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Oswego, IL alimony lawyerThe ending of marriage calls for completely separating the lives of two people. A significant part of divorce ensures that all marital property is equitably divided. If one spouse makes less money and supports the other spouse during their marriage, they may be entitled to alimony, which is called spousal support in Illinois. A court order or divorce decree can highlight spousal support as a requirement.

Sometimes, the spouse ordered to pay spousal support may not like the final decision and choose to ignore the order. This neglect can lead to frustration, annoyance, and financial woes for the other party. There are several factors and strategies that you can utilize to make them comply and follow those orders. 

Can You Enforce Spousal Support Payments in Illinois?

If an ex-spouse decides not to comply with a divorce order on spousal support, it can turn your life upside down. Luckily, in Illinois, you can take a few actions to enforce the divorce decree. Here are a few actions you can take with the help of a divorce attorney to enforce your spousal support payments:


Oswego, IL estate planning lawyerEstate planning is a necessary process. It ensures the division of one's assets and possessions based on their last wishes after they pass away. One of the most critical decisions is selecting the right executor and trustee. Both parties work to oversee the distribution of the deceased’s inheritance. These individuals are essential to carrying out one's last wishes. With both roles holding so much weight, selecting the right person or people for the jobs is essential.

What Is the Difference Between an Executor and a Trustee in Estate Planning?

Understanding the function of the executor and trustee is vital before choosing which person should hold this position. The role of the executor is to oversee the probate procedure. The executor's tasks are: 

  • Verifying the will


IL divorce lawyerWhen you were growing up, did a trusted adult in your life ever tell you that you needed to eat breakfast to have enough energy to get through the day, even if you were too tired to eat? As adults, there is not always someone around to remind us of what we need. Yet, the basic sentiment of that long-held wisdom still applies. If you do not take the time to invest in the basic care of your body – in addition to that of your mind and overall well-being – you will not have the energy that you need to make it through the day. This is particularly true when you are navigating particularly trying periods of life, including the consequential transition that is the divorce process.

Clear Eyes, Full Heart…

Whether you are feeling numb, devastated, enraged, inspired, overjoyed, or any emotion in between, chances are that your heart is feeling very full as you process that your marriage is at an end. Emotions – for all their benefits – tend to impair one’s ability to make clear-headed decisions focused on future interests. They are far more likely to inspire choices fed by the heat, ice, or fog of the present moment.

How Self-Care Can Help

By engaging in self-care during the divorce process, you will place yourself in the strongest possible position to do the following:


IL family lawyerWhether you have an established parenting plan or you are in the process of crafting one post-split with your child’s other parent, you may benefit from adding virtual visitation terms to that document. Oftentimes, co-parents focus on outlining a parenting time schedule and articulating various rights and responsibilities within their parenting plan. However, this document can also address any other co-parenting issue that could benefit from being both clearly articulated and enforceable. Virtual visitation is a subject that may significantly benefit from attention in your family’s unique plan.

Virtual Visitation Basics

Virtual visitation allows whichever parent who is not currently residing with their child to communicate with them. Depending upon the age of the child and their unique needs, a family may choose to utilize video chats, bedtime story calls, texts, email, postal mail, social media, or any other means available to participate in virtual visitation sessions.

Why Virtual Visitation Is Worth Your Consideration

Children of all ages – whether consciously or subconsciously – crave both stability and connection. Virtual visitation offers both. When parents who are not physically present make an effort to connect with their child via virtual visitation, they will remain more present in their child’s life and offer them a kind of support that they may not have consciously known that they needed.


Illinois Family Law AttorneyParents should never speak ill of the other parent, either directly to, or around their children. This practice harms your relationship with your children, and by extension, it hurts your children. You will be forced to deal with this situation because letting it fester can make things worse. If the badmouthing is extreme, a family law attorney could even file a motion to change custody. 

Do Not Try to Get Revenge

You may be tempted to turn around and badmouth the other parent to either even the score or set the record straight. This will only harm the children further. They will feel like they are caught in the middle, and it will make them feel even more conflicted. This case is clearly one time where two wrongs do not make a right.

Talk to Your Children

You can make it clear to your children that they can and should come to you if they want answers to their questions. You need to remain calm during the conversation and be transparent when you can. Make sure to remain calm and to not take your frustrations out on your children. They have been put in an impossible position themselves, and the situation is not their fault.


Oswego Elder Law LawyerOne of the most significant issues people deal with when planning their estates is deciding whether to write a will or set up a trust. While both have their benefits, there are times when one option may be more appropriate than the other. To ensure you are able to make a well-informed decision, contact an estate planning attorney to weigh your options and see what makes the most sense for you and your situation. 

Factors to Consider When Making Estate Planning Decisions

Here are some factors to consider before deciding whether to make a will or a trust:

  • Cost – Writing a will is generally less expensive than setting up a trust. This is because a will is a relatively straightforward legal document that can be drafted by an attorney in a short amount of time. On the other hand, setting up a trust requires more time and effort and additional legal fees. 


Oswego Estate Planning LawyerThe news is full of stories of terrible car accidents and other tragedies. These stories serve as a reminder that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and a severe injury or illness can occur to anybody at any time.

A living will is an estate planning document that allows a person to make decisions about their medical care in the event that they are incapacitated. For example, a living will can be used to direct doctors on the medical interventions they should take if you are in a coma or vegetative state.

Incapacitation planning can be an emotional process because it requires us to consider the possibility that we could be unable to communicate our medical preferences. However, living wills are an essential estate planning tool that puts the decision-making power in your hands – regardless of what the future holds.


Oswego Divorce LawyerOne of the most foundational elements of any divorce case is the division of marital assets. Traditionally, marital assets included things like real estate properties, bank account balances, retirement funds, and investment income. However, with the advent of digital assets and digital currency, property division during divorce has become much more complicated.

Cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other types of digital assets have an equivalent value in real currency, so they must be properly addressed during divorce, just like any other asset. However, classifying digital assets as marital or non-marital property and determining the value of the assets can be a real challenge.

Determining Ownership of a Digital Asset in a Divorce

Digital assets can be broadly defined as anything that is created and stored digitally and has value. Digital assets may include documents, data, videos, software code, and even social media accounts. Some of the newest types of digital assets include security tokens, crypto assets, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, tether, and USD coin.


Oswego Spousal Maintenance LawyerMany divorcing spouses have questions about alimony, or as it is called in Illinois, spousal maintenance. When is a spouse entitled to maintenance payments? Does the lower-earning spouse automatically get alimony in Illinois? How much are alimony payments and how long do they last?

In this blog, we will explore Illinois laws regarding spousal maintenance, when maintenance is awarded, and what you can do if you have further questions about spousal maintenance during your divorce.

Negotiated Agreements or Court Awards

There are two main ways that a spouse can receive alimony in an Illinois divorce. First, the spouses may be able to negotiate the terms of maintenance. For example, a spouse may agree to pay the lower-earning spouse a certain amount of money each month for the first year after the divorce. It is also possible that a divorcing couple has already made arrangements for spousal maintenance in a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement.


Kendall County Family Law AttorneyIllinois courts make all child-related decisions based on one primary factor: the child's best interests. Courts typically presume that it is best for children to spend time with both of their biological parents. However, this assumption can be overcome. If a parent presents some type of risk or danger to a child, the court may implement a restriction or condition on that parent’s parenting time. Supervised visitation or supervised parenting time is one of the most common restrictions.

Read on to learn about the types of parenting time restrictions used in Illinois family law cases, the reasons that someone's parenting time may be restricted, and what you can do if you have concerns about your child's safety with the other parent.

Reasons the Court May Restrict a Parent’s Parenting Time

The court only implements parenting time restrictions if needed to protect the child's well-being. Often, parenting time restrictions are put in place because a parent has a substance abuse problem, serious mental illness, or other life circumstances that could potentially put the child in danger. Parenting time restrictions may also be put in place if the parent has been found guilty of a criminal offense involving a child.


Kendall County Adoption LawyerIf you are thinking about bringing a child into your family through adoption, congratulations! Adoption is a blessing for both the adopted child and the adoptive parents. However, adoption is not without its share of complications - legally, financially, and emotionally. One question you may be exploring as you research adoption is whether you should have an open adoption or a closed adoption. In an open adoption, the adoptive child and the child's biological parents stay in contact with each other. During a closed adoption, the adopted child does not communicate with or visit the biological parents. In some cases the child may not even know who his or her biological parents are.

Closed Adoptions Sever the Child’s Relationship with His or Her Biological Parent Entirely

In a closed adoption, the adopted child is no longer a part of the biological parents’ lives. The adoptive parents assume the role of primary caregivers in the child's life. The child may grow up and eventually want to reconnect with his or her biological parent. However, while the child is a minor, the biological parents do not have any access to the child.

Closed adoptions are recommended for cases in which a child has been removed from a home due to abuse, neglect, or severe substance abuse. In situations like these it may do more harm than good for the child to maintain contact with his or her biological parents.


Kendall County Estate Planning LawyerA last will and testament is usually associated with the distribution of assets after a person's death. While instructions for asset distribution is an essential feature of any will, it is not the only purpose a will serves. A will also allows you to designate a guardian (or guardians) for minor children in the event that both parents pass away before the children are adults.

The designation of a guardian or guardians is an extremely important task, but it is one that many parents tend to put off. Understandably, it can be upsetting to think about who you would want to raise your children if you and the child's other parent pass away. However, it is still essential to make a decision. Without a designated guardian, the court will decide who raises your children, and this may not align with your wishes or expectations.

How to Choose the Right Guardian for Your Children

When selecting a guardian for minor children in your will, there are several factors to consider. It is important to select someone who has similar values and beliefs as you do, and who will prioritize the children's best interests. Consider whether the guardian lives in a place that you would want your child to grow up in and has enough financial stability to provide for their needs. Ask yourself, is this person emotionally and physically prepared for the task of raising a child? Is he or she willing to take on this responsibility? You may also want to consider appointing a backup guardian in case the first choice is unable to act as guardian.


Kendall County Family Law AttorneyProperty and financial matters are often some of the most consequential aspects of a divorce. Whether a divorce is resolved through a settlement or by the court, each spouse's income, debt, and property will play a key role in the divorce outcome.

Financial transparency is essential to a fair divorce settlement, which is why it is important to know exactly what you and your spouse own and owe. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one spouse to deliberately hide assets from the other or lie about his or her income. This type of financial deception can significantly skew issues such as property division arrangements and child support calculations.

If you are getting divorced, make sure you are vigilant for signs of deception regarding finances. Work with an experienced divorce attorney who can help you uncover your spouse's financial activity and provide proper guidance.


Kendall County Family Law AttorneyDomestic violence is more common than many people realize. Husbands and wives in abusive marriages often keep quiet about the abuse due to fear, embarrassment, or a desire to protect their spouse. Unfortunately, abuse tends to escalate - especially when an abused spouse tries to leave the relationship.

Studies show that three-quarters of all serious injuries caused by abuse occur when the victim tries to end the relationship. Divorce can prove to be a very dangerous time for victims of domestic abuse. If you are in the process of divorcing an abusive partner, it is important to seek legal protection. An emergency order of protection (EOP) may be necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of your children.

Indications it May Be Time to Seek Legal Protection Through an EOP

Illinois law defines abuse as physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation. Physical violence is not the only type of abuse that may warrant a protective order.


Kendall County Paternity LawyerThe term paternity refers to the legal father-child relationship. “Parentage” is the gender-neutral term currently used in Illinois law to refer to the legal parent-child relationship. Paternity or parentage may be established in a variety of ways. In some situations, parentage is automatically established. In other cases, parents must complete certain steps to establish parentage. There are many benefits associated with establishing parentage, and parents who have not established parentage are limited with regard to their parental rights.

Do I Need to Do Something to Establish Parentage?

Parentage is assumed in certain situations. In Illinois, if a man is married to the mother of a child at the time of birth and his name appears on the birth record, parentage is automatically established. However, unmarried parents may need to take additional steps to establish parentage.

How Do You Set Up Parentage or Paternity?

In Illinois, parentage or paternity is established in one of three ways:


Kendall County Will and Trust LawyerGiving to charity through an estate plan allows a person to leave a lasting impact beyond their own lifetime. Charitable trusts are one of the most powerful and effective estate planning tools for those who want to give back to those in need. A charitable trust is an irrevocable trust that provides tax benefits for both the donor and the charity receiving the funds. If you are interested in giving money or other assets to charity, work with an estate planning lawyer who can provide the guidance you need.

Basics of Charitable Trusts in Illinois

When you create a charitable trust, it must be in writing and must meet the criteria set by Illinois law. It must also meet the qualifications of a charitable organization, which means that it must have an independent board to oversee investments, spending, and donations. The trust should specify the types of charities that can receive funds from it, as well as any restrictions for those contributions.

Benefits of Charitable Trusts

Charitable trusts offer tax breaks for the donor. The donor is entitled to deductions on their income tax return for any contributions made through the trust. In addition, since the funds are given directly to charity, there are no capital gains taxes due when the funds are distributed from the trust.


Oswego Divorce LawyerAmazon, Meta, Twitter, Peloton, and several other companies have announced massive layoffs in recent months. Many employees were let go from jobs with little to no warning, leaving them bewildered and unsure of what to do next.

If you were recently fired or laid off from your job, you know just how upsetting it can be. Many people in this situation have child support or spousal support obligations. Affording support payments after a job loss or income reduction can be extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible. Fortunately, you may be able to modify your divorce decree to reduce your financial obligations.

Changing Your Illinois Child Support Order

Child support payments are intended to help provide for the child. Consequently, Illinois courts consider child support a child’s right and modifications are only granted under certain circumstances. You can modify your child support order if there is a “substantial change in circumstances.” Typically, a significant change in the income of either parent justifies a child support modification. However, Illinois courts treat voluntary unemployment differently than involuntary unemployment. Parents who intentionally quit their job or take a lesser-paying job to reduce their child support obligation are not looked upon favorably and the court may deny a modification request in this situation.


Kendall County Adoption AttorneyStepparent adoption refers to the adoption of the child of one's spouse. Stepparent adoptions are often done when the biological parent cannot be found or has abandoned the child, or if there is a need to change the legal relationship between the stepparent and stepchild. Although many stepparents are closer to their stepchildren than the child's biological parents, stepparents have very few legal rights. For example, if a stepfather helps raise a stepson and then he and the child's mother divorce, the stepfather has no right to parenting time with the child.

Fortunately, Illinois law offers a legal avenue for stepchild adoption. Once a stepparent adopts a child, he or she gains all of the rights and responsibilities associated with being a parent. If you are interested in adopting your stepchild, read on to learn more.

Illinois Stepparent Adoption Laws

To adopt your stepchild in Illinois, you must meet the following requirements:


Kendall County Marital Asset Division LawyerIf you are getting divorced, statistics show that financial problems likely played a role. Money problems are one of the most common reasons why marriages end, and they can be a massive source of stress during the divorce process.

To make matters worse, some spouses will try to spend as much money as possible before the divorce is final in an attempt to prevent their ex from getting a fair share. Other spouses spend money on a new boyfriend or girlfriend or on expensive gifts for themselves. This is known as dissipation of assets, and it can have a major impact on the division of property in a divorce.

What is Dissipation of Assets?

The word dissipation means to waste or to use up. In the context of divorce, dissipation of assets occurs when one spouse uses marital property for his or her own benefit and not for the benefit of the marriage. This can include spending money on a new relationship, buying expensive gifts, or going on lavish vacations. Dissipation is a common issue in divorce cases involving infidelity. For example, if a spouse bought an affair partner an expensive diamond necklace, this may be considered dissipation.


Kendall County Estate Planning LawyerIt is important for everyone to have a last will and testament. A will allows you to determine exactly how your assets are distributed to loved ones after you pass away. Furthermore, having your wishes established in writing prevents family members and other loved ones from having to guess how you would want asset distribution handled.

Unfortunately, even the most detailed will cannot completely eliminate the chances of someone being upset regarding the will’s directives. Family members may feel that they were given an unfair share of your estate or otherwise disagree with the decisions you have made. They may contest the will in court, claiming that the will is not valid and should be thrown out.

If you are worried about people contesting your will after your death, one option you have in Illinois is a “no contest” clause.

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