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Crystal Lake spousal support attorneyDivorcing couples usually have a number of questions and concerns about spousal support—also known as alimony or maintenance—when they begin to address financial arrangements at the end of their marriage. One of the most pressing questions for most spouses is whether or not they are eligible for maintenance at all, and if so, how that decision is reached.

Determining the Need for Maintenance

It is understandable to want to know how much you must pay your spouse or how much you are eligible to receive, but the answers to these questions are not cut and dry. The court handles spousal maintenance on a case-by-case basis, taking a number of factors into consideration to first determine whether or not alimony is appropriate. Illinois law requires the court to consider all of the following factors before deciding to grant an alimony award to either spouse:

  • The present needs of each party

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McHenry County child support lawyerThe divorce process can be emotionally and financially draining. When you and your ex cared for your children together under one roof, it may have been easier to work together to take care of your family’s financial needs. However, things change significantly after divorce, and both parents may struggle to make ends meet.

If your ex has not been paying child support, this can cause a great deal of difficulty for you. It may be hard to understand why your ex would be avoiding payments, but here are some common reasons that may explain why the funds your child needs are not coming your way:

Changes in Finances

Your ex might not be paying child support because they do not have the money to give. The amount of child support payments specified in a divorce judgment is based on both parents’ finances at the time of the divorce. Issues such as a job loss or large medical expenses can affect how much your ex is able to pay. If you think this may be the reason why you are not receiving child support, you may wish to talk to your ex or even request a modification so that they can at least pay what they are able to. Setting a payment that your ex can afford is better for everyone than not receiving any payments at all.

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Crystal Lake IL divorce lawyerEach year, when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, people around the world celebrate the ending of the year and welcome in the new year. One of the most popular traditions that is observed for New Year’s is making resolutions to improve yourself and your life. For some people, this may mean quitting smoking or eating healthier and exercising more. If you are going through or have recently finalized your divorce, there is no better way to start your new year than by making it a priority to be happier and healthier than ever before. 

With just a few weeks left in 2020, it is not too early to start thinking about how to make 2021 better for yourself and your children. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions that you can commit to in the wake of your Illinois divorce.

Resolution #1: Pick Your Battles

Fighting with your ex is exhausting. For many couples, divorce means constant arguments and opposition about nearly every aspect of the life they once shared. The divorce is probably not even the beginning of the fighting. You have most likely been arguing with your spouse about trivial things—and non-trivial things—for years. In the coming year, try to be more selective about your battles with your ex. If you feel an argument about to erupt, try to determine whether or not the fight is worth it. Chances are that things will be easier and you will be happier if you just refuse to fight.

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Crystal Lake divorce attorneyAmong the many challenges you may face when getting a divorce, going through the grief process in the midst of the transition can be difficult, especially when so much is vying for your attention. Distractions abound during the split, and the demands can easily pull your focus from taking time to recognize and manage the stages of grief as they surface. Your fluctuating emotions and high levels of anxiety during the divorce process can only be ignored for so long, however, before your mind and body force you to deal with the inevitable mental toll.

The Signs of Grief

You may be familiar with the five stages of grief, as defined by the Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the mid-20th century. The five stages include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. As with any other loss in life, the loss of a love and a marriage can trigger the grieving process, although everyone experiences it differently and at different intervals. For example, it is common to experience the stages in various orders, such as jumping from anger to depression, then back to anger again. Some signs you are experiencing the effects of grief include:

  • Debilitating sadness - This usually accompanies the Depression stage, although a chronic sadness throughout the entire grief process is common. You may feel a general loss of interest in anything and everything that usually makes you happy, and you might not feel like getting up or going to work. However depression affects you, it is important to rely on your support system and speak to a mental health professional for additional support that your friends or family may not be able to provide.

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McHenry County divorce lawyerMovies and pop culture would have you believe that spousal support is almost always granted to one spouse—usually the wife—during a divorce. However, this is not always the case. There are many divorce cases in Illinois where maintenance is deemed unnecessary for a variety of reasons. If you are in the process of getting divorced, it is important that you understand the reality surrounding spousal support as it is handled under Illinois law. 

Factors Considered in Awarding Spousal Support in Illinois

Illinois law encourages divorcing spouses to reach their own agreement regarding all of the issues of their divorce, including arrangements for spousal support, whenever possible. If the couple cannot reach an agreement, the matter will be left up to the court to decide.

In order to determine whether support is appropriate or not, a court must consider a list of many different factors. Some of the relevant considerations include:

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