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While the divorce rate seems to have stabilized in recent years, and may even, in fact, be falling, nearly one million American marriages are legally dissolved each year. Many individuals, however, are unwilling to give up entirely on the idea of marital happiness. According to a study conducted the Pew Research Center, fully 40 percent of all new marriages include at least one partner who has been previously married. Two in ten are marriages between partners who have both been married before. The study also indicated that nearly 60 percent of all divorced or widowed adults will remarry.

These statistics, it would seem, paint a rather optimistic picture of the American approach to marriage, despite the ever-present possibility of divorce. There are, however, a number of legal issues that may impact a remarriage more significantly than a first marriage. With the help of a qualified family law attorney, you and your spouse should be able to address these concerns and prevent them from becoming bigger problems:

  • End of Alimony: If you are receiving spousal maintenance payments from your ex-spouse, those payments will most likely end when you get remarried. In fact, cohabitation with your fiancé before your marriage could constitute grounds for terminating spousal support.
  • Child Custody and Visitation: There are no explicit provisions in Illinois law about changing your parental arrangements or parenting time arrangements when a parent gets remarried. However, many such considerations are based on the circumstances of the case and how they impact the child’s well-being. Changing circumstances can precipitate modifications to existing orders.
  • Child Support: In most situations, a remarriage alone will not impact child support agreements. The child’s parents remain responsible for the care of the child, regardless of the addition of new spouses. A parent who is required to pay support might see his or her obligation decrease if he or she were to have a child with the new spouse, but the reduction is not often significant.
  • Decisions Regarding Inheritances and Legacy Gifts: If you own property or valued possessions, you will want to decide prior to remarriage what your intentions are regarding them after your death. Will they be left to your children from your first marriage or to your new spouse? A prenuptial agreement can help you put such concerns to rest before you say “I do” again.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

As with many legal situations, there may be exceptions to any general rule, so the information presented above should serve merely as a helpful reminder of things to consider and not definitive advice. For more information about the potential implications of remarriage, contact an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County. The team at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC will review your case and help you fully understand the applicable laws as you prepare for the next stage of your life. Call 630-665-2500 for an appointment.

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change, Wheaton divorce lawyerAny difficult decision is bound to leave a person having second thoughts. In fact, if you did not have second thoughts, the decision was probably not very difficult in the first place. With that in mind, the decision to pursue a divorce is likely to be among the most difficult choices you will ever make. Despite billboards or websites that promise to help simplify your divorce, the fact remains that ending your marriage is a significant life event that will change you and your family forever. If you have considered the possibility of filing for divorce, it is important to allow yourself the space and time to think through all of your options before you make any decisions that cannot be undone.

Know the Law

It is commonly repeated that half of all marriages in America will eventually end through divorce. While many experts suggest that this figure is an over-exaggeration, divorce is certainly not rare. Illinois law, however, generally seems to take divorce more seriously than the average person does. The statute that governs divorce in the state—the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act—does not guarantee a quick dissolution of marriage simply because a person files a petition for divorce. Under the law, an Illinois court will only grant a divorce if it finds that the marriage has broken down beyond repair due to irreconcilable differences between the spouses. Before filing for a divorce, you need to be certain that you are making the right choice.

No Taking It Back

When you are considering the possibility of a divorce, it is important to keep in mind that once the court has entered a judgment for the dissolution of your marriage, it is too late to change your mind. If the challenges of the divorce process have made you reconsider your decision, and you want to give your relationship another chance, you need to let the court know before the final decree is issued. Changing your mind about the divorce will not be valid grounds to ask the court to vacate its judgment of divorce. By law, you would be free to remarry your ex-spouse, but the provisions of your divorce decree would still apply.

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child support, Wheaton family lawyerChild support is designed to help a child of divorced or unmarried parents to benefit from both parents’ financial support. Illinois considers it the right of the child to receive child support, so support payments are totally separate from issues of parental responsibility and parenting time. If you are a parent who is getting divorced or you share a child with someone you are not currently married to, you probably have several questions regarding child support.

If you are the parent with less parenting time, you may be wondering how much your support payments will be. If you are the parent with the majority of the parental responsibilities, or the custodial parent, you likely want to know what you will receive in child support. As with many aspects of family law, the issue of child support calculation can become complex.

Income Shares Model is Used to Calculate Child Support in Illinois

The laws regarding child support in Illinois have changed dramatically in recent years. Previous to July 2017, child support amounts were almost entirely dependent on the paying parent’s income. Now, the amount that a parent pays in child support is calculated based on the Income Shares Model. This is a more comprehensive means of calculating support that takes both parents’ income and financial circumstances into consideration. The new model also takes shared parenting into account. If a child spends at least 146 overnights a year with each parent, the method of calculating child support is slightly different.

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cohabitation agreement, DuPage County family law attorneyMore and more couples are choosing not to get married. It is possible that many people avoid marriage for the simple fact that so many marriages end in divorce. Other couples have personal reasons for putting off tying the knot. However, legal and financial issues can arise when an unmarried cohabitating couple breaks up. Unlike when a married couple splits, a cohabitating couple does not have legal protections which ensure that their property is fairly split.

Illinois does not recognize common law marriages so there are no laws which direct how an unmarried couple’s property and debts should be divided when they break up. One way to protect yourself when living with a partner who you are not married to is a cohabitation agreement.

What Is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is similar to a marriage agreement or prenuptial agreement in that it is a legally-enforceable contract that dictates how an unmarried couple’s property will be divided if they break up. A cohabitation agreement can be used to decide each party’s financial responsibilities in advance. More specifically, a cohabitation agreement can allow you to:

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divorce, DuPage County divorce lawyersIf you are considering filing for divorce or you have already decided to end your marriage, you are probably dealing with a litany of emotions. Some people feel a sense of relief when they decide to finally end a bad marriage. Others are overwhelmed by feelings of grief or regret. Whatever you are going through, understand that having a strong reaction to the end of your marriage is perfectly normal. Furthermore, there are several steps mental health experts say can help you deal with the barrage of feelings you will experience when you choose to get divorced.

Allow Yourself to Experience Grief and Other Negative Emotions Without Judgement

The Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory is a ranking of the most stressful life events a person can experience. Among the ranking of life events are things like being fired from your job, the death of a close family member, pregnancy, and more. You may be surprised to know that getting divorced is actually the second-most stressful life event on this list. Only the death of a spouse is considered more stressful than divorce. This is just one illustration which proves that anyone going through a divorce deserves to give themselves a break. Do not worry about the feelings you are or are not having. Try to allow yourself to experience these emotions without judgment.

Take Care of Your Mental and Physical Health

More and more research is illuminating the direct connection between emotional well-being and physical health. Many studies show that something as simple as taking a walk or participating in a group exercise class can do wonders for mental health. Experts also encourage anyone going through a divorce to be cautious when using drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. It can be easy to fall into a dangerous pattern of overuse when your life is turned upside down by the breakdown of your marriage. Lastly, mental health experts encourage anyone coping with divorce to seek out the companionship of friends, family, and other supportive people. Many people find that joining a support group, church or other religious institution, or even a sports or hobby group is an effective way to cope with divorce.

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