Tag Archives: DuPage County divorce attorney

IL divorce lawyerIt is natural to think that when getting a divorce, you should be able to point out any fault your spouse may have had in the breakdown of the marriage. This is particularly true if your spouse engaged in hurtful behavior, such as having an affair or domestic abuse. Many spouses are surprised to learn that Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means there are no grounds for divorce. However, that does not mean that if you or your spouse is at fault for the divorce, it will not have an effect on the proceedings.

Irreconcilable Differences and No-Fault Divorces

In Illinois, a person only has to state that they and their spouse have irreconcilable differences to get a divorce. This means that there has been a breakdown of the relationship so severe that there is no chance of reconciliation. One person does not have to prove fault and the two spouses do not have to agree on the divorce. If one person files, the divorce will proceed.

How No-Fault Divorces Benefit Spouses

People sometimes find it frustrating that they cannot file for divorce based on their spouse’s bad behavior. After all, if a spouse cheated, the other spouse should be able to use this against them in court. However, there is very sound reasoning for Illinois moving to no-fault divorces.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen going through a divorce, you hope that your spouse will be honest when presenting certain facts of their case. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes, spouses lie about their assets and when they do, it can present many challenges and result in an unfair settlement, or worse. There are many different reasons a spouse may lie about their assets but they can all hurt you in the end. For this reason, it is crucial that you understand how to identify signs of fraud, and how to protect yourself from it.

The Different Types of Fraud in Divorce

There are many different reasons a spouse may wish to lie about their assets during divorce, and a variety of ways in which they may attempt to do it. A spouse may ask a friend or family member to temporarily take possessions such as cash or stock options to prevent these assets from being divided in property division hearings.

Or, a spouse may try to hide income so they do not have to pay as much in spousal maintenance or child support payments. When they do this, they will often misreport their income on tax returns. Although this could result in criminal charges for them, it could also mean financial consequences for you. If you had filed a joint tax return with your spouse, you could face the same consequences yourself, which is extremely serious.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen getting a divorce, couples have a lot to think about. They will likely wonder what will happen to their car, to the marital home, and other assets. One factor that is often overlooked though, is the family pet. If the pet was acquired during the marriage, it is considered marital property. So, when this is the case, what happens to the pets in an Illinois divorce?

Pets According to Property Division Rules

In many cases, the courts may choose to include the pet in property division hearings. This means it will be treated just like other property. Illinois is an equitable distribution state. That means that property is divided fairly, although not necessarily equally. Of course, a pet cannot be divided, leaving many couples again wondering what will happen to it in a divorce.

If one of the spouses really wants to keep the pet and both spouses can agree, the courts may grant ownership to the spouse that wants to keep the animal. In exchange, the courts will also likely grant the other spouse a greater portion of other property or assets, in order to keep property division hearings fair.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen two people decide to make a split in their relationship, one of the first and most difficult decisions is often where the couple will live. If they are not married but only living together, the choice is often much simpler, as the person whose name is on the lease or mortgage will inevitably retain use of the property. If a true joint lease or mortgage, then it can indeed be every bit as complicated. But for a married couple - especially with children - the challenge is deciding who will stay in the marital home. In most cases, men tend to be the ones to depart quickly upon conflict. But this may not always be a good decision. So, before you move out of the marital home, here are some considerations you might want to discuss with a DuPage County divorce lawyer.

He Who Stays and He Who Pays

Effective January of 2019, Illinois’ child support statute has dramatically changed. Unlike before, the law no longer creates a strict guideline based on just the number of children a couple has. Instead, the new law takes into considerations such as:

  • How many children the couple has
  • Whether there are children from other relationships
  • Who is paying health and dental insurance
  • Who is paying daycare and other childcare expenses
  • Relative income of both parties
  • The relative amount of parenting time each parent has

This is a significant departure from the past, and it can be a good thing for parents who have fairly equal parenting time with a spouse who earns far less. By having more equal parenting time and covering extra expenses for the kids, it reduces the amount of direct support that must be paid, if any. However, it is important to keep in mind that the marital home has a somewhat intangible effect on parenting roles. Here is why.

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IL divorce lawyerPrenuptial agreements can be used for a variety of marital reasons, and one of those reasons is for debt protection. The average American has more than $38,000 of debt, and this does not even take into account home mortgages. Millions of Americans are so deep underwater on their mortgages and other loan payments that they are will likely end up being in debt until the day that they die.

Surprisingly, Americans are taking on more debt each and every year, despite knowing the consequences. Credit card debt is now tied with home mortgage debt, followed by student loans and car loans. The later comes as little surprise when the average new car price tag comes in at more than $37,000. The last thing that you want to do when you marry the love of your life is to begin worrying about your spouse’s high debt and financial troubles. After all, financial turmoil is one of the most common stress points in marriage.

Will a Prenuptial Agreement Protect Me from My Spouse’s Debt?

Debt acquired before marriage is not the legal burden of the other spouse. If your soon-to-be-spouse has a $40,000 in student loans, you will not suddenly be responsible for that debt when you marry. Similarly, if your spouse fails to make timely payments on that debt, your credit score will not suffer as a result. However, if you are a co-signer with your spouse onto a credit card or other type of loan, you will be held financially responsible for that debt, even if you end up not doing any of the spending.

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