Tag Archives: divorce settlement

IL divorce lawyerWhen a couple gets divorced in Illinois, they will have to go through property division proceedings to divide their assets and their debt. Many couples understand this and know how complicated property division can become. To avoid these complexities, many couples decide to keep their property separate even after they have married. They might use separate bank accounts, take out individual lines of credit, and take other measures to ensure their property is not combined.

The question is, will this really help in divorce and does it make property division easier?

Property Division in Illinois

During a divorce, any property the couple acquired during the marriage is typically considered marital property. As such, it will be divided fairly during the proceedings, although not necessarily equally.

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Illinois family lawyerMost people are aware that divorce proceedings lead to a great deal of emotional distress. However, many do not realize how much a divorce can damage their personal finances, especially if they are close to retirement age or have stayed at home rather than worked for years.

If you are going through a divorce, it is essential that you get everything that you are entitled to. Sadly, this is easier said than done as your spouse may hide their money or assets, such as stock shares, stock options, real estate, trust accounts, and investment accounts during your divorce. If you believe your spouse is hiding money, you should do the following:

Contact the Internal Revenue Service

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Illinois divorce lawyer, DuPage County divorce attorneyThe Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/503) defines the division of marital property, marital debt, and any other obligation defined by the court during a divorce and bound by specific procedures. Although Illinois is not a communal property state, it is an equitable division one. At the time of consideration of the division of marital assets and/or debts, Illinois courts will review the overall situation but is prohibited to include any type of marital misconduct, such as infidelity or other damaging factors leading to the dissolution of marriage in their division decisions. The following 12 factors influence the courts in their decision when it comes to fair equity distribution or percentage of marital debt to be satisfied.

Spousal Contributions

The role of the courts is to determine the percentage of spousal contribution that has contributed to the acquisition, preservation or increase, or decrease of all marital or non-marital property. Consideration is also given to which of the partners provided the majority of marital income contributing to an increase in marital assets. The same provision is given to the spouse who has increased the amount of debt throughout the marriage.

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college tuition, divorce settlement, Illinois divorce, DuPage County divorce, attorney, IllinoisFor the most part, parents are responsible for supporting a child until the point of emancipation. In general, emancipation happens at age 18 when people are considered legal adults, although cases involving disabled children will often extend support requirements beyond this age. Sometimes, support requirements for a child’s college education can be included in a divorce settlement.

Depending on the needs in your divorce case, you should consider discussing whether an educational obligation should be included in your settlement. Many parents who opt to do this sign an agreement that they will split the costs and these agreements often have stipulations, like certain grade point averages, that a child must meet in order to continue receiving the support.

Parents should be aware of the importance of wording in such contracts, as is indicated by a recent decision out of New Jersey. In that case, a father and mother had signed an agreement to split the cost of graduate education for their children. When their daughter was accepted to an expensive program at Cornell, her father denied responsibility and said he would only pay for a less expensive law school. A judge disagreed and ordered that the father was required to pay for half of her Cornell education costs.

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1. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that you as the father paying child support can claim the exemption for your child (or the children) as dependents on your Federal and Illinois Income Tax returns. If nothing is said in the Divorce Settlement Agreement, only the mother by default can claim them. Also it should be in writing that your former spouse will release the exemption to you by signing an IRS form 8332 and providing the signed form to you each year you are to claim the exemption. This example assumes that the mother has residential custody of the children.

2. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that you as the mother do not need to sign the IRS form 8332 granting your former husband the right to claim the dependent exemptions for your child (or children) if he is not current in his child support payments to you.

3. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should state specifically that if you as the father must pay part or all of any medical, dental, doctor or hospital bills for your children that you should receive written copies of any medical, dental, doctor or hospital bills from your former wife within ten days of the treatment or bill and if not, that you do not have to pay those bills.

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