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b2ap3_thumbnail_social-media-e-discovery_640.jpgFacebook and other forms of social media have become incredibly popular outlets for expressing one’s daily thoughts and opinions in today’s society. In fact, Facebook recently announced that it now boasts more than two billion—yes, billion with a “b”—monthly users. Those going through a divorce, however, should exercise extreme caution when it comes to utilizing social media during divorce proceedings. While posting updates or pictures may seem innocent, almost any personal detail could be exploited by a former partner for his or her own advantage.

Courts Do Review Social Media Activity

During a divorce, all aspects of a couple’s life are subject to scrutiny by the court. Information posted on Facebook and other social sites, whether it be posted by an individual involved in a divorce or a third party, can cast a particular spouse in a negative light during divorce proceedings.

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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_divorce-during-pregnancy_600x400.pngWhile all romantic relationships can be complicated at times, nothing changes the dynamic of a relationship more than a pregnancy. Some couples find out they are expecting and it is a huge surprise. Other couples may plan for the pregnancy for years and are thrilled when it happens. Too often, however, couples think that a baby will make their marriage stronger, help ease their arguments, and make the atmosphere inside the relationship happier. While this may work in some cases, having a baby is not usually the solution for a struggling marriage. Having a child, while an exciting and wonderful experience, is not a fix-all to marital problems. What should you do when you realize you want to leave the relationship while your partner is pregnant?

Find the Path That Works for You

Some couples will choose to separate until after they baby is born and then file for divorce. Some states even require legal separation before a divorce filing can be made. Other couples wait until after the baby is born to make the final decision. The first step when considering leaving a spouse who is pregnant is to speak to a lawyer about the situation. He or she will be capable of guiding you to make the best decision for your particular circumstances. Keep in mind that laws regarding the divorce of a pregnant spouse vary from state to state.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_digital-assets-1.pngProperty division in a divorce can become as contentious and stressful as any other aspect of the process. In today's world, however, dividing marital assets may be even more complicated than ever before. With more and more people owning digital property, many divorcing spouses have questions regarding how division works in this particular area.

Whether the issue concerns physical assets or digital property, a person going through a divorce can benefit greatly from having a legal professional at his or her side, but qualified help is especially important when it comes intangible property

What Are Digital Assets?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_collaborative-divorce_600x400.jpgMany people feel as though they are stuck in a bad marriage due to the state of their finances. If you are dependent on your spouse’s income, you may be able to get temporary financial support for yourself and for your children as you work your way through the process of divorce.

Defining Temporary Maintenance

Under Illinois law, this type of support is called “temporary maintenance” and “temporary child support.” Temporary maintenance is often more easily awarded than standard maintenance—also known as alimony—which, when necessary, is awarded for longer periods of time after the divorce is final.  

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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_marital-problems_640.jpgIt is nearly impossible to estimate how many people have ever cheated on their spouse. This is true for several reasons. First, not all couple define cheating the same way. Next, not everyone who has been unfaithful is likely to admit it, even to an impartial researcher. Finally, surveys related to infidelity rarely, if ever, cover a large enough cross-section of the population to be widely applicable. This is why outlets like the Washington Post­ will report that between 25 and 72 percent of married men cheat—far too large of a variation to have much scientific significance.

There is little doubt, however, that infidelity can have destructive effects on a marriage. While it is not usually the only factor in a couple deciding to divorce, it is often a substantial one. If your spouse has cheated on you, it is common to wonder if his or her behavior could impact the divorce process as well.

No-Fault Divorce Laws in Illinois

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b2ap3_thumbnail_guardianship.jpgCouples who are considering marriage often move in together long before the wedding takes place. In many cases, a couple may even begin cohabiting before marriage is even seriously discussed. As cultural trends and social morals have evolved over the last few decades, the idea of living with a romantic partner prior to marriage is more commonly accepted than it once was. Moving in together before getting married, however, can also impact financial and property concerns, especially if the couple marries and eventually gets divorced.

Marital Property Defined

In the process of divorce, Illinois law requires a couple’s marital property to be divided equitably between the spouses. The law also provides a definition of marital property as any assets or debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Limited exceptions generally include property received as a gift or inheritance to one spouse. Property that was acquired before the marriage is non-marital property and will remain under the ownership of the spouse who acquired it.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_spousal-support-after-divorce_600x400.jpgDuring your divorce, there will be many issues for you and your spouse to resolve. It probably comes as little surprise that property and finances are often among the most contentious concerns. You and your spouse have worked hard for what you have, and the idea of “losing” your property in your divorce can be difficult. Financial matters, however, include more than just dividing marital assets and debts. Spousal support—sometimes known as alimony or maintenance—is another monetary issue that can create serious disagreements between divorcing spouses.

If you are considering a divorce, you are likely to have questions about how maintenance is awarded in Illinois and if it will be a consideration in your case. Some of the most commonly asked questions include:

Q.  Is Spousal Support Automatic?

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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_divorce3_640.jpgThe process of divorce is rarely easy. While some cases may be more complex than others, disentangling the lives of two people joined in marriage will always involve at least some challenges along the way. Most individuals who are considering a divorce recognize the importance of hiring an attorney to assist with the process, but many are often unsure if retaining a second lawyer—one for each spouse—is worth the added costs.

Is a Lawyer Required?

It is important to understand that there are no requirements in Illinois law for the parties in a divorce to hire an attorney. A person is within his or her rights to navigate divorce proceedings pro se—a Latin phrase that means “on one’s own behalf.” Going through a divorce without a lawyer, however, is not recommended, even if your spouse has also agreed to forgo representation. Your divorce attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes in your divorce in addition to taking care of all of the necessary paperwork that the process requires.

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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_separation-divorce_640.jpgWhen your marriage has reached the point that divorce seems to be your only option, you may assume that you are in for a long and grueling process. The reality, however, is that while divorce is rarely easy, it does not need to be so bad. There are, in fact, a number of things you can do to help facilitate a faster, less stressful divorce, and you can start right away, even if you are months from filing any official paperwork.

Know What You Have

The first thing you should in preparation for your divorce is to compile an organized list of all of your assets and debts. Include everything that you can possibly think of, even if it seems superfluous. Do not limit your inventory just to property that you assume to be marital property; write down the things that yours as well as those that belong to your spouse. As you make your list, try to remember when each asset or debt was acquired and locate receipts, warranties, statements, or other proof if possible.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_divorce-keep-last-name_640.jpgOne of the most common questions that those who are facing a divorce often have is whether or not alimony will be ordered in the divorce judgment. In many cases, alimony—or maintenance as it is known in Illinois—is a point of serious contention with each spouse’s opinion in direct opposition to that of the other. If you are considering a divorce, there are some things that you should know about maintenance awards and how such decisions are made under Illinois law.

A Brief History

The entire purpose of spousal maintenance is to help alleviate the impact of divorce on a financially disadvantaged spouse. In past generations, alimony was virtually a standard component of many divorce proceedings. This was due to the fact that in a large percentage of marriages, one spouse—usually the husband—was the primary or sole source of income. The other spouse—usually the wife—often worked much less, if at all, focusing instead on household and child-rearing duties. When such a couple divorced, it was nearly impossible for the lower-earning spouse to support herself, especially if she was also granted custody of the couple’s children. Therefore, a divorce judgment often obligated the higher-earning spouse to provide financial support either permanently or until the other spouse could become self-sufficient.

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