Warrenville Divorce Lawyer | Winfield Adoption Attorney | DuPage County https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/latest Wed, 25 Jul 2018 15:49:20 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Understanding the Pros and Cons of Open Adoptions https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/understanding-the-pros-and-cons-of-open-adoptions https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/understanding-the-pros-and-cons-of-open-adoptions Wheaton open adoption attorneyMany people may not have heard the term “open adoption” before. The concept of an open adoption is a relatively new one--it started gaining popularity in the United States in the 1980s and 90s. Now, it is estimated that the vast majority of domestic adoptions (nearly 95 percent) involve some degree of openness. Open adoptions are gaining popularity due to the benefits they provide for birth parents and the children themselves.

What Is an Open Adoption?

In a traditional or closed adoption, the identities of the birth parents are kept confidential, and they have no contact with the adoptive family before or after the child is adopted. In these cases, the thought process tended to be that if the birth parents knew where the child was, they might attempt to take the child back at some point. However, this would be against the law, because once a child is adopted, the adoptive family is considered the child’s legal family.

In an open adoption, one or both of the birth parents are involved in the child’s life to varying degrees or have some form of contact with the adoptive family. There are no set types of open adoptions; rather, each open adoption is structured to meet the families’ needs. The adoption could be fully open, where the child, adoptive family, and birth parents have regular contact with each other and form relationships, or the adoption could be semi-open or mediated, meaning the families communicate indirectly with each other through an adoption agency.

Pros and Cons of Open Adoptions

Like everything else, there are pros and cons to choosing an open adoption. Many say the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, but it all comes down to what you are comfortable with.


There have been many studies that have found positive effects that open adoptions have on the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive family. These benefits include:

  • High levels of satisfaction with relationships that the children have with their birth parents.
  • Increased communication within adoptive families.
  • Better grief resolution for birth mothers.
  • High levels of satisfaction with the adoption process.
  • Increased self-worth and sense of identity for children.
  • Easier access to family medical records for the child.


There are certain elements of an open adoption that some people may not like. It comes down to what you and your family are comfortable with, but some possible drawbacks of an open adoption are:

  • Boundary issues: In a completely open adoption, children have relationships with both their birth parents and adoptive family. Sometimes, the birth parents struggle with their role in the child’s life, and the adoptive family is confused about how to involve them. However, this often can be resolved with a written agreement defining proper boundaries.
  • The birth parents and adoptive families do not get along.
  • The birth parents stop being a part of the child’s life, confusing and hurting the child.

Rely on a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are thinking adoption could be a way for you to grow your family, you should consider all of your options, including an open adoption. With the help of a knowledgeable and passionate Warrenville adoption lawyer, you can ensure that your adoption is what you want it to be. The Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can help you figure out which type of adoption is best for you and your family and guide you through the process. To begin your adoption journey, call our office at 630-836-8540 to set up a free consultation.





admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Family law Wed, 18 Jul 2018 15:16:10 +0000
4 Benefits of Resolving Divorce Issues Through Mediation https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/4-benefits-of-resolving-divorce-issues-through-mediation https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/4-benefits-of-resolving-divorce-issues-through-mediation Winfield divorce mediation lawyerDivorce can be intimidating--there are many different types of divorce and many ways you can create a divorce settlement. It can be overwhelming to figure out which type of divorce is right for you. A traditional litigated divorce can carry a lot of stress and can take a long time; a collaborative divorce can become expensive, but fosters a healthy cooperative environment; and a mediated divorce brings its own advantages and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for divorcees. It is important to choose the right type of divorce for your family so you can get the most out of a less-than-happy experience.

If you are able and willing to cooperatively work with your spouse to come to an agreement on your outstanding divorce issues, mediation may be the best option for you. Along with the peaceful nature of the process and the lower cost than other methods, there are many advantages to a mediated divorce, including:

1. It Is Easier on Your Children

In traditional, litigated divorces, there is often a lot of stress and tension in the household during the process. Children are very receptive and can sense the conflict between their parents. Divorce mediation is, by nature, a more peaceful process, because your mediator helps facilitate cooperation and meaningful conversation between you and your spouse. This will help you build a foundation for working together to raise your children after your divorce has been finalized. 

2. You Are in Control of Your Outcome

One of the main differences between a traditional divorce and divorce mediation is that you get to retain control of the outcome of your divorce. You are not in court with a judge deciding issues such as how your property will be divided or how you will share parental responsibilities. You and your spouse get to make these decisions all on your own, with help from a mediator to make sure you are paying attention to your legal requirements. 

3. You Get a More Personalized Divorce Settlement

Going hand-in-hand with being able to control the outcome of your divorce, mediation provides you with a divorce settlement that is customized to meet your needs. Because you are not in court pleading your case before a judge, you get to make decisions that are based on your specific situation, ensuring that your particular concerns are addressed to your satisfaction. You can create a divorce settlement that is unique and fits your family’s needs better than any litigated divorce judgment could.

4. There Is Greater Stability After the Divorce

Another benefit of the collaborative nature of divorce mediation is a greater chance that everyone will be happy, or at least content, with the settlement after it is said and done. Your divorce mediator will encourage you and your spouse to communicate and understand how each other are feeling and thinking. This allows you to create a settlement that will lead to less volatility and uncertainty as you move on to your life after your divorce. You can also return to your mediator in the future if there are any disputes or changes that you want to make to your settlement.

Contact a Certified Illinois Divorce Mediator

If you are considering divorce, and you think that mediation might be a good fit for you and your family, you should contact a Wheaton divorce mediation attorney to begin the process. The Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can work with you during the mediation process to help you create a mutually agreeable divorce settlement that meets your family’s needs. Call our office at 630-836-8540 to set up a free consultation.




admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Mediation Wed, 11 Jul 2018 17:20:29 +0000
5 Ways to Prepare for Divorce Mediation in Illinois https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/5-ways-to-prepare-for-divorce-mediation-in-illinois https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/5-ways-to-prepare-for-divorce-mediation-in-illinois West Chicago divorce mediation lawyerPreparing for divorce is not easy. In some ways, preparing for divorce mediation can be even more difficult. Because of the cooperative nature of mediation, you have to put aside your differences to an extent and work together with your spouse to achieve an outcome you are both okay with. With all of the benefits of divorce mediation, you should try to prepare yourself as much as possible to facilitate a successful mediation process. Here are some ways to get ready for divorce mediation:

1. Come With Copies of Important Documents

You should come to your mediation sessions with copies of all of the important documents that you and your spouse have accumulated while you were married. These documents should include assets and liabilities such as:

  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement funds
  • Real estate
  • Vehicles
  • Stocks
  • Businesses
  • Mortgages
  • Credit cards
  • Loans

2. Prepare to Negotiate Rather Than Argue

Arguing is probably one of the things that got you into the divorce process, and you should realize that it will likely not help you resolve anything. Negotiating is what divorce mediation is all about. Once you realize that the past is the past, you can focus on looking at the bigger picture and what really matters. The mediator is there to help minimize arguing and promote collaboration, but you have to do your part to be in the mindset to work together.

3. Create a Post-Divorce Budget

It is beneficial to create a budget of your expenses after your divorce, which will allow you to negotiate ownership of assets accordingly. If you know how much money you will need each month to live comfortably, you know how much you need to ask for. Your budget should include:

  • Housing and household expenses.
  • Health insurance, copays, and deductibles.
  • Vehicle expenses.
  • Children’s expenses.

4. Take Care of Yourself Throughout the Process

For many, divorce is likely the most traumatic event they will experience in their lives. It can take a toll on your emotional, mental, and physical well-being, if you let it. Making sure that you are eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercise, drinking plenty of water, and taking time to relax can help your mediation process go much more smoothly. The more relaxed and at ease you are in your mediation sessions, the more successful they will be.

5. Choose to Work With a Skilled Divorce Mediator

Lastly, and perhaps the most important part of the preparation process, you should make the decision to work with a Warrenville divorce mediator who has extensive experience and multiple success stories. This can make or break your successful divorce mediation, so it is important that you choose a mediator that you and your spouse are both comfortable with. The Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can help you reach an agreement with your spouse that the both of you feel is fair. Contact our office at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.




admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Mediation Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:58:04 +0000
7 Strange But True Reasons People Have Filed For Divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/7-strange-but-true-reasons-people-have-filed-for-divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/7-strange-but-true-reasons-people-have-filed-for-divorce West Chicago divorce attorney irreconcilable differencesDivorce is not an uncommon thing--in the United States alone, there are nearly one million divorces granted each year. Most states have adopted a no-fault divorce policy that does not require couples to divulge the reason they are getting divorced, but simply state that their marriage is beyond repair. Throughout the world, there have been tales of strange reasons why people have gotten divorced that range from slightly odd to flat out ridiculous. Here are seven strange stories of why people have filed for divorce:

  • A Japanese woman filed for divorce from her husband after she took him to see the movie “Frozen,” and he did not appreciate it like she did. The women ended her marriage of six years because of her husband’s dislike of the Disney movie.
  • A man in Dubai divorced his wife because he thought she was possessed by a genie. The wife’s family told him that she was possessed by a “djin”--which is a genie-like creature in Arabic folklore--after she refused to have sex with him.
  • A woman who resides in Kuwait divorced her new husband when she discovered that his way of eating peas was different than hers. The couple was only married for a week before she found out that he eats peas with bread instead of with a fork, which she cited as bad table manners.
  • A Chinese woman sought divorce after the family parrot began clueing her in on her husband’s affair. The parrot began saying things like “divorce,” “I love you,” and “be patient” after it overheard her husband’s phone calls to his mistress.
  • A man from Israel filed for divorce from his wife after she brought home 550 cats. The man said the cats hindered the quality of his home life, and the couple agreed that reconciliation was a good option for them, though the wife ended up choosing the cats over her husband, resulting in a divorce.
  • A lot of women try to get their husbands to clean more, but that was not the case for a German woman who divorced her husband because he cleaned entirely too much. She filed for divorce after the man tore down a wall in their house because it was too dirty.
  • A Nigerian woman divorced her husband of six years because she said he talked too much. She stated that he would often tell his friends about family matters instead of talking to her about them.

Get Representation From a Warrenville Divorce Lawyer

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that the only required grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences. You may decide to end your marriage for a multitude of reasons, but no matter the cause, you need an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney to help you along the way. When you decide to seek the help of the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC, you are putting your case in good hands. Contact our office at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.





admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Mon, 25 Jun 2018 14:49:36 +0000
How Staying in an Unhappy Marriage Can Affect Your Children https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/how-staying-in-an-unhappy-marriage-can-affect-your-children https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/how-staying-in-an-unhappy-marriage-can-affect-your-children Wheaton divorce lawyer child issuesOften, when couples who are married begin thinking about a divorce, the topic of children comes up. Do you stay together for the kids, or do you divorce? Every divorce is different, and so is every child--that is why there is not really any way of knowing what exact effect a divorce will have on your child. However, many studies have shown that staying in an unhappy marriage can be more damaging to children than the effects of a divorce. Some of the effects that children may experience in this type of situation include:

1. Chronic Stress

Parents play a crucial role in a child’s development--their relationship with their parents is one of the most important parts of their upbringing. When a child is raised with parents who are constantly at odds, they internalize the conflict. This means that rather than feeling at ease and comforted when they are with both parents, they feel tension and stress. Such constant stress can also cause physical symptoms in children, such as depression or chronic fatigue.

2. Mood Problems or Behavioral Issues

Parents who are constantly fighting teach their children to forgo optimism and expect the worst at a very young age. This can cause problems in children such as dysthymia, which is a mild, but long-term form of depression. These problems can also be the root of many adult issues, like personality disorders or substance abuse.

3. Low Self-Esteem

Children who live in homes with unhappy parents can often feel isolated or rejected. This can cause them to have feelings of low self-esteem or unworthiness. Being around parents who are constantly fighting can put a strain on the child and cause them to be at odds with themselves. For example, they may want friends but choose to isolate themselves. They are often unsure of themselves and wonder if they are the cause of their parents’ unhappiness.

4. Intimacy Issues

Children learn everything from their parents, including how to function in an intimate relationship. If they grew up with parents who were in high-conflict marriages, they can suffer intimacy issues as adults. These children can avoid closeness or strong bonds with others, because it triggers their traumatic childhoods. When they do get close to someone, they tend to reenact their parents’ conflicts with their partner.

5. Bearing the Responsibility of Their Parents’ Unhappiness

One thing that is most common for children who live in unhappy households is that they feel responsible for their parents’ unhappiness. You can try to hide your marital issues from your children, but they can and probably will pick up on the tension in the home. Because of the ego-centric nature of children, they begin to think that the anger, stress, or unhappiness they are witnessing is their fault.

Contact a Warrenville Divorce Lawyer

If you are living in an unhappy marriage, a divorce can be a viable option for you, especially if you have children. Deciding to get a divorce can be the best thing you could do for your family if your marriage is creating an unhappy household. If you are thinking of divorce, it is important that you contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney. At the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC, we will discuss your situation with you and help you understand your options. Call 630-836-8540 to set up a free consultation.




admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Mon, 18 Jun 2018 15:07:00 +0000
4 Myths About Divorce Mediation https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/4-myths-about-divorce-mediation https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/4-myths-about-divorce-mediation Warrenville divorce mediation lawyerStatistics can be a little fuzzy when it comes to the divorce rate. Depending on the source, the divorce rate is reported to be anywhere from 33 to 50 percent. But the one thing that professionals are noticing to have been changing about divorce in the United States is the increasing rate of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). More couples are choosing to settle their divorce through ADR methods like collaborative law and mediation, rather than the traditional litigation method. Some couples may be wary of divorce mediation, but by debunking the myths you may have heard about mediation, you can make an informed decision about whether it is right for you.

1. Mediation Will Not Work if There Is a Lot of Conflict Between Spouses

One of the most common thoughts that people have about divorce mediation is that it only works if both spouses are friendly toward each other. This is not necessarily true. While it may be easier for couples who are amicable toward each other to come to an agreement, it is not impossible for high-conflict couples to reach a settlement. Divorce mediators are trained to handle high-conflict situations, and if necessary, another professional, such as a family therapist or psychologist, can be hired to attend mediation sessions to teach couples how to communicate better.

2. Mediation Means You Will Settle for Less

If you litigate your divorce in court, the judge is required to abide by Illinois law when it comes to deciding things like property division, spousal maintenance, child support, and parental responsibilities. When you participate in divorce mediation, you and your spouse are able to consider other factors that a judge may not. The mediator serves as an uninterested third party who is there to direct your attention to the issues that need to be resolved.

3. The Mediator Decides What Is Fair

One of the most important things about mediation is that you and your spouse get to remain in control of your divorce. A mediator does not have the same power as a judge--they cannot order you to do anything. A mediator’s job is to bring certain issues to your attention and give advice on these issues in order to reach an agreement that is as fair as possible. The mediator is there to make sure both spouses are content with the divorce settlement rather than to make a decision for you.

4. It Is Better to Fight for Child Custody in Court

While court litigation may seem like the best way to achieve a fair resolution to child custody disputes, the opposite is often true, and mediation can be a better route to take if you have children. When you go to court to litigate parental responsibilities, you give the judge all of the power to decide what is best for your family. In divorce mediation, you can come up with a custody agreement that you and your ex-spouse are in agreement with and have both helped create. Visitation schedules and custody agreements are more likely to be followed if both spouses had a part in creating them.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Mediator

Fully understanding divorce mediation and the advantages that it has over a traditional litigated divorce can help you make an informed decision about whether or not mediation is right for your situation. A trained and certified Wheaton divorce mediation attorney can help you figure out the best agreement for your family. Contact the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation and begin your divorce mediation process. 




admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Mediation Mon, 11 Jun 2018 16:22:35 +0000
5 Ways to Emotionally Prepare for Divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/5-ways-to-emotionally-prepare-for-divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/5-ways-to-emotionally-prepare-for-divorce Wheaton divorce lawyerIt is no secret--divorce is not easy. It can be lengthy and costly, and it can drive your emotions through the roof. Even though divorce is stressful by nature, it does not have to mean the end of your emotional well-being. If you are beginning the divorce process, here are five ways to emotionally prepare yourself for divorce and make the most out of the next phase of your life:

1. Seek Social Support

People tend to want to isolate themselves when they go through a divorce because of the emotionally draining nature of the divorce process. However, it is important to seek the support of others during this time and avoid emotionally retreating from your friends and family. Talking with others about your situation and asking for help is a healthy way to cope with your divorce.

2. Begin Emotionally Grieving

A divorce is the end of a marriage, and some may say that it is a type of death. This means that it is only natural for you to grieve. Healthy grieving means accepting that there will be a healing process following your divorce. It is okay to be sad, but it is important for you to realize that even though the healing process is tough, peace will come if you allow it to.

3. Identify Your Priorities

When you get a divorce, one of the more important things to do is to determine your top priorities and remember what you stand for. Figuring out what things are most important to you can give you purpose and help you make decisions during and after the divorce. Keeping your priorities in order and being cooperative with your spouse can also help reduce friction in the divorce and keep a sense of calm with your kids. 

4. Place Your Kids First

As with most times in life, your children should be your first and foremost priority during your divorce process. Many parents worry about hurting their children when they get a divorce, but if you are divorcing because you did not have a happy marriage, a divorce can be the best thing for your children and your family. You should also remember to talk openly with your children about divorce and allow them to express their feelings about the situation, meeting their concerns with empathy.

5. Seek Counsel From a Warrenville Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be a stressful and emotionally difficult time in your life, but taking the time to prepare yourself emotionally can help you alleviate a considerable amount of emotional turmoil that may come with divorce. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, or if you need help completing the divorce process, the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can provide you with the legal help you are looking for. Contact a DuPage County divorce attorney to begin discussing your divorce options. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-836-8540.




admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:53:51 +0000
Changing Your Name After a Divorce in Illinois https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/changing-your-name-after-a-divorce-in-illinois https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/changing-your-name-after-a-divorce-in-illinois Winfield divorce name change attorneyThere are many reasons why a person would want to change their name or the name of their child--adoption, marriage, establishing parentage--but for many people, a name change can be the last step in the divorce process. Many people--women, especially--change their last name to match their partner’s when they get married. In the event that you get divorced, changing your last name to what it was prior to the marriage is a way that many people emotionally detach themselves from the marriage and their ex-spouse. The easiest way to change your last name in the event of a divorce is to add it to the divorce decree, but you do not have to do it then. You can change your name at any time after the divorce.

Seven Steps to Changing Your Name After a Divorce

Changing your name in Illinois is a relatively easy process. As long as you have been a resident of Illinois for at least six months, and you have not been convicted of a felony or a sex crime, you can proceed with the steps to change your name. 

1. Prepare the Forms Required

There are two forms required to change your name: a petition and a Notice of Filing for Change of Name. The petition is the formal request asking the court to change your name. In it you must state why you want to change your name, and you must also include proof that you meet the residency and felony requirements. The Notice of Filing for Change of Name is the public notice, which is required by law, that you are changing your name. The notice also includes what name you are changing yours to and the date of the hearing.

2. File the Petition

After you have filled out the appropriate forms, you must then take them to the courthouse in the county where you live. Once you file your forms, you will receive your hearing date. When you file your forms with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, you will have to pay the filing fee. The fee to file at the DuPage County Circuit Court is $290.00.

3. Publish the Public Notice of Name Change

After you have filed the Notice of Filing for Change of Name, you must then publish your intent to change your name in your local newspaper. In the newspaper announcement, you must list the name that you are changing to and the date and location of your hearing. According to Illinois law, the notice must be published once per week for three consecutive weeks.

4. File the Certificate of Publication

The next step in the name-change process is to file the Certificate of Publication that the newspaper will send you once your notice has been published for three consecutive weeks. They will also send you a copy of the notice as it appeared in the newspaper. Both items are important, because they must be filed with the court prior to the hearing to show that you followed the steps to change your name.  

5. Attend the Hearing 

When you attend your hearing, you should bring all of your documents that you have submitted with the court. During the hearing, the judge will ask you a number of questions about your case. Information that the judge will request can include:

  • Your current name;
  • Your current address;
  • The location you were born;
  • How long you have lived in Illinois; and
  • The name that you would like to change to.

If the judge grants your petition, he will sign your Order for Change of Name, which will allow you to legally change your name. After the judge signs the Order, you will need to file the Order with the Circuit Clerk and request copies to provide to other agencies to change your name on things such as your driver’s license, passport, and social security card.

6. Notify the Secretary of State

In Illinois, you are required by law to notify the Secretary of State within 10 days of changing your name. Before the Secretary of State can change their records, your driver’s license, car title, and registration must be corrected to your new name. To do this, you must go to your nearest Secretary of State center and request the new documents.

7. Change Your Name on Official Documents

Other documents that you will need to change so that they reflect your new name include your:

  • Birth certificate;
  • Social security card;
  • Passport;
  • Voter registration;
  • Bank accounts; and
  • Insurance policies.

Each document will require different forms and accompanying documents to successfully update to your new name. 

Contact a DuPage County Name Change Attorney

Going through a divorce is an emotional process, but changing your name at the end of a marriage can be a step in the right direction. If you are ready to take this step, you need the help of a compassionate and experienced Warrenville name change attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC to learn how we can guide you through this process. Call 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.




admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Fri, 25 May 2018 15:19:28 +0000
Understanding International Adoptions https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/understanding-international-adoptions https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/understanding-international-adoptions Winfield intercountry adoption lawyerWhen it comes to adoptions, there are a couple different methods that prospective parents can choose from. One of the first decisions you have to make is if you want to go through a domestic adoption, meaning you are adopting a child within the United States, or an intercountry adoption, meaning you are adopting a child from another country and bringing that child back to the United States to live with you. Both types of adoptions can be difficult and tedious, but intercountry adoptions have specific rules and regulations that domestic adoptions do not.

Hague vs. Non-Hague Adoptions

Two types of intercountry adoptions exist for U.S. citizens: Hague and non-Hague adoptions. The country you decide to adopt from will determine which process you will adopt by.

Hague Adoptions

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, also known as the “Hague Adoption Convention,” is an international treaty that was created to protect the best interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents involved in adoptions.

Countries involved in the Hague Adoption Convention include:

  • United Kingdom
  • Thailand
  • Rwanda
  • Mexico
  • Sri Lanka
  • Israel
  • India
  • Colombia
  • China
  • South Africa
  • Zambia

Non-Hague Adoptions

If a country is not part of the Hague Adoption Convention, adoption may or may not be possible by U.S. citizens. In countries that allow intercountry adoption, the child must be adopted through the Orphan Process. This means that the child must be legally recognized as an orphan under U.S. immigration law. The law states that a child is considered an orphan if the child is foreign-born and does not have any parents due to the death, disappearance, abandonment, desertion, or loss of both parents. It also says that if the child’s parents are alive, they must be deemed unable to care for the child according to local standards and must surrender their parental rights in writing.

Countries that are not a part of the Hague Convention, but that allow adoption by U.S. citizens include:

  • Nigeria
  • Nepal
  • Morocco
  • Liberia
  • Japan
  • Barbados
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • Ethiopia

Differences Between Hague and Non-Hague Countries

The main difference between proceeding with an adoption from a Hague or a non-Hague country is that countries that participate in the Hague Convention provide more protections to adoptive parents.

Your adoption service provider must be licensed in your state of residence to proceed with an international adoption. If you are adopting from a Hague country, your adoption service provider must be approved or accredited by the Department of State.

A home study must be completed and meet both state and federal requirements to proceed with any adoption, but in the case of an adoption from a Hague country, the home study must be prepared by an accredited agency.

Adoption policies and fees are often disclosed to adoptive parents in an adoption, but in the case of a non-Hague country adoption, most state laws do not require adoption agencies to do so. In Hague convention country adoptions, adoption service providers are required to provide an itemized list of applicable fees and policies in the adoption services contract.

An important part of adopting a child from another country is understanding that country’s culture, beliefs, and ways of life. In a Hague country adoption, adoptive parents are required to complete 10 hours of parent education prior to adoption. In other adoption cases, parents are not required to complete education unless it is required by the state of residence.

Medical records are prepared and provided by the country of adoption in a Hague country adoption, and the adoption records are preserved for 75 years. In a non-Hague country, neither of those are required.

Contact a Wheaton International Adoption Lawyer

If you are considering an intercountry adoption as a way to make an addition to your family, you need the help of a knowledgeable Warrenville adoption attorney. The Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can help you through the complicated steps of the international adoption process. Call 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.




admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Family law Thu, 17 May 2018 13:47:15 +0000
Adoption vs. Guardianship https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/adoption-vs-guardianship https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/adoption-vs-guardianship Warrenville family law attorney adoption guardianship parental rightsThere are two legal routes of establishing care for a child whose parents cannot provide them with an adequate home: adoption and guardianships. In some cases, adoption, which severs any legal relationship between a child and its mother, is not in the best interest of the child. This is when guardianship comes into play, usually as a temporary legal status.


In an adoption, the adoptive parents are given all of the legal rights and responsibilities that previously belonged to the birth parents. The birth parents either have to voluntarily give up their parental rights or have them involuntarily terminated. Adoption is a lifelong, permanent legal relationship.

An adopted child has all of the same legal rights as birth children if the adoptive parents die and do not have a will, meaning the child is entitled to any inheritance or survivor’s benefits in the event of a death. In an adoption, all decision making is up to the adoptive parents, including decisions about schooling, medical treatments, or visitation of birth parents, depending on the terms of the adoption.

Adoptive parents are financially responsible for the support of the adopted child and can decide the child’s legal name, meaning they can change the first or surname of the child if they deem fit. A child over the age of 14 must consent to his or her own adoption.


A guardian is given legal responsibility for a child and assumes the responsibilities of taking care of the child until the child reaches the age of 18. Decisions concerning schooling, medical treatments, and other life decisions are made by the guardian, not the birth parents.

Birth parents do not necessarily lose parental rights of their child, unless the court involuntarily terminates them. If the birth parents’ rights have not been relinquished or terminated, the parents usually retain residual rights, which mean that the parents retain the right to reasonable visitation of the child, consent to adoption, the privilege to determine the child’s religious affiliation, and the responsibility of financial support of the child.

A guardian is responsible for financially supporting the child, but in many cases, if the birth parents’ rights have not been terminated, they will also be held responsible for contributing financially to the child’s care. In a guardianship, connections to the birth family are often upheld, and the child is able to communicate and have a relationship with them.

Determining the Best Option for Your Situation

While there are many similarities and differences between adoption and guardianship, the most important difference between the two is permanency; adoption is a permanent process, but guardianship is not. If you want to provide a stable home for a child, but there is a chance that the birth parents might be able to take responsibility of their child again, guardianship might be the way to go. If you want the child to become a permanent part of your family, adoption might be the best option.

Contact a Wheaton Adoption and Guardianship Attorney

If you are in the process of determining what is right for a child in your care, a skilled DuPage County family law attorney can help you determine the best course of action. Contact the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC to see how we can help you weigh your options. Call our Warrenville office at 630-836-8540 to schedule a consultation.



admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Family law Thu, 10 May 2018 13:48:28 +0000
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in Illinois Divorce Cases https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/allocation-of-parental-responsibilities-in-illinois-divorce-cases https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/allocation-of-parental-responsibilities-in-illinois-divorce-cases Warrenville parental responsibility attorneyNobody thinks of the end of a marriage when they get married, and even though the divorce rate in the United States is declining, divorce is still common. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that 29,331 divorces were granted in the state of Illinois in 2016. Divorces are stressful and emotional, and they become more so when children are involved. When children are a part of divorce, they bring issues with them that need to be resolved, such as child custody, child support, and visitation.

Parental Responsibilities Instead of Custody

The state of Illinois no longer refers to custody of children. Since a new law was introduced in 2016, what used to be known as custody is now referred to as parental responsibilities, and the amount of time children spend with each parent is known as parenting time. Parental responsibility consists of significant decision-making for children, and there are four types of decision-making:

  • Education, including choosing schools and tutors.
  • Health, including decisions pertaining to the medical, dental, and psychological well-being of the child.
  • Religion. 
  • Extracurricular activities.

Unless an agreement is submitted to the court that details the allocation of parental responsibilities, the court will determine which responsibilities are allocated to each parent. The law also states that there is no requirement to allocate any responsibilities to each parent.

Determining Allocation of Decision-Making Responsibilities

In the event that the parents cannot come to an agreement in determining parental responsibilities, the court will determine the responsibilities that each parent is accountable for. When making these determinations, the court looks at a number of factors, including:

  • The wishes of the child.
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community.
  • The physical and mental health of the child and both parents.
  • The parents’ ability to cooperate, or the level of conflict between them.
  • The level of each parent’s past participation in parental responsibilities.
  • Any prior agreement between the parents involving parental responsibilities.
  • The wishes of the parents.
  • The child’s needs.
  • The distance between the parent’s homes, parents’ ability to transport the child to and from the homes, each person’s daily schedules and the parent’s ability to comply with the arrangement.
  • Each parent’s willingness and ability to encourage and facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent.
  • The likability of abuse by either parent to the child.
  • Whether either parent is a sex offender.

Determining Allocation of Parenting Time

In determining how to allocate parenting time, the court looks at all of the factors involved in determining decision-making, as well as other factors that include:

  • The wishes of each parent seeking parenting time.
  • The amount of time each parent spend taking care of the child in the two years prior to when the petition for divorce was filed.
  • Whether a restriction on parenting time is appropriate.
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to place the needs of the child before their own.
  • The terms of a parent’s military family-care plan, if a parent is a member of the Armed Forces.

Contact a Warrenville Child Custody Attorney

If you are in the process of determining custody of your child in a divorce, a knowledgeable family law attorney can help you explore your options and determine the best plan of action. Contact the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC to learn how we can help guide you through the process. Call our Wheaton divorce lawyers at 630-836-8540 to schedule a consultation.




admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Thu, 03 May 2018 16:46:58 +0000
Modifying a Divorce Decree to Meet a Child’s College Education Needs https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/modifying-a-divorce-decree-to-meet-a-child-s-college-education-needs https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/modifying-a-divorce-decree-to-meet-a-child-s-college-education-needs Warrenville divorce lawyer college expenses modificationAfter a divorce is finalized, and the divorce decree is entered into court records, former spouses must abide by all terms concerning child support, spousal support, the allocation of parental responsibility, and the division of the marriage’s assets and liabilities. The decree may only be modified if a valid reason exists. These reasons may include changes in employment and/or income, parent and child relocation, a change in marital status for either party, a change in health status, and the educational needs of children.

With regard to a child’s educational needs, when a child is at or near the age of 18, one parent may petition the court for a modification to compel the other parent to help bear the cost of college expenses. The purpose of this article is to explain the basics of a divorce decree modification petition regarding a child’s college expenses.

Illinois Extends Child Support Obligations to Include College Expenses

Illinois is one of several states in which parents’ child support obligations may include post-secondary (college) educational expenses for adult children. Either parent can petition the other for financial contribution to the child’s college expenses. Ideally, the parents address the issue of post-secondary expenses during the original divorce settlement, so that each party is clear as to terms and conditions and can plan years before tuition and board fees are ever due. However, as college may seem far away at the time of divorce, it is not uncommon for the issue to go unaddressed. Later, when the issue must be confronted through a divorce modification petition, lawful “educational expenses” for which contributions may be sought by either parent include:

  • Tuition and fees, up to what would be paid by a student during that academic year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Room and board up to what would be paid by a student during that academic year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • The cost of health insurance, dental care, and other medical expenses.
  • Other reasonable living expenses during the school year.
  • The cost of textbooks and other school supplies.

Experience in Obtaining Support Modifications

With college tuition ever on the rise and competition for employment increasing in the age of automation and globalization, it is critically important for parents to support their children and help them achieve success at the post-secondary level. If you need help determining how to obtain a modification that will secure support for your child’s college expenses, the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can help you understand your rights and advocate for your child’s best interests. Contact an experienced West Chicago divorce attorney at 630-836-8540 to arrange a free consultation.



admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Tue, 24 Apr 2018 14:30:06 +0000
Beginning the Process of Child Relocation in Illinois https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/beginning-the-process-of-child-relocation-in-illinois https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/beginning-the-process-of-child-relocation-in-illinois Winfield child relocation lawyerRelocating to a new home for work is complex when divorced parents share custody of a child. This is because Illinois has strict regulations regarding the processes parents must follow when moving with a child. As such, the very action intended to benefit yourself and your child – a promising employment opportunity – may be complicated by the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time set forth in your court-ordered divorce decree. 

In some cases, your former spouse may be supportive of work-related relocation, even if it has support and custody-related implications. In other instances, however, the two of you may not agree about modifications to the allocation of parental responsibility when attempting to initiate child relocation. In times like these, it is essential to have experienced legal representation.

Relocation is a Question of Distance

If you were divorced in Illinois, provide your child’s primary residence, and are moving to a new residence in the state less than 25 miles from your current residence for work-related reasons, you do not have to worry about revisiting the existing allocation of parental responsibility ordered by the court in your divorce. 

If, however, your move is of 25 miles or more from a current residence in Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, Lake, or McHenry County, it officially constitutes a “relocation” under Illinois law. The same is true if you live in a county other than the six enumerated above, provide the primary residence of your child, and move to a new residence within Illinois that is at least 50 miles away from your current residence. 

A “relocation” is also deemed to have occurred under state law if, regardless of the county you live in, you move to a residence in another state that is at least 25 miles away from your current residence. So, if you are moving from a county in northeastern Illinois to one in Indiana, Michigan, or Wisconsin, this guideline may impact your move.

Communication and Modification Go Hand in Hand 

If you share the allocation of parental responsibility (formerly known as child custody) with your former spouse, then communication regarding an intended work-related move is essential in modifying the existing particulars of your divorce decree. Such communication begins with adequate notice (at least 60 days prior to the planned move) of the date, address, and duration of your intended move. In addition to notifying your ex-spouse, you will need to obtain approval from the court, where a judge will decide whether modifications to your parenting plan are in your child’s best interests.

Whether you need help drafting a notice to be signed by the non-moving parent or obtaining relocation approval from the court, the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can provide you with the legal help you need. Contact a Wheaton divorce attorney by calling 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.



admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:45:49 +0000
Dealing With Divorce Tax Issues in Time for the IRS Deadline https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/dealing-with-divorce-tax-issues-in-time-for-the-irs-deadline https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/dealing-with-divorce-tax-issues-in-time-for-the-irs-deadline Wheaton divorce lawyer taxes spousal maintenanceWith the IRS tax filing deadline coming up later this month, it is time for recently divorced or soon-to-be divorcing spouses to become acquainted with the tax implications of divorce. While child support payments do not have any tax implications (that is, they are not tax-deductible for the paying parent, and they are not considered taxable income for the receiving parent), spousal maintenance (alimony) payments do. Whether you are paying or receiving spousal maintenance in Illinois, you need to account for it on your taxes.

Spousal Maintenance Is Tax Deductible for the Payor

If you are currently paying spousal maintenance to your ex-spouse, know that these support payments are tax deductible. As such, you may end up being required to pay less taxes than expected. Awareness of such positive tax implications should allow you to better plan your finances, whether you are budgeting in the short-term or saving and investing for the long-term.

Spousal Maintenance Is Taxable Income for the Recipient

If you are currently receiving spousal maintenance from your ex-spouse, know that the support payments constitute taxable income. Because of this, you may end up being required to pay more taxes than expected. Anticipating and accounting for this reality well in advance of the tax filing deadline can help you budget and plan your finances as so to avoid experiencing unexpected and stressful monetary burdens at tax time.

Changes to Taxes on Spousal Maintenance

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has changed the way spousal maintenance is taxed, starting in 2019. For divorces finalized after December 31, 2018, maintenance will no longer be tax-deductible for the payor or taxable for the recipient. While this change will not affect tax returns for 2017, spouses who are considering divorce or have begun the divorce process should be aware of how this change could affect the taxes they pay following their divorce, and they may wish to complete their divorce prior to 2019 to take advantage of the current tax laws.

Children May Be Claimed As Dependents on a Tax Return

As you are probably already aware, children may be claimed as dependents on your taxes. However, former spouses cannot both claim a child as a dependent. If there are two children, though, one parent may claim one child on his or her taxes, and the other parent may claim the other child on their taxes. A divorce decree or judgment should specify how these exemptions will be divided between parents. 

Additionally, for divorced parent scenarios in which one parent earns the vast majority of the income and the other fulfills a stay-at-home parenting role, it may be wise, with regard to tax implications, to consider an unallocated support arrangement in which child support and spousal maintenance are combined into one payment that is fully tax-deductible for the payor and taxable for the recipients. 

The Division of Assets in a Divorce Has Tax Implications

Finally, a number of tax implications may follow from the division of assets that occurs during a divorce. The division of investment and retirement accounts, capital gains from the sale of real estate, and the partition of family-owned businesses are all examples of issues that may affect divorcing spouses’ taxes. If you completed your divorce in 2017, you should be aware of these issues when filing your tax return, and you may wish to work with an accountant to ensure that these factors have been accounted for.

If you need help understanding the tax implications of your divorce, the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can work with you to reach a resolution that will protect your financial interests. Contact a Winfield divorce lawyer today at 630-836-8540 to arrange a free consultation.



admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:45:34 +0000
Using Divorce Mediation to Dissolve a Marriage Amicably in Illinois https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/using-divorce-mediation-to-dissolve-a-marriage-amicably-in-illinois https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/using-divorce-mediation-to-dissolve-a-marriage-amicably-in-illinois Wheaton divorce mediation lawyerWhile divorce is often portrayed as inherently acrimonious in television, film, and literature, the truth is that it need not be so. Not every divorce is the result of infidelity or abuse. Sometimes, spouses realize that they are unhappy and not getting along despite repeated efforts over a long period of time, or it becomes apparent that they rushed into the marriage without a shared vision of the future. In such completely common and understandable circumstances, it is possible to end the marriage amicably and cooperatively through the process of mediation. Unlike litigation, which is inherently adversarial, mediation is a more harmonious means of resolving the family and financial issues that must be addressed during the dissolution of a marriage.

Mediation Is a Form of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation occurs out of court. This change of venue is symbolic of the non-adversarial nature of the process, in which parties sit across the table rather than on opposing sides of the courtroom. The issues addressed are the same as those in a contentious or contested divorce, and they include: 

  • The fair and equitable division of marital assets and liabilities.
  • Whether and in what amount spousal maintenance (alimony) will be paid by one spouse to the other.
  • Whether and in what amount each parent will pay child support.
  • How parental responsibility (child custody) and parenting time (visitation) will be allocated between each parent.

So, then, the difference between adversarial divorce and mediated, non-adversarial divorce is one of disposition, or attitude. Moreover, obviously, the family law-related issues of child support and the allocation of parental responsibility are only applicable to spouses who have children. For divorcing spouses who are not parents, the process of a mediated divorce is often even more straightforward. 

The Equitable Division of Marital Assets and Liabilities in an Illinois Divorce

Illinois is an equitable distribution state with regard to the division of a marriage’s assets and liabilities between divorcing spouses. A “fair and equitable” division – to use the language of Illinois state law – does not necessarily mean an equal division. As such, the principle of good faith negotiation that is at the heart of the mediation process matters greatly. The more complex and varied a marriage’s assets and liabilities, the more discussion and negotiation will transpire. 

If you want to know more about how the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can help you utilize the process of mediation to facilitate a fair and amicable divorce, contact a Warrenville divorce mediation attorney at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.



admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Mediation Thu, 05 Apr 2018 14:28:54 +0000
Recognizing the Effects of Stress During Divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/recognizing-the-effects-of-stress-during-divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/recognizing-the-effects-of-stress-during-divorce Winfield divorce lawyerWhen your marriage is falling apart, you are likely to experience a great deal of emotional difficulty as you struggle to decide whether your relationship can be saved or whether it is best to end the marriage and move on. While making the decision to get divorced can bring some measure of relief, the actual process of divorce can be incredibly stressful as you work to separate your life from your ex-spouse and deal with the various legal issues which must be settled. 

As you work to complete your divorce, it is important to pay attention to the effects that stress can have on your health and well-being. Here are some of the common effects that stress can have on both your body and your mind:

  • Anxiety and depression - Uncertainty about the future and worries about finances can cause anxiety to those who are going through divorce. In addition, the major life changes you will experience, such as moving to a new home and adjusting to spending less time with your children, can result in feelings of depression.
  • Insomnia - The stress of divorce, as well as changing schedules, routines, and living situations, often cause people to have difficulty sleeping. Unfortunately, lack of sleep often causes a further increase in stress.
  • Weight gain or loss - Some people deal with stress by eating “comfort foods” that are often unhealthy, which can lead to weight gain. Others may lose their appetite or fail to eat regularly, leading to unhealthy weight loss.
  • Immunity - Stress can lead to a weakened immune system, and those who are going through a divorce may find that they are more susceptible to colds or the flu.
  • Substance abuse - Many people often turn to alcohol, cigarettes, or other drugs to help them deal with the stress of divorce. While this may seem to provide some relief, it often ends up leading to increased levels of depression.

By recognizing these symptoms of stress, you can take steps to address them and create a healthy environment and routine for yourself as you work to build a new life after your divorce. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly are great ways to address the stress of divorce. You may also want to see a therapist to work on some strategies for coping with the depression or anxiety you may be experiencing.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC, we can help you address the legal issues that must be resolved during your divorce, ensuring that you are able to begin your post-divorce life on the right foot. If you want to know more about how we can work with you to reach a positive outcome to your divorce case, contact a West Chicago divorce attorney today at 630-836-8540 to schedule your free initial consultation.




admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Fri, 30 Mar 2018 17:41:00 +0000
When Can Parental Responsibility be Allocated to One Parent? https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/when-can-parental-responsibility-be-allocated-to-one-parent https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/when-can-parental-responsibility-be-allocated-to-one-parent Warrenville divorce attorney single parentIn most circumstances, it is in the best interests of a child’s parents to share the allocation of parental responsibility (formerly known as child custody) following divorce. This is a “two hands are better than one” philosophy, with former spouses, even after divorce, working to share resources and balance work and family responsibilities in a way that supports the child’s education, health, and well-being every bit as much as if the parents were still married and living together. 

Parental responsibility is typically shared when a divorce is as harmonious as can be expected, with parents collaborating to create a parenting plan in compliance with state law, and sometimes even when a divorce is filled with acrimony and collaboration is difficult. There are, however, some circumstances in which it is in the best interests of the child for parental responsibility to be solely allocated to one parent. 

A History of Violence, Abuse, or Neglect Is Relevant to Child Custody

With the “best interests of the child” being paramount in the allocation of parental responsibility, it is important to identify certain behaviors that are not in the best interests of the child. Among these behaviors – all factors at issue in a family court judge’s consideration of custody-related matters – are:

  • Violence and abuse, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse - If one parent has subjected the child to domestic violence or abuse, whether it be an isolated instance or a pattern of repeated incidents, such facts are relevant to the court’s consideration (to be weighed against the abusive parent). 
  • Neglect - This may be more difficult to identify and prove in court. While it can sometimes be quite clear (as when a child suffers from malnutrition or does not have adequate clothing), other times, it may be more difficult to identify (e.g., in areas of the child’s emotional well-being and development). 
  • Criminal history - This is especially relevant with regard to drug addiction – a blight that may result in a parent’s drug dependencies taking precedence over the child’s best interests. 
  • Capacity - This is relevant if a parent becomes unable to care for their child or participate in decision-making due to health reasons, whether physical or mental.

Taking All Relevant Facts Into Consideration

As a parent, you have the right to direct education and upbringing of your child. If facts exist to support an allocation of parental responsibility exclusively in your favor, the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC will identify them, present them in court, and advocate for your rights and the best interests of your child. Contact a West Chicago divorce lawyer today by calling 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation. 



admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:06:11 +0000
Ensuring a Fair and Equitable Division of Assets During Divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/ensuring-a-fair-and-equitable-division-of-assets-during-divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/ensuring-a-fair-and-equitable-division-of-assets-during-divorce West Chicago division of marital assets lawyerNo couple expects their marriage will end in divorce when they first get married. The beginning of a marriage is a typically a time of peak trust and solidarity, with spouses willingly assuming the roles believed to contribute to a happy and successful union, “Until death do us part.” However, it is important for both spouses to understand their rights, especially when it comes to ownership of the assets they have acquired over the course of their marriage.

Even in a society that is gradually becoming less gendered in matters of economic opportunity, it is still common for one spouse to assume the role of income earner, and the other the role of stay-at-home parent. In such an arrangement, a knowledge gap may come to exist with regard to the marriage’s income, assets, liabilities, investments, and other financial information, with the income-earning spouse handling most financial matters and the stay-at-home parent focused on crucial parenting responsibilities, such as the education, healthcare, nutrition, and transport of the children. 

When the unthinkable happens and the marriage ends divorce, the stay-at-home parent must suddenly close this financial knowledge gap, prepare for life as both a parent and manager of finances, and ensure that he or she receives, in addition to all appropriate child support and spousal maintenance, an equitable portion of the marriage’s assets. When there exists reason to suspect that the income earning spouse is not cooperating in the equitable division required under state law, it is necessary to utilize the legal process of income discovery.

Illinois Law Demands a Fair and Equitable Division of Marital Assets

Under Illinois law, the physical property and financial assets that a divorcing couple owns, as well as the debts that they owe, must be divided in a “fair and equitable” manner. This does not necessarily mean that all assets and debts will be split in half, but that each spouse will retain a fair and just portion of the marital property. This division of assets is separate from child support and spousal support, which a stay-at-home parent will often receive if the marriage was of even an ordinary duration and they have the majority of the parenting time with their children following divorce. 

If the income-earning spouse attempts to deprive the other spouse of an equitable division of assets by using his or her knowledge of the marital finances to hide certain assets, property, or investments, the legal process of discovery may be used to compel the disclosure of all assets subject to equitable division under state law. In these cases, the other spouse’s attorney may use interrogatories, subpoenas, depositions, or other methods to determine the existence and value of all marital assets, ensuring that they are divided correctly.

Divorce Discovery Experience in Illinois 

If you have reason to suspect that your spouse is resisting an equitable division by hiding income or assets, the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can advocate for your legal rights and work to obtain information from relevant financial parties. If you want to know more about how we can help you achieve a fair and equitable outcome to your divorce, contact a Wheaton divorce lawyer at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.



admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:56:33 +0000
Using Discovery to Uncover Hidden Income and Assets During Divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/using-discovery-to-uncover-hidden-income-and-assets-during-divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/using-discovery-to-uncover-hidden-income-and-assets-during-divorce Wheaton divorce lawyer hidden assets discoveryPlanning for life after divorce is tough enough, even when there are no child custody and support matters to address, and both spouses will continue on in their careers without interruption after the marriage’s dissolution. Divorce takes an emotional toll even in circumstances where the decision is mutual and there is no animosity. Many divorces, however, are rife with tension and disagreement over financial issues, including the division of marital assets, spousal support, and, when there are children involved, child support. 

In obtaining the fair and equitable distribution of assets required by Illinois law, as well as in securing the spousal and child support you need and deserve, the legal process of discovery is instrumental in uncovering income or assets which a spouse may intend to hide from the asset division process.

Illinois Divorce Law Utilizes a Principle of Equitable Distribution

When divorce occurs in Illinois, the state utilizes a principle of “equitable distribution” with regard to a marriage’s income and assets. An equitable distribution is not necessarily an equal division, but is defined broadly as the division of property in “just proportions.” 

Some assets of a spouse, especially those obtained prior to marriage and kept separate during marriage (e.g., an inheritance), may be rightly excluded from the process of equitable distribution. Other assets that are fully subject to a fair and equitable distribution, however, may be disputed or even concealed by a spouse. Among the ways in which a spouse may attempt to hide income or other financial assets include:

  • Deferring income or bonuses until after the divorce is finalized.
  • Placing assets in a trust.
  • Secretly transferring assets to a friend or family member.
  • Using secret, separate accounts for investments or funds.
  • Hiding cash or other valuables in a safe deposit box or other location.
  • Dissipation of assets (i.e., spending marital funds or purposely devaluing marital property).

Compelling Cooperation Through The Process of Discovery

When concealment or dissipation of assets is attempted by a spouse, Illinois law allows for the use of the discovery process to help uncover income and assets that have not been duly disclosed. Discovery encompasses a number of methods, including depositions, interrogatories (written requests for documents or information), court-ordered inspections, and subpoenas (orders to appear in court). 

If your spouse is being uncooperative in the process of equitable distribution, the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can help you employ the process of discovery to ensure that marital property is divided correctly. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced Warrenville divorce attorneys today by calling 630-836-8540.



admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Wed, 14 Mar 2018 16:31:00 +0000
The Rights of a Stay-At-Home Parent in an Illinois Divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/the-rights-of-a-stay-at-home-parent-in-an-illinois-divorce https://www.kaskolaw.com/warrenville-divorce-lawyer/the-rights-of-a-stay-at-home-parent-in-an-illinois-divorce West Chicago divorce lawyer for stay-at-home parentsDivorce can bring unique stress and uncertainty for people who have chosen to assume the valuable role of stay-at-home parent. If you are such a person, you know all too well the worrisome thoughts that hover. How am I going to earn money and be there for my children? Can I even start a career now? How is it fair that my ex-spouse is leaving the marriage with their career intact, while I am entering the job market for the first time? 

Each of these concerns is both legitimate and commonplace. Fortunately, Illinois state law (which governs divorce, child support, and spousal support) acknowledges and respects the trade-offs and sacrifices in marriages in which one spouse assumes the role of income earner and the other the role of stay-at-home parent.

Equitable Property Division for the Stay-At-Home Parent

Just because one spouse earned the majority of the income during a marriage, that does not mean that he or she is entitled to all or most of the marital property. Illinois recognizes that stay-at-home parenting is in itself a valuable contribution, representing both a benefit to the well-being of children and a sacrifice of career opportunities. 

This contribution is not unlike the equity earned in a home by virtue of years of mortgage payments. That equity, or value, does not disappear just because the marriage has ended. With these considerations in mind, the divorced stay-at-home parent has every right for the work they have put into their family and the sacrifices they have made to be met with a fair and equitable division of marital assets.

Child Support and Spousal Support

If, after divorce, the stay-at-home parent continues to have primary parental responsibility of the couple’s children, it is highly likely that he or she will receive child support from the other parent. Spousal support (also known as maintenance or alimony) may be awarded as well, depending on the duration of the marriage, the age and health of both spouses, the income of the working spouse, and the stay-at-home parent’s potential to resume or begin a career. These financial resources will allow a stay-at-home parent to support themselves and their children as they work to get back on their feet after divorce.

At the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC, we can help you understand your rights as a stay-at-home parent during divorce, and we will work with you to ensure that marital property is divided correctly and help you receive the financial support you need from your former partner. Contact a Winfield divorce lawyer at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.



admin@kaskolaw.com (Super User) Divorce Wed, 07 Mar 2018 14:46:04 +0000