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Il divorce lawyerIt can be hard to know when a marriage is broken down irreparably. Spouses may try to reconcile their differences by talking through their problems, undergoing couples counseling, or even agreeing to a trial separation. For some couples, however, these attempts do not work and the marital turmoil continues. The only two people who can know for sure that a marriage is over are the spouses. However, there are often signs that may mean a marriage has deteriorated to a point that divorce becomes the best option.

Issues That May Be Symptomatic of Irretrievable Marital Breakdown

There is no one way to know whether a marriage can be saved or not. Some couples are able to resolve their disagreements and continue a long, healthy marriage. Others realize that their differences cannot be reconciled and decide to divorce. Some signs that may be indicative of an impending divorce include:

  • You no longer enjoy being around each other. – Everyone gets annoyed by their spouse once in a while. However, if spouses are going out of their way to avoid each other for long periods of time, this may mean that divorce is the best option.
  • You have stopped communicating. – Marital conflict can only be resolved when the spouses are able to communicate with each other. If you and your spouse have reached a point where you cannot even discuss issues, this may be a sign that the relationship cannot be saved.
  • Trusted friends and family encourage you to end the marriage. – If your most trusted loved ones are encouraging you to divorce, they may recognize that the marriage is no longer healthy or beneficial.
  • You and your spouse do not respect each other. – Mutual respect is at the foundation of a successful marriage.
  • There is a complete absence of physical intimacy. – If spouses no longer act affectionately toward each other, this can be a major red flag.
  • There are more negative interactions than positive interactions – Every couple experiences arguments and difficulties from time to time. However, if the negative interactions far outweigh the positive interactions, it may be time to think about ending the relationship.
  • You do not trust your spouse. – Whether a lack of trust is due to an extramarital affair or another reason, spouses who cannot trust their partner may be unable to save the marriage.
  • You have different core values. – Spouses who do not share the same values and beliefs may find themselves constantly arguing.
  • You do not feel safe with your partner. – If your spouse has abused you physically, mentally, or emotionally, threatened you, or harassed you, divorce may be the safest option.
  • You have fallen out of love. – Sometimes, spouses simply fall out of love with each other. Only the spouses can know if the love they used to share may be rekindled.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

If you are ready to start exploring your divorce options, contact our skilled, experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys for help. Call Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC at 630-665-2500 for consultation.

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IL divorce lawyerThe decision to get divorced is just the beginning of what is often a long and complex process. Divorcing couples must address important financial concerns including ownership of marital assets as well as marital debts. If the couple shares children, they will need to determine the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. It can be exceptionally difficult to have a productive conversation about these issues with someone you are in the middle of divorcing. Old hurts and regrets often steer the conversation off course and lead to arguments instead of resolutions. This is where divorce mediation can be extremely useful.

The Mediator Will Facilitate a Productive Conversation

Family law mediators are third parties who facilitate productive, solution-oriented conversations during divorce. A mediator can help you and your spouse identify the issues that you agree on and those issues you disagree on and then find creative solutions you can both approve of. Instead of telling you what to do, the mediator helps you and your spouse explore the advantages and disadvantages of various solutions. The mediator may also step in and redirect the conversation when it goes off track. This can help you and your spouse avoid futile arguments that only lessen the chances of an out-of-court agreement.

Mediation is Confidential and Cost-Effective

When a divorce case is litigated through the court, personal matters may become a part of the public record. Many spouses want to maintain privacy as much as possible during a divorce. Mediation is a great way to discuss divorce issues without the risk of your discussions becoming public. Keeping matters confidential is especially important when a spouse is well known in the community. Mediation is also less expensive than litigation.

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IL divorce lawyerEnding a marriage through divorce will involve multiple types of legal and financial issues. A couple will need to separate multiple different aspects of their lives that have become intertwined while they were married. As they make decisions about how to divide the property they own and the debts they owe, each spouse will want to take steps to make sure they will be able to support themselves and live comfortably once their marriage has ended. However, this can sometimes be difficult for those who rely on a spouse’s income or who do not have significant financial resources. In some cases, a person may be able to receive ongoing financial support from their spouse that will help them meet their needs. By understanding when this form of support (which is known as spousal maintenance, spousal support, or alimony) may be appropriate, spouses can make sure they will be able to address this issue correctly during the divorce process.

When Will Spousal Support Be Awarded?

A person will not automatically receive spousal maintenance following divorce, and this form of support will generally only be appropriate in situations where one spouse earns a significantly higher income than the other. If a spouse has been a stay-at-home parent during the couple’s marriage, or if they only work part-time so they can devote more time to childcare and other household responsibilities, they may ask for spousal support so that they will be able to cover their ongoing financial needs after getting divorced while also working to ensure that they will be able to support themselves in the future.

A couple may agree that spousal maintenance will be paid when they create a divorce settlement. If an agreement cannot be reached, the party seeking support can ask the judge in their case to decide whether spousal support should be awarded. When considering this issue, a judge may look at how much income each spouse currently earns, the income they should be able to earn based on their education and work experience, and their ongoing needs. Other relevant factors that may play a role in these decisions include whether the spouse seeking support has made sacrifices to their income or career in order to focus on family responsibilities and whether a person has made monetary or personal contributions that have helped their spouse increase their income level or pursue career opportunities.

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IL divorce lawyerThere are many reasons why a couple may want to create a prenuptial agreement before they get married. If either party owns significant assets, or if one party earns a higher income, they may want to take steps to protect themselves financially in the case of a divorce. A prenup may also be used to ensure that children from a previous relationship will have the financial resources they need. This type of agreement can help a couple avoid uncertainty in the future, and by making decisions about how matters will be handled if they choose to get a divorce, they may be able to minimize potential conflict. For those who are considering a prenup, it is important to understand what types of decisions an agreement can and cannot include.

Issues That Can Be Addressed in a Prenup

A prenuptial agreement will generally be limited to addressing issues related to a couple’s property and finances. The terms of a prenup may include:

  • Each party’s rights and obligations regarding the property they own together or separately. This may include details about a person’s rights to buy, sell, use, manage, control, or dispose of different types of assets, such as financial accounts, real estate property, vehicles, or other valuable items.
  • Whether different assets are considered marital or separate property. Separate property generally includes any assets owned by either party before getting married, and a spouse will be able to retain ownership of these assets if their marriage ends in divorce. Marital property must be divided between spouses in the case of divorce.
  • Decisions about how property will be divided in a divorce. A couple may agree on how property division will be handled, removing uncertainty about ownership of different types of assets and avoiding conflict about these issues.
  • Modification or elimination of spousal support. During a divorce, one spouse may ask for financial support from the other spouse. To avoid conflict about this issue, spouses may use a prenup to decide the circumstances when spousal maintenance will or will not be paid or to specify the amount and duration of spousal support payments.

A prenuptial agreement may also address any other issues that a couple believes are relevant, as long as these terms do not violate the law or go against public policy. However, a prenup generally cannot make decisions about the custody of a couple’s children, since these issues will be decided based on what is in the best interests of the children rather than the wishes of the parents. A prenup also cannot include any terms that would affect a child’s right to receive child support that will provide for their ongoing needs.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen married parents get divorced, their divorce decree will function as a legal court order that details how they will share child custody, and in most cases, one parent will be required to pay child support to the other. Child custody and child support orders may also be created in cases where parents are unmarried. These court orders will remain in effect until children reach adulthood. However, there may be some situations where one or both parents may wish to make changes to these orders. In these cases, it is important to understand what types of modifications can be made, when a parent can request changes and the procedures that will need to be followed to put modifications in place.

Modifications Based on Changed Circumstances

There are a variety of reasons why a parent may request changes to child custody. Parental relocation, in which a parent with primary or equal custody of children wishes to move to a new home, is one of the most common reasons for a modification. However, parents may also request modifications based on a desire for more parenting time with their children or because they are concerned about issues that affect children’s health and safety when they are in the care of the other parent.

Changes to the allocation of parental responsibilities (also known as legal custody) cannot be made within two years after a child custody order has been issued unless these changes are necessary to protect children’s health and well-being. However, changes to parenting time schedules may be made at any time. In general, a parent will need to demonstrate that their requested modifications are necessary because they or their children have experienced a significant change in circumstances. For example, adjustments to a parent’s work schedule may conflict with their parenting time, and they may request a modification to ensure that they will be able to continue spending time with their children on a regular basis.

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