Divorce | Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog
As a parent and grandparent, you want to make sure your children, grandchildren, and their descendants receive the inheritance they are due, based on your wishes. In many cases, this is as simple as willing your assets to them – but a will may not protect your children and grandchildren from losing a large portion of their inheritance in a divorce.
Thankfully, there are ways to plan an estate to provide maximum protection for your descendants in the case of divorce. While we always recommend you retain an experienced Chicago family law attorney, there are a few fundamental actions you can take to help protect the people you love.
The first divorce laws in Illinois were passed in 1819. Abraham Lincoln represented more than 120 litigants in divorce cases in his 25 years of practice, a mostly unknown fact reported by researchers for the Lincoln Legal Papers project. The Illinois state legislature had given women the right to divorce earlier than many other states, and Abraham Lincoln served as their advocate. At that time, Illinois judges not only granted divorces to women but also awarded them custody of their children.
Spouses who are experiencing a rough patch may choose separate temporarily or even permanently if they feel that rough patch can’t be overcome. This may involve a trial separation, in which one spouse moves out but the legal rules of marriage continue to apply. Couples who are not ready for divorce may opt for a legal separation, which changes your legal status without dissolving the marriage.
Few things can affect your finances more than divorce, especially when the divorce requires court appearances. Divorcing after retirement, however, can increase the financial burden exponentially. The primary reason for this is that once retired, the partners are living on their existing resources without the means to produce further income. In other words, both parties must have the ability to sustain their quality of life with existing assets and resources.
It is a well-known fact that about 50% of marriages in the U.S. ultimately end in divorce. While that statistic may imply that the other half of marriages where couples stay together are happy and healthy relationships, this is not always the case.
Divorce can have adverse consequences, not least of which could be damage to your credit score. Although your marital status is not included in your credit report or factored into your rating, it can indirectly lead to financial situations that can hurt your credit. However, there are steps you can take to help protect your credit if you are going through a divorce.
For James and Erin Clark, after five years of marriage, the honeymoon was over. It was over clearly, literally, figuratively, definitively, mutually—the list of “ly” adverbs could go on indefinitely, except they were missing the only one that really counts: legally. They each wanted a divorce to be done yesterday, and they were willing to do whatever it took to get the process completed as quickly as possible.
While each spouse may be ready and willing to sign the papers and make it official, here in Illinois there are a few legal requirements couples like the Clarks will need to undergo before a divorce is final.
As family law attorneys, we’ve seen people who go to great lengths to avoid divorce. And while there are good reasons for a couple to work through their problems and stay married, it’s also true that in many cases, divorce is in the best interests of everyone involved.
Shock. Anger. Disgust. Weariness. Sadness. Loathing. So much pain.
Now, let’s go to court.
Who can forget the powerful images of celebration on North Halstead Street, right here in Chicago, on June 26, 2015? That was the day when the United States Supreme Court ruled that bans on same-sex marriage at a state level were unconstitutional. That ruling was the most significant legal victory for advocates of gay marriage in U.S. history.
But sadly, as with different-sex marriages, some of those relationships won’t last. According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, on average, 1.1% of same-sex couples dissolve their legal relationships each year. This rate is lower than the annual divorce rate for married different-sex couples (2%).
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