stay-at-homeA stay-at-home mother makes significant career sacrifices so they can do the neverending work of raising children and caring for a home. After years of no paid vacations and very little downtime, they may find themselves having worked hard but still unsure how to pay for a divorce. Stay-at-home mothers often remain in untenable situations for too long because they do not know how to get out.

Illinois law recognizes that such a situation could arise for homemakers. That is why Illinois allows for interim spousal maintenance (formerly known as “alimony”) that can help support the stay-at-home spouse during a divorce. With effective legal representation, you can get divorced as a homemaker.

File for Temporary Spousal Maintenance

Courts want to recognize and encourage the efforts of mothers who do the important work of childrearing. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows spouses to petition for temporary financial support by filing a motion and providing a financial affidavit that details the mother’s financial situation. This includes both spouse’s incomes, if applicable, expenses, and savings.

Because temporary maintenance orders are meant to protect a financially disadvantaged spouse during divorce, the court’s willingness to grant temporary spousal maintenance, and the amount it will grant, will depend on whether the mother already has an education and work experience and how long she has been out of the workforce. The court can also consider arrangements regarding the children when determining maintenance payments. Every case is unique.

Ensure Accurate and Honest Financial Disclosure

Unfortunately, spouses will sometimes try to use divorce proceedings as a way to act out their hostilities towards their partner. It is very important to be honest and forthcoming in a financial affidavit when applying for temporary spousal maintenance because if a court believes that a spouse is representing their finances in a deliberately misleading way that is intended to increase spousal maintenance payments when they are not warranted, the court can order significant penalties. These penalties include paying for both spouses’ attorney’s and court fees, as well as the possibility of additional financial sanctions.

Temporary Spousal Maintenance Does Not Indicate Future Payments

Long-standing spousal maintenance orders require a comprehensive financial analysis of both partners’ financial situations. The maintenance that is ordered during the divorce proceedings is not reflective of the maintenance that could be ordered after the divorce is finalized. Payments could be increased, decreased, or not ordered at all.

Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney

Divorce is an option for people who worry they may not be able to afford it, no matter the reason. If you are a homemaker or stay-at-home mother and you need a divorce, schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney at Cosley Law Office. Mr. Donald J. Cosley can help you create a plan that works with your financial situation and will advocate compassionately on your behalf. Contact us today at 847-253-3100.



Posted in Divorce |

complex-divorceThe unpleasant truth about divorce orders is that neither spouse is entirely satisfied with the results. Compromise, negotiations, and a reduction in parenting time with children practically guarantees that nobody is going to get everything they want.

Anticipating this, Illinois courts have made it difficult to modify divorce orders except in certain circumstances. This article discusses when a divorce order may be modified, which parts of the divorce order may be modified, and what you can do if you believe your divorce order merits a second look.

When Can A Divorce Order Be Modified?

Unless there was an error on the part of the courts in interpreting or applying the law to a couple’s circumstances, divorce orders generally cannot be modified until at least two years have passed since the original order was finalized.

Failing to abide by the terms of a divorce decree can result in substantial legal penalties for the violating party. Until a divorce decree has been formally modified, both parties are required to abide by its terms no matter how unfair they may believe it is.

Which Parts of a Divorce Order Can be Modified?

Unless one spouse can prove that the other spouse lied about their assets or finances, the division of marital property is final and cannot be modified at all. However, other parts of a divorce order can be modified under the appropriate circumstances. The circumstances that may warrant a modification of a divorce order include:

  • Financial changes – Job or income loss, unexpected medical expenses for the child, and remarriage are all circumstances that could justify modifying certain parts of a divorce decree.
  • Location changes – Where the child primarily lives is determined by a legally binding parenting plan that is part of a divorce decree. Although parents must get permission from the other parent and the court, it is possible to modify a parenting plan to enable a parent to move and take the child with them.
  • Family Death or Crisis – If one parent suddenly finds themselves the full-time caregiver for an ill family member or in another major life crisis, parents may need to make temporary custody changes.

How Can I Petition to Modify My Divorce Order?

Individuals hoping to modify their divorce order must file a petition requesting the modification and give evidence of the substantial change in circumstances that warrants the modification. Courts will primarily consider the best interests of any children when making decisions about divorce order modifications.

If a judge finds that an ex-spouse is requesting a modification in bad faith, to be vengeful, or to harass, he or she may order the spouse requesting the modification to pay attorney and court fees for all parties involved.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Modification Attorney

It may be difficult to modify divorce orders, but it is not impossible – especially with the help of an experienced Arlington Heights divorce order modification attorney. At Cosley Law Office, we have worked with many cases like yours and have successfully petitioned to modify divorce orders. We will help you understand whether petitioning for a modification is appropriate and we will fight for your rights after a divorce. Call our office today at 847-253-3100 to schedule your free consultation.



Posted in Divorce |

stay-at-homeDeciding to get divorced is one of the most challenging decisions Illinois parents can make. This is especially true when they share children. Parents who have decided to get divorced may worry about the short- and long-term impacts of divorce on their children, beginning with the initial conversation when they break the bad news.

Even though divorce is never easy, there are strategies for handling conversations about divorce that can make the process much easier for children. In this article, we will discuss three tips for parents who want to talk to their kids about divorce in a healthy and productive way.

Have the Conversation Together

Although parents may want to give each child their side of the story, this approach is not age-appropriate. Instead, parents should talk together first and decide how to tell the children using supportive and honest language. Parents do not need to get into the details of their breakup, but should tell their children more generally that they cannot get along or do not want the same things.

Parents should also try to prevent their children from hearing about the divorce from siblings, friends, or neighbors. Children are surprisingly good at overhearing things; what parents are afraid to tell their children, the children will likely discover through other means. Parents who can be their children’s first source of accurate information about the divorce will find that the process goes much smoother.

Welcome Every Reaction

Each child will handle the news of divorce in a different way. Some may be angry, sad, or surprisingly nonchalant. It is important to remember that the way a child feels after first hearing about divorce is not indicative of how they will feel later. Parents should be open to the many different reactions that their children may have, and let each child know that their feelings are okay.

Set Expectations

Although some things will change with the divorce, children thrive on stability and will need to know what they can expect. If you know which parent is going to move out, tell them. If you do not have the answer to a question, let them know that as well. Tell them what is likely to stay the same (school, friends, and extended family) and what is likely to change (parenting schedules, second residence, holiday schedules). More than anything, reassure them of your love and commitment to parenting them.

Work with a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney

At Cosley Law Office, we understand that the first concern of many divorcing parents is how to protect their children. That is why we will work with you to help you understand your options and formulate a divorce plan based on your preferences. We strive to take the stress out of the legal side of divorce so you can focus on your family. To schedule an initial consultation with an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney, contact our offices today at 847-253-3100.


Posted in Divorce |