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What Factors are Considered When Calculating Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?After deciding to cut ties with your spouse, it can be difficult to imagine a life without them. You may know that divorce is the best decision for you both; however, that does not always mean that the transition is seamless. You experience being truly on your own for the first time since getting married, both emotionally and financially. While the emotional transition can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows, adjusting to a single income can be the most difficult change of all. Maybe you were a one-income household with one parent staying home, or perhaps you both had a steady income. Regardless, getting used to living off one paycheck, while working on the emotional distress that comes with divorce, can be enough to send someone into a spiral. Fortunately, spousal maintenance can supplement your finances if your former spouse has a greater income than you.

What Does the Court Look At?

To help divorcing couples adjust and survive, the court will often require one spouse to pay their ex a particular amount each month. While they may use an equation of sorts, there are a variety of other factors that play into a judge’s decision for these payments. Spousal maintenance requirements vary in amount, frequency, and lifespan. In other words, every divorce agreement is unique, including the amount of money that will be given by one former spouse to the other. According to Illinois statutes regarding spousal maintenance, the following factors are considered while making decisions regarding these payments:

  • The property and income of each party, including any assets that are assigned in the property division process
  • The possible present and future earning capacity of each party
  • Time devoted to domestic work throughout their marriage and decisions made to defer education or employment opportunities as a result of the marriage
  • The time it will take the deserved party to acquire proper training, education, and employment and how well this job position would allow them to support themselves
  • The duration of the marriage and their standard of living at the time of divorce
  • All sources of income that each party has access to, including retirement and disability income

When the court comes to an agreement on the spousal maintenance amounts, they must provide the two parties with the reasoning behind their choices. The findings report will include information regarding why the court did or did not require spousal maintenance payments to be made and an explanation of what factors contributed to their decision.

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Will County child custody attorney

Many people do not realize the number of steps included in the divorce process, and this number only increases when children are involved. While many may think dividing your belongings is the most difficult portion, formulating a parenting plan can often create the most conflict between divorcing couples. Learning to “share” your child with your ex when you do not live together is difficult for every parent. From the outside, it may seem obvious how you should divide the parenting time; however, this can change during the divorce proceedings. Understanding what is included in a parenting plan and what the various options are is a good idea before stepping into your legal meetings.

 

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Markham family law attorney adoption

Much like physically having your child, there are various tasks that must be completed before your family can grow through adoption. For those who have chosen to adopt, there is a long checklist that is required of them before even getting approval to adopt a child. All adoptions require a home study to be conducted to ensure that the applicants are fit to adopt. The interview portion of the adoption process can determine your eligibility to adopt, making it crucial to be prepared for this step. In order to help prospective parents get approval to find their future child, we have prepared a home study guide for those considering adoption.

 

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Which Type of Adoption Is Best for My Family?Just like every child and family, every adoption is unique. For those looking to expand their family, there are various avenues that they can take. Making the decision to adopt the beginning of many more large decisions that must be made in this lengthy process. After you have chosen to expand your family through adoption, you must then consider your various adoption outlets. In some cases, adopting parents may be set on one way to adopt their future child. While it is helpful to have an idea of how you wish to adopt, it is important to consider all of your options before diving in you may be surprised by the adoptive path you decide to follow.

International Versus Domestic

The first choice that you should make before beginning the adoption process is where you are looking to adopt your child from. Americans are allowed to adopt children domestically or internationally. Those who are looking to adopt an American child will have the option of pursuing an independent adoption or agency adoption. Independent adoptions are completed with the help of an attorney while those who turn to an agency for help are committing to working with that agency throughout the process. Many will choose to work with an attorney rather than an agency to avoid additional agency fees and have a more private adoption with fewer professionals involved in the process. Depending on the situation, domestic adoptions may involve finding a family looking for an adoptive parent or a birth mother looking for parents for her child.

International adoptions have declined over the past decade as international governing bodies have put up additional regulations regarding their adoption policies. Typically, children being adopted internationally are from orphanages as their parents were unable to care for them. International adoptions are a good option for those who are open to adopting a child of any age. This type of adoption does not always include an infant, but a variety of ages. Anyone considering adopting internationally should work with an experienced attorney. Adoption laws vary from country to country, and it is crucial that you have a good understanding of your prospective child’s home country and its policies.

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Are Belongings Divided 50-50 in an Illinois Divorce?During the divorce process, property division can be the most contentious conversation that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will have. Not only is it emotionally difficult to discuss divvying up your life together, but it can also reveal sides of your former spouse that you may have never seen before. The division of assets can sometimes feel like a lose-lose situation, especially when you do not think that your previous partner deserves some of your belongings. Having an experienced divorce attorney on your side can help you determine which assets you are willing to give up and which ones are worth fighting for. Without a proper lawyer’s help in states like Illinois, it may feel like you are giving up a lot more than you expected.

Equitable Distribution Versus Community Property

Like most states in the U.S., Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning that properties in a divorce are divided in a manner that is deemed fair but not necessarily 50-50. Divorcing couples who cannot agree on how things will be divided will be turned over to a judge, who will then determine how the property will be divided in an equitable manner. The judge will look at factors such as income, personal assets, and financial needs and determine what is considered fair.

There are nine states that use a different method, and they are called community property states. Within these states, lawmakers deem all property, assets, and debts to be the belongings of both spouses. With this in mind, everything will be divided 50-50 between both parties, including any debts. This type of division applies to anyone filing for divorce within these nine states, whether or not they got married within them. These properties will be considered “quasi-community” property if they are acquired while living in an equitable distribution state.

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