shutterstock_1044314224-minWhen divorcing spouses in Illinois are negotiating fiscal issues like spousal maintenance and marital asset distribution, tax implications should never be far from mind. Divorce arrangements can differ significantly in terms of how much tax spouses will be paying or saving, and a divorce decree should never be finalized without understanding exactly what it means for your finances. Here are three areas to keep an eye on.

Child Dependents

When spouses are married, they claim their children jointly on their tax returns. After a divorce is finalized, only one parent can claim a child each year. Spouses who can work together can come up with any agreement that makes sense for them. Perhaps spouses switch off years, or certain children are always claimed by a certain spouse. Whatever the arrangement is, be sure to put it in writing so you do not accidentally trigger an IRS audit by both claiming the same child.

Asset Sales and Transfers

If a capital asset like a home will be sold in the divorce, be sure to consider the potential tax consequences of any capital gains. Spouses can agree to divide the tax burden as well as the proceeds, but they should factor this into their decision-making and put any agreement in writing.

Spousal Maintenance

While spousal maintenance (alimony) may be paid directly from one spouse to the other, there are still tax implications. The spouse receiving maintenance will have to pay taxes on it – and because the paying spouse will not be handling taxes as if they were an employer, the receiving spouse will likely want to make periodic estimated tax payments to the IRS. The spouse making payments can deduct them on their income tax return, but the IRS uses heightened scrutiny in the years immediately following divorce to make sure nobody is disguising attorneys’ fees or other post-divorce obligations as income.

Call an Experienced Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney

Understanding the tax implications of divorce can make the difference between unexpected surprises next tax season and setting yourself up for success many years into the future. An experienced Arlington Heights, IL divorce attorney with Cosley Law Office can help you explore your options and make decisions that benefit you now. Call us today at 847-253-3100.


Posted in Divorce |

shutterstock_1935621667-minDuring the 1970s, the introduction of no-fault divorce laws in the United States made it much easier to get divorced and divorce rates subsequently skyrocketed. For many people, this was an unalloyed good; getting out of difficult or abusive marriages became much easier. But for decades, divorce laws definitively favored the mother when children were involved. Mothers often automatically received full custody and fathers had to fight an uphill battle in court to gain access to their children. 

Today, divorce laws in Illinois are gender neutral and it is much easier for men to have shared parenting time and parental responsibilities. Nevertheless, myths about men in divorce persist. If you are a man seeking father’s rights in Illinois, here are three common myths and the truth about them.

Myth One: Wives Are Always Awarded Spousal Maintenance

In the past, men traditionally earned all or most of a household’s income. Because women were frequently homemakers with little education or income of their own, spousal maintenance (previously known as alimony) was nearly ubiquitous. Today, however, Illinois spousal maintenance laws are written to consider both spouses’ education and incomes, and Illinois family courts are more concerned with fairness and facts than tradition.

Myth Two: If a Father Does Not Pay Child Support, He Cannot See His Children

Children need financial support from both parents, and child support orders are legally binding. There are serious consequences for not paying child support on time and in full. However, fathers are never prohibited from seeing their children only because they have not met their child support obligations. Illinois law separates child custody and child support, and parents who cannot afford their child support payments can petition for a modification in court.

Myth Three: Mothers Automatically Get Full Custody

Now divided between parenting time and parental responsibilities, in the past “custody” was commonly awarded mostly or entirely to mothers. Today, however, Illinois law recognizes how crucial fathers are to a child’s healthy emotional development. Family courts will consider the best interests of the child before anything else, and this nearly always means having a close relationship with both parents.

Call an Arlington Heights Father’s Rights Divorce Attorney

At Cosley Law Office, we know how important it is for men to have relationships with their children. We also understand the many challenges men face when trying to obtain parental responsibilities and parenting time. If you are a father getting divorced in Illinois, consider scheduling a free consultation with an Arlington Heights, IL father’s rights lawyer to learn more about how we can help you. Call us today at 847-253-3100.


Posted in Family Law |

arlington heights divorce lawyer

For most couples, divorce is a contentious process. Many years of hurt often culminate in divorce proceedings where the gloves come off and couples use issues like property division and parenting time as a proxy arena in which to hash out their personal differences. But taking this approach hurts everyone, especially if there are children involved, and can lead to a hostile divorce that takes much longer.

One solution to help couples avoid overly antagonistic divorce is called mediation. During mediation, a neutral third party who is specially trained in Illinois law helps divorcing couples discuss their differences with a focus on finding solutions. Mediation is not a perfect or easy process, but it can help a divorce move much faster – and therefore cost much less. Here are three ways mediation may help divorcing couples save time and get the divorce over sooner.

Less Time Fighting Over Issues

Because a mediator has training in conflict resolution, he or she can help a couple stay on track during negotiations. Mediators are good at helping couples prioritize, express their opinions and be heard, and craft a divorce agreement that a judge is likely to approve. When couples understand their realistic options and work together, the entire process moves more quickly.

Less Waiting for Court Appointments

Litigated divorces are notorious for how long they can be, and in the worst cases can last several years. With every court hearing, a couple must wait for the opportunity to get an appointment scheduled with a judge. Mediation can reduce the time it takes between filing for divorce and finalizing a divorce because fewer court hearings are required. In some uncontested divorces, couples may get their divorce finalized after only one hearing.

Less Time Spent Working To Pay For Attorneys

Contentious divorces that drag the process on for months and even years can put a serious burden on each spouse’s finances and push individuals to the point of insolvency. Sometimes, divorce proceedings must even be postponed as spouses work to save money to pay for more attorney’s fees. With mediation, the process can get resolved faster so each spouse spends less money on their attorney and less time working to pay for the divorce.

Meet with a Rolling Meadows Divorce Mediation Lawyer

If you are considering divorce and are wondering how mediation may help you, meet with a Cook County, IL divorce mediation attorney at Cosley Law Office. We have helped many couples achieve resolutions, even in difficult circumstances, and we will take pride in advocating passionately for our clients. To learn more about mediation and how we can help you, call our offices today at 847-253-3100.




Posted in Divorce |