Maryville Family Law Blog

Negotiating a child custody schedule that works for everyone

Family courts in Illinois look out for the best interests of the child, as do most parents. Most would consider pulling your kids into a battle as something that would not be in the best interests of your children.

Research has shown that high levels of conflict—both during and after the divorce—between parents contribute to poorer adjustment in children. Finding a way for both of you to agree and avoid litigation will spare your children unnecessary drama. Alternative dispute resolution methods such as collaborative divorce and mediation can offer a way to stay out of the courtroom and promote positive communication, leading to an agreement you both can live with.

How military divorces do and don’t differ from civilian divorces

Military personnel live different lives than civilians. Their service to our country comes with different rules and regulations than most of us follow in our day-to-day lives.

For service members or their spouses looking to divorce, they may wonder if that rigor follows them into the courtroom. How exactly do military divorces differ from civilian divorces?

Tips for Unmarried Fathers in Illinois

Imagine finding out the mother of your child placed the child up for adoption without your knowledge. This happens to fathers all across Illinois every year. The first, and easiest, step to prevent this from happening to you is to register with the Illinois Putative Father Registry.

Examining prenuptial agreements

For many in Maryville, asking their partners to agree to prenuptial agreements is akin to admitting that there is a strong possibility that their marriages will not last. Thus, this may be viewed as being purely a selfish decision. Yet if one is willing to take a step back and take a broader look at the situation, a prenuptial agreement may actually offer several advantages to both sides of a marriage. 

Finances have proven to be one of the main causes of marital strife, with people often questioning their spouses' monetary motivations. Setting up a prenuptial agreement can help a couple set financial expectations early on in the marriage, which can then serve to influence their decisions going forward. It can also offer protection for people whose spouses own their own businesses by clearly stating that they have no interest in their partners' business dealings. For those entering into a second or subsequent marriage, a prenuptial agreement can also help eliminate the potential for estate disputes by identifying early which assets they intend to leave to their children from previous marriages. 

An upheaval in Illinois child support law

This past summer, our state legislature overhauled the way child support works. Whether you are getting a divorce now, or you divorced some time ago, these changes may affect you.

Historically, Illinois courts have named one parent the custodial parent and required the non-custodial parent to pay child support. This formula applied even when the non-custodial parent was deeply involved in parenting. The non-custodial parent paid child support based on his or her income.

Distinguishing marital from separate property

Once you and your spouse choose to divorce, the inevitable question of who gets what arises. Many in your position have come to us here at The Law Office of Jamie Mitchell, LLC with the same question. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have a prenuptial agreement, you likely already know the answer. If you do not, then the issue or marital vs. separate property comes into play. 

Fortunately, Illinois state law has defined what distinguishes these two property types for you. In Section 5.503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act, it simply states that property acquired subsequent to your marriage is considered marital property (and thus subject to equitable division). You naturally might take that to mean that anything acquired before you were married is separate property, and for the most part, you would be right. However, there are certain assets that you or your spouse may have come into while married that are considered non-marital property. These include: 

  • Inherited or gifted assets
  • Assets acquired in exchange for property you owned before your marriage
  • Property excluded by the terms of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
  • Any award you earn from a judgment against your spouse
  • Property acquired through a loan for which your own separate property was used as collateral

Start Getting Answers

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy