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IL family lawyerDivorce can be a challenging and emotionally straining process, particularly when the people divorcing have children together. However, uncontested divorces have the potential to facilitate a smoother transition and help establish successful co-parenting dynamics post-divorce. Suppose you are a parent getting divorced and are looking to ensure you and your spouse can maintain a respectable co-parenting relationship once your divorce is complete. In that case, an uncontested divorce may be a logical step in making that goal a reality. Contact a lawyer to get the uncontested divorce process started.

Reduced Conflict and Enhanced Communication

Uncontested divorces involve couples who are able to reach agreements and resolve issues without litigation or intense courtroom battles. This approach often leads to reduced conflict and more effective communication between parents. Parents can establish a foundation of mutual respect and cooperation by working together to create important post-divorce documents such as a parenting plan and other co-parenting arrangements. It is through this foundation that parents can actively engage in the decision-making process regarding their children’s lives, taking into account the unique needs and preferences of their children. This allows parents to tailor custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and other aspects of co-parenting to ensure the well-being and stability of the children. 

Flexibility and Adaptability 

Uncontested divorces provide an opportunity for parents to be flexible and adaptable in their co-parenting arrangements. By working together to find solutions that suit everyone’s needs, parents can adjust schedules, address changing circumstances, and accommodate the evolving needs of their children. This flexibility promotes a healthier and more harmonious co-parenting dynamic, allowing parents to respond to their children’s needs effectively. 


IL divorce lawyerFor self-employed business owners, getting a divorce can be a challenging experience, especially concerning what will happen to your business due to the divorce. Apart from the emotional aspects of the divorce, the division of assets and liabilities, including the valuation of the business, adds another layer of complexity. Today, we will examine key considerations for self-employed business owners getting a divorce and discuss the best approaches to valuing their business. For small business owners getting a divorce, obtain the legal counsel of an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure you can make as informed a decision as possible regarding the future of your business.

Valuation Methods for Self-Employed Business Owners

When valuing a business, various methods exist, including market-based, asset-based, and income-based approaches. While market-based methods may be appropriate for larger public companies, self-employed business owners often find income-based or asset-based approaches the most suitable. 

Income-Based Valuation

Valuing a business based on its income-generating capacity is often the preferred method for self-employed business owners. This approach involves assessing the business’s past and potential future income to determine its value. Key factors to consider also include the stability of the business, its growth potential, and any risks or uncertainties that may impact future earnings. 


IL divorce lawyerDivorce proceedings involving a shared business can be complex, requiring careful consideration of the best course of action regarding the division of business assets. In Illinois, divorcing couples have various options to consider when it comes to the business, including pursuing full ownership, maintaining joint ownership, pursuing joint ownership, or selling the business entirely. Today, we will examine these three potential options for dividing business assets in an Illinois divorce. If a business is relevant to your case, discuss your options with your attorney regarding how best to divide this valuable asset.

Pursuing Full Ownership of the Business

In some cases, one spouse may be interested in continuing the business independently. This option may entail buying out the other spouse’s share of the business. To pursue full ownership, the spouse must negotiate a fair business valuation and determine the buyout terms. This can involve financial arrangements, such as cash payments, installment payments, or offsetting the value with other marital assets. Acquiring full ownership allows the spouse to maintain control over the business and make independent decisions.

Maintaining Joint Ownership of the Business

In certain situations, divorcing spouses may opt to maintain joint business ownership even after the divorce is finalized. This arrangement requires a high level of cooperation and ongoing communication between the former spouses. Co-owning a business post-divorce may involve establishing a well-drafted partnership agreement or creating a corporate structure that clarifies each party’s rights, responsibilities, and decision-making authority. Joint ownership can be a viable option when both spouses are invested in the business’s success and can effectively navigate potential conflicts.


Wheaton Divorce LawyerIn cases of divorce or separation, it is important to ensure children’s financial stability and welfare, and child support plays a critical role in this. In Illinois, the duration of child support payments is determined by state laws and depends on various factors. This blog post will delve into the Illinois guidelines and factors related to child support.

Establishing Child Support

When a court determines child support obligations, it considers several factors, such as the child’s needs, the income of both parents and the allocation of parental responsibilities. When determining child support in Illinois, both parents’ incomes are considered, known as the income shares model.

Duration of Child Support

Child support usually ends when the child turns 18 in Illinois.. However, some exceptions increase the length of child support.:



DuPage County Family Law AttorneyThe Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was enacted by the United States government in 1997. It has been adopted by all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The purpose of the law is to regulate interstate child custody disputes, providing a uniform set of rules that are applied in custody cases that involve parents living in different states. The law ensures that the best interest of the child doctrine if always prioritized.

Determining Jurisdiction

There are a number of scenarios that can arise in child custody (referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois) cases – either when parents go to court for the original order or later on if one or both parents are seeking a modification to the current order – where parents live in different states. Since each state sets its own specific child custody laws, parents living in different states could be problematic in trying to determine which state’s laws should apply.


DuPage County Family LawyerAt one time, when a couple divorced, it was almost a given that the husband would be ordered to pay the wife alimony, now commonly referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support. Over the past several decades, as societal roles have changed and women have become financially independent, spousal support is much less common than it used to be. There are also divorces where the wife is ordered to pay the husband support.

Although it is not as common, there are circumstances where the court will order one spouse to pay the other support. The following is a brief overview of how spousal maintenance works in Illinois divorces.

Types of Spousal Support

The court will order spousal support payments based on the specific needs of the spouse who will be receiving the payments, as well as the income of the spouse who will be paying. In Illinois, there are five different types of spousal maintenance that the court could order:



While the overall rate of divorce has declined over the past several years, the rate of gray divorces has increased. Gray divorces are those that involve couples who are 50 years of age or older. Gray divorces have some unique issues that often need to be addressed that divorces involving younger spouses typically do not. One of those important issues is health insurance. What options does a person who has always been on their spouse’s health insurance have when they are divorcing later in life, especially given the high price of health insurance for older people and how might this issue affect negotiations when it comes to the division of assets?

Why You Need Health Insurance

Given the high prices of medical care, everyone should have health insurance. All it takes is one serious illness or injury and the person can be facing overwhelming medical debt that can have a significant impact on their finances and may even lead to the need to file for bankruptcy.


wheaton prenuptial agreement lawyerA prenup, also known as a premarital agreement or prenuptial agreement, is defined as an agreement between soon-to-be spouses. This agreement allows both parties to define their rights and obligations regarding assets in the event of a death or divorce. In the state of Illinois, a prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed, with a sober and clear mindset, by both parties. 

In the case where a prenuptial agreement violates Illinois law due to fraud, coercion, lack of knowledge, or any unconscionable provisions, then the agreement is not enforceable. If you want to set up a prenuptial agreement, it is important to get advice from an experienced Illinois divorce attorney, with their help you protect your assets and negotiate a fair agreement for both parties. 

What Will a Prenuptial Agreement Cover?

Here are some things to expect to cover within a prenup: 


DuPage County family lawyerWhat is a putative father? A putative father is someone believed to be the biological father of a child that was born out of wedlock. Because the couple is not married, legally the man is not the child’s father and the mother can put the child up for adoption without his permission. If the mother decides to keep the child, the man can choose to have no role in their life and therefore does not have to pay child support, but also is not allowed to have any say in how the mother chooses to raise the child. However, if the father decides he wants a say in the child's life or in the adoption process, some steps must be taken to legally become known as the child's father. 

Putative Father Registry 

The first step is to register with the Putative Father Registry. This must be done on time and if it is not, it could potentially cause the loss of parental rights altogether. When the child is born, hospitals offer Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity forms. However, if the father is not present at the birth he must register in the Putative Father Registry within thirty days of the child’s birth. The registration form will ask him to provide personal information such as his name, current address, social security number, and date of birth, as well as information about the mother and child. 

Once that is established if the mother decides that she wants to give the child up for adoption, the father will get a notice stating that there is a pending adoption. He will then be allowed to appear before the court and provide information that helps the court to determine the child's best interests. The Illinois Adoption Act states that a putative father can be a potential father if he can meet just one of the required criteria. 


wheaton child custody lawyerWhen a court in Illinois is considering a child custody case, the court’s goal is to issue a decision that is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider the parents’ wishes, each parent’s relationship with the child, the child’s wishes, and each parent’s health. Consequently, it is possible that a mental health concern could impact a child custody decision.

Mental Health and Custody Evaluations

Illinois Supreme Court Rules and the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act both allow for three types of mental health evaluations during family law cases. 

Section 604.10(b) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that a court can seek the advice of any professional to assist in determining a child’s best interests. An evaluator will be the court’s witness who should not be on either parent’s side. The court may appoint an evaluator when parents are unable to agree on the allocation of parental responsibilities. 


How the Pandemic Impacted Divorce Rates

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysWhile many people were wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic had affected divorce rates, World Population Review found that about 50 percent of married couples divorce in the United States as of 2022, giving the country the sixth-highest divorce rate in the world while secondary marriages had a higher likelihood of ending in divorce with a 60 percent rate. National Center for Health Statistics data showed 38 percent more marriages despite a 12 percent decline nationally in the first year of the pandemic. 

A report a few years ago found that while divorce was becoming less common among younger adults, the so-called gray divorce was on the rise with divorce rates doubling since the 1990s for American adults 50 years of age and older. Among people 65 years of age and older, the divorce rate has nearly tripled since 1990, now reaching six people divorcing per 1,000 married persons.

Common Causes of Divorce

The pandemic certainly placed greater stress on couples and the amounts of time they had to spend with one another. Spouses quickly learned a number of things that can impact having happy marriages, and a number of people took to getting a divorce.


Cook County divorce attorneyAll married couples have disagreements. Most marriages involve a series of high and low points, but there may be a point at which one or both spouses feel that the marriage is no longer healthy or manageable. When you have reached a point where you feel that your marriage has reached insurmountable odds, filing for divorce is generally a quite reasonable and practical step to take. However, it does happen that some spouses will face significant challenges, file for divorce, and then reconcile and remain married.

You should know that in Illinois, divorce cases can be paused or withdrawn with relative ease should you and your spouse agree that divorce is no longer in your best interests. It is also true that some individuals will file for divorce while still uncertain about whether they should stay in the marriage, and then determine that following through with terminating the marriage is the best option - this is common in spousal abuse cases when the victim files. Whether you finalize your divorce or stay married, strong legal representation is key to protecting your interests. 

What You Should Know About the Reconciliation Calendar

When you initiate divorce proceedings, your case is added to the court's calendar. In Cook County, the court maintains what is called the “reconciliation calendar.” The reconciliation calendar is effectively a list of divorce cases that have been paused by the parties. To have your case added to the reconciliation calendar, you and your spouse must mutually request for your divorce to be placed on hold. 


DuPage County family law attorneyThe parenting plan that you and your spouse establish or that the court judicially establishes on your behalf, effectively has the force of law. A parenting time schedule is grounded in a formal court order. All parties are required to act in compliance with court orders and may face legal sanctions for noncompliance, including improper relocation. This force extends to any temporary orders that may have been placed during the time period in which the divorce is in process.

If your former spouse—or current spouse if your divorce has yet to be resolved—has removed your child from the local area without seeking permission from the court, they could be charged with contempt of court. If concealment of the child in violation of any court order lasts for a period of greater than 15 days, the offending parent has opened themself up to criminal abduction charges as well. Should you discern that the other parent has removed your child from the local area without a court order, it would be prudent to discuss your rights and potential enforcement actions with an attorney. 

Differentiating Between Relocation and Moving

Used in the context of parental relocation, “relocating” and “moving” are not synonymous. A parent must inform the court and other parent of a move, but they need not seek prior permission. In the legal vernacular, relocation refers to removing the child from a familiar community and moving a great distance. Per the specific legal definition, a parent “relocates” the child if they live in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County and move a distance greater than 25 miles from their previous home. A parent residing in another Illinois County relocates if they move more than 50 miles from their previous home, while a parent presently in residence within Illinois but geographically close to a state border may move up to 25 miles, including across state lines, without relocating. 


What Happens During Divorce Litigation?

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce litigation lawyerLitigating a divorce can be a difficult process. Today, it is generally used only as a last resort if all attempts at negotiation or mediation have failed. Of course, there are some cases where attempting to resolve the divorce out of court does not make sense, such as if one spouse is refusing to cooperate with the divorce or has abused you. Some divorces involving high-value marital assets are also very likely to be resolved through litigation because there is so much at stake.

If you expect to go to court for a contested divorce, you may be quite nervous. Knowing what to expect during litigation can help keep you feeling calm and prepared. It is critical that you are represented by an aggressive and experienced attorney during a contested divorce. Hensley Sendek Law offers top-quality representation in and out of court. 

What to Expect in a Contested Divorce

When you go to divorce litigation, you are asking the court to make decisions about each issue in your divorce case. Rather than reaching an agreement, you and your spouse will each try to prove to the court that issues should be resolved in your favor. Hearings will be held. These hearings work like trials. Your attorneys will be able to introduce evidence and call witnesses. 


DuPage County divorce attorneyBeing married to someone with a mental illness can be difficult. Certainly, people with mental illness can enjoy long and successful marriages if they are receiving the appropriate treatment. A combination of medication and therapy can help a person with mental illness become a good spouse, a good parent, and a good provider. However, if your spouse is not adequately addressing their mental health issues and they are affecting your relationship, a divorce may be in order.

Getting a mentally ill spouse to cooperate with divorce proceedings can be a challenge. They may resist divorce, particularly if they are dependent on you. It is important to be represented by an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the twists and turns your case may take. 

Helpful Advice for Ending Your Marriage to a Person With Mental Illness

When you have made the decision to divorce your mentally ill spouse, you can expect some unique challenges. You know your spouse and how their mental illness affects their behavior better than anyone, so you may already know how your spouse is likely to handle being served with divorce papers. Other tips include: 


DuPage County alimony lawyerIf you rely on your spouse for financial support, divorce can be particularly stressful. Especially if you have been out of the workforce for some time or sacrificed a potential career to devote yourself to homemaking, you may be worried about how you will support yourself after getting a divorce. In Illinois, if you were financially dependent on your spouse you may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance payments, commonly called “alimony.” This is in addition to any child support you may also be entitled to receive.

The goal of spousal maintenance is to allow you to get the divorce you need without fear of extreme financial difficulty. If financial concerns are stopping you from pursuing a divorce, our lawyers may be able to help you get the support you need to begin a new life. 

When Will Illinois Courts Order Spousal Maintenance?

There are very few hard-and-fast rules when it comes to a court’s decision to award spousal maintenance. Rather, there are a number of factors the court will consider when deciding whether alimony is appropriate in your case. These factors include: 


Wheaton family law attorneyYou may think that uncontested divorce is only for amicable divorce situations, but this is not true at all. An uncontested divorce can be possible even if you and your spouse cannot stand to be around each other. You do not need to be on friendly or even speaking terms to avoid actual litigation during your divorce proceedings. There are many methods attorneys may use to facilitate a divorce settlement without going to court, some of which do not require you to speak to or see your ex at all.

Filing an uncontested divorce can save you quite a bit of time and money, as well as reduce distress for any children involved. In most situations, reaching a compromise is possible even if it takes a lot of help. An attorney can help you understand your options and determine whether an uncontested divorce is within reach for you and your spouse. 

Options for Reaching a Compromise Despite Conflict

When attorneys broach the idea of uncontested divorce with clients, a common objection is that they simply cannot be in the same room as their ex without a fight starting. The good news is that you can reach a fair compromise without ever seeing them using some methods. Strategies that can help spouses in conflict achieve uncontested divorce include: 


Wheaton divorce lawyerThere are many complicated aspects to a divorce, including dividing shared marital assets, determining spousal support payments, and potentially agreeing upon child custody. These topics can be contested between partners, considering the critical nature of finding an equal balance between assets following a divorce. When one, or both, spouses are business owners, determining the value and ownership of the practice adds another layer of complications to a divorce proceeding. However, there is a way to uncomplicate the division of business assets in an Illinois divorce. Obtaining a business valuation is an excellent advantage if you are a business owner preparing for a divorce. 

What is a Business Valuation?

When a spouse undergoing a divorce owns a business, there may be complications in determining ownership. Typically, when a company is created before marriage, that business is considered solely owned by the individual that started the venture. However, if a business began after marriage or shared funds were used to help start up a company, that business could be considered a shared marital asset, leaving it open for division between spouses. 

A business valuation includes analyzing the company's financial value to understand the market value of that business. Usually, this is done by an accountant or divorce attorney skilled in this practice area. By obtaining a business valuation, the business owner may be able to protect the business as an asset during a divorce. 


Wheaton divorce lawyerThe process of filing for a divorce can be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. The decision to dissolve a marriage can be extremely difficult for all members of the family. However, there are ways to ensure that a divorce is as easy as possible. Below are five must-know tips if you are looking to file for a divorce in the state of Illinois. 

Do Not Point Fingers 

The state of Illinois is considered a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that despite any wrongdoing from your partner, there is no at-fault party, and the divorce proceeding will focus on an equitable division of property and a workable parenting plan, if applicable. Do not waste time compiling information on any poor behavior from your partner including cheating or abandonment. The judge will not consider any of these circumstances when deciding on the issues of your divorce. 

The only exception to this rule is if your partner was abusive. If your partner has a history of being abusive towards you, your children or others, including a criminal record, this information may be factored into determining custody of children and other aspects of the divorce.


shutterstock_366568778.jpgWhen filing for a divorce with children involved, each spousal party will be required to uphold their individual parental responsibilities. This typically includes who will be the residential parent who primarily lives with the kids, dividing up parenting time, division of assets such as the home and child support payments. The majority of child support payments end when the child turns 18 years old. However, there are a few reasons why child support may be extended past the time the child becomes a legal adult. These reasons may include extenuating medical expenses or even paying for your child’s college education

Do I Have to Pay for My Child’s College Tuition?

Whether or not a parent is required to extend child support payments through the time the child is in college is determined by your divorce agreement. Judges will typically approve a divorce decree that allows the children to live with the assets they would most likely have had if the parents remained married. This means that if the two divorced parents would have been in a better financial situation to pay for college had they stayed married, a judge may elect to have the non-custodial parent help pay for tuition. 

How to Get My Ex-Spouse to Help Pay for College

During the time of your divorce, it may not have been explicitly stated if your spouse was going to extend child support payments into your child’s college education. Many times, children decide not to go to university and explore other secondary educational opportunities or jump right into the workforce after high school. If your ex-spouse was not originally obligated to help pay for college expenses, you can file for a new court order to extend his or her payments. 

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