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Family Law Archives

Divorce rates are higher for certain occupations

People in Illinois who work in industries that involve travel or nightlife might be more likely to get a divorce than those who work in professions with more stable hours. FlowingData recently presented information from the 2015 American Community survey indicating that scientists, actuaries, software developers and some medical professionals were the least likely people to get a divorce.

How divorce affects Social Security spousal benefits

When Illinois couples go through a divorce and one spouse has earned less than the other or has not worked at al, that person may be able to claim Social Security benefits on the higher-earning spouse's work record. However, this does not reduce the benefits available to the higher-earning spouse.

How can unmarried couples protect their assets in the event of separation? P.2

Last time, we began speaking about cohabitation agreements in Illinois, and how these documents can help unmarried couples protect their assets in the event of separation and death. As we noted, crafting an enforceable cohabitation agreement in Illinois can be tricky and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure it is valid and enforceable.

How can unmarried couples protect their assets in the event of separation?

Previously, we wrote about a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision which highlighted the need for unmarried couples in Illinois to take steps to protect their assets in the event of separation. This is an especially important issue to address when an unmarried couple plans on commingling their assets, since doing so makes it difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to determine which assets  belongs to which party.

IL Supreme Court case highlights lack of financial protections for unmarried couples

Protecting oneself financially is important whenever a long-standing relationship fails. This is as important for unmarried couples as it is for married couples. In some ways, it is more important for unmarried couples given that state law does not provide any special entitlements.

How do judges figure amount and duration of spousal maintenance?

We previously began looking at the issue of spousal maintenance or support, specifically how Illinois courts determine whether a spouse is entitled to maintenance.  Picking up where we left off last time, if a judge determines it is just to award maintenance to a spouse, the amount and duration of the award needs to be determined.

When is a spouse entitled to maintenance in Illinois?

In divorce, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney who can help ensure a fair settlement is reached with respect to assets and debts. Property division in Illinois, is governed by the principle of equitable distribution, and state law requires courts to come to ensure that property and debts are divided in a manner that is “just and equitable.”

What is parental alienation and what can be done about it?, P.2

In our last post, we began looking at the topic of parental alienation and how parents can address it. Parental alienation can, of course, be very harmful to children, and it is therefore a concern of the court when a parent displays behaviors which suggest he or she is attempting to turn a child against the other parent or negatively impact the child’s relationship with the other parent.

Do you have the power to make decisions for your partner?

Not every couple in Illinois wants to get married. To be sure, marriage is a personal choice, but there can be unexpected consequences if one unmarried partner suddenly becomes ill and incapacitated. In this situation, someone needs to make decisions about the medical care of the ill person. If the unmarried couple has not established a power of attorney for health care, then neither partner will have a legal say about important medical decisions pertaining to the other in the case of an emergency.

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