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Rockford, Illinois Family Law Blog

What does the acronym QDRO mean?

When discussing divorce or family law, a Rockford, Illinois, resident may hear the acronym QDRO mentioned. The phrase stands for qualified domestic relations order, which is a document that can be very important not only in high asset divorces, but also in family law matters where spouses are of much more limited means.

The reason a QDRO is important is that it pertains to the division of retirement plans, like a 401(k). People from all walks of life contribute to their retirement plans, and it is no surprise that for many couples, a retirement plan falls among their most valuable assets.

How does holiday parenting time work?

With Thanksgiving just past, many Rockford, Illinois, parents are probably busily making preparations for the Christmas season. Whether they observe Christmas as a religious holiday, commemorate another holiday from their own faith during this time or just take the season as an opportunity to have fun and be close to loved ones, parents usually look forward to their children being out of school.

For parents who live separately, however, the upcoming holiday season can also lead to child custody and parenting time issues. Conflict often erupts, for instance, when both parents have goals and plans for being with their children over the holiday break, and these plans conflict with those of the other parent.

Alimony: 4 tips for achieving fairness

If you are the main or even sole breadwinner of your household, there is one aspect of divorce you may be particularly dreading: alimony. The thought of draining your wallet every month to financially support your ex may scare you. You probably want to do anything possible to avoid being on the hook for spousal support.

There is no way to guarantee you will not need to pay alimony, but there are some steps you can take and circumstances that may result in an outcome that is fair. Here are some tips.

The Illinois child support law uses an “income shares” model

Having a standard calculation guideline to review can help parents to understand how the court determines child support.

As of July 1, 2017, an “income shares” concept became the face of child support law in Illinois.

How will my second job figure in to child support?

Even couples who live together and raise their children under the same roof may find themselves in a situation where one or both of them will need to pick up some extra hours, or even take on a second side job in order to make ends meet. When it comes to a divorce or separation, a parent may even feel additional financial pressure to take on more work since a split, by necessity, is going to mean that the parent has to pay additional bills without counting on the income or resources of the other parent. One of these bills will likely be child support.

Rockford, Illinois, residents who choose to take on that second job or work some overtime in order to make ends meet and provide for their children really deserve praise. However, they should be aware that, unlike other states, Illinois has no special provisions when it comes to counting overtime income and income from a separate job for child support purposes.

We can handle complicated property division issues

Some Illinoisans might have the image of the way property division working in a divorce, in a legal separation or even in the case a separation of an unmarried couple, who has been married for a while to be a process that pits the couple against one another. As such, many people retain a divorce lawyer to help them get through what they see as an imminent, and important, legal battle that could be the difference between financial ruin and ongoing relative security.

Indeed, the attorneys at our office are fully prepared to fight for one's legal rights and interests in the marital estate. Doing so is ultimately a fight for fairness, since marital property is supposed to be divided fairly and equitably.

What are some other divorce-related financial traps?

A previous post on this blog talked about a common financial trap that people fall into by exploring another job or career right after a split. This post specifically warned that a person who quits a job for a lower-paying position during a divorce may get stuck with high child support or spousal support bills that she cannot pay.

Quitting the job prematurely is just one of many potential financial mistakes people who have recently been divorced or who are in the midst of a divorce or legal separation may make. There are others about which Rockford, Illinois, residents should be aware.

Think twice before quitting your job after separation

Because the breakup of a marriage or other relationship is a stressful time, it is not surprising that many Illinois residents do not make the best decisions in such occasions.

Oftentimes, albeit unwittingly, Rockford residents fall in to a common financial trap that can only make the economic fallout from a breakup worse.

How are marital and vacation homes divided in a divorce?

Let us say you and your spouse own your primary residence here in Illinois as well as a condo in Aspen and a beach house in Ft. Lauderdale.

These properties are among your largest assets. What will happen to them during the property division phase of your divorce?

A warning about alimony change

This blog has previously discussed a change in how the federal tax code will treat alimony payments. Specifically, alimony will not be tax deductible for those who pay if the divorce order or agreement is executed after the end of this year.

The most immediate impact of this change will be that those who pay alimony will need to remember that, if their divorce is finalized after the end of this year, they will not receive any tax breaks. This means that there may be some advantage to getting any agreement regarding alimony finalized before the end of 2018.

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The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, Inc. 728 North Court Street, Suite B Rockford, IL 61103 Phone: 815-981-4859 Fax: 815-997-5129 Rockford Law Office Map