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st. charles divorce lawyerFrom posting vacation photos on Instagram to announcing the birth of a child on Facebook, people use social media for various reasons. Although social media has its benefits, it can cause issues during an Illinois divorce. To prevent complications in your divorce case, try to limit what you post on these sites.

How Social Media Can Damage Your Divorce Case

When you make a post on social media, it may get taken out of context, which can be problematic for your divorce. For instance, let’s say that you go out to the bar one night with a few friends and post a photo of the group on Facebook. Although you are not doing anything wrong, the photo may lead some people to believe that you are an irresponsible parent who drinks too often. Your ex may even try to use that photo in a custody proceeding to suggest that you are an unfit parent.

Posting on your social media may also have financial consequences for your divorce. If you, for example, post a photo of a new vehicle you purchased, despite claiming financial difficulties, your ex’s lawyer may argue that you are hiding assets. 

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st. charles divorce lawyerBusiness assets of any kind can complicate the divorce process, but professional practices present a set of challenges all their own. When a doctor, lawyer, therapist, or any other licensed professional owns their own practice, the business’s success is closely tied to the owner’s efforts. The owner typically relies on the business as their primary livelihood. This can make fairly valuing and dividing the practice during divorce quite difficult. If you or your spouse operates a professional practice, you should be aware of what to expect during the divorce process.

Is the Practice Marital Property?

You might assume that a professional practice belongs only to the spouse who founded it, but in reality, this depends in large part on when the practice was established. If it was already in existence before the marriage began, it will most likely be excluded from the marital estate. However, if the practice was established during the marriage, it will most likely be considered marital property for which both spouses could have a claim during the divorce process.

This issue can be more complicated if you have invested marital assets in a professional practice that would otherwise be considered non-marital property, or if your spouse has contributed to the practice’s success through their own personal efforts. Even if the practice retains its non-marital status, you may need to reimburse your spouse appropriately during the divorce process. 

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st. charles divorce lawyerDivorce can be hard on a couple no matter their income level. In fact, a couple with a high net worth can face some of the most difficult complications when it comes to the financial aspects of divorce like the division of assets and spousal maintenance. If you are ending a marriage in which one spouse was the primary earner, there is a good chance that spousal support will be a factor in your divorce resolution. It is important to understand how this issue is handled in Illinois family court, as well as the options you may have for reaching an agreement.

Spousal Maintenance Decisions in an Illinois Divorce

There are a number of situations in which spousal maintenance may be necessary to ensure a fair resolution to a high-asset divorce. One common example is a situation in which one spouse did not work but instead relied entirely on the other spouse’s income and assets. In a case such as this, a high-earning spouse may want to retain full ownership of high-value businesses and real estate properties, which can lead to an even greater financial disparity. Spousal maintenance may be the best option to ensure that the other spouse can support themself after the divorce.

According to Illinois law, another possible reason for spousal support is to help a spouse maintain the standard of living they have become accustomed to during the marriage. In a high-asset divorce, even a spouse who works and earns their own income may have a case for maintenance if the other spouse has significantly greater income and assets.

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St. Charles divorce lawyerGetting a divorce is often an important step to help you leave an unhealthy situation, and the terms of your divorce resolution can provide you with financial and personal protections. However, reaching a resolution may take time, in some cases several months or more, and you may find that the relief you need is not coming fast enough. Fortunately, Illinois law offers several forms of temporary relief that you can pursue before your divorce is final. To decide whether temporary relief is right for you, you should consider the following questions.

Are You Struggling to Provide for Yourself and Your Children?

If you have a limited income and assets, and your spouse will not willingly assist you with expenses, you may have a case for temporary child support and/or spousal maintenance during the divorce process. When you petition for temporary support, you will need to submit a financial affidavit detailing your current financial situation. You should also keep in mind that a temporary support order is not a replacement for terms regarding child support and maintenance in your final divorce resolution.

Does Your Spouse Control Your Assets?

If your spouse has control over much of your marital property and you are concerned that he or she will prevent you from accessing it, you may be able to obtain relief through a temporary restraining order or injunction. A financial restraining order can prevent your spouse from hiding, transferring, or dissipating marital assets during the divorce, and require them to notify you of any unusual spending. 

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kane county divorce lawyerEarlier this week, Bill and Melinda Gates, widely known for their work at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, announced that they were ending their marriage. This marks the second divorce of one of the world’s most wealthy individuals in recent years after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott ended their marriage in 2019. Very few divorces will match the Gates divorce in terms of the assets to be addressed, but other high-asset couples considering divorce may be able to learn something from the Gates’s situation.

Preparing for a High-Asset Divorce in Illinois

Though the Gates divorce is being resolved in the State of Washington, some of the issues at hand offer possible lessons for divorcing couples with significant assets in Illinois. For example:

  • Property division can be resolved through an agreement between spouses. When filing for divorce, the Gateses noted that they have reached a separation agreement regarding their property and assets. In a high-asset divorce in Illinois, it may be possible to reach a similar resolution with your spouse, rather than leaving the division of assets in the hands of the court. However, it is usually a good idea to consult with financial experts who can help you understand the full implications of your decisions.

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