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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Illinois divorce lawyerPrenuptial agreements, also called premarital agreement, are becoming more and more common in this day and age. However, many remain unaware that they are not cure-alls; there are certain things that are not permitted to be disposed of or decided within an agreement of this nature. If you are getting married in Illinois and you and your future spouse decide to execute a prenuptial agreement, you must be aware of what can and cannot be included, or you run the risk of the agreement being held to be invalid.

The ILUPAA

Illinois has adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA or ILUPAA), which establishes specific guidelines and requirements for prenups that must be upheld. A prenup is essentially a contract, and like any other contract, certain things may not be included, and certain things can only be included if done so properly. The contract does not become effective until the marriage actually takes place, but once it is effective, it will be upheld unless it was unconscionable.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyerDivorce affects every aspect of one’s life, from the physical to the emotional to the financial. It is the latter, however, that can sometimes surprise people, and the tax consequences can be the most shocking of all if someone is unprepared for them. While divorce may be the best option for you and your spouse, it is nonetheless important to be prepared for the potential financial changes that may occur.

Tax Brackets and Details

Most married couples choose to file a joint return, and if you are still married on December 31 of a year, you may file jointly for that year - even if your proceedings are in motion on that date, unless a divorce decree has officially been issued, you are considered married. Once your divorce is final, however, you must file as a single person, and this can sometimes mean a change in tax brackets, though property division is usually tailored to try an avoid that.

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Illinois mediation attorneyMost people who divorce choose to go through standard divorce proceedings, in family court. However, many are unaware that this is not the only option, especially if you and your spouse have a good working relationship. Mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution can often be quicker and less involved, which means that less time and money will be spent on hashing out minutiae.

The Strengths

The main strength of mediation, as opposed to a courtroom divorce, is that much more agency is left in your hands, and many legal decisions will be entirely yours and your spouse’s - indeed, unless your mediator is an attorney, they are prohibited from offering legal advice at all. That said, it can be highly advantageous to use a mediator that is an attorney, because then they will know the law and can offer guidance on more small details of the process. Even if your mediator has a law license, they cannot demand you or your spouse do anything; they can simply advise you as to the legality of any idea you may have.

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Illinois custody attorneyIf you and your spouse have any children, one of you will be ordered to pay child support starting after your divorce proceedings, as well as possibly spousal support. While the court’s decision must stand for the moment, it is possible to modify either support order after enough time has passed. The law holds that there must have been a “substantial change in circumstances” in order to do so, however, and that vague term can sometimes cause confusion.

Timelines Matter

Unlike in other states, a child support or spousal support order may be modified by the court anytime after its entry, though the timing will be scrutinized to ensure that it is being requested for appropriate reasons. (In other words, a modification requested solely to vex the other parent will not only be denied, it may result in a contempt of court citation for the requester.) Also, any support obligation that is already due and owing may not be retroactively modified, even if your request is granted.

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Illinois family attorneyGrandparents are an integral part of the family, but they have limited legal rights when it comes to visiting their grandchildren. Grandparent visitation often becomes an issue when parents divorce. The custodial parent generally has the right to decide who spends time with the child, and he or she might not want the child spending time with the other parent’s side of the family. In that case, do the grandparents - and other non-parent family members - have any legal options?

Non-Parent Visitation Rights Under Illinois Law

Illinois law provides limited protections to grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings, and stepparents seeking visitation time with a child. The law defines “visitation” as “in-person time” with the child, but it can also include electronic communication such as texting and talking on the phone. (Note that “siblings” include half-siblings and stepsiblings.)

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