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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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Tips for Divorcing a Spouse With a Substance Abuse Problem in IllinoisAlthough most people who get married enter into their union thinking it will last “til death do us part,” that is not what statistics show. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce in the United States. There are many reasons that can cause a couple to file for divorce. Issues such as infidelity, financial problems, and drug or alcohol addiction can all put a significant strain on any relationship. Illinois is a no-fault state, which means that a couple must only have “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce. However, when one spouse has a substance abuse problem, this can make the divorce process very challenging. That is why it is essential that you plan ahead and take steps to protect your rights before filing for divorce from an addicted spouse. 

Taking Precautions to Protect Yourself

Excessive drug and alcohol use can lead to many problems and negatively impact a family as well. When someone drinks or uses drugs, he or she may become violent by physically or verbally abusing his or her spouse and children. The abusive partner may also squander the couple’s savings to fund his or her addiction. 

Although every situation is unique, there are certain decisions that still need to be made in an Illinois divorce, regardless of the reasons for splitting up. These include the allocation of parental responsibilities and child support if children are involved, as well as spousal support and the division of property or assets. All of these issues may be impacted by the fact that one party has a substance abuse problem. For example, a parent may be required to have supervised visitation or denied parenting time altogether if it is proven that it is in the best interest of the children. 

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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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How to Avoid Financial Difficulties After DivorceDivorce rarely comes as a surprise and is often a decision that is made by both spouses after months, or even years, of conflict. Unfortunately, most divorcing couples can see their marriage coming to an end as time goes on. Though this may be difficult to accept for some, most spouses have come to terms with their divorce before contacting an attorney for help. For those who see their marriage coming to a close, it is important to financially prepare for your future. It is no secret that divorce can be an expensive legal process, but with proper preparation, you can be fully prepared for the start of your single life before signing any legal documents.

Re-creating Your Budget

Many families have a budget that they work with on a monthly basis. Whether it is typed up on a spreadsheet or simply an estimate in the back of your head, this budget will have to be revamped for those going through a divorce. This budget may look different during your divorce to accommodate for any legal or court fees that you may incur during the divorce process. Having an idea of a post-divorce budget is a good way to start your new life. In most cases, this budget cannot be nailed down until after you and your divorcing spouse have discussed spousal and child support payments as well as the division of assets.

Updating Official Records

In the midst of a divorce, it can seem overwhelming when you realize the number of legal and financial documents that need to be changed. With the help of your attorney, adjusting this paperwork can be done much easier. This may include contacting your workplace to notify them of your changing marital status so that they update your insurance and 401(k) plan. If you have a will and/or powers of attorney, you will need to be sure that your former spouse is removed from them immediately. Many forget this step and do not realize it until they are in the midst of an emergency situation.

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