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Things To Which You Cannot Agree in an Illinois Divorce Proceeding, divorce, collaborative divorce, Illinois divorce law, Crystal Lake family law attorneys, child custody, law firm, child supportIn a McHenry County child custody or divorce proceeding, parties are generally encouraged to come to an agreement concerning as many of the outstanding legal issues as possible. This is in the best interests of both the parties themselves as well as the courts: the parties benefit by saving time and resources while reaching a resolution that they are more likely to support and be satisfied with. The court, on the other hand, is able to keep its docket and calendar free for other settings and need not worry as much about entering orders one party or the other would find objectionable.

Limitations on the Parties' Ability to Agree

Despite the willingness of Illinois courts to encourage parties to reach agreements in their family law disputes, there are certain things to which spouses cannot agree:

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Calculating Spousal Support Under Illinois LawUnder current Illinois law, judges have less discretion than they previously did in determining what, if anything, can be awarded for spousal support. Spousal maintenance or support awards in Illinois are calculated according to statutorily set guidelines.

Before deciding what amount should be awarded for spousal support, the judge is first required to determine whether spousal support is appropriate in a particular case by considering certain factors, including the following:

  • The current property of each spouse;
  • The realistic earning capacity of each spouse presently and in the future,
  • Loss of earning capacity of both parties, including any loss of earning capacity based on a spouse taking on a more domestic role during the marriage, for example, loss of earning capacity for a stay-at-home parent;
  • Standard of living of the spouses;
  • Any valid agreements by the parties, such as a prenuptial agreement; and
  • The time needed for the spouse receiving support to become self-sufficient.

Once the judge decides maintenance is appropriate, the maintenance award is calculated as follows for a couple earning less than $250,000 and having no previous child support or spousal support obligations. In order to determine the annual maintenance award, 20 percent of the income of the spouse who will receive the maintenance is subtracted from 30 percent of the income of the spouse who will pay the maintenance. The figure determined here is also restricted in that it cannot exceed 40 percent of the combined gross income of the couple.

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filing for divorce, Crystal Lake Family Law LawyerIn considering what life could look like after a divorce, it is natural to think of the financial aspects of the split. Questions of how marital property is to be divided among the couple and how children will be provided for can often arise. Some divorcing parents may even wonder how visitation would be affected by child support, and whether they will receive any other kind of financial assistance in raising the children should they be awarded custody.

As an initial matter, divorcing couples should keep in mind that Illinois is not a community property state. This means that when dividing a divorcing couple's assets, courts do not necessarily divide a couple's property in such a way that each person in the marriage gets half the assets.

In Illinois, the court divides marital property in just proportions, after a consideration of certain factors. These factors specifically do not include considerations of who caused the divorce, or marital misconduct.

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