The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Oswego spousal maintenance attorney

There many issues that can break up a marriage -- infidelity, lack of communication, a difference in values -- the list goes on. One of the most commonly cited topics of marital stress is money. The stress does not end once the marriage is over, though. The majority of married couples plan their lives around two incomes. When a couple gets divorced, suddenly both spouses now have to figure out how to balance their lifestyles with their newly single-income household. In some cases, one spouse simply does not earn enough to survive or enjoy nearly as comfortable a lifestyle as he or she did before the divorce. In certain situations, spousal maintenance may be awarded, which can help alleviate this financial burden.

Will I Be Awarded Spousal Maintenance?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there is no guarantee that spousal maintenance will be awarded in any divorce case. If you think that you deserve to receive spousal maintenance, you must file a petition with the court to have your case heard. It is up to the judge to decide whether or not a spousal maintenance award (commonly known as alimony) is appropriate for your case. Before the judge makes his or her final decision, he or she will consider all relevant factors in your case. These include, but are not limited to:

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Batavia child support attorney

The “standard” for American families has changed over the years. Even just 20 years ago, the “normal” U.S. family consisted of a mother, a father, and one or two children. Now, families come in all sizes and configurations. According to data from the Pew Research Center, an estimated 18 million U.S. children are living with a single parent. Being a parent can be difficult even when you have another partner, but being a single parent is especially challenging. Here are a few tips you can use to help ease yourself into single parenthood after a divorce:

Get Your Finances in Order

It is no secret that raising a child comes with a rather large price tag. Most married parents have two incomes at their disposal to help pay for some of the expenses associated with raising a child, but after a divorce, you may only have your own income to rely on. This is when child support is typically awarded to ensure that the parent with the greatest share of parenting time will be able to provide for children's daily needs. In some cases, spousal support may also be awarded. It can also help to create a budget for you and your child so you can plan what your monthly expenses will be and relieve some of the worries.

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DuPage County legal separation lawyerThere are many reasons why couples get divorced, but often it takes a lot of time and contemplation to get to that point. Before it is decided that divorce is the best option, couples often go through a period of uncertainty about whether or not they actually want to legally terminate their marriage or if they just want to “call it quits” for a while. During this time, some couples choose to separate themselves by living apart and also being financially independent of each other. These are the basics of an Illinois legal separation, though it is not enough to just say that you are separated. You and your spouse must take several steps before the state will view your separation as legal.

Requirements for a Legal Separation

If you are considering obtaining a legal separation in Illinois, there are a few requirements that you must meet. First, you or your spouse must have been a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days. Then you will have to file a petition with the court in the county in which either you or your spouse lives or the county in which you and your spouse last lived together. In the petition, you must be able to prove that you and your spouse live separately from each other.

Why Choose Legal Separation?

A legal separation is similar to a divorce in many ways. When the court declares you separated, it will also address issues such as spousal maintenance, as well as child-related issues such as parenting time and child support. For some people, a legal separation is a chance to reconcile after some time apart because it is not permanent. For others, legal separation is a way to protect their finances during a long and contentious divorce. A legal separation is also an option for those who cannot get a divorce because of cultural or religious reasons.

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DuPage County gray divorce attorneyDivorce statistics are often misconstrued, and it can be difficult to determine what the true divorce rate is in the United States. One of the figures that most statisticians can settle on, however, is that the general divorce rate is declining, while the rate of divorce for those who are over the age of 50 is rising--and has been for the past couple of decades. A “gray divorce” is a term that is used when two people who are over the age of 50 decide to divorce. At that point in their lives, they have typically been married for decades, and they may have many more issues that need to be addressed, especially when it comes to finances. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, and you are over the age of 50, you should be aware of some of the differences that you may face compared to your younger counterparts.

Stakes Are Higher During Asset Division

When going through the process of dividing your marital assets, earning potential is something that becomes important. For couples who are in their 20s, 30s, or 40s, they still have plenty of earning potential. Couples who are divorcing in their 50s or later are close to retirement, if they have not already retired, meaning their income will be fixed, and their assets will not grow anymore. This makes the stakes higher when it comes to figuring out who gets what in the divorce.

Retirement Funds Become Extremely Important

Another thing that becomes a priority is figuring out how your retirement funds are distributed when you divorce after 50. If you are not yet retired, you will be soon, and you will need as much money as possible to live comfortably during retirement. If you are already retired, you will have to figure out how much of each spouse's retirement funds are left and how much you and your spouse are eligible to receive. You also have to keep in mind any tax considerations when making withdrawals from retirement accounts.

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DuPage County, IL spousal support attorneyA divorce is never an easy decision, and for many, it can turn their entire lives upside down. Years ago, spousal maintenance (then known as alimony) was a rather common thing that was typically awarded to women who were getting divorced. Now, with more women in the workforce, the number of women receiving spousal maintenance has dropped, while the number of men receiving spousal maintenance has slightly increased. Spousal maintenance is still a rather common issue during Illinois divorces that must be decided before the divorce can be finalized.

Calculating the Amount for Maintenance Payments

If the judge determines that a maintenance award is, in fact, appropriate, he or she will use the maintenance guidelines to determine the amount of spousal maintenance to be paid. The Illinois maintenance guidelines apply to any couple whose combined annual income is less than $500,000 and when the payor does not have any other obligations to pay child support and/or spousal maintenance from a previous marriage.

The amount of maintenance to be paid is determined by taking a portion of the payor’s income and subtracting a portion of the receiver’s income from it. The formula for calculating the maintenance amount is as follows: 33.3% of payor’s income minus 25% of the receiver’s income equals the yearly spousal maintenance amount. To determine the monthly amount for maintenance payments, you would simply take the amount for yearly maintenance payments and divide it by 12.

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DuPage County divorce lawyerSocial media has been one of the defining topics of the 20th century. According to Hootsuite, a social media management platform, there were nearly 3.5 billion people around the world actively using social media at the beginning of 2019. With so many people connected on the Internet through websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, people are sharing their personal lives with each other more than ever before. While this can be a good thing, it can be detrimental if you are going through a divorce. Sharing parts of your personal life online can create evidence that can be used against you that can affect the outcome of issues such as spousal maintenance, property division, and even child-centered issues such as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities.

Using Social Media Posts in Your Favor

Social media is easy to use, which allows people to post photos and comments without having to think too much about what they are doing. In some situations, these kinds of posts can leave clues for the other spouse about issues such as hidden assets or whether or not the ex-spouse has a true need for spousal maintenance. For example, your ex might be petitioning to receive spousal maintenance due to claims he or she will not be able to enjoy the same standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. However, if he or she posts photos of a vacation with friends, you may be able to use those posts as evidence that he or she was not being completely honest about his or her financial situation.

Social Media as Evidence in Court

In the state of Illinois, using information obtained from social media is a legitimate form of evidence. This means that anything you or your spouse post on social media could be used against you in court, as long as the information was not obtained illegally or fraudulently. You cannot open fake social media accounts with the intention of posing as another person to gain information. You also cannot “hack” into your spouse’s account with the intention of gaining information. As a general rule of thumb, if the information you are using was posted publicly and available to users with an account, it is typically admissible as evidence in court.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce is always complicated, no matter how you look at it. There are many issues you must settle before you can finalize your divorce, one of those being the issue of alimony or spousal maintenance. In Illinois divorce cases, spousal maintenance is never guaranteed -- some people will ask for maintenance and not receive it, some will never even bring the issue up and some are actually awarded maintenance when they seek it. For some people, maintenance is a necessity to help them survive, at least for the first couple of months after the divorce. Illinois spousal maintenance laws changed starting January 1, 2019. These laws affect the way spousal maintenance is calculated, so it is important that you understand the changes if you have not yet finalized your divorce.

Old Maintenance Laws

Prior to 2019, spousal maintenance was calculated by taking 30 percent of the payer’s income and subtracting 20 percent of the receiver’s income. This was a valid calculation for any couple whose combined annual income was less than $500,000, though the total maintenance awarded was not able to be more than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income when adding the payment to the receiver’s income.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,When you are going through a divorce as a stay-at-home parent, you often have different things to worry about than if you were a working parent. Most of the time, stay-at-home parents sacrificed their careers or education to stay home and take care of the children. This can be problematic for them because stay-at-home parents typically rely on the income of their spouse to support the family. When you get a divorce, you find yourself being put into a situation where you must re-enter the workforce with little or outdated education and large gaps in your employment history. In these situations, spousal maintenance is used as a tool to keep you on your feet. Here are five steps you should take when you are a stay-at-home parent who is getting a divorce.

Gather All of Your Financial Documents

First things first -- you need to have all paperwork on your finances ready to present to a divorce lawyer. These documents can include:

  • Tax returns and W2’s from the previous three to five years;
  • Bank statements, including information on both checking and savings accounts;
  • Mortgage documents;
  • Vehicle titles;
  • Retirement account statements;
  • Credit card statements; and
  • Investment account statements.

Ensure You Have Access to Your Money

Some stay-at-home parents find that they do not have regular access to their family’s funds. If this is the case, you should make sure that you begin saving small amounts of money here and there to build up a reserve. One way around letting your spouse know you are saving money is by asking for cash back when you are at stores. If you have reason to believe your spouse might be hiding money from you, you should tell your lawyer who can help you discover it.

Remake Your Budget

Divorce is expensive -- it’s no secret. Going through a costly divorce and having to support yourself after years of staying at home can wreak havoc on your finances. Creating a balanced budget is one way you can help yourself be financially secure after your divorce. Try not to take into account any spousal maintenance payments or child support payments until those are final.

Start Looking for a Job

The truth of the matter is that even though you have been a stay-at-home parent for a length of time, you will more than likely have to return to the workforce after your divorce. You cannot expect to survive on spousal maintenance alone, which is not even guaranteed to you. Prepare yourself by looking for a job now and putting together an updated resume and list of references.

Hire a Compassionate DuPage County Divorce Attorney

One of the most important things you can do as a stay-at-home parent is hire a competent, yet compassionate Aurora, IL divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand the troubles that a stay-at-home parent faces when getting a divorce. We can help you throughout the divorce process, from filing the initial paperwork to negotiating a spousal maintenance schedule. Contact our office today to set up a consultation by calling 630-409-8184.

  Sources:

https://divorceandyourmoney.com/blogs/stay-at-home-mom-divorce/

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alimonyUnlike child support, spousal support is not guaranteed in Illinois divorces. When you get a divorce and you and your ex have a child together, the spouse who has the child a majority of the time will receive child support payments, whereas it will be determined whether or not a maintenance award is even appropriate. Certain circumstances and factors are examined to make this determination, including the income of each spouse, any impairment of each spouse’s earning capacity, the duration of the marriage and the standard of living that was established during the marriage. Even if you are awarded a maintenance payment, the length of the award depends on a number of factors, as well. Length of Marriage Will Determine Length of Payments

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the length of time you were married will directly impact the length of time you are paid maintenance payments. The Act outlines specific multipliers to use with the length of marriage in years to find out the duration of your payments. Examples of the multiplying factors include:

  • Less than five years of marriage to seven years of marriage: .20-.32;
  • Eight years of marriage to 10 years of marriage: .36-.44;
  • Eleven years of marriage to 13 years of marriage: .48-.56;
  • Fourteen years of marriage to 16 years of marriage: .60-.68;
  • Seventeen years of marriage to 19 years of marriage: .72-.80; and
  • Twenty years or more of marriage: Equal to the length of the marriage or indefinitely.
For example, a person that was married to their spouse for 16 years will receive payments for 10.88 years. When a maintenance order is entered, there must be an extreme change in circumstances for the duration or amount of maintenance paid to be changed. An Aurora, IL Spousal Maintenance Lawyer Can Help

Divorces can be stressful, especially if it is contested. Not all divorce cases will involve maintenance awards, but depending on your circumstances, you may be awarded spousal maintenance. The best way to make sure you are getting your fair share of marital property and spousal maintenance is by hiring an experienced DuPage County spousal maintenance lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we have extensive knowledge of Illinois’ Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and the rules concerning spousal maintenance. Contact our office by calling 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation today.

 

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If you are going through a divorce, you may wonder if you’re entitled to financial support from your spouse. Spousal maintenance is the term that the state of Illinois uses instead of alimony, though they are the same thing. In the past, courts viewed alimony as payments from the husband to continue his obligation to support his wife. Now, spousal maintenance is awarded to either spouse depending on a variety of factors.

Determining Factors for Spousal Maintenance Eligibility

When you seek maintenance from your spouse, the court will first determine whether or not you are eligible to receive these payments. In Illinois, eligibility determinations are based on these factors:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,The reasons couples get divorced vary from the very common to quite unique. In some cases, tales of the odd and downright unbelievable accompany court filings. Whether they are true or just some ploy to gain sympathy from the court in an effort to win more a more favorable alimony settlement, there are anecdotes of some very bizarre reasons why individuals have sought a divorce from their spouse.

Examining Some of The Most Bizarre

Infidelity, abuse, chemical dependency, mental illness and even irreconcilable differences are probably some of the most commonly applied reasons for divorce, Here, however, we are taking a look at some of the strangest reasons people filed for divorce from around the world.

  • My wife is possessed: Not possessive, but rather possessed … as in, by an evil spirit or the devil. An Italian man used this as his grounds for seeking a no-fault divorce. He even supplied witnesses to his wife’s odd behavior. In the end, he got his divorce.
  • Marriage turns ice cold: A Japanese couple filed for divorce after the husband told his wife he really did not care for the animated film, Frozen. She loved the movie and was so put out by her husband’s failure to recognize the film’s greatness that she asked for a divorce.
  •  Nice try, but you are still alive: In 2004 man suffered a serious illness during which time his heart stopped beating. In 2007 he filed for divorce claiming he and his wife were no longer legally married since he had died, although not permanently. The judge did not buy it.
  • Easy come, easy go: After 25 years of marriage, a woman filed for divorce from her husband, seemingly out of the blue. The man was baffled until he and his lawyers learned the woman won more than one million dollars in the lottery and was hoping to keep it all for herself. No such luck. The judge ordered her to turn over all her winnings to her husband.

Retain a Resourceful Illinois Divorce Lawyer to Help You Gain a Proper Settlement

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Posted on in Divorce
Kendall County child custody attorneys, Divorce, family law, marriage maintenance, Kendall County, divorce lawyers

Divorce. Once that word is uttered by your spouse, you are left wondering how your relationship unraveled so quickly. While many believe that divorce is caused by significant issues such as cheating or abuse, there are minuscule behaviors within a marriage that can also derail it.

How you Can Improve your Relationship with your Spouse

However, identifying—and then changing—behaviors that may be hurting your relationship can help you avoid derailing your marriage:

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Posted on in Child Support

Child Support Overhaul, child support, family law, divorce, spousal maintenance, DuPage County child support attorneyChild support is often a contentious part of a divorce. A massive change to the way that child support is calculated is set to take effect this July. It updates and streamlines an outdated method of calculating child support.

Under current Illinois law, child support is calculated using a fixed formula that requires a non-residential parent to pay a fixed percentage of their income. This was problematic because the one size fits all formula produced results that did not satisfy the needs of the child nor were the calculations developed to address the best interest of any children involved.

How Will Child Support Be Calculated Under the New Law?

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Posted on in Spousal Support

maintenance, Aurora divorce attorneyIn a recent post on this blog, we discussed the criteria used by Illinois courts to determine whether spousal maintenance was appropriate following a divorce. The law requires a court to look at various factors relevant to the marriage and each spouse’s financial situation to ensure that a need for spousal support actually exists. If maintenance is found to be appropriate, the court must then calculate how much is to be paid and for how long. Illinois law also provides guidance regarding these considerations as well.

Maintenance Amounts

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) provides a specific formula to be used in situations where the couple’s combined income is less than $250,000 per year and the paying party has no other obligations for maintenance or child support from a previous relationship. In such a case, the amount of support to be paid is found by taking 30 percent of the paying spouse’s gross income and subtracting 20 percent of the receiving spouse’s net income. The difference will be the amount expected to be paid unless that amount plus the recipient’s income equals more than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income.

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maintenance, Aurora family law attorneyFinancial and property considerations can be very complicated parts of the divorce process. It is often difficult to determine who should get what, and how much is fair based on the specific circumstances of the case. For many couples, the concepts of dividing marital assets and spousal maintenance represent two, very separate ideas. In reality, however, they are often very closely related, and in many cases, decisions regarding one directly affects the other.

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, or alimony as it is sometimes called, is intended to help a financially-disadvantaged spouse alleviate some of the economic impact of a divorce and a post-divorce life. To determine if maintenance is needed, in the absence of an agreement between the spouses, the court must take into account a number of factors regarding the marriage and divorce. These include each spouse’s income and needs, the contributions to the marriage and toward the earning capacity of the other, as well as the length of the marriage and the established standard of living.

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alimony, support, DuPage County family lawyerWith relatively significant changes regarding divorce and child custody going into effect this month, some of the smaller updates to the law may be going somewhat unnoticed. While some, such as new requirements for courts to enter the judgment within 60 days of the close of proofs, will have more of a procedural impact than substantive, others, such as those regarding spousal maintenance, can have an effect not only on the immediate order but on the potential for modification in the future.

Spousal Maintenance

In the state of Illinois, there is no presumed right to spousal maintenance in a divorce. Of course, a couple may negotiate a conscionable agreement regarding spousal support, and in such cases, the court will enter the agreement as an enforceable order. Absent an agreement, however, the court must examine the circumstances of the marriage and divorce in deciding whether or not such an award is appropriate. The court must take into account, among other factors:

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spousal maintenance, alimony, Illinois family lawyerA common question among those preparing for divorce involves the possibility of spousal maintenance. Previously known as alimony, spousal maintenance is intended to help alleviate the financial impact of a divorce to one spouse or the other. It is important to understand, however, that there is no presumed right to receive spousal support after a divorce. Instead, except for a valid agreement between the spouses, it is up to the court to determine if support is appropriate.

Statutory Considerations

To say that spousal maintenance is only appropriate for an economically disadvantaged spouse is an oversimplification. In reality, there are a number of factors the court must take into account when deciding whether or not to order an award, including, but not limited to:

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financial professional, planner, Aurora divorce attorneyHave you ever consulted with an accountant, analyst, or financial planner? For many people, working with a financial professional is something that only the wealthy need to worry about. Of course, there are those who would suggest that it is through working with financial advisors that many are able to become wealthy, but that is a topic for another day. Regardless of your income or tax bracket, however, divorce can be one of the most economically complex processes that you will ever be forced to navigate, and to get through it, the help of a financial professional may prove to be absolutely necessary.

Division of Assets

Allocating marital property is among the most challenging concerns for a large number of divorcing couples. It can be nearly impossible to determine what is fair and equitable if both spouses do not have a clear of understanding of the value of each part of the estate. A real estate appraiser, for example, can provide an accurate valuation of your home, while a retirement professional can help you analyze the current and expected value of pensions, 401(k) plans, and other investments. These considerations must be made before you and your spouse can split your assets, and doing so can allow you both to feel that you have been treated fairly.

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fixed-term maintenance, alimony, DuPage County family law attorneyWhen a divorce leaves one spouse economically disadvantaged, courts in Illinois are granted the discretion to award spousal maintenance, or alimony, for a period of time following the dissolution of marriage. The purpose of such an award is to provide an opportunity for the spouse receiving maintenance to regain financial independence, if possible, or, if not, to help maintain some semblance of the lifestyle to which he or she was accustomed during the marriage.

Making a Maintenance Determination

In deciding whether or not maintenance is needed or appropriate in a given situation, the court must look at a number of relevant factors regarding the marriage. According the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, these considerations include, but are not limited to:

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Posted on in Spousal Support

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, alimony reform lawsAs more women tend to work outside the home and lead independent lives outside of their husbands, the issue and necessity of alimony — or spousal support — has come into question in recent years. Many states have recently passed alimony reform laws; some abolish the practice of lifetime alimony payments, others make it more difficult for ex-spouses to prove the need for financial support. In Illinois, for example, ended lifetime alimony and passed legislation that ends alimony payments when the ex-spouse receiving alimony begins to cohabitate with a new partner. Other states, Massachusetts for example, caps the number of years or months during which alimony should be paid based on the duration of the marriage. According to Forbes, this is dangerous water to tread for many women facing divorce.

The good news is that the final alimony decree is never final—it can be modified or changed in court if need be. A “substantial change in circumstances” can warrant alimony modification. There is no one specific definition of what this change must be to warrant modification; this is left to the discretion of the judge. One such example would be if the spouse receiving alimony remarries to a person wealthier than the ex-spouse. In Illinois, (unless the newlyweds were not living together) remarriage would result in termination of the alimony order anyway.

Another instance in which alimony could be modified or terminated is if the financial situation of the spouse paying alimony significantly changes. If an ex-husband, for example, loses his job or resigns his job as a stockbroker to pursue a life as a teacher, thus incurring a significant decrease in salary, he could likely qualify to have the alimony order modified.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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