estimate how much it would cost to build a new business to the level of your existing business. However, much of your company’s value may lie in proprietary ideas and customer service, concepts which may not translate well onto a balance sheet.
  • Market-Based Valuation: A market-based business valuation is, in many ways, similar to private, residential real estate appraisal. This approach seeks to establish a price that a buyer would be willing to pay and that a seller would be prepared to accept, based on available market data of similar businesses in similar industries and areas. The downside to a market valuation is that it, again, may not sufficiently account for many of the elements that make your company unique.
  • Income-Based Valuation: Sometimes known as the earnings multiplier method, this approach considers your business’s performance history and industry standards to create a reasonable projection of future revenues. This can, of course, be very complicated and forecasts are not guaranteed money, so there is a risk factor that must be taken into account.

A DuPage County Divorce Attorney Can Help You Put It All Together

In many cases, a business valuation will combine the methods listed above to provide a more accurate financial picture. During your divorce, however, you or your spouse may not necessarily concur with the conclusions reached by a business professional hired by the other party. At Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, we understand the importance of working with industry experts that you and your spouse can trust to provide accurate, objective valuations of your business interests. To learn more about how we can help you through the divorce process, contact one of our experienced Wheaton family lawyers by calling 630-665-2500 today.





Posted in DIvision of Property, DuPage County Divorce Lawyer | Tagged , , , , , |

adoption, DuPage County family law attorneysThere are countless reasons that parents may consider putting their child up for adoption. In most cases, they believe that doing so will give their child a much better opportunity at a happy, healthy life. A large percentage of adoptions in Illinois involve single mothers who feel that they are not able to provide properly for their child. The choice of a single mother to make her child available for adoption is, undoubtedly, a difficult one, but what about that child’s father? Does he have any say in the process?

Your Rights as a Legal Father

If you are the legally-recognized father of a child that is being placed for adoption, the proceedings may not continue without your consent. In most cases, you must be willing to voluntarily terminate your parental rights. It is possible for your parental rights to terminated against your will, but only if you are found to by the court to be an unfit parent. Grounds for such a finding include abandonment of the child, failure to maintain interest, concern or responsibility, neglect, repeated physical or emotional abuse, substance abuse, and other negative behaviors.

Putative Father Registry

In any adoption proceeding, the mother should make every effort to identify the father of the child. Such identification does not necessarily have legal implications, but before a child can be adopted, the state or applicable agency will attempt to locate the father and to give him the opportunity to contest the adoption. If you believe you are the father of a child who may be placed for adoption but have not established legal paternity, you may wish to register with the Illinois Putative Father Registry.

The Putative Father Registry is your first step in exercising the rights you may have as the child’s father. You must register before the child is 30 days old or the court may determine that you have waived your rights by inaction and the adoption may be permitted to continue without your consent. If you decide to contest the adoption, you should be prepared to take on the full responsibility of being the child’s father. While you may ultimately proceed to establish your legal paternity, and eventually seek parenting time and responsibilities, you may also be ordered to pay child support in the meantime.

Get the Help You Need from a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

To learn more about your rights as a legal or putative father, contact an experienced Wheaton adoption attorney. We can help you fully understand the law, as well as your inherent responsibilities. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation today.





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