Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney, Illinois business valuationsEvery divorce is different and is dependent upon the specific details of each relationship. During the divorce process, certain factors can affect the outcome of the division of property, such as a divorce that requires a business valuation. Thereforeif you and/or your spouse own a business or a part of a business, remaining knowledgeable and aware of the key factors of a business valuation is important—a business that you own can be included in a property division settlement during a divorce. 

Ensuring that the value of your business is accurately divided is essential. For instance, a business can be over-valued. In such a case, the property division settlement will not turn out fairly. Thus, valuing, or the process of determining the economic value of a business or company, requires an in-depth understanding of business and business law.

Once you understand the definition of a business valuation, you can then begin to weigh your options and move forward with your divorce. One option is to buy out your spouse's part of the business, pending it is in your best interests. This decision will also depend on the role that you play in the day-to-day operations of your business. A buyout may be beneficial as it can eliminate any of the challenges that come with owning a business with your spouse. A knowledgeable attorney can assist you with this decision and guide you in making a choice that is most advantageous for you.

After deciding if a buyout is right for you, the next step is to have a business valuations attorney negotiate a fair property division settlement. However, if you decide not to maintain ownership of the business then you will be compensated fairly which resolves any challenges property division may cause. In some instances, the court may appoint a forensic accountant to look into possible suspicions of fraudulent activity within a company as the joint legal representative to do the business valuation. 

Contact a Divorce Attorney About Your Business Valuations Case

The attorneys at Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC understand the complexities of business structures and finances. Contact our experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys today at 630-355-5222 to schedule your confidential consultation. We assist clients in business valuations and all areas of property division. Our offices are located in the Kailer building, near the corner of Jefferson and Washington in downtown Naperville.

Source:  

http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/news/12272549/how-to-market-business-valuation-services

Posted on in Division of Property

civil union, DuPage County family law attorneyA civil union is, by definition, a legally recognized union of a same-sex or different-sex couple "providing all of the legal obligations, responsibilities, protections and benefits that the law of Illinois grants to married couples." In the state of Illinois, as long as one partner within a civil union is a current resident of the state, then the dissolution of the civil union will follow the same procedure as a divorce.

What it Means to be Dissolved

When a couple enters into a civil union in Illinois, they agree to allow the Illinois courts to have authority over their relationship. Therefore, a couple can dissolve their civil union through the Illinois court system, even if one or both parties no longer live in Illinois when they break up, or if one party never lived in Illinois in the first place. 

The dissolution of an Illinois civil union means that the courts are granted the right to resolve disputes about the couple's division of property, child custody, visitation issues, child support, maintenance, and other additional issues that commonly arise when a relationship does not work out.

Similarities Between the Dissolution of a Civil Union and a Divorce

Civil union dissolutions are quite similar to marriage dissolutions. Since there are a number of similarities between the two, they share many of the same rights—the ability to own property jointly, the right to court-supervised distribution of property pending a breakup, etc. Hence, the end of a civil union brings up several of the same issues as a divorce. For example, partners who built a home together or have other financial connections may need these to be addressed and resolved legally. Thus, speaking with a skilled family law lawyer who can address your issues and assist you with your questions and concerns is essential.

Contact a Civil Union Attorney Today

Family law in the state of Illinois is frequently changing and evolving. Therefore, it is important to consult with a skilled DuPage County family law attorney at Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC when you are faced with divorce, a civil union dissolution, or other critical, legal issues. Please contact the attorneys at Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC by calling 630-355-5222 or visiting our website to schedule a confidential consultation. Our offices are conveniently located in the Kailer building, near the corner of Jefferson and Washington in downtown Naperville.

Source:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/civil-unions-and-domestic-partnership-statutes.aspx 

http://civilunions.aclu-il.org/?page_id=2

http://civilunions.aclu-il.org/?page_id=45

DuPage County family law attorney, parenting timeWhen you enter into a new relationship post divorce, you may be faced with making an important decision: Do you involve your new partner during your parenting time with your child?

Going through a divorce can be a difficult transition period for both you and your child—children often struggle with their parents living in separate places and being involved in new relationships. Hence, once you and your former spouse have separate family time, the decision to have your new partner present while you spend time with your child is a critical decision to make.

If you decide to include your new partner during parenting time, make sure that your child is comfortable with the situation as the court’s determination of parenting time is based on your child’s best interests. Once you have confirmed that you child is accepting of spending time with your new partner, you can then schedule time to share together. 

Make a plan that includes your new partner—sit down and discuss what activities you all would enjoy together. It may be beneficial to consider choosing an activity that your child enjoys and finds comfort in doing so as not to put any unnecessary pressure on your child. 

Remember, parenting time is all about your child—this is your allotted parenting time and the focus still needs to be on maintaining a quality relationship with your child. Therefore, you may want to reconsider your decision to include your new partner if having him or her involved takes away from that quality time. Moreover, this new person in your life should be a positive influence on your child. 

Finally, it would be in the best interest of your child to not deny him or her the right to see his or her other parent’s new partner as well. Unless there is a legitimate issue that would justify your reasoning, allowing your child to also spend time with your ex's new partner can help your child transition into the new family situation. 

If you are going through a divorce, or have family law related questions regarding the involvement of your new partner during parenting time, please contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

Source:

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

first divorce appointment, DuPage County family law attorneyWhen taking the initial steps to begin the divorce process, there are terms that will be beneficial to understand, statics to be aware of, and procedures you will need to know. Moreover, you may find yourself overwhelmed when taking into account all of the emotions you may experience during your first divorce appointment. Consider the following suggestions to help you get through your initial consultation.

Generate a list of questions for your attorney.

When you first sit down with your divorce attorney, have a list of questions prepared. This will allow your attorney to help you better understand your specific situation. Then you can move on to discuss the process of your divorce.  

Understand the process and procedures of the divorce law.

After your initial questions are answered, your attorney may want to make sure that you understand the process and procedures of a legal divorce. 

Develop a plan that is most effective for your future security.

Before deciding how finances are going to be divided between you and your spouse, develop a plan for your future. Therefore you will be one step ahead when the time comes to discuss financial agreements.

If your child is involved, you may choose to calculate child support.

The calculation of child support will depend on how involved your spouse is in your child’s life, both currently and when the divorce is finalized. Your child’s living arrangement and support should be determined to secure his or her emotional development and happiness.

Go over a division of assets that will provide financial security.

This step is connected to the plan that you will create to help secure your future. The plan should include how you and your spouse will decide who will obtain specific belongings and valuables during the division of assets and financial security.

There may be additional steps to take depending on your individual divorce situation.

If you are considering divorce and would like to speak with a skilled DuPage County family law attorney who can help to secure your financial future, offer you the legal experience that you need, and guide you in achieving a desirable outcome in your divorce, then please contact Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC. Call 630-355-5222 to schedule your confidential consultation today.

Source:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2011/04/12/understanding-how-assets-get-divided-in-divorce/#79c46de33712

DuPage County divorce attorney, five stages of griefMany people have heard of the five stages of grief that we go through when a loved one dies: denial, anger, bargaining, loss, and acceptance. This grieving concept was introduced in 1969 by the late Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book, “On Death and Dying.” Although the concept was originally focused on how people handle death, these five stages of grief can also be used to help work through the emotional process of divorce. It is not uncommon to think of divorce as the death of one’s marriage. Even a spouse who wants the divorce can feel a deep sense of loss.

Denial

When one spouse is adamant about not wanting the divorce, it is not uncommon for that spouse to be in denial that the divorce is happening. Many times, he or she may ignore all legal documents and/or correspondence regarding the divorce. He or she often feels that by ignoring all of these things, the divorce does not exist.

Anger

At some point, the reality of the divorce begins to set in and denial is replaced by anger. The anger is often directed at the other spouse for filing for divorce and for breaking up the family. In many divorces, this anger becomes so intense that the spouse blames the other for everything and anything that is wrong–even for issues that the spouse who wants the divorce has nothing to do with.

Bargaining

As the anger begins to dissipate, the spouse may find him or herself trying to bargain with the other spouse to stop the divorce. Instead of negotiating divorce settlements, he or she attempts to negotiate a reconciliation. He or she bargains with his or her spouse, promising to change the behaviors that he or she believes is driving his or her spouse to pursue the divorce.

Depression

When bargaining does not work, the final reality of the divorce hits home, and depression often sets in. This is where having a strong support system around you–family, friends, maybe a therapist–can help tremendously in getting through this stage. Sometimes a person goes through this stage as he or she is going through denial, anger, and bargaining.

Acceptance

As you are going through the entire divorce process, it may feel as if you will never get to this stage. But one day, you wake up and realize that you are going to be okay–more than okay. Although there may still be a little bit of sadness or regret that the marriage is over, you will discover that that feeling of grief is gone, and you are ready to move on with your new life and accept your divorce.

Call a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Whether you are considering divorce or your spouse has told you that he or she wants to end the marriage, one of the most important steps to take is having a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney representing you. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 for a confidential consultation.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cathy-meyer/the-emotional-stages-of-d_b_779816.html

http://www.ekrfoundation.org/five-stages-of-grief/

Illinois child support law, DuPage County family law attorneyThe first of the year brought several changes to Illinois family law statutes. These changes included how divorces are handled in the state, as well as changes to child custody, which is now referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities. Yet Illinois lawmakers still had work to do, and House Bill 3982 accomplished these changes. This bill, which the governor recently signed into law, will change the way Illinois family courts handle the issue of child support.

Many in the legal industry have felt that the way Illinois addresses child support was somewhat archaic. The amount is typically determined by taking a set percentage (depending on the number of children) amount of the noncustodial parent’s net income.

The current guidelines are:

  • One child: 20 percent;
  • Two children: 28 percent;
  • Three children: 32 percent;
  • Four children: 40 percent;
  • Five children: 45 percent; and
  • Six or more children: 50 percent. 

However, the new law, which will go into effect in June of 2017, uses the income shares model to determine support. This model is currently used in 38 other states to determine child support obligations. 

The income shares model uses the concept that a child should receive the same proportion of income that he or she would receive if the parents were living together. In order to calculate that amount, the court adds the income of both parents together. Next, the court uses that combined income amount to determine the basic child support obligation based on a statutory amount. (As of today, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has not yet formulated those amounts.) Finally, the court determines if there are presumptive child support obligation amounts, such as daycare expenses. These add-on expenses are then prorated between the parents based on each one's proportionate share of their total income. 

For example, if the noncustodial parent earns $2,000 per month and the custodial parent earns $1,000 per month, the combined income is $3,000. This means that the custodial parent’s obligation will be 66.66 percent of the total amount determined by the court, and the custodial parent’s obligation will be 33.33 percent.

For this example, we will say the basic child support obligation on a combined $3,000 monthly income is $500. (Again, this amount has not yet been determined by the state.) There is also a monthly daycare cost of $100, which is considered a presumptive cost, bringing the total cost of child support to $600. The obligation of the noncustodial parent would be 66.66 percent of $600, which is $399.96.

If you are struggling with child support issues, whether you are the parent who is supposed to receive the support or the parent who is paying, 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/billstatus.asp?DocNum=3982&GAID=13&GA=99&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=90198&SessionID=88

A new study has concluded that heart attack victims who are divorced are at an increased risk of suffering a second heart attack if they are divorced. The findings are similar to a study conducted last year which concluded that people who are divorced are at a higher risk of having a heart attack than people who are married.

The new study, which was conducted by researchers from Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, examined more than 30,000 women and men who had experienced a heart attack. The group of heart attack patients came from different socioeconomic backgrounds, including marital background, education level, and disposable income. Each of the 30,000 patients were tracked by the research team for four years, following each patient's’ discharge from a cardiac care unit.

Of the entire group, almost 10 percent suffered a second heart attack. The study team adjusted factors such as age, gender, whether the patient was smoking or non-smoking, and socioeconomic differences. When those adjustments were made, 14 percent of those 2,405 patients were divorced, leaving the study to deduce that divorce independently leads to a higher risk of suffering a second attack.

In last year’s study, conducted by researchers from Duke University, 16,000 participants between the ages of 45 to 80 were followed for 18 years. At the end of the study, more than one-third of the group been through at least one divorce.

For women who had been divorced once, there was a 24 percent risk of a heart attack. For women who had been divorced at least twice, that risk spike to 77 percent, compared to the women who were never divorced.

Divorce men fared better than divorced women—there was no increased risk for those divorced once and only a 35 percent increased risk for those who divorced at least twice. However, if the twice divorced man remarried, the risk factor disappeared. This did not happen for the women.

Neither of these studies could validate the reasons for the increased risk of heart attacks for divorced people. Some have surmised that the heart attacks are caused by a “broken heart,” while others have pointed out that is not uncommon for divorced people to lose sight of taking care of themselves when there is not a partner around to remind them.

Staying in an unhappy marriage can also have an adverse effect on a person’s health. If you are considering a divorce, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 for a confidential consultation.

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/28/divorce-raises-the-danger-of-a-second-heart-attack/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/divorce-linked-to-higher-risk-of-heart-attack

Posted on in Divorce

When going through a divorce, there are several issues that seem critical, such as who your children will live with, what will happen to the family home, and how a change in income will affect your family’s quality of life. Because of this, other issues are often overlooked. One of those issues concerns taxes.

Several factors regarding taxes require attention or else they can have a much greater impact on your finances than they should. One such factor is what your filing status will be on your income tax return. You can no longer file under “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” You must choose to file either “head of household” or “single.” In order to file head of household, which has a lower tax rate than if you file single, you must have at least one qualifying person living with you.

One issue that often becomes contentious is child exemptions, especially if the child resides primarily with one parent. The custodial parent may feel that he or she should receive the exemption, while the parent paying child support believes he or she should receive it. There are several ways to negotiate an agreement, including alternating years; however, if parents cannot agree, the court will make the decision. Additionally, it is important to note that if the noncustodial parent is entitled to take the exemption, the IRS requires that Form 8332 (Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent) is included with the return each year. If the form is not included, the IRS will reject the exemption regardless of what any court order says.

Another issue to remember is that although child support is neither tax deductible for the person who pays, nor is it taxable income for the person who receives it, spousal support is. If you receive alimony from your ex, you are required to include it as income on your tax return. If you are the person who is paying spousal maintenance, you are allowed to deduct that amount each year.

One of the advantages of contributing to an IRA is that you can take those contributions as a deduction on your tax return for the year the contributions are made. However, if you made contributions to your spouse’s IRA and you are legally divorced by the end of the tax year, you cannot take those contributions.

If you have filed for divorce, or are just considering your options, please contact a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at 630-355-5222 for a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/determining-your-correct-filing-status

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch18.html

https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ira-deduction-limits

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf

Posted on in Child Custody

Out of all the issues that divorcing couples must decide on, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time can often be the most difficult. Even in the “friendliest” of divorces, child custody decisions can become heated. This is why it is important to have a skilled DuPage County family law attorney working for you when drawing up a balanced parenting plan agreement.

Although it may seem impossible to be proactive for every situation that may come up, there is a range of decisions that you and the other parent will want to make sure you address in order to avoid serious parenting disagreements in the future. These topics include:

  • Parenting schedule – The parenting schedule should clarify how much time the child will spend with each parent. The schedule should also spell out clearly who will be responsible for transporting the child for parenting time exchanges. If there are not safety concerns, and both parents get along fairly well, exchanges are usually done at each other’s homes. However, if there is too much acrimony between parents, then a neutral location may be better. In cases where safety is a concern, such as when domestic violence has been an issue, then locations such as police departments may be chosen.
  • Holidays and other special occasions – Parents will need to decide where the child spends occasions such as holidays, birthdays, and school vacations. It may be a good idea as you are negotiating your parenting plan to schedule out several years in advance.
  • Vacations – Another decision that should be addressed is how much advanced time does one parent need to let the other parent know regarding any vacation or travel plans he or she is making with the children, as well as the details of those plans.
  • Change of schedule – As hard as you may try to stick to a set schedule, the reality is that “life happens” and sometimes that schedule needs to change. Your parenting plan should address how much advance notice each of you will need to give to each other, as well as how the two of you will communicate those changes with each other. Additionally, what happens if there is not enough time for advance notice? How will those changes be handled?
  • Expenses other than child support – The purpose of child support is to provide the basic needs of the child. Extracurricular activities, medical insurance, field trips, summer camp, and school supplies are extra expenses not typically included under child support expenditures. It may be unfair to expect one parent to have to cover all those expenses, so a parenting plan should address how those expenses will be shared.

If you are going through a divorce and will be negotiating child custody issues with your spouse, you need to consult a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC 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

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

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association SuperLawyers Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce America Society of Legal Advocates National Trial Lawyers Leading Lawyers, Emerging Lawyers American Inns of Court American Institute of Family Law Attorneys

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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