Crystal Lake Illinois Family Law Blog

Refinancing a mortgage may ease a divorce

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Divorce is never easy, but the emotional issues are only part of the problem. Financial arrangements, including home purchases, bind two people together in a way that is harder to dissolve.

Many divorcing couples will find that the most valuable asset in the marriage is their primary home. Real estate is a great place to keep and build value, and the financial arrangement to buy a home may involve debt as well as capital.

Help for people suffering domestic abuse

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Family law in Illinois covers many subjects, mostly surrounding marriage and child care. Lawyers who are experienced in family law often help couples handle their assets during marriage or divorce and represent parents' interests during child custody disputes or arrangements.

Two of the types of family law that intersect with criminal law involve violence that can cause physical harm and mental distress. These are domestic violence and child abuse. Crimes of this nature often occur between people who know each other and live together, so specific means are necessary to prevent further problems.

How do I calculate child support in Illinois?

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If you are a parent getting a divorce from your children's other parent, things are likely to get contentious. Most parents want the largest share of time with children, as well as a say in how children are raised and cared for during their years as minors.

Illinois courts, as well as the best parents, want what is best for the children. So another large consideration during the parents' divorce is how much money will go to the children's upbringing. Child support pays for food, clothing, medical care and other essential costs of raising children safe and healthy.

Is your spouse spending money after claiming a pay reduction?

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When it became clear you were headed for divorce, you began to formulate a plan for your future, especially concerning your children. Like most good parents in Illinois, you want to make sure the impact your divorce has on their lifestyle is as minimal as possible. Your financial situation has always been a struggle. On the other hand, you're thankful you've always been able to provide for your children's needs.

Still, when preparing for your divorce, you want to make sure property division proceedings leave you with the appropriate means to continue the lifestyle to which you and your children have grown accustomed during your marriage. Recent incidents make you wonder if your spouse is not playing fair when it comes to assets you jointly own. Before things get out of hand, it may help to further investigate the matter.

New Illinois law covers pet ownership in divorces

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It is undeniable that the fate of children is the most important part of a divorce between parents. This is also why arrangements for child custody, child support and decision-making ability about how a child is raised can be the most contentious part of a divorce.

A possible close second to this may be the disposition of pets for whom spouses shared responsibility during a marriage that is ending. While pets were formerly closer to livestock or other property in the considerations of Illinois divorce courts, a new law is altering that view.

Federal tax code changes may affect Illinois estates

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Planning the future of large and comprehensive estate after a person dies is a large responsibility, and it may seem impossible if one plans to do it on his or her own. An attorney with experience in estate planning is often a good idea to make sure that a person's wishes are properly executed after death.

One of the main purposes of estate planning is also to preserve the value of properties, money and other assets that a person intends to bequeath to family, friends or organizations. Illinois applies a tax to estates of a value above $4 million, while the federal government does the same on estates above $5.49 million in value.

How and why do I answer a divorce petition?

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Even if you are expecting it, being served with divorce papers is rarely a pleasant experience. This is especially true if a divorce service is confusing or complicated. A few pointers about the important contents of a petition can help ease tensions and help you answer it properly.

  • What's the purpose of answering a petition?

The main reason to answer a divorce petition is to acknowledge its receipt. It also gives an opportunity to the person being sued for divorce to state his or her position on the division of property and assets, as well as preferences of child support and custody.

  • What happens if a petition goes unanswered?

New Illinois laws may help divorcing parents with child care

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Divorce is always a complicated process, even in the rare occasions when it is not a particularly unpleasant event. The end of a marriage can be a relief for both parties or a contentious debate in which people disagree about the assets and property they should possess as individuals after a divorce.

The most important asset of a marriage is, of course, the children born to the parents before the divorce. As such, they can often be the most contentious part of a divorce. Family courts in Illinois have been established to advocate for the best interests of children in the rare case that parents are unable or unwilling to do it themselves.

How to deal with an estate in Illinois

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It is never anyone's favorite subject, but smart people with any considerable estate should plan for the end of life. When a person's property and assets pass to the control of survivors and designated parties, there are many complications to consider.

Estate planning is especially important for people with an estate that is valued about $4 million, as the state of Illinois applies a tax to the excess value. In addition, federal law applied an estate tax if a person's property and other assets are higher than $5.49 million.

Is a civil union a viable alternative to marriage?

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A civil union is a way by which Illinois couples can legally establish their relationship with each other without getting married. Illinois law allows both same-sex and heterosexual couples to enter into a civil union, and while it is not the same thing as a legal marriage, there are things you may need to know about the laws that dictate how civil unions work.

If you are seeking to establish a civil union or dissolve one, you may find it beneficial to seek assistance as you work to protect your rights. A civil union provides rights at a state level, and you may need to know more about your potential entitlements and legal options before you proceed.