IL family lawyerPreparing for a wedding is a busy, thrilling, and nerve-wracking time. There are so many things to think about and so much romance in the air that considering a prenuptial agreement is often the last thing on the bride or groom’s mind. After all, nobody gets married believing that they will eventually get divorced.

Unfortunately, the statistics on divorce are clear. Many marriages do eventually come to an end, and many divorces are hostile and combative in nature. Although it may feel as though such a thing could never happen to you, spending just a few hours on a prenup now could protect you from months or even years of conflict, heartache, and expense in the future. Here are some common reasons couples get prenuptial agreements.

Protect Your Assets

This is perhaps the most common reason for a prenup: One spouse has valuable assets and wishes to keep them in their entirety if the marriage ends. A prenup can protect real estate, investments accounts, small and large businesses, and even overseas assets. Clearly outlining these things in a prenup can prevent extended litigation and negotiation during a divorce.

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IL divorce lawyerAlso known as alimony, spousal maintenance is a series of payments made from one former spouse to the other during or following a divorce. The purpose of spousal maintenance is to help the receiving spouse become financially independent following a marriage in which their quality of life was dependent on the paying spouse’s income.

The amount and length of spousal maintenance depend on a few factors and this article briefly examines these factors. If you have questions about spousal maintenance, contact an experienced divorce attorney.

How Is the Amount of Spousal Maintenance Payments Determined?

The first factor that judges use to determine spousal maintenance payments is whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement exists. These agreements may have provisions concerning maintenance payments and unless there is a problem with the agreement itself, the provision regarding maintenance will likely be legally binding.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you have already decided to get divorced, you are likely wondering how to move forward. Couples who mutually agree to get a divorce may wonder if they can negotiate everything addressed in a divorce decree without going to trial and fighting out the details in front of a judge.

Fortunately, there are two effective strategies for couples who wish to avoid the hostility, expense, and significant amount of time spent in a courtroom divorce trial: Mediation and collaborative divorce. Although these two methods are not the same, they share some similar strategies and can be great tools for couples who want to be conscientious about their separation.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a process in which spouses jointly hire a third-party trained mediator who helps them discuss and resolve current issues and plan for the future. Generally, each spouse will also hire their own attorney, but the attorneys are not present during the mediation sessions.

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IL divorce lawyerThe division and distribution of marital property is often one of the most contentious areas of divorce, especially in a high net worth divorce. Spouses frequently disagree about the value of assets and to whom they belong, and sometimes will even attempt to hide income or other assets. If you know your spouse made a certain amount of income, but this amount seems to have suddenly dropped now that you have filed for divorce, they may be trying to hide their true income in an attempt to pay lower amounts of spousal support or child support.

In this article, we will discuss ways that people often try to hide their income, as well as what you can do to ensure all income is fairly accounted for. Keep in mind that this is not legal advice and that your best strategy is to contact a qualified divorce attorney.

What Are Common Ways Spouses Hide Income?

People attempt to hide marital income in many ways. Some of these may seem silly and ineffective, but some are quite sophisticated and require financial tracking or accounting experts to find. Methods of hiding income include:

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is complex enough when a client has a great relationship with their attorney. Unfortunately, someone may hire a divorce attorney who seems great, only to find out that the attorney is not meeting the client’s needs or expectations. Maybe the attorney seems totally unprepared for hearings, or never returns phone calls. If this sounds like you, you may be wondering: Can you change your attorney in the middle of the divorce process?

Simply put, yes - you can generally fire or hire an attorney at any time. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to firing an attorney. Consider your situation carefully before making this important decision.

What Are the Advantages of Firing an Attorney?

If your attorney is not providing you with the legal representation you need, hiring a new attorney who is passionate about advocating on your behalf could be an excellent decision. Your new lawyer may be much more responsive and engaged than your previous attorney.

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