Tag Archives: Illinois divorce laws

Money and Property – How Illinois’ New Divorce Law Impacts Your Wallet

Guest Post by: Andrew G. Vaughn. Divorce Attorney/Founder of NuVorce LLC and Professor of Advanced Domestic Relations Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

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On January 1, 2016 a new set of divorce laws became effective in Illinois. These laws changed many of the core practices in divorce. In this three part guest blog post, we will discuss: (1) the fundamentals of divorce, (2) how this new law impacts your kids, and (3) how this new law impacts your wallet.

The Basics

There are three basic financial issues that can impact you in a divorce: (1) Alimony, (2) Child Support, and (3) Property Division.

Alimony

Alimony is financial support for a spouse. Under the new Divorce Law, Illinois has adopted a formula for alimony which is: (Step 1) Multiply the gross income (income before taxes) of Alimony Paying Spouse by .3, (Step 2) Multiply the gross income of the Alimony Receiving Spouse by .2, (Step 3) subtract the product of Step 2 from the product of Step 1. This is the amount of alimony that is to be paid. (Note: there are exceptions to this formula – such as for couples who earn more than $250,000. There are also additional steps in the formula, but this is the basic idea.)

Child Support

Child support is paid from one spouse to another to support the children. Under the new Illinois Divorce Law, there is a formula for child support which is the following percentages of net income (income after taxes) based on the number of children you have: 1 child – 20%, 2 children 28%, 3 children 32%, 4 children 40%, 5 children 45%, 6 or more children – 50%. (Note: there is a provision that allows for exceptions to this formula, but this is applied in most cases.)

Property Division

Property consists of the assets (items with positive value – real estate, retirement accounts, business interests, etc.) and liabilities (items with negative value – mortgages, credit card debt, student loans, etc.). Under the new Illinois Divorce Law, the court follows three steps before dividing property: (1) Classification: identify if property is marital or non-marital (marital property is anything you acquired during the marriage; non-marital property is property from before you were married or that you got by inheritance or gift), (2) value the property (i.e. How much is your business actually worth?), and (3) divide the marital property equitably (equitably means fair, so not necessarily 50/50).

Bottom Line

There are now formulas for alimony and child support. Formulas may make the process easier and more predictable, but the use of formulas may be unfair in certain circumstances. Marital property will be divided fairly – so not necessarily 50/50.

If you’d like to know more, visit us at www.nuvorce.com, email us at info@nuvorce.com, or call us at 312-802-2897.

Custody and Visitation – How Illinois’ New Divorce Law Impacts Your Kids

Guest Post by: Andrew G. Vaughn. Divorce Attorney/Founder of NuVorce LLC and Professor of Advanced Domestic Relations Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

On January 1, 2016 a new set of divorce laws became effective in Illinois. These laws changed many of the core practices in divorce. In this three part guest blog post, we will discuss: (1) the fundamentals of divorce, (2) how this new law impacts your kids, and (3) how this new law impacts your wallet.

The Basics

Deciding to divorce can be difficult if children are involved. If you do decide to divorce, there will be two primary issues related to you kids that will need to be resolved: (1) who will have custody of the children and (2) what the visitation schedule will be. (Note: Child Support is also related to the Kids, but will be addressed in our next post – How Illinois’ New Divorce Law Impacts Your Wallet).

Custody

Under the old law, Custody meant decision making authority for major decisions for your kids. Major decisions are not what they’re wearing to school but bigger picture issues like: (1) Medical – who will their doctor be, (2) Education – where will they go to school, and (3) Religion – what religion, if any, will they be raised in. Under the new law, Custody still means decision making, they’ve just added a fourth major decision – (4) Extracurricular Activities.

While adding Extracurricular Activities is a smaller change, the next one is big. They have added an additional type of custody that can exist. Under the prior law, parents could have “Joint Custody” which meant that those major decisions were made by both parents together. Alternatively, one parent could be awarded “Sole Custody” which meant that major decisions were made by only one parent. Under the new law, there is still Joint Custody and Sole Custody, but they have also added a hybrid where the court can divide the decisions between the parents (For example: doctor parent makes medical decisions and teacher parent make educational decisions).

Visitation

Under the old law, visitation with children was to be “reasonable.” Under the new law, the visitation is to be based on the “best interests of the children.” I recently asked a Judge what the difference was between the reasonable standard and the best interest standard. Her response: “I have no clue.”

Bottom Line

Under the new law there is a hybrid type of custody between Joint and Sole, extracurricular activities are now considered a major decision, and no one yet knows how visitation has been changed.
If you’d like to know more, visit us at www.nuvorce.com, email us at info@nuvorce.com, or call us at 312-802-2897.