Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C.
Schaumburg Family Law Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

When choosing a family law attorney, you probably have a number of questions. Some of our most common questions are found here. If you do no see yours listed, please contact our office directly. We are happy to help!

Other

When you are facing a legal problem, it is important to hire the right attorney for your case. Many lawyers in the Rolling Meadows, IL, area—including Robert M. Kaplan—offer a free initial consultation.

This initial consultation is not the time where you will receive in-depth legal advice. Rather, it is an opportunity to meet with an attorney so you can decide whether or not this is the right attorney for you and your situation.

Prepare Ahead of Time for Your Consultation

Because the initial consultation is generally short, it’s best if you go well prepared. Take a look at the attorney’s website to gather information prior to the meeting. This will help save some time and enable you to maximize the time you have for the initial consultation.

Have questions in mind to ask the attorney about his or her background and experience. Find out, for instance, how long he or she has been practicing law. Ask about the number of cases similar to yours the attorney has handled—and find out what the verdicts were.

Don’t let yourself feel intimidated. Ask the questions that are important to you.

Find Out How You Will Work With the Attorney

Depending on the size of the firm, you might have other lawyers working with you on your case. Ask about this up front so you know what to expect.

Often paralegals and clerks will be working on your case as well, particularly in terms of handling the paperwork. Find out who your point of contact will be.

Other questions you can ask include how often you can expect to hear from your attorney, how will communication be handled after hours, and how soon you will hear back after leaving a message or sending an email.

Money is important, so find out what the expected costs will be for your case at this initial meeting.

Find Out About the Proposed Legal Strategy

How does the lawyer expect your case to turn out? What kinds of procedures will be used to fight your case? Are mediation and arbitration options? All of these details are important to help you make the best decision for your case.

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If you are facing a legal problem in Rolling Meadows, call lawyer Robert M. Kaplan and make an appointment for an initial consultation.

There comes a point in most people’s lives where they will need a lawyer. You want to find the best lawyer in Schaumburg, Il.

The First Steps When Finding a Lawyer

The first step in finding a lawyer is to ask your employer. Some employers have employee assistance programs so you can get discounted legal services. Particularly if you have a relatively simple legal need, such as drafting a will or a power of attorney, this can be a great way to get some affordable help.

Next, you can ask family, friends, and colleagues for recommendations. If you know any other lawyers, they can be a good resource for recommending others in the area of law you are seeking help with.

Check with your state or local bar association’s lawyer referral service. This can be a good way to get a list of attorneys in your area who practice in the area of the law that you need.

Research Potential Attorneys in the Schaumburg Area

Once you have a list of potential attorneys, it’s time to do a bit of research. Find out how much experience they have working with clients such as yourself. Find out if they have had disciplinary actions via the state bar website. Find out how they expect to be paid—and how much they expect.

Alimony

Divorce is wrought with emotion, particularly if cheating occurred during the marriage. If your spouse cheated, it’s natural to assume that he or she should be punished for that and any alimony (otherwise known as maintenance) withheld. The truth, however, is that in the state of Illinois, cheating and adultery are irrelevant when it comes to divorce.

Your Schaumburg alimony lawyer Robert M. Kaplan can advise you further, depending on your specific situation. Read on for a brief discussion of the import of cheating and adultery on divorce and alimony.

Grounds for Divorce

As of January 1, 2016, the only grounds for divorce in the state of Illinois is irreconcilable differences. Essentially, this means every divorce filed after that date is considered “no fault.” Whether adultery was committed or not is irrelevant and will not be considered in the economics of the divorce, including child support, alimony, or the division of property.

Spousal Support—or Alimony

If your spouse cheated, there is no doubt it is painful. But it will not make any difference in terms of alimony that may have to be paid. It might be tempting to think that if a judge is aware one spouse was a cheater, he or she will make decisions to somehow benefit the wronged spouse. The fact is, most judges are more concerned about the relevancies in a case than to spend any time thinking about something that is completely irrelevant.

Dissipation

The only time adultery might become a factor in a divorce is if one spouse spent marital funds for nonmarital purposes. For instance, if a cheating husband purchased a condo for his girlfriend, his wife would essentially have to be paid back.

Call for a Consultation in 60194

If you are facing divorce and have questions for an alimony lawyer in Schaumburg, give us a call today for a consultation.

The maintenance tax deduction for cases finalized after December 31, 2018, has been eliminated. To account for this change in the tax law, effective January 1, 2019, Illinois’ new maintenance guidelines will be based on net income - 33 1/3% of payor’s net income minus 25% of payee’s net income capped at 40% of the parties combined net income. Maintenance guidelines will continue to be applicable up to $500,000 of combined gross income. All maintenance judgments entered prior to December 31, 2018 will continue to be deductible even if modified after December 31, 2018 unless agreed otherwise. Those awards will continue to utilize the current gross incomes guidelines of 30% of payor’s gross income minus 20% of payee’s gross income capped at 40% of the parties combined gross income. 

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Do you have more questions on the Maintenance Tax changes? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for more information.

If you are currently going through or even considering a divorce, you likely have a number of questions that can feel overwhelming. Maintenance is often one of those questions that can cause disagreement between parties. Maintenance, Alimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance all mean the same thing – money paid from one party to the other party based on a number of financial calculations.

Factors To Determine Alimony Support

Some of the factors considered when determining alimony support include:

  • The incomes of both parties
  • Living expenses
  • The future earning potential of both parties
  • The division of assets
  • The length of the marriage
  • Financial needs
  • Accustomed lifestyle
  • Tax implications of each party
  • Career or education implications
  • Any previous agreement between parties
  • Other factors considered relevant by the court
  • Retirement

To ensure fair treatment when considering maintenance, an experienced attorney can guide you through the process, ensure that you have not forgotten any key considerations, and make sure that all of the paperwork is filed properly and on time so that your agreement falls within the guidelines required by the court.

Contact Our 60194 Law Firm

If you require a lawyer in Schaumburg, IL or have questions about whether you require legal representation for your divorce, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, PC for a consultation.

Effective January 1, 2015, the State of Illinois has imposed guideline maintenance calculations, which are similar to the guideline child support laws. If your combined household income is more than $250,000 gross dollars, the new law will not have the same effect on your support.

Contact Our 60194 Law Firm

Do you have more questions on child support in Illinois? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for a consultation. 

Bankruptcy Law

Public utilities, such as the electric company, cannot refuse or cut off service because you have filed for bankruptcy. However, the utility can require a deposit for future service and you do have to pay bills which arise after your bankruptcy is filed.

Call Our Schaumburg IL Law Firm 

Are you having issues navigating the bankruptcy process? Call our Schaumburg IL law firm to schedule a consultation today.

 

 

If you lost your license solely because you couldn’t pay court-ordered damages caused in an accident, bankruptcy will allow you to get your license back.

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Do you want to learn more about the bankruptcy process? Please call our Hoffman Estates law firm to schedule a consultation. 

No. 11 U.S.C. sec. 525 prohibits governmental units and private employers from discriminating against you because you filed a bankruptcy petition or because you failed to pay a dischargeable debt.

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Are you having a tough time navigating the bankruptcy process in Cook County? Please call Robert Kaplan to schedule a consultation. 

You cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 case if you received a discharge under a Chapter 7 case filed in the last eight years or a Chapter 13 filed in the last six years. You cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 case if you received a discharge under a Chapter 7 case filed in the last four years or a Chapter 13 filed in the last two years. If you didn’t receive a discharge in the previous bankruptcy filing, depending on why this is the case, you can file and receive a discharge without any time restrictions.

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Want to learn more about bankruptcy in Cook County? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm to schedule a consultation. 

Alimony, maintenance, and/or support are protected from discharge. Divorce decrees and separation agreements are covered by 11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(15). This section states that these debts are not dischargeable unless:

  1. The debtor does not have the ability to pay such debt from income or property of the debtor not reasonably necessary to be expended for the maintenance or support of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor and, if the debtor is engaged in a business, for the payment of expenditures necessary for the continuation, preservation, and operation of such business; or
  2. Discharging such debt would result in a benefit to the debtor that outweighs the detrimental consequences to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor.

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Are you struggling with debt and feeling overwhelmed? Call us to talk to an attorney and get a free case review.

Yes, but your spouse will still be liable for any joint debts. If you file together you will be able to double your exemptions. In some cases where only one spouse has debts, or one spouse has debts that are not dischargeable then it might be advisable to have only one spouse file. If the spouses have joint debts, the fact that one spouse discharged the debt may show on the other spouse's credit report.

Contact Our Schaumburg IL Law Firm

Are you having a tough time navigating the ins and outs of the bankruptcy process? Attorney Robert Kaplan can help you and your spouse clarify any issues you have with the bankruptcy process. Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for a consultation. 

 

 

Student Loans

Generally, student loans are not discharged in bankruptcy. In 11 U.S.C. sec. 523(a)(8) there are two exceptions to this general rule:

  1. The student loan may be discharged if it is neither – Insured or guaranteed by a governmental unit, nor made under any program funded in whole or in part by a governmental unit or nonprofit institution.
  2. The student loan may be discharged if paying the loan will “impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents.”

Student Loans and Bankruptcy in Schaumburg 

Whether an exception applies depends on the facts of the particular case and may also depend on local court decisions. Even if a student loan falls into one of the two exceptions, discharge of the loan may not be automatic. You may have to file an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court to obtain a court order declaring the debt discharged.

What Happens to Loan Co-Signers When Bankruptcy is Filed?​

If someone has co-signed a loan with you and you file for bankruptcy, the co-signer may have to pay your debt.

 

 

 

Bankruptcy is a legal process by which an individual who cannot pay his or her bills can get a fresh financial start. The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by federal law, and all bankruptcy cases are handled in federal court. Filing bankruptcy immediately stops all of your creditors from seeking to collect debts from you (the “automatic stay”), at least until your debts are sorted out according to the law or they get relief from the automatic stay to protect their interest in any secured property.

How can I get a copy of a bankruptcy filing?

The Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court provides public access to bankruptcy court documents through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), an electronic public access service.  

What Does It Cost to File for Bankruptcy?

It now costs $306 to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and $281 to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, whether for one person or a married couple. The court may allow you to pay this filing fee in installments if you cannot pay all at once. If you hire an attorney you will also have to pay the attorney’s fees you agree to.

Contact Our Schaumburg IL Law Firm

Do you have more questions about bankruptcy in Cook County? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for more information and to schedule a consultation.

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, you file a petition asking the court to discharge your debts. The idea is to wipe out (discharge) your debts in exchange for your giving up property, except for “exempt” property which the law allows you to keep. In most, but not all cases, your property will be exempt. But property which is not exempt is sold, with the money distributed to creditors. If you want to keep property like a home or a car and are behind on the payments on a mortgage or car loan, a Chapter 7 case probably will not be the right choice for you. That is because Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate the right of mortgage holders or car loan creditors to take your property to cover your debt.

What Happens in an Illinois Chapter 13?

In a Chapter 13 case, you file a “plan” showing how you will pay off a percentage of your past-due and current debts over three to five years. The most important thing about a Chapter 13 case is that it will allow you to keep valuable property–especially your home and car–which might otherwise be lost in a Chapter 7, if you can make the payments which the bankruptcy law requires to be made to your creditors. In most cases, these payments will be at least as much as your regular monthly payments on your mortgage or car loan, with an additional payment to pay the arrearage you have not paid.

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Do you have more questions on Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm to schedule a consultation today.

You can keep your exempt property and anything you obtain after the bankruptcy is filed. However, if you receive an inheritance, a property settlement, or life insurance benefits within 180 days after your bankruptcy, that money or property may have to be paid to your creditors if the property or money is not exempt. 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 case, you can keep all property which is “exempt” from the claims of creditors. When determining what property is exempt you must keep in mind that the value of the property is not the amount you paid for it, but what you could sell it for now. In addition, you do not need to cover the full value of the property, but only your actual equity in any property. For example, if you own a $200,000 house with a $170,000 mortgage, you count your exemptions against the $30,000 which is your equity if you sell it. While your exemptions allow you to keep property even in a Chapter 7 case, your exemptions do not relieve you of the obligation to make current mortgage or car payments-otherwise the mortgage holder or car loan creditor has the right to take the property to cover the debt if you are behind on payments.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 

In a Chapter 13 case, you can keep all of your property if your plan meets the requirements of the bankruptcy law. In most cases, you will have to pay the mortgages or liens as you would if you didn’t file bankruptcy.

Contact Our Schaumburg IL Law Firm

Robert Kaplan is an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Schaumburg, IL and will guide you through the process. 

In most cases, you will not lose your home or car during your bankruptcy case as long as your equity in the property is fully exempt. If your property is not fully exempt, you will be able to keep it if you pay its non-exempt value to creditors in Chapter 13, or negotiate a settlement with the Bankruptcy Trustee in Chapter 7.

Security Interests

Some of your creditors may have a “security interest” in your home, automobile or other personal property. Bankruptcy does not make these security interests go away. If you don’t make your payments on that debt, the creditor may be able to take and sell the home or the property, during or after the bankruptcy case. There are several ways that you can keep collateral or mortgaged property after you file bankruptcy. You can agree to keep making your payments on the debt until it is paid in full, or you can pay the creditor the amount that the property you want to keep is worth. In some cases involving fraud or other improper conduct by the creditor, you may be able to challenge the debt. 

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Contact experienced bankruptcy attorney, Robert Kaplan, if you have any questions about the bankruptcy process in Illinois. 

You must wait until you have lived in a state for 91 days before you can file your bankruptcy case there. If you lived in your current state for more than 91 days but less than two years, you will file in your current state but use the exemptions from where you lived for the majority of the 180 day period immediately previous to the 2 year period before you filed.  

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If you need help navigating the bankruptcy process in Illinois, please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm to schedule a consultation.

This is a great question, to which there is no clear answer. If you are behind on your bills, your credit may already be bad and declaring bankruptcy will probably not make things any worse. The fact that you’ve filed a bankruptcy can appear on your credit record for ten years. However, since bankruptcy wipes out your old debts, you are likely to be in a better position to pay your current bills, and you may be able to get new credit after showing an ability to pay your debts on time.

Can I Get a Credit Card After Bankruptcy?

Yes, there is no legal restriction on this, but in all likelihood, most credit card companies will be hesitant to give you a credit card after filing for bankruptcy. Alternatively, you could use a bank or debit card to perform activities for which you normally would use a credit card. You also may be able to keep the credit card you already have if the creditor grants approval. If these options do not work, you can get secured credit card which is backed by your own bank account.

Call Our Schaumburg IL Law Firm

Are you looking for an experienced attorney that can help guide you through the complicated bankruptcy process? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm to schedule a consultation. 

 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy—whether it is chapter 7 or chapter 13—is not an easy one for any Schaumburg, IL resident. But sometimes, when you are simply unable to pay off your debts, it is the best option. You should be aware, however, that when you file for bankruptcy your credit score will take a pretty big hit. The bankruptcy will be a part of your credit report for quite some time.

Different Types of Bankruptcy

There are two different types of bankruptcy available for most consumers: chapter 7 and chapter 13. Those who file chapter 7 are able to discharge all or most of their debts. Those who file chapter 13 are able to make payments to pay off some or all of their debts. Both types of bankruptcy will be part of your credit report.

How Damaging Is Bankruptcy to Credit Score?

A good credit score of 700 or more will likely drop by at least 200 points when filing for bankruptcy. If your credit score is lower than 700, bankruptcy will probably cause it to drop a bit less, perhaps between 130 and 150 points. The bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for a number of years, but its impact will lessen over time.

Rebuilding Credit After a Bankruptcy

Although your credit score will be damaged after filing for bankruptcy, the good news is that you can rebuild your credit.
Take the following steps in the months following your bankruptcy filing:

  • Make sure the bankruptcy was reported correctly by pulling your credit report. If there are inaccuracies on our credit report, get those corrected.
  • Apply for a secured credit card to help rebuild your credit with a positive payment history. Make sure to pay everything on time and keep debt levels low.
  • Keep track of your progress by periodically pulling your credit report.

Contact Our 60194 Law Firm

If you’re considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, don’t make a decision until you talk with a Schaumburg, IL lawyer such as Robert M. Kaplan. Call today for a consultation!

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, you file a petition asking the court to discharge your debts. The idea is to wipe out (discharge) your debts in exchange for your giving up property, except for “exempt” property which the law allows you to keep. In most, but not all cases, your property will be exempt. But property which is not exempt is sold, with the money distributed to creditors. If you want to keep property like a home or a car and are behind on the payments on a mortgage or car loan, a Chapter 7 case probably will not be the right choice for you. That is because Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate the right of mortgage holders or car loan creditors to take your property to cover your debt.

What Happens in an Illinois Chapter 13?

In a Chapter 13 case, you file a “plan” showing how you will pay off a percentage of your past-due and current debts over three to five years. The most important thing about a Chapter 13 case is that it will allow you to keep valuable property–especially your home and car–which might otherwise be lost in a Chapter 7, if you can make the payments which the bankruptcy law requires to be made to your creditors. In most cases, these payments will be at least as much as your regular monthly payments on your mortgage or car loan, with an additional payment to pay the arrearage you have not paid.

Contact Our Schaumburg IL Law Firm

Do you have more questions on Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm to schedule a consultation today.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, you file a petition asking the court to discharge your debts. The idea is to wipe out (discharge) your debts in exchange for your giving up property, except for “exempt” property which the law allows you to keep. In most, but not all cases, your property will be exempt. But property which is not exempt is sold, with the money distributed to creditors. If you want to keep property like a home or a car and are behind on the payments on a mortgage or car loan, a Chapter 7 case probably will not be the right choice for you. That is because Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate the right of mortgage holders or car loan creditors to take your property to cover your debt.

What Happens in an Illinois Chapter 13?

In a Chapter 13 case, you file a “plan” showing how you will pay off a percentage of your past-due and current debts over three to five years. The most important thing about a Chapter 13 case is that it will allow you to keep valuable property–especially your home and car–which might otherwise be lost in a Chapter 7, if you can make the payments which the bankruptcy law requires to be made to your creditors. In most cases, these payments will be at least as much as your regular monthly payments on your mortgage or car loan, with an additional payment to pay the arrearage you have not paid.

Contact Our Schaumburg IL Law Firm

Do you have more questions on Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm to schedule a consultation today.

Child Custody Law

As part of your divorce or paternity action, you will normally be restricted from moving out of state without court permission or written agreement from the other parent. There are specific factors that are taken into account when a parent desires to move out of state. If those factors are met, a court may grant you the right to move even if the other parent objects. There are different standards involved for in-state moves.

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If you have more questions or concerns on child custody laws in the Cook County area, please call the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan for a consultation. 

In Illinois, child custody courts recognize “legal custody” for children. That means that the parent or guardian is legally able to make decisions for the child’s best interest. “Physical custody” refers to whom the child will be living with until they reach age 14 when they can make that decision on their own. A parent or guardian can have sole custody (one parent) or joint custody (both parents) and the details of each arrangement will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Legally, at the age of 14, children can make a decision about who they prefer to live within a divorce or separation. The court can overrule their decision if they feel that it will endanger the child or it is not in their best interest.

Create a Parenting Plan

During a divorce or separation, you will create a parenting plan that addresses the arrangements and needs of your child. This parenting plan will outline which parent has visitation rights on holidays, birthdays, special occasions, and vacations. It will also outline who is responsible for transportation arrangements, supervision when it is required, and other details regarding your individual needs.

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It is important to remember that most decisions will depend on you, your spouse or partner, and the needs of your child, which can vary depending on their age and any special care that may be required. If you would like to learn more about child custody in Illinois, please contact our Schaumburg law firm. 

Last year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Public Act 99-0764, which went into effect on July 1, 2017. The purpose of the act is to change how child support is calculated in Illinois. The new law will use the income share model for calculating child support, which is already customary in many other states.

What Does the New Law Mean for You?

When the income shares model is used for calculating child support, courts are directed to award a minimum percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income. The income of the custodial parent will not come into play.

This model uses an economic table (published by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services) that determines the estimated costs of caring for a child if a couple were living together. Based on the couple’s combined income, the number of children, and cost of living, each parent is responsible for a portion of those costs based on their income. This could mean that current child support amounts will go up or down, depending on the situation.

Other Ramifications of the New Law

In situations where parenting is shared, which is defined as both parents having the child for a minimum of 146 overnights per year, the new law also changes support obligations. The base amount of child support will increase for both parents. But in these shared situations, the more time you spend with your child, the less your child support obligation will be—after you have met the 146 nights per year criteria.

Under the new law, the court is given the option of deviating from the recommended guidelines what it deems it appropriate.

Contact Robert M. Kaplan in 60194

Every situation is different, and if you have questions about the new child support laws in Illinois, contact Robert M. Kaplan. With his experience and knowledge, he can examine your current custody arrangement and let you know what the new law might mean for you. Call today for a consultation!

If the biological father (for example) is still alive, he must agree to terminate his parental rights–or a trial on the issue of terminating parental rights must be held. Next, you have to prove your fitness to parent to the court. This step is usually not as burdensome unless you have a criminal background, however, even persons with criminal backgrounds can adopt under the right circumstances.

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Do you have more questions on the adoption process in Cook County? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for a consultation. 

Child Support

If you had a child out of wedlock and the father is not contributing to the expenses of your child, you may be eligible for child support and other expenses (such as medical costs, child care, and extracurricular activities) from the parentage or paternity court. You have to file a petition for him to do so, and once that petition is filed you have preserved the issue as of the date of filing. The same is true for fathers raising their children without help from the mother.

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Do you have more questions on child support? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for a consultation today. 

Because of the complexity of the legal system and the necessity to follow the proper steps in order to receive the money owed to you, seeking legal counsel is a good idea. Illinois attorney, Robert M. Kaplan PC is experienced in all aspects of family law and will guide you through the process of receiving the child support due to you.

Caring for children can be costly and often the custodial parent relies on child support payments to make ends meet. When a parent does not pay, it can create a financial hardship for you and your child. Fortunately, if you have a court agreement, you will likely have legal recourse to receive the money owed to you.

Collecting Child Support in Illinois

If you have a court-ordered child support agreement and the child’s non-custodial parent has failed to pay for child support, the courts may be able to help you receive your eligible back child support as well as future payments.

Often, unless both parties agreed otherwise, child support is taken directly from the parent’s paycheck. If you both have agreed not to have it taken directly from the paycheck, you may still have legal recourse. 

A court-ordered child support agreement entitles you to receive child support as long as:

  • The non-custodial parent has a steady job and paycheck
  • The judge has entered a child support order

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If payments are not made, the judge may file to garnish their wages in order to reclaim delinquent child support money. To do so, filing a “Notice to Withhold Income for Support” will be necessary. If the non-custodial parent intentionally violates the court order, they may be found in contempt of court and potentially face jail time. If you have more questions on child support, please contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan for a consultation. 

Hopefully, your divorce decree sets forth an obligation to contribute to your child’s college education. However, in the event it doesn’t the Illinois courts can make a divorced parent contribute toward their child’s college expenses. If you have not been divorced yet or if your divorce decree does not require a contribution to your child’s college education, then you must file a petition with the Court. Once that petition is filed, you have preserved the issue as of the date of filing, and you will exchange financial information with the other parent to determine whether a contribution is likely to be ordered.

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Do you have more questions about college expenses in relation to child support? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for a consultation. 

When you or your ex-spouse’s income fluctuates, i.e. a salesman with a base salary plus commission, you will often hear that a “true-up” is necessary at the end of each quarter or year. If there has been an over or underpayment, you “true-up” at that time. As part of the process, all income information is exchanged, and the accurate child support (or maintenance) sum is determined. Documents involved usually include W-2s, 1099s, K-1s, tax returns, and bank statements; both personal and business records.

Contact Our Schaumburg IL Family Law Firm

Do you have more questions on child support in Cook County? Please contact the family law firm of Robert M. Kaplan for a consultation. 

Civil Unions

A civil union is a legally recognized and protected joinder of two people. Civil unions can be entered into by both heterosexual and same-sex couples, and the union provides legal rights similar to those found in marriage.

After the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case, the United States Supreme Court ruled that marriage would be legally available to all same-sex couples. 

Benefits of Civil Unions

Prior to this ruling, however, civil unions existed largely to grant many protections to same-sex couples that, at the time, were only available to married couples. Civil unions were and are available to both same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples in select states, including Illinois. Just as in a marriage, individuals who enter into a civil union are subject to the benefits, protections, and requirements of the laws of the state in which they live.

Marriage vs. Civil Union

In Illinois, spouses in a marriage are granted federal protections under the law, such as the option of filing joint federal tax returns or the ability to collect Social Security spousal benefits. Spouses in a civil union, however, are not granted these privileges. Depending on your individual circumstances, a civil union may or may not be more appropriate than a marriage. 

Contact Our 60194 Law Firm

Deciding whether a civil union is right for your situation can be a complicated and difficult decision. To help you understand more about civil unions in Schaumburg, IL, contact attorney Robert Kaplan at (847) 845-9477. 

Division of Property

A profitable business is considered an asset in an Illinois divorce. In order to fully understand how the divorce will impact your business, it is important to understand the difference between marital property and non-marital property. 

What is Considered Marital Property

Property and assets acquired prior to your marriage are not considered marital property and may not be part of a divorce settlement. On the other hand, assets acquired during your marriage will be part of the marital property and are subject to division between parties.

If your spouse worked in the business, was made a partner, or otherwise had an investment in your business, it may be considered all or partially marital property. If your spouse is an employee of the business, they may even be able to keep their job with the company after divorce.

Profits and expansion of your business during your marriage can be subject to division and part of the divorce settlement. 

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As you can see, business ownership during a divorce can be complex and has many potential outcomes. Hiring experienced legal counsel during your divorce can have lasting effects on the future of your finances. Robert M. Kaplan PC is experienced and can guide you through the complex legal process of divorce and business ownership.

Divorce Law

If you are planning on or even considering filing for divorce, it is essential to decide whether your divorce should be filed as uncontested or contested.

How to Determine if an Uncontested Divorce Is the Right Step

Uncontested divorces can help streamline the divorce process for couples who qualify, but they are not the right fit for everyone. To help determine if a filing an uncontested divorce is the best choice for you and your spouse, consider the following:

  • Are you and your spouse in agreement about wanting a divorce? It may sound simple, but the most critical question to ask yourself is if both parties are indeed in agreement about wanting a divorce. If one of you is not committed or has reservations, an uncontested divorce will not be successful
  • If you have children together, do you agree on how parenting time will be divided? One of the most common disagreements during divorces is how to divide parenting time. If you both agree beforehand, filing an uncontested divorce can save you considerable time that may otherwise be spent arguing
  • Have you and your spouse decided how to divide your assets? Along with parenting time, disputes regarding how to divide physical and financial assets are typically key problem areas in contested divorces. Parties of uncontested divorces know beforehand how joint assets will be handled
  • Are the elements of your divorce relatively straightforward? The simpler your overall situation is, the more likely it is an uncontested divorce is right for you

Contact Our Hoffman Estates Law Firm

Contact attorney Robert Kaplan to learn more about uncontested divorces in Hoffman Estates, IL. 

This depends on the cooperation of the parties and the complexity of the issues. If you both are willing to act freely disclose information without undue delay, then the process can go rather quickly, such as 45 days to 3 months. If your spouse chooses to be uncooperative and play games, or if there are complex assets to be valued, then a divorce can take in excess of a year. The new divorce statute (effective January 1, 2016) requires a parenting plan be entered within 120 days of the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

Contact Our Schaumburg Law Firm

Do you have more questions about the divorce process in Cook County? Please contact our Schaumburg law firm for a consultation. 

This depends on a number of variables, including whether you have children, personal property to argue about, and the actions of your spouse. If you have children and cannot agree on a shared parenting agreement, it can be expensive. If you have personal property and cannot agree on its division, it can be expensive. If your spouse simply wishes to argue about everything, it can be expensive. However, the more items you and your spouse can agree upon, this will save you money.

Items That may Make a Divorce More Expensive

Other issues that may make your divorce more expensive include highly emotional variables such as children with health needs, if your spouse has a personality disorder, and if maintenance or alimony is at issue. However, with the proper lawyers on both sides of the equation, your divorce or legal separation can be amicable and reasonably priced.

If you are filing for divorce in the state of Illinois, you can expect to pay filing costs of anywhere from $200 to $350 to get the legal process rolling. The best advice is always to check with your Rolling Meadows, IL divorce attorney Robert M. Kaplan.

Joint Simplified Dissolution Procedure in Schaumburg

There are different types of divorce, and the least expensive is called a Joint Simplified Dissolution Procedure. Couples who make less than $60,000 combined gross income and who have not been married for more than eight years and have no children together might be eligible for this type of divorce.

Often couples who are filing jointly for a separation can file at a lower fee if they agree on such items as maintenance (fka alimony) and child support and child custody* arrangements. It is worth noting that a divorce involving children will always be a bit more expensive than one in which no children are involved.

Couples might be able to avoid a court date altogether if they can agree in writing to a plan. If they cannot agree in writing, they might decide to jointly pay for mediation by hiring a lawyer who specializes in this.

With joint petitions, there will only be one filing fee. However, if you are filing for yourself, your spouse will need to be served a copy of the papers and there might be additional expenses for this.

If you decide you need to hire a divorce attorney, there will be additional costs for this beyond any court or filing fees.

*In the state of Illinois the term “child custody” and “visitation” are no longer formally used and are being replaced by “parenting time” and “parenting responsibilities”.

 

If your divorce decree states that your ex should be maintaining life insurance; you have every right to receive proof of that policy. If they refuse to show you it’s active, then you may have cause for filing a petition for rule to show cause, in which case they may be responsible for your attorney’s fees and costs incurred in filing the suit.

Call Our Schaumburg IL Law Firm

Do you have more questions about life insurance policies after a divorce? Please contact our Schaumburg law firm for a consultation. 

In Illinois, divorce is referred to as “dissolution of marriage” and you and your spouse must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days.

How to File a No-Fault Divorce in Schaumburg

To file a no-fault divorce, essentially stating that you cannot get along anymore, you must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days and separate from each other for a specific length of time, usually six months if you both agree on the no-fault divorce. 

Grounds for a Fault-Based Divorce

If you wish to file a fault-based divorce, Illinois recognizes a number of grounds for fault-based divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Giving the other a sexually transmitted disease
  • Attempted murder
  • Cruelty (physical or mental)
  • Felony conviction
  • Abandonment
  • Addiction to drugs
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Impotence

If you have no children and no assets, you will need to fill out the financial disclosures for the court anyway to determine debt division, if any, and for the court records. Once each party agrees to the accuracy of the disclosures and any division of debt or property, the magistrate will review and approve the financial division of property.

If you do not have children, you will not need to file any child custody-related paperwork.

Call Our Cook County Law Firm

Even if you have no assets and no children, legal counsel is still important to ensure that you are receiving a fair settlement in your divorce. 

A no-fault divorce means that either spouse can file for divorce without indicating fault. This type of divorce means that the marriage has become broken and reconciliation is impractical and not in the best interest of the family.

As of January 1, 2016, with the adoption of Public Act 99-90, Illinois became a no-fault state in terms of divorce. Public Act 99-90 has eliminated any kind of fault-based reason for a divorce. No longer can either party state a reason such as infidelity or cruelty as a reason for filing for divorce. The only reason now for a marriage that has broken up is because of “irreconcilable differences.”

Advantages of a No-Fault Divorce

There are advantages to no-fault divorce, including a lack of stigma as to why a couple is divorcing. Without public blame toward one spouse, negative feelings between the parties may be lessened. With a no-fault divorce, the spouse who files for divorce does not need to explain why the marriage has failed or provide any proof that it should end.

No-fault divorce often helps eliminate or lessen the bad feelings between spouses, since there is no blame for the divorce that is recorded publicly.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Law Firm

For more information on a no-fault divorce, contact Rolling Meadows divorce attorney Robert M. Kaplan.

This is a personal question that will vary from case to case. Legally, you can tell your spouse at any time that you want a divorce. Strategically, you may wish to consult with a lawyer and learn your rights before doing so.

Can I ask my spouse to pay my attorney fees?

Yes, Illinois has a statute that levels the economic playing field between you and your spouse. If your spouse has control of all of the income or assets of your marriage, they can be required to pay your attorney’s fees. They can also be called upon to contribute to your overall attorney’s fees at the conclusion of your case.

Does it matter that my husband or wife is cheating on me and now wants a divorce?

The fact that a party is having an affair does not bar their right to a divorce. It also does not bar them from seeking maintenance, alimony, or child support.

Contact Our Schaumburg Law Firm

Call Robert Kaplan if you have any questions on divorce proceedings and how they will affect you and your spouse.

Estate Planning

Numerous IRS regulations have been released during the past year clarifying the Tax Cuts and Job Acts of 2017 (“TCJA”). For example, home equity loan interest will be deductible, despite what appears to be clear language in the TCJA that it is not deductible, if the home equity line is utilized for a capital improvement to a residence. Additional IRS rules and regulations will continue to be released related to the TCJA. We are available for tax planning and advice throughout the year.

Contact Our Schaumburg Law Firm

If you have a quick question about the law or how it applies in your case, please feel free to call us at no charge.

When you meet with your Hoffman Estates lawyer to discuss estate planning, there are certain things your plan should include.

Estate Planning Process in 60194

An estate plan includes a will or trust, a durable power of attorney should someone need to act on your behalf, names of your beneficiaries, a letter of intent outlining the details of your funeral and any other special requests, a healthcare power of attorney in case you are incapacitated, and guardianship designations if you have children.

An estate plan should include all the property you own, including proceeds from any life insurance policies, retirement plans, and so forth. The entirety of your estate is the total of all your assets before deducting any debts.

Tangible Property

Property that is considered tangible, that is, those things you can physically touch, is included in your estate plan. Here are some examples of tangible property:

  • Artwork
  • Automobiles
  • Clothing
  • Documents
  • Equipment
  • Furniture
  • Letters
  • Papers
  • Photos
  • Tools

Intangible Property

Property that you cannot physically touch, called intangible property, is also included in your estate plan. Here are some examples of intangible property:

  • Cash
  • Copyrights
  • Financial investments
  • Insurance policies
  • Interests in a family business, partnerships, and the like
  • Patents
  • Retirement plans
  • Royalties
  • Stock options

Real property, such as your land, your home, and any rental properties you own, should also be included in your estate plan.

It is best for your heirs and your own peace of mind if you make plans for your estate prior to your death. This is called estate planning, and you can make these arrangements in Hoffman Estates with your attorney.

Estate Planning in Schaumburg

People who die without a will or trust in place are said to have died “intestate”. This means that the laws of your state will make decisions about how your property is distributed, regardless of what your intentions might have been. A lot will depend on whether you were single or married at the time of your death and whether or not you have children.

What to Expect When One Dies "Intestate"

  • If you were single and have surviving children, your entire estate will generally go to them. Assets will be divided equally.
  • If you were single and had no children, your parents and siblings would likely inherit everything.
  • If you were single and neither parent is alive, your estate might go to siblings, descendants of siblings, and so on, as determined by the court.
  • If you are married and you die without a will, what your spouse gets depends on whether or not you have living descendants -- children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. If you don’t, then your spouse inherits all of your intestate property. If you do, they and your spouse will share your intestate property 50/50.
  • Unmarried couples do not inherit the property of their partner without a will in place because the laws only recognize relatives or married couples.

As long as you are legally an adult and you have an income, it is never too early to start planning your estate. While estate planning may be something often associated with older individuals, it is both possible and wise to begin putting your affairs in order as soon as you reach your early twenties.

Estate Planning in Hoffman Estates

While most people can expect to live well beyond this time period, having an estate in place can help simplify the legal process for your loved ones should you unexpectedly pass away. No matter how modest your financial assets, these funds will need to be accounted for after your death —and if you do not have a plan for your money during your life, the people you love will have to create a plan once you are gone. 

Plan Your Estate As Soon As You Can

We encourage everyone to plan their estate as soon as they are able. Depending on the complexity of your finances, you may be able to handle the paperwork and process on your own. To be sure you do not encounter any unexpected roadblocks, however, it is always best to consult a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. Call us at Robert M. Kaplan, P.C. to schedule a consultation to discuss your estate planning in Schaumburg, IL today!

Family Law

We must consider a number of factors when calculating child support costs during a divorce. Part of the process includes the incomes of both parents and identifies any discrepancies that may require additional support when caring for your children.

How Child Support Amounts Are Determined 

In most cases, child support needs to take into account any additional expenses beyond the regular day-to-day care of your children.

These may include:

  • Private school tuition
  • Public School Fees
  • Medical and dental costs
  • Extra-Curricular Activities, including Sports fees and equipment
  • Special needs (therapy, counseling)
  • College fund contributions

Raising children is a significant expense and can create hardship after divorce if not handled properly. The decisions you make now may impact your finances for years, or even decades, to come. An experienced attorney can help present a fair and realistic proposal for child support that allows families to flourish, even after divorce.

Contact Our Schaumburg IL Law Firm

The process of determining child support can be confusing and hiring a knowledgeable lawyer will have a lasting impact on your quality of life and that of your child. Our law office serves the Schaumburg, IL area and the surrounding communities. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

If you’re like me, then you have children in their late 20’s - early 30’s; however this suggestion will also apply to any children over the age of 18. When they were young you had guardians in place to take care of your children in case something happened to you and your spouse, but after they turned 18 that didn’t apply anymore. 

Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Property

Now you need to take care of what happens if something happens to them and
you need to step in to take care of their health and/or their property. The solution to this is to create Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Property for your children, just like you did for you and your spouse. 

Contact Our Schaumburg Office

Call us at the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan to get our help in preparing these documents. You can reach me at 847-845-9477 or at [email protected]

The maintenance tax deduction for cases finalized after December 31, 2018, has been eliminated. To account for this change in the tax law, effective January 1, 2019, Illinois’ new maintenance guidelines will be based on net income - 33 1/3% of payor’s net income minus 25% of payee’s net income capped at 40% of the parties combined net income. Maintenance guidelines will continue to be applicable up to $500,000 of combined gross income. All maintenance judgments entered prior to December 31, 2018 will continue to be deductible even if modified after December 31, 2018 unless agreed otherwise. Those awards will continue to utilize the current gross incomes guidelines of 30% of payor’s gross income minus 20% of payee’s gross income capped at 40% of the parties combined gross income. 

Contact Our 60194 Law Firm

Do you have more questions on the Maintenance Tax changes? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for more information.

Dissipation is spending of marital funds on a purpose not related to the marriage. The most typical forms of dissipation include gambling, abusing alcohol, paying for pornography or prostitution, or spending monies on a girlfriend or boyfriend. Dissipation only occurs once your marriage is broken (irreparable). If dissipation is proven in your divorce matter, then you are entitled to reimbursement from the party dissipating assets.

Contact Our Schaumburg Family Law Firm

Do you have more questions on dissipation? Please contact our Schaumburg IL law firm for more information and to schedule a consultation with Robert M. Kaplan.

 

 

There are a lot of last-minute details that pop up when you’re in the throes of wedding planning; however, prenuptial agreements in Rolling Meadows shouldn’t be left to the last minute. When you are planning a prenuptial agreement, you will want to consider the following during the process:

  • Prior to the marriage, you should make a list of all assets owned and debts owed. Both spouses need to make full disclosure. It needs to be determined how these will be handled during the marriage and in the event of a divorce.
  • A determination needs to be made as to how marital property, which are the assets and debts that will be accumulated as a couple, will be handled in the event of a divorce.
  • Many times couples have different styles for managing money, so the management of assets and income should be determined ahead of time.
  • Both parties need to be upfront about their credit scores, and whether they have old debt and how they feel about accumulating new debt.
  • Views on non-monetary contributions, such as raising the children or managing the household, should be addressed up front.
  • Maintenance, or alimony, is a reality often faced by one spouse in the case of divorce. This should be discussed ahead of time.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Law Office

It can be difficult to address these issues when a couple is trying to plan a romantic wedding, but for a prenuptial agreement to happen, these topics must be discussed. Contact your attorney in Rolling Meadows for more information.

Probate

After a person’s death, probate is the official legal process in which that person’s will, assets, debts, and wishes are authenticated, distributed, and managed. 

All estates of deceased individuals must go through the probate process, and probate courts are bound by processes and rules that determine how property can be distributed. While each estate will be slightly different depending on assets involved, the basic elements of the probate process do not change. 

Probate Process

First, the deceased individual’s will needs to be verified by the Court. Unless the will is contested, this is typically the simplest element of the probate process.

After the will is verified, an inventory of the belongings within the estate is completed. The time it takes to complete the inventory will vary depending on the size of the estate and the amount of tangible property involved. Once all of the property and assets have been inventoried and accounted for, the items are then appraised to determine their value. This appraisal step can also be completed in conjunction with the inventory process. 

The last basic elements of the probate process involve finalizing the deceased person’s accounts, such as debts or taxes owed. If and when there are remaining assets, these assets are then distributed according to the parameters outlined in the will. 

Contact Our 60194 Law Firm

The probate process can become confusing and emotional, especially if you and your loved ones are still going through the grieving process. Having a trusted probate attorney in Schaumburg, IL can make all the difference. Call our office today at (847) 845-9477 to learn how we can help streamline the probate process for your family. 

When you die, you will leave behind debts and assets that your surviving family members will have to deal with. It’s best for all concerned if you leave behind a will or an estate plan. A probate lawyer will help the survivors manage your estate once you are gone. They can also help in drafting a will or a living trust, create powers of attorney, or even serve as executor of your estate.

If you leave behind a will, a probate lawyer may be hired to ensure it is valid and was not signed under duress.

Responsibilities of a Probate Lawyer

A probate attorney might also be responsible for any of the following tasks:

  • Locating all of the decedent’s assets
  • Having all of the decedent’s assets valued
  • Managing life insurance proceeds
  • Handling bills and debts
  • Dealing with tax returns
  • Managing bank accounts for the estate
  • Filing court documents as needed

Contact our Schaumburg Law Firm

If you die without leaving behind a will, your assets will be divided according to state laws, and a probate attorney might also be hired to handle the distribution of property. Contact Robert M. Kaplan, an experienced probate lawyer in Schaumburg, IL, if you have questions about wills, trusts, or any other end-of-life legal matters.

Real Estate Law

Numerous IRS regulations have been released during the past year clarifying the Tax Cuts and Job Acts of 2017 (“TCJA”). For example, home equity loan interest will be deductible, despite what appears to be clear language in the TCJA that it is not deductible, if the home equity line is utilized for a capital improvement to a residence. Additional IRS rules and regulations will continue to be released related to the TCJA. We are available for tax planning and advice throughout the year.

Contact Our Schaumburg Law Firm

If you have a quick question about the law or how it applies in your case, please feel free to call us at no charge.

Schaumburg, IL real estate lawyer Robert M. Kaplan is seasoned in many aspects of real estate law and is ready and willing to help answer your questions.

Importance of Having a Real Estate Attorney

The list below contains just a sampling of the types of challenges a real estate attorney such as Mr. Kaplan can help you work through:

  • Buying, Selling, or Renting Property: Laws governing the transfer of property can be different in every city and state, and the process of buying, selling or renting property can quickly begin to feel overwhelming. Experienced real estate lawyers work with their clients to help ensure all transactions are done legally and correctly
  • Disputes Within Purchase Agreements: Real estate transactions involve a heavy amount of both boilerplate and customized contract “jargon.” Disputes within these contracts are common, and it often takes the advice and assistance of a knowledgeable real estate lawyer to navigate the process
  • Dealing with Property Foreclosure: Being involved in foreclosure proceedings can be an extremely stressful process, and many homeowners find themselves feeling lost, afraid, and harassed as their home is foreclosed upon. Real estate attorneys seek to help find any assistance programs or alternatives you and your family may qualify for — then help you figure out which steps come next.

Contact Our 60194 Law Office

Robert M. Kaplan and the rest of our team have decades of combined experience in real estate law. Schedule your free consultation by calling us today at (847) 845-9477. 

Purchasing a home is one of the most significant investments most people will make in their lifetime. As with any big purchase, it might be tempting to skimp on costs where possible, but ask yourself if that is the best approach. In many cases, it makes sense to hire a real estate lawyer to ensure the purchase process goes smoothly and your rights are protected.

How a Real Estate Lawyer Can Help

A Hoffman Estates real estate lawyer will read over all the paperwork when you are making a home purchase—and there is a lot of it. A lawyer will go with you to the closing table, which can go a long way toward assuaging any fears you might have about such a major purchase.

If you are selling one home and buying another at the same time, having representation can mean that your rights are protected on both sides.

Facing Foreclosure in Cook County

When homeowners are facing foreclosure because they can no longer pay their mortgage, a lawyer can protect your interests, work with the lender, and try to keep you in your house. When homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgage and they owe more on the house than it is worth, a real estate lawyer can work with the lender to enable a short sale. This means the current owners can avoid foreclosure.

Uncontested Divorce

In Illinois, divorce is referred to as “dissolution of marriage” and you and your spouse must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days.

How to File a No-Fault Divorce in Schaumburg

To file a no-fault divorce, essentially stating that you cannot get along anymore, you must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days and separate from each other for a specific length of time, usually six months if you both agree on the no-fault divorce. 

Grounds for a Fault-Based Divorce

If you wish to file a fault-based divorce, Illinois recognizes a number of grounds for fault-based divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Giving the other a sexually transmitted disease
  • Attempted murder
  • Cruelty (physical or mental)
  • Felony conviction
  • Abandonment
  • Addiction to drugs
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Impotence

If you have no children and no assets, you will need to fill out the financial disclosures for the court anyway to determine debt division, if any, and for the court records. Once each party agrees to the accuracy of the disclosures and any division of debt or property, the magistrate will review and approve the financial division of property.

If you do not have children, you will not need to file any child custody-related paperwork.

Call Our Cook County Law Firm

Even if you have no assets and no children, legal counsel is still important to ensure that you are receiving a fair settlement in your divorce. 

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