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Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog

Finances and divorce

Illinois couples who are getting a divorce may be concerned about the state of their financial affairs. However, they can begin to take control of their lives by being proactive and getting a handle on their liabilities, income, expenses and assets.

The different types of financial assets individuals can have may include checking accounts, certificates of deposit, cash, mutual funds, real estate investment trusts, savings bonds, money-market accounts, savings accounts, stocks and bonds. The spouses who have a low income or are not working may find these assets particularly beneficial as they can be helpful in paying for living expenses.

Planning for the financial future in a gray divorce

When people decide to divorce later in life, they may have particular concerns about their financial future. One of the most significant aspects of "gray divorce" can be the distribution of retirement funds. These distributions are increasingly common, especially as the divorce rate for people over 50 has more than doubled over the past two decades. These divorces can be substantially different from those between younger people. In many cases, the split is more amicable, and issues like child support and custody are unlikely to be significant.

However, property division issues like the distribution of retirement funds can be a major concern. Each partner may need to make changes to increase his or her own retirement investments after the divorce is finalized, especially if he or she is close to retirement age. In addition, it's very important to follow proper procedure when preparing for the division of these funds. If errors are made, they can be costly as people may be hit with expensive and unnecessary taxes or penalties as a result.

The rise of prenups amongst millennials

Millennials are breaking the mold in several ways from former generations, so it’s not a surprise that more millennials are marrying a partner later in life. However, with later marriages comes the rise of prenuptial agreements, a legal document that outlines how a couple will divide their assets in a divorce.

A recent survey noted a boost in millennials, ages 18 through 34, drafting prenups before marriage, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The study also noticed a fivefold increase in prenuptial agreements across the board over the last 20 years.

Financial conduct that can spell trouble for a marriage

How married couples act when it comes to money can impact many things. It could affect how likely a marriage is to last. Money problems are a common divorce cause.

Certain financial behaviors can greatly increase tension within a marriage. This includes:

IMDMA - Relocation

The New IMDMA: Can I Relocate Once my Allocation Judgment is Entered?
The revised Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) becomes effective on January 1, 2016. One of the major changes to the act centers on whether a party can relocate and what steps they must take. A full outline of the new Relocation section of the IMDMA (to be codified as 750 ILCS 5/609.2) is provided below as a flow chart, but here are some key questions any party needs to consider when trying to relocate:

Upcoming Changes to Illinois Child Support Law

On August 12, 2016, Governor Rauner signed and approved HB 3982, which will become effective on July 1, 2017. This law will significantly change how child support is calculated in Illinois, shifting the state from the "Percentage of Income" Model to the "Income Shares" Model. Specifically, the new law will take into consideration the incomes and parenting time of both parties, child care expenses, and the potential earning capacity of both parties.

HRK Prevails on Property Classification

HRK prevails on issue of property classification at First District Appellate Court

HRK recently appealed a Judgment obtained at trial at the First District Appellate Court in the matter of In re Marriage of Solomon, 2016 App (1st) 142969-U (an unpublished opinion). While the Appellate Court affirmed one of the appealed issues, it reversed the ruling of the trial court that jewelry given to Appellant Wife during the marriage was marital property, and that the property would have otherwise been returned to Husband. The Appellate Court found that the property was a gift to Wife, making it her non-marital property.

The New "Custody": Filing a Parenting Plan Under the New IMDMA

The New "Custody": Filing a Parenting Plan Under the New IMDMA
The new year signaled many changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("IMDMA"). One of the biggest changes in the new act for cases with minor children is the elimination of the term "custody." In its place is a new term: "allocation of parental responsibilities." Couples seeking to divide parenting time and decision-making responsibilities for their minor children will now need to file a Parenting Plan with the Court.

Educational Expenses - Overhaul of 750 ILCS 5/513

The overhaul of the divorce act, known as the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, will affect all areas of the family law, including obligations to support adult children attending post-high school educational facilities, such as college or vocational schools. The revisions to this provision of the act (750 ILCS 5/513) are discussed in detail below.

HRK Prevails In Defense of Appeal Addressing Divorce Maintenance In Gross, Valuation Issues

HRK recently successfully defended a Judgment it obtained at trial at the First District Appellate Court in the matter of In re Marriage of Edelberg and Slobodien, 2015 IL App (1st) 141940-U. The Appellate Court affirmed all of the trial court's rulings. At issue on appeal was an order of maintenance "in gross", valuation of the marital residence and interest in a business, the propriety of a nunc pro tunc order, and the award of attorney's fees to Husband for the defense of the appeal.

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