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Peoria Illinois Family Law Blog

Is a spouse entitled to inheritance money in Illinois?

An inheritance is a gift that a person receives from a cherished family member or friend. An inheritance is a special amount of money that a person receives because their loved one wanted them to have it after they passed away. In a Peoria divorce situation, an inheritance can be one complication of the property division portion of a divorce settlement.

Typically, a person's inheritance is considered separation property and the person who received it will continue to own it. This gets more complicated when an inheritance is comingled with marital property. This can happen if the inheritance is deposited into a joint account or if a person inherited property that both spouses live in. In these situations, a spouse can claim that the inheritance was used for the good of the family and is now a joint asset.

Illinois grandparents' rights

Many families in the Peoria area have had a divorce affect their family. Despite a couple's best intentions, their marriage may not last forever. When there are children involved, developing a parenting plan during a divorce can be difficult. Sometimes grandparents can feel left out of the process, and it is important for grandparents to understand their rights.

Grandparents do have the right to visit their grandchildren in Illinois. If grandparents are not being allowed access to their grandchildren, they can petition the court after the child turns one year old. At that point, grandparents can come to the court if one of the following circumstances exists: one of the child's parents is determined to be incompetent; one of the child's parents has been in jail for 3 months or longer; one of the child's parents is deceased or has been gone for at least 3 months; the child's parents are divorced and one of the parents agrees to the visitation or the child's parents are not married and do not live together

A prenuptial agreement can protect you in the event of divorce

Whether you and your partner decide to create a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot is a personal decision. While there are many benefits of doing so, it's not always the easiest conversation to have (not to mention the fact that it can kill the mood).

However, if the both of you understand the true power of a prenuptial agreement, you may come to realize how important it is to create this legal document before your wedding day.

Overview of the child custody mediation process

When it comes to allocating parental responsibilities, many parents in the Peoria area may want to consider mediating as an option for getting their disputes worked out with the other parent. Indeed, in some courts, the judge may even require that parents give mediation a try before going forward with a hearing.

For those who are not familiar with it, mediation involves both parents, sometimes with their attorneys, sitting down with a neutral party called a mediator. The mediator will usually have some background in family law or may have experience in child or family psychology or counseling.

How are medical expenses handled for child support purposes?

One of the most important considerations when it comes to child support is figuring out how the two parents will handle medical costs for their child. As any Peoria resident who has taken his or her children to the doctor knows, expenses for visits to the doctor, dentist and the like can quickly add up. The expenses can be downright astronomical and overwhelming when a child needs ongoing care and treatments.

Under the Illinois Child Support Guidelines, some of a parent's child support is supposed to go toward out-of-pocket medical expenses. However, courts in this state have other options for dealing with costly medical and dental care as well. After all, expensive though they may be, these treatments are often in the best interests of children and may even be necessary for their ongoing physical and mental health and well being.

What might happen to my business after my divorce?

A person's interest in a family business can be hotly contested issue during the Illinois divorce process. For one, it can be difficult for a court to determine exactly how much a family business is worth and how much of its value, if any, should be subject to property division. In many cases, establishing the value of a closely held business will require the assistance of an appraiser or other expert.

Moreover, even if a couple can agree on a business's value, there still can be some important considerations about what to do with a business after a divorce. There can be a lot of contention surrounding this issue. For instance, while one spouse may want to remain involved in the business, the other may want nothing more than to buy the first spouse out and thus part ways in all respects.

Valuing investment real estate is a tricky prospect

A previous post on this blog talked about how, in reality, it was a rather amazing thing that the divorce of two well-known real estate moguls ended with an out-of-court settlement. The reason this was remarkable is that investment real estate, especially when the property is used for commerce, is difficult to put a precise value on. Beyond just the possible sale price, one has to also consider whether and to what extent the property can bring in rental income.

Getting an estimate on the value of investment property often takes the help of a qualified expert who may have to testify in court. Moreover, because the stakes are high, one side may find fault with the other side's estimate of a property's value and may offer his or her own estimate.The complexity of this type of property division is only compounded when a couple has more than one property, and it is even more difficult if, for example, one of the parties own some of the real estate prior to the marriage.

Divorce is coming: Red flags you can see

If you ask anyone who has been through a divorce, they will tell you that it's important to learn all you can about the process and prepare in advance. What this means is that you do not want that divorce filing to be a surprise. You want to see it on the horizon and get yourself in the best possible position for your future.

With that goal in mind, here are some red flags to look out for that could mean your marriage will end:

What can I do if my self-employed ex isn't paying support?

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, many Illinois parents make their living through self-employment. For instance, many service professionals and consultants from a range of industries are in business for themselves and make their money by selling their goods or services directly to customers.

These people, of course, still have an obligation to pay child support in proportion to their income and according to Illinois law. Unfortunately, though, collecting support from a Peoria resident who is self-employed isn't always as simple as garnishing a paycheck. Sadly, some parents may even use their status as self-employed to try to hide their money or otherwise avoid meeting their obligations to their children.

Some parenting issues related to school

With school starting up again soon, early August may be a great time for Peoria, parents who are subject to an allocation of parental responsibilities order to review that order. They can also re-acquaint themselves with what Illinois law says about custody, decision-making and parenting time when it comes to school.

The first place parents should look to do so is their court-ordered parenting plan. This document sets out the allocation of parental responsibilities in detail, and it is supposed to be tailored to each family's unique needs and circumstances.

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