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Tag Archives: DuPage County divorce attorneys

Wheaton divorce lawyersWhen divorce proceedings begin, it can throw everything else in your life into a state of uncertainty. Life continues while the legal issues are getting worked out, with bills to pay and obligations to meet. Because of this, sometimes an Illinois court will order temporary relief to one spouse in order to get through the period of the proceedings, including temporary parental responsibilitieschild support, or spousal support

Parental Responsibilities and Child Support 

Most temporary relief orders asked for in Illinois courts have to do with the arrangements for any children of a divorcing couple. It is common for one parent to seek a temporary order of parenting time simply to ensure the children are permitted to remain in their current situation. Forcing children to move abruptly, only to possibly return them to the previous situation, is generally held to not be in their best interests. Alternatively, parental responsibilities can be contested for more malicious reasons. For example, in some divorce cases, particularly those that are contentious, it is not unheard of for one parent to attempt to get possession of the children solely to cause a disruption in the lives of the children and the former spouse.

Child support is another major factor. The costs of raising a child cannot be paused while the divorce is ongoing, so a temporary order is often necessary. The court will generally assess the request by considering each parent’s income, the current situation, and the needs of the child. 

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DuPage County family law attorneysHigh net-worth couples who are going through a divorce often face special issues that require extra planning and attention. Because of the complicated nature of the assets involved, care must be taken to divide the property in a way that does not compromise their value. Often, such couples also hope to keep the details of the divorce as private as possible for personal, safety, and business reasons.

Protecting Assets

Illinois law presumes that any asset acquired after the date of the marriage is a marital asset, subject to a few exceptions. In the absence of an agreement between the spouses, the law requires a judge to decide what is a marital asset and then divide those assets equitably. While there are certain legal factors a judge must consider when dividing assets, without proper preparation and representation, you risk having your assets undervalued or split in such a way as to diminish their value.

Divorce planning, asset valuation, and vigorous representation can help protect your assets and preserve them for the future. This means that with the help of your attorney, you may wish to assemble a team of financial professionals, including financial planners, appraisers, and others, whose knowledge and resources will be crucial in safeguarding your wealth and property.

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DuPage County family law attorneysIn television shows and movies, divorce is often portrayed as a highly-combative legal process involving more accusation and confrontation than actual problem solving. In reality, a successful divorce settlement that both parties can agree to can often be reached without the need for dramatic courtroom litigation – even when the couple disagrees about the terms of their divorce. If you are planning to divorce and you and your spouse do not agree about property distribution, parental responsibilities, or other divorce-related matters, one option that may help you reach an agreement is collaborative divorce.

Finding Creative Solutions to Divorce Disputes

Litigation can be expensive and stressful. Many individuals getting a divorce wish to resolve conflicts without adversarial court proceedings but still want a legal advocate on their side who will look out for their best interests. One way to accomplish this is through collaborative family law. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse and his or her lawyer work together to reach resolutions about family law issues in a professional and cooperative way. The parties and their lawyers will sign a “collaborative agreement” or “participation agreement” that states that all signatories will commit to finding a fair, workable divorce settlement and will abstain from bringing the case to litigation. This agreement may require the spouses and their attorneys to agree to provisions such as:

  • The parties agree to settle disputes in a non-adversarial manner through negotiation and constructive dialogue
  • The parties agree to fully disclose relevant financial information
  • The parties will act in their child’s best interests

In a collaborative divorce, your attorney will protect your rights while simultaneously facilitating productive discussion and negotiation about divorce issues with the other participants. The process may also include collaborating with other professionals such as accountants or child specialists. If an agreement about the disputed divorce issues is reached, the agreement is transcribed into legally enforceable documents which are then filed with the court.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysMoney-related concerns are often one of the most crucial aspects of a divorce. In Illinois, property is distributed according to equitable distribution laws. Instead of the marital estate being divided exactly 50/50, Illinois courts consider a wide variety of factors and then divide marital property fairly based on the spouses’ economic and life circumstances. However, when the court does not have accurate financial information from a spouse, the divorce settlement may not be equitable. There are many warning signs of financial fraud during divorce that could mean your spouse is attempting to manipulate the divorce process to gain an unfair advantage.

What is Financial Fraud?

A spouse commits financial fraud when he or she does not fully and accurately disclose financial information like assets, income, and debts for the purposes of asset division, child support, and/or spousal maintenance during divorce. One of the most common forms of financial fraud occurs when a spouse hides assets or sources of income. For example, a spouse may “forget” to declare a piece of real estate he or she owns or fail to report all revenue streams. He or she may have hidden funds in an offshore account or use his or her business to conceal assets. Some spouses will also try to manipulate the divorce settlement in his or her favor by fraudulently overstating debts and expenses.

Warning Signs that a Spouse is Lying About Financial Information

In many marriages, one spouse manages the couple’s finances and takes care of paying the bills with little input from the other spouse. It can be especially easy for a spouse to commit financial fraud in a situation like this. Indications that your spouse may be lying about finances include but are not limited to:

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Wheaton divorce attorneysWhen you got married, did you and your new spouse move into a home that one of you already owned or did you find a new house? Have you purchased a new home since your marriage?  The answers to those two questions could directly impact the division of property process should you and your spouse ever divorce.

Prior Ownership

According to the law in Illinois, all assets that were owned by either spouse prior to the marriage and which were not subsequently placed into some form of joint ownership, are generally considered an individual’s non-marital property, not subject to division upon divorce. Determining ownership is fairly easy for smaller items. For example, you bought a washing machine before the marriage, it is non-marital. Larger purchases and investments can be a bit more complicated. If you and your spouse moved into a home that you had already paid off at the time of the marriage, the house, in all likelihood, would be considered non-marital property. If, however, you were still paying the house off for the first several years of the marriage and made some major improvements, the funds used to pay off the mortgage and make the improvements were marital funds. Thus, these marital funds used to improve and pay off the mortgage on a non-marital asset should be accounted for during the division of property.

Name on the Deed

Assume that five years into your marriage, you and your spouse purchase a new home. For credit or business reasons, your spouse—with your permission—puts only his or her name on the deed. The mortgage is in his or her name, along with all other legal documentation. Do you stand to lose out in the event of divorce?  No, you do not. Under Illinois law, it makes little difference whose name is on a particular note or title. If the purchase was made with marital funds—as in, you and your spouse’s biweekly paychecks being used to make mortgage payments—the house is part of the marital estate.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree