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St. Charles divorce attorney hidden assets

One of the most crucial parts of an Illinois divorce is the submission of each spouse’s financial affidavit. The financial affidavit is where you will list your income, assets, debts, and expenses. It is often the first divorce-related document on which a deceptive spouse may lie. Divorcing spouses have many reasons to fabricate financial information during a divorce. Some are hoping to lower the amount their spouse receives in a property division settlement. Others are hoping to reduce the amount they pay in spousal support or child support. If you are getting divorced in Illinois, it is important to be watchful for signs of hidden assets and other financial deception.

Manipulating the Outcome of the Divorce by Hiding Assets  

Spouses are expected to disclose all of their assets and income. Some spouses intentionally leave out sources of income in order to artificially reduce their net worth. There are many different ways that a spouse may attempt to sway the divorce decree in his or her favor. A spouse may “forget” to include sources of income or certain property on his or her financial disclosure. He or she may undervalue assets, create fake expenses, lie about business revenue, transfer property to friends and family, or intentionally overpay the IRS. Some spouses hide assets by literally hiding cash in their home, office, or safety deposit box.

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St. Charles family law attorney divorce

As the 2021 tax filing deadline approaches, you may have questions about how your recent divorce will affect the filing process. The financial aspects of divorce can have a variety of tax implications, one of which is the filing status you will use when completing your tax return. Depending on the situation, you may have options when it comes to your filing status, which in turn can significantly impact your tax obligations.

How to Determine Your Filing Status

If you have recently begun or completed the divorce process, your 2021 tax filing status may depend on several factors, including the date of your divorce and the terms of the resolution. In most cases, your filing status will be one of the following:

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St. Charles divorce attorney parenting time

While married parents are often able to work together to provide for their children and make important decisions about their well-being, the task of co-parenting can be more complicated after a divorce. Divorced parents often need to find a way to coordinate matters regarding their children while living in different homes, and this can be further complicated when there is a certain degree of conflict between the two parents. Matters related to a child’s health and medical needs can be some of the most challenging for divorced parents, especially at a time when health issues are front and center in the public eye.

Which Parent Makes Decisions About a Child’s Health?

Part of the allocation of parental responsibilities during the divorce process is determining how parents will share decision-making authority for their children. Typically, a parent has responsibility for the child’s day-to-day health and routine decisions during his or her scheduled parenting time. This includes fulfilling the child’s needs related to nutrition, sleep, and hygiene, as well as any regular medical needs. If the child has a medical or health emergency during a parent’s parenting time, that parent also has the responsibility to make appropriate decisions to respond to the situation.

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St. Charles divorce attorney parenting time

Many parents who are going through the divorce process are able to set aside at least some of their differences to work together on a parenting agreement that serves the best interests of their children. However, there are also divorces in which parenting time and parental responsibilities are a major source of conflict, and not just because the parents have trouble getting along. In some cases, a parent has concerns about their children spending time alone with the other parent, which may lead them to pursue parenting time restrictions.

Illinois Parenting Time Restrictions

It is important to note that just because one parent is granted a greater share of parenting time or parental responsibilities, that does not necessarily mean that the other parent’s time or responsibilities are restricted. The court will usually prioritize a parenting plan that allows each parent as much time as possible with the children. That said, the children’s best interests are the most important consideration, and sometimes children benefit from more time living with one parent to allow them to maintain their education and after-school routine with minimal interruptions.

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St. Charles divorce attorney parental relocation

Getting divorced and moving to a new location are both significant sources of stress in a person’s life, and the stress can be compounded when one happens soon after the other. A parent seeking to move with his or her children after a divorce is often especially complicated, as it can have a major impact on the other parent and his or her ability to maintain a relationship with the children.

In Illinois, parents who intend to relocate a certain distance away from their children’s current residence must obtain approval from the other parent or the court, but in most cases, this approval is just the beginning of the legal action necessary for the relocation to take place. Parents will also often need to consider substantial modifications to their current parenting plan or agreement, especially regarding parenting time.

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St. Charles divorce attorney legal separation

Some states require a waiting period during which a married couple must be separated before a divorce can be finalized, and Illinois used to be the same. However, since 2016, an Illinois couple can proceed with a divorce at any time as long as one of the spouses has been an Illinois resident for at least 90 days and the marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences. That said, while a legal separation is no longer a necessary step on the path to divorce in Illinois, it is still an option, and you may have questions regarding whether it is a good idea in your case.

Potential Benefits of Legal Separation

Many married couples choose to live apart from each other while considering a divorce. If you and your spouse have already taken this step, but you are not yet sure that you want to initiate divorce proceedings, you can instead petition for a judgment of legal separation. Doing so offers several possible legal benefits, including:

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St. Charles divorce attorney allocation of parental responsibilities

For many years in Illinois, issues regarding children in a divorce were referred to under the umbrella term of “child custody.” However, since 2016, this term is no longer used in state law statutes, with the relevant issues instead identified as “parenting time” and the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” Parenting time is fairly straightforward, as it refers to the time that the children will spend living with each parent on a regular basis. However, you may have questions regarding what exactly it means to allocate parental responsibilities between you and your spouse during the divorce process.

What Parental Responsibilities Must Be Allocated in an Illinois Divorce?

Illinois law states that during a parent’s allocated parenting time, he or she has the authority to make “non-significant” decisions related to the child. This encompasses a wide variety of routine decisions and allows a person the freedom to parent without worrying that every action may potentially violate the divorce resolution. However, certain decisions are considered significant and must be addressed directly in a parenting agreement. These significant decisions include those related to:

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St. Charles family law attorney paternity

Whether you are a child’s mother or father, establishing legal paternity provides important benefits for both you and your child, including court-ordered child support, other benefits for the child, such as health insurance and inheritance, and parental rights for the father. In Illinois, you have a few different options for establishing paternity, depending on the willingness of both parents to cooperate with the process.

It is important to note that if the parents are legally married at the time of a child’s birth, parentage is presumed without the necessity of any further legal action. The same can be true if the parents were previously married within 300 days of the child’s birth, or if they get married after the child’s birth. If none of these situations apply to you, you will need to take one of the following steps in order for a person to be legally recognized as the child’s father.

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St. Charles divorce attorney spousal maintenance

In Illinois, spousal support or maintenance is not a guaranteed part of all divorce orders; rather, it is generally only ordered if one spouse has a financial need and there is an imbalance in income and assets between the two parties. As a result, it can often be a contentious part of the divorce process, as the two parties may have different ideas as to whether a spousal support order is justified. This contention may continue even after the divorce is finalized as both parties’ circumstances change. If you have been ordered to pay spousal support and you believe that you should no longer have to do so, you may have legal options to pursue the modification or termination of the spousal support order.

Reasons to Modify a Spousal Maintenance Order

You should know that it is usually not possible to stop paying spousal support simply because you are angry or upset with your ex-spouse. Rather, you will need to demonstrate to the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that justifies a reduction to your obligation. Possible reasons for a modification include:

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St. Charles divorce attorney property division

For business owners, the division of marital property required in the Illinois divorce process can be challenging regardless of their spouse’s involvement or role in the business. However, if you and your spouse are business partners as well as life partners, the process becomes even more complicated. In order to ensure a fair outcome that protects your interests, you should work with an experienced divorce attorney who can advise you on the implications of your decisions.

Are Businesses Considered Marital Property in Illinois?

While a business that you owned prior to your marriage may be considered your personal, non-marital property, a business that you or your spouse founded or acquired during your marriage is usually considered marital property, even if the other spouse is not involved. If you and your spouse started or purchased a business together during your marriage, there is no question that it will be an important consideration in the division of marital property, and the same is likely true if your spouse became a partner in a business that you already owned. You may even have a business contract that further defines the terms of your partnership outside of your marital relationship, and such a contract will likely influence your options for dividing the business in your divorce.

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St. Charles divorce attorney parenting time

When you are getting a divorce, reaching an agreement on parenting time can be challenging both emotionally and logistically. It is often hard for parents and children alike to adjust to an arrangement in which they no longer live with each other full time, and with the schedules of several different people to consider, it may be hard to find a solution that allows both parents to make the most of their time while interrupting the children’s routine as little as possible. It is important to think carefully as you create your initial parenting plan and to be open to change in the coming years if necessary.

How to Create a Parenting Time Schedule

During the divorce process in Illinois, the court will usually ask each parent to submit a proposed parenting plan that addresses many important issues regarding parenting time, including a schedule of days to be spent with each parent, plans for transportation between homes, provisions for holidays, and other extenuating circumstances, and provisions for the process of modifying the plan in the future. The court will issue a decision after reviewing both parents’ proposed plans. However, if the parents are able to work together to create a plan, the court will often approve of it as long as the proposed plan is in the children’s best interests.

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St. Charles family law attorney postnuptial agreement

Most people are familiar with the concept of a prenuptial agreement, if for no other reason than the media attention given to many high-profile marriages and divorces. Postnuptial agreements are not as well-known, but they are a viable option for many married couples when the partners have assets they wish to protect. Although they are not necessary for every marriage, it may be worth considering whether a postnuptial agreement is a good choice for you and your spouse.

What Can a Postnuptial Agreement Include?

Postnuptial agreements can address many of the same matters as prenuptial agreements, with the primary difference being that prenuptial agreements are established before the partners are legally married, while postnuptial agreements are established after. Some specific items that you may want to address in a postnuptial agreement include:

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St. Charles divorce attorney spousal support

Infidelity on the part of one or both spouses is one of the most common reasons for a marriage to fail. If your spouse has been unfaithful and you are unable to work through it together, a divorce may be imminent, and it is reasonable to wonder how the infidelity might affect the divorce process. The answer may surprise you, but it can also help you prepare more effectively for your divorce.

Infidelity Is Not a Legal Reason for Divorce in Illinois 

Though a spouse’s unfaithfulness may be a major contributing factor, or even the most important factor, in your personal decision to get a divorce, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state in which irreconcilable differences are the only legally recognized grounds for divorce. This means that an unfaithful spouse will not be held responsible for causing the divorce, and the infidelity will not be considered by the court in any decisions regarding the division of property, spousal support, or the allocation of parental responsibilities. However, this does not necessarily mean that infidelity will have no impact whatsoever on the way your divorce proceeds.

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St. Charles divorce attorney debt division

Over the course of a marriage, a couple often accumulates significant property and assets together. However, the flip side is that they also often incur a significant amount of shared debt. In the event of a divorce, when the couple must transition from one financial entity to two, it is important to account for both assets and debts in the equitable division of property. This often makes for a complicated process, and it is important to understand how you may be affected if you and your spouse have to divide marital debt.

Common Sources of Marital Debt

The first thing you should know is that under Illinois law, marital debt can include not only loans that you and your spouse have taken out together but also many types of debt incurred by each of you individually during your marriage. Some of the most typical examples of marital debt include:

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St. Charles divorce attorney child support

When a child’s parents are divorced or unmarried, child support is an important means of ensuring that the child’s needs are provided for financially. However, it is not always easy for a paying parent to fulfill his or her obligations, especially in the midst of financial hardship. If you are struggling to pay court-ordered child support for whatever reason, an attorney can help you explore your options and pursue the one that best meets your needs.

Child Support Obligations in Illinois

Since July 2017, basic child support obligations in Illinois have been calculated based on a proportional share of the two parents’ combined net incomes. This often helps to ensure that both parents are treated fairly and that child support obligations do not create an undue financial burden on either party. That said, you may still find it challenging to fulfill your obligation in the months and years following the initial court order.

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Joliet divorce attorney spousal support

When you are going through a divorce, you may feel that you have enough on your mind simply trying to arrange for a fair distribution of marital property and make the case for spousal support. Other financial implications of your divorce, like the way it can affect your taxes, may often slip through the cracks, leaving a lasting negative impact on your future. However, with the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer, you can plan for the effects of divorce on your taxes so that your financial situation remains secure.

Tax Implications of Divorce in Illinois

There are many ways that your taxes can be affected by a divorce, so this is by no means an exhaustive list. However, three common ways that taxes can come into play during the divorce process include:

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St. Charles child custody attorney parental relocation

Moving to a new location after your divorce can help to give you a fresh start, especially if you are pursuing a new opportunity for yourself or your children. However, in Illinois, many parental relocations require court approval to ensure that the best interests of your children and their relationship with their other parent are protected. If you are planning a move, you should make sure you know whether legal action is necessary, and consider how you can help the process go smoothly.

When Does Relocation Require Approval?

The reality is that after a divorce, one or both parents will have to find a new residence, and in many cases, these moves require no special approval. However, in Illinois, the distance of the move can make a significant difference. Specifically, state law requires approval for the following:

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St. Charles divorce attorney asset division

Although Illinois courts will do everything possible to ensure a fair and equitable resolution to a divorce, your finances will always be affected to some degree when marital assets are divided between you and your spouse. As you prepare to move forward with your life as a single person, it is important to make a plan to recover financially and ensure that you can support yourself and your children well into the future.

Strategies for Achieving Financial Stability

Securing your financial situation can start before your divorce and continue throughout the rest of your life. The approach you take may depend on whether or not you have any children. Some helpful suggestions include:

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St. Chalres divorce attorney spousal maintenance

Divorce can be difficult for anyone, but it may be especially devastating for stay-at-home parents, who devote their time and energy every day to the care and well-being of their family. As a stay-at-home parent, you may be concerned about how the divorce will impact your children, as well as how you will support yourself without the income of your spouse. As you prepare for your divorce and life moving forward, it is crucial to identify your priorities so that you can focus your efforts on the issues that are most important to you.

Divorce Issues Affecting Stay-at-Home Parents

Certain aspects of the divorce process may be especially important for stay-at-home parents. You may find it beneficial to keep the following at the forefront of your mind:

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St. Charles divorce attorney property division

Arguments over finances are a contributing factor in many divorces, and when money is already a contested issue, it can be concerning to consider that you and your spouse will have to divide your assets and debts as part of your divorce resolution. However, you may find it reassuring that not all property belonging to you or your spouse is subject to division. In Illinois, anything that is considered non-marital property will most likely stay with the person to whom it belongs.

Identifying Non-Marital Property

While you might take comfort in knowing that you can hold onto your non-marital property during your divorce, it can be a challenge to determine which assets and debts are considered non-marital. Under Illinois law, properties that are often defined as non-marital include:

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