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How is property division addressed in a simplified dissolution?

Illinois divorces that are contentious and involve a seemingly endless dispute get most of the attention and are among the biggest concerns of people who are considering moving forward with the end of a marriage. However, not all cases are rife with hard feelings and go on endlessly. For some couples, the pieces are in place for a relatively amicable parting of the ways. For those who are in such a circumstance, a joint simplified dissolution might be their best bet. There are many parts of this type of divorce and a key factor that should be understood is how property division is handled.

With property division, retirement benefits must be addressed. Neither of the parties can have any interest in real property or retirement benefits except in cases where the retirement benefits are in IRAs and they are worth less than $10,000 in total. With marital property, the total fair market value must be calculated. Mortgages or other costs will be subtracted when determining the value and it must be less than $50,000. The income from the sources must be less than $60,000. Neither of the parties can have a gross income that goes beyond $30,000.

Tips for conflict resolution with a co-parent

As a co-parent, you have to work closely with your ex to make decisions about the children. It is imperative during the times when you don't agree to continue to work as a productive team. Having a few conflict resolution options for when you are in this position might help you to come to an agreement faster.

You must always put the children first. You can't try to push for things just because they might make your ex's life more difficult or your life a bit easier. Once you have carefully considered the options available and have found one that you feel is best, you can move forward with the negotiations.

Protect yourself from unfair debt collection with legal help

People in Illinois who are facing significant debt have enough to think about as they seek to navigate their financial struggles without receiving an endless stream of calls from debt collectors, businesses and others seeking to collect. Behaviors such as harassment are illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but that does not stop these aggressive collectors and creditors from pushing the boundaries in trying to get payment. In these circumstances, legal assistance can be helpful to put a stop to it.

Often, people who are reluctant to file for bankruptcy simply accept the continuous contact of debt collectors, thinking that collection actions will stop once they get their finances under control. What they should know is that they have rights and these debt collectors may be stopped. In certain situations, the victim of harassment may even have a legal claim for compensation. FDCPA is one law that can be used to protect a debtor. Another is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Without understanding the rights a debtor has under the law and what steps can be taken to hold these companies accountable for their illegal behavior, people will not know how these laws shield them and can garner them compensation. That is when legal help is a must.

Search of late singer's home yields three holographic wills

Some individuals in Illinois might see news stories about relatives of famous or wealthy people engaged in an estate plan dispute, and they may think it does not apply to them. However, crafting estate planning documents is critical regardless of the circumstances. A prime example of why is exemplified with the estate of the late singer Aretha Franklin.

Franklin died in August 2014 and it was initially believed that she did not leave a will. A search of her home recently uncovered three handwritten -- also referred to as holographic -- documents that are believed to be separate wills. They were found in her Detroit residence. One was in a notebook located underneath the couch cushions in her living room. The will in the notebook is dated March 2014. The other two wills are dated 2010 and were found in a cabinet that had been locked. They seem to leave her assets to members of her family. In some instances, the writing is difficult to read with writing in the margins and words crossed out.

The many benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy

It's a common misconception that you have to be broke or earn an extremely low income in order to obtain relief through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As you learn more, you may find that it's the best way to not only deal with your debt but to also improve your financial future.

Here are some of the top benefits of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing:

  • Prevent foreclosure: It's scary to think you could lose your home to foreclosure, but if you've slipped behind on payments, it's a possibility. Upon filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay will bring the foreclosure process to a halt. You can then take steps to make up for missed payments, thus allowing you to save your home.
  • Less impact on your credit report: Even though a Chapter 13 bankruptcy shows on your credit report for seven years, it's three years less than Chapter 7. It doesn't sound like a big deal up front, but you'll come to find that it's a benefit as you inch closer to the seven year mark.
  • Reschedule secured debts: For example, you can reschedule your car loan by extending it over the life of your repayment plan. Not only does this have the potential to lower your payment, but it also puts you in position to save your property from repossession.
  • Relief from creditors: There's nothing worse than hearing from creditors, day in and day out. From letters in the mail to phone calls, this has a way of taking its toll on you. The automatic stay makes it illegal for creditors to contact you.

Proposed changes to unfair debt collection law can impact debtors

For Indiana residents who are dealing with debt and have fallen behind in their payments, their worries go far beyond what they owe. They extend to the constant phone calls and notices in the mail with increasingly aggressive demands for payment. To shield these debtors, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has been in place for nearly four decades and remained essentially unchanged. Now, the Trump administration is proposing an update to the law that can affect debtors in significant ways.

Under the proposed laws, debt collectors will be able to contact debtors via email and text message. Debt collectors will also be limited in the number of times they can call a debtor per week. The new additions and changes to the law are meant to serve as an update based on how consumers communicate today.

Chicago Cubs player and singer wife file for high asset divorce

Divorce in Chicago and throughout Illinois is difficult enough without it being discussed publicly. For some people, however, it cannot be avoided as they are well known public figures and have significant assets making it a high asset divorce. For this and other family legal issues, the dispute can be rancorous and difficult. To ensure that there is adequate protection as the case moves forward, it is vital for people who have major income and property understand the need for experienced legal assistance.

The Chicago Cubs utility player Ben Zobrist and his wife Julianna are in the middle of a family law case in two different states. Mrs. Zobrist filed for divorce in Illinois; Mr. Zobrist filed for a legal separation in Tennessee. She did not give a reason for her filing. In his, he makes an accusation that she engaged in "inappropriate marital conduct." Mr. Zobrist is a veteran player for the Cubs and was a member of the 2016 World Series winner. Mrs. Zobrist has sung professionally and performed the national anthem at various events. Their marriage has lasted 14 years. They have three children. Mr. Zobrist was given a leave of absence from the team.

Illinois family law and a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage

There are some Illinois family law cases in which there is a dispute over paternity of a child at birth. Because paternity is a key factor in child support and visitation, it is important to understand how paternity can be established. Before having genetic tests to determine the identity of the biological father, it is possible to have a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage. When there is a disagreement about these key concerns, legal assistance is essential.

The voluntary acknowledgment will be established if it is signed and witnessed based on the law. It must have the parents' vital information such as a social security number and tax identification numbers. The absence of these will not make the agreement invalid. To be valid, the voluntary acknowledgment must: be recorded; be signed or authenticated by the mother and father; state that the child does not have a presumed parent or has a presumed parent with his or her name stated and does not have another parent who has been acknowledged or adjudicated; have witnesses; and state that those signing the agreement understand that signing will mean that the person is the legal parent.

Family law issues if a supporting parent is not in Illinois

While most child support cases in Illinois will involve parents residing in the state, there are times when the supporting parent moves to another state or another country. Parents who are concerned about a parent who has moved out of state not making the necessary payments on time and in full might feel fear as to what can be done to collect those payments. They are often unaware of how the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act addresses these situations and goes about getting the payments. When this arises as a family law issue, having legal assistance is crucial.

UIFSA allows the establishment, enforcement and collection of child support regardless of where the supporting parent is. There is a reduced amount of paperwork when the case is intergovernmental. There are more options and the income withholding can happen faster than it did before. With an intergovernmental case, there can be the involvement of more than a single state or country.

Family law and how Social Security is impacted by divorce

When an Illinois couple divorces, some of the family legal issues that come to the forefront include property division, spousal support (also referred to as alimony), child support and more. There are underlying factors that will also be important as part of the divorce settlement. One is Social Security. The Social Security Administration says that, of all American workers, 96 percent will receive Social Security. When they retire, these benefits can be imperative to making ends meet. In a divorce, this can be critical.

A large part of Social Security can be spousal benefits. For those who did not work or did not earn a large amount, that person can get as much as half of the benefits the other person is getting in Social Security. Divorce does not necessarily change that. Understanding important facts about divorce and Social Security is key. If various criteria are met, a person can still get spousal benefits from Social Security. They are: if the marriage lasted at least 10 years and the person is: unmarried; 62 or older; the former spouse is eligible to get Social Security either retirement benefits or disability; and the benefit is less than the benefit the spouse gets. The person can then get as much as half the retirement or disability through Social Security.

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