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Washington Illinois Family and Real Estate Law Blog

Will you be required to pay alimony to your spouse after divorce?

If you and your spouse have decided to follow through with divorce under Illinois law, you may be well aware that a barrage of decisions is waiting to be made. One of these important determinations may be whether or not alimony, paying or receiving, is going to be a part of your outcome. Often, this decision is made after considering a variety of factors, as well as taking into account the personal desires of both you and your spouse.

According to the Huffington Post, the standard of living during your marriage is an important aspect to be considered in determining whether or not any alimony will be paid out. For example, if you have been the sole breadwinner during the relationship and your spouse does not currently have a job, a decision may be made in favor of you contributing so much to your spouse over a certain time period. Courts will also evaluate your ability to adequately provide such payments and whether or not your spouse is capable of earning money and providing for him or herself. Factors including health and age may also be used in reaching a decision.

Should you consider mediation for your divorce?

Illinois couples facing the prospect of divorce may feel overwhelmed by the thought of a long, complicated and contentious court battle. For many couples, a traditional divorce process is unnecessary, and it is possible to avoid many of the complexities altogether. Mediation may offer you a better way to divorce, providing you more control and less stress. 

A mediated divorce could be a viable option for you. This option may allow you to reach your goals and emerge from the divorce process with a secure future firmly intact, all without litigation. You may find it beneficial to consider the benefits of mediation as you consider your divorce and your legal options.

What should you include in a co-parenting agreement?

Once you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you are immediately faced with a barrage of decisions to make. Choices related to child custody and relocation in Illinois can be both time consuming and difficult to work out. However, with a properly written co-parenting agreement in place, you can confidently anticipate parenting time with your children.

According to Psychology Today, there are several important factors that you must consider when formulating your parenting plan. These include the following areas:

  • Modification agreements: As your children grow and situations change, you may wish to modify the agreement you previously made. It is imperative in your original document to include a time period for which the agreement will be effective and any modification clauses you anticipate to be necessary.
  • Individual responsibilities: Perhaps there are some areas of parenting you wish to have full control over and others you hope your spouse will take care of. Additionally, there may be a large portion of parenting, responsibilities and accomplishments the two of you wish to share. Take your time in articulating shared responsibilities and determining who is responsible for what.
  • Holiday arrangements: You should always include a section that discusses how holidays and special occasions will be worked out. Doing so can help reduce conflict and will also establish a routine that your children can benefit from.

What you need to know about short-sale deals

Real estate transactions are legal processes, and before you make a purchase in Illinois, it is essential for you to have the information you need. This is particularly true when you are considering buying a home through a short sale. We at the Essig Law Office often provide legal advice to clients who want to take advantage of the potential savings without making common mistakes. warns that people who want to sell their homes through a short sale have often let maintenance of the property lapse. This is common because the financial challenges that caused them to get behind on the payments probably also kept them from addressing issues such as a faulty drain, termites or mold. Experts recommend that you have a thorough home inspection done by a qualified professional before you make any kind of commitment.

How can I safeguard my finances in a divorce?

If you are getting a divorce, you are probably aware that a main point of contention will be finances. It is not uncommon for accounts to be emptied or debts to be run up on joint accounts by one spouse. To safeguard yourself against financial ruin, there are some things that you can do.

According to Dummies, you should take steps before you file for divorce to best protect yourself. If you have any joint accounts, including credit cards, you should close those accounts or at least write a letter to the creditor stating you will not be responsible for charges made after the date you will file for divorce.

Can I avoid an order to pay alimony?

If you are ordered by an Illinois court to pay alimony, then you must pay. However, you can try to prevent this order in the first place by planning ahead. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, there are certain things you can do to help reduce the chances of being responsible for paying alimony.

It is important for you to understand the basic laws regarding spousal maintenance. In general, it is based on how long you have been married. Longer marriages tend to get alimony awards while shorter marriages do not. So, if you have not been married very long and can see there is no future for your relationship, it is better to end the marriage now instead of drawing it out.

Navigating the difficult world of parenting after divorce

If you and your ex have had children together, your separation is the beginning of learning how to parent together despite living separate lives. Often, this can be difficult, especially if you are dealing with an individual who is a narcissist or unwilling to compromise. At Essig Law Office, we have helped many Illinois parents to work through the complexities of parenting in the post-divorce environment.

The Huffington Post provides parents like you with suggestions for parenting when conditions are less-than-ideal. If you are dealing with an ex who is bent on doing things their way, consider implementing the following behaviors:

  • Keep communication private: One of the worst things you can do is argue, fight and try to negotiate in front of your children. Do your best to keep all communication private by utilizing resources like email.
  • Consider therapy: Therapy is a valuable tool for both you and your children as you adjust to a new normal. If you suspect that your ex is telling your children negative things, encourage them to disclose what was said and to work through emotions and hurt in a secure environment with professional intervention.
  • Create boundaries: If your ex seems to think he or she can push you around and override your decisions, it is time to create new boundaries. Regardless of the situation, stick with your newfound rules and show that you are serious about maintaining your limits.
  • Stay calm: In moments where tension arises and you find yourself getting upset, do your best to remain calm. Find a coping mechanism and demonstrate your self-control by removing yourself from the situation.

Does genetic testing need to be done for child support?

If you are seeking child support in Illinois, you may wonder whether or not the father of your child needs to take a DNA test to prove paternity. The answer to this question depends on many factors, including the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth and your marital status.


Making a plan when things don't go as planned

While getting a fair division of your assets is probably important to you, your foremost concern during your divorce is most likely your children. As traumatic and confusing as divorce is for the adults involved, you can only imagine how your children are feeling. You want to make the transition as painless as you can, but maybe you are worried about the way the courts will rule in the areas of child custody and child support.

With new laws coming into effect this summer, you may be wondering if there is a better way to determine how your family will operate after the divorce.

What is the eviction process in Illinois?

As with most states, Illinois has very specific laws about eviction. If you live in a rental, your landlord must follow the guidelines set by the law to legally evict you. According to, to actually evict you and physically remove you from a property, a landlord must have a court order. However, before the situation gets to the point of going to court, there is another step your landlord must take.

You must be given a notice of eviction. This notice will state the number of days you have to do a specific action. How many days you have the action you need to perform depend on why the eviction process was started. For example, if your landlord is in foreclosure on the property, he or she must give you a 90-day notice of what is happening. However, if you are being evicted for a lease violation, you will be given a 10-day notice in which you will have to fix the violation or move out. If you did not pay your rent, you are given a five-day notice to pay.

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  1. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  2. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  3. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  4. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

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Washington Office 135 Washington Square Washington, IL 61571 Phone: 309-481-2431 Fax: 309-444-1916 Map & Directions

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