312-600-5376 or ONLINE

Need a QDRO Lawyer in Illinois?

If you need a QDRO lawyer, that means you need someone to draft a qualified domestic relations order – it’s what’s used to divide 401ks and pensions pursuant to a divorce in Illinois. You might be glad your divorce is over, but now you have to deal with the pain of figuring out what to do about your QDRO. It can be hard to get a QDRO drafted afer a divorce is complete, because many divorce lawyers do not draft QDROs themselves, so if a judgment for dissolution (the “order” that says you’re divorced).

I wrote this article about how to get your QDRO. [click to continue…]

Need a lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce in Illinois can be quit simple – so long as you use a lawyer. As an uncontested divorce lawyer in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties, I find that whether it’s Chicago, Skokie, Deerfield or Wheaton, people often have the misconception that an uncontested divorce means a lawyer isn’t necessary. While it’s true that an uncontested divorce in Illinois can be affordable and fast, it’s important not to forget that divorce is as legal process best handle by a lawyer. I wrote this article to explain why people who want an uncontested divorce in Illinois should use a lawyer. [click to continue…]

Uncontested Divorce: Top 5 Myths

If you are thinking about an uncontested divorce in Illinois, you may have talked to family and friends who have been divorced. Getting support from your family and friends is important. But the problem is they can spread the Top 5 Myths about getting an uncontested divorce.

I’d like to help dispel those myths.

Myth 1: A lawyer should represent both spouses

Many people call me and say “So you can represent both of us, right?” My answer is “I could, but I won’t.”

A lawyer should NEVER represent both parties in a dispute. Imagine this scenario:

Two spouses are getting along at the beginning of the divorce. They’re almost done with it, then they come to a disagreement. They both want advice from the lawyer. Houston – we’ve got a problem.

A lawyer could never give legal advice to two opposing parties. Most of the uncontested divorces I handle have only one lawyer – me. But the spouse of my client can get a lawyer anytime he or she wants – even if it is just to review the documents I prepare.

Myth 2: If a spouse cheated an uncontested divorce won’t work

An uncontested divorce is about making past problems “water under the bridge” and moving ahead with life. However, infidelity is an emotion issue.

I wrote an article titled “Cheating and adultery: relevant to divorce in Illinois?” The gist of that article is that judges don’t want to hear about your personal problems – to put it bluntly. I also wrote the article titled “Dating during divorce: Dissipation, alimony, custody;” that article explains that adultery/cheating/dating are only relevant to the extent that children are harmed or one spouse is wasting marital money on an extra-marital paramour.

Long story short, people who have been committed adultery or who have been cheated on can still get an uncontested divorce in Illinois.

Myth 3: We need to live separately for 2 years to get divorce

It is true that in Illinois there is a “waiting period” for getting divorced with “irreconcilable differences” as the grounds (the basis) for the divorce. However, that 2 year period can be waived by both parties so that the waiting period can be 6 months instead of 2 years.

Also, spouse can be considered to live “separate and apart” while still living in the same residence. That is, people can live in the same residence and still get divorced while they are doing so. Instead of living in separate residences, the court requires that both parties cease living as a married couple to satisfy the requirement that they live “separate and apart” for the required waiting period. Long story short: if you are sharing a residence with your spouse and want a divorce, live as “roomates” for 6 months and the waiting period will be satisfied (so long as you both agree to reduce the 2 year waiting period to 6 months).

Myth 4: Kids prevent an uncontested divorce

I’m not sure where this myth is coming from, but I’ve been hearing it a lot lately. Let me say this clearly: Parents can still get an uncontested divorce; in fact, they are amog those that judges  REALLY want to get an uncontested divorce.

The courts are busy. Fighting over kids can get ugly, expensive, and clog the courts more. So people with kids should also try to get uncontested divorces. Judges like that.

That being said, some things are worth fighting for, especially kids. But people can greatly benefit from working things out in an uncontested divorce in Illinois.

Myth 5: Owning a house prevents a divorce

These days many people have houses that are underwater, in foreclosure, or that they are trying to sell. People seem to often think that if they have to sell their house before getting divorce. That’s a fine way to do it – but not necessary.

I often write fairly complicated clauses regarding how to handle the marital home. For example, it can be handled this way:

  1. One spouse can take the home and not sell it
  2. One spouse can live in the home, the other move out, and the home can be sold
  3. Both spouses can live in the home until it is sold, after the divorce
  4. Both spouses can move out and then the home can be sold

How to get started with an uncontested divorce

Uncontested divorces are very popular because they are relatively affordable, and quick. That’s why I devoted an entire website to it, called “UncontestedDivorceinIllinois.com.”

You can contact me if you need an uncontested divorce, and I will try to make the process efficient, quick, and affordable.  And please, don’t use a shady “online divorce” website to try to get your “divorce papers.” Learn more about that at my article “Online divorce = risky business.”

Dating during divorce: Dissipation, alimony, custody

Many people wonder if they can date while getting divorced. Others contact me and complain that their spouses are cheating on them.

That begs the question, does dating while getting divorce have any effect on the divorce?

If you want some insight into that, read this article, and one about adultery titled “Cheating and adultery: relevant to divorce in Illinois?

Finances: Is your spouse wasting money on a lover?

The judge does not want to hear about your broken heart, or what a jerk your spouse is for lying to you and having sex with someone else. That might make good fodder for TV court, but TV court is not realistic.

However, that doesn’t mean that your spouse’s love life is totally irrelevant. That’s because he or she may be “dissipating” marital funds.

Dissipation occurs when, during and after the “breakdown” of the parties’ marriage, one spouse spends money for purposes other than marital purposes. What does that mean? I think examples might be in order.

Did your spouse buy the same amount of food at the grocery store as was done in the past? That’s probably not dissipation.

Did your spouse take an extra-marital lover to eat at a gourmet restaurant 5 times last month? That’s probably dissipation.

It get’s a bit more complicated than that, but I think you get the idea.

Alimony

Sometimes “alimony” is an issue. Alimony is now called spousal maintenance in Illinois.

Spousal maintenance often comes into play where one spouse is a high-earner and the other is not. There are many factors that go into how much spousal maintenance will be paid, and whether or not it will be awarded at all.

What can prevent a person from getting spousal maintenance? Many things. But one of them is if the person who wants maintenance moves in with a lover who is providing financial support. In that case, the person who wants the support is being supported by someone else, and may no longer need support from the soon-to-be ex.

Custody & Visitation

Just ask judges don’t want to hear about your broken heart, they also don’t want a bunch of jealous crazies clogging up the court complaining about how their spouse’s new lover is going to destroy their children.

Judges want people to move on with live. That makes the courts less crowded. One aspect of moving on with life – for many people – is to date someone else. And if the divorcing couple has kids, it is obvious the kids will meet the new paramour.

That being said, judges do care about exposing children to a rotating cast of short-term paramours. They also don’t want the children to come to any harm.

Long story short, if you or your spouse is dating someone, that’s probably not a big deal unless that person is creating a danger for the kids.

But the judge makes the ultimate call.

New “Right of First Refusal” statute: shame on the legislature

Many people have heard about a new “right of first refusal” provision that is taking effect on January 14, 2014. As an Illinois child custody lawyer, I find parents are often concerned about this issue. Too bad the new right of first refusal provision is a failure.

I wrote this article to provide a basic explanation of the law, and some commentary.

Long story short: the statute has no teeth and doesn’t go far enough in creating and protecting the right of first refusal in child custody and visitation situations. [click to continue…]

No-fault divorce in Illinois: what is it?

As a divorce lawyer, many people contact me asking for help with a “no-fault divorce.” Most of those people are actually looking for an “uncontested divorce,” also known as a “amicable divorce” or a “divorce by agreement.”

I wrote this article to help people understand the term “no-fault” and why that’s not the same as an uncontested divorce. Check it out, or contact me at 312-554-5433 or online.

Grounds for divorce in Illinois [click to continue…]