life insurance, Arlington Heights family law attorneyFor many individuals, it takes a divorce to realize just how financially dependent a person may be on his or her spouse. This, of course, may be all the more true if you are also trying to raise children. It is for exactly such reasons that the divorce laws in Illinois include provisions for spousal maintenance and child support. These orders are issued, when appropriate, by the court to distribute the financial burden more equitably between you and your ex-spouse. But, what would happen if your ex-spouse was no longer around to provide support for you or your children? Would you be able to get by? If the answer is no, you may want to speak with family law attorney about including life insurance requirements in your divorce agreement.

Why Life Insurance?

A life insurance policy is designed to pay financial benefits to the named beneficiaries of a policyholder upon the policyholder’s death. These funds are often used to cover funeral costs, pay down debts, or to simply maintain a similar lifestyle. Married individuals will commonly name their spouse as the primary beneficiary to help provide a level of security in the event of their death.

Reliance on Your Ex-Spouse

It may not be easy to admit, but if you are seeking spousal maintenance or child support, you are still financially dependent, to at least a certain extent, on your former partner. Your reliance may not be as strong as it once was during your marriage, but you likely count on his or her help to provide for your most basic needs and those of your children. If he or she were to die suddenly, you could face tremendous difficulty as a result of the support payment ending.

Added Security

To protect yourself, consider asking the court to require your ex to carry life insurance naming you or children as the beneficiaries. If maintenance or child support has already been ordered, you have already shown that your situation requires his or her help, and a life insurance policy is merely an added protection. Your ex-spouse may be hesitant to agree to such a request if it is simply to help you, so it may take some reminding that anything helping you also helps your children. No matter what has gone on between the two of you, your children deserve to remain the highest priority for both of you.

Call a Rolling Meadows Divorce Attorney

If you have questions about including a life insurance requirement in your divorce judgment, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. We will review your case and help you understand your available options. Call 847-253-3100 today to schedule your free consultation at Cosley Law Office, and let us assist you in providing your children the security they need and deserve.



Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Spousal Maintenance | Tagged , , , , , ,

abuse, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyDomestic abuse is a serious problem in this country. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 10 million women and men are abused by a romantic partner every year. This works out to an average of almost 20 incidents every minute. Many of the couples affected by domestic violence have children. In fact, one in every 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year. Children are deeply affected by witnessing domestic violence, and exposure to it may cause them serious anxiety, fear, sadness or even guilt.

In Illinois parental responsibility proceedings—formerly called child custody—every effort is made to make decisions which are in the child’s best interest. Therefore, most courts will not order a child to live with or have visitation with a consistently abusive parent. However, if this abuse is not known to the court or is not documented, the courts may allow arrangements that place the child in danger. This is why it is important for each parent to notify the court about any issues involving either parent that relate to domestic violence or protective orders.

Emergency Orders of Protection

If you are currently in an abusive environment, do not hesitate to seek help. If you are in immediate danger, call the police. If you are currently safe but fear what will happen in the future, you should apply for an emergency order of protection. An order of protection is a court order that prohibits your abuser from contacting you or your children among other restrictions that could be enforced.

If your spouse is found to present a serious danger to your children by the court, he or she may be completely denied parenting time rights. Other times, a judge will allow parenting time but will take other steps to keep the child and the other parent safe. For example, a judge may order that your address remain confidential from the abusive parent or that parenting time take place at a public place. Sometimes, abusive parents are allowed to communicate with a child through the phone or email but not face-to-face. In cases of extreme abuse, the court may terminate parental rights altogether.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Parental Responsibilities Attorney

At Cosley Law Office, we realize the toll that domestic abuse can take on a family. If domestic violence has affected your family and you are thinking about filing for a divorce, contact an experienced, compassionate Arlington Heights family lawyer right away. Our firm will help you obtain an order of protection and work with you in securing your safety and that of your children. Call 847-253-3100 to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable team today.



Posted in Child Custody, Domestic Abuse | Tagged , , , , ,

dissipation, Arlington Heights family law attorneyIn a divorce proceeding, the couple must reach an agreement about how they will divide their marital property, or the court will step in and divide the marital estate for them. If the court gets involved, there are numerous statutory factors that will be considered, including any claims of dissipation filed by either spouse.

Dissipation refers to the spending of marital assets inappropriately—namely, for purposes unrelated to the marriage. When a claim of dissipation is filed, it is essentially a request for the spent assets to be repaid to the marital estate so that the property division process can be completed equitably. While the type of spending is an important consideration in a dissipation claim, the timing of the spending mattes as well.

Understanding Dissipation

The Illinois Supreme Court has defined dissipation as the use of marital assets by one spouse for his or her own benefit rather than that of the marriage. Dissipation claims are common in divorce cases where a spouse has spent large amounts of money on alcohol, drugs, gambling, foolish investments, or adulterous affairs. In certain situations, dissipation could also include destroying or failing to maintain a marital asset, such as an investment property. This type of dissipation is a problem because it can dramatically reduce the overall value of the couple’s marital estate.

When the Spending Happened

If your partner has always had problems with financial responsibility, you might be tempted to claim that he or she dissipated marital assets throughout your marriage. However, the Illinois Supreme Court specifies that wasteful spending is only considered to be dissipation if it happens while “the marriage was undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown.” While it may be tough to say exactly when the marriage started to break down, this limit means that you cannot go back to the very beginning of your marriage, in most cases, and complain that your spouse was bad with money. The law also says that the dissipation will only be considered if it took place within five years prior to the filing for divorce, regardless of when the marital breakdown began.

Dissipation Claims

For your dissipation claim to be considered in your divorce, it must include certain elements:

  • You must specify the amount of money or type of property you think was dissipated.
  • You must provide a date on or around which the marriage started breaking down beyond repair.
  • You must specify a date or period during which the dissipative spending took place.

Once you have made your claim, it will be up to your spouse to prove the actions or spending in question were for the overall benefit of the marriage. If your spouse cannot justify the spending, he or she could try to show that your marriage had not started to break down yet and that the spending, therefore, was not dissipation.

Call a Rolling Meadows Family Lawyer

Situations involving possible dissipation can be complicated, but an experienced Arlington Heights divorce attorney can help you make sense of the issue. Call 847-253-3100 for a free consultation to discuss your situation with a member of the team at Cosley Law Office today.



Posted in Division of Property, Divorce | Tagged , , , ,