Tinley Park Illinois Family Law Blog

Who gets the dog when you divorce?

Divorce can be a complex process both financially and emotionally. Couples face a number of heated issues while they disentangle their lives, including property division and child custody. An increasingly common–and contentious–issue is who gets to keep the dog or cat when a couple splits.

People have strong bonds with their pets and have long considered them to be a member of the family, so deciding pet custody can be heartbreaking and complicated. Illinois law recognizes the importance of pets in divorce and has made a change to the law in the last year to reflect this.

Here's how you can help your children during divorce

Determining child custody is one of the most complicated factors in divorce. You want to make sure your children are taken care of and that they have the time they need with each parent. You also want to protect them from negative situations and encourage them to thrive, even though this is a complicated time in their lives.

With child-custody cases, the best thing you and your spouse can do is be willing to negotiate. Even though you are estranged and separated, your children still need you to be there for them. You must both work as a family unit, even though you are separated. If you don't, having different routines, rules and schedules can be difficult for children to adjust to.

Judge takes action to move multi-state custody battle along

When a custody battle expands across more than one state, it can be incredibly complicated to get any kind of forward progress.

A custody battle that has been playing out in the courts of both Illinois and Massachusetts has pushed an Illinois judge into taking action. She has now issued a subpoena in the case to a county sheriff. The judge is seeking more clarity regarding how the civil contempt warrant for a father's arrest can be enforced across state lines.

Get creative with custody plans to make the most of your time

Many people who have children during their marriages face a difficult problem in divorce: They both work. While this might work in a marriage, having two parents working full-time jobs won't be as easy.

For many people, one parent is a part-time employee, but the other works a full-time job. This brings in extra money, but it also means that child care isn't a concern. Sadly, after a divorce, both parents are likely to have to work full-time jobs, and those jobs might conflict with the time frames during which a child needs care and monitoring.

Is there ever a time when you won't pay child support?

No matter how much you earn, or don't earn, there is never a time when it's appropriate not to take care of your child. This also applies to child support.

If you have a child and are not the primary caregiver, you may be ordered to pay child support. Even if your situation is dire, the court still expects you to put your child first. In a two-parent relationship, the same would be true, so the same still applies after a divorce.

How often do you need to review your estate plan?

In 2019, people will need to begin planning their estates with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in mind. The act, created in 2017, has consequences that extend far beyond the simple increase in the overall exemption amount for an estate.

As someone with an estate, one of the worst things you can do is decide not to plan for taxation because your estate seems too small to do so. Regardless of the size of your estate, it is important to plan for its distribution and to make sure you take advantage of any tax breaks possible.

Navigating property division

Property division is often one of the most common causes of disputes in a divorce. With Illinois being an equitable division state, there is a lot of room for negotiation or disagreement on who should get what.

Dividing your finances, your home and even your bills may be difficult, but you do not have to go into the process uninformed or unprepared. Here are some tips and quick facts about property division.

For a successful divorce, learn to set boundaries early

You probably aren't used to having a lot of boundaries with your spouse. Unfortunately, redefining your personal boundaries is a part of moving forward, and there's simply no way to achieve a healthy divorce without them.

Here are some tips on how to re-establish boundaries (or establish new ones) with your spouse during a separation and divorce:

How to tell you're ready for a divorce

You may not have expected marriage to always be easy, but you probably didn't expect it to be this rough all the time either.

So, how do you know that it's time for a divorce as opposed to seeking therapy together as a couple? Here are the signs that it's time for a split:

Make your parenting time successful

It can be painful to be apart from your children for any length of time. As a divorced parent with shared or limited custody, you need to make the time you do have with your children as successful as possible.

There are some simple steps you can take to make that happen. Here are the things you need to do:

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