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Chicago Illinois Family Legal Blog

Remember to list these 6 items when facing property division

If you are heading for divorce, you may be putting together a list of assets in preparation for the property division phase of the proceeding.

You undoubtedly listed the usual items, such as your home, bank accounts, investments, vehicles and even your pets. However, here are six items you might not think of as assets that should be considered as well.

Estate plan considerations in blended families

When two parents decide to join together in matrimony, there are many different variables to consider. The proper distribution of their estate is one of the most important things for them to hash out. 

Merging two families is a delicate process, so parents must handle it properly. There are a few important considerations when creating or modifying an estate plan with a blended family.

How unmarried Illinois couples can protect assets in a breakup

Property division is often a contentious part of divorce. The good thing about it, however, is that state statutes regulate the division of marital property and the rights each spouse has, offering some protection and justice in the process.

What about couples who choose not to marry? Illinois does not accept common law marriage, which means that property division laws do not apply to cohabitating couples. As much as you do not want to consider you and your partner breaking up, it is smart to protect your assets now in the following ways instead of losing them later.

What Does It Mean for a Minor to Be Emancipated?

Most people never hear about a minor becoming emancipated unless it involves someone newsworthy - a teenage actor or actress, for instance - who wants to become legally self-sufficient. The assumption may be that these famous people are trying to protect their earnings from their parents, but there are other reasons why a minor might want to become emancipated. 

Visitation and the Reluctant Child

For divorced parents with children, even if you have legitimate grievances with each other, all of that needs to be set aside when it comes to your children. Numerous studies have shown that having quality relationships with both parents is much better for kids in the long run than having strained or nonexistent relationships. 

Do Sperm Donors Have Parental Rights?

For many years, the process of artificial insemination was seen as the exclusive province of married heterosexual couples who were not able to have a child on their own. As societal norms shift and more people are able to explore their options as potential parents, single women and lesbian couples increasingly turn to artificial insemination. 

Why You Need an Attorney for Your Divorce

Divorce can be time-consuming, expensive, stressful and emotional. Because many people just want to get their divorce over with as quickly as possible, some file using at-home kits or documents downloaded from the internet. While this can be a perfectly fine approach in some cases, it can be very risky in others. If your divorce is even a little complicated, youâ€TMd be better off consulting an attorney. 

Appellate Case Clarifies the Definition of Income in Child Support Cases

Child support in Illinois is usually calculated based upon the parent's respective incomes. For the vast majority of people, determining income is fairly straightforward. For higher asset individuals such as those with significant investments, however, the issue can become somewhat murky. 

What a Prenuptial Agreement Can and Cannot Do

While there may still be some stigma attached to prenuptial agreements, the truth is that many people use them, and with good reason. Entering into a marriage involves many complex financial decisions and presents a range of possibilities for the future use of funds and assets. Particularly if one or both spouses have been married previously, the new family situation may be quite complicated and involve former spouses, children from earlier marriages and other considerations. A prenup may be a good way to navigate these issues and plan for the future. 

Ongoing Efforts at Child Support Reform in Illinois

Federal law requires all states to adopt a uniform system for setting presumptive child support obligations. However, the states are not obligated to adopt any specific scheme. As a result, there are two overarching child support formulas states have gravitated toward. Illinois follows the less common of the two, but reform efforts are under way to change the fundamental formula that determines basic child support obligations. 

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