Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneyOne of the most important decisions you will make when going through a divorce is choosing who you will retain to be your divorce attorney. Having the right attorney, one who is not only skilled at his or her craft but also one who you feel comfortable and confident with, is crucial to having a “successful” divorce.

When meeting with a divorce attorney for the first time, there are several important things that you should discuss. These areas include:

Attorney Services and Legal Fees

Knowing what the attorney charges, such as their hourly rate, how much if any of a retainer is required, as well as other legal fees that may be involved, are topics that every attorney should be forthcoming with. No one needs any surprise expenses, especially while going through such a life-changing – and often financial status-changing – event. Although an attorney cannot predict the exact amount your divorce will cost, they should be able to explain the standard charges, as well as situations that could come up which could cause those costs to increase.

Your Spouse’s Attorney

It is not uncommon for the attorneys of divorcing spouses to know each other professionally and to have worked on opposing sides of the courtroom in other cases. Although you may think it is better if there is strong dislike between the attorneys, it can actually be more beneficial if there is mutual respect between your attorney and your spouse’s attorney. This means the two will actually work better together in moving the case along, rather than dragging it out longer because of the animosity between the two lawyers.

Areas of Law Practiced

Divorce and family law are complicated and the statutes concerning these areas are frequently changing. It is critical that your attorney remains up-to-date on what those laws are. Having an attorney that focuses on one area of law, rather than a lawyer who practices within several, could help ensure that your best interests are protected in the divorce process.  

The Firm’s Staff

Often, it is not just the attorney you will be dealing with, but you will also have interactions with other members of the firm’s staff – such as your attorney’s legal assistant or paralegal, and possible other attorneys at the firm. Meeting those people will help you decide if this attorney and the firm are a good fit for you and your divorce.

DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you are considering a divorce, then contacting an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney is the first step. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 for a confidential consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randall-m-kessler/top-5-things-to-ask-your-_b_8240184.html

Posted on in family law

Naperville family law attorneyEffective January 1, 2017, there will be several new laws in place pertaining to Illinois marriage and divorce laws. Some of the family law issues which will be affected by the changes include child custody, child support, and adoption.

The beginning of 2016 brought major changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Although lawmakers did a thorough job in tackling many of the major issues in family law, there were some areas where clarification was needed. Public Act 099-0763 amends IMDMA with those clarifications, including:

  • The two-year ban on amending judgments only applies to “parental decision-making responsibilities” and not to “parenting-time provisions;”
  • The 25-mile relocation standard will be based on an “internet mapping service;”
  • A respondent is not required to file a parenting plan if they have not filed an appearance unless they are ordered by the judge to do so;
  • The presumed limits on post-high school educational expenses are those for an “in-state” student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and
  • An update of Article 7 of the Parentage Act of 2015 regarding the issues of artificial reproduction.

Child Support

Public Act 099-0764 makes changes to how child support will be calculated. Illinois will now be using the income shares model when it comes to determining how much child support a parent will be paying each month. In the income shares model, the courts believe that a child should receive the same parental portion of income they would if the parents were still together. In households where the parents are together, typically both incomes are combined for the benefit of the everyone in the family. Thus, following a divorce or breakup, both parents’ incomes are added and then the court determines what percentage of that total will be the child support payment amount.

Illinois has been using the percentage of income model to determine child support, where the amount set is determined as a percentage of the obligor’s (non-custodial parent) income. The other parent’s income is not taken into account for these calculations.

Adoption

An amendment to the Adoption Act will also take effect in January. Public Act 099-0832 will now require more disclosure to the adoptive parents regarding information surrounding the adoption, including:

  • Reasons why the birth parents are placing the child for adoption;
  • Why the adoptive parents were selected and how that decision was made;
  • Who selected the adoptive parents; and
  • Did the birth parents ask for or agree to any post-adoption contact with the child when they put the child up for adoption?

Illinois family law is frequently changing and evolving and that is why it is important to consult with a skilled DuPage County family law attorney when you are faced with divorce, custody, or other critical legal issues. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 for a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/99/099-0763.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/99/099-0764.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=099-0832

Posted on in Child Custody

Naperville family law attorneyThe start of 2016 brought with it a major overhaul of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. One of the biggest changes to the Act had to do with the way child custody and visitation are addressed by the courts. In order to create a less adversarial approach to the process, the legal reference to “child custody” was changed to “allocation of parental responsibilities” and the legal reference to “visitation” was changed to “parenting time.”

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities  

Under the old rules, judges could award parents either joint custody or sole custody. Joint custody meant the parents shared not only the physical time the child spent with each of them, but also shared the responsibility for decisions when it came to the health of the child (choice of providers and medical treatments, etc.), the child’s education (where the child attends school, special programs, etc.), what religion the child will practice, and what type of extracurricular activities in which the child will participate. In a sole custody situation, not only did the child spend the majority of time with the custodial parent, but that parent had the final decisions in all of those areas.

The new rules change all of that. Now, judges will determine which parent will have final authority for each of these decisions. Each area – health, education, religion, activities – may be decided separately. A judge can decide to split up the categories between parents, or can choose to have parents share the responsibility of one or more areas. No matter what the judge decides, he or she is doing so for the best interest of the child by examining such factors as how involved teach parent was with the child before the divorce, how the parents communicate with each other and consider the other’s wishes, how well each parent has followed prior court orders, and if the parent has the resources necessary for complying.

Parenting Time

Under the previous version of the law, unless parents had shared custody where the child was with each parent 50 percent of the time, one parent was granted primary physical custody. The child would live with that parent – referred to as the custodial parent – and have visitation time with the non-custodial parent. Although visitation schedules varied case by case, one of the most common schedules was the child spending alternating weekends and one weeknight with the non-custodial parent.

Those rules no longer apply; there is no more parental visitation. Instead, each parent will be awarded parenting time with the child. The judge will again examine those same factors mentioned above to determine how that time should be divided, still keeping the best interest of the child as the primary concern. Besides those factors examined in determining parenting responsibilities, the judge will also consider the relationship the child has with the parents, siblings, and other people who will be around the child at either parent's’ home. The distance between where each parent lives, as well as transportation costs, are also taken into consideration.

Let Us Help

Whether you have an existing custody order in place or are just starting the process, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney today. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 for a confidential consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ILCS/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

Naperville family law attorneyStudies show that when it comes to parenting time (visitation) after divorce, quality—not just the quantity—of time spent matters greatly. The moment a parent decides to end their marriage, they are flooded with a plethora of emotions. Mixed feelings such as confusion, anger, and fear are common, especially when the subject of parent-child relationships surfaces. It is understandable to be concerned about the logistics of your child’s future relationship with the other parent, as well as how your child will fare emotionally and mentally as they experience the transition.

The Purpose of Visitation and Parenting Plans

According to Illinois law, a parenting plan refers to a written agreement between divorced, separated or unmarried parents that allocates a number of parental responsibilities to each party. The plan also addresses issues such as visitation, custody, and the child’s overall lifestyle following the separation. While parenting plans and visitation arrangements exist to provide a method of family organization and to minimize conflict following the divorce, they also exist to protect the child’s well-being. One of their primary purposes is to help establish, strengthen, and preserve parent-child relationships.

What the Studies Tell Us

How do you know if your parenting time arrangements are right for your family? Do your visitation plans have a positive impact on your child, or are they weakening your child’s bond with the non-custodial parent? Psychology Today reports that research has shown that conflict is reduced for both parents and children when equal parenting—arrangements that equally and fairly divide parental responsibilities--are the primary focus.

The same studies also indicate that the quality of any parent-child relationship is significantly dependent on the well-being of the parent. When your parenting plans are fair, considerate of both parties, and encourage consistent, reliable parenting time with both parents, you can expect them to have positive long-lasting effects on your child.

Creating the Most Appropriate Parenting Plan for Your Family

Like most parents, you probably want to arrange healthy parenting time agreements that protect your child’s best interest and your family’s well-being as a whole. It is important to discuss these concerns with an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney before making any permanent decisions. We can help you reach a compromise with the other parent that is fair to each of you while protecting your child’s best interests. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC today at 630-355-5222 for a personal consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201303/equal-parenting-and-the-quality-parent-child-attachments

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

Naperville family law attorneyWhen you are in the midst of divorce, it is necessary to protect your rights from all angles, especially when it comes to finances. The lengths you go to in order to secure your financial well-being and how you handle those proceedings will determine a great deal in terms of your quality of life and your overall lifestyle once the marriage has officially ended.

Why You Should Be Concerned About Marital Assets

There are multiple reasons you should be aware of the possibility of hidden assets as you undergo divorce. While it is obvious that every spouse should naturally be concerned about finances during a split, if you are not vigilant, hidden assets, in particular, can significantly impact the final numbers that make their way into your bank account after the divorce is final.

When your spouse conceals assets, it places you at risk for losing large chunks of income that you would otherwise be eligible to claim. This loss of income can affect everything from your day-to-day bills to your general financial stability, but it can also trigger more long-lasting consequences, such as hindrances to your future financial plans, including retirement funds, savings accounts, and more.

Red Flags

The National Endowment for Financial Education reports that hidden funds are discovered in two out of three marriages. Spouses attempting to hide assets is a common occurrence, and many individuals ignore warning signs that something might be wrong. One of the most common red flags to be aware of as you question whether or not your spouse is hiding financial assets is the full take-over of your finances. If your spouse has taken complete control over your money, manages all of your online passwords, or is secretive about the funds you share, do not make the mistake of dismissing these suspicious behaviors.

Other red flags include downplaying expensive purchases, making a habit of lending money to family or friends, and suddenly setting up a life insurance policy. Additionally, if you have access to joint accounts and notice direct transfers to colleagues, friends, or family members, you should be alert to these warning signs and discuss them with your attorney.

Safeguarding Your Best Interests

If you are beginning to suspect your spouse has been hiding assets during your divorce or you have already discovered tangible evidence of such deceit, a qualified DuPage County divorce attorney can help you uncover potentially hidden funds and protect your rights in a court of law as you attempt to claim any income to which you are entitled. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC today at 630-355-5222 for a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-centeno/uncovering-hidden-assets-_b_5680350.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roxana-maddahi/be-smarter-8-ways-your-sp_b_9725510.html

Naperville family law attorneyIf you are in the process of planning your wedding and are considering a prenuptial agreement with your spouse, you might be wondering what options you have in the event that you decide to make any changes to your agreement. Does the state even allow you to amend a prenup? If so, what liberties do you have in regards to such amendments? Are there certain steps you can take beforehand to better prepare for any potential changes you may wish to make following the marriage?

Changing Your Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois

When you are looking for answers to these questions and more, you can start exploring your options by taking a look at what Illinois law says about prenuptial amendments. For starters, all it takes to make changes to your prenup is a signature and the specifications in writing. According to Illinois law, you may make amendments to your existing prenuptial agreement at any time following the marriage as long as both you and your spouse agree to sign a written contract to validate and document the requested changes.

Additionally, you have permission to completely revoke your prenuptial agreement after you get married, if you so wish. This also requires the signature of both parties and is enforceable without consideration. Knowing you have the choice to amend or revoke your prenup can help take some pressure off you and your spouse as you enter your marriage. Understandably, circumstances and wishes can change after you tie the knot, and thankfully, the state of Illinois makes allowances for these types of situations.

Why Changes Might Be Necessary

Revising a prenup is a common need many couples. The primary reason for this is that sometimes revisions are needed to ensure both parties are consistently receiving fair consideration the deal as time passes. Think of making changes to a prenup as a form of maintenance. You may want to make changes to your agreement as your finances change or to make sure it continues to remain enforceable in the state of Illinois. Any significant change in financial status, relocation, or monetary goals can impact the nature of a prenup, so it is understandable to consider making amendments under these evolving circumstances.

Planning Your Prenup

One of the best courses of action you can take as you plan your prenup is to consult with a competent, experienced DuPage County prenuptial agreement attorney. This allows you to address any concerns you have early on and gives you the chance to craft a prenup that protects both you and your spouse’s best interests. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC today at 630-355-5222 for a personalized consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/34316003

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&

Naperville family law attorneyArranging the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) and creating a parenting plan with your former spouse are tasks every divorcing parent must face when the marriage comes to an end. Ensuring you have a solid strategy for how you will parent your child following the separation is a crucial part of making sure everyone is on the same page and that your child’s best interests are protected during and after the family transition.

The Purpose of a Parenting Plan

Parenting plans cover a broad spectrum of issues in regard to how you and your former spouse will continue to raise your child after the separation, but their main purpose is very straightforward. Parenting plans exist to clarify, organize, and solidify agreements that govern how each parent will manage and execute their involvement in the child’s life following the divorce. They are intended to be developed by both parents, often with the help of a at least one professional family law attorney. Before a parenting plan can become effective, it must be approved by the court.

What Your Parenting Plan is Required to Cover

The state of Illinois requires you to make consideration for a number of details when creating your parenting plan. You must address all of the following issues:

  • Parenting time (visitation) for each parent. You must specify who is to see the child, when, and under what circumstances;
  • Living arrangements for the child and the family as a whole, such as where the child will live and how time will be divided between both parents;
  • School-related matters, education arrangements, academic concerns, extracurricular obligations, and who will be responsible for managing and upholding those responsibilities;
  • The child’s religious upbringing (if any) and how participation and religious practices will be handled moving forward; and
  • Health care matters, including who will be responsible for costs, insurance, and any applicable benefits, as well which parent is permitted to make doctors’ appointments and other arrangements

Your parenting plan should also include provisions for settling future disagreements. While you and the other parent may cooperate well at the moment, changing circumstances, new love interests and many other factors could lead to difference in opinion down the road. Determine the most efficient means of communication and use it to reach common ground if and when the need arises.

There is a lot of ground to cover when it comes to creating a parenting plan, which is why it is so important to contact an experienced DuPage County family lawyer for assistance with the arrangements. This is especially the case if you and your former spouse are having difficulty reaching an agreement on certain parenting issues. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC today at 630-355-5222 for a confidential consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

Naperville family law attorneyIn most cases, when we hear about couples choosing to pursue prenuptial agreements, we tend to assume the worst. The popular stigma associated with prenups is that they exist only for couples who are likely to lose something by getting married. Most people assume that only the wealthy have prenups and that if one exists, it must indicate that there is a level of distrust between the couple.

Truth to the Myth?

While deception can and does happen in marriages where significant assets or large amounts of money are involved, the truth is there are multiple reasons for choosing a prenuptial agreement. These reasons may stem from the subject of money, but the real roots behind such motivations have much more to do with who that money affects and how, rather than an element of distrust between partners.

Valid Reasons for Considering a Prenuptial Agreement

  • You want to protect the best interest of your other family members - Certain inheritances, trusts, and other savings accounts may affect more than just your wallet, particularly if any of those funds are reserved for or distributed to one or more of your family members. In the event of your divorce;
  • You want to strengthen your communication before the marriage - Arranging a prenup can actually establish a greater level of trust for couples prior to marriage, as it involves a very candid discussion about debts, current financial standing, and future monetary goals. Discussing finances can not only ensure you are both on the same page, it can also strengthen your communication about money long before any financial problems arise within the marriage; and
  • You want to protect your ability to be self-sufficient in the event of a divorce - Think of signing a prenup as a way to plan for the unexpected, not as a sign that you are expecting your marriage to fail. Prenups are practical; the reality is that should things go wrong and your marriage does end, money affects much more than just the numbers in your account. The financial loss can be emotionally and mentally devastating, and it can place your independence and ability to remain self-sufficient after the split at risk.

If you are considering a prenuptial agreement but have questions or concerns before you move forward with the process, contact a reputable, experienced DuPage County prenuptial agreement attorney today. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 for a personalized consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&

http://time.com/money/4216559/prenup-marriage-wedding-planning/

Naperville family law attorneysEven in the most ideal divorce circumstances, children feel the effects of the family separation from the get-go. As the days and weeks unfold following the separation, feelings of loss, confusion, and anxiety can settle in as they begin to process the many changes happening around them.  By implementing parenting time (visitation) arrangements and by utilizing the many educational resources the state makes available, however, you have the opportunity to create a smooth transition for your child and the entire family. Divorce is never easy, but it can be less stressful when a healthy family dynamic is established early on.

The Purpose of Parenting Time

Along with child custody (parental responsibility) arrangements, visitation arrangements can be developed that allow both parents to spend quality time with the child according to a schedule of some sort. Parenting time is especially important for the non-residential parent who needs that one-on-one time with their child. You and your former spouse can work with a family law attorney and mediator, if necessary, to come to an agreement regarding when, where, and how you will execute visitation time.

If you are having difficulties reaching an agreement or if there is significant tension surrounding your relationship with your former spouse, DuPage County provides supervised parenting time, which can be discussed with your attorney and arranged through court. Supervised parenting time provides a safe, neutral environment for the parent and child to interact that is free of conflict for both parents and the child. It can help establish or re-establish a healthy relationship between parent and child while ensuring that the child’s best interest is protected.

Other Helpful Resources

Along with a mandated four-hour parent education seminar that encourages parents to set aside their differences and focus on the child’s welfare first, the county also offers various programs to further encourage divorced spouses to learn how to cooperate for the sake of their children. The PEACE program is designed for high-conflict parents who struggle to communicate and interact peacefully, and the Transitional Exchange program focuses on assisting parents with the transition from one parenting plan to another. Both of these programs help the child as they experience visitation changes and new family dynamics.

Parenting time is a valuable tool, and it can make a huge difference in the quality of your relationship with your child following a divorce, but every parent needs some guidance as they navigate the transition. Speak to a knowledgeable DuPage County child custody attorney today to secure the assistance you need. Call the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 today for a consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.dupageco.org/Community_Services/Family_Center/1616/

https://www.dupageco.org/Community_Services/Family_Center/1620/

Naperville family law attorneyFor a majority of families, divorce is a relatively peaceful, cooperative process that runs much smoother than the media leads us to believe. Not all divorces are messy or ugly; in fact, many separations lead to healthier, happier homes and more peaceful relationships between spouses and children.

When Things Do Not Go According to Plan

However, there are, of course, circumstances that arise for certain divorcing couples that cause a great deal of strife, particularly when it comes to financial support and visitation or custody issues. When you find yourself in one of these situations, it is only natural to experience a wide range of emotions, from anger and resentment to fear and confusion.

When the other parent goes off the radar, fails to pay child support, or refuses to cooperate with the parenting plan you have negotiated, it is easy to feel helpless and out of control of the situation. This is where the help of a professional comes in, and it is during this time that you benefit from arming yourself with as much information as possible.

If your partner refuses to cooperate or is deliberately making your child support, visitation, or custody arrangements difficult, here are some things you need to know:

It Might Be Time to Initiate Enforcement Actions

Unfortunately, not all spouses meet their obligations to pay spousal maintenance, child support, or adhere to parenting time agreements. It might fall onto your shoulders to enforce court action against the other parent. You can rest assured knowing the state can do a number of things to ensure payments are being made. For example, the state can withhold income, place liens and holds on licenses, assets, and property, and, in extreme cases, can even intercept tax refunds and seize property. In regards to visitation time, the court also has the power to modify existing orders and permissions granted to parents with fewer parenting responsibilities.

An Attorney Well-Versed in Family Law Can Help Protect Your Rights

There is no better advocate in the case of deadbeat parents than a professional, competent attorney who specializes in family law topics. If you are experiencing unfortunate roadblocks with your child’s co-parent during your divorce, speaking with a qualified DuPage County divorce attorney can provide you with the guidance and insight you need. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 today for a consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/parents/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs1759.aspx

DuPage County divorce lawyerWhether you have heard it referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support, alimony is an important part of the divorce process as it impacts each partner’s financial standing and well-being after the split. Many separating couples have questions about alimony as they end their marriage: Who will receive spousal support? How much will they receive and who will be responsible for the maintenance? What happens if one partner refuses to pay?

How Do I Know If I Will Receive Alimony After My Divorce?

One of the most common questions about alimony right off the bat is usually, “Am I guaranteed alimony after my divorce?”. The answer to this question is no. Not every spouse is eligible for alimony, and there are many factors that determine this outcome. In general, the court will decide if you get alimony and how much, based on your specific circumstances. The decision is always made on a case-by-case basis, according to Illinois law.

First, the court considers all of the following factors (and more) to determine whether or not a temporary or permanent maintenance award for either spouse is appropriate:

  • The needs of each party;
  • The current and future earning capacity of each party, and any relevant impairments in this area;
  • The time it will take for either party to acquire the necessary training and/or education for a certain job, trade, or career path;
  • The standard of living that was established during the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
  • Any pre-existing, valid agreements between both parties;
  • The emotional state of both parties; and
  • Economic circumstances and how the effects of property and asset division.

Should the court find that alimony is appropriate, the amount to be paid must be determined, as well as the length of time for which such payments should continue. The law in Illinois provides a formula for calculating both of these considerations, which should be used in most divorce cases. A court, however, retains the discretion to deviate from the statutory guidelines based on the circumstances of the situation. 

If you are inching your way through the divorce process and want to explore your spousal support options, you should speak with an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney who can provide you with some guidance and insight. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 today for a consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=098-0961

Naperville divorce lawyerWhile most couples recognize that divorce can be an emotionally difficult process, many underestimate the toll it can take on their finances. This impact can extend well beyond the cost of the divorce itself, reaching into your financial future and your retirement. Careful planning prior to filing can help mitigate these effects, and may even improve your overall outcome. Understand why it is important, and how you can successfully implement proper planning techniques into your pre-divorce period.

Taking on a Life of Your Own

Obviously, divorce means that you will no longer be sharing the expenses for housing, utilities, or financial purchases and obligations. But taking on a life of your own is more than just the money you have coming in and going out. You also have to consider banking elements, financial planning, saving for your own retirement, and carrying your own health insurance. Start working on this process as soon as possible. Create a budget for yourself, and live by it. Track your own personal expenses, and explore options for retirement and health care coverage. Lastly, separate any finances that you legally can now. This can help you feel more prepared with the actual split occurs.

Your Financial Future and Retirement

When most couples go through divorce, they are thinking less about the future, and more about the present moment due, in large part, to the emotions and stresses inherent to the divorce process. This mentality, though understandable, can significantly impact your financial future and even your retirement. Protect yourself from possible consequences down the road by effectively examining your joint assets so that you can receive an equitable settlement. Ask your divorce attorney about how you may be able to protect your retirement fund. Additionally, you should consider ways that you may be able to increase your earning potential, both now, and in the distant future.

Seek Skilled Legal Experience With Your Divorce

If you are planning on filing for divorce or even just considering it as an option, our seasoned Naperville family law attorneys can help. Backed by decades of experience, we can provide skilled assistance with asset and property division, spousal maintenance (alimony), and all other financial aspects of your divorce, including those pertaining to high asset divorce. Schedule your free initial consultation with Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC to discuss your divorce today. Call us at 630-355-5222 and get the representation you deserve.

 

Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-201602242000--tms--retiresmctnrs-a20160224-20160224-story.html

 

Naperville family law attorneyWhile most parents recognize that it is important they get along and work together to raise their child, many struggle with this concept after a divorce. Even a few moments with their ex may spark feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, sadness, or guilt. When those feelings lead way to an argument, children can begin to feel as though they are responsible for the continued conflict. This may be the exact opposite of what caring, loving parents want, but they cannot seem to find a way to co-parent successfully. In these situations, parallel parenting may be a viable alternative.

What Is Parallel Parenting?

Parallel parenting seeks to reduce conflict between parents by encouraging disengagement between parents, rather than engagement. Each works independently toward the best interest of their child, focusing solely on their personal relationship. No ill words are spoken about the other parent around the child, each household is run as each parent sees fit, and there is very little contact between parental units. Success in this parenting method is hinged upon the respect for one another’s boundaries and privacy. As such, a comprehensive plan should be developed, generally with the assistance of a skilled legal professional, such as a family law attorney.

Tips for Implementing a Parallel Parenting Plan

In a parallel parenting plan, parents should avoid contact as much as possible. Of course, they still have a child to raise together, and that requires at least some level of communication. Preferably, this communication should take place through fax, email, or another form of written communication. However, when there is a need to discuss matters in person, some basic boundaries may be able to help you avoid unnecessary conflict. Ideas could include:

  • Formal meetings, scheduled at a mutually convenient time;
  • Public calls and meetings to reduce the risk of emotional outbursts;
  • Keeping conversations to 30 minutes or less;
  • Using written communication to outline and confirm what was agreed upon at the meeting;
  • Employing the assistance of an impartial third-party individual when necessary;
  • Never discussing personal details or asking personal questions;
  • Always maintaining a polite, business-like approach to conversations; and
  • Never telling the other parent how they should parent.

Need a Parenting Plan for Your Divorce or Child-Related Dispute? Our Attorneys Can Help

There are a lot of tiny details that go into a successful parenting plan. Parents, often still reeling through the emotional aspects of a divorce, may struggle to consider each and every one of these elements. A skilled and experienced family law attorney can help ensure you have covered all of your bases, ease the mental and emotional burden, help you understand how certain aspects of your parenting plan may change over time, and even advise you as to how your decisions may affect the future of your family.

At Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC, we understand the mental and emotional struggles you are facing, and we empathize with your desire to provide a healthy and happy life for your child. Our seasoned Naperville, Illinois family law attorneys can help you find a path and a plan to make that happen, regardless of the complexities of your divorce or child custody case. To learn how, call our offices at 630-355-5222 and schedule your initial consultation today.

 

 

Sources:

http://newsok.com/article/5500264

http://circuit8.org/parallel_parenting

Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce lawyerDivorce is far from easy. Life changes in ways you might not have predicted, and for maybe the first time in a long time, everything is resting on your shoulders. There is no one to remind you to turn the coffee pot off, or to bring the important documents you left on the kitchen table. It does get easier with time and practice, but a little knowledge really can go a long way in giving you a head start at making this transition in a more successful way.

The Secret of the Elite

A New York Times article divulged a secret trick used by some of the country’s most elite divorcees – the use of a post-divorce planner. This hired individual can help with everything from setting up vacations and selling second homes to finding new insurance and staying on top of daily tasks. Of course, not everyone can afford such a service (average cost is approximately $350 a month), and not everyone who can afford it actually wants it. Either way, you need some reasonable and attainable methods for handling the madness that often ensues after divorce.

Seek Out a Support Network

Of all the positive changes you can make now, the support of a network of friends, coworkers, family, and even therapists is probably one of the most critical. Those that are without one after divorce often struggle with intense feelings of intense loneliness and isolation. In contrast, those that have a good support system in place often transition much easier because, when times are tough, they have someone to listen, distract, validate, or simply hug them.

Feel Good About Redefining Yourself

When in a relationship, people tend to think of themselves as part of a unit. The things they do, the places they go, even the foods they eat may be hinged (or at least partially based) upon the other person’s wants, needs, or preferences. Hobbies may have been sacrificed. Personality traits may have been suppressed. Dreams may have been unified. But, as you forge forward with your divorce, start to consider what it is that you want. What are your hopes and dreams? What sort of hobby have you always thought of doing, but have never had the time for? Explore this, and other ideas that come to mind, and enjoy the process of redefining your life.

Ready to Move Forward with Divorce? Our Attorneys Can Help

If you are planning on filing for divorce and are ready to move forward, our experienced Naperville, Illinois divorce lawyers can help. Skilled and compassionate, we advocate for your best interest, every step of the way, and pursue the very best outcome possible. Get the representation you deserve. Schedule your initial consultation with Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC. Call us at 630-355-5222 today.

 

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/fashion/weddings/unhitching-divorce-concierge-service.html

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/life-after-divorce-3-survival-strategies

Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneyIt may seem that most divorces occur later in life, at least due to stereotypes of divorcees in movies, and divorces that are widely-publicized, namely celebrities and politicians. Therefore, it may come as a surprise that the average age of divorce is actually 30, and that the divorce rates, at least for most age groups, has been consistently dropping since 1996.

Additionally, while it may seem that if  a person is going to remarry, he or she will do so with the intention of making sure that it is better the next time around, statistics show that the rate of divorce actually increases as the number of marriages increases. Just over 40 percent of all first marriages end in divorce, while 60 percent of second marriages do and an estimated 73 percent of third marriages do. This may go to show that some people are just more prone to divorce, or at least less prone to maintain a marriage.

Struggles for Younger Divorcees

Regardless of how old you are, or how long you had been married at the time of divorce, ending your marriage can be complicated and painful for all parties involved. If you are particularly young at the time of your divorce, or were only married for a short time,, marital dissolution may feel particularly painful or unexpected. There, however, are several good things about divorcing young that people who have been through it look back and are grateful for later on in life.

Potential Positives

The first reason that divorce as a younger married couple may be somewhat beneficial is that you have plenty of time to consider the rest of your life, and to meet someone new. If you have children, they will be young enough to grow up understanding that their parents just do not live in the same home—not that their parents love them less. It is likely that you will have a larger and wider social support system the younger you are, which not only will help you to move on when you feel ready to date or seek the company of someone else, but also provide the emotional support you may need as you navigate the divorce process. There is also the recognition that going through something difficult early in life sets the groundwork for a person to be stronger and wiser moving forward.

If you or someone you know is considering divorce, no matter how old you are, qualified legal help can make the process easier. Contact an experienced Naperville divorce attorney today for a free initial consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/marriage/data/acs/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susie-moore/what-they-dont-tell-you-about-divorcing-20s_b_10227242.html

Naperville divorce attorneyWhether it is because of a higher divorce rate, or because people are living longer these days, more are reportedly deciding to sign prenuptial agreements prior to getting married. In addition, it is not just the wealthy that are doing it, a 2015 study says. Even those without substantial assets are signing these premarital contracts. But is it really the right option for your marriage? If so, how do you talk about it with your spouse-to-be? The following provides some important tips, considerations, and strategies for those considering a prenuptial agreement before marriage.

To Prenup or Not to Prenup

Deciding whether or not you should actually craft and sign a prenuptial agreement is an extremely personal decision. If, however, you want to protect your spouse from debt in the event of your death, want to protect your assets in the event of a divorce, have a potential for serious financial gain or loss in the future, or – for those who are so inclined – want to prove you are marrying your spouse for love, and not money, then a prenuptial agreement may be right for you.

Talking to Your Soon-to-Be Spouse

One of the biggest mistakes that individuals make when it comes to prenuptial agreements is not talking about the possibility of one until the very last minute. That can lead to feelings of betrayal, bitterness, and anger – some of which may not have been present, had you discussed the matter sooner. Prenuptial agreements that are signed without a reasonable period of consideration may prove to be unenforceable. So, even if you have not made a solid decision about whether or not you should have a prenuptial agreement, it is important to discuss it with your spouse-to-be as soon as possible.

Taking a Thoughtful Approach to Your Prenuptial Agreement

The need to discuss and set expectations that you can both agree upon further supports the need to discuss the matter with your soon-to-be spouse early on. This thoughtful approach – key in creating a successful agreement – is heavily reliant on effective communication, which is an important cornerstone of a healthy marriage. Thus, the process can actually set a positive tone for the upcoming years you will spend together.

Talk about your goals, your values, and your thoughts about how finances will be handled while you are together. Be open to new ideas, listen and be willing to understand, and avoid interrupting. Most of all, remember to negotiate matters in a loving way and focus on the positive aspects of both your relationship and your decision to create an agreement that benefits you both.

Ready to Draft Your Prenuptial Agreement? Our Attorneys Can Help

Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC has been serving couples in the Naperville area since 1973. Skilled and dedicated to helping you and your soon-to-be spouse create a thoughtful and effective prenuptial agreement, we can ensure that all aspects of the law are considered and that you are prepared for the unexpected. To start the process, contact our experienced Naperville, Illinois prenuptial agreement attorneys for a free initial consultation. Call 630-355-5222 today.

 

Sources:

http://kfor.com/2015/11/10/should-you-say-i-do-to-a-prenuptial-agreement-more-couples-think-so/

Naperville divorce lawyerEffective May 1, the Social Security Administration closed the “file and suspend” loophole. How does this change affect divorced individuals?

Previously, a married person could file for Social Security benefits at age 66, or at any other eligible age, which triggered his or her partner’s spousal benefit. If the person voluntarily suspended payments, his or her benefits continued to increase at roughly 8 percent a year, and the couple pocketed the spousal benefit, or half the beneficiary’s benefit, as the unpaid benefits continued to accrue interest.

Lawmakers eliminated this option, which was also called the “claim and suspend” strategy, in the 2015 budget bill, citing concerns that wealthy retirees were manipulating the system.

Divorce and Retirement

Although the government closed this loophole, the former spouse rule remains in effect. This rule allows eligible divorced spouses to claim retirement benefits if they were married at least ten years and do not remarry.

Nevertheless, a late-in-life divorce often has a significant impact on retirement planning. As a rule of thumb, maintaining separate households requires at least 25 percent more resources, and many older individuals are tempted to stop making retirement contributions, or cash in their plans, to make up the difference.

These strategies nearly always have long-term consequences. Instead, financial planners suggest the following:

  • Sell the House: If the house is sold as part of the divorce while Husband and Wife are still legally married, they can double the capital gains tax exemption to $500,000.
  • Protect Spousal Support Payments: Divorce disability insurance is rather inexpensive and will ensure that payments continue if the obligor spouse dies or becomes disabled.
  • Stay on the Job: To remain in the workforce as long as possible, consider asking for flex time at work, and remember to use Family Medical Leave Act leave time, if it is available.
  • Use Assets: Think of marital assets, such as stock options and deferred compensation, as retirement assets, and make sure they are divided accordingly.

About a quarter of all married couples over 50 will divorce, and divorced women in this age group are more than twice as likely to be impoverished as divorced men of a similar age.

Gray divorce has financial and emotional consequences. For a confidential consultation, contact an experienced Naperville family law attorney. Convenient payment plans are available.

 

Source:

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/05/04/Don-t-Let-Late-Life-Divorce-Ruin-Your-Retirement-Plans

Naperville divorce attorneyA cursory internet search about the average cost of a divorce will yield thousands of results, and almost none of them are insightful. The financial cost of a divorce varies so much on a case-by-case basis, due to the unique facts in each matter as well as the geographic location of the action, that about the only honest answer to the question “what does an average divorce cost” is that “in most cases, the cost will be higher than you anticipate.”

Divorce has other costs as well. In addition to the time spent away from work, family and friends, marriage dissolution creates a great deal of fear and anxiety over an unknown future. In addition, while some people embrace the conflict in a divorce, others abhor it and will do almost anything to avoid a fight.

Benefits

Mediation may offer at least a partial solution. Because it requires less preparation and presentation time than a trial, the cost savings can be substantial. Furthermore, instead of waiting several months for a court date that may very well be put off for another several months, mediation is over in a day in most cases.

There may be other benefits as well. Some research suggests that mediated settlements have a higher voluntary compliance rate than court-issued resolutions, because the parties feel as though they have more invested in the outcome.

The Process

Mediation is more than a light at the end of the tunnel. The process itself is attractive, because it combines the competitiveness of a trial with the problem-solving perspective of a settlement conference.

Both attorneys present opening statements, so the parties feel as though they have their “day in court” where their voices are heard. Afterwards, the parties retire to separate rooms, and a trained mediator conveys settlement offers between the parties while attempting to facilitate a resolution.

There is almost no risk. If the mediation is not successful, the litigation process resumes, eventually culminating in a trial or out-of-court settlement. On the other hand, there is so much to gain, from both a financial and emotional standpoint, that mediation is almost always at least worth a try.

For prompt assistance in this area, contact an experienced Naperville family law attorney. We routinely handle divorce and other family-related matters throughout Chicagoland. 

 

Source:

http://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1214&context=jdr

Naperville family law attorneyMost judges in DuPage County and other jurisdictions issue standing personal conduct orders in family law matters. Among other things, these order prohibit a parent from interfering with the parenting time of the other party. In many situations, an angry parent will impede the other biological grandparents’ visitation time, in an effort to bypass these orders and “get back at” the other party.

Effective January 1 of this year, the Legislature repealed and replaced the existing grandparent visitation statute, as part of major rewrites to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. But grandparents still have the right to file a petition for contact in some circumstances, and it is still possible to win these actions.

Prerequisites

According to Section 602.9(b), a grandparent is eligible to file a petition for access to a grandchild if:

  • In loco parentis: If a child’s biological parent is legally incompetent, missing or deceased, the grandparents may essentially take that parent’s place, in terms of parenting time.
  • Denial of contact during divorce: As mentioned above, most petitions are based on a denial of contact. In addition to a denial, at least one parent must not object to the petition and the granting of said petition cannot diminish the parenting time of the unrelated parent.

Roughly the same rules apply if the parents are not married to one another.

Overcoming the Parental Presumption

Section 602.9(b) also contains a rebuttable presumption that a denial of contact is “not harmful to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health.” To overcome this presumption, the petitioner can introduce evidence of:

  • Children’s Wishes: Can the children explain why they have a preference, as opposed to simply stating a preference?
  • Mental and Physical Health: Do either the children or grandparents have special health situations that make unsupervised contact difficult or impossible?
  • Nature and Quality of Prior Relationship: Were the grandparents essentially babysitters, or did they actively take part in the children’s lives?
  • Motivation: Do the grandparent and/or parent want what is best for the children or do the grandparent and/or parent want revenge on the other party?

The judge may also consider “any other fact that establishes that the loss of the relationship between the petitioner and the child is likely to unduly harm the child's mental, physical, or emotional health.”

If you, or someone in your family, had a healthy relationship with grandchildren that has now been cut off or limited, contact an experienced Naperville family law attorney. After hours appointments are available.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

Posted on in Divorce

mediation, DuPage County family law attorneysDramatic courtroom showdowns are a staple of many movies and TV shows for much the same reason that millions of viewers watch Game 7 of the World Series: many of us are riveted by the high stakes, winner-take-all atmosphere. While a divorce trial certainly has those elements, when your money and your future hang in the balance, and intimate details about your family become public record, a trial may lose this appeal.

A trial may be beneficial in some cases, especially if there is the need for emotional closure or the parties are unable to agree on terms. But in most cases, mediation is an attractive option, provided that the right elements are present.

Preliminary Questions

In DuPage County, judges nearly always refer contested family law cases to a mediator, unless there is an “impediment” under the rules or the parties have already unsuccessfully attempted mediation in that particular case. Most other jurisdictions, including Will County, have similar rules. Only a select number of mediators are qualified to handle family law cases, because these matters have very specific legal, factual and financial implications that other civil cases do not have.

Parties can also voluntarily attempt mediation at any time; the mediator should always be a family law attorney who practices in the area.

Procedural Issues

Before the parties arrive, most mediators review the active pleadings to familiarize themselves with the issues and events in the case. Perhaps more importantly, such a review offers insight into the current routine in terms of custody, visitation, support and other items.

Most mediations take place in an office-type setting that has at least two conference areas. After the attorneys make brief opening statements, each party retires to a separate conference area, and the mediator conveys settlement offers back and forth. The separation often allows for an effective “cooling off” period that helps ensure decisions are made based on the facts, and not based on emotion.

The session typically lasts a full day. If a settlement is not reached, the mediator usually declares an impasse, although it is not unheard of for negotiations to resume again later, if the parties are close to an agreement.

Mediation is often a good alternative to a trial, but is not suitable for every situation. To learn more, or for a confidential consultation with an experienced Naperville family law attorney, contact our office. Convenient payment plans are available.

 

Source:

http://www.dupageco.org/courts/LocalCourtRules/2649/

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Roscich & Martel Attorneys has provided high-quality legal representation in divorce, family law, real estate, estate administration, probate, wills, Advance Health Care Directives (living wills), and powers of attorney to residents of Naperville, Aurora, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Wheaton, Warrenville, Winfield, Downers Grove, Lisle, Kendall County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Will County in Illinois.

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