CHICAGO DIVORCE LAWYER ARTICLES

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein.

“The rules of court we have promulgated are not aspirational. They are not suggestions. They have the force of law, and the presumption must be that they will be obeyed and enforced as written.” Bright v. Dicke, 652 N.E.2d 275 (1995)

“[E]veryone is presumed to know the law and ignorance of the law excuses no one” Jones v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, 2013 IL App (1st) 122437

Mere contentions, without argument or citation of authority, do not merit consideration…and are waived” First National Bank of LaGrange v. Lowrey, 375 Ill. App. 3d 181, 207, 872 N.E.2d 447, 473 (2007)

“If a party does not offer any argument or meaningful authority in support of an argument, the argument is forfeited. ” Abbinanti v. Presence Cent. & Suburban Hosps. Network, No. 2-21-0763, 8 (Ill. App. Ct. 2021)

Search our extensive library of family law articles written for lawyers and non-lawyers alike:

Gifts To A Child In An Illinois Marital Settlement Agreement
Marital Property
Russell Knight

Leaving Children Marital Assets In An Illinois Divorce

People might hate each other during a divorce but they love their kids. To avoid conflict, parties to a divorce may forgo dividing assets for simply awarding those assets to a child or children. Giving away marital assets to children can be memorialized in an Illinois Marital Settlement Agreement. Realistically, if you gave the marital

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Pausing child support in Illinois
Child Support

Abatement Of Child Support In Illinois

Big, bad things can happen in a parent’s life. A parent could lose their job, become seriously ill or go to prison. When something so serious happens in a parent’s life, what happens to their child support obligation? Can child support be put on pause while the parent deals with their unemployment, injury, illness, or

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Attorney's Fees For Adult Child Support
Attorney's Fees

Attorney Fees For Support Of An Adult Disabled Child

Having an adult disabled child is difficult. Having to drag your child’s parent into court to support that adult disabled child makes it even worse. Caring for an adult child surely reduces the earning capacity of the care-giving parent which makes expensive litigation all the more burdensome without a request for attorney’s fees. Can you

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When does child support end in Illinois
Child Support

Illinois Child Support Laws After Age 18

Child support is money to help support the care and raising of a child.  In Illinois, when does a child stop being a child and therefore stop needing support? What is a parent’s duty to a child as the child continues to age? What are the Illinois child support laws after age 18? The Illinois

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Taxes owed on retirement funds after an Illinois divorce
Divorce

Paying Taxes On A 401k Divorce Settlement In Illinois

The point of a 401(k), 403(b) or other tax-deferred account is to save money before paying taxes on the money saved. If a worker saves 7% of their income in a 401(k) account, the worker will only be taxed, the year of that contribution, on the remaining 93%. The money saved in a 401(k) grows

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Preparing For Illinois Divorce
Family Law

How To Prepare For A Divorce In Illinois

One of the worst parts about divorce is the anxiety of the unknown. What will happen to my kids in my divorce? What will happen to my money after a divorce? What can I do now to protect myself when the divorce is filed?  It is overwhelming but there are, in fact, several things you

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Illinois parental alienation
Divorce

Parental Alienation In Illinois

When two parents decide to no longer continue their relationship with each other they still must maintain a relationship with the children. When one parent’s relationship with his or her child is harmed by the other parent the term “parental alienation” is often invoked by psychiatrists and family law attorneys.  What is parental alienation in

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Getting money back from a spouse in an Illinois divorce
Property Division

Unjust Enrichment In An Illinois Divorce

Illinois divorce courts do not split a divorcing couples’ assets 50/50 to each party. Illinois divorce courts do not split up a couple’s non-marital assets at all. “[An Illinois divorce] court shall assign each spouse’s non-marital property to that spouse.” 750 ILCS 5/503(d) Any assets deemed marital are then divided based on what the court

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Divorce Petition In Illinois
Divorce

Petition For Dissolution Of Marriage In Illinois

Divorce is daunting. The first step to the formal, legal process of divorce in Illinois is filing the Petition For Dissolution of Marriage. This document has numerous legal requirements and is your first impression to the court that will decide what happens in the next chapter of your life. What Is A Petition For Dissolution

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The difference between a motion to enforce and a motion to modify in Illinois
Child Support

A Motion To Enforce Vs. A Motion To Modify In An Illinois Divorce

After a divorce is final, the parties are bound to the terms of the final orders. If one party fails to honor the order, the other party may file a motion to enforce the order as written. “A judgment of dissolution or of legal separation or of declaration of invalidity of marriage may be enforced…by

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Surprise witness in an Illinois divorce court.
Discovery

Disclosing Witnesses In An Illinois Divorce Hearing Or Trial

All evidence in an Illinois divorce hearing or trial is supplied by witnesses. A witness can testify to what the witness directly saw, felt or experienced which is relevant to the issues at trial. Some witnesses can testify to their opinions if those witnesses are deemed to be experts. Even non-testimonial documents need a witness

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How long can you wait to serve a spouse in an Illinois divorce?
Service

Due Diligence Of Service In An Illinois Divorce

All divorces in Illinois start the same. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, the summons is issued by the court, and that summons and petition is served on the respondent (the other spouse). “After the filing of the petition, the party filing the same shall, within 2 days, serve a copy thereof upon the

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Imprisonment for failure to pay lawyer fees in an Illinois divorce
Attorney's Fees

Can You Go To Jail For Not Paying Attorney’s Fees In Illinois?

Lawyers make the rules in divorce court. Lawyers enforce the rules in divorce court. It should be no surprise that lawyers have significant powers to ensure that they get paid in an Illinois divorce court. Lawyers can ask the court to enter an order that the opposing side and/or even their own client pay their

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Promissory Estoppel in an Illinois Divorce
Enforcement

False Promises In An Illinois Divorce

People who get married make a lot of promises beyond “to love, honor and obey.” At the end of a marriage, people may be held accountable for these promises in a divorce court. Normally, Promises Don’t Matter In An Illinois Divorce The relief granted by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is so

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Carried interest and hedge funds in an Illinois divorce
Property Division

Hedge Funds And Profits Interest In An Illinois Divorce

The term “hedge fund” implies an elite financial institution. In reality, there are more hedge funds than there are Burger Kings. A hedge fund is “a specialized investment group usually organized as a limited partnership.” Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019) The operators of hedge funds claim to be able to see into the future with

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1st amendment right to post on social media.
Illinois Law

Social Media And Free Speech In An Illinois Divorce

For most people, divorce is embarrassing. Some people, however, love talking about their divorce on social media where everyone can see the posts. It is colossally stupid to post about your divorce on social media. Screenshots will be taken of the posts and used as evidence. A social media post is automatically admissible in an

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Testifying about assumptions in an Illinois divorce trial
Evidence

Circumstantial Evidence In An Illinois Divorce Trial

Trials and hearings do not happen a lot in an Illinois divorce proceeding. The factual issues in a divorce are, often, not disputed enough to warrant a hearing or trial. The parties typically agree as to what they own, what they earn and how they spend time with their children. An Illinois divorce court need

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How to undo a marital settlement agreement in an Illinois divorce
Enforcement

Unconscionable Marital Settlement Agreements In An Illinois Divorce

Most Illinois divorces are resolved via settlement not trial. Parties to an Illinois divorce will often circulate proposed agreements until they come to a final meeting of the minds and sign the same agreement. Illinois law strongly encourages settlement. The purpose of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is “[t]o promote amicable settlement

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Refreshing a witness's memory in an Illinois divorce trial
Evidence

Refreshing A Witness’s Recollection In An Illinois Divorce Trial

Divorce trials are high-pressure environments. No amount of practice will guarantee that a witness will say exactly the right thing. The court system is conscious of the frailty of human memory and allows attorneys to refresh their witness’s recollection with a document if necessary. Refreshing A Memory In An Illinois Divorce Court? It may sound

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