Category Archives: Family Law

dupage county divorce lawyer Divorce is so much more than simply the end of a marriage. This process can be heavily influenced and impacted by finances. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for spouses to hide assets during a divorce. In the state of Illinois, assets must be split justly, however that does not always mean equally. It can be difficult to decide upon a fair division of marital assets, however, hiding assets is not the way to go about it. It is not only unlawful and unethical to hide assets, but there can be serious consequences if caught doing so. It is essential to recognize the signs when a spouse may be hiding assets and to be aware of what will be faced if caught. 

What To Look Out For

Married couples tend to have complex financial portfolios. Dividing assets and debts during divorce can be complicated. Many spouses own residences and rental properties, vacation homes, life insurance, retirement plans, businesses, and more. These are some red flags to look out for if you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets:

  • Hiding Money - One of the most common ways spouses hide assets is by making large or frequent withdrawals from their bank. Spouses may stash away large sums of money to shield them from division during divorce. 

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dupage county divorce lawyerFor many people in Illinois, the holidays will represent the first time that families are gathering after a couple has decided to get a divorce. It is can be awkward and lonely for individuals who have recently separated or divorced. Many people going through a divorce can see numerous complications to their family plans, and it can be difficult for people to know how to handle the situation. 

How to Deal With Separation or Divorce Around the Holidays

Going through a divorce and getting ready for the holidays can be stressful. Here are a few tips divorcing individuals can keep in mind to try and improve their situation. 

  • Make It About the Kids — Just as there are certain to be plenty of adults at many family get-togethers, there are also sure to be children. Instead of getting caught up in conversations about the divorce, focus more on interacting with the kids.

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dupage county divorce lawyerOne spouse in a divorce may seek financial support through “spousal maintenance,” which is more commonly referred to as alimony or spousal support. 

Courts must take a multitude of factors into consideration when determining whether spousal support should be paid, and this can include the incomes and earning capacities of both spouses, how long a marriage lasted, and any requirements under a premarital or postnuptial agreement. If you think that your spouse is seeking too much money or they are not paying enough, you will want to work with a DuPage County spousal support lawyer who can help you navigate the court process and pursue the most desirable outcome for your case.

Illinois Spousal Support Laws

The Illinois state law governing spousal support claims is found in 750 Illinois Consolidated Statute § 5/504. Under this law, courts first need to make multiple findings as to whether a spousal support award would be appropriate. 

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illinois estate planning lawyerThe Illinois small estate affidavit allows some heirs to process smaller estates without probate, but any estate in which probate assets exceed $100,000.00 must go through the formal probate process. The probate process can be long, costly, and challenging, so it is not uncommon for many people to want to do everything they can to avoid having to deal with probate.

The good news for most people is that Illinois allows a number of ways for people to avoid probate by the way they transfer assets to their heirs. When people do not designate beneficiaries on their insurance policies, pensions, or retirement plans, then the assets have to be distributed according to state intestacy laws.

Ways to Avoid Probate in Illinois

People who want to help their family members avoid probate can take the following steps:

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dupage county paternity lawyerPaternity in Illinois is relatively straightforward when it comes to married couples. A woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of a child automatically when the couple is married. However, complications arise with children born out of wedlock. Paternity needs to be established in such cases, and one of the simplest ways this is accomplished is through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) that both parents sign and submit to the  the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). Establishing paternity without a VAP usually requires either an administrative paternity order or order of paternity.

How Contested Paternity Suits Work

It is important to note that the Illinois Parentage Act presumes that a man is the father of a child if he and the mother are married. However, there are situations in which this assumption may be wrong. There are also situations in which the child’s father is unknown or uncertain. Situations like these often lead to paternity lawsuits. 

‍A paternity suit seeking to establish a father-child relationship may be filed by a mother, any person claiming to be a child's father, any person or agency that has custody of a child, any person or agency currently providing financial assistance to a child, or a child. ‍A suit to declare the non-existence of a father-child relationship can only be filed by a child's natural mother, a presumed father of a child, or a child. 

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