Wheaton alimony attorneysEven though alimony is not awarded as frequently in divorce as it once was, it is still an important (and often contentious) element in some divorce situations. It can ensure a disabled or disadvantaged spouse has at least some financial resources as they attempt to rebuild their life (perhaps by going back to school to start a new career or re-entering their former career field). Alimony can also ensure a family unit is financially stable in the months immediately following a divorce.

Thanks to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, alimony laws in the United States will undergo some monumental changes in 2019. A provision, which has been in place for more than 70 years now, will be completely eliminated, and it is expected to negatively affect many divorcing couples in the year to come. Learn how you can prepare for the upcoming alimony changes, and discover how our seasoned Wheaton family law attorneys can assist with mitigating against the potential issues in your Illinois divorce.

How the Tax Act is Changing Alimony in 2019

For more than 70 years, payers of alimony in the United States have been able to claim their payments as a taxable deduction on their annual tax returns. Spouses who received alimony were also required to report their alimony payments as taxable income. Both aspects of the alimony law will be changing, come 2019; payers no longer receive a taxable deduction, and receiving spouses no longer have to report their alimony as income.

Projected to raise $6.9 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over the next decade, the alimony changes are expected to leave the entire family unit with less money. Paying spouses have relied on the tax deduction to offset their overall cost of paying alimony; without it, they remain in the same tax bracket, which could make them subject to higher taxation at the end of the year. As a result, they may be unable to pay as much in alimony, meaning the receiving spouse, though no longer required to claim alimony as taxable income, will likely receive a substantially smaller alimony payment each month to even out the annual discretionary spending amount available to each spouse.

If that sounds a bit confusing, rest assured that you are not alone. In fact, there are aspects of divorce and alimony that are essentially “in limbo.” For example, no one can say for certain how pre-existing alimony agreements will be handled, such as those found in prenuptial agreements that have not been updated to reflect the new laws.

Our Wheaton Divorce Attorneys Can Help You Plan for the Upcoming Changes to Alimony

While some couples may be able to complete an agreement before the end of 2018, most divorcing parties can now expect to be impacted by the upcoming alimony changes. Protect your family’s financial future and your best interests. Contact Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC for a personalized consultation. Our seasoned and skilled DuPage County divorce lawyers have more than 40 years of experience. Call our office at 630-665-2500 today.



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Wheaton divorce mediation lawyersDivorce mediation offers couples the opportunity to end their marriage in a faster, more cost-effective way – but it is not the right path for every divorce. In fact, there are certain situations in which mediation is highly discouraged. Learn more about when litigation is preferred over a mediated divorce, and discover how a seasoned divorce lawyer can protect your best interests in an Illinois divorce, regardless of which divorce method you pursue.

Contentious Divorce Proceedings 

In mediation, parties must be willing to negotiate in good faith. For some, this may seem like an impossible task. Still, even the most contentious of marriages can go through mediation – so long as the parties can set aside their differences long enough and well enough to come up with a compromise. If either party is unwilling or incapable of doing so, litigation may ultimately be the best route to divorce. You can still try mediation, however. Just know that the case will go to litigation if mediation efforts fail.

Asset Hiding and Asset Dissipation 

Asset hiding (hiding marital assets from a spouse during divorce) and asset dissipation (intentionally spending and dissolving marital funds) are most commonly seen in high net worth divorce cases and divorces that involve a business. They can be seen in other types of divorce cases, however. Parties who suspect that a spouse is hiding or spending money are encouraged to take swift and aggressive action in their cases; contact a divorce lawyer to discuss your options.

Violent or Abusive Marriages 

Marriages that involve an element of violence or abuse (financial, emotional, sexual, or physical) are not typically considered suitable for mediation, as these marriages often have an imbalance of power and control. While security measures can be put into place for a mediation, the victimized party may be too afraid to defend their own rights, or they may simply allow the abuser to have what they want to avoid further conflict. Unfortunately, it is also the victims who ultimately suffer after the divorce proceedings have ended. They are also at risk for further abuse until the divorce has been finalized (and sometimes even after). For this reason, it is highly recommended that victims of abuse contact a seasoned divorce lawyer to discuss what actions can be taken to protect one’s safety and right to a fair share of their marital assets.

Contact Our Wheaton Divorce Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we recognize that every divorce case is unique, and we treat them as such. Dedicated to protecting your best interests, our DuPage County divorce lawyers can examine your situation and assist you in determining which divorce path may be most appropriate for your case. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling 630-665-2500 today.





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Wheaton divorce lawyersWhen parents go through a divorce, they often wonder what will help their children cope during the process. Some try to take the focus off the divorce, sometimes to the point that they are unintentionally minimizing its impact on the child. Others try to cater to their child’s wants and needs, sometimes to the point that the child does not ever truly feel the complex emotions that children of divorce often experience. Sadly, this can ultimately stunt the child’s emotional and psychological growth. Learn what you can do to help your child deal with the divorce process in a healthy way, and discover how a seasoned attorney can assist you with the process.

Your Actions and Behavior in Divorce – Why It Matters

Parents sometimes mistakenly tell their children that the divorce “is between the adults” and “has nothing to do with them” when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, while the divorce proceedings are truly about the parents and their decision to end the relationship, it is important that parents avoid behaving or acting in ways that inadvertently minimize the impact that the parents’ decision has on the child. Their entire life is changing.

At the very least, a child may be shuffled from one parent’s house to the other during and after the divorce. In more complicated cases, children can endure months of contention and uncertainty regarding who they will live with once the divorce is over, how often they will see each parent, and where they will go to school. In short, divorce often has a dramatic impact on the lives of children, and they rarely have any say over the proceedings or ultimate outcome. This is why your behavior and actions in a divorce matter to your child – and not just in their present situation, but in their future as well.

What Your Child Really Needs During a Divorce

At the end of the day, what your child really needs from you and your spouse during a divorce is for the both of you to act like adults. Avoid arguments, do not fish for details when your child returns from your spouse’s house, allow your child to process their emotions (while still expecting them to treat you with respect), and know the signs of a seriously troubled child, such as withdrawal from school, friends, or extracurricular activities and a sudden decline in hygiene. Above all, ensure you have experienced legal assistance while navigating the process, as this can minimize the negative contact between arguing parents but still allows them to communicate about their child as they work through the details of their divorce.

Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

When the outcome of your divorce matters and the mental and emotional well-being of your child is on the line, it is important to select a family law attorney with both knowledge and compassion. Backed by more than 40 years of family law experience, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC are the ones to trust. Schedule your consultation with our Wheaton divorce lawyers by calling 630-665-2500 today.



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