Tag Archive for: Chicago Divorce Attorney

Divorce and Sexual Assault

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, shedding light on a sensitive topic often surrounded by silence and stigma. Within the broader context of family law, divorce can intersect with issues of family violence and sexual assault, requiring delicate legal handling. 

Nationwide, 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and assault in their lifetime. The effects of sexual assault and harassment can cause physical harm and emotional wounds that are endured for years.

In such instances, seeking assistance from a family law attorney can prove crucial for navigating the complexities of divorce and obtaining necessary protection orders. In today’s blog, we will explore the significance of legal support in these situations and how it can empower individuals to protect themselves and their families. Here’s what you need to know.

THE ROLE OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH

Sexual Assault Awareness Month serves the critical purposes of shedding light on the severity of domestic violence, debunking myths, and dispelling stereotypes. Through education about the signs and impacts of abuse, individuals gain the tools to recognize and address it effectively. This month reinforces the message that survivors have support and resources.

Moreover, Sexual Assault Awareness Month underscores the importance of prevention through community engagement and educational initiatives. It encourages discussions about healthy relationships, consent, and bystander intervention. Let’s learn more about domestic violence and how it can be prevented.

WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Domestic violence/domestic abuse is typically manifested as a pattern of abusive behavior toward an intimate partner in a dating or family relationship, where the abuser exerts power and control over the victim. Domestic abuse can be mental, physical, economic or sexual in nature.

Regrettably, domestic violence transcends boundaries and can affect individuals of any gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Its wide-ranging repercussions impact not only the immediate victims but also the children who witness such abuse.

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) identifies several forms of abuse, including:

  1. Physical abuse (including sexual abuse)
  2. Harassment
  3. Intimidation of a dependent
  4. Interference with personal liberty
  5. Willful deprivation
  6. Exploitation
  7. Stalking

The warning signs of abuse may not manifest immediately and can evolve as the relationship progresses. However, it’s important to recognize that each relationship is unique, and domestic violence can manifest in various forms. One common trait among abusive relationships is the abuser’s attempt to establish power and control through various methods at different stages. Fortunately, there are strategies available to help protect you from this abuse.

ORDERS OF PROTECTION: A VITAL LIFELINE

Divorce proceedings can intensify tensions within a relationship, potentially worsening existing instances of family violence or leading to new forms of abuse. Additionally, survivors may disclose incidents of sexual assault during this tumultuous period. It’s crucial to recognize that survivors of sexual assault may face heightened vulnerability during divorce proceedings, often encountering threats, coercion, or manipulation from their abuser.

Fortunately, Orders of Protection (restraining orders) serve as a legal mechanism to shield survivors of family violence and sexual assault from further harm. These court orders can establish boundaries, prohibit contact, and provide security for individuals and their children. Survivors need to know that they do not have to face this process alone. Getting an order of protection requires a comprehensive understanding of legal procedures, evidence requirements, and advocacy skills.

A family law attorney can help provide legal resources and support services to assist in navigating an order of protection. By seeking the assistance of a compassionate and dedicated legal team, survivors can take crucial steps towards reclaiming their autonomy and finding security and peace of mind.

IF CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED

Unlike allegations of domestic violence, accusations of sexual abuse, particularly child molestation, are typically not made lightly. Such accusations are infrequent and receive intense scrutiny. The courts typically respond by appointing a Guardian ad Litem to investigate, with an expectation that the accusing parent has made every effort to investigate, document, and halt the sexual misconduct as soon as suspicion arose.

If accusations of sexual abuse, especially concerning children, arise within your marriage, immediate arrangements for a medical examination of the victim or alleged victim, even if that victim is yourself, are imperative. Subsequently, contacting an attorney should be a priority. Taking swift action can be pivotal in establishing the truth in court.

THE ROLE OF A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY

In the face of such challenges, the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney can be valuable. Family law attorneys have experience in navigating the complexities of divorce cases involving family violence and sexual assault. At Masters Law Group, we aim to protect you and your children’s best interests. Here are some of the areas that we can help you navigate: 

  • Parenting Time: If you have children, work closely with your attorney to determine the best parenting time plan. This helps to ensure that the agreed-upon arrangements prioritize your children’s well-being and best interests.
  • Mediation: Explore options such as mediation or collaborative divorce to help you and your ex-spouse reach mutually beneficial agreements outside of court. Your family law attorney can help guide you through these processes and represent your best interests during negotiations.
  • Post-divorce disputes: After the divorce is finalized, circumstances may require modifications to allocating parental responsibilities, visitation, or support arrangements. Stay in touch with your attorney to address any changes or issues that may arise in the future.
  • Orders of Protection: In cases where an order of protection is granted, attorneys monitor compliance and take swift action against any violations. This proactive approach reinforces the efficacy of legal measures and prioritizes the safety of survivors and their families.

In addition to representing clients, Senior Partner Erin E. Masters is also a court-appointed Child Representative and has experience advocating for children in these high-conflict matters.  Furthermore, Senior Partner Anthony G. Joseph is also on the list of approved Guardian Ad Litem/Child Representatives for the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Remember, during this challenging period, Masters Law Group is here to support you and your legal rights. Working with our trusted attorneys can help alleviate the stress associated with domestic disputes, helping ensure a smoother transition for both you and your children.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

In Chicago, there is a wide range of community resources available to support survivors of sexual assault. The Domestic Violence Legal Clinic provides legal assistance and advocacy services, helping ensure survivors can access legal remedies. The Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network serves as a comprehensive resource hub, connecting survivors to various shelters, counseling, and legal aid services throughout the city.

Hospitals like the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago also provide comprehensive medical care and forensic exams for survivors seeking immediate assistance. These community resources play a vital role in supporting survivors to help them heal and seek justice in the aftermath of sexual assault.

LAST THOUGHTS

As we observe Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it’s crucial to recognize the intersection of divorce, family violence, and sexual abuse. Shedding light on these issues can empower survivors to take proactive steps toward safety and justice. 

At Masters Law Group, our skilled family law attorneys are here to help navigate the complexities of divorce while prioritizing the well-being of survivors and their families. Let us strive to create a society where survivors are heard, supported, and empowered,

Contact us here today.

Divorce Advice Every Woman Needs on International Women’s Day

At Masters Law Group, we proudly honor the trailblazing women within our family law firm and across all fields in every industry. As family law attorneys, we have firsthand experience with the complexities of divorce and helping women through this challenging time.

Every year on March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day, recognizing the achievements and resilience of women everywhere. Being a female going through a divorce can be an isolating and overwhelming experience. If you’re a woman feeling unhappy in your marriage, you’ve likely considered initiating divorce. However, determining whether it’s the right choice for you, your children, and your spouse can be daunting. That’s why seeking personalized divorce advice is crucial for making well-informed choices.

Leaving a marriage is a woman’s toughest decision, often presenting unique challenges. There are important factors to consider upfront and inevitable hurdles along the way. Here are some practical tips to help protect yourself during the divorce or separation process.

Why Women Initiate Divorce

In the United States, women often initiate divorce more frequently than men. This trend has grown as women now have more job opportunities and higher independent incomes, which reduces the financial risks associated with divorce compared to the past. Here are some notable statistics:

The divorce process has also become more accessible, especially with the legalization of no-fault divorces in certain states. Illinois is one of the states that follows a no-fault divorce model. This means couples can dissolve their marriage without having to prove fault or wrongdoing by either party. This can simplify the process, offering a straightforward route from an unsustainable marriage.

Preparing Yourself Emotionally 

When you initiate the discussion of divorce with your spouse, and especially when you take the definitive step to file, you’re entering a realm with no clear path back.

At the core of any amicable divorce lies open and sincere communication. If possible, both partners must come together to express their feelings, concerns, and expectations. This fosters trust and clarity, reducing misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts.

If conversations become difficult or communication proves challenging, consider involving a mediator, therapist, and divorce attorney. These professionals offer guidance and a neutral space for productive discussions, aiding both parties in reaching fair and mutually agreeable resolutions.

Remember, if you are initiating divorce due to dangerous behavior, such as physical and emotional abuse, drug addiction or other factors, you can seek an Order of Protection. Let’s explore this more.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is described as abusive behavior when a family or household member uses physical or mental maltreatment toward another family or household member. The IDVA uses the following terms as abuse:

1. Physical abuse
2. Harassment
3. Intimidation of a dependent
4. Interference with personal liberty
5. Willful deprivation
6. Exploitation
7. Stalking

What is an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection is a court order made in writing which prohibits, by law, further abusive behavior.

Who are persons considered to be family or household members?
The IDVA defines members to include:

1. A spouse
2. Ex-spouse
3. Girlfriend/boyfriend who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship
4. Parents
5. Children
6. Stepchildren
7. Significant other/partner
8. Persons who share or allege to have a blood relationship through a child
9. Persons who live together or formerly lived together
10. Persons with disabilities and their personal assistants

Need an Order of Protection in Illinois? Contact us to help you file in Illinois Civil court.

Prioritizing The Well-Being Of Your Children

If you don’t have the safety of yourself and/or family to worry about, if you have children, their well-being should be your top priority. If possible, maintain a united front when it comes to co-parenting decisions. Create a comprehensive parenting plan that outlines responsibilities, schedules, and guidelines. Keep children out of adult conflicts and reassure them of your love and support.

Whether it’s parenting time, asset division, or spousal support, your DuPage divorce attorney will help that your voice is heard and that the court’s decision is fair and aligned with your best interests. Furthermore, during court proceedings, your DuPage or Chicagoland divorce attorney can address unexpected challenges and legal objections and help ensure that all legal procedures are followed diligently.

Their presence in court assures you that you have a dedicated legal professional fighting on your behalf, helping you navigate the complexities of the judicial process during an emotionally challenging time.

Consider Options for Equitable Distribution

As couples navigate the challenging path of divorce, alimony, and asset division are critical aspects that demand attention. Unfortunately, Illinois is not a 50/50 state for divorce. This means that the court weighs several factors to determine how to fairly divide property rather than dividing property 50/50. Illinois follows a more intricate approach called “equitable distribution.” Here’s how it works:

  1. Contribution to the Marriage: The court looks at what each spouse brought to the marriage regarding money and non-money contributions like caring for the home or children.
  2. Duration of the Marriage: How long the marriage lasted matters, as it can affect how assets are divided.
  3. Economic Circumstances: Each spouse’s financial situation, including income and needs, is considered.
  4. Non-Marital Property: Things owned before marriage or received as gifts or inheritance during marriage may not be split.
  5. Custodial Arrangements: If there are kids, the court looks at custody and how it impacts finances.
  6. Spousal Support (Alimony): Whether one spouse needs support payments is factored in.
  7. Tax Consequences: Taxes resulting from asset division are also considered to make things fair.
  8. Wasteful Dissipation: If one spouse recklessly spends or wastes money, it can affect the division.
  9. Future Needs: The court considers what each person will need, especially if one is in a tougher spot after the divorce.
  10. Agreements: Any agreements made before or during the marriage, like prenups, are considered if they meet legal standards.

Remember, “equitable distribution” doesn’t always mean a perfect 50/50 split. It’s about creating a fair and just arrangement based on each family’s unique situation. This process can be tricky, so it’s a good idea to work with a skilled family law attorney to help ensure your rights are protected during asset division in Illinois.

Consider Divorce Mediation

Mediation offers an alternative dispute resolution method where a neutral mediator facilitates settlement discussions between you and your spouse, aiming to reach a final agreement. Unlike judges, mediators lack the authority to decide on behalf of either party. Instead, they focus on needs and interests rather than faults and rights.

In divorce mediation, couples either choose a mediator or one is appointed by the court, with costs typically split between both parties. Both spouses present supporting documentation for disputed issues, and the mediator works with both sides to find a resolution. The ultimate goal is reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.

Even with disagreements, divorce doesn’t have to escalate into a conflict. Mediation can provide a constructive path for addressing issues like allocating parental responsibilities and alimony, serving as an alternative to formal litigation in divorce court.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While many questions and valid concerns come with divorce, the divorce process does not have to be difficult, and you don’t have to go alone. If you’re a woman considering filing for divorce, our experienced DuPage Divorce attorneys are available to address any inquiries you may have along the way.

Whether you are facing a contested, uncontested, or civil union dissolution, our firm’s attorneys are ready to skillfully advocate for your position and provide your voice when needed.

For more information on the divorce process in the Chicagoland area, including DuPage and its surrounding counties, contact us here today.

 


Learn more about the experienced and talented females at our Family Law Firm

 

DuPage divorce attorney

Partner / Family Law Mediator: ERIN E. MASTERS

Erin E. Masters is the principal of Masters Law Group, located in Chicago, Illinois. The firm handles family law matters in Cook County and surrounding counties. Masters Law Group concentrates in area of domestic relations, which includes divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities, child support and Hague Convention/ international child abduction matters.

women's divorce lawyer

Associate Attorney: HAILEY MCGILLIVRAY

Hailey McGillivray is a dedicated and meticulous attorney, currently admitted to the Illinois State Bar. She holds an American and Canadian Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and the University of Windsor Faculty of Law.

DuPage Divorce Lawyer

Associate Family Law Attorney: SARAH BIANCHI

Sarah, a distinguished alumna of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, joins Masters Law Group carrying a commendable academic and professional background. Graduating with a Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, and a notable GPA of 3.69, Sarah has proven her academic prowess through multiple honors, including being a consistent Dean’s List awardee and earning prestigious scholarships for her dedication to public interest law.

Read their full bios here.

DuPage Divorce Lawyer

DuPage County boasts a supportive environment for businesses, a haven for families, and a hub for innovation. However, behind the suburban facade, troubled marriages and divorces persist. 

Despite the idyllic setting, many families face divorce’s emotional and legal challenges. If you’re navigating the complexities of divorce in DuPage County, Masters Law Group is here to help and support you through this difficult process.

Understanding Divorce

Divorce is a legal process that dissolves a marriage, ending the legal relationship between spouses. It involves various emotional, financial, and practical considerations. Understanding divorce requires acknowledging its complexities and potential impacts on individuals and families. 

What leads to divorce? The reasons can be numerous. A range of factors, such as lack of communication, infidelity, constant conflict, and other situations, can heighten the risk of divorce. Financially, divorce often involves dividing assets and liabilities accumulated during the marriage, determining spousal support, and addressing child support and custody issues. 

Divorce can have long-term effects on children, family dynamics, and social relationships. Therefore, seeking support from friends, family, and family law attorneys can be crucial in navigating the complexities of divorce and moving forward with clarity and resilience.

Navigating Divorce in DuPage

While Illinois divorce rates are depleting, in DuPage County, the divorce rate trend is less consistent:

  • 2012: 2,308
  • 2013: 2,233
  • 2014: 2,301
  • 2015: 2355
  • 2016: 2210
  • 2017: 2285

(*Note: DuPage County is currently only documented up to 2017)

In DuPage and throughout  Illinois, divorce operates under a no-fault system, necessitating only the presence of irreconcilable differences for legal separation. This means divorcing couples don’t need to assign blame to dissolve their marriage. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the highest divorce rates in Illinois are in the following five counties:

  • Cook County
  • DuPage County 
  • Lake County 
  • Will County
  • Kane County

Navigating a divorce in DuPage County demands careful selection of legal representation. When seeking a divorce lawyer, reliability is paramount. Effective communication and a strong rapport are essential, given the protracted nature of divorce proceedings. While experience in family law, particularly divorce law, is crucial, finding an attorney you trust and respect is equally important.

Starting the Divorce Process

In DuPage County, Illinois, initiating the divorce process typically begins with filing a petition for dissolution of marriage at the Circuit Court Clerk’s office. This petition outlines the grounds for divorce. The petition can include irreconcilable differences or fault-based reasons such as infidelity.

Along with the petition, the filer must also serve the other party, the respondent, with a copy of the documents. Once served, the respondent has the opportunity to respond to the petition. If both parties agree on property division, child custody, and support, they may proceed with an uncontested divorce, often resulting in a faster and less costly process. 

However, if there are disputes, the case may proceed to court, where a judge will decide on contested matters. It’s advisable for individuals navigating divorce in DuPage County to seek legal counsel to help protect their rights throughout the process.

Alternative Divorce Methods

Alternative divorce methods offer couples varying pathways to dissolve their marriage with differing levels of complexity and contention. In cases where the dissolution is relatively straightforward, joint and simplified divorce procedures provide expedited routes, requiring mutual agreement on key issues and minimal conflicts. 

Uncontested divorces follow a standard procedure but involve spouses who are largely in accord regarding the terms, reducing the time and resources needed compared to contested divorces. Beyond these options, couples may explore alternatives such as legal separation. 

  • Legal separation offers an alternative to divorce, addressing concerns of couples who wish to live separately without permanently ending their marriage.
  • Civil unions, recognized in DuPage and across Illinois, undergo a dissolution process similar to that of marriage, necessitating legal guidance to navigate.

These alternative methods offer flexibility and choice to couples seeking to end their union in a manner that best suits their circumstances and preferences.

Working With Masters Law Group

Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged journey that often requires the guidance of seasoned family law professionals. At Masters Law Group, our family law attorneys are here to provide valuable assistance, helping to ensure that your rights and the best interests of your children remain at the forefront of every decision. Here are some areas where we can help guide you:

  • Parenting Time: If you have children, it’s essential to work closely with your attorney to determine the most suitable arrangements for child custody and visitation. We aim to help create arrangements prioritizing your children’s well-being and best interests.
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: We encourage exploring options like mediation and collaborative divorce, which can facilitate mutually beneficial agreements outside the courtroom. Our family law attorneys will skillfully guide you through these processes, representing your interests and helping you secure a smoother negotiation experience.
  • Post-Divorce Modifications: Life can bring unexpected changes even after the divorce is finalized. Circumstances may arise that require modifications to parental responsibilities, visitation, or support arrangements. Our attorneys are here to assist you in addressing these changes promptly and effectively, helping protect your rights and the interests of your children.

By working with a DuPage divorce attorney, you can confidently navigate the complexities of divorce and reduce stress. Your rights and the well-being of your family are our top priorities.

Last Thoughts

The complexities of divorce, especially concerning children and/or substantial assets, necessitate legal assistance. Masters Law Group is ready to advocate for you throughout your divorce process.

If you have questions about divorce in DuPage County, an experienced DuPage divorce lawyer can assist you. Our firm has years of experience providing counsel to the community of DuPage County, and we are here to answer any of your questions about divorce or other family law matters. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

DuPage Divorce Attorney: The Valentine’s Day Effect

Flowers, romantic cards, and proclamations of undying love for one another; Valentine’s Day is known as the day of love for a reason. Unfortunately, for many people, Valentine’s Day is a day for ending relationships and obtaining divorces, too.

In the weeks leading up to and after Valentine’s Day, requests for information about divorce experienced a surge of 40 percent (law.com). For individuals in DuPage County, Illinois, and across Chicagoland, Valentine’s Day may shed light on the complexities within their marriages.

Valentine’s Day is a day that celebrates love and affection, but for some couples, it’s not such a happy holiday as divorce rates surge. During challenging times, a DuPage divorce attorney can be a crucial ally, providing guidance and support through the emotional and legal aspects of ending a marriage. Here’s what you need to know.

UNDERSTANDING THE VALENTINE’S DAY EFFECT

While Valentine’s Day is meant to celebrate love and connection, for certain couples, it can evolve into a stark reminder of the underlying issues in their relationships. Yet, when we delve deeper into the broader context of Valentine’s Day, it becomes clear why this time of year can be particularly revealing.

Unmet expectations, unresolved conflicts, and a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction may all surface leading up to and on this day. These negative emotions may prompt individuals to reassess the foundations of their marriages. This phenomenon, commonly referred to as the “Valentine’s Day Effect,” has the potential to lead some couples to the difficult decision of pursuing a divorce. 

Why Couples Seek Divorce

On top of dealing with the “Valentine’s Day Effect,” various other factors can lead to divorce. This study found that the following factors can increase a couple’s risk of divorce:

  • A lack of communication
  • Infidelity
  • Conflict and arguing
  • Marrying too young
  • Financial issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Health issues
  • Lack of family support
  • Religious differences
  • Lack of premarital education

It’s important to note that Illinois operates as a no-fault divorce state, requiring only irreconcilable differences as grounds, eliminating the need to prove fault for divorce.

MEDIATION AND ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

A seasoned DuPage divorce attorney possesses the legal experience necessary to navigate the complex terrain of divorce proceedings. Emotions can run high during a divorce, and decisions made in the heat of the moment may have long-lasting consequences. A divorce attorney acts as a level-headed and objective advisor, helping clients make informed decisions based on their best interests rather than emotions.

It’s important to note that not all divorces need to be contentious courtroom battles. A skilled divorce attorney can help you explore alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to facilitate open communication and negotiation between the parties involved. These lower-conflict avenues often result in a more amicable resolution.

Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged journey that often requires the guidance of seasoned family law professionals. At Masters Law Group, our experienced family law attorneys provide valuable assistance, helping to ensure that your rights and the best interests of you and your children remain at the forefront of every decision.

ILLINOIS ASSET DIVISION

If you file for divorce, you may be wondering what will happen to the financial house you built together. Division of assets is a significant aspect of divorce proceedings. When couples get a divorce in Illinois, the courts don’t split everything down the middle like in certain other states. Instead, Illinois follows a more intricate approach called “equitable distribution.” Here’s how it works:

  1. Contribution to the Marriage: The court looks at what each spouse brought to the marriage regarding money and non-money contributions like caring for the home or children.
  2. Duration of the Marriage: How long the marriage lasted matters, as it can affect how assets are divided.
  3. Economic Circumstances: Each spouse’s financial situation, including income and needs, is considered.
  4. Non-Marital Property: Things owned before marriage or received as gifts or inheritance during marriage may not be split.
  5. Custodial Arrangements: If there are kids, the court looks at custody and how it impacts finances.
  6. Spousal Support (Alimony): Whether one spouse needs support payments is factored in.
  7. Tax Consequences: Taxes resulting from asset division are also considered to make things fair.
  8. Wasteful Dissipation: If one spouse recklessly spends or wastes money, it can affect the division.
  9. Agreements: Any agreements made before or during the marriage, like prenups, are considered if they meet legal standards.

Remember, “equitable distribution” doesn’t always mean a perfect 50/50 split. It’s about creating a fair and just arrangement based on each family’s unique situation. This process can be tricky, so it’s a good idea to work with a skilled family law attorney to help ensure your rights are protected during asset division in Illinois.

HOW A DUPAGE DIVORCE ATTORNEY CAN HELP

If you’re looking for a top lawyer in Illinois, consider working with the DuPage divorce attorneys at Masters Law Group. Our firm has earned a top spot on the Best Law Firms 2023 list by Best Lawyers® and U.S. News & World Report, and we are highly esteemed and respected by leading peer review publications such as Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and Leading Lawyers. 

Furthermore, our senior attorneys, Erin E. Masters, and Anthony G. Joseph, have been recognized by these prestigious publications year after year, showcasing their strong work ethic, character, and skill in family law, so you can rest assured you have someone you can trust throughout your divorce proceedings.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Valentine’s Day isn’t all about love and romance. For some, it could be a wake-up call or the final straw when it comes to divorce. 

If you are experiencing “The Valentine’s Day Effect” or simply want to learn more about initiating the divorce process, we can help. For questions regarding divorce and other family law matters in DuPage County, contact Chicagoland’s premier family law group here today to schedule a consultation.

Navigating Divorce and Infidelity

Infidelity is a complex and sensitive issue that can deeply affect individuals and relationships. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), infidelity in the United States accounts for 20-40% of divorces. 

In this blog, we will discuss its various types, underlying causes, effects on a marriage leading to divorce, and the crucial role that a divorce lawyer can play in such situations. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding Types of Infidelity

Infidelity occurs when one partner deepens a connection with someone outside their marriage, violating the agreement of sexual or emotional exclusivity they made with their spouse. It may involve sharing intimate thoughts and feelings with someone other than their spouse. Unfaithfulness can manifest in various forms, and it’s crucial to comprehend these distinctions. Here’s a look at some of the different types of infidelity:

  • Physical Infidelity: Physical infidelity involves engaging in sexual activities with someone other than one’s spouse. This type of cheating comes to mind first when discussing the topic.
  • Emotional infidelity: This involves emotional attachment or intimacy with another person. Emotional affairs can do as much damage, if not more, to a relationship as a physical affair.
  • Cyber Infidelity: With the advancement of technology, cyber infidelity has become more prevalent. It involves engaging in online relationships or sexual activities with individuals on the internet.
  • Micro-Cheating: This form of infidelity may seem subtle or seemingly harmless actions that may indicate an emotional or physical connection with someone outside the marriage. Examples include secret texting or keeping a dating app profile.

Whether or not someone has been unfaithful depends on whether they’ve respected the agreed-upon boundaries of exclusivity, regardless of whether the relationship is monogamous or non-monogamous. Let’s dive into the causes where it can occur.

Identifying Causes of Infidelity

Infidelity, often referred to as cheating, duplicity, adultery, or unfaithfulness, can have its roots in various factors. It’s seldom straightforward, as relationships can become more fragile during transition periods, such as when young children begin school or when adult children leave home. Some common causes for infidelity in relationships include:

  • Lack of Communication: Poor communication within a marriage can lead to feelings of neglect or dissatisfaction, pushing individuals to seek emotional connection elsewhere.
  • Emotional Disconnect: When couples grow apart emotionally, one or both partners may seek emotional intimacy outside the marriage.
  • Unfulfilled Needs: Sometimes, unmet emotional or physical needs within a marriage can drive individuals to seek fulfillment elsewhere.
  • Opportunity: Easy access to potential partners, either in the workplace or online, can increase the likelihood of infidelity.
  • Personal Issues: Personal problems, such as low self-esteem, unresolved past traumas, or addiction issues, can contribute to infidelity.

Irrespective of the specifics of an affair, its consequences can profoundly affect the couple involved and those around them.

Effects of Infidelity on Marriages 

Infidelity can have profound effects on a marriage, often resulting in divorce. The individual involved in the betrayal may also wrestle with intense emotional reactions, such as overwhelming guilt or shame. Some feel trapped or helpless within the relationship, while others despair that change is impossible. The most common effects of infidelity are:

  • Broken Trust: Trust is the bedrock of any healthy relationship, and infidelity shatters this foundation, making it arduous to rebuild the marriage.
  • Emotional Trauma: Both the betrayed spouse and the one who strayed may endure emotional trauma, grappling with feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and depression.
  • Legal Consequences: Adultery can influence divorce proceedings, particularly in states with fault-based divorce laws. It may affect alimony, property division, and child custody decisions.

Giving up the extramarital relationship can be a struggle, even when they acknowledge its necessity, and some may even experience a sense of grief. If your relationship has been affected by infidelity, consider seeking the help of a divorce attorney who is experienced in family law affairs.

How A Divorce Attorney Can Help

In cases where infidelity leads to divorce, hiring a divorce lawyer becomes crucial. If you’re currently residing in Illinois and seeking a divorce attorney to assist you in finalizing your divorce, Masters Law Group is here to provide the support you need. Our team of experienced divorce attorneys and mediators is fully prepared to advocate for you and your family. Here are some crucial areas where we can help guide you:

  • Parenting Time: If you have children, it’s essential to work closely with your attorney to determine the most suitable arrangements for child custody and visitation. We aim to help create arrangements prioritizing your children’s well-being and best interests.
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: We encourage exploring options like mediation and collaborative divorce, which can facilitate mutually beneficial agreements outside the courtroom. Our family law attorneys will skillfully guide you through these processes, representing your interests and helping you secure a smoother negotiation experience.
  • Post-Divorce Modifications: Life can bring unexpected changes even after the divorce is finalized. Circumstances may arise that require modifications to parental responsibilities, visitation, or support arrangements. Our attorneys are here to assist you in addressing these changes promptly and effectively, safeguarding your rights and the interests of your children.

Final Thoughts

Infidelity is a complex issue that can have devastating consequences on a marriage. When divorce becomes inevitable, hiring a divorce lawyer can provide the legal experience and support needed to navigate the process and protect one’s rights and interests.

At Masters Law Group, you can rest assured knowing you are consulting with trusted and experienced legal professionals. Our family law attorneys can help protect your rights and interests during this challenging time. With a focus on helping clients residing in the Cook, Will, Lake, and Dupage counties, our practice is committed to providing a comprehensive suite of services to support parents, children, and families during challenging periods like divorce.

If you’re ready to begin your journey toward a peaceful divorce, contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

How a Divorce Attorney Can Help Achieve Peace

Divorce can be one of life’s most challenging and emotionally taxing experiences. However, it doesn’t have to be a battleground filled with anger, resentment, and endless legal battles.

A peaceful divorce is possible if both parties are willing to work together and prioritize communication, compromise on conflicting preferences, and focus on the emotional well-being of their children. Here, we will explore tips to help you achieve a harmonious divorce, all with the guidance of a seasoned divorce attorney. Here’s what you need to know.

Maintain Open and Honest Communication

At the heart of any peaceful divorce lies open and honest communication. Both partners must work together to communicate their feelings, concerns, and expectations. Doing so can help establish a foundation of trust and clarity that goes a long way in preventing misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts.

Consider involving a mediator, therapist, and/or divorce attorney if you encounter difficult conversations or find communicating challenging. These professionals can provide guidance and a neutral environment to facilitate productive discussions, ultimately helping both parties work towards fair and mutually agreeable resolutions.

Remember that a commitment to open and honest communication benefits you and your ex. It creates a more stable and supportive environment for any children involved, as they can witness healthy conflict resolution and cooperation during a challenging time.

Consider Mediation

Opting for mediation instead of a traditional courtroom battle can significantly reduce stress and promote cooperation. The mediator’s role is to facilitate the negotiation process, help both parties understand each other’s perspectives, and explore alternative options for resolving disputes. The mediator does not make any decisions for either party but instead reinforces they have equal opportunities to voice their opinions and arrive at a mutually agreeable outcome.

Mediation can be an effective option for couples willing to work together and compromise to achieve a positive outcome. It’s particularly useful for couples who have children, as it can help reduce the stress and trauma that children often experience during a divorce. A divorce attorney can represent you during these processes, working to reach a fair and mutually acceptable settlement with your spouse. 

Prioritize the Well-being of Your Children

If you have children, their well-being should be your top priority. Maintain a united front when it comes to co-parenting decisions. Create a comprehensive parenting plan that outlines responsibilities, schedules, and guidelines. Keep children out of adult conflicts and reassure them of your love and support.

Whether it’s parenting time, asset division, or spousal support, your divorce attorney will help that your voice is heard and that the court’s decision is fair and aligned with your best interests. Furthermore, during court proceedings, your divorce attorney can address unexpected challenges and legal objections and help ensure that all legal procedures are followed diligently. 

Their presence in court assures you that you have a dedicated legal professional fighting on your behalf, helping you navigate the complexities of the judicial process during an emotionally challenging time.

Seek Emotional Support

Going through a divorce can be emotionally challenging for everyone involved. It’s vital to recognize the emotional toll it can take and take proactive steps to seek emotional support. You can turn to friends family members, or consider getting help from a therapist to assist you in coping with the stress and grief that comes with the divorce process. Prioritizing your mental and emotional well-being is a fundamental aspect of achieving a peaceful divorce.

Letting go of anger and resentment is a cornerstone of a peaceful divorce. Instead of harboring feelings of revenge or striving to “win” the divorce, focus on achieving fairness and equity for both parties. Getting the help of an experienced divorce attorney can help you further embrace these principles and lead to a more constructive and less acrimonious divorce process.

Work With A Divorce Attorney

If you’re currently residing in Illinois and seeking a divorce attorney to assist you in finalizing your divorce, Masters Law Group is here to provide the support you need. Our team of experienced divorce attorneys and mediators is fully prepared to advocate for you and your family.

Erin E. Masters and Anthony G. Joseph have consistently earned recognition from esteemed publications year after year, a testament to their unwavering work ethic, strong character, and experience in family law. Our track record of success reassures you have a trustworthy ally throughout your divorce proceedings.

GOOGLE REVIEWS AND CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

We believe each client deserves a legal team willing to go the extra mile. We will always provide honest advice and guidance on all matters related to your case.

Client Reviews:

“ Masters Law Group was incredibly helpful with my divorce. Erin and Anthony were a pleasure; they were very responsive, efficient, and very knowledgeable. I always felt that my case was in good hands, and it was a relief to trust them with the process. I highly recommend Masters Law Group to anyone needing help with a family law matter.”

-Luz G.

Divorce Client

 

“I highly recommend Masters Law Group. This was a very long and drawn-out divorce. Still, Erin and Anthony always seemed to be one step ahead of the opposing counsel, and nothing was a surprise, only anticipated with appropriate protections in my favor. I was able to finalize my divorce on favorable terms and am very happy with the outcome. I can’t thank Erin and Anthony enough for their patience, understanding, and expertise throughout this difficult time.”

-Giancarlo B.

Divorce Client

Final Thoughts

A peaceful divorce becomes achievable when both parties commit to open communication and cooperation—placing the well-being of all involved, especially children, at the forefront. Keep in mind that divorce is a journey, and with the right mindset and support, you can navigate it to pave the way for a brighter future for everyone.

If you’re ready to begin your journey toward a peaceful divorce, contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Navigating Divorce and Social Media

Navigating divorce in today’s digital age of social media might seem impossible. But when it comes to your divorce, social media posting should be temporarily avoided.

Social media has seamlessly integrated into our daily lives, offering a platform for reconnecting with old friends and sharing life’s milestones.

Startling statistics underline the pivotal role that social media plays in divorce proceedings. Astonishingly, 81 percent of divorce attorneys report that spouses actively scour the internet in search of evidence to bolster their claims during divorce cases.

In this blog, we’ll explore some essential tips for managing your online presence during a divorce. We’ll also discuss how a divorce attorney can assist you in handling the complexities of divorce in the digital age. So, let’s dive into what you need to know about divorce and social media today.

Privacy Matters

Having everything at our fingertips can be a great advantage, and social media offers various options to control who can see your posts, photos, and personal information. Unfortunately, Social media usage has had a significant effect when it comes to relationships ending in divorce.

When a marriage does break down, information posted on social media can increasingly become a factor in divorce proceedings. A recent survey found:

  • 33% of divorce cases result from online affairs.
  • 66% of cases involved evidence found on Facebook or other social networks.

If you are going through a divorce, reviewing and adjusting your privacy settings to limit access to your profile is crucial. Emotional posts or comments made in the heat of the moment can quickly escalate conflicts and complicate divorce proceedings. Remember that anything you post online can be used as evidence in court, so use caution and avoid venting your frustrations on social media. By doing so, you can maintain control over your personal life and contribute to a smoother divorce process.

Avoid Sharing Financial Details Online

In the divorce process, you must provide comprehensive financial information. This includes income earned, real estate purchased, and investments made during the marriage. However, some things are separate property. These are things you owned before you got married or got as gifts or inheritances during your marriage.

It’s important to know the difference between marital and separate property to confirm everything’s divided fairly in your divorce. It’s important to recognize that your social media activity can be used to challenge the accuracy of the financial information you’ve disclosed. This can significantly impact the division of marital property. A divorce attorney with experience can guide you through this process and protect your rights.

Don’t Overshare Support Obligations

Suppose you anticipate paying or receiving spousal or child support (alimony). In that case, these payments are usually determined based on the income earned by both you and your ex-spouse. What you share online can be used to scrutinize the income you claim or the income you should realistically earn. Courts may use your online presence as evidence to establish your financial capacity accurately.

It’s advisable to prioritize constructive communication during this time and address sensitive issues in private rather than airing them on social media platforms. Seeking advice from a family law attorney is highly recommended when addressing support obligations. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations, negotiate fair terms, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

Work With A Divorce Attorney

Navigating divorce and social media might seem difficult. At Masters Law Group, our experienced family law attorneys are here to provide valuable assistance, helping to ensure that your rights and best interests remain at the forefront of every decision. Here’s how a divorce attorney can help you effectively handle social media during divorce:

  • Parenting Time: If you have children, it’s essential to work closely with your attorney to determine the most suitable arrangements for child custody and visitation. We aim to help create arrangements prioritizing your children’s well-being and best interests.
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: We encourage exploring options like mediation and collaborative divorce, which can facilitate mutually beneficial agreements outside the courtroom. Our family law attorneys will skillfully guide you through these processes, representing your interests and helping you secure a smoother negotiation experience.
  • Post-Divorce Modifications: Life can bring unexpected changes even after the divorce is finalized. Circumstances may arise that require modifications to parental responsibilities, visitation, or support arrangements. Our attorneys are here to assist you in addressing these changes promptly and effectively, protecting your rights and the interests of your children.

Final Thoughts

Divorce is undoubtedly a challenging life transition, and social media can either exacerbate or alleviate its emotional toll. By carefully managing your online presence, you can minimize potential conflicts and maintain your dignity during this trying time. 

You don’t have to go alone if you’re considering a divorce, legal separation, or mediation services in Illinois. Our dedicated attorneys are ready to skillfully advocate for your position and provide your voice when needed. Servicing Cook, Will, Lake, and Dupage counties, our attorneys can help you through the process every step of the way.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation and learn how we can support you through your divorce.

Navigating the Holiday Season During Divorce: A Co-Parenting Guide

When we think of the holidays, we think of happiness and being surrounded by our loved ones. However, it can present a unique set of challenges for divorced – or divorcing – parents.

Whether this is your first holiday season post-divorce, amid a divorce, or you’re a seasoned co-parent, effective preparation and clear communication are crucial for a fulfilling holiday experience for your children.

Given that a divorce occurs approximately every 36 seconds somewhere in the United States, the importance of finding peaceful ways to co-parent cannot be more important. In this blog, we aim to provide practical tips and insights to help provide a peaceful holiday for you and your children. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding Parental Responsibilities

It’s important to know that “custody” is no longer used. It is now called “parental responsibilities.” This includes two main things: parenting time (formerly “visitation”) and the power to make decisions for children. Parenting time is a schedule that shows when each parent spends time with the children. This schedule is created and approved by a judge in family court. If the parents can’t agree on the schedule, the judge will decide what’s best for the child and assign a schedule for the parents.

Parental responsibilities refer to the decision-making responsibilities that each parent will have on behalf of the child. Parents can agree to make these decisions together or divide them into categories, which should cover the following:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Religion
  • Extracurricular Activities

If the parents can’t agree on who gets what responsibility, the Illinois family court judge will allocate those responsibilities among them. Let’s dive into some tips that will help you make co-parenting easier this holiday season.

1. Review and Update Your Co-Parenting Plan

During the emotional and often stressful period of divorce, having a clear co-parenting plan can provide stability and predictability for both you and your children. This plan should outline how you and your ex-spouse will share responsibilities and make decisions regarding your children. If you’re unsure about how to create or modify your co-parenting plan, seeking the assistance of a family law attorney can be incredibly valuable.

A family law attorney can offer guidance and legal advice to help you develop a plan that provides clarity and structure throughout the holiday season. With a clear plan, you can aim for holiday celebrations filled with warmth, understanding, and the season’s magic.

2. Prioritize Communication and Planning

Children flourish when they have stability. To create a harmonious holiday season, it’s vital to present a united front and communicate holiday plans clearly and calmly. Share your holiday plans, including travel details, accommodations, and emergency contacts. Stay updated on any changes or delays affecting the agreed schedule. Keeping the lines of communication open promotes transparency. By communicating effectively, co-parents can build trust between one another. This partnership can help reassure children that the holidays can still be joyful and celebratory despite changes in the family dynamic.

3. Be Flexible and Willing to Compromise

The holiday season is often unpredictable, and flexibility can be your greatest asset. While it’s important to stick to your parenting plan as much as possible, be prepared to make minor adjustments as needed. This could mean being flexible with pick-up and drop-off times or accommodating last-minute changes. The goal is to prioritize your children’s happiness and well-being, even if it means making concessions.

4. Establish and Maintain Traditions

Maintaining holiday traditions can provide a sense of continuity and comfort for children post-divorce. Work with your ex-spouse to determine which traditions to maintain and explore opportunities to establish new ones. Involving your children in this decision-making process can enhance their sense of inclusion and security. Here are some creative approaches to traditional celebrations:

  • Go out to eat instead of cooking.
  • Have a holiday picnic in a new part of the house.
  • Eat dinner while watching holiday movies.
  • Buy new holiday decorations.
  • Spend time with extended family.
  • Change your gift-giving routine.

5. Prioritize Your Children’s Needs

Parents, caregivers, and educators play a crucial role in helping children cope emotionally during and after a divorce. Studies show that children often encounter significant difficulties in these times, especially in the first year or two after the divorce. It’s essential to understand that each child is different, and what’s a big deal for one child might not be as important to another.

Pay attention to their feelings and needs, and be supportive if they struggle with the changes. Involve your child in the decision-making process where appropriate, giving them a sense of ownership and excitement about the holidays. Remember, the goal is to create lasting memories and positive experiences for your child. Lastly, try to keep negative feelings about your ex-spouse to yourself and maintain a positive attitude when discussing holiday plans.

How Masters Law Group Can Help

The holidays can be emotionally taxing, especially after a recent divorce or separation, which can intensify these emotions. It’s important to prioritize self-care to be the best parent you can be. Your family’s well-being is paramount, so don’t let the emotional strain of a custody case weigh you down.

At Masters Law Group, our family law attorneys focus on helping clients assert their rights to further the best interests of their children. Attorney Erin E. Masters is a court-appointed Child Representative with experience advocating for children in these high-conflict matters. Attorney Anthony G. Joseph is an approved Guardian Ad Litem/Child Representatives list for the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

With a strong focus on assisting clients in Chicago and Chicago’s Western Suburbs (Elmhurst, Hinsdale, DuPage, Oakbrook), we offer various services to help parents, children, and families through difficult times like Divorce, Parenting Time, and Allocation of Parental Responsibilities.

If you require legal assistance, contact a member of our legal team today. Our attorneys will work with you to develop an appropriate action plan for your unique needs and goals. We will work diligently on your behalf and provide regular updates.

Contact us today to set up a complimentary consultation.

Alimony and Asset Division in Divorce

As couples navigate the challenging path of divorce, alimony and asset division are critical aspects that demand attention. But divorce laws differ by state. Here’s what you need to know about divorce proceedings and asset division in the state of Illinois. 

Asset division plays a significant role in determining the financial future of both parties involved. In this blog, we will explore the concepts of alimony and asset division in divorce, shedding light on how they work and what factors influence their outcomes. Here’s what you should know.

Alimony: Providing Financial Support

Alimony is a financial arrangement where one spouse provides financial support to the other after a divorce or separation. Its primary goal is to help financially disadvantaged spouses maintain a standard of living to what they enjoyed during the marriage. Alimony can be temporary or permanent, depending on various factors. Here’s a look at some of the factors that are considered:

  • Income Disparity: The most critical factor in determining alimony is the income disparity. If one spouse earns significantly more than the other, they may be required to provide financial support.
  • Duration of Marriage: Longer marriages often result in higher alimony awards. The courts typically consider the marriage’s impact on the dependent spouse’s career and financial prospects.
  • Contributions to the Marriage: Courts also consider the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, both financial and non-financial. This includes homemaking, childcare, and support for the other spouse’s career.
  • Parental Agreements: Parental responsibilities are arrangements that can affect alimony, as the custodial parent may receive more support due to increased expenses related to raising children.

Asset Division: Splitting the Marital Pie

Asset division involves dividing the marital property and debts between spouses fairly and equitably. It’s essential to understand that the goal is not necessarily to divide everything equally but rather fairly, considering the unique circumstances of the marriage. Determining a fair and equitable division of assets can be intricate and contentious, especially when significant assets are involved. Here are some factors that influence asset division:

  • Property Ownership: Marital property typically includes assets acquired during the marriage, such as homes, cars, bank accounts, and investments. These are subject to division. Separate property, acquired before the marriage or through inheritance, is generally exempt.
  • Duration of Marriage: The length of the marriage can impact asset division. Longer marriages often result in a more equitable division of assets.
  • Custodial Arrangements: Parental responsibilities can influence asset division as they affect the financial responsibilities of each spouse towards their children.
  • Future Needs: The court also considers the future financial needs of each spouse. For example, if one spouse is financially dependent and unable to support themselves, they may receive a more significant share of assets.

Marital Vs. Separate Property

In the context of divorce, understanding the distinction between marital and separate property is key. The marital property encompasses assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of which spouse’s name is on the title. This includes income earned, real estate purchased, and investments made during the marriage. Marital property is generally subject to division between the spouses during divorce proceedings.

In contrast, the separate property comprises assets acquired before the marriage or received as gifts or inheritances during the marriage but designated as separate. These assets typically remain with the individual who owns them and are not subject to division. Recognizing and understanding the differences between the two is crucial for a fair and equitable distribution of assets during the divorce process. Working alongside a seasoned family law attorney can help you protect your rights and interests.

Illinois Asset Division

When couples get a divorce in Illinois, the courts don’t split everything down the middle like in certain other states. Instead, Illinois follows a more intricate approach called “equitable distribution.” Here’s how it works:

  1. Contribution to the Marriage: The court looks at what each spouse brought to the marriage, both in terms of money and non-money contributions like taking care of the home or children.
  2. Duration of the Marriage: How long the marriage lasted matters, as it can affect how assets are divided.
  3. Economic Circumstances: Each spouse’s financial situation, including income and needs, is considered.
  4. Non-Marital Property: Things owned before marriage or received as gifts or inheritance during marriage may not be split.
  5. Custodial Arrangements: If there are kids, the court looks at custody and how it impacts finances.
  6. Spousal Support (Alimony): Whether one spouse needs support payments is factored in.
  7. Tax Consequences: Taxes resulting from asset division are also considered to make things fair.
  8. Wasteful Dissipation: If one spouse recklessly spends or wastes money, it can affect the division.
  9. Future Needs: The court thinks about what each person will need down the road, especially if one is in a tougher spot after the divorce.
  10. Agreements: Any agreements made before or during the marriage, like prenups, are taken into account if they meet legal standards.

Remember, “equitable distribution” doesn’t always mean a perfect 50/50 split. It’s about creating a fair and just arrangement based on each family’s unique situation. This process can be tricky, so it’s a good idea to work with a skilled family law attorney to help ensure your rights are protected during asset division in Illinois.

How a Divorce Attorney Can Help

Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged journey that often requires the guidance of seasoned family law professionals. At Masters Law Group, our experienced family law attorneys are here to provide valuable assistance, helping to ensure that your rights and the best interests of your children remain at the forefront of every decision. Here are some crucial areas where we can help guide you:

  • Parenting Time: If you have children, it’s essential to work closely with your attorney to determine the most suitable arrangements for child custody and visitation. We aim to help create arrangements prioritizing your children’s well-being and best interests.
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: We encourage exploring options like mediation and collaborative divorce, which can facilitate mutually beneficial agreements outside the courtroom. Our family law attorneys will skillfully guide you through these processes, representing your interests, and helping to secure a smoother negotiation experience.
  • Post-Divorce Modifications: Life can bring unexpected changes even after the divorce is finalized. Circumstances may arise that require modifications to parental responsibilities, visitation, or support arrangements. Our attorneys are here to assist you in addressing these changes promptly and effectively, safeguarding your rights and the interests of your children.

Remember, family law professionals are your allies during this challenging time. By collaborating with a trusted family law attorney, you can confidently navigate the complexities of divorce and reduce the stress associated with the process. Your rights and the well-being of your family are our top priorities.

Last Thoughts

Understanding what alimony and asset division entails can help you in the long run regarding divorce proceedings. At Masters Law Group, you can rest assured knowing you are consulting with trusted and experienced legal professionals. Our family law attorneys can help protect your rights and interests during this challenging time. 

With a focus on helping clients residing in the Cook, Will, Lake, and Dupage counties, our practice is committed to providing a comprehensive suite of services to support parents, children, and families during challenging periods like divorce.

Get in touch with us today and schedule your complimentary consultation.

DuPage Divorce Lawyer

With nearly a million residents, DuPage is Illinois’ second-most populous county. With a higher population, DuPage also has the second-highest divorce rate in the state. If you need a divorce lawyer in DuPage County, see how Masters Law Group can help. 

Located just west of Chicago, DuPage County provides a supportive ecosystem for businesses, a launchpad for innovators, a strategic location for critical logistics operations, and a healthy home for families. But living in a picturesque suburban town doesn’t equal happy families for all. As with anywhere in the world, troubled marriages and divorce persist.

What factors lead to divorce?

In Illinois and around the country, married couples seek divorce for many reasons. This study found that the following factors may increase a couple’s risk of divorce.

  • A lack of communication
  • Infidelity
  • Conflict and arguing
  • Marrying too young
  • Financial issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Health issues
  • Lack of family support
  • Religious differences
  • Lack of premarital education

The state of Illinois is considered a no-fault divorce state. The only grounds required to seek a divorce are irreconcilable differences, meaning that divorcing spouses do not need to prove fault to be granted a divorce in Illinois.

NAVIGATING DIVORCE IN DuPage

One of the most important decisions you’ll make during the divorce process is choosing the right lawyer.

When seeking a divorce lawyer in DuPage County, reliability is essential. It is vital to evaluate how effectively they communicate with you to establish a positive relationship. A strong rapport is crucial because divorce cases can take several months to settle. While the DuPage-based lawyer’s goal should not be excelling in personability and charm, (it should be excelling in family law, especially divorce law), it is important that you trust and respect their professional advice and want to work with them.

Throughout the process, you may have multiple questions, concerns, or disputes, and you require someone who can ease your worries. Voted Best Lawyers 2023 and Best Law Firms 2023, Masters Law Group, we begin by understanding your goals for the divorce and how you wish to feel once the process is complete. We discuss your objectives in detail to provide exceptional legal representation. Additionally, we offer complimentary consultations to help you evaluate if we are the right fit for your needs.

GETTING STARTED

Aside from contacting your Illinois-based family law attorney, as soon as one or both parties decide that divorce is absolutely the only answer, the first step is filing the paperwork with your local court clerk. The forms you complete may vary from county to county, so it is important that you do some research based on DuPage County divorces. Wherever you live, however, you will need to file what is called a “petition for dissolution of marriage.” The forms are a bit different if you have children. For example, you will need to file a joint parenting agreement, uniform order of support, and visitation forms if you have children. You can also find other required forms on the Illinois court website.

Although the law specifically prohibits judges from analyzing fault when dividing property in a divorce, judges may evaluate whether or not one spouse dissipated marital assets during the marriage.

DuPage CONTESTED DIVORCES

A contested divorce happens when both spouses want a divorce but can’t agree on some of the terms of the divorce, like custody and spousal support. It can also occur if the spouse does not respond to the divorce petition.

In contested divorces, the judge may order you to go through additional steps like divorce mediation in DuPage. The mediation can result in an agreed settlement between the parties.

If mediation doesn’t work, your case will go to trial, and the judge will make the final determination on specific issues you and your spouse couldn’t agree on.

ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES in DuPage County

If you and your spouse don’t have any children, have little money, and agree on everything, Illinois courts may allow you to have what is called a joint and simplified divorce.

You and your spouse can file a Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage if:

  • no spousal support (alimony) will be paid
  • no-fault grounds are used
  • there are no children and the wife is not pregnant
  • you have not been married more than 8 years
  • neither of you have any real property
  • the total equity in your marital property is less than $10,000
  • the combined annual income of you and your spouse is less than $35,000
  • neither of you earn more than $20,000 annually
  • you both disclosed your assets and tax returns for the years you were married, and
  • you and your spouse have a written agreement dividing all of your property in excess of $100 in value, and allocating who will be responsible for each debt owed.

If you don’t meet the requirements for the Simplified procedure, but you and your spouse are in agreement on all matters, you may still file an uncontested divorce using the standard procedure.

DuPage LEGAL SEPARATION

DuPage County (and across Illinois) is one of the areas that recognize legal separation. Legal separation does not permanently end the marriage. However, a judge must approve the separation agreement, which defines the spouses’ legal rights and obligations.

For individuals with religious concerns or insurance issues who may be discouraged from seeking a formal divorce, a legal separation could be the preferred course of action.  With a legal separation, many of the same issues determined in a divorce can be adjudicated, but without the finality of a legal divorce being granted.

This is a good option if you don’t want a divorce but want to live separately and want legal clarification on matters concerning child custody, child support, child custody, and property division.

DuPage CIVIL UNION DIVORCE

Civil unions allow two adults, of either the same or opposite sex, to enter into a legally recognized relationship. Several unique issues can arise during the process of establishing or dissolving a civil union, so it is vital to have a knowledgeable DuPage Divorce lawyer to guide you through every step.

Dissolving a civil union is nearly the same as dissolving a marriage. Any couple who wishes to dissolve a civil union will be able to do so in the State of Illinois. To receive a certified copy of a Dissolution of Civil Union records, an interested couple will need to go to the county circuit court clerk where the civil union was granted.

GETTING THE HELP YOU NEED WITH MASTERS LAW GROUP

Even a no-fault divorce is a complicated legal process, particularly when children or high assets are involved.

Whether you are facing a contested divorce, uncontested divorce, or a civil union divorce, the experienced DuPage attorneys at Masters Law Group are ready to skillfully advocate for your position and provide your voice when you need it most.

If you are seeking answers to questions regarding divorce, separation, child support and other matters in DuPage County, contact Chicagoland’s premier family law group here today to schedule a consultation.